NFL and NCAA Football News

Reports: NFL-NFLPA meetings cut short two days

Reports: NFL-NFLPA meetings cut short two days

Reports: NFL-NFLPA meetings cut short two days

A scheduled three-day bargaining session between the NFL and the NFLPA ended after one day, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

The sides released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying, “Today’s meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA’s Executive Committee and the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee will continue.”

Multiple media outlets reported the sides will reconvene on July 29, rather than continuing with scheduled meetings Thursday and Friday.

ESPN reported the sessions ended early because information emerged that needed to be discussed further with other owners, quoting a source saying, “big topics are tabled (for now). There is definitely a lot of work to be done.”

The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020 season, but sentiment around the league is that the NFL would like to reach agreement on an extension before the 2019 regular season begins in September.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy: Open’s return to Northern Ireland ‘bigger than me’

McIlroy: Open's return to Northern Ireland 'bigger than me'

McIlroy: Open’s return to Northern Ireland ‘bigger than me’

Despite competing on home soil in Northern Ireland, Rory McIroy said there’s no added pressure to win this week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

“I’m just treating this like any other Open Championship,” he said Wednesday, per SkySports.com. “I’ve played well here for the last few years, and I’ve played well on this golf course. So I’ve just got to go out and hit the shots and stay in the present. If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hopefully by Sunday night, that will be good enough.”

As the 30-year-old betting favorite prepared to try to snap his five-year major drought, he said the return of the tournament to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951 is “bigger than me.”

“This is a wonderful thing for this country and golf in general, and to be quite a big part of it is an honor and a privilege,” McIlroy said. “And I want to keep reminding myself of that, that this is bigger than me, right? This is bigger than me.

“If you can look at the bigger picture and you can see that, it sort of takes a little bit of the pressure off. I still want to play well and concentrate and do all the right things, but at the same time just having that perspective might just make me relax a little bit more.

“So I think no matter what happens this week, if I win or whoever else wins, having The Open back in this country is a massive thing for golf. And I think as well it will be a massive thing for the country.”

McIlroy set the course record at Royal Portrush with a 61 when he was only 16 years old.

McIlroy won his fourth and most recent major at the 2014 PGA Championship, the same year he won his only Open title at Royal Liverpool.

The world No. 3 begins his quest for the Claret Jug on Thursday, when he is paired with U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and England’s Paul Casey.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Broncos QB Lock agrees to terms

Report: Broncos QB Lock agrees to terms

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock

Report: Broncos QB Lock agrees to terms

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock will not hold out of any training camp practices after he agreed to terms on his rookie contract Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported.

A report Tuesday from 9News.com said negotiations between the sides had stalled, as Lock sought a “quarterback premium” — with additional guarantees or workout bonuses — to be paid more than fellow second-round rookie Dalton Risner, a guard taken by Denver one pick before Lock in April’s draft.

Risner, picked 41st, signed his rookie deal later Tuesday, worth $7.14 million over four years with a $3.2 million signing bonus. Based on the No. 42 draft slot, Lock’s deal is expected to be around $7 million over four years with a $3.1 million signing bonus.

Lock missed initial medical meetings as the team reported to camp on Wednesday, but the Missouri product agreed in time to practice when on-field work begins Thursday.

Once considered a possible top-10 pick, Lock will begin camp competing with Kevin Hogan for the backup job behind Joe Flacco.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons sign LB Jones to four-year, $57M extension

Falcons sign LB Jones to four-year, $57M extension

The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones

Falcons sign LB Jones to four-year, $57M extension

The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed. According to The MMQB, it includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years. The $34 million in guarantees includes injury, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets’ C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position.

Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017.

Last season, Jones was limited to six games after sustaining a foot injury in Week 1, going on injured reserve before returning late in the season. He finished with 53 tackles (one for loss), two picks and six pass breakups.

Jones’ rookie contract was worth $4.5 million over four years. He was set to make $1.1 million in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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Atlanta Falcons training camp primer

Atlanta Falcons training camp primer

New faces: G James Carpenter, G Jamon Brown, G Chris Lindstrom, DE

Atlanta Falcons training camp primer

New faces: G James Carpenter, G Jamon Brown, G Chris Lindstrom, DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Kaleb McGary, TE Luke Stocker, S J.J. Wilcox

They’re gone: RB Tevin Coleman, OT Ryan Schraeder, CB Robert Alford, K Matt Bryant, DE Bruce Irvin, CB Brian Poole, LB Brooks Reed, DT Terrell McClain, CB Justin Bethel

2019 snapshot: The Falcons went into the offseason with plans to overhaul two key areas: the coaching staff and the offensive line. They fired coordinators Steve Sarkisian (offense), Marquand Manuel (defense) and Keith Armstrong (special teams), bringing back former O-coordinator Dirk Koetter, turning the defense over to head coach Dan Quinn and hiring Ben Kotwica to run special teams. Koetter’s success with QB Matt Ryan from 2012-14 is encouraging, and Quinn could whip the defense into shape, but that’s a lot of turnover to manage.

Atlanta then threw major resources up front, signing Brown and Carpenter to multi-year deals and adding Lindstrom in the first round to provide three possible starting options at guard. At right tackle, the Falcons released Schraeder, extended Ty Sambrailo (three years, $14.3 million) and traded back into the first round for McGary. Altogether, the rash of moves felt too aggressive, and now the pressure is on for the unit to perform.

On defense, the pressure is on key pieces Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen to get and stay healthy, as few players were added other than Clayborn. Alford and Reed were released, and it was surprising to see Poole — an undrafted rookie who ascended to a starting role — untendered as a restricted free agent. With franchise-tagged DT Grady Jarrett still in need of a long-term deal, Quinn’s defense has several questions still unanswered.

Worth the investment?

–At 8.5, the over/under win total for the Falcons is enticing. Matt Ryan is 34 but he’s surrounded by great weapons. If Atlanta avoids the injury epidemic that hit last season, the Falcons are capable of getting to 10 wins.

–Ryan is 10th in MVP odds at FanDuel, and his prolific passing numbers give supporters all the reason they need to go that route. But the +2600 is not a pure value when you consider some of the potential for quarterbacks behind Ryan to climb these ranks in-season.

Bottom line: The O-line should be fixed, but the coaching changes might not solve everything. More depth on defense would have helped.

–Field Level Media

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Sanders, Lindsay ready for start of Broncos camp

Sanders, Lindsay ready for start of Broncos camp

Running back Phillip Lindsay

Sanders, Lindsay ready for start of Broncos camp

Running back Phillip Lindsay and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will practice with the Denver Broncos when training camp opens Thursday.

Head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that Lindsay is “ready to go” following offseason wrist surgery.

General manager John Elway said Sanders will be eased into action after tearing his Achilles last season, but he will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

Lindsay, who turns 25 next week, made the Pro Bowl and rushed for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2018.

Sanders, 32, had 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores in 12 games before suffering the season-ending injury in practice in early December.

The two-time Pro Bowl wideout has posted three 1,000-yard seasons and has 535 receptions for 7,024 yards and 37 touchdowns in 127 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-13) and Broncos.

–Field Level Media

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Denver Broncos training camp primer

Denver Broncos training camp primer

The Denver Broncos are the first team

Denver Broncos training camp primer

The Denver Broncos are the first team to report to training camp in 2019, with an abundance of newcomers checking in at the team’s Englewood headquarters Wednesday.

New faces: QB Joe Flacco, OT Ja’Wuan James, DB Kareem Jackson, CB Bryce Callahan, TE Noah Fant, G Dalton Risner, QB Drew Lock, DT Dre’Mont Jones, OLB Dekoda Watson

They’re gone: C Matt Paradis, CB Bradley Roby, OL Billy Turner, OLB Shaquil Barrett, OLB Shane Ray, LB Brandon Marshall, S Darian Stewart, OT Jared Veldheer, DT Domata Peko, TE Matt LaCosse, G Max Garcia, CB Tramaine Brock

2019 snapshot: Firing Vance Joseph meant admitting an error from two years ago, but the Broncos appear to have upgraded the staff. Not only did they get defensive whiz Vic Fangio — whom players raved about during offseason practices — but Fangio nabbed Kyle Shanahan pupil Rich Scangarello to run the offense and pried decorated O-line coach Mike Munchak from the Steelers. Still, GM John Elway’s approach felt a bit too aggressive in other areas.

