NFL and NCAA Football News

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The Atlanta Falcons will induct Roddy White into their Ring of Honor this season.

The team’s all-time leading receiver made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the ceremony will happen during the Dec. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“I’m extremely happy about it for me and my family,” tweeted White, who becomes the 11th player to be inducted and the first since running back Warrick Dunn in 2017.

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, spent his entire 11-year career with Atlanta (2005-15) and caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns in 171 games.

Julio Jones enters 2019 ranked second on the franchise list in receptions (698) and yards (10,731), while Terance Mathis ranks second in touchdown grabs (57).

–Field Level Media

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Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters Tuesday that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

Luck, 29, was named the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after completing a career-best 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns and leading the Colts to a playoff berth.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft sat out the entire 2017 season following surgery on his right shoulder.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka's U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

It’s hard to argue with the game plan of the man who has won four of the past eight majors, but U.S. sportsbooks have cooled a bit on Brooks Koepka’s odds of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open this week.

Koepka acknowledged that he did not touch a club after winning the PGA Championship last month until arriving at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He then tied for 50th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. He never sniffed at contention.

A distinct favorite for Pebble Beach after his two-stroke triumph at Bethpage Black, Koepka has been surpassed by Dustin Johnson as the listed favorite by several sportsbooks. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has also nudged ahead in some sportsbooks following his seven-shot victory in Canada.

While those three are co-favorites at +850 by FanDuel, SugarHouse favors Johnson (+700) over McIlroy (+800) and Koepka (+900). William Hill also has Johnson at +700, followed by Koepka (+850) and Jordan Spieth (+1000). Despite his record-setting victory at the Canadian Open, McIlroy is only tied for the third betting favorite by William Hill at +1000.

PointsBet lists Johnson and McIlroy as the co-favorites at +800 — slightly ahead of Koepka (+850).

Tiger Woods is no worse than +1100 by each of the four books.

Looking for a stab at the riches? SugarHouse is offering +250000 on a trio of players: Connor Arendell, Eric Dietrich and Hayden Shieh.

William Hill is offering some fun matchup prop bets, with McIlroy (-165) favored to finished higher than Woods (+145), and Johnson (-130) expected to out-duel Koepka (+110).

William Hill Prop Bets

Top 10 finish/not

Tiger Woods: +120/-140

Brooks Koepka: +100/-120

Rory McIlroy: +100/-120

Dustin Johnson: -110/-110

Jordan Spieth: -120/+100

Phil Mickelson: +200/-240

Rickie Fowler: +110/-130

Justin Thomas: +130/-150

Make/Miss Cut props:

Phil Mickelson: -250/+210

Sergio Garcia: -220/+190

Bubba Watson: -190/+170

Patrick Reed: -260/+220

Paul Casey: -260/+220

Hole In One

Yes: -130

No: +110

Decided By Playoff

Yes: +300

No: -360

Lowest Round Score (64.5): -110/-110

72-hole Winning Score (278.5): -110/-110

36-hole Cut Score (146.5): -110/-110

PointsBet is offering odds on the nationality of the winner:

USA: -400

England: +540

Northern Ireland: +550

Australia: +800

Spain: +1200

Japan: +1600

Italy: +1800

South Africa: +1800

Sweden: +2000

Ireland: +2500

South Korea: +3000

Germany: +3500

Denmark: +4000

China: +5000

Chinese Tapei: +5000

Slovakia: +5000

Belgium: +5000

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

The Arizona

Cardinals trade S Ford to Eagles for DT Hector

The Arizona Cardinals traded safety Rudy Ford to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in exchange for defensive tackle Bruce Hector.

Ford, 24, was a sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Auburn. He played in 23 games and posted nine tackles during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Ford was the odd man out in Arizona behind starters D.J. Swearinger and Budda Baker, as well as Josh Shaw and rookies Deionte Thompson and Jalen Thompson.

Hector, also 24, was undrafted out of South Florida in 2018. He appeared in eight games for the Eagles last year and logged two tackles and a half-sack.

Hector provides depth for the Cardinals, who released linemen Darius Philon, Robert Nkemdiche and Vincent Valentine during training camp.

–Field Level Media

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Jackson: Record with Browns is ‘on my tombstone’

Jackson: Record with Browns is 'on my tombstone'

Jackson: Record with Browns is ‘on my tombstone’

Hue Jackson provided a frank assessment of how he’ll be remembered for his coaching career in Cleveland in a recently published article.

Jackson was fired as the Browns’ head coach on Oct. 29 after a three-year stint in which the struggling team posted a 3-36-1 record, including an 0-16 season in 2017.

“Let’s be honest. Right now, that’s what’s on my tombstone,” the 53-year-old Jackson told Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop in a story released on Thursday.

Jackson told Bishop that the days that followed the firing were extremely dark ones.

“(Jackson) called his wife of 24 years, Michelle, and filled her in,” Bishop wrote. “At home, he went down to their basement, turned off the lights in the guest room and stayed there. For three days. ‘I could have laid there for months,’ he says.”

Jackson joined the rival Cincinnati Bengals as a special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis two weeks after being fired by the Browns but was not retained by new coach Zac Taylor.

Jackson, who also served as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, owns an 11-44-1 career mark for the second-worst winning percentage in NFL history.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

Report: Cowboys offer to make Elliott No. 2 in RB pay

The Dallas Cowboys have offered to make holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott one of the two highest-paid running backs in the NFL, according to a report.

ESPN reporter Ed Werder tweeted Thursday afternoon that the offer is less than what the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley earns — he signed a four-year, $57.5 million contract with $45 million guaranteed last summer — but more than the deal that Le’Veon Bell agreed to with the New York Jets.

In March, Bell signed the NFL’s second-richest running back contract, a four-year, $52.5 million deal that included $27 million in guarantees.

Elliott, 24, was the No. 4 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract and wants a new deal before he reports to the team. He is due to make $3.85 million this season.

Through three seasons, Elliott has carried the ball 868 times for 4,048 yards with 28 rushing touchdowns. He gained a league-leading 1,631 yards in his rookie year, when he was named an All-Pro, and also led the league with 1,434 rushing yards last year.

