NFL and College Football Articles

NFL and College Football Articles

Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

New York

Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

New York Jets CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson said he is looking for a general manager who is a “great strategic thinker” and can work with head coach Adam Gase.

After the Jets dismissed Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday and handed Gase the interim GM tag, Johnson said he was not looking for a traditional general manager.

Rumors immediately began circulating around the NFL that Peyton Manning could check both of those boxes.

“I want a great strategic thinker. It’s more than a talent-evaluation guy,” Johnson said. “I want a great manager, a communicator, someone who can collaborate well with the building. I’m convinced we’re going to find that person.”

Manning, 43, periodically has been linked to management openings since retiring after the 2015 season.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said Gase “would be one of the few guys who could draw Manning back into football.”

Manning was the starting quarterback in Denver for the last four seasons of his legendary career, working with Gase for three seasons as quarterbacks coach (2012) and offensive coordinator (2013-14).

During their 2013 campaign together, Manning broke the NFL single-season records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Defending champion and first-round leader Brooks Koepka kept his momentum going through Round 2 of the 101st PGA Championship on Friday, firing a 5-under-par 65 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., to build a seven-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth and Australia’s Adam Scott.

Koepka’s playing partner, Tiger Woods, missed the cut by a shot after shooting 73 on Friday to finish at 5 over for the tournament.

Koepka opened with three birdies over his first four holes, experienced a few hiccups on the back nine with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 17, but carded four more birdies — including one on No. 18 — to finish at 12-under 128 for the lowest 36-hole score in major championship history.

“Today was a battle,” Koepka told TNT after his round. “I did not hit it very well today. I was fighting just a block (shot), but I was able to find a couple fairways, thankfully, and when I did miss a fairway, it was in a great lie. … I’m still putting really well. I hit my lines and feel very comfortable over these putts, which is big.”

Chasing history and his elusive major form at the same time, Spieth shot 66 on Friday morning to charge into a tie for second at 5 under.

Spieth, No. 39 in the world rankings, is attempting to become just the sixth player to win the career Grand Slam, but he entered the week without a top-20 finish so far this season, and he hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since last year’s Open Championship. And while he’s aware of his so-called slump, Spieth has insisted all week that his game is coming together.

“I haven’t been in contention on a Sunday since The Open last year, and if I’m able to put some good work in tomorrow, then … I will be in contention on Sunday,” said Spieth, who is third on the PGA Tour in second-round scoring this season.

“At that point, it will be just more of trying to win a golf tournament. It won’t matter to me what tournament it is. I’ll be pleased to be in contention, knowing that the work I put in from being pretty far off has really come back nicely on a very difficult golf course.”

Scott rebounded from an opening-round 71 with the low round of the day on Friday, posting a 64 to reach 5 under for the tournament. He carded four birdies on the front nine and three more on the back — with his lone bogey at No. 17 — to tie his career low round in a major championship.

“Everything was pretty solid today,” said 38-year-old Scott, who finished third at the 2018 PGA Championship. “It was nice to kinda keep the momentum going with the saves and post a number, but, you know, I’m going to have to post two more pretty good ones by the looks of things at this stage.”

Rounding out the top spots on the leaderboard were Englishman Matt Wallace (67) and a foursome of Americans, Daniel Berger (66), world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67), Kelly Kraft (65) and Luke List (68). They all share fourth place at 4 under.

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 for the day. His charged stalled with a couple of short missed putts, as Johnson was 1 over par across 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.”

Kraft, the last player to be added to the field when Justin Thomas withdrew, took advantage of the opportunity and carded his lowest round in a major to date. He had one bogey and six birdies on the day.

“I feel like I may need to send Justin a bottle of wine or something, but it’s been good,” said Kraft, 30, who has yet to win on the PGa Tour.

“I’ve been playing really well. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways. The driver is going where I’m looking, and the game plan is just to get as many birdie looks as we can and see what happens, and I rolled a few of them in today.”

Along with four-time tournament winner Woods, several former champions missed the cut, including Germany’s Martin Kaymer (2010; 5-over 148), Jason Dufner (2013; 8 over) and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (2008; 12 over). John Daly, the 1991 champion who was allowed to use a cart this week, missed the cut after shooting a 6-over 76 on Friday to finish 11 over for the tournament.

World No. 11 Jon Rahm of Spain missed by one after shooting 70-75, as did countryman Sergio Garcia, who shot 74-71.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut TE Griffin

NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut TE Griffin

The Houston Texans

NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut 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 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).

–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. 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.

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

Ray, the 23rd pick 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 drop in production — two sacks over the next two seasons and inactive for the final three games of 2018.

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). He has 266 career receptions for 3,959 yards and 25 touchdowns.

–In other personnel moves:

The Carolina Panthers announced the signing of wide receiver Aldrick Robinson to a one-year contract. He had 17 catches for 231 yards and a career-high five touchdowns last season with Minnesota, his fifth team in seven seasons.

The New England Patriots signed linebacker Brandon King to a two-year extension, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported. King’s biggest impact comes on special teams, where he has played 1,307 snaps over the last four seasons.

