Bengals-Colts Capsule

CINCINNATI (0-0) at BALTIMORE (0-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE – Colts by 1 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Cincinnati 8-8, Indianapolis 8-8

SERIES RECORD – Colts lead 19-11

LAST MEETING – Bengals won 24-23, Oct. 29, 2017

AP PRO32 RANKING – Bengals No. 24, Colts No. 30

BENGALS OFFENSE – OVERALL (32), RUSH (31), PASS (27).

BENGALS DEFENSE – OVERALL (18), RUSH (30), PASS (8).

COLTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (31), RUSH (22), PASS (30).

COLTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (30), RUSH (26), PASS (28).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Bengals and Colts meet for second time in 11 days, marking first time since 2014 NFL teams have squared off in preseason finale and regular-season opener (San Diego and Arizona). … Cincinnati has won three of last four openers and three of last five in series after snapping seven-game skid against Colts. … Coach Marvin Lewis is 20-14 against first-year head coaches. … QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green enter eighth season together and are oldest players on Bengals’ offense at 30. … Dalton needs one 300-yard game to tie Boomer Esiason’s career record for most in franchise history (23), and nine passing attempts to pass Esiason (3,464) for No. 2 in Bengals history. … Green and Chad Johnson are tied for most career 100-yard games (32). … LB Preston Brown makes Bengals debut after sharing NFL lead for tackles (144) in Buffalo last season. … Bengals open with Sunday afternoon/Thursday night slate for second straight season. … Cincinnati will wear white color rush uniforms at Indy. …Colts’ Frank Reich makes head coaching debut and will call offensive plays. … Indy needs two wins for 300 since making move in 1984 from Baltimore. … Andrew Luck expected to make first regular-season start since Jan. 1, 2017. Luck has at least one TD pass in 23 consecutive games, longest active streak in NFL, and tied for No. 19 in league history. … Indy offensive line allowed league-high 56 sacks last season. … K Adam Vinatieri needs seven field goals and 58 points to break Morten Andersen’s NFL career records in both categories (565 field goals and 2,544 points). Vinatieri needs five field goals between 40 and 49 yards to tie Gary Anderson (161) for league’s career mark. Vinatieri is oldest player in NFL at 45. … Indy has switched from 3-4 defensive front to more traditional 4-3 defense under new coordinator Matt Eberflus. … Safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers expect to line up side by side for first time in regular-season game after injuries last season. Hooker tore two ligaments in right knee in October. Geathers missed first nine games in 2017 with neck injury and had offseason knee surgery. … Fantasy Tip: Dalton and Green have connected for league-high 21 plays of 50 or more yards since 2011 and could take advantage of Indy’s new defense and young secondary.

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Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

The Baltimore Ravens

Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

The Baltimore Ravens made additions to both sides of the ball Friday, reaching one-year free-agent deals with defensive end Shane Ray and wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Ray, the 23rd overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, had 12 sacks over his first two NFL seasons, including eight in 2016. But multiple wrist surgeries in 2017 led to a fall off in production, and the Missouri product had just two sacks over the next two seasons and was not active for the final three games of 2018.

Ray, who turns 26 on Saturday, has 94 career tackles to go along with his 14 sacks over four seasons, playing in 49 games with the Broncos, 15 as a starter. His deal with the Ravens is pending a physical, ESPN reported.

Floyd, the 13th overall selection in 2012 by the Arizona Cardinals, has played with four teams in the past three seasons. He was with the Washington Redskins last season when he had 10 receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown over 13 games (three starts).

A Notre Dame product, Floyd, 29, has 266 career receptions for 3,959 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cardinals, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Redskins. His most productive season came in 2013 with the Cardinals, when he had 65 receptions for 1,041 yards and five TDs.

Friday’s moves come one day after the Ravens brought back linebacker Pernell McPhee, a former fifth-round draft pick by the team, who had played the past four seasons with the Chicago Bears and Redskins.

–Field Level Media

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Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOTES: Koepka entered Friday at 62 under par in majors since the start of the 2016 PGA Championship — 22 shots better than anyone else.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona

Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the length of the suspension — compared to the typical four-game punishment for a PED violation — is because the violation involved a masking agent.