–Field Level Media

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IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

Denver

IR trip possible for Broncos QB Lock

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio said a trip to injured reserve for quarterback Drew Lock could be a consideration after the rookie sprained his right thumb Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Obviously because it’s his throwing hand and a thumb, that’s a pretty serious injury for a quarterback,” Fangio said Thursday. “It will be some time before we know exactly where he’s at and how much time he would miss.”

The Broncos could open up a roster spot without ending Lock’s season by putting him on IR after the cut-down to the 53-man roster. Lock would be recallable from IR after eight weeks, though he could not practice if healthy enough to do so before the eight-week period ends.

“The bad thing about it is because of the injury, he can’t do much,” Fangio said.

Lock hit the thumb while being taken down for a sack in the third quarter of Denver’s 24-15 loss. He said he hasn’t had a sprain this severe before and doesn’t know how long he’ll be out.

“I’m not 100 percent sure,” Lock said. “Just going to leave that up to the people in (the training) room to kind of evaluate it a little bit. I know my pain tolerance. I know that level of stuff, but I think they’re going to make the best decision on when I should be stepping back out on the football field.”

In the meantime, Lock plans to “heavily” use the team’s virtual reality training program to take mental reps.

The second-round pick (42nd overall) began training camp as the third-string quarterback behind starter Joe Flacco and backup Kevin Hogan, but he played with the second team ahead of Hogan in practice last week and in Monday’s game.

Lock went 7 of 12 for 40 yards against the 49ers, bringing his preseason stat line to 31 of 51 for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“I felt as if I was starting to play a little better and maybe starting to earn that (backup) role,” Lock said.

Fangio added, “He was improving daily, and I saw good strides. I’d say he was tracking towards (the backup job). I wouldn’t say he had it yet.”

The Broncos don’t plan to add another quarterback right now, according to Fangio. Hogan will start Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams, with most of Denver’s starters sitting out on both sides of the ball, and he likely begin the season as the backup, given Lock’s injury. Undrafted rookie Brett Rypien will also play “a good bit.”

Fangio also said it’s possible tight end Jake Butt will make his first appearance this preseason on Saturday.

Butt has battled setbacks during training camp in his recovery from a torn ACL sustained last September, his third torn ACL dating back to college. He returned to practice last week.

–Field Level Media

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Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

John Elway appeared on NBC's "Today" on Thursday

Elway opens up about 15-year battle with hand condition

John Elway appeared on NBC’s “Today” on Thursday to raise awareness for Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition that prevents curled fingers from being straightened.

Elway, the Denver Broncos president of football operations and general manager, was diagnosed with the condition 15 years ago, well after the Hall of Fame quarterback’s 16-year career had ended.

“When I saw my hand doctor, the only option was surgery,” Elway said. “I wasn’t interested in more surgeries. I’ve had so many surgeries during my playing career. At that point in time I didn’t want to have another one.”

Elway, who retired following the 1998 season, recently underwent a non-surgical treatment to attempt to straighten his fingers.

Elway, 59, admitted that he wasn’t sure if his football career either caused or contributed to his condition. He’s not alone, since experts are uncertain as to what causes Dupuytren’s contracture.

“It’s a rather common condition, and a lot of people do have it, but they don’t get it diagnosed,” Elway said of the condition that may affect 16 million Americans.

“If anyone is concerned they might have it, they should go see a hand specialist. If you’re diagnosed with it, I want people to realize that there are options to treat it.”

Per the Mayo Clinic, Dupuytren’s contracture “affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. Knots of tissue form under the skin — eventually creating a thick cord that can pull one or more fingers into a bent position.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to Schefter.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

The next pressing contract matter for the Saints to address is wide receiver Michael Thomas. The two sides have held loose discussions about the direction of a deal, but no tangible progress has been reported.

He has spent his eight-year NFL career with the Saints after being selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2011 draft out of Cal. He has 71.5 career sacks and 98 tackles for loss in 128 games (127 starts).

He earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod last season, when he had 12 sacks and helped New Orleans reach the NFC Championship Game. Jordan was first-team All-Pro in 2017, when he had a career-best 13 sacks, broke up 11 passes and forced two fumbles.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed

Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

Jones, 24, is due $1.2 million in base salary. That’s not anywhere near market value considering his 15.5-sack 2018 season.

Jones has generated 24 sacks through his first three NFL seasons.

Per NFL Network, a slowdown in negotiations prompted Jones to pass on mandatory minicamp.

Kansas City is moving to a 4-3 front under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His scheme is precedented on pass-rushing skill at all four defensive line spots.

–Field Level Media

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Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

Giants' Shurmur stokes QB controversy: 'We'll see what happens'

Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones on Tuesday.

Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order.

That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.

“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “I know we’re dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll just see what happens. … We do feel good where Eli is, he’s our starting quarterback, and we’ve got a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player getting himself ready to play.”

Manning, 38, has faced questions about his diminished skills and longevity before. Two years ago, then-coach Ben McAdoo ended Manning’s consecutive starts streak to start Geno Smith, fanning the flames for pundits insisting Manning’s best days are behind him.

Shurmur, hired to replace McAdoo, hopped in Manning’s corner. At the end of the 2018 regular season, he said Manning had “years left” as a starting quarterback and insisted he would continue to start because “experience matters.”

Jones, drafted sixth overall by the Giants in April, has a similar demeanor to Manning and has been tutored by Peyton Manning. The team also has 2018 fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta and veteran backup Alex Tanney.

“I’m not trying to be cryptic about it,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “It is what I said it is. Eli is getting ready to have an outstanding year and Daniel is getting ready to play. That’s really about it.”

Shurmur was strong in his assessment last month of where the quarterbacks stood.

“At the quarterback position, we have a starter in Eli and we have guys behind him, specifically Daniel Jones, who need to do everything they can to be ready to play Week 1. That’s where we’re at,” Shurmur said.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach for the 2019 season.

He replaces Darryl Drake, who died suddenly on Aug. 11.

Sherman joined the Steelers at the start of training camp, initially as an observer. But after Drake’s death, Sherman began working with the wide receivers group.