The Indianapolis Colts announced they have signed safety Isaiah Johnson and waived cornerback D.J. Killings. Johnson, 27, has six tackles in 12 career games with Detroit and the Los Angeles Rams. Killings, 23, has spent most of his two-year career on numerous practice squads, though he was active for a time with the Colts last season.

–Prosecutors in Florida are appealing a judge’s decision to suppress video evidence in their case against Robert Kraft, in which they allege the Patriots owner solicited a prostitute at a massage parlor in Jupiter.

Earlier this week, Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser sided with the defense’s contention that the warrant that allowed recording devices into the spa, and the methods detectives used to obtain video, did not sufficiently protect the privacy and identity of innocent people in the surveillance videos.

Kraft, 77, visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter on Jan. 19 and 20, during which time prosecutors claim Kraft paid for and received sex acts at the spa.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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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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NFL notebook: Jets fire Maccagnan, make Gase interim GM

NFL notebook: Jets fire Maccagnan, make Gase interim GM

NFL notebook: Jets fire Maccagnan, make Gase interim GM

The New York Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday and named first-year head coach Adam Gase as the interim GM.

Hired in January of 2015, Maccagnan had two years remaining on the contract extension he signed at the end of the 2017 season.

Team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson issued a statement saying the decision was made “in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets.” Speaking to reporters later Wednesday on a conference call, Johnson said he made the decision only after “diving deep into the organization,” but declined to go into specifics.

Johnson said the Jets’ search for a permanent general manager would begin immediately. Multiple outlets report that Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas has been rumored around the league as the Jets’ potential GM for some time. Douglas and Gase were both with the Chicago Bears in 2015, Douglas as director of college scouting and Gase as offensive coordinator.

–Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt said he promised the Browns there will not be another incident like the one that led to his eight-game suspension to start the 2019 season.

“I’ve apologized for my actions in the past and definitely won’t make those same mistakes,” Hunt told reporters in Cleveland, where he is attending organized team activities.

Hunt signed with the Browns on Feb. 11, about two and a half months after being cut by Kansas City. The Chiefs parted ways with their leading rusher after a video surfaced of him kicking and shoving a woman at a Cleveland hotel. Hunt, 23, said he hasn’t had a chance to apologize to the woman face to face, but said he would if given that chance.

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

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.

–The Patriots signed first-round wideout N’Keal Harry to a four-year contract worth more than $10 million. Like all first-round deals, it comes with a fifth-year team option.

Harry, taken 32nd overall out of Arizona State, is the first wideout drafted in the first round by New England since Terry Glenn in 1996.

–The Seattle Seahawks officially signed quarterback Geno Smith.

The 28-year-old will compete with former Denver Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch to back up starter Russell Wilson.

The Jets’ second-round selection in 2013, Smith joins his fourth NFL team. He was 12-18 as a starter over four seasons with the Jets, lost his only start with the New York Giants in 2017, and attempted just four passes with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.

–Dallas Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton had minor ankle surgery but should be ready for training camp, NFL Network reported.

The Cowboys’ 2017 first-round draft pick tweeted a picture of himself Tuesday with his left leg in a boot, referring to the situation as a “minor setback.”

Charlton, 24, is entering the third year of his four-year, $10 million rookie contract.

–The Arizona Cardinals promoted former Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson to director of pro scouting, in one of several personnel moves.

A five-time Pro Bowler and 2009 first-team All-Pro in his 12 seasons (2001-12) with Arizona, Wilson joined the Cardinals’ front office in 2016. The 39-year-old has worked in both the pro and college scouting departments for the team.

Wilson’s promotion filled a position vacated by the promotion of another former Cardinals safety, Quentin Harris, who was named director of player personnel.

–The Miami Dolphins hosted free agent linebacker Connor Barwin on a visit and signed free agent linebacker Nate Orchard, according to multiple reports.

Barwin, 32, spent the last two years with the Rams (2017) and Giants (2018) after four years each with the Texans and Eagles, going to the Pro Bowl in 2014 with Philadelphia. He was released by the Giants in February.

Orchard, 26, played in four games last season for the Bills and Chiefs before latching on briefly with the Seahawks this offseason.

–The San Francisco 49ers signed free agent tight end Levine Toilolo, releasing safety Cameron Glenn to make room on the roster.

Toilolo, 27, spent last year with the Detroit Lions, catching 21 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown. He spent the first five years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons.

–Field Level Media

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Browns RB Hunt: ‘I’ve got to earn everybody’s trust’

Browns RB Hunt: 'I've got to earn everybody's trust'

Cleveland running

Browns RB Hunt: ‘I’ve got to earn everybody’s trust’

Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt said he promised the Browns there will not be another incident like the one that led to his eight-game suspension to start the 2019 season.

“I’ve apologized for my actions in the past and definitely won’t make those same mistakes,” Hunt told reporters Wednesday in Cleveland, where he is attending organized team activities.

Hunt signed with the Browns on Feb. 11, about two and a half months after being cut by Kansas City. The Chiefs parted ways with their leading rusher after a video surfaced of him kicking and shoving a woman at a Cleveland hotel.

Hunt, 23, said he hasn’t had a chance to apologize to the woman face to face, but said he would if given that chance.

