Bengals-Falcons Stats

Cincinnati 14 14 0 9—37
Atlanta 7 17 3 9—36
First Quarter

Atl_Smith 7 run (Bryant kick), 10:27.

Cin_Eifert 15 pass from Dalton (Bullock kick), 7:23.

Cin_Bernard 10 run (Bullock kick), :12.

Second Quarter

Atl_Paulsen 17 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 11:03.

Cin_Ross 39 pass from Dalton (Bullock kick), 8:11.

Atl_Ridley 11 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 2:55.

Cin_Bernard 1 run (Bullock kick), :44.

Atl_FG Bryant 55, :00.

Third Quarter

Atl_FG Bryant 28, 11:22.

Fourth Quarter

Atl_Ridley 30 pass from Ryan (pass failed), 14:25.

Cin_FG Bullock 36, 8:19.

Atl_FG Bryant 32, 4:15.

Cin_Green 13 pass from Dalton (pass failed), :07.

A_71,985.

___

Cin Atl
First downs 30 25
Total Net Yards 407 495
Rushes-yards 23-99 24-92
Passing 308 403
Punt Returns 1-13 0-0
Kickoff Returns 2-82 4-95
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-23
Comp-Att-Int 29-41-1 29-39-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 3-29 3-16
Punts 2-15.5 1-41.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-55 10-95
Time of Possession 30:38 29:22

___

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_Cincinnati, Bernard 15-69, Dalton 2-13, Walton 5-9, Erickson 1-8. Atlanta, Coleman 14-51, Smith 7-35, Ryan 2-5, Ridley 1-1.

PASSING_Cincinnati, Dalton 29-41-1-337. Atlanta, Ryan 29-39-0-419.

RECEIVING_Cincinnati, Boyd 11-100, Green 4-78, Eifert 4-38, Bernard 4-27, Ross 2-52, Walton 2-28, Erickson 1-8, Uzomah 1-6. Atlanta, Jones 9-173, Sanu 6-111, Ridley 4-54, Coleman 3-26, Smith 3-13, Hooper 1-19, Paulsen 1-17, Hardy 1-4, Hall 1-2.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_None.

WR Beckham praises Browns, disses Giants in Twitter rant

WR Beckham praises Browns, disses Giants in Twitter rant

Odell

WR Beckham praises Browns, disses Giants in Twitter rant

Odell Beckham Jr. is happy as a member of the Cleveland Browns and glad to have left behind the New York Giants.

That’s what he said in a Twitter storm Monday night, seemingly set off by a user who called him a “cancer” with the Giants.

“Ask any one of my teammates of who I was as a teammates and a man and a person…. yes I’m cancer to a place that’s ok wit losing because I want to win that BADDD. Ur absolutely correct !” Beckham wrote.

The Giants traded the 26-year-old Pro Bowl receiver in March, one season into a five-year, $95 million contract extension he signed last August. In return, the Giants received first- and third-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers.

New York general manager Dave Gettleman recently was quoted on NJ.com as saying the Giants had a culture problem that now has turned around. Beckham apparently took that as a direct swipe and referenced comments Gettleman had made when rumors of a trade started to circulate.

“We didn’t sign him to trade him…” you don’t get married to get a divorce …” Beckham wrote, mimicking what Gettleman said. “I tried my best , the situation I had been in since I got there never changed … we were still losing. PERIOD… money doesn’t bring happiness brotha… remember that”

Cleveland, apparently, has brought happiness. Beckham said he’s ready to give his all to the Browns, who have their own culture of losing. They haven’t had a winning season since 2007, and their last playoff appearance came after the 2002 season.

“Cleveland is my home now,” he wrote. “Trust me I’m comin wit a bag fulll of energy, I want to win. Period. Im right where God wanted me to be. Let’s have some fun!”

He continued in a subsequent tweet:

“I’ve never been in a place so happy in my life, my soul, my spirit, is at an all time high!! Say what u want, there is NOOOO bringin me down .. PERIOD”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Chargers pick up DE Bosa’s option

Reports: Chargers pick up DE Bosa's option

Reports: Chargers pick up DE Bosa’s option

The Los Angeles Chargers picked up the fifth-year option on defensive end Joey Bosa, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Bosa, 23, was the Chargers’ first-round pick — No. 3 overall — in the 2016 NFL Draft.

He’s entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, which will pay him a base salary of $720,000 plus a roster bonus of $3.26 million. The 2020 option will pay him $14.36 million.

Injuries limited Bosa to seven games in 2018. In his first three seasons in the NFL, he played in 35 games (33 starts), and he posted 134 tackles (35 for loss), 28.5 sacks and 51 quarterback hits.

His brother, Nick, is expected to be one of the first five players chosen Thursday night in the NFL draft.

–Field Level Media

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RB Stewart retires with Panthers after 11 seasons

RB Stewart retires with Panthers after 11 seasons

Longtime Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart

RB Stewart retires with Panthers after 11 seasons

Longtime Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of his old team on Tuesday, ending an 11-year NFL career.

“Thank you @panthers for 10 amazing seasons and bringing me to this place that I now call home,” Stewart said, according to the team’s Twitter account. “Keep Pounding!!!”

Stewart, 32, was released by the New York Giants in February after playing in just three games last season before a season-ending foot injury, finishing with six carries for 17 yards.

Drafted 13th overall by Carolina in 2008, Stewart spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Panthers, carrying 1,699 times for 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. The first two figures are franchise records, while he trails only Cam Newton (58) in rushing touchdowns.