He hasn’t coached since he retired following the 2015 season but has a lengthy resume.

Sherman, 67, was a wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State, and he started his coaching career in 1974 as a graduate assistant at San Jose State.

He spent 14 years in the college ranks, coaching at Cal, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Purdue and Georgia. In 1988, he moved on to the NFL and had stops with the Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams.

He also served as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh in 1998.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster praised the selection.

“A guy who has been here,” Smith-Schuster said in a team statement. “He has coached everybody from Jerry Rice to young guys like us. It’s the best opportunity to have him step up and play that role for us.”

He added that Sherman has helped them through the transition after Drake’s death.

“To go through this at a young age, 22 years old, there are no words that can explain what we are going through. For Ray, he was retired, for him to come out of his way to be here it means a lot not only to myself but to the receivers in the room. We don’t want to change that.”

–Field Level Media

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Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will stand trial next month after pleading not guilty to charges of assault by beating, sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.

Olesen was arrested July 29 at Heathrow Airport in London following his alleged actions on a British Airways flight from Memphis, where he played in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

He has been suspended by the European Tour pending the outcome of the trial.

Olesen briefly appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in London on Wednesday to enter his plea and also confirm his name, age and address.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Sept 18 at Isleworth Crown Court in London.

Olesen, 29, is ranked No. 65 in the world. He has five European Tour victories and was a member of Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup team.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play in the preseason but the 25-year-old said his foot injury is not a concern.

Cooper, starting his first full season with the Cowboys, dealt with a foot injury as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders and before that as a sophomore at Alabama. This summer, he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and has missed three weeks of practice.

“I’m not really worried,” Cooper said in an interview with USA Today. “It’s not really that bad, especially just walking around. But to do the things that I do on the field, obviously I’m cutting really hard, I’m stopping really hard.”

Now in his fifth season, Cooper said he’s accustomed to playing with injuries if necessary.

“I played with a lot of foot injuries,” Cooper said. “I played with high ankle sprains. All those things so I’m pretty good at playing with foot injuries. But I don’t think I’m going to have to play with it.”

The Pro Bowl wideout enters the final year of his contract as a focal point of the passing game in Dallas. With running back Ezekiel Elliott missing from the startling lineup as well — Elliott is holding out for a new deal with two years remaining on his rookie contract — the Cowboys have an assortment of variables to figure out before the opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

“Of course I feel like I’m missing things because I’m missing practice,” Cooper said. “But, like I said, I’m able to keep up mentally. … The plays are, for the most part, the same or similar. It’s a lot of the same routes from my perspective.”

–Field Level Media

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Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

The

Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers brought back wide receiver Dontrelle Inman on Thursday.

Inman, 30, played in 41 games over four seasons with the Chargers before being traded to the Chicago Bears in October 2017.

He had his best season with the team in San Diego in 2016, catching 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns.

Inman played in 15 games with the Indianapolis Colts last season, tallying 28 catches for 304 yards and three scores. He added eight catches for 108 yards and one TD in two playoff games.

He spent most of this offseason with the New England Patriots before being released on Sunday.

In 58 career games (34 starts), he has 158 receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

New England

Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung reportedly was indicted on a charge of cocaine possession in New Hampshire.

According to the Laconia Daily Sun, he was indicted by a Belknap County jury on Aug. 8 for an incident that took place on June 25 in Meredith, where Chung has a home.

Chung “did possess or have under his control a quantity of the controlled substance cocaine,” according to the indictment.

The Patriots issued the following statement on Thursday:

“We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place.”

The article posted by the newspaper Wednesday night said Meredith police did not arrest Chung during the June 25 encounter.

Chung, who turned 32 on Monday, is scheduled to be arraigned at Laconia District Court next Wednesday.

Chung was not at practice Wednesday and did not appear in the first two preseason games. In April, he signed a one-year extension through the 2021 season.

A second-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009, Chung has spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons in New England, with his tenure broken by one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. The three-time Super Bowl champion has 11 interceptions and 723 tackles in 140 career games (110 starts).

The Daily Sun reported that cocaine possession is a Class B felony and carries a potential prison term of 3½ to seven years.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Redskins reject Pats’ offer for LT Williams

Report: Redskins reject Pats' offer for LT Williams

Report: Redskins reject Pats’ offer for LT Williams

The Washington Redskins turned down an offer of a 2020 first-round pick from the New England Patriots for disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The Team 980 tweeted that the Patriots were told the offer “wasn’t enough.” NBC Sports Washington echoed the report: “Have heard the same.”

However, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport questioned the veracity of the information. “From what I understand, this is false. ‘Unequivocally not true’ was the precise wording. So, carry on,” he tweeted.

Williams has been on the reserve/did not report list since he failed to show up for training camp.

He is said to be unhappy with the medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and he would also like to alter his current contract.

Williams, 31, has reached seven consecutive Pro Bowls. He has been with the Redskins since 2010, when they took him fourth overall in the NFL draft.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said earlier this month that he seriously doubted the team would trade Williams.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent linebacker Jayrone Elliott on Thursday and waived injured defensive end Lavon Hooks.

Elliott recorded 57 tackles, 4.0 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in 38 career games with the Green Bay Packers from 2014-16. He also had short stints with the Dallas Cowboys (2017) and New Orleans Saints (2018).

Elliott, 27, played in one game with the Cowboys before being waived prior to the second week of the season.

He also played with the Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio club this year before spending time with the Miami Dolphins.

Hooks sustained a torn Achilles in practice Wednesday and is expected to miss the entire 2019 season, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Hooks recorded one tackle while playing in both preseason games for the Steelers.

—Field Level Media

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Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday and signed veteran wideout Michael Crabtree to a one-year deal.

Crabtree visited the team earlier this month, but the sides couldn’t agree on a deal. The terms of Wednesday’s agreement weren’t immediately reported.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

Later Wednesday, NFL Network reported the Cardinals are closing in on a deal with wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who visited the team earlier this month but couldn’t agree on a deal.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle

Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multiyear contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp is set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. ESPN and NFL.com both reported that he landed a four-year, $36 million extension.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

Rory McIlroy will enter this week’s U.S. Open as the No. 3-ranked player in the world, moving up one spot on Monday following his seven-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open.