The 2017 Pro Bowl selection and Ohio native said he hopes to make a fresh start with the Browns.

“It turned out to be good landing in a situation like the Browns, close to home again,” Hunt said. “I just have to sit back [during the suspension] and keep faith and better myself as a person.”

He also said he is currently undergoing counseling twice a week and is planning to get baptized this Sunday.

“I’ve got to earn everybody’s trust,” Hunt said.

A third-round pick out of Toledo in 2017, Hunt rushed for 2,151 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 79 passes for 833 yards and 10 scores in 27 games with the Chiefs. He won the NFL rushing title as a rookie with 1,327 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks sign free agent QB Smith

Seahawks sign free agent QB Smith

The Seattle Seahawks are giving journeyman

Seahawks sign free agent QB Smith

The Seattle Seahawks are giving journeyman quarterback Geno Smith a shot at backing up the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Seattle signed the 28-year-old on Wednesday and said he will compete with former Denver Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch to back up starter Russell Wilson.

The New York Jets’ second-round selection in 2013, Smith joins his fourth NFL team. He was 12-18 as a starter over four seasons with the Jets, lost his only start with the New York Giants in 2017, and attempted just four passes with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.

In 40 career games, Smith has completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 6,182 yards with 29 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. Smith has also rushed for 661 yards and seven scores.

Lynch, 25, was 1-3 as a Denver starter and completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four picks. The Broncos cut him last September, and he signed with Seattle in January.

Last month the Seahawks signed Wilson, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, to a contract extension through 2023 that averages $35 million per season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots in talks with former LB Collins

Report: Patriots in talks with former LB Collins

Report: Patriots in talks with former LB Collins

The New England Patriots are in talks to bring back former linebacker Jamie Collins, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

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.

If he does rejoin the Patriots, Collins would 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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Take 5: Good bets to win 101st PGA Championship

Take 5: Good bets to win 101st PGA Championship

Take 5: Good bets to win 101st PGA Championship

With a Par 70 course measuring 7,459 yards and featuring gnarly rough, the winner of the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black this week will need to drive the ball long — and straight.

He will also have to cope with a partisan New York crowd expected to number around 60,000 fans daily.

Five good bets to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday:

Lucas Bjerregaard, Denmark (150/1 by Bovada.com): We’ll go straight to our longshot pick. The 44th-ranked player in the world still isn’t a household name, but Bjerregaard’s game is well respected by his peers. He has also been playing more in the States this year, including knocking off Tiger Woods en route to the semifinals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March. Great odds on an emerging player, with the downsides being two missed cuts in his past three events and little Sunday experience on the game’s grandest stages.

Tiger Woods, United States (11/1): Woods will have the crowd behind him and can’t be counted out, but he also hasn’t played a competitive round since winning the Masters last month. Few players understand the nuances of how to get around the Black Course better than the 2002 U.S. Open champion on the difficult track, and his course management is second to none. To be in contention on Sunday, Woods must drive the ball well and convert the short putts that have nagged him at times as he has aged. Tiger still gets our nod over world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (10/1), who is tied for 74th on the PGA Tour in final-round scoring (70.22) this season, including several notable Sunday implosions.

Tommy Fleetwood, England (28/1): Fleetwood is going to earn his major breakthrough sooner than later. One of the world’s elite ball-strikers, the Englishman hasn’t cracked the top 35 in his past two majors but did finish second at last year’s U.S. Open and has spent plenty of time on the first page of major leaderboards. He also earned a T-5 at this year’s Players Championship and is coming off a T-8 at the British Masters.

Brooks Koepka, United States: (10/1): Koepka has won three of the past eight majors and is a combined 47-under par in his past five PGA appearances — including a record-setting 72-hole score of 264 at Bellerive last year. He lives for the major stage, has more than enough firepower and is coming off a solid solo fourth at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Rory McIlroy (11/1): A two-time PGA Championship winner (2012, 2014) seeking his first major in five years, no one has been more consistent in 2019 than the recently turned 30-year-old Northern Irishman. He has top-10 finishes in all but one of his nine starts this year, and most important, he is the best all-around driver of the golf ball in the world. If he can get even warm with his inconsistent putter this week, McIlroy should be in line to capture his fifth career major.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals promote Wilson to director of pro scouting

Cardinals promote Wilson to director of pro scouting

Cardinals promote Wilson to director of pro scouting

The Arizona Cardinals promoted former Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson to director of pro scouting, in one of several personnel moves announced Wednesday.

A five-time Pro Bowler and 2009 first-team All-Pro across 12 seasons (2001-12) with Arizona, Wilson joined the Cardinals’ front office in 2016. The 39-year-old has worked in both the pro and college scouting departments for the team.

Wilson’s promotion filled a position vacated by the promotion of another former Cardinals safety, Quentin Harris, who was named director of player personnel after serving as director of pro scouting since 2013.

Harris, 42, played four of his five NFL seasons for the Cardinals from 2002-05, then joined the front office in 2007.