Stewart earned his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2015, when he totaled 989 rushing yards and six scores as Carolina went 15-1 and reached Super Bowl 50, where he scored the Panthers’ only touchdown in a loss to the Denver Broncos. He topped 1,000 yards in 2009, hitting 1,133 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns with a career-high 5.1 yards per carry.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ex-Michigan DE Gary has shoulder issue

Report: Ex-Michigan DE Gary has shoulder issue

Former Michigan defensive end

Report: Ex-Michigan DE Gary has shoulder issue

Former Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary had his shoulder flagged during pre-draft physicals because of a labral tear, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

According to the report, it is believed Gary can play the 2019 season and have the tear repaired afterward, but it likely will need to be managed or harnessed during the year.

Gary has been labeled as one of the draft’s more polarizing players, an extremely gifted athlete — he ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4, 277 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine — whose production underwhelmed in college.

After totaling 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in 13 games in 2017, Gary was limited to 3.5 and 6.5, respectively, in nine games as a junior before declaring for the draft.

Once considered a possible top-five selection, most projections have Gary in the latter part of the top 10 or top 15. He is the sixth overall player in FLM”s prospect rankings and the second-ranked defensive end behind Ohio State product Nick Bosa.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos LB Miller won’t be charged for catching shark

Broncos LB Miller won't be charged for catching shark

Broncos LB Miller won’t be charged for catching shark

Denver Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller will not be prosecuted for catching a hammerhead shark in Florida last April, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

The owner and operator of the boat Miller was on, however, will be charged with failing to properly release a shark and for shark fishing without a permit.

Miller, 30, is an avid outdoorsman.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched an investigation last year after posts on social media showed Miller posing with a 9 1/2-foot hammerhead shark during the fishing trip.

Photos and videos of Miller with the shark, its head bloodied and lying on the floor of the boat, caught the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which said at the time it sought to “ensure that Miller is held accountable if killing this animal was, as we suspect, illegal.”

Miller was part of a guided excursion that was not fishing for sharks during the trip off the coast of Miami. The surprise catch was said to be released after the photo was taken.

Miller defended his actions.

“I went fishing. Everybody knows that I hunt and fish. It’s what I do. But I also believe in conservation. I’m not just out there going crazy,” he said last season at the Broncos’ offseason program. “We followed the rules. I did everything I was supposed to do.”

–Field Level Media

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VP Williams: Redskins looking hard at quarterbacks

VP Williams: Redskins looking hard at quarterbacks

VP Williams: Redskins looking hard at quarterbacks

Washington Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams made it clear on Monday that the team is still seeking an upgrade at quarterback after trading for Case Keenum last month.

The Redskins, who hold the 15th pick in Thursday’s first round, have been connected to some of the draft’s top quarterback prospects and also to Josh Rosen, whom the Arizona Cardinals could trade if they draft Kyler Murray first overall.

“Case has done a good job over the last couple of years where he’s been, and you know, we needed a quarterback and was able to trade for Case,” Williams told reporters. “But that does not put us out of the realm of picking a quarterback if there’s one there that we like at 15. We don’t know who’s going to be there at 15. We’ve got some guys we do like, and if those guys are there, that’s the discussion that has to be had.

“I’m sure that would come up as a possibility that would happen, with a lot of other players in this draft that could help us. We’ll look at it from that standpoint too. It all depends on the board. Who’s highest on the board at that particular time? If that quarterback is the highest, then we’ve got to pick him. Nine out of 10, it’s going to be the quarterback [if he’s the highest-rated]. But if it’s not, that’s a discussion.”

Washington visited with three of the four consensus top quarterbacks — Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones — while Murray canceled his visit to D.C. The Redskins have also met with Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson.

Washington acquired Keenum from the Broncos in March for a swap of sixth- and seventh-round picks, with the Broncos contributing a portion of Keenum’s salary. He is due just $3.5 million this season.

The Redskins also have Colt McCoy. Incumbent starter Alex Smith’s future is in doubt after he sustained a compound fracture in his leg last year and had multiple surgeries to deal with complications.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons DT Jarrett signs franchise tender

Falcons DT Jarrett signs franchise tender

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady

Falcons DT Jarrett signs franchise tender

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett signed his franchise tender on Monday, locking in a one-year, $15,209,000 salary for 2019.

The team has been vocal about its intentions to sign Jarrett to a long-term deal, which the sides have until July 15 to negotiate. If no extension is agreed upon, he will play out 2019 on the tag.

“Jarrett is obviously our priority,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff told the reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. “Hopefully that is done sooner rather than later.”

Jarrett, a fifth-round pick in 2015 who turns 26 next week, was ranked the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades. He completed his budget-friendly, four-year rookie deal valued at $2,527,853.

He had 52 tackles and six sacks last season.

The Falcons also announced the signing of free agent safety J.J. Wilcox, who spent 2018 with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

Wilcox, 28, played in seven games between the two teams last season, logging a total of 63 defensive snaps and making seven tackles.

The six-year veteran has 233 tackles, 16 pass break-ups and six interceptions in 77 games (39 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Wilson gifts O-line teammates $12K in Amazon stock

Wilson gifts O-line teammates $12K in Amazon stock

Wilson gifts O-line teammates $12K in Amazon stock

A week after Russell Wilson agreed to his four-year, $140 million deal with the Seahawks, he reportedly decided to share the wealth with the Seattle offensive linemen, gifting them each $12,000 in Amazon stock.

Each of Wilson’s 13 lineman reportedly received a letter with the gift, expressing his gratitude and hopes that the gift would help them “prepare for life after football.”

