Colts claim 2 players off waivers, add 5 to practice squad

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts have brought back five players to the practice squad and claimed two players off waivers.

Tight end Mo Alie-Cox, receivers Reece Fountain and Steve Ishmael, quarterback Phillip Walker and cornerback D.J. White all were re-signed after being released Saturday.

Fountain was a fifth-round draft pick in the spring and was the only player of the 11 selected by the Colts not to make the 53-player active roster.

Indy also added safety Corey Moore and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad to the active squad after acquiring them off waivers. To make room, the Colts waived cornerback Lenzy Pipkins and defensive end Ryan Delaire.

Pipkins was acquired in a trade with Green Bay last week.

Indy still has five practice squad spots open.


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Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

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


LAST TOURNAMENT: The Open Championship (Shane Lowry)

THIS WEEK: WGC-FedEx St. Jude, July 25-28

TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn. (Par 70, 7,238 yards)

Purse: $10.25 million (Winner: $1.742 million)

Defending champion: Justin Thomas

FedEx Cup leader: Brooks Koepka

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, noon-1:45 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS).

NOTES: The event moves to TPC Southwind from Akron’s Firestone Country Club. … Tiger Woods holds the 72-hole event scoring record of 259 set in 2000 at Firestone. He is not in the field this week. … Dustin Johnson’s six WGC victories are second only to Woods. He is a two-time winner at TPC Southwind, including last year’s finale of a 30-year run as a regular PGA Tour stop…. Lowry withdrew on Tuesday. … Woods and Italy’s sixth-ranked Francesco Molinari are the top players skipping this week’s event. … Recent winners Nate Lashley and Matthew Wolff will compete in their first career WGC events.

BEST BETS: Koepka (10/1 by PointsBet) owns a scoring average of 68.70 at TPC Southwind, if he can regain focus for a non-major. … Johnson (9/1) hasn’t been in top form this summer, but he does own a career scoring average of 67.75 in 20 rounds at TPC Southwind. … Justin Rose (20/1) will get his first look at the course in competition, but it’s a scorable track that should suit his tee-to-green game. … Danny Willett (70/1) is a solid under-the-radar pick who has T15s in three of his past four events, including the past two majors.

THIS WEEK: Barracuda Championship, July 25-28

Montreux Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nev. (Par 72, 7,472 yards)

Purse: $3.5 million (Winner: $612,000 – based on 2018)

Defending champion: Andrew Putnam

Television: Thursday-Friday, 7-9:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 5-8 p.m. (GC).

NOTES: The opposite-field event is the only one on the PGA Tour to use the Modified Stableford scoring format, which awards eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle and two points for a birdie. No points are awarded for par, with a bogey costing a player one point and a double bogey or worse earning a minus-3 score. … The Montreux G&CC is a Jack Nicklaus design that sits approximately 5,500 feet above sea level between Lake Tahoe and Reno. … Putnam is not competing after qualifying for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude. … Korean pro Ho Sung Choi, who is known for his “fisherman” swing, will make his third PGA Tour start of the year.

NEXT WEEK: The Northern Trust, Jersey City, N.J.


LAST TOURNAMENT: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Jasmine Suwannapura, Cydney Clanton)

THIS WEEK: The Evian Championship, July 25-28

Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France (Par 71, 6,527 yards)

Purse: $4.1 million (Winner: $615,000)

Defending champion: Angela Stanford

CME Race to the Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

Television: Thursday-Friday: 5-7 a.m., 9:30-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 6-9 a.m. (GC), 9-11:30 a.m. (CNBC)

NOTES: This is the seventh year of the event being a major on the LPGA Tour. … Thirty-seven of the top 40 players in the Rolex Rankings – including each of the top 10 – are in the 120-player field. … This is the first of two consecutive weeks of women’s majors. … Stanford earned her first career major at last year’s Evian in her 436th career LPGA start when Amy Olson double-bogeyed the 72nd hole. … Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park missed the cut last year. … The par-4 18th hole has been changed to a drivable par-5. … After being plagued by poor weather each of the past five years, The Evian was moved to July from mid-September. …