“Definitely sorry for what broke out today,” Peterson told reporters before an event at his foundation in the Phoenix area on Thursday night.

“But I think you guys understand my character and also understand my commitment on and off the field and also to my teammates and also to the Arizona Cardinals organization. That’s why this is very, very hard for me, because, obviously, I have never been in this situation before and never wanted to have my name attached to anything like this. …

“I’m looking forward to getting back in Week 7 … trying to keep that smile on my face and getting back to being the best DB in the league.”

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times. The Pro Bowl streak will now end, with Peterson ineligible due to the violation.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

However, reports earlier this offseason said Peterson’s relationship with the team has become strained, and Rapoport reported Thursday that the suspension has further complicated things.

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the length of the suspension — compared to the typical four-game punishment for a PED violation — is because the violation involved a masking agent.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times. The Pro Bowl streak will now end, with Peterson ineligible due to the violation.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement Thursday. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals. However, reports earlier this offseason said Peterson’s relationship with the team has become strained, and Rapoport reported Thursday that the suspension has further complicated things.

–Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015. In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In 2018, Collins played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

–The Baltimore Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal to bring back free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14. McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

–Scott Pioli resigned after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, after months of discussions about his future with the club.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s Browns staff, which included Pioli.

–Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota, telling the Star Tribune: “I am too young for that.”

Rudolph, the subject of trade rumors and reported broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, said he is hoping to find a way to stay with the only team he played for in his eight seasons. The 29-year-old has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

–First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts — both four-year deals — with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Williams, the No. 11 overall selection, played 44 games at offensive tackle for Alabama and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018. Sample, a tight end from the University of Washington, was the No. 52 overall selection.

–Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York Giants as he continues his rehabilitation from injuries suffered on the night he was drafted. He was shot in the backside on April 28 in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that claimed the life of Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons.

Ballentine missed New York’s rookie minicamp from May 3-5. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to mourn the loss of his best friend, whose funeral took place on May 4.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Brooks Koepka said before the start of the 101st PGA Championship that he believes majors are easier to win because perhaps only 35-40 players begin the tournament with a legitimate shot of beating him.

The three-time major champion and world’s third-ranked player backed up that statement with a course-record 7-under-par 63 in Thursday’s first round in Farmingdale, N.Y. Koepka’s bogey-free card on the demanding Black Course at Bethpage State Park included seven birdies — none of which came on the course’s two par-5s.

“That was one of the best rounds I’ve played probably as a professional,” Koepka said. “This golf course is brutal.”

However, he acknowledged that his round could have been even better and that Thursday’s conditions lent themselves to low scoring.

While no one in the morning wave could get within four shots of Koepka’s masterpiece, New Zealand’s Danny Lee used eight birdies to offset a pair of bogeys in posting a 6-under 64 in the afternoon.

The next closest competitor is England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who was one of the first players out Thursday and posted a 3-under 67. Another shot off the pace are Luke List, Chez Reavie, Pat Perez, France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera and South Korea’s Sung Kang.

A star-studded and deep group of players at 1 under includes world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, who is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. Australia’s Jason Day is also at 1 under.

They’ll begin Friday tied for ninth place, but staring a long way up at Koepka with 54 holes to play.

Koepka began his round with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to throw down the early gauntlet as he attempts to defend his title and become the first player since World War II to win his first four career majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole — his first eagle at a PGA Championship since 2001 — to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods made par from just off the back to complete his 2-over 72.

“Just make it,” Koepka told reporters when asked about his thought process on the final putt. “I think that was the only thing that was going through my head.

“I had good reads on it all day. The speed control was very solid. I felt very comfortable with the putter after a couple of changes we made, and very pleased with the way I putted today.

“(The course) definitely tests every part of your game, that’s for sure.”

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. He has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens. He’ll need a solid round Friday just to make the cut, as will Rory McIlroy, who also carded a 72 but only after rolling in his first birdie of the day at No. 18.

“It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure,” said Woods, who admitted he skipped Wednesday’s practice round because he was “a little bit sick” but felt fine Thursday.