“You sacrifice your physical and mental well-being to protect me, which in turn allows me to provide and care for my family. This does not go unnoticed and it is never forgotten,” he wrote in a letter first published Monday by TMZ.

“When I sat down to think of ways to honor your dedication, a dozen different ideas came to mind,” the letter continued. “Some were flashy, some were cool. But I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact. Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children. …

“You have invested in my life … this is my investment into yours.”

The grand total came to $156,000, which TMZ reports Wilson paid with a credit card.

Last week, 30-year-old Wilson signed an extension with the Seahawks that made him the highest-paid player in the league.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys C Frederick feels ‘really good’ in recovery

Cowboys C Frederick feels 'really good' in recovery

Dallas Cowboys center Travis

Cowboys C Frederick feels ‘really good’ in recovery

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick is happy with his progress so far in his recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome as he attempts to return this season after missing all of 2018.

Frederick has been participating in the team’s offseason workouts this month, his first activity with the team since being diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disorder during training camp last year.

“We eased kind of back into that to make sure that everything’s healthy and stable before we start going heavy, but as far as on-the-field stuff, I’m doing almost everything,” Frederick said Saturday at a radio station’s event, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

He added, “For the most part, I feel really good. We won’t know until I get out there and put the pads on and take my first rep whether or not it’s going to go well.”

Frederick added it’s been difficult to gauge his progress because he hasn’t been bench-pressing or squatting in the weight room, as he also is recovering from hernia surgery.

He told reporters he had never heard of the illness — in which the body’s immune system attacks nerves — before he was diagnosed. He said it also took doctors awhile to figure out the cause of his symptoms, which included stingers and numbness in his toes or hands.

“There were a lot of things thrown out over the course of time,” Frederick said. “It behaves a lot like M.S. It behaves a lot like polio, West Nile. A lot of things as you do more tests you rule those out. There is not a test that says this is what it is. It’s a combination of the symptoms and ruling out all of those things.”

Frederick also said the thought crossed his mind that he might never play again.

“But once the improvement started, and it happened at such an impressive rate,” he added, “it makes you think, ‘OK, maybe there is a chance here.’ And if it continues at this rate, I don’t see any reason why I can’t be back to 100 percent.”

Frederick, 28, has been with the Cowboys since they drafted him in the first round out of Wisconsin in 2013. He started all 80 regular-season games and three playoff games in his first five seasons, earning four Pro Bowl selections and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Cardinals reportedly fielding offers for top pick

NFL notebook: Cardinals reportedly fielding offers for top pick

NFL notebook: Cardinals reportedly fielding offers for top pick

The Arizona Cardinals still haven’t tipped their hand as to how they’ll use the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday, and teams continue to inquire about a trade, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

He also said general manager Steve Keim, coach Kliff Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill have a final meeting scheduled to make a decision.

The assumption is Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy and led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff in 2018. Reports over the weekend surfaced that the Cardinals plan to keep Josh Rosen at quarterback and draft a difference-maker on defense.

CBS Sports columnist Pete Prisco reported that Bidwill wanted the team to take Murray, but that has changed. “Now all of a sudden they’re pulling back and, from what I have been told, they’re going to go in a different direction,” Prisco said. “They’re not going to draft Kyler Murray.”

–Washington Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams made it clear that the team is still seeking an upgrade at quarterback after trading for Case Keenum last month.

The Redskins, who hold the 15th pick in Thursday’s first round, have been connected to some of the draft’s top quarterback prospects and also to Rosen, whom the Cardinals could trade if they draft Murray.

“Case has done a good job over the last couple of years where he’s been, and you know, we needed a quarterback and was able to trade for Case,” Williams told reporters. “But that does not put us out of the realm of picking a quarterback if there’s one there that we like at 15. We don’t know who’s going to be there at 15. We’ve got some guys we do like, and if those guys are there, that’s the discussion that has to be had.”

–Peyton Manning will not join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast team this season, Sporting News reported.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback met with network executives last month in Denver about replacing Jason Witten, who has returned to the Dallas Cowboys after one season in the booth.

But Manning is reluctant to comment on games while his younger brother, Eli, is still playing, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Eli’s New York Giants have two Monday night games scheduled in 2019.

–Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb clarified his recent comments about current Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

“For those of you who misread, didn’t understand, were confused or just didn’t like my comments let me clarify it for you,” McNabb wrote on Twitter. “Let me start by saying there’s no beef, riff or ill-will toward (Wentz) or the @Eagles. My comments were strictly based off of experience and understanding of how the business of football works.”

McNabb said on Saturday the team should consider drafting another quarterback if Wentz doesn’t take the Eagles beyond the second round of the playoffs within “two years or so.”

–A week after Russell Wilson agreed to his four-year, $140 million deal with the Seahawks, he reportedly decided to share the wealth with the Seattle offensive linemen, gifting them each $12,000 in Amazon stock.

Each of Wilson’s 13 linemen reportedly received a letter with the gift, expressing his gratitude and hopes that the gift would help them “prepare for life after football.”

“You sacrifice your physical and mental well-being to protect me, which in turn allows me to provide and care for my family. This does not go unnoticed and it is never forgotten,” he wrote in a letter first published by TMZ.

–Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett signed his franchise tender on Monday, locking in a one-year, $15,209,000 salary for 2019.

The team has been vocal about its intentions to sign Jarrett to a long-term deal, which the sides have until July 15 to negotiate. If no extension is agreed upon, he will play out 2019 on the tag.

The Falcons also announced the signing of free agent safety J.J. Wilcox, who spent 2018 with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.