NEXT TOURNAMENT: AIG Women’s British Open, Milton Keynes, England


LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship (Retief Goosen)

THIS WEEK: The Senior Open Championship, July 25-28

Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Lytham, United Kingdom (Par 70, 6,948 yards)

Purse: $2 million (Winner: $314,330)

Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron

Television: Thursday-Friday: 7-9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (GC), 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (NBC)

NOTES: This is the fifth and final Champions major of the year. … Royal Lytham & St. Annes will play host to its fifth Senior Open and first since 1994. The five past Open Championship winners in the field include Darren Clarke and Paul Lawrie, who will make their Senior Open debuts. … Jimenez became the first Spaniard to win the Senior Open when he edged Bernhard Langer at St. Andrews for his first career Seniors major. … Gary Nicklaus and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee are among the 49 players who qualified on Monday. Esteban Toledo is the top-ranked player among the group at No. 50.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, Endicott, N.Y., Aug. 16-18.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

The Dallas Cowboys

Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

The Dallas Cowboys are releasing veteran wide receiver Allen Hurns, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Hurns, 27, caught 20 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games during his first season in Dallas in 2018.

His season ended in horrific fashion, however, as he suffered a dislocated left ankle and broken fibula in the NFC wild-card game against Seattle on Jan. 5.

Hurns was due to be paid $4 million in base salary in 2019 with a salary cap hit of $6.25 million.

“The Cowboys wanted (him) back at a lower price, but he wanted to test the market. So Hurns gets his wish,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted.

Last month, Hurns estimated that he was about 90 percent recovered from the injuries.

“My main thing is to get healthy, put together a great training camp and go from there,” he said.

Hurns played his first four seasons in Jacksonville (2014-17). His best season with the Jaguars came in 2015 with 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns, all career bests.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

The Washington Redskins are releasing veteran linebacker

Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

The Washington Redskins are releasing veteran linebacker Mason Foster ahead of training camp, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Foster, 30, is coming off a season in which he made a career-high 131 tackles and intercepted two passes while starting all 16 games.

Foster seemed to be in line for a starting role again, especially after the Redskins lost Reuben Foster to a torn ACL in spring camp, but the release signals that the team is comfortable with second-year pro Shaun Dion Hamilton and Jon Bostic (signed after Reuben Foster’s injury) as the starting inside linebackers.

The Redskins will save $4 million in salary cap space, according to reports, by releasing Mason Foster.

Foster, Tampa Bay’s third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, spent his first four seasons with the Buccaneers before signing with the Redskins in late September 2015. He has 661 career tackles, with 41 for loss and 8.5 sacks, in 107 games (92 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: WR Boyd agrees to $43M extension with Bengals

Reports: WR Boyd agrees to $43M extension with Bengals

Cincinnati wide

Reports: WR Boyd agrees to $43M extension with Bengals

Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Boyd, coming off a breakout season, agreed to a four-year, $43 million extension Tuesday that keeps him under contract through the 2023 season, according to multiple reports.

Boyd, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and due to make about $1.03 million. The 2016 second-round pick out of Pittsburgh will make $11.3 million in the first year of his new contract, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Boyd caught 76 passes for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games (all starts) last season. The slot receiver had a combined 76 receptions for 828 yards and three scores in his first two seasons in Cincinnati.

“He doesn’t scare,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said of Boyd, according to the team’s official website. “He’s a difference-maker.”

–Field Level Media

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Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

Former Houston Texans

Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

Former Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine is back in Buffalo after being named the Bills’ senior personnel adviser on Tuesday.

Gaine will work in college and pro scouting under Bills’ GM Brandon Beane, according to a team statement.

The Texans abruptly fired Gaine last month after just one season, even though Houston finished 11-5 and won the AFC South title before losing to the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round.

He had signed a five-year contract in January 2018.

“While the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of our organization in our quest to build a championship team for the City of Houston,” Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement at that time.