“Didn’t get off to a very good start. It was a good drive and ended up in a bad spot, and I compounded the problem with trying to use the backboard behind the hole there and missing a putt I should have made.

“And then found my way back around. Got it back under par for the day, and let a couple slip away with a couple bad putts and a couple mistakes at the end.”

If Woods can take any positive away from Thursday, it may be the fact that the past four PGA champions were outside the top 10 after the first round. On the flip side, he is chasing a man in Koepka who has posted six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the PGA Championship while shooting a combined 25-under par.

The scary part for the rest of the field is that Woods said that 63 was about the highest Koepka could have shot on Thursday with the way he was playing.

“I didn’t take care of the par-5s, didn’t birdie any of the par-5s,” Koepka said. “That was disappointing because I felt like you know those are holes you should be able to birdie. … And then the second hole today, my 11th hole, I missed about a 5-footer.

“That would have been nice to shoot 60. I guess that would have been pretty good.”

But Koepka also realizes that the number he posted on Thursday already limits the number of players in the field who have a realistic shot of catching him.

“I wouldn’t say there’s very many guys,” Koepka acknowledged. “It tests every asset of your game. You’ve got to drive the ball straight. It’s long, so you’ve got to hit it far and really position yourself with some of these shots in.

“You can’t miss — you can’t take a shot off, and that’s what I love. There’s a fine line between 5, 6 over and a couple under out here. It’s a fun golf course to play, that’s for sure.”

Other notable finishers included Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, England’s Justin Rose and Spain’s Jon Rahm at even par; Bryson DeChambeau and Italy’s Francesco Molinari (2 over); Patrick Reed and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (4 over) and Bubba Watson (6 over).

NOTES: John Daly, who has been permitted to use a cart during the tournament, carded a 5-over 75. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals, led by Jason Caron and Ryan Vermeer at even-par 70 on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona

Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him fifth overall in 2011. He has made the Pro Bowl in all eight seasons, earning first-team All-Pro honors three times.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement Thursday. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

–Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015. In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In 2018, Collins played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

–The Baltimore Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal to bring back free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14. McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

–Scott Pioli resigned after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, after months of discussions about his future with the club.

A restructuring under general manager Thomas Dimitroff was expected.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s Browns staff, which included Pioli.

–Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota, telling the Star Tribune “I am too young for that.”

Rudolph, the subject of trade rumors and reported broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, said he is hoping to find a way to stay with the team. The 29-year-old has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has spent his eight-year career in Minnesota.

–First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both signed four-year deals, and Williams’ contract contains a team option for a fifth year. Financial terms were not announced.

Williams, the No. 11 overall selection, played 44 games at offensive tackle for Alabama and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018. Sample, a tight end from the University of Washington, was the No. 52 overall selection.

–Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York Giants.

Ballentine is participating in meetings and classroom work with the other rookies while he continues his rehabilitation from injuries suffered on the night he was drafted. He was shot in the backside on April 28 in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that claimed the life of Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons.

Ballentine missed New York’s rookie minicamp from May 3-5. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to mourn the loss of his best friend, whose funeral took place on May 4.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

The Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal Thursday to bring

Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

The Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal Thursday to bring free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee back to Baltimore.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal, but no financial details were released.

McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

The Ravens’ 2011 fifth-round pick posted a career-high 7.5 sacks in his final season in Baltimore in 2014.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Scott Pioli resigned Thursday after five

Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Scott Pioli resigned Thursday after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons.

Pioli’s seat at the personnel table had been under discussion for months, and a restructuring under general manager Thomas Dimitroff was expected.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s staff, which included Pioli.

“After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas over the past year I have decided to step away from my position as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons to pursue other potential opportunities,” Pioli said. “I want to thank both (owner) Arthur (Blank) and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014.”

Dimitroff worked on the Browns’ grounds crew, but with bonds formed with Belichick and Pioli, he would rise to the position of Patriots’ director of college scouting as the Belichick-Pioli team began building a dynasty in New England. Pioli left the Patriots to be a first-time general manager with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Dimitroff headed to Atlanta.

After a brief foray into media, Pioli followed Dimitroff to Atlanta.