–The Green Bay Packers intend to exercise their fifth-year option, expected to be worth about $8 million, on defensive tackle Kenny Clark for the 2020 season.

General manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed that plan to reporters, although the team has until a May 3 deadline to make the move official.

–Buffalo signed free agent running back T.J. Yeldon to a two-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Yeldon, 25, had 414 rushing yards and one touchdown with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.

–The Denver Broncos signed defensive linemen Billy Winn and Mike Purcell, along with offensive lineman Jake Rodgers.

Winn was out of the league last year after missing all of 2017 with a knee injury. He had 19 tackles for Denver in 2016.

–Field Level Media

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Ex-caddie: Tiger’s comeback ‘an incredible story’

Ex-caddie: Tiger's comeback 'an incredible story'

Ex-caddie: Tiger’s comeback ‘an incredible story’

Steve Williams, who caddied for Tiger Woods for 13 years, was as transfixed as any observer when his former employer made a run to his fifth Masters title earlier this month.

Williams, who retired to his native New Zealand in 2017, told ESPN in a story published Monday that he hadn’t watched any golf on television since retirement — until Woods was making a run on Sunday at Augusta. Williams said he tuned in from New Zealand — where it was around 5 a.m. on Monday — as the final grouping was reaching the 15th hole.

Woods went on to birdie that hole and take the outright lead for good, while Italy’s Francesco Molinari double-bogeyed and fell out of contention.

“Given the fact that two years ago, he stated that he was unlikely to play competitive golf again, or was seriously doubting it … he wouldn’t just say that in jest,” Williams told ESPN of Woods, who made his return to the tour last year after a fourth back surgery. “There would have been a lot of truth to it. For him to actually come back full cycle to win a major championship … it’s just an incredible story.

“It’s an amazing achievement of pure guts and hard work for him and just a true indication of what he is made of. It proves again what an amazing athlete he is. It’s just an amazing achievement.”

Williams, 55, became Woods’ caddie in 1999 and remained on the bag until Woods fired him in July of 2011, covering a span of 13 of Woods’ 14 major victories to that point. Joe LaCava has caddied for Woods since.

Williams, who had caddied for Adam Scott while Woods was away from the tour, joined Scott regularly from 2011 until September of 2017. Scott won the 2013 Masters with Williams.

After seeing Woods claim the 15th major of his career and his first since 2008, Williams touted how strongly the achievement will impact the sport.

“You look at it from a broader perspective,” Williams said. “Here in New Zealand, golf is somewhat struggling. The number of rounds is down, junior numbers are slipping. Now that Tiger has come right back there again, winning a major championship, possibly putting Jack’s (Nicklaus) record (of 18 career major wins) in play again … it just re-energizes the game.

“It’s absolutely awesome. He’s the only guy who can energize the game like that. All those kids who were watching had to think it was fantastic. And so what he’s done is a remarkable achievement. It’s so positive.”

–Field Level Media

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Packers to exercise DT Clark’s option for 2020

Packers to exercise DT Clark's option for 2020

Packers to exercise DT Clark’s option for 2020

The Green Bay Packers intend to exercise their fifth-year option on defensive tackle Kenny Clark for the 2020 season.

General manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed that plan to reporters on Monday, although the team has until a May 3 deadline to make the move official.

The option is expected to be worth around $8 million in 2020. The first four years of Clark’s rookie deal are worth $9.4 million, including a $1.7 million base salary in 2019.

The Packers’ first-round draft pick (27th overall) in 2016, Clark registered 55 tackles and a career-high 6.0 sacks in 13 games in his third NFL season in 2018. He was ranked as the No. 9 interior lineman in the NFL by Pro Football Focus at the time he was placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury in mid-December.

Clark, 23, has 131 tackles, 10.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries in 44 career games (30 starts).

–Field Level Media

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McNabb clarifies words on Eagles QB Wentz

McNabb clarifies words on Eagles QB Wentz

McNabb clarifies words on Eagles QB Wentz

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb clarified his recent comments about current Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on Monday, after taking criticism from the team’s right tackle, Lane Johnson, on Sunday.

“For those of you who misread, didn’t understand, were confused or just didn’t like my comments let me clarify it for you,” McNabb wrote on Twitter. “Let me start by saying there’s no beef, riff or ill-will toward [Wentz] or the @Eagles. My comments were strictly based off of experience and understanding of how the business of football works.

“You are consistently evaluated everyday, every game and if you are reliable and or healthy enough to play. I know at times as players and fans it can be confusing to move on from a beloved player but due to the business of health and trust tough decisions are usually made.

“Maybe people just didn’t like it because it’s coming from me or I answered a question from one of the talents on the radio the way you didn’t agree with. If that’s how you feel I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s the nature of the game.”

McNabb said Saturday on CBS Sports Radio that the Eagles should consider drafting another quarterback if they don’t get past the second round of the playoffs with Wentz in the next “two years or so.” He referenced Nick Foles’ success in Philadelphia and added of Wentz, “He hasn’t really proven to me, besides the year before he got hurt [when] he was, really, an MVP candidate. He needs to get back to that moment.”

Johnson responded to McNabb on Twitter with several snake emojis and the words, “and you wonder why nobody respects you when you come back!!!!”

Johnson later went on 94WIP radio to expand on those thoughts, referencing former Eagles players who are critical of current players.

“Every training camp we have all of these ex-players come and shake our hands, wish us good luck,” Johnson said. “Then they just go out and just talk hate. I feel there is a lot of envy, jealousy, and I see a lot of fakery. It isn’t just me — a lot of other teammates see it too.