The Northern Irishman moved past England’s Justin Rose with his second victory and 10th top 10 finish in 12 events this year. McIlroy won The Players Championship in March and posted a pair of T8s before missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

He also rose to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Matt Kuchar.

“Obviously a huge confidence builder not just for next week, but for the rest of the season,” McIlroy said after posting a 61 on Sunday. “To be tied for the lead and to play the way I did, play with that freedom and play with no inhibitions, take driver and stay aggressive …

“Hopefully sets up well for the rest of year, too.”

Two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will arrive at Pebble Beach this week atop the world rankings, followed by good friend Dustin Johnson. Johnson closed the gap a bit with a T20 in Canada, while Koepka posted a T50 in his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month.

Tiger Woods remained No. 5, followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who moved up one spot past Justin Thomas. Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele round out the top 10.

–Field Level Media

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Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The league made the announcement Monday.

Garcia, 25, was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2017 but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Garcia missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs, reportedly losing more than 40 pounds. The Patriots released Garcia in May 2018 with a non-football injury designation.

The Colts added Garcia to their practice squad in October.

–Field Level Media

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Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was found guilty of felony rape and two other charges on Monday in a courtroom in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

According to published reports, jurors told Judge Blaine K. Bowman they were deadlocked on eight other counts, including six felonies.

The jurors went back to their room to deliberate further but later delivered a note to the judge saying, “We remain deadlocked on all remaining charges.”

Winslow’s lawyers requested the judge declare a mistrial on the remaining charges. Bowman declined and ordered the jury to return to court on Tuesday morning.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 78-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the court room when the verdicts against his son were read.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Nagy defends Bears' exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach

Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy defended his team’s exhaustive search for a suitable kicker this offseason, despite criticism from a Sports Illustrated story published Wednesday.

The story included quotes from several kickers, some anonymous, who were among nine to try out for the Bears this offseason. Many of the kickers described a negative environment in the kicking room, perceived bias from consultant Jamie Kohl and Nagy’s obsession with field goals of 43 yards — the distance from which Cody Parkey missed in an attempt to win a wild-card playoff game in January.

“I understand, we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy told reporters Wednesday. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we were going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there. We felt like we, at that point in time, when we brought in a bunch of kickers, we’re going to test them all out and see what they can do.”

After trying out nine kickers, the Bears kept four on their roster for an extended period, then whittled the competition to two entering training camp: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Fry was waived on Sunday, but Nagy said that doesn’t necessarily mean Pineiro — acquired for a conditional seventh-round pick from Oakland in May — has won the job.

“Is the competition over? Between those two, yeah,” Nagy said.

The Bears hired Kohl — an independent kicking coach — to coach their own kickers in May. Multiple kickers told Sports Illustrated that Kohl appeared biased toward kickers who had previously attended his camps.

“All of Jamie’s guys, they could have shanked the kick, and it was like, ‘Oh, you have really good rotation, your foot is wrapping around the ball,'” an anonymous kicker said in the story. “I don’t think this situation will be solved or will be what the team needs to be until Jamie Kohl is gone. The way he very much tries to control a room, tries to be the alpha.”

Meanwhile, former Notre Dame kicker Justin Yoon was critical of Nagy’s repeated emphasis on 43-yard field goals.

“It’s not efficient for the team to continuously beat that one dead horse the whole time,” he said. “You have to build a system of confidence for your kicker. I don’t think that’s how the Bears are running it.”

“Is it exactly the perfect science?” Nagy asked rhetorically when discussing the offseason’s approach on Wednesday. “I don’t know that, maybe not. … I just really like how we’re going through this thing. (General manager) Ryan (Pace) and I talk about no regrets, right?”

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release former first-round WR White

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp.

White, 27, played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries continue to mount for the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll did have some good news to share on Wednesday.

Quarterback Geno Smith is healthy after having a cyst removed from his knee and will serve as backup behind Russell Wilson in Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angles Chargers.

“Geno needs to play a lot, so it will work out,” Carroll said Wednesday.

Former Ohio State star J.T. Barrett will be the Seahawks’ third QB this week because Paxton Lynch was evaluated for a concussion after getting hit by Holton Hill in Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. “[We] want to take care of Paxton,” Carroll said. “He took a nasty hit.”

The team has already decided that Lynch, who has a sore neck, will not see action in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Carroll also updated the status of rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who underwent minor surgery on Tuesday to fix an unspecified issue in his right knee.

“It was a minimal surgery,” Carroll said after the team practiced indoors. “Minimal findings. So we have high expectations. We will go week to week with it and see how he does. We really don’t have any concern that he won’t get back soon.

“We are excited that we got it done. It was the kind of deal we could have put off and waited. But we decided to use the time frame that we had available, and hopefully it will work out just right for us.”

Metcalf began rehabilitation on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

The Detroit Lions signed nose

Reports: Lions extend DT Harrison for 1 year, $11M

The Detroit Lions signed nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to a one-year extension worth $11 million, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Harrison, who skipped offseason workouts but reported to training camp without a new deal, had two years remaining on his contract, worth $7 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. He is now under contract through 2021.

The 30-year-old was acquired by Detroit from the New York Giants before the trade deadline in October, in exchange for a fifth-round pick. He racked up 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits in 10 games with Detroit after totaling 31 tackles, no sacks and one QB hit in seven games with New York.

Harrison has at least 55 tackles in each of his six seasons as a starter in the NFL, including 315 over the last four years. He has led all NFL interior defensive linemen in tackles in each of the last four seasons.

Named first-team All-Pro in 2016 with the Giants, Harrison has nine sacks and 22 QB hits in 102 career games (95 starts).

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

Cleveland Browns quarterback

NFL notebook: Mayfield clears air with Jones

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters Wednesday that he reached out to Daniel Jones about his recently published comments regarding the New York Giants rookie.

According to Mayfield, the two quarterbacks texted and the exchange went well.

Mayfield said his comments stemming from a GQ interview were taken out of context.

“It had nothing to do specifically about Daniel,” Mayfield said. “I reached out to Daniel because all of that blew way out of hand and I wanted him to know how I felt. … I just wanted to clear the air with him.”