The team also promoted Dru Grigson — the team’s director of college scouting for the last six years — to assistant director of player personnel and Chris Culmer to director of college scouting. Another former player, Josh Scobey, was promoted to western regional scout.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger rests as agent denies illness rumors

Tiger rests as agent denies illness rumors

Tiger Woods skipped his final practice

Tiger rests as agent denies illness rumors

Tiger Woods skipped his final practice round Wednesday, deciding to rest rather than play another nine holes ahead of Thursday’s start of the 101st PGA Championship.

Woods, who has not played a competitive round since winning the Masters last month, has played only nine holes this week. He opted to focus primarily on practicing around the course, although his agent noted that Woods also played the course last week.

“He’s all good, just getting some rest,” agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN in shooting down rumors that Woods may be dealing with an illness. “Saw the course last week, all is good.”

Woods’ yacht was docked in Oyster Bay more than two weeks ago, and the golfer arrived in Farmingdale, N.Y. last week. The 2002 U.S. Open champion at Bethpage Black also knows the course well.

The 43-year-old Woods indicated during his Tuesday press conference that managing energy over four days on the course measuring nearly 7,500 yards will be critical.

“There’s definitely going to be a component to stamina this week as the week goes on,” Woods said. “Four days over a tough championship that is mentally and physically taxing takes its toll.”

Woods won his 15th major championship last month and is currently three away from Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys DE Charlton has minor ankle surgery

Cowboys DE Charlton has minor ankle surgery

Dallas

Cowboys DE Charlton has minor ankle surgery

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton had minor ankle surgery but should be ready for training camp, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The Cowboys’ 2017 first-round draft pick tweeted a picture of himself Tuesday with his left leg in a boot, referring to the situation as a “minor setback.”

Charlton, 24, is entering the third year of his four-year, $10 million rookie contract.

He has recorded just four sacks in 27 games since Dallas made him the 28th overall pick out of Michigan. Injuries limited him to 11 games last season.

–Field Level Media

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Jets fire Maccagnan, name Gase as interim GM

Jets fire Maccagnan, name Gase as interim GM

The New York

Jets fire Maccagnan, name Gase as interim GM

The New York Jets fired general manager Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday and named first-year head coach Adam Gase as the interim GM.

Hired in January of 2015, Maccagnan had two years remaining on the contract extension he signed at the end of the 2017 season.

Team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson issued a statement saying the decision was made “in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets.”

“This morning, I informed Mike that he was being relieved of his duties as General Manager of the team, effective immediately,” Johnson said. “Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organization during the last four seasons and especially the past few months. However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets.”

Johnson said the search for a permanent general manager would begin immediately.

During the NFL draft last month, Maccagnan denied reports of simmering turmoil with Gase.

“Actually, I think Adam and I have worked very well together,” Maccagnan said at the time. “I’m sure like in any process, there’s times you may have different opinions. It’s just like in a scouting meeting, you may have different opinions on a player.

“But from my standpoint, I’ve had a very good working relationship with Adam. He has a very good sense of humor. He makes me laugh quite a bit, which is one of the things I really like working with him.”

Multiple reports indicated that Gase wasn’t pleased with the Jets’ approach in free agency.

Maccagnan maneuvered to add at least three starters in March, including running back Le’Veon Bell. Linebacker C.J. Mosley signed a five-year deal and the Jets acquired offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele.

“I don’t think I’m really going to sit here and comment on my job,” Maccagnan said last month. “I’m focused on the draft. I feel very good about the situation we’re in. I feel very good about working with Adam going forward.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jets’ front-office shakeup Wednesday also included the dismissal of vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger.

Maccagnan was named the NFL Executive of the Year in 2015 by the Pro Football Writers Association.

Before joining the Jets, he worked in the scouting department for the Houston Texans from 2000-14 and scouted for the Washington Redskins from 1994-2000.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy ‘more likely than not’ to play in ’20 Olympics

McIlroy 'more likely than not' to play in '20 Olympics

McIlroy ‘more likely than not’ to play in ’20 Olympics

Rory McIlroy said Tuesday that it is “more likely than not” he will play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman declined to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and he said previously that he was unlikely to play in Tokyo. While stopping short of committing to the Games next summer, McIlroy did acknowledge that he has given it more thought.

“I just saw it was announced that the British Masters is that week next year,” McIlroy said when asked at his press conference at the PGA Championship. “No, I don’t know. More likely than not I will play (in the Olympics).

“I think it would be a great experience. We’re going to play the Open (Championship) and then probably go back to Memphis and then go to Tokyo. So it’s sort of going to be one of those deals where we probably get in on Tuesday, tee it up on a Thursday, and then we’ve got to get ready for the rest of the season.”

McIlroy created a controversy late last year when he indicated he might give up his European Tour card to focus on the PGA Tour. That potentially would put any future captaincy of the European Ryder Cup team in jeopardy, and McIlroy later revised his schedule and is expected to meet the minimum requirements of the European Tour.

However, he was still considered to be on the fence about the next Olympics until asked about it Tuesday.

“It’s just one of those things where it’s just in the middle of a really busy stretch,” he said. “But yeah, right now in my mind I’ll most likely play.”