“You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself.”

Wentz, 26, earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 2017 and was an MVP candidate before tearing his ACL late in the season. He also finished last year on the sidelines with a back injury. Foles led the team to playoff wins in both years, including a Super Bowl LII title after the 2017 season, before leaving for Jacksonville in free agency this March.

McNabb, 42, went to six Pro Bowls in 11 seasons with the Eagles, finishing as the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yardage (32,873) and touchdowns (216).

–Field Level Media

Read More 441 Words

Take 5: NFL draft props to play Thursday

Take 5: NFL draft props to play Thursday

Field Level Media analyzed dozens

Take 5: NFL draft props to play Thursday

Field Level Media analyzed dozens of prop bets offered by numerous sportsbooks, searching for the best odds and most likely moneymakers.

We’ve ranked the top five in descending order below, starting off with a dark horse that could pay big, a parlay worthy of a party and finishing with as sure a thing as the 2019 NFL draft has to offer.

5. First wide receiver drafted – FanDuel.com

FanDuel has 15 different NFL draft prop bets currently listed, including old standbys — Who Will Be The First (or Second) Pick; First Player Drafted at several different positions.

As for the wide receiver most likely to be the first drafted, Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf is listed as the favorite at -175, meaning that bettors would have to bet $175 to win $100.

Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown (+210) and Metcalf’s teammate at Ole Miss, A.J. Brown (+1000) are riskier but pay better. For those willing to roll the dice, consider Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, a 6-0, 205-pound Percy Harvin-like big-play specialist who at +5000 could make bettors rich even faster than the 4.31 second 40-yard dash he ran at the Combine. A measly $10 bet on Campbell – a late-rising prospect who was one of three receivers (along with Metcalf and Brown) listed in my latest mock draft – would net a $500 profit.

4. Kyler Murray Goes No. 1 – PointsBet.com

Many sportsbooks list Murray as the prohibitive favorite to be the top pick at -1000. A $1,000 bet would win $100. A thousand is the operative number for PointsBet.com, however, as the New Jersey-based online book is offering a +100 special to the first 1,000 bettors. As long as Cardinals general manager Steve Keim feels as strongly about Murray as his new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, this feels like easy money.

3. Number of Defensive Players Drafted in Round One – MyBookie.ag

You have heard by now that this year’s draft is loaded with defense, particularly along the defensive line. Two-time NFL general manager Scot McCloughan characterized the 2019 crop as the best defensive line class he’d ever seen in 25-plus years in scouting.

I expect multiple off-ball linebackers (specifically Devin White and Devin Bush) and a handful of defensive backs to join the historic defensive line class in earning first-round selections. MyBookie.ag offers several intriguing wagers but its over-under breakdown of defensive (16.5) and offensive players (15.5) is especially tantalizing.

You’ll need to invest a little to win, but at -150, take the over on defensive players or Under on Offensive Players and laugh all the way to the bank. Just don’t think you can get away with parlaying the two – I already asked.

2. ACC+Big Ten Players Drafted in Round One with possible SEC parlay – WilliamHill.us

If parlaying bets is your kind of party, check out the list of wagers available at WilliamHill.us, which offers online betting as well as walk-in sports books in Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia in the contiguous United States. First, for a reasonable gamble of -145, you can bet that at least 11.5 ACC and Big Ten players are selected in the first round.

That’s a steal.

I would be very surprised if these 12 players, in projected order, are not among the top 32 picks: Nick Bosa, Rashan Gary, Dwayne Haskins, Clelin Ferrell, T.J. Hockenson, Devin Bush, Brian Burns, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Daniel Jones, Garrett Bradbury and Noah Fant. And with a few other worthy candidates (Parris Campbell, Justin Layne, Chris Lindstrom, Amani Hooker, Juan Thornhill, etc.) having realistic shots at jumping into the mix, your risk is ready to become reward.

Parlay-seeking bettors might want to combine this bet with another on SEC prospects.

WilliamHill has the over-under on SEC players drafted in the first round at 12.5 with even odds on the over and -120 on the under. I see this as a riskier bet than the ACC and Big Ten combo but would take the over with 13 former SEC stars making my latest first-round mock (in projected order Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, Devin White, Montez Sweat, Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams, Greedy Williams, D.K. Metcalf, Johnathan Abram, Deandre Baker, Jeffery Simmons, Josh Jacobs and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson) and several other worthy candidates capable of sneaking in, including A.J. Brown, Greg Little, Lonnie Johnson, Deebo Samuel and Elgton Jenkins.

1. Team (Denver Broncos) to Draft Player (Missouri QB Drew Lock) – DraftKings.com

A more accomplished NFL draft analyst than a sports betting guru, my comfort level is greater in projecting an individual player to a specific team (and not just the first or second overall pick).

I had a lot of success with it a year ago at the quarterback position, correctly forecasting all five first-round passers to their correct NFL teams. I love the fit with Lock in Denver and apparently so does DraftKings.com, listing the Broncos as the strong favorite to land the SEC’s all-time single-season touchdown leader with odds at +275 with the Redskins coming in second at +400.

–By Rob Rang, Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals field trade offers, to meet about No.1 pick

Report: Cardinals field trade offers, to meet about No.1 pick

Report: Cardinals field trade offers, to meet about No.1 pick

The Arizona Cardinals still haven’t tipped their hand as to how they’ll use the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday, and teams continue to inquire about a trade, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

He also said general manager Steve Keim, coach Kliff Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill have a final meeting scheduled to make a decision.