–Running back Melvin Gordon’s holdout with the Los Angeles Chargers will likely continue into the regular season, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

According to the report, contract talks have not progressed as Gordon had hoped, and he will continue to train on his own in Florida for the foreseeable future.

Gordon, 26, has missed all of training camp and the preseason while seeking an extension. He’s entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which will pay him $5.6 million in 2019.

–The Detroit Lions signed nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to a one-year extension worth $11 million, multiple outlets reported.

Harrison, who skipped offseason workouts but reported to training camp without a new deal, had two years remaining on his contract, worth $7 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. He is now under contract through 2021.

The Lions also signed wide receiver Jordan Lasley.

–Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy defended his team’s exhaustive search for a suitable kicker this offseason, despite criticism from a Sports Illustrated story.

The story included quotes from several kickers, some anonymous, who were among nine to try out for the Bears this offseason. Many of the kickers described a negative environment in the kicking room, perceived bias from consultant Jamie Kohl and Nagy’s obsession with field goals of 43 yards — the distance from which Cody Parkey missed in an attempt to win a wild-card playoff game in January.

“I understand, we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy told reporters. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we were going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there.”

–Former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Mario Williams was arrested in Texas on a trespassing charge.

Williams, 34, allegedly entered a woman’s home Tuesday in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, without her permission, according to court documents obtained by KHOU Channel 11.

Williams has a child with the woman, who filed a restraining order against him in May, per the report.

–Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stepped down from the NFL’s committee on social justice at the behest of players, according to former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long.

Long said Ross was removed as players determined the inaction of the committee necessitated changes.

–The Dolphins will honor the memory of Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti during the 2019 season with a helmet decal.

The decal, featuring the initials “NAB,” will debut in the Dolphins’ Sept. 8 season opener against the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

–The Dolphins signed wide receiver Jakeem Grant to a four-year extension, putting him under contract through 2023.

The team did not announce terms, but multiple outlets report the extension is worth up to $24 million. Grant was entering the final year of his contract in 2019, in which he is owed $720,000.

–New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will start Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, the Saints signed linebacker Will Compton and placed offensive tackle Chris Clark on injured reserve, according to ESPN.

–Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (quad) was ruled out for Friday’s preseason game against the Browns.

–Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said most of his starters will sit out Saturday against the Bears.

–Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (knee) is healthy and will play Saturday against the Chargers, while Paxton Lynch (concussion) will be out.

–The Arizona Cardinals released wideout Kevin White. A former first-round pick of the Bears, White had not played in preseason due to a hamstring injury.

–The NFL suspended Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland four games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

–The Browns signed wide receiver Braxton Miller, an Ohio native and former Ohio State star who was waived by Philadelphia on Saturday.

–Cincinnati Bengals guard Christian Westerman returned to the team after reportedly considering retirement.

–The Denver Broncos signed fullback/tight end Orson Charles and claimed outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas and offensive lineman Tyler Jones off waivers.

The team also placed cornerback Horace Richardson and tight end Bug Howard on injured reserve while waiving/injured outside linebacker Aaron Wallace.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

McIlroy criticizes Tour Championship scoring system

A new scoring system to determine the winner of the FedEx Cup in the season-ending Tour Championship isn’t getting much support from Rory McIlroy, one of the world’s top players.

“It seems very different that you’re starting at a different position than the rest of the field,” McIlroy said Wednesday from East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, site of the Tour Championship that begins Thursday and will include the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings.

The staggered-start scoring system, in which players are ranked based on their standing through the BMW Championship, puts Justin Thomas at 10 under par even before he tees off. The scores increase on a scaled system for each player down to even par for No. 30 in the field.

McIlroy, the 30-year-old from Northern Ireland who is ranked No. 2 on the 2019 PGA money list with almost $8 million, starts the tournament in fifth place at 5 under, five shots behind Thomas.

“If we’re at the PGA Tour trying to do the season of championships — where it starts at the Players in March and goes through the four majors and culminates with the FedEx Cup in the end — if the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game, like some of these other championships do, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?” McIlroy asked on Wednesday.

“That’s my only thing. I get it from a fan experience point of view. I get it from giving guys that have played better throughout the year an advantage. But at the same time, it will make it sweeter for a guy that starts at even or 1 under par and goes all the way through the field and wins. Or if Justin Thomas shoots the tied low score of the week and doesn’t end up winning. … I don’t know.”

A two-time winner this year, McIlroy has 13 top-10 finishes in 18 starts, compared to one win and six top-10 finishes for Thomas, who did take the BMW Championship last week.

McIlroy is even questioning the $15 million payday that will go to the winner, $5 million more than what was handed out each of the first 12 years of the postseason.

“Who knows what the winner wins at the Masters?” he said. “I don’t know, because that’s not what it’s about.

“If, again, the FedEx Cup wants to create a legacy that lasts longer, it doesn’t need to be about the money. It should be about the prestige of winning an event that you’ll be remembered for.”

–Field Level Media

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Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

There will be no repeat of the Masters magic for Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Woods, who stunned the sports world when he won the Masters last month for his 15th career major and first since 2008, failed to make the cut Friday, missing it by one stroke at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y.

When Woods’ bump-and-run birdie chip from just off the 18th green rolled left of the hole, he was left with a short par putt, which he knocked down. But that left him with a 3-over-par 73 for his round, and at 5-over 145 through two rounds, one off the 4-over par cut line.

“Unfortunately, I just made too many mistakes,” Woods told reporters after the round. “I didn’t do the little things I needed to do. I had a couple three putts, I didn’t hit wedges close, didn’t hit any fairways today. I did a lot of little things wrong. … I just didn’t play well.”

Sitting three majors short of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, Woods came to Bethpage with high hopes — and expectations. But he also entered the tournament having not played competitively since winning at Augusta.

While acknowledging there was a quick turnaround between the two majors, and rust and rest could have been a factor, Woods also made it clear it will take more than one missed cut to bring him down from his Masters high.

“I’m the Masters champion at 43 years old, and that’s a pretty good accomplishment,” he said.