He also put to rest any question about which country he would represent. McIlroy has the choice of competing on the British or Irish teams since Northern Ireland does not have its own Olympic team. He chose the Irish team in 2016 before withdrawing. McIlroy cited the Zika virus as a concern at the time, although some believed the need to choose one country to represent over another played a role.

“I’m excited to play for Ireland,” he said Tuesday. “I’m excited that Neil Manchip, who was our national coach when I was an amateur, is going to lead the team. I don’t know who might be going on that team, as well, whether it’s Shane (Lowry) or Seamus (Power) or whoever, but yeah, I’m excited for it.

“It’s going to be a great experience, and probably a little bit nostalgic because it’ll bring me back to 15 years ago, whenever I was doing that with the same people, with Neil, with Shane. So it’s going to be cool.”

–Field Level Media

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Woods one of five who can reach world No. 1 at PGA

Woods one of five who can reach world No. 1 at PGA

Woods one of five who can reach world No. 1 at PGA

Tiger Woods is one of five golfers who could leave Bethpage on Sunday ranked No. 1 in the world.

Dustin Johnson sits atop the Official World Golf Rankings entering this week’s PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y., followed in the top five by Justin Rose, defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

Thomas withdrew this week due to a wrist injury.

Rose, Koepka and McIlroy could all ascend to No. 1 with a victory at the PGA.

It’s a little more complicated for Woods, who climbed from 13th to sixth following last month’s Masters triumph. Woods not only must capture his 16th major championship, he also needs Johnson to place outside the top 10 and for Rose and Koepka to finish worse than second.

That scenario would vault Woods to No. 1 for the first time since March 2013. Woods has spent a record 683 weeks in that position, including most of the 2000s.

–Field Level Media

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QB Rosen lets out frustrations over Cardinals deal

QB Rosen lets out frustrations over Cardinals deal

QB Rosen lets out frustrations over Cardinals deal

Now that Josh Rosen has made his move for a fresh start with the Miami Dolphins, the 22-year-old quarterback who experienced a disappointing rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals is ready to start talking. Well, more like trash talking.

Appearing Tuesday on the “The Rich Eisen Show,” Rosen let out his feelings about the organization that gave up on him in favor of grabbing Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“I love everyone in that building with the exception of maybe one or two guys,” Rosen said on the radio show. “I mean, the only thing that truly did kind of frustrate me through this whole process is, like, I still haven’t heard from my old GM (Cardinals general manager Steve Keim). Like, I didn’t talk to him for months before, didn’t talk to him … after.”

If Rosen was upset about being let go by the Cardinals, it had more to do with how it was done than why it was done.

“I was literally in Arizona until the one minute before the draft, I got a call from (new Cardinals coach) Kliff (Kingsbury) saying that they were about to draft Kyler, but I mean, not for a millisecond was I shying away from competition,” Rosen said.

“I have the utmost respect for Kliff. I don’t slight anyone for making business decisions that they think is best for them and their family, but I just really appreciated how he kind of acted like a man and was very respectful, he was wishing me the best. He called me even the day after the draft wishing me good luck, and I wished him good luck. I even gave Kyler a call, sent him a text that said, ‘Good luck, wishing you the best.'”

Keim traded Rosen, the No. 10 overall pick in 2018 out of UCLA, for the 62nd overall pick this year, which the Cardinals used to select receiver Andy Isabella, and a 2020 fifth-round choice.

“For the most part, I’m just ready to put that whole chapter behind me and keep pushing on and playing football,” Rosen said.

Rosen, 22, went 3-10 as a starter for Arizona last year. He completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Rosen opens up about Cards exit

NFL notebook: Rosen opens up about Cards exit

Now that Josh Rosen has made his

NFL notebook: Rosen opens up about Cards exit

Now that Josh Rosen has made his move for a fresh start with the Miami Dolphins, the 22-year-old quarterback who experienced a disappointing rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals is ready to start talking. Well, more like trash talking.

Appearing Tuesday on the “The Rich Eisen Show,” Rosen let out his feelings about the organization that gave up on him in favor of grabbing Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“I love everyone in that building with the exception of maybe one or two guys,” Rosen said on the radio show. “I mean, the only thing that truly did kind of frustrate me through this whole process is, like, I still haven’t heard from my old GM (Cardinals general manager Steve Keim). Like, I didn’t talk to him for months before, didn’t talk to him … after.”

Keim traded Rosen, the No. 10 overall pick in 2018 out of UCLA, for the 62nd overall pick this year, and a 2020 fifth-round choice. Rosen, 22, went 3-10 as a starter for Arizona last year. He completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.

–Indianapolis police are investigating after dozens of shots were fired into the home of Colts assistant Parks Frazier over the weekend. No residents were home when the incident occurred.

Witnesses told police that eight young men jumped out of three vehicles and fired more than 80 rounds at about 6 p.m. local time Sunday, according to WTHR-TV.

The report also said the back door of the home was kicked in and more shots were fired inside. According to the police report obtained by WRTV-TV, police found handgun and rifle casings in the street as well as a cellphone that may have been dropped at the scene.

–Free agent defensive end and former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan will serve a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Jordan, 29, learned that an arbitrator had denied his appeal, according to NFL.com.