The assumption is Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy and led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff in 2018. Reports over the weekend surfaced that the Cardinals plan to keep Josh Rosen at quarterback and draft a difference-maker on defense.

CBS Sports columnist Pete Prisco reported that Bidwell wanted the team to take Murray, but that has changed.

“Initially, the ownership pushed for Kyler Murray,” he said. “They were having a hard time selling tickets. They put it out there, Arizona was lukewarm to it, so now all of a sudden they’re pulling back and, from what I have been told, they’re going to go in a different direction.

“They’re not going to draft Kyler Murray.”

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said the team was undecided last week during a pre-draft news conference.

“We are not done with this process,” Keim told reporters last Tuesday. “There are a number of players in my opinion and our scouts’ opinions and our coaching staff’s opinion that warrant being the first overall selection.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Peyton Manning will not join ‘MNF’ booth

Report: Peyton Manning will not join 'MNF' booth

Peyton Manning

Report: Peyton Manning will not join ‘MNF’ booth

Peyton Manning will not join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast team this season, Sporting News reported Monday.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback met with network executives last month in Denver about replacing Jason Witten, who has returned to the Dallas Cowboys after one season in the booth.

But Manning is reluctant to comment on games while his younger brother, Eli, is still playing, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Eli’s New York Giants have two Monday night games scheduled in 2019.

Manning, 43, retired after leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl win in 2016. Instead of joining ESPN as an analyst, he will host a 30-episode football documentary series called “Peyton’s Places,” set to debut on ESPN+ in July.

–Field Level Media

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Pan vaults to No. 55; Bjerregaard to play on PGA Tour

Pan vaults to No. 55; Bjerregaard to play on PGA Tour

Pan vaults to No. 55; Bjerregaard to play on PGA Tour

The benefits from C.T. Pan’s first career PGA Tour victory continued to roll in Monday, as the Taiwanese golfer rocketed up 58 spots to a career-high No. 55 in the official world golf rankings.

In addition to a two-year Tour exemption and a spot in this year’s PGA Championship and the 2019 Players Championship and Masters, Pan is now close to qualifying for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in July, where the top 50 players in the OWGR receive automatic invitations.

Third-round leader Dustin Johnson shot a 77 on Sunday to drop into a tie for 28th at the RBC Heritage, but retained the No. 1 spot over England’s Justin Rose as there was no movement in the top 10. They are followed by Brooks Koepka, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

Jordan Spieth continued his slide, falling another spot to No. 35 after tying for 54th in Hilton Head, S.C.

No OWGR points will be awarded at this week’s Zurich Classic, which is a team event.

Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, who took a week off following four events in a five-week stretch, dropped one spot to No. 44. However, the PGA Tour announced that he has accepted Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Bjerregaard beat Woods in the quarterfinals before finishing fourth at last month’s WGC-Match Play. He is now eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season as he attempts to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2019-20 season through the Non-Member FedExCup Points List.

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick accepted a Special Temporary Membership earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

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RB Yeldon signs two-year deal with Bills

RB Yeldon signs two-year deal with Bills

RB Yeldon signs two-year deal with Bills

Buffalo signed free agent running back T.J. Yeldon to a two-year contract on Monday.

Terms of the deal with the Bills were not announced.

Yeldon, 25, was a second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In 51 games (30 starts) with the Jaguars, Yeldon gained 1,872 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns. He also was valuable as a receiver, catching 171 passes for 1,302 yards and six scores.

Yeldon was criticized by Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars executive vice president of football operations, after the final game of the 2018 season. Coughlin called Yeldon and running back Leonard Fournette “selfish” and “disrespectful” for what he perceived as their lack of interest in the game, a 20-3 loss to the Texans that capped a disappointing 5-11 season.

With Yeldon, the Bills now have six running backs on the roster, including veterans Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy.

–Field Level Media

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Film Study: Best, worst of Murray and 2019 QB class

Film Study: Best, worst of Murray and 2019 QB class

Film Study: Best, worst of Murray and 2019 QB class

The 2019 quarterback class has a consensus top four, but all four bring wildly different styles, skill sets, strengths, weaknesses — and opinions from evaluators.

Let’s dig into the “wows” and the “red flags” for each, starting with the likely first overall pick.

Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Wow: Twitchiness as a thrower

His explosiveness as a runner is obvious, but Murray’s athleticism also translates seamlessly to his throwing ability. That sounds natural but is far from a given — just ask Blake Bortles or Paxton Lynch.

His sharp, active feet stay under him for balance but are always ready to move and reset for a new platform. Likewise, his arm is a whip that lashes out from any angle with a snappy release. Together, these tools help him throw extremely quickly from myriad positions with precision.

On the 10-yard touchdown against UCLA, Murray threw with just enough touch to get over the defensive line and the linebacker but also with enough zip to beat the cornerback. The ball placement was perfect. His tape is littered with throws like this.

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Murray’s twitchiness also helps him stay on schedule even when forced to move early. On long touchdowns against Iowa State and Alabama, he had to move immediately after his play-fake but quickly reset from an unnatural platform to flick a flawless deep ball. In both cases, he kept the play on time despite immediate pressure — had he taken any longer, like most QBs would, his receiver would be too far downfield to hit in stride.

More than ever before, NFL schemers excel at creating simple reads and open targets for their quarterbacks. In turn, getting the ball from Point A to Point B with zippy precision — even amid adverse conditions — is a tremendously valuable skill.

Red flag: Inconsistent field vision and pocket movement

Murray’s hair trigger is important, because he is often a beat late to identify open receivers (and sometimes overlooks them entirely). His eyes aren’t as quick as predecessor Baker Mayfield’s, and they pinball at times instead of reading smoothly through a progression. Whether because of his short stature, Murray fails to see open receivers now and then.