After shooting a 72 in Thursday’s opening round, Woods opened the second round with a bogey at the par-4 second. He birdied the par-4 sixth to get back to even for the day, then went bogey-par-birdie to end the front nine even for the day.

But Woods opened the back nine with three straight bogeys, responded with a birdie at No. 13, and bogeyed once more to reach 3 over for the day. He parred out from there.

It is his ninth missed cut at a major as a professional, according to the PGA Tour.

In a stark contrast, playing partner Brooks Koepka birdied No. 18 for a second-round 65 and a two-day total of 12-under 128. The 128 total equaled the 36-hole low in major tournament history and was good for a seven-stroke lead heading into the weekend.

Last year, Koepka topped Woods by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston Texans have released veteran tight end Ryan Griffin, multiple outlets reported Friday, three weeks after he was arrested in Nashville, Tenn., for allegedly punching a hotel window.

Griffin, 29, was charged with vandalism and public intoxication after he was arrested April 26, the night of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft, which was held in Nashville. He sustained a bloody left hand in the incident and was released a day later on $1,750 bond, with a court date set for May 31.

Griffin was entering the final year of a three-year, $9 million extension signed in March of 2017. He was set to count $2.7 million against the cap, but Houston will save all of that figure.

A sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2013, Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards in 14 games (11 starts) last season. Through six seasons, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores in 77 games (36 starts).

The Texans drafted tight end Kahale Warring in the third round out of San Diego State hours before Griffin was arrested, after taking Jordan Akins (third round) and Jordan Thomas (sixth) in the 2018 draft. The team also signed veteran Darren Fells, formerly of Cleveland, Detroit and Arizona, in March.

–Field Level Media

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Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder will miss offseason workouts as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in an ankle, NFL Network reported Friday.

He is expected to be ready to take part in training camp this summer.

Solder, 31, played the first seven years of his career with New England before he signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants in advance of the 2018 season. He started all 16 games.

The Giants will be counting on Solder to help improve the protection of the quarterback after Eli Manning was sacked 47 times last season.

–Field Level Media

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Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Chasing history and his elusive major form at the same time, Jordan Spieth shot a 4-under-par 66 on Friday to charge into second place at 5 under following the morning wave of the second round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Spieth is attempting to become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam, but he entered the week without finishing in the top-20 this year and having slid to No. 39 in the world rankings.

Spieth, who is third on the PGA Tour in second-round scoring this season, opened on the back nine Friday. He traded a pair of birdies and bogeys before catching fire after making his turn. Spieth birdied the first hole and then poured in three more birdies in posting a 4-under 31 for his final nine holes.

Finishing well before Brooks Koepka was scheduled to take the course, Spieth was in the clubhouse just two shots behind the overnight leader as rain and heavier winds rolled over Bethpage Black. He is one shot clear of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67 on Friday) and Daniel Berger (66).

“Just trying to get a little bit better than yesterday,” Spieth told TNT of his mindset entering the second round. “Just try to feel like I have good control of the club, good timing, good rhythm to the swing. And it was nice to roll in a few putts, too.”

Spieth hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since last year’s Open Championship but has insisted all week that his game is coming together.

“It’s less of what could go wrong, and it’s more of just trying to force things,” Speith said when asked what some of his mental hurdles have been. “And I feel like I didn’t do that. And on this golf course, you can’t. It requires more patience, which is nice because that feeds into what I’m trying to do.”

Also starting on the back nine, Johnson bogeyed No. 10 before going on a tear that included five birdies over a seven-hole stretch to get to 5 under. His charged stalled with a couple of short missed putts, as Johnson was 1-over par over his final 10 holes.

“I felt like I did a really good job today,” Johnson, who has hit 30 of 36 greens this week, told TNT. “I hit the ball really, really well… gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. Made some nice putts, but missed quite a few short ones. The greens are really tricky to read … lot of subtle breaks.

“I’m pleased with the score again and pleased with how I played.”

Berger did not enter the week on many people’s radars, but did share the 54-hole lead at last year’s U.S. Open and posted his 66 despite hitting only half the fairways.

“My short game was really on point today,” he said. “You gotta chip and putt well around here because you’re going to not hit a lot of fairways, and that’s what I did today.

“It’s a long week, 72 holes of extremely difficult golf. You’re not gonna hit a ton of perfect shots, but your bad shots have to be a little bit better than everyone else’s.”

South Korea’s Sung Kang, who has now made the cut in all six of his career majors, reached 4 under before bogeys on his final two holes. Also at 2 under is New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who shot a 74 on Friday — 10 shots worse than his opening round.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was 5 over through six holes and 7 over for the tournament through 12 holes on Friday. He then reeled off four birdies over a five-hole stretch to get back to 3 over. He is tied with Australia’s Jason Day, who got back to 3 over with a birdie on his final hole after a stretch of three bogeys in four holes.

“I just needed one putt to go in, just to see something go into the bottom of the hole,” said McIlroy, who made less than 50 feet in total putts on Thursday but more than 100 on Friday. “That was at the fourth hole, and from there I started to play some good golf.

“My goal was just to be here for the weekend and it looks like I’ve done that, which is nice.”

NOTES: 1991 champion John Daly, who was allowed to use a cart this week, missed the cut after shooting a 6-over 76 on Friday to finish 11 over for the tournament. … Koepka entered Friday at 62 under par in majors since the start of the 2016 PGA Championship — 22 shots better than anyone else. No player has ever won consecutive U.S. Opens and consecutive PGA Championships in a career. … Koepka on Thursday joined Greg Norman and Vijay Singh as the only players to record multiple career rounds of 63s in majors.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won't attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said he won’t take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp, scheduled to start Tuesday, because he’s frustrated by his lack of a contract extension.

“I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved,” Ngakoue said in a written statement. “I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”

The Jaguars selected Ngakoue, a product of Maryland, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 48 games (47 starts) over three seasons with the Jaguars, he has produced 29.5 sacks.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and is scheduled to earn $2.025 million.

It’s another bump in a rocky offseason for the Jaguars.

Linebacker Telvin Smith said in May that he is taking the 2019 season off for personal reasons. Before that announcement, he and cornerback Jalen Ramsey drew the wrath of team executive vice president Tom Coughlin for failing to show up at voluntary organized team activities.