He traded a fourth-round pick for Joe Flacco, whom the Ravens might have otherwise cut, and spent wildly on James (four years, $51 million) and Jackson (three years, $33 million), who might mostly play safety.

Jackson’s contract fueled a contract dispute with CB Chris Harris Jr. that required a $3 million raise to resolve. Callahan’s (three years, $21 million) was a more palatable deal, and Fangio should have what he needs in the secondary, but would the money have been better spent on Paradis and the O-line?

Elway used a few trades to assemble a strong draft class, getting early-impact players in Fant and Risner and still landing a possible answer at QB in Lock, but he might have been better off trading for Josh Rosen or drafting Dwayne Haskins. The third QB taken by Elway in the top two rounds, Lock must perform if Flacco struggles.

Worth the investment?

–Denver has an over/under win line of seven. In this AFC West, even getting to .500 is not a sure thing for this crew.

–More than 50 players have better odds than quarterback Joe Flacco (+15000) to win the 2019 NFL MVP award. Take those odds only if you are looking for a lotto ticket’s chance in the MVP field.

Bottom Line: Denver could be improved on the coaching staff, at QB and in the secondary, but Elway might have to accept a rebuild at some point.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Cardinals’ Harrison facing assault charges

Reports: Cardinals' Harrison facing assault charges

Police in

Reports: Cardinals’ Harrison facing assault charges

Police in North Carolina issued a felony arrest warrant Wednesday for Arizona Cardinals tackle Desmond Harrison on charges of assault by strangulation and assault on a female, multiple outlets reported.

Greensboro police said a report was filed Tuesday against the 25-year-old offensive lineman, who was signed off waivers by Arizona last month after being released by the Cleveland Browns.

Harrison, who played high school football in North Carolina, started eight games as a Cleveland rookie in 2018 after going undrafted.

Harrison finished his collegiate career at West Georgia after reportedly being suspended three times in one year at the University of Texas.

Bleacher Report first reported on the felony warrant being issued, and the story was later confirmed by Yahoo! Sports.

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Bucs DE Ayers announces retirement

Ex-Bucs DE Ayers announces retirement

Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday,

Ex-Bucs DE Ayers announces retirement

Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro career.

A first-round pick (18th overall) out of Tennessee by the Denver Broncos in 2009, Ayers underwhelmed in Denver with 12 sacks and 37 QB hits over five seasons, starting 27 of 72 games.

He then joined the New York Giants in 2014 and impressed with 14 sacks and 36 QB hits in 24 games over two seasons, including career highs of nine and 22, respectively, in 2015. With the Bucs, he had 6.5 sacks and 19 hits in 2016 before slipping to two and 16, respectively, in his final season.

Ayers finishes his career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Rose: New majors schedule is ‘too condensed’

Rose: New majors schedule is 'too condensed'

Rose: New majors schedule is ‘too condensed’

Britain’s Justin Rose criticized professional golf’s new tighter schedule for its four major tournaments, saying the timeline makes too many concessions to the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“It’s too condensed,” Rose told reporters Tuesday about playing the four majors from April (the Masters) to July (the Open Championship this week). “I also think it’s pretty much driven by the FedEx Cup, wanting to finish on a certain date, everything else having to fit in where it can.

“For me, a major championship should be the things that are protected the most. That’s how all of our careers ultimately are going to be measured. Thirty or 40 years ago, there wasn’t a FedEx Cup, so if you’re trying to compare one career to another career, Jack (Nicklaus) versus Tiger (Woods), it’s the majors that are the benchmarks. For them to be tweaked so much I think is quite interesting at this point.”

The big change this year was moving the PGA Championship from August to May, slotting in between the Masters and the U.S. Open in June.

Last year, the FedEx Cup playoffs were held from Aug. 23 to Sept. 23. This year, the playoffs have been pared from four tournament to three and will wrap up Aug. 25, meaning the conclusion to the PGA Tour season no longer has to compete for attention with the NFL regular season.

Rose, who tied for third at the U.S. Open, said he didn’t play in any subsequent events before this week’s final major because of the condensed schedule.

“As a professional in terms of trying to peak for something, the process that’s involved in trying to do that can be detailed and it can be longer than a month,” he said. “I think we’re all trying to adapt. It’s about trying to peak, valley and peak again in such a short period of time. This is unchartered territory for me to take time off between majors.”

–Field Level Media

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Vikings RB Thomas suspended three games

Vikings RB Thomas suspended three games

The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back

Vikings RB Thomas suspended three games

The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games on Tuesday for violating its policy on substance abuse.

Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge — a felony — in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4’s game at Chicago.

The 23-year-old played in five games as an undrafted rookie in 2018, rushing for 30 yards on eight carries and catching two passes for 21 yards. Of his 88 snaps, 59 came on special teams.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos WR Sanders limited to start camp

Broncos WR Sanders limited to start camp

Broncos WR Sanders limited to start camp

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Tuesday he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

“We’re going to take our time,” Sanders told reporters. “I don’t even know if I’ll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I’m definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump.”

Sanders did not say if he’ll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a “realistic” timeline earlier this month.

Players report to camp on Wednesday, with practices beginning Thursday.

Sanders, 32, tore his Achilles in practice after 12 games last season, finishing with 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores. He has 118 catches for 1,423 yards and six scores over the last two seasons, after topping 75 catches, 1,000 yards and five scores in each of the previous three seasons and earning two Pro Bowl nods.

The 10th-year veteran is entering his sixth season in Denver and the final year of his contract, in which he’s due $10.25 million.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Steelers’ Conner reflects on cancer diagnosis

NFL notebook: Steelers' Conner reflects on cancer diagnosis

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed

NFL notebook: Steelers’ Conner reflects on cancer diagnosis

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

Speaking recently on the “Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?” podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander — better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud — Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

“I’m rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends,” Conner, 24, said. “And then I’m rehabbing and (stuff and I get) night sweats, bro. I’m getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who (doesn’t) love sleep? That’s the worst (stuff) in the world. … And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart … I got tumors growing all around it, and it’s pressing.”

Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

“The doctor told me I had a week left,” Conner said. “He said, ‘You got about a week. If you (don’t) get this treated, you (have) about a week at the rate it’s growing.'”

–A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a “quarterback premium” and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

9News.com’s Mike Klis reported that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses. Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.

–Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

“We’re going to take our time,” Sanders told reporters. “I don’t even know if I’ll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I’m definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump.”

Sanders did not say if he’ll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a “realistic” timeline earlier this month.

–Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro careers.

Ayers finishes his NFL career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts), including a career-high nine sacks in 2015 with the New York Giants.

–The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games for violating its policy on substance abuse.

Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge — a felony — in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4’s game at Chicago.

–Former Philadelphia Eagles safety and special teams ace Chris Maragos announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons, as he underwent his third knee surgery since 2017.

The 32-year-old tore his ACL during the 2017 season and hasn’t played since, spending all of last season on the PUP list before being released by the Eagles in February. He announced on Twitter he was having his third surgery on the knee Tuesday.

An undrafted product out of Wisconsin, Maragos played in 99 games (three starts) for San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia, spending his last four seasons with the Eagles. Over his last six seasons, 80.9 percent of his snaps came on special teams.

–Field Level Media

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Report: ‘Pawn Stars’ helped May recover Super Bowl rings

Report: 'Pawn Stars' helped May recover Super Bowl rings

Report: ‘Pawn Stars’ helped May recover Super Bowl rings

Former NFL offensive lineman Mark May will recover his two Super Bowl rings after a hotel employee was arrested trying to sell them at the shop featured on cable’s “Pawn Stars.”

May last wore the rings at a charity event in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February, when he stayed at a Phoenix hotel. After they were reported to be missing, the hotel’s lead engineer, 43-year-old Marcel Behnert, later took the rings to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, according to a story from ABC15 in Phoenix.

The shop, which uses a sports memorabilia collector named Diamond Don, called May about the potential transaction on May 2, and the shop alerted Mesa police a day later.

Mesa police said Behnert was asking to sell the rings — engraved with May’s name and his jersey number from title teams with the Washington Redskins in the 1982 and 1987 seasons — for a combined $12,000.