Linked to inconsistent vision is a lack of polished pocket movement. Leaning on his athleticism, Murray often defaults to juke-and-escape mode — dropping his eyes at times — upon seeing/feeling pressure, rather than stepping up or sliding. That instinct can pay off with big plays, but it cuts both ways.

Murray will overreact to perceived pressure at times and rush unnecessarily, as seen on a third-and-8 against Baylor and his lost fumble against Texas. On the former, he scanned right past his running back — wide open up the seam against an overmatched linebacker — and an open receiver near the sideline. He scrambled and took a hit short of the sticks.

Against Texas, Murray juked himself into pressure while holding the ball loosely with one hand (a consistent tendency), creating his own fumble despite no rusher threatening until after he moved.

On third-and-11 against Alabama, Murray did a better job stepping up calmly, but his head bounced from left to right to left and back right again. He failed to spot a coverage bust to his left or anticipate a crossing route opening from left to right before he was sacked.

These aren’t all easy plays to make, but they highlight issues that will be exposed more often in the NFL. Murray had mostly terrific protection at Oklahoma, and the offense featured several half-roll concepts that moved the pocket slightly, slowing down opposing rushers.

If placed behind a porous offensive line early in the NFL, Murray will avoid some sacks and create big plays. But it also could exacerbate these issues, encouraging him to abandon reads and escape rather than refining his pocket movement and vision.

–Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

Wow: Mental processing and field vision

A redshirt sophomore and one-year starter, Haskins’ lack of experience belies his advanced mental grasp of the game. Ohio State coordinator (now head coach) Ryan Day put a heavy burden on Haskins, shifting to more of a pro-style scheme with full-field progressions and asking him to set protections and change plays at the line of scrimmage.

Haskins rewarded him handsomely, showing quick eyes and processing, and finding targets late in the progression at a rate rarely seen from college quarterbacks.

These are high-level plays on obvious passing downs that many current NFL quarterbacks don’t make with regularity, but Haskins did so throughout 2018 and even more frequently late in the year.

The throw against Michigan State went to his fourth read, a backside dig, with perfect ball placement despite late pressure on second-and-14.

On third-and-7 against Northwestern, he stepped up smoothly from edge pressure — with both hands on the ball — before hitting his third read, throwing over a dropping D-lineman but with zip to beat the closing linebacker.

His touchdown against Washington was another fourth read. Haskins quickly eliminated covered routes to his right, scanned left — moving his feet with his eyes by sliding and stepping up — and layered a throw to the backside post on third-and-8. (Also notice, he signaled pre-snap to his slot receiver to run a hot route if the Huskies blitzed.)

Haskins also regularly uses subtle pump fakes and shoulder rolls to manipulate coverage, another high-level ability that some QBs never learn.

Recent history tells us the very best quarterbacks — Brady, Manning, Brees — win primarily with their minds. In just 14 career starts, Haskins has clearly shown the ability to do that.

Red flag: Response to pressure and inconsistent accuracy

Let your 16-year-old drive a Lamborghini long enough and he’s eventually going to crash it.

Day’s pro-style offense gave Haskins tremendous freedom, but it also allowed opponents to get more creative with blitzes, knowing they had time to get home as the quarterback went through full-field reads. TCU was the first to really stress Haskins with pressure, but he mostly responded well.

Penn State employed a similar blueprint with greater effectiveness, and Purdue and Michigan State followed suit, making Haskins uncomfortable and forcing misses or rushed decisions.

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Facing repeated pressure in those games, Haskins’ accuracy went missing for stretches, even amid a clean pocket at times. His feet got lazy — a tendency he often overcomes with his arm — and his delivery rushed, leading to ugly misses.

At times, Haskins broke down in the pocket before pressure arrived and dropped his eyes to scramble, like against Penn State.

These issues are common for quarterbacks when pressured repeatedly — and outside of those poor stretches, Haskins’ accuracy was mostly razor sharp — but he will have to adapt to minimize negative stretches.

Whoever drafts Haskins will hope he improves at setting protections and finding answers against blitzes, trusting his mental acuity to win out as he gains experience. He also must sharpen his footwork and maintain it when pressured.

If not, Haskins’ coaches will be forced to protect him more through scheme — in other words, keep the Lamborghini off the highway. Nobody wants that.

–Drew Lock, Missouri

Wow: Arm talent and release

You’ve heard about Lock’s cannon by now, but his flexibility and speedy release are as valuable — if not more so — than his pure arm strength.

He overuses the sidearm slot, but Lock can whip the ball from funky arm angles like few outside of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford. Combined with a lightning release, he can be deadly.

Most of those throws were on-schedule to the first or second read, but as he showed on third-and-12 against Oklahoma State, Lock can occasionally conjure brilliance from nothing late in the down.

His quick delivery is also a weapon against blitzing defenses. A four-year starter, Lock earned the authority to audible at the line and used quick flicks to beat the rush for third-down conversions or explosive gains.

Notice against Florida how Lock saw the nickel cornerback communicating with the safety, anticipated blitz and signaled for his slot wideout to run a quick hitch. (The wideout nearly ruined the play twice, by false starting — no call — and then bobbling the throw.)

Given Lock’s tools and level of experience, it’s no surprise NFL coaches want to work with him.

Red flag: Inconsistent field vision and skittish pocket movement

However, Lock doesn’t read the field as sharply as you’d expect from a four-year starter.