Ngakoue has at least one teammate in his corner as he makes his stand.

Running back Leonard Fournette tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Pay @YannickNgakoue @Jaguars”

–Field Level Media

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Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel announced that he will sit out the rest of the 2019 season in order to let a lingering wrist injury heal.

“I’ve been forced, due to my wrist injury to take the remainder of the season off to give my wrist time to rest and heal!,” Schwartzel tweeted. “It’s very frustrating but with a long career still ahead of me, I will get this fixed and I look forward to the come back.”

The 34-year-old entered 2019 ranked No. 79 in the world, but has slipped to 135 with only three cuts made in 11 worldwide starts. He has not played since missing the cut at the RBC Heritage in April.

The 2011 Masters champion also missed the cut at Augusta this year. He withdrew from last month’s PGA Championship due to the wrist injury and then withdrew ahead of sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.

–Field Level Media

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Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

Texans request interview with Patriots' Caserio

The

Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

The Houston Texans officially requested permission to interview New England Patriots director of pro personnel Nick Caserio.

Caserio serves as the scouting right-hand man for head coach Bill Belichick in New England, but he is also a friend of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. Caserio has been pro personnel director since 2008.

The first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine were former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

The Houston Texans’ first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine are former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy ran away from the field and set a new scoring record in the process on Sunday, firing a 9-under-par 61 to reach 22-under 258 and win by seven shots at the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

It was the 16th career PGA Tour win and sixth national open title for McIlroy, who made his event debut this week. The win was also his second of 2019 — he captured The Players Championship in March. McIlroy bested the previous Canadian Open scoring record by five shots. The previous record of 263 was set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 and matched most recently in 2014 by Tim Clark.

“Just awesome,” McIlroy told CBS Sports following his win. “I said it from the start I wanted to be aggressive, you know I played with so much freedom yesterday and I just wanted to keep that going today.

“Tied for the lead going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence. Obviously, this is a huge tournament to win. I’m very proud of myself but going forward for this season to play the way I did in a final round like this, I’m going to take a lot from this and I’m excited for next week.”

McIlroy got off to a hot start by making birdie on five of his first seven holes. He made the turn at 5 under before reeling off four straight birdies on holes 11-14. His first hiccup of the day came with a bogey on the par-3 16th hole, but he rebounded with an eagle 3 on 17 and finished with a bogey at 18.

Webb Simpson and Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished tied for second at 15 under. Simpson, who played the first 54 holes without a bogey, finally bobbled at the third but made five birdies over the rest of his round including a chip-in at the 18th and finished with a 68. Lowry, who started the day one shot behind the leaders, carded four birdies and one bogey for a final-round 67.

Brandt Snedeker (69) and Matt Kuchar (70) finished tied for fourth at 13 under, and Canadian Adam Hadwin carded a 70 to finish alone in sixth.

World No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, who also made his event debut, shot an even-par 70 on Sunday to finish tied for 50th place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished with a 69 for a tie for 20th at 7 under.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins’ Grant signs 4-year extension for reported $24M

Dolphins' Grant signs 4-year extension for reported $24M

Dolphins’ Grant signs 4-year extension for reported $24M

The Miami Dolphins signed wide receiver Jakeem Grant to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

The team did not announce terms, but multiple outlets report the extension is worth up to $24 million. Grant was entering the final year of his contract in 2019, in which he is owed $720,000.

A sixth-round pick in 2016, Grant has 34 career catches for 471 yards and four touchdowns in 42 games.

A standout on special teams, the 26-year-old has returned 59 punts for 583 yards and two touchdowns and 58 kickoffs for 1,453 yards and one score. Grant’s 102-yard kickoff return against the Tennessee Titans in the 2018 season opener was the longest in the league last season.

–Field Level Media

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Browns sign WR Miller, former Ohio State star

Browns sign WR Miller, former Ohio State star

The Cleveland Browns signed wide receiver Braxton Miller on

Browns sign WR Miller, former Ohio State star

The Cleveland Browns signed wide receiver Braxton Miller on Wednesday.

A former Ohio State star and a native of Springfield, Ohio, Miller recorded 34 receptions for 261 yards and two touchdowns in 21 career games with the Houston Texans.

Miller was converted from quarterback at Ohio State to slot receiver after being selected by the Texans with a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The 26-year-old Miller landed on the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles last season before being waived on Saturday after the club lured quarterback Josh McCown out of retirement.

Miller joins a crowded receiver corps in Cleveland that consists of offseason acquisition Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Jaelen Strong, Derrick Willies, D.J. Montgomery, Damon Sheehy-Giuseppi and Damion Ratley.

Receiver Antonio Callaway will serve a four-game suspension to open the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He is eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 30, following the Sept. 29 game at Baltimore.

Cleveland waived tight end Mik’Quan Deane with a non-football illness designation in a corresponding move.

–Field Level Media

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Mayfield clears air with Giants rookie QB Jones

Mayfield clears air with Giants rookie QB Jones

Mayfield clears air with Giants rookie QB Jones

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters Wednesday that he reached out to Daniel Jones about his recently published comments regarding the New York Giants rookie.

According to Mayfield, the two quarterbacks texted and the exchange went well.

Mayfield said his comments stemming from a GQ interview were taken out of context.

“It had nothing to do specifically about Daniel,” Mayfield said. “I reached out to Daniel because all of that blew way out of hand and I wanted him to know how I felt. I’ve heard nothing but great things from Saquon (Barkley) and Sterling Shepard, guys who have nothing but respect for him, and I respect their opinions. I just wanted to clear the air with him.”

Mayfield was quoted as saying he “cannot believe” the Giants selected Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was also quoted as saying that it “blows my mind. … Some people overthink it. That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”

“To me, that came back on my character,” Mayfield said Wednesday. “That’s one thing that, I don’t care about a lot of opinions if you like me or not, but that looked like my character was way out of line, so that’s the only reason I addressed it.”

The GQ writer, Clay Skipper, had two meetings with Mayfield at the end of May, GQ Communications manager Ashlee Bobb told Cleveland.com.

Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft and went 6-7 as a starter as a rookie.