“When someone comes in like that, they smell a rat if you don’t have a receipt or if you don’t have a story or proof of ownership,” May told ABC15. “Once (the pawn shop owners) smelled a rat, they turned it over to Diamond Don, and he’s like, ‘No, I know Mark May. I know that he’s not pawning his rings to give them to some guy.’

“The bottom line of the story is the integrity of the guys on Pawn Stars for what they do and their due diligence. When you watch their show, they say, ‘If you don’t have proof, we don’t want it.'”

Authorities in Mesa and Las Vegas worked with the shop to get Behnert to return to the store, where he was arrested by undercover officers, charged with theft and trafficking in stolen property. Police said watches belonging to May were also found in a safe in Behnert’s home, according to ABC15.

May, a former ESPN analyst who lives in the Phoenix area, told the TV station that he will reclaim his rings from the Las Vegas police next week.

“I thought they were gone forever,” May said. “I attribute (their recovery) to probably four or five things. One is luck. I’m lucky to get them back. Two, good police work by the Las Vegas Police Department. Three, the integrity of the Pawn Star guys and Diamond Don.

“And four, probably greed and stupidity by the guy who was trying to sell them — one, to a pawn shop, because nationwide, they’re all connected when something like that comes up. And two, to do it on television when they tell you point blank: If you don’t have a receipt or you don’t have a proof of ownership, and it’s something that’s high-priced, we’re not interested.”

–Field Level Media

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Golf Glance: McIlroy seeks major glory in native land

Golf Glance: McIlroy seeks major glory in native land

Golf Glance: McIlroy seeks major glory in native land

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: John Deere Classic (Dylan Frittelli)

THIS WEEK: The Open Championship, July 18-21

Royal Portrush – Dunluce Links, Portrush, Northern Ireland (Par 71, 7,344 yards)

Purse: $10.75 million (Winner: $1.935 million)

Defending champion: Francesco Molinari

FedEx Cup leader: Matt Kuchar

Television: Thursday-Friday: 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday: 5-7 a.m. (GC), 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (NBC); Sunday: 4-7 a.m. (GC), 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (NBC).

NOTES: The field includes three Northern Ireland natives: Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke. McIlroy (32 under) holds the lowest score in relation to par at The Open since 2014. … Royal Portrush has hosted only one previous Open (won by Max Faulkner in 1951). … Americans have won the first three majors of 2019. They have not won all four in a year since 1982. … Gary Woodland attempts to become the first player to win the U.S. Open and The Open in the same year since Tiger Woods in 2000. … Woods is competing for the first time since last month’s U.S. Open. He is one win shy of tying Sam Snead’s record of 82 career PGA Tour titles and is three majors shy of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. … No. 1 Brooks Koepka is attempting to become just the fourth player to win at least five majors before turning 30 (Nicklaus, Woods, Bobby Jones). He can also become the first player under 30 to finish first or second in all four majors in a single year. Koepka’s caddie, Ricky Elliott, grew up in Portrush. … Molinari seeks to become just the seventh player to successfully defend an Open title since World War II. … Twenty of the past 21 major champions entered the week ranked within the top 25 in the world.

BEST BETS: McIlroy (+900 on PointsBet) set a course record with a 61 at Royal Portrush in the 2005 North of Ireland Amateur, at age 16. He has geared his entire 2019 schedule around winning a major in his native country and has four consecutive top-five finishes in The Open. … Jon Rahm (+1400) is coming off a victory two weeks ago as he seeks his first career major title. … Xander Schauffele (+2500) finished T2 last year and has four top-5s and a T6 in 10 career starts in majors. … McDowell (+8000) is the only Portrush native in the field. On a course very unfamiliar to most players in the field, McDowell estimates he has played it “300 to 500 times.”

THIS WEEK: Barbasol Championship, July 18-21

Keene Trace GC – Champions, Lexington, Ky. (Par 72, 7,328 yards)

Purse: $3.5 million (Winner: $630,000 – based on 2018)

Defending champion: Troy Merritt

Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, 4-6 p.m. (GC). Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (GC).

NOTES: Former major champions Jason Dufner and John Daly are in the field. Daly withdrew from The Open after being denied the use of a power cart. … 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas is in the event for the first time. … Kentucky native Kenny Perry, 58, makes his seventh Tour start of 2019. … The event is in its second year at Keene Trace, with the Champions course one of only two on Tour that end in a par 3.

NEXT WEEK: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Memphis, Tenn.

LPGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Marathon Classic (Sei Young Kim)

THIS WEEK: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, July 17-20

Midland Country Club, Midland, Mich. (Par 71, 6,561 yards)

Purse: $2 million

Defending champion: Inaugural event

CME Race to the Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

Television: Wednesday: 4-6 p.m. ET; Thursday-Friday: 8-10 p.m. (tape delay); Saturday: 6-8 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

NOTES: This is the first official team event in the history of the LPGA Tour. The field will include 71 two-player teams competing in foursomes and four-ball formats, including two pairs of sisters: Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn and Jessica and Nelly Korda. The first and third rounds will be foursomes (alternate shot) with the second and final rounds being four-ball (best ball) format. The field will be cut to the top 35 teams and ties following the second round. … Suzann Pettersen makes her return to competition following the birth of her first child last August. The 2019 Solheim Cup vice-captain is paired with captain Catriona Matthew.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Evian Championship, Evian-les-Bains, France

CHAMPIONS TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship (Retief Goosen)

THIS WEEK: OFF.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Senior Open, Lytham & St. Annes, Lancashire, England, July 25-28.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers RB Conner: Doctors gave me ‘about a week’ to live in ’15

Steelers RB Conner: Doctors gave me 'about a week' to live in '15

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers RB Conner: Doctors gave me ‘about a week’ to live in ’15

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

Speaking recently on the “Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?” podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander – better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud – Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

“I’m rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends,” Conner, 24, said. “And then I’m rehabbing and [stuff and I get] night sweats, bro. I’m getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who [doesn’t] love sleep? That’s the worst [stuff] in the world … And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart … I got tumors growing all around it, and it’s pressing.”

Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

“The doctor told me I had a week left,” Conner said. “He said, ‘You got about a week. If you [don’t] get this treated, you [have] about a week at the rate it’s growing.'”

After sending cancer into remission and rehabbing his knee, Conner returned to the Panthers in 2016, gaining 1,394 all-purpose yards and scoring 20 touchdowns.

The Steelers selected Conner in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After carrying the ball just 32 times as a rookie, he enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, taking over for holdout Le’Veon Bell.

In 2018, Conner had 973 rushing yards and added 497 receiving yards and 13 scores. He was selected to the Pro Bowl.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: NFLPA filing grievance vs. Texans on Clowney’s behalf

Reports: NFLPA filing grievance vs. Texans on Clowney's behalf

Jadeveon

Reports: NFLPA filing grievance vs. Texans on Clowney’s behalf

Jadeveon Clowney is a defensive end based on snap counts from the 2018 season, but the Houston Texans used the franchise tag designation for an outside linebacker — a savings to the team of about $1.7 million in 2019 salary.

That’s why the NFLPA plans to file a grievance on Clowney’s behalf, according to multiple reports.

Clowney, 26, was given the franchise tag to keep him from free agency before the March deadline. The team entered an outside linebacker designation, which carries a one-year tender value of $15.43 million. Clowney will play at a rate of $15.9 million for next season based on the required increase over his 2018 salary.

A franchised defensive end carries a $17.128 million tag.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Clowney played 729 snaps at defensive end in 2018. He played more at defensive tackle (101) than outside linebacker (33).

The Baltimore Ravens and Terrell Suggs, listed as a defensive end and outside linebacker, encountered a similar situation in 2008 over a difference of about $800,000.

–Field Level Media

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Free agent RB Collins undergoes leg surgery

Free agent RB Collins undergoes leg surgery

Free agent RB Collins undergoes leg surgery

Free agent running back Alex Collns is recovering from surgery for a broken leg, delaying his opportunity to catch on with a team before the start of the NFL season.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the injury took place about two weeks ago but it’s unknown how the injury occurred. In an Instagram post on Monday night, Collins said he isn’t giving up on resuming his NFL career.

“I refuse to be discouraged,” wrote Collins, who most recently played for the Baltimore Ravens. “Instead, I have faith and am optimistic about the process. I believe that all that has happened is making me physically and emotionally stronger, and is necessary for me to succeed in life.”