Gaine spent three seasons with the Texans as director of player personnel from 2014-16, before joining the Bills as vice president of player personnel in 2017. He was hired as the Texans’ GM after Rick Smith took a leave of absence from the position to care for his wife as she battled cancer.

–Field Level Media

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Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Shane Lowry, coming off his first major victory at the Open Championship, withdrew Tuesday from this week’s World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis.

Lowry, who began 2019 ranked No. 75 in the official world golf rankings, jumped 16 spots to No. 17 after last week’s triumph at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. The Irishman was in his hometown of Clara on Tuesday for an event at his country club to celebrate his six-stroke victory.

The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational begins Thursday at TPC Southwind with a strong field that includes world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, Irishman Rory McIlroy (coming off his missed cut at the Open Championship), Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose and defending champion Justin Thomas.

Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari are among those not competing this week.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick,

Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick, who missed last season as he recovered from Guillain-Barre syndrome, is expected to be active for the start of training camp on Saturday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

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

“This is very good news for this Cowboys’ offensive line, still the strength of their team,” Rapoport said on the NFL Network. “He has, in fact, returned to full form.”

Frederick participated in individual drills in offseason workouts, when he also was recovering from hernia and shoulder surgeries.

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Broncos add punter, waive kicker

Broncos add punter, waive kicker

The Denver Broncos signed punter Justin Vogel and

Broncos add punter, waive kicker

The Denver Broncos signed punter Justin Vogel and waived kicker Taylor Bertolet on Tuesday.

Vogel, 25, averaged 44.4 yards on 71 punts for the Green Bay Packers in 2017 but was released when the team drafted JK Scott out of Alabama. Vogel was with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 training camp and also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers this past offseason.

Vogel is expected to compete with Colby Wadman, who averaged 44.7 yards in 12 games last season.

Bertolet’s release leaves Brandon McManus as the only kicker on the camp roster. He hit 20 of 25 field goal attempts last season, with a long of 53.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Detroit Lions

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay will attend training camp Wednesday despite his contract dispute, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection skipped a mandatory minicamp in June and missed voluntary workouts this spring, but sources told the Detroit Free Press and ESPN that Slay will not hold out.

Slay, 28, has tallied 17 interceptions and has broken up a league-high 91 passes since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2013.

Slay has two years remaining on a contract that will pay him $12.55 million in 2019 and $10 million in 2020.

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who like Slay is represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, said Monday that he would also report to camp on time. Rosenhaus was reportedly scheduled to meet with Detroit officials this week.

–Field Level Media

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Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring after 10 years in

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring after 10 years in the NFL to join ABC’s college football coverage, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Sanchez, 32, led the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in the 2009 and 2010 seasons and later played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and most recently the Washington Redskins in 2018.

According to the Post, he will replace Mack Brown in the ABC studio. Brown left to coach at North Carolina.

Sanchez compiled a 37-36 career record, completing 56.6 percent of his passes for 15,357 yards with 86 touchdowns and 89 interceptions.

His best years came with the Jets, who made “The Sanchize” the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

Sanchez set career highs in his third season with New York in 2011, throwing for 3,474 yards and 26 TDs.

He appeared in two games (one start) with Washington last season, completing 19 of 35 passes for 138 yards with three interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

All 32 NFL

Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

All 32 NFL training camps will be open by the end of the week, with hope springing eternal for most every franchise before the live bullets start flying in September.

The New England Patriots may have lost future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement during another offseason that brought a bevy of changes to the two-deep. But with Tom Brady still calling the shots behind center and some deft moves to reload during free agency and the NFL Draft, the reigning champs open their training camp on Wednesday as the early favorites to take home another title in Super Bowl 54.

FanDuel lists the Patriots as 7/1 favorites, while PointsBet (6 1/2-1) and William Hill (5 1/2-1) have even more bullish odds. With big-play threat Tyreek Hill learning he will not be suspended to begin the season, the Kansas City Chiefs are the second betting favorite by all three books: 6-1 by William Hill and 8-1 by both FanDuel and PointsBet.

Where the differences start to come in is beyond the two AFC powers.