The Giants’ decision to draft Jones early in the first round was viewed a relative surprise, given his17-19 record as a three-year starter at Duke. However, 38-year-old Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, and Jones has drawn universal acclaim from teammates in his first training camp. During two preseason games, he completed 16 of his 19 passes and led a pair of touchdown drives.

Jones is not expected to start ahead of Manning this season but could force his way onto the field if the veteran falters.

Jones elected to take the high road upon hearing Mayfield’s initial comments.

“I think he’s a great player. He can throw it, and I enjoy watching him play,” the rookie said, per the New York Post.

–Field Level Media

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Saints sign LB Compton, put OL Clark on IR

Saints sign LB Compton, put OL Clark on IR

The

Saints sign LB Compton, put OL Clark on IR

The New Orleans Saints added veteran linebacker Will Compton to the 90-man roster Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Compton, who turns 30 next month, played in 57 games (33 starts) in five seasons with the Washington Redskins and 12 games (two starts) last season with the Tennessee Titans.

Undrafted out of Nebraska in 2013, Compton has 286 career tackles with one sack, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

He finished second on the Redskins with 103 tackles in 2016, trailing only linebacker Mason Foster’s 123.

The Saints reportedly placed offensive lineman Chris Clark on injured reserve in a corresponding move.

Clark, 33, was carted off the field with an air cast on his right leg in Sunday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins to honor Buoniconti with helmet decals

Dolphins to honor Buoniconti with helmet decals

Dolphins to honor Buoniconti with helmet decals

The Miami Dolphins will honor the memory of Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti during the 2019 season with a helmet decal.

The team announced Wednesday that the decal, featuring the initials “NAB,” will debut in the Dolphins’ Sept. 8 season opener against the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

Buoniconti, who struggled with dementia, died on July 30. He was 78.

Buoniconti was a key member of the Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972 and helped the club to another Super Bowl win the following year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

–Field Level Media

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Colts resting most starters in third preseason tilt

Colts resting most starters in third preseason tilt

Indianapolis

Colts resting most starters in third preseason tilt

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich would rather buck tradition than risk injuries in Saturday’s third preseason game against the visiting Chicago Bears.

Reich said Wednesday he has decided not to play most of his starters in a game that is typically used as a “dress rehearsal” for the NFL regular season.

Reich said the overall health of his team is his top priority, adding that it also provides an opportunity for the second- and third-team players to get more reps.

“Right now the best thing is we’re looking to figure out who are the guys that are going to be on the roster,” he said. “There’s spots open. This is very competitive.”

Coming off a 10-6 campaign that included a wild-card playoff win against the Houston Texans, the Colts open the regular season at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 8.

–Field Level Media

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Saints QB Brees to start preseason game vs. Jets

Saints QB Brees to start preseason game vs. Jets

New

Saints QB Brees to start preseason game vs. Jets

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will start Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets, coach Sean Payton announced Wednesday.

Brees also received his lone preseason work last year in the third game when he completed 7 of 9 passes for 59 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 40-year-old veteran is No. 1 on the all-time list with 74,437 career passing yards. He needs 563 more to become the first signal-caller in league history to reach the 75,000-yard milestone.

Brees is No. 2 on the all-time list for passing touchdowns with 520, only 19 behind Peyton Manning.

He passed for 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns and five interceptions in 15 games last season, setting a single-season record by completing 74.4 percent of his passes.

Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater were under center for the Saints in Sunday’s 19-17 preseason win over the Chargers.

Bridgewater completed 5 of 12 passes for 40 yards and an interception before being replaced by Hill, who went 11 of 15 for 136 yards with two touchdowns while chipping in 53 rushing yards on five carries.

Hill led a nine-play, 50-yard drive to set up Wil Lutz for the game-winning 28-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining.

–Field Level Media

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Bucs WR Evans ruled out vs. Browns

Bucs WR Evans ruled out vs. Browns

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver

Bucs WR Evans ruled out vs. Browns

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has been ruled out for the team’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, coach Bruce Arians announced Wednesday.

Evans will be a spectator for Friday’s game after injuring his quad during practice earlier in the week.

The Tampa Bay Times reported the two-time Pro Bowl selection grabbed his left leg after catching a deep ball during Sunday’s practice.

Evans, who played a total of 20 snaps in the Buccaneers’ first two preseason contests, is coming off his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He set the single-season franchise record with 1,524 receiving yards in 2018 to go along with 86 catches and eight touchdowns.

Evans, who turned 26 on Wednesday, has 395 receptions for 6,103 yards and 40 touchdowns in five seasons since being selected by Tampa Bay with the seventh overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals G Westerman returns to team

Bengals G Westerman returns to team

Cincinnati Bengals guard Christian Westerman returned to

Bengals G Westerman returns to team

Cincinnati Bengals guard Christian Westerman returned to the team Wednesday after reportedly considering retirement.

Westerman, 26, was removed from the exempt/left squad list and is back with the club, the Bengals announced. He was placed on the list last Friday.

He did not join the Bengals for last week’s second preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

Westerman played in 14 games last season and 16 overall (two starts) since the Bengals selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

His return is a welcome sight for the Bengals, who saw guard Clint Boling announce his retirement on July 15 and tackle Kent Perkins follow suit on Aug. 13.

–Field Level Media

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Report: No progress between Gordon, Chargers

Report: No progress between Gordon, Chargers

Running back Melvin Gordon's

Report: No progress between Gordon, Chargers

Running back Melvin Gordon’s holdout with the Los Angeles Chargers will likely continue into the regular season, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

According to the report, contract talks have not progressed as Gordon had hoped, and he will continue to train on his own in Florida for the foreseeable future.

Gordon, 26, has missed all of training camp and the preseason while seeking an extension. He’s entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which will pay him $5.6 million in 2019.

Rapoport previously reported that the Chargers offered a deal worth $10 million per season and were rebuffed. The team has said it won’t trade him, despite Gordon requesting through his agent to be dealt.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Gordon has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, he has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.

Without Gordon, the Chargers will turn to third-year man Austin Ekeler and second-year running back Justin Jackson in the backfield.

–Field Level Media

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