Seattle drafted Collins in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he appeared in 11 games for the Seahawks that year, carrying the ball 31 times.

He joined the Ravens a year later, leading the team in rushing yards (973) and yards from scrimmage (1,160). He shared the duties with Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon in 2018, and scored eight touchdowns and gained 411 rushing yards before ending the season on injured reserve with a foot injury.

The Ravens waived Collins in March after he was arrested following a car accident near the team’s headquarters. He was charged with possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a handgun in a vehicle.

Rapoport reported that with Collins’ legal case close to settled, teams had expressed interest and he was expected to play in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Broncos in stalemate with second-round QB Lock

Report: Broncos in stalemate with second-round QB Lock

Contract staredown could become

Report: Broncos in stalemate with second-round QB Lock

Contract staredown could become stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a “quarterback premium” and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

According to 9News.com’s Mike Klis, negotiations stalled and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing.

Risner has not signed as his agent resists having a player on the same roster, taken one spot later in the draft, take home more money or a greater guarantees.

Both are due to report Wednesday with the first on-field workout scheduled for Thursday.

The NFL slotting system dictates the outlay of money for all players in any slot in the draft. Based on that system, Risner would get a four-year contract worth $7.1 million, including a signing bonus of $3.214 million.

Lock would get a four-year deal worth $7 million and a $3.119 million bonus.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka enters Open Championship with local ace on the bag

Koepka enters Open Championship with local ace on the bag

Koepka enters Open Championship with local ace on the bag

Brooks Koepka admits he’s looking for inside information and insight from his locally grown caddie, longtime bagman Ricky Elliott, at The Open Championship this week.

Two practice rounds into his stay at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, site of The Open, Koepka realized much of the gallery wasn’t stalking the No. 1-ranked player in golf.

“I probably hear more, ‘Ricky! Hey, Ricky, what’s going on?’ than anything,” Koepka said of Elliott’s popularity in Portrush. “I’m sure he’ll have quite a bit of friends and family out. It will be a special week for him, for sure.”

Elliott is Koepka’s full-time caddie and has been since the 2013 PGA Championship. But he grew up in Northern Ireland, has a low round of 65 on the course to his credit and said he can’t even count the number of rounds he’s walked on the grounds.

“Luckily my caddie has played this golf course I can’t tell you how many times, so that’s a big advantage,” Koepka said. “Every hole I just step up on, ‘You tell me what to do, you’ve played it more than anybody.’ So just let him figure it out.”

Koepka, who has four major victories and has finished first or second in the first three majors of the 2019 season, is the favorite to win in the minds of many players taking part in the event. Koepka is scheduled to hit his first tee shot at 1:04 p.m. (8:04 a.m. ET) on Thursday, paired with 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Shubhankar Sharma of India.

Between now and then, a number of players have been angling for Elliott’s time. And Koepka’s.

That includes three-time Open Championship winner Tiger Woods, who said Koepka is ghosting him. Woods admitted he was aware of Elliott’s edge at Portrush, which is hosting the event for the first time since 1951.

“I’ll tell you a funny story. I texted Brooks congratulations on another great finish,” Woods began. “What he’s done in the last four major championships has been unbelievable. He’s been so consistent, so solid. He’s been in contention to win each and every major championship. So I said, ‘Hey dude, do you mind if I tag along and play a practice round?’ I’ve heard nothing.”

Woods laughed off the story, but Koepka is a steely eyed competitor. There are secrets everywhere on the links at Portrush, and Elliott knows most of them. Even so, he said he’s still measuring the difference between his own shot lines and those he’ll experience this week on Koepka’s bag.

“Brooks hits the ball a lot different than the lines I hit it on,” Elliott said. “I’ll have to work with the yardage book a little bit.”

Koepka, who spent Friday at Elliott’s childhood home with their families, wants nothing more than to hand Elliott the Claret Jug on Sunday afternoon, then celebrate a major title together with Elliott at the renowned Harbour Bar.

“There would be nothing cooler. Put it this way, I don’t think when he grew up that he ever thought there would be an Open Championship here. And to top it off, I don’t think he ever thought he’d be a part of it,” Koepka said. “To be caddying and to be able to win one here … he’d be a legend, wouldn’t he? He already is.”

–Field Level Media

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Woods on Masters: ‘It took a lot out of me’

Woods on Masters: 'It took a lot out of me'

Woods on Masters: ‘It took a lot out of me’

In the week of the Masters this spring, Tiger Woods said he knew he was ready for the challenge, and he walked away wearing his fifth green jacket.

He said Tuesday that he doesn’t have as much confidence in his game as he enters The Open Championship this week.

“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now,” Woods said at his pre-tournament news conference. “Today it was a good range session. I need another one tomorrow. And hopefully that will be enough to be ready.”

Woods played seven practice holes Tuesday at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, which is hosting The Open for the first time since 1951.

“My touch around the greens is right where I need to have it,” he said. “I still need to get the ball – the shape of the golf ball a little bit better than I am right now, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing. I’m going to have to be able to cut the ball, draw the ball, hit at different heights and move it all around.”

Woods has played in just nine tournaments this season, winning only at Augusta National. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship and finished in a tie for 21st at the U.S. Open.

The 43-year-old Woods said returning to his pre-Masters form has proved difficult.

“Well, getting myself into position to win the Masters … It took a lot out of me. That golf course puts so much stress on the system,” Woods said. “It was a very emotional week and one that I keep reliving. It’s hard to believe that I pulled it off and I ended up winning the tournament.”

Woods previously won The Open three times, most recently in 2006.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Falcons reach deal with DT Jarrett

NFL notebook: Falcons reach deal with DT Jarrett

The Atlanta Falcons and defensive

NFL notebook: Falcons reach deal with DT Jarrett

The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday’s franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Fletcher Cox.

Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

–Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal, beating the deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family — which maintained residence in Chicago — was a top priority.

Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

–Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans did not reach an agreement on a contract at the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

Clowney, by rule, will earn the $15.97 million one-year tender value for linebackers. However, he is expected to file a grievance to seek to be listed as a defensive end, which would bump his franchise-tag value to $17.13 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Houston’s front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans had shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

–The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman’s neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with “bruising, swelling and abrasions,” according to NJ.com.

–Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

Norton’s agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old’s final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

Norton, who played for the University of Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident. Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report.

–Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury he sustained last November.

His wife, Elizabeth, announced the news on her Instagram account, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula, but then he experienced an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16. The 35-year-old veteran said he hasn’t given up hope of playing again.

–Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement.

Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010. He played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

–The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Cooper’s career has been injury-plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

–Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011. Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders sign former first-round pick Cooper

Raiders sign former first-round pick Cooper

Raiders sign former first-round pick Cooper

The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Cooper’s career has been injury plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

He played two seasons with Arizona (2014-15), followed by single seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

The Raiders will be without guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

In a corresponding move, the Raiders waived wide receiver Montay Crockett. The team signed the 25-year-old in June.

He has never appeared in an NFL game, despite spending time in the Cardinals, Redskins, Jacksonville and Green Bay organizations.

–Field Level Media

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Open odds favor McIlroy’s home cooking

Open odds favor McIlroy's home cooking

Open odds favor McIlroy’s home cooking

Rory McIlroy has been blunt about how much it would mean to him to win the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush in his home country of Northern Ireland.

The world’s No. 3-ranked player built his summer schedule around peaking for this week’s highly-anticipated final major of 2019. McIlroy, who has 11 top-10s in 14 starts this year, has not competed in the United States since tying for ninth place at the U.S. Open.

He traveled to Europe for last week’s Scottish Open, where he tied for 34th, but has remain undeterred in his confidence of being a huge factor at Royal Portrush. McIlroy has far more experience at the undulating links course than any of the other marquee players.

That history – and his strong play throughout 2019 – is why McIlroy is either the favorite or co-favorite by most sportsbooks entering the week. While PointsBet list McIlroy and Brooks Koepka at +800 on Monday, FanDuel (+900 McIlroy, +1000 Koepka) and William Hill (+800, +900) give a slight edge to McIlroy.

It’s heady stuff for the 30-year-old who hasn’t won a major in five years and who will have enormous pressure on his shoulders this week.