The Falcons did not announce a new personnel structure, but Dimitroff said options are under consideration.

“Over the last five years Scott has not only provided tremendous value to me, but to the entire Falcons organization. He is a dear friend and will be missed within our organization. We are continuing to assess the structure within our organization and move forward with our next steps,” Dimitroff said.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger’s rally stalls

Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger's rally stalls

Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger’s rally stalls

Defending champion Brooks Koepka fired a 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab the early lead in the first round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Beginning on the back nine of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Koepka’s bogey-free round started with a birdie on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to serve early notice as he attempts to become the first player since World War II to win his first four majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the 7,459-yard, Par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added two more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods parred from just off the back to complete his 2-over round of 72.

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par. In his last six rounds in the PGA Championship — all in the 60s — Koepka is a combined 25-under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens.

NOTES: Koepka finished two shots ahead of Woods at last year’s PGA Championship. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … Jordan Spieth is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. None of the previous five completed it at the PGA Championship. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka fires course record as Tiger’s rally stalls at PGA

Koepka fires course record as Tiger's rally stalls at PGA

Koepka fires course record as Tiger’s rally stalls at PGA

Defending champion Brooks Koepka fired a course-record 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab the early lead in the first round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Beginning on the back nine of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Koepka’s bogey-free round started with a birdie on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to serve early notice as he attempts to become the first player since World War II to win his first four majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the 7,459-yard, Par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole – his first at a PGA Championship since 2001 – to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added two more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods parred from just off the back to complete his 2-over round of 72.

“I drove the ball pretty well today, and the key is you’ve got to put it in the fairway here if you want to put it on the green,” Koepka told TNT. “If you put it in the rough all day, you’re going to be laying up and really trying to scramble for pars.

“Did a good job there, and my iron play was solid, hit a lot of greens. And if I didn’t, I left it in the correct place to get up and down. And then, my putter was hot today, I’m not going to lie. It hasn’t felt that good in a long time.”

Koepka finished the morning wave four shots clear of England’s Tommy Fleetwood (3 under), with Luke List, Chez Reavie and France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera another shot off the pace.

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens. He’ll need a solid round Friday just to make the cut.

“I got off to just not the best start today,” Woods told TNT. “Fought my way back in the round there, but unfortunately let a couple slip away at the end with some bad putts.

“Making two double bogeys and making two three-putts wasn’t very clean today, and consequently I’m a long way back.”

If Woods can take any positive away from Thursday, it may be the fact that the past four PGA champions were outside of the top 10 after the first round. On the flip side, he is chasing a man in Koepka who has posted six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the PGA Championship while shooting a combined 25-under par.

The scary part for the rest of the field is Koepka believes he still left some shots out on the course.

“This is a crazy day,” he acknowledged. “Seven under isn’t going to happen every day, I know that. I parred two par-5s and missed about a five-footer on No. 11, so it could have been a helluva round.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was great. I’ll take it every day, but just need to clean a few things up.”

Other notable scores from the morning wave included Rickie Fowler (1 under), Xander Schauffele and England’s Justin Rose (even), Patrick Reed and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (4 over) and Bubba Watson (6 over).

NOTES: Koepka finished two shots ahead of Woods at last year’s PGA Championship. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … Jordan Spieth is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. None of the previous five completed it at the PGA Championship. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the

Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, ESPN reported.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first team All-Pro honors three times.

He would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

First-round draft

Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts Thursday with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both players signed four-year deals, and Williams’ contract contains a team option for a fifth year. Financial terms were not announced.

The No. 11 overall selection, Williams, an offensive tackle, played 44 games for the Crimson Tide and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018.

Sample, a 6-foot-5 tight end, played four seasons at Washington and caught 46 passes for 487 yards and five touchdowns. The No. 52 overall selection, Sample caught 25 passes for 252 yards and three scores in his senior season.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt, selected in the third round, and quarterback Ryan Finley, a fourth-round pick, are the only players among the Bengals’ 10 draftees to remain unsigned. Both played at North Carolina State.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Outside

Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots on Thursday after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the Patriots made room by releasing second-year defensive tackle Frank Herron.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015, racking up 89 tackles (eight for loss), 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and six passes defensed in just 12 games.