PointsBet has the New Orleans Saints at 9-1, with the next closest being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams at 11-1. FanDuel has the same three teams from Nos. 3-5, with the Saints at 9-1, followed by the Rams (10/1) and the Colts, who are 14-1 along with the Philadelphia Eagles.

William Hill gives a nod at No. 3 to the Rams at 8 1/2-1, followed by the Saints (10-1) and then the Chicago Bears (11-1). The Colts are sixth at 12-1, followed by the Eagles (13-1)

The Cleveland Browns are the chic pick by many following an exciting close to 2018 and a slew of offseason changes highlighted by the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. They open camp at 14-1 by PointsBet and William Hill and 16-1 by FanDuel.

Looking for a longshot? William Hill is offering the Miami Dolphins at 200-1, while PointsBet and FanDuel list them at 150-1. You can also get 150 on the Cincinnati Bengals from PointsBet and William Hill. FanDuel is slightly more bullish on the Bengals’ prospects at 120-1.

NFL Super Bowl Winner Odds (PointsBet)

New England Patriots: +650

Kansas City Chiefs: +800

New Orleans Saints: +900

Indianapolis Colts: +1100

Los Angeles Rams: +1100

Cleveland Browns: +1400

Los Angeles Chargers: +1400

Chicago Bears: +1500

Philadelphia Eagles: +1500

Green Bay Packers: +1800

Pittsburgh Steelers: +2200

Dallas Cowboys: +2500

Minnesota Vikings: +2500

Seattle Seahawks: +2800

Atlanta Falcons: +3300

Houston Texans: +3500

Baltimore Ravens: +4000

Carolina Panthers: +4000

San Francisco 49ers: +4000

Jacksonville Jaguars: +4500

New York Jets: +5500

Tennessee Titans: +6000

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +8000

Denver Broncos: +9000

Arizona Cardinals: +10000

Buffalo Bills: +10000

Detroit Lions: +10000

New York Giants: +10000

Oakland Raiders: +10000

Washington Redskins: +10000

Cincinnati Bengals: +15000

Miami Dolphins: +15000

–Field Level Media

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Jets release RB Henderson

Jets release RB Henderson

Jets release RB Henderson

The New York Jets released running back De’Angelo Henderson on Tuesday.

The team needed to clear space on the 90-man training camp roster after signing tight end Ryan Griffin on Monday.

Henderson, 26, was Denver’s sixth-round pick in 2017. He rushed seven times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown with the Broncos in five games as a rookie.

He joined the Jets’ practice squad last September and was activated for three games, logging two carries for 19 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey

Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey


Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey on Tuesday.

The deal is for two years and $10.5 million, according to ESPN and the NFL Network.

Bailey, 30, tallied a career-high six sacks in 16 games (13 starts) for the Chiefs last season.

He played in 102 games (61 starts) and registered 19 1/2 sacks, 34 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits in eight seasons with the Chiefs.

A Georgia native, Bailey was Kansas City’s third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Miami.

The signing came one day after defensive tackle Michael Bennett broke his ankle during the Falcons’ first practice of training camp.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal with defensive lineman Allen Bailey on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

The deal includes $6 million in 2019 and $3.5 million guaranteed, per ESPN and NFL Network.

Bailey became a free agent in March but remained unsigned despite several reported visits, including with the Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

The 30-year-old posted six sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games (13 starts) for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, playing end and tackle in their 3-4 scheme. He could contribute at both spots for the Falcons, who lost end Steven Means to a torn Achilles in May and tackle Michael Bennett to a reported broken ankle Monday, the first day of training camp.

Bailey has 19.5 career sacks and 33 QB hits in 102 games (61 starts), all spent in Kansas City. The Chiefs took him in the third round of the 2011 draft out of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Oakland Raiders training camp primer

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams,

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams, S LaMarcus Joyner, DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, S Jonathan Abram, LB Vontaze Burfict, G Richie Incognito, LB Brandon Marshall, RB Isaiah Crowell, CB Nevin Lawson, CB Trayvon Mullen, QB Mike Glennon

They’re gone: TE Jared Cook, G Kelechi Osemele, WR Jordy Nelson, OT Donald Penn, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Seth Roberts, S Reggie Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Rashaan Melvin

2019 snapshot: Never lacking for headlines, the Raiders had another eventful offseason that, in turn, landed them on HBO’s Hard Knocks for the first time.