Koepka has won four majors during that span and enters as the No. 1 player in the world. No. 2 Dustin Johnson has finished second at each the past two majors. He is +1400 by PointsBet, +1500 by William Hill and +1600 by FanDuel.

PointsBet actually has Jordan Spieth (+1200) as the third betting favorite, despite the Texan entering the week at No. 38 and having taken time off since missing the cut at the Travelers Championship last month. The odds illustrate the varying analysis of the state of Spieth’s game, FanDuel lists Spieth at a modest -280 to even make the cut and the 10th betting favorite to be the top finisher from the United States (+1900).

Jon Rahm, coming off a win at the Irish Open two weeks ago, is the third betting favorite by William Hill (+1500) and FanDuel (+1600). Tiger Woods, who arrived at Royal Portrush over the weekend, is +1400 by PointsBet, +1600 by William Hill and +1800 by FanDuel.

FanDuel is also offering a wide range of Prop Bets, from finishing position to individual matchups.

FanDuel Prop Bets:

–Top 5 Finish: McIlroy +900, Koepka +1000, Rahm +1600, Johnson +1700, Woods +1800,

–Top 10 Finish: McIlroy +105, Koepka +115, Johnson +150, Rahm +160, Justin Rose +175, Woods +220

–Match Betting: McIlroy -128 vs. Koepka +104; Rose -122 vs. Woods +100; Xander Schauffele (-118) vs. Francesco Molinari (-106)

–Top USA Player: Koepka +470, Johnson +650, Woods +850, Schauffele +1000, Patrick Cantlay +1300

–Make Cut: McIlroy -1050, Koepka -900, Johnson -750, Rahm -750, Woods -430

–Make Cut (Highest Odds): David Duval +240

Outright Winner Odds (PointsBet)

Rory McIlroy: +800

Brooks Koepka: +800

Jordan Spieth: +1200

Dustin Johnson: +1400

Tiger Woods: +1400

Jon Rahm: +1400

Justin Rose: +1600

Francesco Molinari: +1800

Xander Schauffele: +2000

Tommy Fleetwood: +2200

Rickie Fowler: +2500

Justin Thomas: +2500

Adam Scott: +2500

Jason Day: +2800

Henrik Stenson: +2800

Bryson DeChambeau: +2800

Patrick Cantlay: +3000

Sergio Garcia: +3300

Hideki Matsuyama: +3500

Alex Noren: +4000

Paul Casey: +4000

Phil Mickelson: +4000

Matt Kuchar: +4000

Patrick Reed: +5000

Louis Oosthuizen: +5000

Tony Finau: +5000

Marc Leishman: +5000

Zach Johnson: +5000

Matt Wallace: +5000

Graeme McDowell: +5000

Gary Woodland: +5500

Matthew Fitzpatrick: +6000

Ian Poulter: +6000

Tyrrell Hatton: +6600

Bubba Watson: +6600

Shane Lowry: +6600

Bernd Wiesberger: +6600

Eddie Pepperell: +7500

Branden Grace: +8000

Webb Simpson: +8000

Paul Dunne: +8000

Brandt Snedeker: +8000

Danny Willett: +8000

Russell Knox: +8000

Rafael Cabrera Bello: +8000

Thomas Pieters: +8000

Chris Wood: +10000

Jimmy Walker: +10000

Kevin Chappell: +10000

Thorbjorn Olesen: +10000

Ryan Fox: +10000

Kevin Kisner: +10000

Haotong Li: +10000

Cameron Smith: +10000

Byeong Hun An: +12500

Emiliano Grillo: +12500

Ryan Moore: +12500

Brian Harman: +12500

Luke List: +12500

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: +12500

Beau Hossler: +12500

Daniel Berger: +15000

Charl Schwartzel: +15000

Kevin Na: +15000

Jason Dufner: +15000

Keegan Bradley: +15000

Padraig Harrington: +15000

Joost Luiten: +15000

Alexander Levy: +15000

Peter Uihlein: +15000

Dylan Frittelli: +15000

Si Woo Kim: +15000

Kyle Stanley: +15000

Charley Hoffman: +15000

Alexander Bjork: +17500

Hudson Swafford: +17500

Austin Cook: +20000

Ross Fisher: +20000

Russell Henley: +20000

Jorge Campillo: +20000

Charles Howell: +20000

Ernie Els: +20000

Jeunghun Wang: +20000

Danny Lee: +20000

Grayson Murray: +20000

Satoshi Kodaira: +25000

Stewart Cink: +25000

Mikko Korhonen: +25000

Paul Lawrie: +25000

Shubhankar Sharma: +25000

Todd Hamilton: +50000

Darren Clarke: +50000

Mark Calcavecchia: +50000

David Duval: +50000

Tom Lehman: +50000

–Field Level Media

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Giants suspend S Moore following alleged assault

Giants suspend S Moore following alleged assault

The

Giants suspend S Moore following alleged assault

The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore on Monday pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman’s neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with “bruising, swelling and abrasions,” according to NJ.com.

Police were not called to the scene. The woman, who had been dating Moore since January, filed a complaint with the authorities on Saturday, per NJ.com.

New Orleans drafted Moore in the sixth round out of Boston College in 2018. After being waived by the Saints on Sept. 1, he was claimed by the Giants and played 10 snaps in two games as a rookie.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals G Boling retires after eight seasons

Bengals G Boling retires after eight seasons

Bengals G Boling retires after eight seasons

Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired Monday after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011.

“After eight years in the NFL, it is time for me to step away from the game due to medical reasons,” Boling said in a statement. “This is not an easy decision, but it is the right one for me, my wife Kelly and our two young girls. I want to thank the Brown family for giving me the opportunity to play my entire career with the Bengals. I also want to thank my teammates, coaches, fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career.”

Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

“Clint is a first-rate person, someone we all counted on and looked up to,” said Bengals president Mike Brown in a statement. “As a lineman, he never got the credit he deserved. That is often the case with good players who do their jobs well, but around the team, he was highly respected and appreciated beyond his playing abilities.”

Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Falcons reach $68M deal with DT Jarrett

Reports: Falcons reach $68M deal with DT Jarrett

The Atlanta Falcons and

Reports: Falcons reach $68M deal with DT Jarrett

The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday’s franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Fletcher Cox.

Jarrett was ranked as the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades. He had 52 tackles and a career-high six sacks in 14 games.

Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins QB Smith walking without brace

Redskins QB Smith walking without brace

Redskins QB Smith walking without brace

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing the brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury suffered last November.

His wife, Elizabeth, announced the achievement on her Instagram account on Monday, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

“The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy,” she wrote. “Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It’s one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched.”

Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula and then suffered from an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16.

The 35-year-old veteran told a Washington, D.C., reporter last month that he hasn’t given up hope of playing again.

“That’s the plan,” Smith told Angie Goff on her Oh My Goff podcast. “There are steps I’ve got to conquer before I get there. … Learning to run again. That’s a big one. I’m already throwing. Throwing isn’t a problem, but dropping, moving around, change of direction.”

He said then that everyday events for most were milestones for him.

“The steps I’m at now are lifestyle steps,” he said. “I’m still working on playing basketball with my kids and running around after my daughter. Those are things I have to conquer anyway until I get to the point where I’m walking on the field. I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that’s a real possibility.”

The Redskins acquired Smith from Kansas City before the 2018 season. He signed a four-year contract extension that put him under contract for five years and $111 million. It included $71 million in injury guarantees.

–Field Level Media

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LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

Linebacker Derrick

LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement on Monday.

Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010.

“It’s been real,” Morgan wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 9 years old. Over the years it’s brought a lot of struggle, triumph, adversity and joy to my life. It’s help shape me into the man I am today. But for the longest the game was ‘who I was’..it was my IDENTITY. I didn’t know who Derrick Morgan was outside of this game. I tried to shake this reality in a business that tells you your value IS your performance. However the one thing that helped me evolve as a man over the years was knowing that I couldn’t play this game forever..that there was life after football. I realized early on the importance of this platform and my goal has been to use it for good.”

Morgan played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

“I wanted to leave the game on my OWN terms. And over 9 years, 5 head coaches, 9 surgeries, and seeing a locker room turn over multiple times I am thankful to say that I accomplished both of these goals,” Morgan wrote on Instagram.