In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed.

After missing 10 games to injury in 2017, Collins played in all 16 for the first time in his career last year, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

Collins will be coached by a former teammate, as he played alongside Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo from 2013-15.

He adds experience and depth to a strong linebacker corps that includes Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and 2018 fifth-rounder Ja’Whaun Bentley.

Herron, 24, joined the Patriots in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of LSU. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad before joining the Patriots’ practice squad on Oct. 8, where he stayed for the duration of the campaign. He has not appeared in a regular-season game.

–Field Level Media

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Giants sign CB Ballentine

Giants sign CB Ballentine

Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York

Giants sign CB Ballentine

Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York Giants.

The Giants announced the signing on Thursday.

Ballentine is participating in meetings and classroom work with the other rookies while he continues his rehabilitation from injuries he suffered when he was shot on the night he was drafted.

He was shot in the backside on April 28 in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that claimed the life of Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons.

Ballentine missed New York’s rookie minicamp from May 3-5. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to mourn the loss of his best friend, whose funeral took place on May 4.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings TE Rudolph won’t take pay cut

Vikings TE Rudolph won't take pay cut

Vikings

Vikings TE Rudolph won’t take pay cut

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota.

“No I won’t, I am too young for that,” the 29-year-old told the Star-Tribune in a story published Thursday.

Rudolph, the subject of trade rumors and reported broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, said he is hoping to find a way to stay with the team.

“I am really excited about where this offense is headed, under the guidance of (offensive coordinator) Kevin Stefanski, with the influence of (assistant head coach) Gary Kubiak. I am extremely excited about our offensive staff,” Rudolph said. “I think we have the best offensive staff in football and they’re going to put our guys in great situations to be successful.”

Rudolph has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

Minnesota drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith in the second round as a potential replacement.

Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has spent his eight-year NFL career in Minnesota, catching 386 passes for 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns. He had 64 receptions for 634 yards and four scores last season.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: New Jets boss Gase trades Lee to Chiefs

Reports: New Jets boss Gase trades Lee to Chiefs

Reports: New Jets boss Gase trades Lee to Chiefs

A busy day for the New York Jets wasn’t limited to the front office. And the drama spilled over to social media.

Hours after the team fired general manager Mike Maccagnan and named head coach Adam Gase his temporary replacement on Wednesday, Gase traded linebacker Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs, multiple outlets reported.

According to the reports, New York received a 2020 sixth-round pick in return.

Maccagnan selected Lee in the first round (20th overall) in 2016. The former Ohio State star struggled in his first two seasons, but had three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and 74 tackles in 12 games (all starts) in 2018. However, his season was cut short when he received a four-game ban for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The Jets declined his fifth-year option and signed free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley to a five-year, $85 million contract in the offseason, all but assuring Lee’s days in New York were numbered.

When the man who drafted him was no longer in power, his number was up.

But in the hours between Maccagnan’s firing and Lee’s exit, Lee tweeted “Good Afternoon everybody!” with a rosy cheek emoji, believed to be an indication of his happiness at Maccagnan’s departure.

The 24-year-old soon deleted the tweet, though screen grabs were caught before it was gone.

The Jets hired Gase in January, shortly after Miami fired the 41-year-old after three seasons and a 23-25 record.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Patriots bring back former LB Collins

Reports: Patriots bring back former LB Collins

Reports: Patriots bring back former LB Collins

The New England Patriots have agreed to bring back former linebacker Jamie Collins, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.

Contract terms have yet to be reported. NFL Network reported earlier Wednesday the sides were in talks about a deal.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with New England before being dealt to the Cleveland Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland gave Collins a four-year, $50 million extension in January of 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots took Collins in the second round of the 2013 draft, and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl 2015 campaign, when he racked up 89 tackles (eight for loss), 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and six passes defensed in just 12 games.

In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed.

After missing 10 games to injury in 2017, Collins played in all 16 for the first time in his career last year, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

Collins will now be coached by a former teammate, as he played alongside current inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo from 2013-15.

–Field Level Media

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