While he occasionally works deep into a progression, his offenses were built on either-or reads from 2015-17. Missouri’s attack expanded in 2018, but Lock produced shaky results, and he never fully mastered some simple designs.

Even when presented open receivers on basic reads, Lock failed to pull the trigger at times.

On third-and-6 against Arkansas (in 2017), Missouri’s post/wheel concept worked exactly as intended, springing the tight end — the primary read — wide open. Lock stared at it but didn’t throw, instead scrambling into pressure (and committing intentional grounding).

On third-and-4 against Alabama, Missouri ran a mesh concept with a wideout screening for the running back on intersecting crossers. The back came wide open, but Lock stared at the wideout (covered by three Tide defenders) and never saw the back.

Tied to Lock’s inconsistent vision — and perhaps more worrisome — is an extreme lack of pocket toughness.

That’s not to say Lock won’t take big hits; he makes some great throws on tape while getting clobbered. But he shows an extreme aversion to pressure, which short-circuits his reads and promotes dangerously undisciplined pocket movement.

Lock drifts and fades with alarming frequency, relying on back-foot throws, even when pressure is not close. He rarely showed the inclination to step up or slide within the pocket. That won’t fly in the NFL, where quarterbacks must step up to prevent easy angles for pass rushers.

By drifting deeper, Lock repeatedly gave edge rushers a shorter corner to turn, hanging his offensive line out to dry. Against Oklahoma State, he broke a free blitzer’s attempted sack, but he should have stepped into a clean pocket much earlier, giving that rusher a more difficult path.

Lock did make progress as a senior, his first year in a remotely pro-style offense, but he has a long way to go. Given how difficult it is to teach and improve field reading and pocket toughness, he carries major risk.

–Daniel Jones, Duke

Wow: Pocket movement and toughness

A complete 180 from Lock, Jones has pocket toughness in spades.

Yes, Jones has clearly learned from QB guru David Cutcliffe to navigate the pocket with proper mechanics (active feet, two hands on the ball, eyes downfield, etc.). At the same time, he also has something you can’t teach — a willingness to sacrifice his body to maximize every play.

With a weak supporting cast at Duke, Jones faced tons of pressure: unblocked, off the edge, through the middle, and sometimes all of the above. He was willing to not only take hits, but also to move into more exposed positions seeking the best throwing platform.

The deep throw against Virginia Tech came less than three minutes into his first game back from a broken collarbone. Jones shuffled slightly left from one rusher and stepped into another, getting slammed by both, but his receiver failed to secure a gorgeous deep ball.

On third-and-13 against Miami, Jones saw the slot blitzer come free but didn’t let it affect his mechanics. He stepped up quickly and fired a dart for a first down.

On third-and-8 against Temple, he again stepped into a hit to get enough juice on a sideline throw for a conversion.

Red flag: Decision making

The play against Temple, however, also hints at a concern about Jones: He writes too many checks his arm can’t cash.

Jones’ arm strength isn’t poor, but it’s closer to average than good, and his delivery can border on being too methodical. He flashes a slight windup and rarely makes the quick-flick, multi-platform deliveries these other three quarterbacks do regularly.

That’s OK — some NFL starters have merely decent arm talent — but Jones too often plays with the recklessness of a stronger-armed passer. The throw against Temple wasn’t far from being intercepted, and his tape shows too many ghastly gambles.

As a Duke product working under Cutcliffe with connections to the Manning brothers, Jones often gets labeled as a cerebral signal-caller who dices defenses up mentally. But decisions like these show he has a long way to go.

While he works deep into progressions and makes sound pre-snap decisions at times, it’s difficult to excuse late-down-the-middle throws like the one against Virginia Tech (which three different defenders could have intercepted).

The dropped pick near the sideline vs. the Hokies is even more concerning. On a very simple two-man route concept, the out route opened immediately, but Jones stared and waited. His receiver reached the numbers before he began his throwing motion, late enough for the cornerback to close 5-plus yards of separation. (The throw was also too far inside).

Unless he strengthens his arm or quickens his release, Jones must play more conservatively to survive in the NFL. Compensating for less-than-ideal tools requires maximizing mental precision and minimizing poor decisions.

–David DeChant, Field Level Media

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Wife of Lions’ Stafford home after 12-hour brain surgery

Wife of Lions' Stafford home after 12-hour brain surgery

Kelly

Wife of Lions’ Stafford home after 12-hour brain surgery

Kelly Stafford, whose husband is Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, announced Sunday evening she is home from the hospital after a 12-hour surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this week.

Stafford announced earlier this month she was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor, that was abutting her cranial nerves. She said she had been suffering from vertigo and experiencing other unusual symptoms and had the MRI performed on the advice of the Lions’ team doctor.

On Sunday, Stafford posted two photos on Instagram along with a video, showing her walking with assistance from her husband and her mother in the hospital.

“This Easter is the beginning of a new life for me,” she wrote in her post. “I wanna take a second to thank all of you for all the prayers. They have worked. I know they have.

“When they opened me up, I had an abnormal vein … maybe abnormal for other neurosurgeons, but not the one We chose. He had seen it before and written a paper on it. That’s truly God’s work. The prayers for my family, I’m beyond thankful for. A six hour surgery went to 12 hours and although they were anxious and scared, your prayers got them through. Thank you. Thank you so much.

“Now I am home and learning my new norm. It’ll take some time, but I really just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for all your support, thoughts and prayers. It means more than y’all will ever know.”

The Stafford have three daughters, twins born in 2017 and another born last August. They met while both were students at Georgia and married in 2015.

–Field Level Media

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