He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

–Field Level Media

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Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

A six-day fast helped Phil Mickelson drop 15 pounds ahead of the Open Championship.

The 49-year-old said in a video posted to his Twitter feed that he wanted to do everything possible to be his best at Royal Portrush, site of the 2019 Open Championship this week. That included a six-day fast during which he allowed himself only a special coffee blend for nutrition and water.

“I haven’t been my best and I’m doing all I can to get it right,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson has not posted a top-15 finish since winning at Pebble Beach in February. Since tying for 18th at The Masters, he has missed the cut in four of his last six tournaments.

Mickelson won The Open at Muirfield in 2013 and has been preparing for this week’s challenges on and off the course.

“The last 10 days I’ve done what I call a hard reset to change and try and make things better,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans are not expected to reach agreement on a contract Monday, the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

According to multiple reports, the two sides are not engaged in negotiations at this time.

Clowney, by rule, would earn the $15.967 million one-year tender value for 2019 if he doesn’t sign a new deal by 4 p.m. ET Monday.

Houston’s front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans have shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

Without a deal in place, Clowney is not expected to participate in training camp and could opt to stay away from the team until September, returning in time to avoid fines and prepare for Week 1 of the regular season.

The 26-year-old pass rusher was named to each of the past three Pro Bowls, tallying 53 tackles for loss over that period. He has 29 sacks since the Texans made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2014.

Prior to the draft, there were rumblings Clowney could be available via trade, but Clowney’s camp has said he did not request a trade out of Houston.

–Field Level Media

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49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

Robbie

49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal on Monday, beating the 4 p.m. deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family — which maintained residence in Chicago — was a top priority.

Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

But according to multiple reports, the 49ers found the salve over the weekend in a fully guaranteed $10.5 million contract that can become a $19 million, four-year deal.

The 49ers have the option to trigger the final two years of the contract at $4.5 million (2021) and $4.1 million (2022), per reports.

Gould has made 72 of his 75 field goal attempts in two seasons with the team and led the NFL in field goal percentage (97.1) last season.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins’ Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Dolphins' Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have

Dolphins’ Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery Monday since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

Norton’s agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old’s final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

Norton, who played collegiately at Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier visited Norton the next day and head coach Brian Flores cut his vacation short and has stopped by every day. Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz has also been a regular visitor, according to Rapoport.

Norton spent the 2018 season on the Panthers’ practice squad after Carolina selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Dolphins signed him in December.

NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report. He suddenly pulled his F-250 truck in front of a Maserati and clipped it, sending his car into a concrete barrier. The other driver was not injured and the report said drugs or alcohol were not believed to be a factor.

–Field Level Media

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Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 a.m. ET Thursday in the first

Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 a.m. ET Thursday in the first round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Woods is paired with Patrick Reed and Matthew Wallace. He’s been on the grounds in Northern Ireland for more than a week, syncing his body with the time zone and getting familiar with the layout.

A three-time British Open champion, Woods played 18 holes with Reed on Sunday. On Monday he played another 18 with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Woods hasn’t played in a tournament since the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach a month ago.

“The breaks are always great for my golf,” Woods said Monday, noting he’s following the plan he shared late last year to trim back the number of tournaments he entered in hopes of competing for the entire season.

Woods won his 15th major at The Masters in April. He claimed the Claret Jug by winning the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006, but missed the cut at the PGA Championship in May. He tied for 21st at the U.S. Open.

Portrush native Darren Clarke has the honors of taking the first tee shot Thursday — at 1:35 a.m. ET — and spent last week serving as an ambassador for the town and course.

Another local favorite, Rory McIlroy, is paired with U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and Paul Casey. McIlroy set the Portrush course record of 61 when he was 16 years old. McIlroy said he’s entirely comfortable on the challenging course, which “just feels like Portrush to me.”

McIlroy hasn’t won a major in five years, but said winning this week would be a career-defining achievement in his mind.

“Never in a million years did I think that an Open Championship would be played again at Royal Portrush,” he said.

Defending champion Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau are in a group with Adam Scott and will tee off (4:58 a.m. ET) one group before McIlroy’s.

Charles Howell III, who tied for sixth Sunday at the John Deere Classic, withdrew from the field Monday and was replaced by Brian Harman.

–Field Level Media

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Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Dylan Frittelli closed with a 7-under-par 64 on Sunday to claim his first PGA Tour title by winning the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Frittelli, a 29-year-old South African who attended the University of Texas, finished at 21-under 263 to beat hard-charging Russell Henley by two shots. Henley climbed 23 spots on Sunday by firing a career-low 10-under 61 to finish solo second.

“Wow, it’s awesome,” Frittelli said. “I watched this tournament as a kid, didn’t know much about it besides that it’s a really low-scoring event. … But now to have won it, I don’t know, still sinking in. Feels awesome.”

Frittelli earned the final spot at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, which begins Thursday. And the victory gets him a two-year extension on his PGA Tour card.

“Yeah, that’s huge. I’d obviously won on The European Tour, but my exemption was running out at the end of this year,” he said. “All this stuff has been going through my mind the last four to eight weeks and … you just have to play golf and try to put it in the background.”

Third-round co-leader Andrew Landry shot a 69 that included a birdie at No. 18 to finish alone in third at 18 under. Collin Morikawa and Chris Stroud were one stroke back, tied for fourth. Morikawa, a 22-year tour rookie, has posted back-to-back top-5 finishes.

Frittelli, in his 33rd start on the tour, began the day tied for fifth, two shots off the pace, but he made an early move with birdies on the first three holes. His bogey-free round included seven birdies, including a chip-in at No. 10 and an 11-foot putt at the par-5 17th.

“I don’t want to say it was easy out there,” Frittelli said. “It just felt a whole lot easier than it has been the last few weeks.”

He tied for 46th in each of the past two weeks and had missed the cut in two of his past five events.

Henley made 10 birdies and closed with a 30 on the back nine en route to the lowest final-round score in John Deere Classic history.

“Everybody’s so good out here, you have to keep making birdies and keep making birdies,” Henley said. “When you make bogeys or doubles like I have this week, you just have to keep fighting. If you get down on yourself like I’ve done a lot in my career, it never ends in a good result.”

Cameron Tringale, the other third-round co-leader, stumbled to a 2-over 73 that included five bogeys. He tied for 16th at 14 under.

Four golfers tied for sixth at 16 under — Charles Howell III, Vaughn Taylor, Nick Watney and Adam Schenk.

The field was limited because most of the top players were in Europe preparing for The Open Championship. The John Deere Classic provided a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released.

The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there wasn’t a violation of the personal conduct policy, the league said.

Johnson was displeased with the NFL’s decision so he filed charges on Friday.

“To just not have anything happen to him, the NFL is basically saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK for you to go to Vegas, get obliterated, then go shove people over fences,'” Johnson told Fox 5.

After Elliott met with Goodell earlier this month, the Dallas star posted a note on his Twitter account afterward, saying he needs to make better decisions. He also said he apologized to Johnson at the time of the incident.

“I’ve worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me,” Elliott wrote. “I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.

“I need to work harder to ensure I do not put myself in compromised situations in the future. I am rededicating myself to use all of the resources that the league has made available. But in the end, it is up to me and I am determined not to be in this position again.”

Elliott has had personal conduct issues in the past, most notably receiving a six-game suspension in 2017 due to allegations of abuse made by a former girlfriend.

Elliott, who turns 24 on July 22, rushed for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He also caught three touchdown passes.

–Field Level Media

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Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Cameron Tringale and Andrew Landry shared the third-round lead Saturday at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., eking ahead of a large pack of challengers.

Tringale shot a 6-under-par 65 on Saturday, firing off seven birdies after opening with a bogey to get to 16-under 197 for the tournament. Tringale, 31, is looking for his first victory on the PGA Tour in his 262nd start.

“The bogey at the first was a shot in the leg, just because you know you’ve got to shoot a low round out here to stay in the mix,” he said. “But I was able to get out of there myself and birdie the next two, which gave me some momentum, a little confidence.”

Landry began the tournament with consecutive 65s, then salvaged a 4-under 67 on Saturday by making birdies on three of the final six holes, including Nos. 16 and 17.