The former Miami Dolphins (2013-14) and Seattle Seahawks (2017-18) defender tested positive three times in four weeks in December and January for the use of Adderall, a prescription medication he had been approved to take in the past to treat ADHD. His therapeutic use exemption (TUE) had expired, however.

–Former Atlanta Falcons guard Andy Levitre announced his retirement on social media after 10 seasons and 143 starts with three NFL teams.

“Unfortunately, due to injury my body won’t allow me to continue any longer,” he wrote on Instagram, one day before his 33rd birthday. “Thank you to my wife and children, my family, friends, coaches, teammates and all of the fans who supported me on this journey.”

Levitre ranked among the most durable players in the league for most of his career, starting all 16 games in each of his first eight seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta.

–The Minnesota Vikings signed center Garrett Bradbury, the 18th overall pick in the April draft, to a four-year rookie deal worth a reported $12.88 million.

“It’s awesome to get it done,” Bradbury told the team’s official website. “It’s done. … I’m a Viking. It’s good that I can put this to rest and get back to football.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the value of the contract, which includes a $7.39 million signing bonus and the standard fifth-year option. Bradbury, 23, won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate center last season at North Carolina State and earned consensus All-America and first-team All-ACC honors.

–Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is facing a June 13 pretrial conference related to a misdemeanor count of unlawful assembly.

The charge stems from an incident that video shows took place on March 15 at Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, Fla. Crawford entered a not-guilty plea in the case on April 12.

TMZ published a video Tuesday that showed Crawford engaged with security staff at the bar as he attempted to keep a security officer from detaining a member of his party.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Tiger’s staff accused of destroying evidence in case

Report: Tiger's staff accused of destroying evidence in case

Report: Tiger’s staff accused of destroying evidence in case

Lawyers for parents who said their son died after a night of drinking at Tiger Woods’ Florida restaurant alleged Tuesday that restaurant staff destroyed video evidence that showed him drinking at the bar before he crashed his car.

The family of Nicholas Immesberger, who died last December, have filed a wrongful death suit naming the restaurant, Woods and his girlfriend, Erica Herman, who is the general manager of the eatery, called The Woods.

Immesberger’s parents allege their son had a “habitual problem” with alcohol and had been overserved. A bartender there, Immesberger stayed and had drinks following a work shift at the Jupiter, Fla., restaurant.

“One of the most significant issues we have here is the destruction of evidence,” attorney Spencer Kuvin said Tuesday, per ESPN. “Obviously it shows that somebody knew something had gone wrong and they wanted to get rid of that evidence. We have evidence to show that that videotape, showing Nick at the bar that night after he got off at 3 p.m., drinking for three hours at the bar, was destroyed shortly after the crash had occurred.

“So we have, through our investigation, uncovered evidence to show that the bar knew what happened, they knew about the crash that night and shortly thereafter that video evidence was destroyed and deleted off the servers they had there at The Woods.”

After ending his shift on Dec. 10, 2018, Immesberger allegedly stuck around and drank to the point of intoxication before the 24-year-old left the restaurant. He later died after losing control of his car and swerved across three lanes of highway traffic before going airborne and landing in a grassy patch, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, per the Palm Beach Post.

At the time of the crash, Immesberger’s reported blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at .256.

The lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County alleges that Woods “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over serving its employees/customers.”

Woods, 43, called Immesberger’s death a “terrible ending” during a press conference Tuesday in Farmingdale, N.Y., where he is competing in this weekend’s PGA Championship — his first tournament since winning his fifth Masters in April.

“We’re all very sad that Nick passed away,” Woods said. “It was a terrible night, a terrible ending. And we feel bad for him and his entire family. It is very sad.”

–Field Level Media

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DE Jordan’s appeal of 10-game PED ban denied

DE Jordan's appeal of 10-game PED ban denied

Free-agent defensive end and former No.

DE Jordan’s appeal of 10-game PED ban denied

Free-agent defensive end and former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan will serve a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Jordan, 29, learned Tuesday that an arbitrator had denied his appeal, according to NFL.com.

The former Miami Dolphins (2013-14) and Seattle Seahawks (2017-18) defender tested positive three times in four weeks in December and January for the use of Adderall, a prescription medication he had been approved to take in the past to treat ADHD. His therapeutic use exemption (TUE) had expired, however.

“I made a mistake,” Jordan told NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero by phone on Tuesday.

Jordan told Pelissero he knew his TUE was expired but took the medication to alleviate a stressful time with his family.

“I thought it was going to help me dial in — for the moment, for the day, whatever,” he said. “That was my intentions behind what I was doing. It was a bit much at the time. I’m not saying that it was the right thing. But for myself, it was just what I went to.”

Jordan previously served a four-game suspension in 2014 for a PED violation. He was then suspended for the entire 2015 season following another positive test for substance abuse.

Jordan has appeared in 43 games with just four starts, tallying 86 tackles and 8.5 sacks.

He told Pelissero he is staying sober and staying in shape in San Francisco, hoping for another shot in the league.

“I know I have the physical ability to go play football and help somebody win football games,” Jordan said.