“I don’t ever take these moments for granted. It’s very hard to get into this situations,” said Landry, whose only career victory came at the Valero Texas Open in April 2018. “It was definitely a struggle day, but I definitely played very, very well. It was just a struggle from how the last two days were.”

Bill Haas tied for the low round of the day with a bogey-free 64 to join Adam Schenk in a tie for third, one stroke behind the leaders at 15 under.

Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Vaughn Taylor and South African Dylan Frittelli are tied for fifth at 14 under. Watney shot one of four 64s on the day.

Chris Stroud, Lucas Glover and Canadian Roger Sloan sit at 13 under, tied for ninth.

Two more are at 12 under, including 22-year-old rookie Collin Morikawa, who tied for second last week at the 3M Open in Minnesota.

“I’m still kind of working on some putting things, but I’m hitting some good lines on my putts, and obviously when I get them close, I’m able to drop a few,” he told The Golf Channel after shooting a 65 on Saturday. “So we’ve just got to keep that up for tomorrow and, obviously, (get) a few more drop outside of that.”

With seven golfers at 11 under, there are 18 within five shots of the leaders heading into the final round.

First-round leader Roberto Diaz, who opened with a 62, did not make the 54-hole cut after rounds of 73 and 76.

The field is limited due to top players being in Europe preparing for The Open Championship next week.

The event holds the final available spot into the field for The Open, which would go to the top player not otherwise exempt who finishes inside the top five and ties. The John Deere Classic provides a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released.

The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there wasn’t a violation of the personal conduct policy, the league said.

Johnson was displeased with the NFL’s decision so he filed charges on Friday.

“To just not have anything happen to him, the NFL is basically saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK for you to go to Vegas, get obliterated, then go shove people over fences,'” Johnson told Fox 5.

After Elliott met with Goodell earlier this month, the Dallas star posted a note on his Twitter account afterward, saying he needs to make better decisions. He also said he apologized to Johnson at the time of the incident.

“I’ve worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me,” Elliott wrote. “I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.

“I need to work harder to ensure I do not put myself in compromised situations in the future. I am rededicating myself to use all of the resources that the league has made available. But in the end, it is up to me and I am determined not to be in this position again.”

Elliott has had personal conduct issues in the past, most notably receiving a six-game suspension in 2017 due to allegations of abuse made by a former girlfriend.

Elliott, who turns 24 on July 22, rushed for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He also caught three touchdown passes.

–Field Level Media

Read More 397 Words

NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

Security guard

NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released. The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident.

–Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues.

“I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention,” Caldwell said in a statement. “I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family.”

Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season. The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores’ staff in February.

–Running back Melvin Gordon said he doesn’t want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will “do what I need to do” to get paid.

“I want to end up with the Chargers. That’s my home,” Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, via NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. … I can’t forget them for that. But it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid.”

Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand. In April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019. “I’m prepared to do what I need to do,” Gordon said. “That’s just what it’s going to be.”

–An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Simmons, 23, did not survive, while Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Miami Dolphins assistant

Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues..

“I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention,” Caldwell said in a statement Saturday. “I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family.”

Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season.

The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores’ staff in February.

“Our focus is on Jim’s health and supporting him in every way that we can,” Flores said. “With his knowledge and experience, Jim has been an invaluable member to our coaching staff and will continue to serve as a sounding board for me throughout the season.”

Caldwell had a 62-50 record as a head coach with Indianapolis (2009-11) and Detroit (2014-17). He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season.

–Field Level Media

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Teen arrested in shooting of Giants’ Ballentine

Teen arrested in shooting of Giants' Ballentine

An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged

Teen arrested in shooting of Giants’ Ballentine

An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

Simmons, 23, did not survive. Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

Ballentine, also 23, began practicing with the Giants in late May and is expected to make a full recovery.

Police made the arrest after connecting the shooting to two aggravated robberies that occurred in the area on April 27 and 30, ESPN reported.

–Field Level Media

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RB Gordon: ‘Hopefully I end up a Charger’

RB Gordon: 'Hopefully I end up a Charger'

Running back Melvin

RB Gordon: ‘Hopefully I end up a Charger’

Running back Melvin Gordon said Saturday he doesn’t want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will “do what I need to do” to get paid.

“I want to end up with the Chargers. That’s my home,” Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, per NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. They changed my life. Of all 32 teams, that was the team that called me. I can’t forget them for that.

“But it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That’s just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger. That’s the goal. I want to end up with the Chargers.”

Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand.

“I’m prepared to do what I need to do,” Gordon said. “That’s just what it’s going to be.”

Gordon signed a four-year, $10.67 million deal as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and in April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019.

The 26-year-old has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, the two-time Pro Bowl selection has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.

Gordon did not attend voluntary workouts with the Chargers but did report to minicamp in June. The team is scheduled to open training camp July 25.

Gordon said he was not sure where talks stand.

“My guess is as good as yours right now,” he said. “We’re going to give them some time and see where it heads. We’ve still got some time out before training camp. But hopefully things get figured out.”

–Field Level Media

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Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players don’t have any incentive to support it.

“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players,” Smith told ESPN. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”

The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011. And even though the added work would add tens of millions to the payroll of each team, the players have held strong that more regular-season games are not their preference.

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said, according to the WSJ.

“Why is it our job to figure out how to make 18 games work as players? You tell someone you’re going to work longer and you figure out how to make it work? That doesn’t work,” Smith told ESPN. “It’s not our job to put that square peg in the round hole.”

Instead, the players seem keen on non-schedule increasing proposals like a quicker route to free agency, changes in the minimum salary guidelines, increased benefits and bonuses.

–Field Level Media

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Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela delivered scorching round of 9-under-par 62 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead through two rounds of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Vegas’ bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run put him at 13-under 129 through 36 holes, a stroke ahead of Andrew Landry, who shot 65 for the second consecutive day.

Lucas Glover shot 64 — with the help of an albatross — to hold third place alone at 11 under. Five players are tied for fourth another stroke back, with two others at 9 under. A whopping 14 players are tied for 11th at 8 under.

Vegas opened his day at No. 10 with a birdie, then ran off four in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 13 to 17. Three of the four came after his approach settled within six feet of the pin. He tacked on three straight birdies starting at No. 2 and added a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 8 to cap his day.

“Probably the best I’ve felt all year, to be honest,” Vegas told reporters after his round. “I mean, I hit the ball extremely well, kind of what I’ve been struggling with a little bit the past few months. I was able to kind of figure out a little bit something yesterday on the range after I got done playing, and I was able to carry it through today.

“It felt really good, in control the whole time with the ball-striking, which is my type of game. So I’m glad that stuff is back.”

Vegas tied for third at the PLAYERS Championship in March and for eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, but he had missed three cuts in four events entering this week. He’s seeking his fourth career victory and his first since 2017.

Landry also started on the back nine, and he had his round at 8 under through 12 holes after birdieing three straight to start the front. But he managed just five pars and a bogey (at No. 6) the rest of the way.

“Saturday and Sunday will be fun,” Landry said. “It’s going to be a firm and fast golf course come Sunday.”

Glover, the only player in the top 10 who already qualified for next week’s Open Championship, had the highlight of the day, holing out from 255 yards on his second shot at the par-5 10th. The ball bounced 20 yards shy of the green, rolled up and curled perfectly into the cup. He also sprinkled four birdies — three on a 6-under 30 back nine — in a bogey-free round.

First-round leader Roberto Diaz of Mexico struggled, totaling three birdies and three bogeys before finishing with a double bogey to post 73 and slip into a tie for 23rd at 7 under.

Defending champion Michael Kim missed his 18th straight cut after shooting 72, finishing the tournament at 3 over.

The field is limited due to top players being in Europe preparing for The Open Championship next week.

The event holds the final available spot into the field for The Open, which would go to the top player not otherwise exempt who finishes inside the top five and ties. The JDC provides a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

While the concept of a future

NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players don’t have any incentive to support it.

“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players,” Smith told ESPN. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

–New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have to wait a few weeks to make his debut with his new team after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.

The discipline, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, comes three months after he pleaded guilty in Arizona to three misdemeanors, two of which involved his 90-year-old grandmother.

Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty to a pair of Class 1 misdemeanors after he punched a hole in the wall of his grandmother’s Arizona home in August of last year and damaged the control box of a security system. Incognito was reportedly upset after the death of his father and blamed his grandmother.