–Field Level Media

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Dozens of shots fired into home of Colts assistant

Dozens of shots fired into home of Colts assistant

Indianapolis police are investigating after

Dozens of shots fired into home of Colts assistant

Indianapolis police are investigating after dozens of shots were fired into the home of Colts assistant Parks Frazier over the weekend.

No residents were home when the incident occurred.

Witnesses told police that eight young men jumped out of three separate vehicles and fired more than 80 rounds at about 6 p.m. local time Sunday, according to WTHR-TV.

The report also said the back door of the home was kicked in and more shots were fired inside.

According to the police report obtained by WRTV-TV, police found handgun and rifle casings in the street as well as a cell phone that may have been dropped at the scene.

Frazier, 27, joined the Indianapolis staff in April 2018 as an assistant to head coach Frank Reich.

No arrests have been made and the authorities have not commented on a possible motive behind the shooting.

–Field Level Media

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Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round draft pick EJ Manuel has

Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round draft pick EJ Manuel has retired from the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills chose Manuel with the No. 16 overall selection in the 2013 draft out of Florida State, but he failed to keep the starting quarterback spot.

In four seasons with Buffalo, he appeared in 28 games (17 starts) and had a 6-11 record. He completed 319 passes for 3,502 yards, throwing 19 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

He appeared in two games with Oakland in 2017 and started one, a loss, and didn’t see game action in 2018.

In the offseason, the 29-year-old signed with Kansas City to compete for the backup quarterback spot to Patrick Mahomes.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is facing a June 13 pretrial conference related to a misdemeanor count of unlawful assembly.

The charge stems from an incident that video shows took place on March 15 at Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, Fla.

TMZ published a video Tuesday that showed Crawford engaged with security staff at the bar as he attempted to keep a security officer from detaining a member of his party.

Crawford entered a not guilty plea in the case on April 12.

Crawford, 29, could be subject to punishment under the NFL personal conduct policy, even if not convicted.

Last season, Crawford started 15 games for the Cowboys and made a career-high 5.5 sacks. Dallas drafted Crawford, a Boise State product, in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the

Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first time since the Cleveland Browns acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver from the New York Giants.

ESPN reported Tuesday that Beckham plans to participate in most of the 10 voluntary organized team activity workouts, as well as the Browns’ mandatory minicamp, as the franchise takes its next step in a rebuild guided by general manager John Dorsey.

Beckham was recovering from ankle surgery last offseason and didn’t take part in most of the on-field workouts during the Giants’ offseason program while also angling for a new contract.

The Browns traded a first-round pick to the Giants and will pair him with his LSU teammate Jarvis Landry — acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2018 — as Mayfield’s likely top targets.

In five seasons with the Giants, Beckham had 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. He had 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six scores in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first

Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first time since the Cleveland Browns acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver from the New York Giants.

Beckham was on the field Tuesday and plans to participate in most of the 10 voluntary organized team activity workouts, as well as the Browns’ mandatory minicamp, as the franchise takes its next step in a rebuild guided by general manager John Dorsey.

Beckham was recovering from ankle surgery last offseason and didn’t take part in most of the on-field workouts during the Giants’ offseason program while also angling for a new contract.

The Browns traded a first-round pick to the Giants and will pair him with his LSU teammate Jarvis Landry — acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2018 — as Mayfield’s likely top targets.

In five seasons with the Giants, Beckham had 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. He had 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six scores in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Former Atlanta Falcons guard Andy Levitre announced

Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Former Atlanta Falcons guard Andy Levitre announced his retirement on social media after 10 seasons and 143 starts with three NFL teams.

“Unfortunately, due to injury my body won’t allow me to continue any longer,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, one day before his 33rd birthday. “Thank you to my wife and children, my family, friends, coaches, teammates and all of the fans who supported me on this journey.”

Levitre ranked among the most durable players in the league for most of his career, starting all 16 games in each of his first eight seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2009-12), Tennessee Titans (2013-14) and Falcons.

His streak of 140 consecutive regular season starts ended after he suffered a torn triceps in Week 13 of 2017.

The same injury limited the former second-round pick (51st overall in 2009) to just two games for Atlanta in 2018.

His contract expired with the Falcons following the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

The Minnesota Vikings signed center Garrett

Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

The Minnesota Vikings signed center Garrett Bradbury, the 18th overall pick in the April draft, to a four-year rookie deal worth a reported $12.88 million on Tuesday.

“It’s awesome to get it done,” Bradbury told the team’s official website. “It’s done. … I’m a Viking. It’s good that I can put this to rest and get back to football.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the value of the contract, which includes a $7.39 million signing bonus and the standard fifth-year option.

Bradbury’s deal also carries a $2.34 million salary cap hit for the Vikings, who entered Tuesday with just $664,266 in cap space, per the NFL Players Association’s public salary cap report.

The 23-year-old won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center last season at North Carolina State and earned consensus All-America and first-team All-ACC honors.

–Field Level Media

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Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Tiger Woods said Tuesday

Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Tiger Woods said Tuesday he wakes up feeling older than his age more often than not.

But he arrived at the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black knowing his best is enough to win golf’s grandest events.

“In order to win this one, driving is going to be at the forefront with the rough as lush as it is,” Woods said Tuesday in Farmingdale, N.Y., where he shoots for his fourth consecutive top-10 finish in a major. “The fairways are plenty wide because it’s wet. You’ve got to hit it not only straight but hit it far.

“As the week goes on and the greens dry out, the majority of the greens are elevated. Trying to get an upspin to the ball to get it elevated, you’ve got to be in the fairway to do that.”

Woods, 43, has finished in the top 30 in each of his six starts in 2019, including winning his 15th career major at the Masters last month. If the ball rolls his way again at Bethpage — as it did when he won the U.S. Open in 2002 — Woods could leave this course on Sunday ranked No. 1 in the world. He’ll start the event at No. 6 and, in his words, “relevant again” alongside defending champion Brooks Koepka.

“The players that’ve had the most success on Tour — NFL football player, you’re in the Hall of Fame after nine years. If you play out here only nine years, you haven’t really done that well. Out here, you’re measured in decades,” Woods said. “Arnold Palmer played in 50 straight Masters. Because of the nature of the sport, you’re able to hang on a lot longer and still be relevant.

“When Jack (Nicklaus) played his final PGA in 2000, I played with him. He said he played with Gene Sarazen in his final PGA. The fact that golf can span nearly 60-70 years in playing careers, that’s what makes it so special. Now, Brooksy look like a young me? I was never that big. I was 130 pounds. We’re both able to generate speed. I did it through whip and timing. Brooksy is just pure power. He’s an athlete.”

Koepka, 29, tees off with Woods and Francesco Molinari at 8:24 a.m. ET on Thursday. He’ll be attempting to become the first player since Woods to repeat the PGA Championship. Woods did it in 2006 and 2007.

Woods and Koepka have finished 1-2 in the past two majors — Woods’ win at Augusta in April and last year’s PGA at Bellerive. Koepka enters with the longest streak of subpar rounds in majors at nine, followed by Jon Rahm (eight) and Woods (seven)

“There’s a big age difference there,” Koepka said of starting his seventh PGA Championship start. “He’s a little bit older. I don’t see it as a rivalry. It’s just golf. It’s just really been the last couple of years, I don’t see it as a rivalry. Although it is fun to play with him. Best player to ever play the game. It’s exciting more to me. I’m really looking forward to playing with him.

“It’s good to have Tiger back winning majors. That atmosphere, when he was done, was pretty special.”

Koepka said he doesn’t “fear” Woods, because they aren’t planning to fight.

“He’s not going to knock my teeth in. What’s there to be afraid of?”

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Tony Romo failed Monday in his quest to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Three days after the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback missed the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, his third PGA Tour event, Romo failed to move on at a local U.S. Open qualifier at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

He shot a 3-over-par 74 on Monday — four strokes higher than the cut line to advance.

Romo has played three PGA events via sponsor exemptions, something the U.S. Open does not hand out. The 39-year-old retired NFL star has tried many times to qualify, advancing to sectional qualifying in 2010, when he withdrew while still an active player in the NFL offseason.

The current CBS NFL analyst told ESPN that he will try to play next in the Mid-Amateur and Northeast Amateur over the summer. He also hopes to play the American Century Championship at Stateline, Nev., in July, a tournament he won last year.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski re-signed

Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

NFL Network reported Wisniewski signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract, with $500,000 in additional incentives.

A guard and center, Wisniewski has been a capable and valuable fill-in up front, starting at least six games each of the past three seasons. Guard Brandon Brooks is recovering from a torn Achilles, and Wisniewski could open training camp with the first unit.

The Eagles declined a $3.7 million option in Wisniewski’s contract in March. The 30-year-old tested free agency but opted to return to Philadelphia.

Originally a second-round pick by Oakland in 2011, he started 61 games with the Raiders (2011-14) and 16 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2015) before joining Philadelphia.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Woods sued over bartender’s drunk-driving death

Reports: Woods sued over bartender's drunk-driving death

Reports: Woods sued over bartender’s drunk-driving death

Tiger Woods is facing a lawsuit from the family of a bartender who worked at one of his restaurants following the staffer’s death in a drunk-driving accident, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The parents of Nicholas Immesberger allege that their son, whom they allege had a “habitual problem” with alcohol, had been overserved after he stayed and had drinks following a work shift at The Woods, a restaurant in Jupiter, Fla., owned by the 15-time major champion and run by Woods’ girlfriend, Erica Harmon.

After ending his shift on Dec. 10, 2018, Immesberger allegedly stuck around and drank to the point of intoxication before the 24-year-old was allowed to drive home. He later died after losing control of his car and swerved across three lanes of highway traffic before going airborne and landing in a grassy patch, according to Florida Highway Patrol, per the Palm Beach Post.

At the time of the crash, Immesberger’s reported blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at .256.

The lawsuit alleges that Woods “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over serving its employees/customers.”

Woods, 43, has not publicly commented about the incident or the suit filed in Palm Beach County. Woods is scheduled to play this weekend in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, his first tournament since winning his fifth Masters title in April.

–Field Level Media

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