Also in Arizona, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an arrest in August of 2018, two days after the incident at his grandmother’s home.

Incognito is eligible to return to the Raiders on Sept. 16, the day following a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

–New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL announced.

The league stated that Herndon can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 7, after their Oct. 6 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Herndon pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to a charge of driving while intoxicated, stemming from a multi-car accident in June 2018 in Rockaway Township, N.J.

According to a Rockaway Township court spokesperson, he paid a $639 fine and his license was revoked for 90 days in New Jersey.

Herndon was arrested June 2, 2018, after his SUV allegedly hit another car at 4:45 a.m. on Interstate 80 about 20 minutes from the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J. Herndon’s vehicle flipped and slid about 700 feet, and the vehicle he hit — which was transporting a vintage car — was totaled, according to police.

–New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who says he was harassed by police in the driveway of his Fort Bend County home in Texas during a traffic stop in March, wants a further investigation into the incident.

Jennine Hovell-Cox, Roberts’ attorney, told USA Today Sports that she made a request to the district attorney of Fort Bend County to further investigate the sheriff’s department over the March 10 incident, when the player was pulled over for speeding.

Roberts, who is heading into his fourth season with the Patriots after they made him a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Houston, was stopped in Richmond, a Houston suburb, allegedly for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also received a citation for not providing proof of insurance.

The dashcam video of the incident obtained by USA Today shows Roberts, 25, getting out of his sports car with his hands in the air after arriving at the driveway of his home.

“Get back in the car,” Fort Bend County Sheriff deputy Adam Watkins tells Roberts.

“This is my house,” says Roberts, who does get back in his car.

Watkins, calling for backup about “the big black man,” also says, “I told him to get back in. He wouldn’t comply. I had to yell at him pretty hard.”

Watkins also told Roberts’ wife to return to their home after she checked to see what was happening. Charges were not officially filed.

–Field Level Media

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NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL announced Friday.

The league stated that Herndon can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 7, after their Oct. 6 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Herndon pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to a charge of driving while intoxicated, stemming from a multi-car accident in June 2018 in Rockaway Township, N.J.

According to a Rockaway Township court spokesperson, he paid a $639 fine and his license was revoked for 90 days in New Jersey.

Herndon was arrested June 2, 2018, after his SUV allegedly hit another car at 4:45 a.m. on Interstate 80 about 20 minutes from the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J. Herndon’s vehicle flipped and slid about 700 feet, and the vehicle he hit — which was transporting a vintage car — was totaled, according to police.

A witness told police Herndon was driving more than 100 mph, and police records showed his blood-alcohol content to be 0.14 percent.

A fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Miami, Herndon finished with 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie while playing in all 16 games last season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011. And even though the added work would add tens of millions to the payroll of each team, the players have held strong that more regular-season games are not their preference.

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFL Players’ Association analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said, according to the WSJ.

Instead, the players seem keen on non-schedule increasing proposals like a quicker route to free agency, changes in the minimum salary guidelines, increased benefits and bonuses.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have

Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have to wait a few weeks to make his debut with his new team after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.

The discipline, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, comes three months after he pleaded guilty in Arizona to three misdemeanors, two of which involved his 90-year-old grandmother.

Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty to a pair of Class 1 misdemeanors after he punched a hole in the wall of his grandmother’s Arizona home in August of last year and damaged the control box of a security system. Incognito was reportedly upset after the death of his father and blamed his grandmother.

Also in Arizona, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an arrest in August of 2018, two days after the incident at his grandmother’s home.

Incognito is eligible to return to the Raiders on Sept. 16, the day following a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Nebraska product is a four-time Pro Bowler and has played for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills in his career. The former third-round draft pick in 2005 has started in all 150 career games he has played.

He has been involved in a number of incidents involving questionable behavior, most notably a bullying scandal involving former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots LB Roberts seeks inquiry for police harassment

Patriots LB Roberts seeks inquiry for police harassment

New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who

Patriots LB Roberts seeks inquiry for police harassment

New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who says he was harassed by police in the driveway of his Fort Bend County home in Texas during a traffic stop in March, wants a further investigation into the incident.

Jennine Hovell-Cox, Roberts’ attorney, told USA Today Sports that she made a request to the district attorney of Fort Bend County to further investigate the sheriff’s department over the March 10 incident, when the player was pulled over for speeding.

Roberts, who is heading into his fourth season with the Patriots after they made him a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Houston, was stopped in Richmond, a Houston suburb, allegedly for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also received a citation for not providing proof of insurance.

The dashcam video of the incident obtained by USA Today shows Roberts, 25, getting out of his sports car with his hands in the air after arriving at the driveway of his home.

“Get back in the car” Fort Bend County Sheriff deputy Adam Watkins tells Roberts.

“This is my house,” says Roberts, who does get back in his car.

Watkins, calling for backup about “the big black man,” also says, “I told him to get back in. He wouldn’t comply. I had to yell at him pretty hard.”

Watkins also told Roberts’ wife to return to their home after she checked to see what was happening. Charges were not officially filed.

The sheriff’s office made phone calls to Roberts to apologize for the incident and said the ticket was dismissed, according to Hovell-Cox.

“We believe that once the dashcam footage was seen by Deputy Watkins’ supervisors and realizing who Elandon is, a decision was made to halt everything,” Hovell-Cox told USA Today.

Ten days after the stop, Roberts reportedly filed a complaint, writing that he “felt so harassed I couldn’t even remember where my insurance paper was in my car.”

In a statement to USA Today, Roberts said, “Unfortunately, these types of things are happening all too often to African Americans. People are becoming desensitized to them. Being harassed in your own yard simply because you are a ‘big black man’ should never become the norm. To the person being harassed, it is frightening, disrespectful and embarrassing.

“I have no interest in any financial gain from releasing this story. My only hope is that these types of bias-based traffic stops can end and that, perhaps, other black drivers might see how to de-escalate a threatening situation.”

In a May document obtained by USA Today, Roberts’ previous complaint was dismissed by the internal affairs division of the sheriff’s office and the matter was closed. The deputy was ordered by a supervisor to “go through refresher training” on traffic stops.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Chargers’ Gordon demands new deal or trade

NFL notebook: Chargers' Gordon demands new deal or trade

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will

NFL notebook: Chargers’ Gordon demands new deal or trade

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will not report to training camp without a new contract, ESPN reported Thursday.

Gordon also reportedly told the Chargers that failure to reach agreement on a contract would result in a trade demand. Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter of the holdout and trade scenarios on Thursday.

The Chargers are scheduled to open training camp July 25.

Gordon signed a four-year, $10.67 million deal as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and in April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019. The 26-year-old, who has 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons, did not attend voluntary workouts with the Chargers but did report to minicamp in June.

–Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was ticketed in the July 4 crash that led to the amputation of his left arm, ESPN reported.

ESPN, which obtained a copy of the report from the Florida Highway Patrol, said Norton was cited with an improper lane change. He suddenly pulled his F-250 truck in front of a Maserati and clipped it, sending his car into a concrete barrier.

The Maserati driver was not injured. The report said drugs or alcohol were not believed to be involved in the accident.

–New Orleans Saints rookie defensive end Carl Granderson was taken into custody during a court date and ordered to serve six months in jail by the presiding judge, who refused to accept a plea deal entered in his sexual assault case.

Granderson pleaded not guilty in April to one count of third-degree sexual assault and another count of sexual battery. He agreed to a plea deal that would have reduced the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor count of unlawful contact and canceled a jury trial that was scheduled to start Monday.

However, Judge Tori Kricken of the Albany County (Wyo.) District Court called off the deal and remanded him to jail immediately. The judge also assigned a one-year jail sentence on the sexual battery charge, which will be suspended upon completion of the six-month jail term. It will be converted to one year of supervised probation.

–Former New York Jets coach Walt Michaels has died. He was 89.

According to the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Michaels died Wednesday in his hometown of Swoyersville in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Michaels’ daughter, Mary Ann, told the newspaper that Michaels died six years to the day after his wife, Betty, passed away on July 10, 2013.

Michaels had a 39-47-1 record in six seasons as coach of the Jets from 1977-82. His teams reached the playoffs twice — including losing to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game in the strike-shortened 1982 season. He guided New York to a 10-5-1 record in 1981.

–Field Level Media

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