Jon Gruden’s hire of GM Mike Mayock was surprising, but Mayock’s eye for talent is well regarded. The pair then embarked on an aggressive search for talent while simultaneously touting culture and then disregarding it.

The Raiders justified taking Ferrell fourth overall — a reach on almost any draft board — by lauding his impeccable character, even after the team added talented-but-disruptive veterans in Antonio Brown and Burfict (and later Incognito). Oakland’s other first-round picks (Jacobs and Abram) were better values, but both play positions of relatively low value, and it’s hard to imagine either bringing sufficient return for the trading away of Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack.

Oakland’s spending spree in free agency drew some criticism, as Trent Brown (four years, $66 million), Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Williams (four years, $43 million) were all handsomely overpaid. However, the Raiders smartly structured deals to be escaped after one or two years with minimal cap consequences. The same was true of Antonio Brown’s new deal (three years, $50.1 million), which can be chopped easily after two years if things go south.

Those deals were still too rich, but there are much worse uses of cap space.

Worth the investment?

–Even if things don’t click with all the new arrivals, the Raiders have enough talent to reach their over/under of six wins. Betting on more is reasonable but not without risk.

–It wasn’t that long ago (mid-2016) that Derek Carr was getting peripheral MVP buzz. That was clearly premature, but his 100-1 odds to win it in 2019 might be worth a shot.

Bottom line: The Raiders were hypocritical in emphasizing character and handed out some massive salaries, but they also made major talent upgrades, especially if Antonio Brown pans out.

–Field Level Media

Read More 332 Words

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT Jerry Tillery, S Nasir Adderley, P Tyler Newsome

They’re gone: WR Tyrell Williams, DT Corey Liuget, S Jahleel Addae, CB Jason Verrett, DT Darius Philon, P Donnie Jones

2019 snapshot: Already one of the better teams in the AFC, the Chargers didn’t need any remodeling this spring, instead focusing on minor touchups.

They found much-needed talent and depth at linebacker, re-signing Denzel Perryman (two years, $12 million) and adding Davis (two years, $10.5 million) on very reasonable deals. Dime safety Adrian Phillips (one year, $2 million) was also retained for cheap, giving coordinator Gus Bradley several options to cover tight ends and running backs.

GM Tom Telesco addressed the D-line by keeping Brandon Mebane (two years, $10.6 million) and drafting Tillery, whose upside is among the highest of any prospect in the 2019 draft class. He then found a perfect partner for Derwin James in Adderley (second round), who has the speed and ball skills to patrol center field while James hunts in the box.

Williams’ departure was inevitable (and should bring a fourth-round compensatory pick). While another body at wide receiver would have helped, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dylan Cantrell should be able to pick up the slack. The O-line could have used an upgrade or two — guards Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield and right tackle Sam Tevi struggled at times last year — but continuity usually breeds improvement up front, and there’s still hope for 2017 second-rounder Forrest Lamp to develop.

Worth the investment?

–Taking the over on the Chargers’ 10-win total is scary given their rotten luck in recent years, but this team is good enough to win 13 or even 14.

–Philip Rivers has never won MVP, garnering only two votes when he led the NFL in passer rating in 2008. But there are worse bets than his +2000 odds.

Bottom line: Two wins from the Super Bowl a year ago, the Chargers didn’t mess with the formula and still found a few upgrades. They should threaten in the playoffs yet again.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting has two new jobs.

The 21-year-old Texas native is an acquisitions officer for the Air Force, and he also signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday to be a long snapper.

The Vikings made him a seventh-round draft pick (250th overall) out of the Air Force Academy in April.

Cutting, a second lieutenant, will be allowed to serve his two-year military commitment while simultaneous playing in the NFL, the (Saint Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Sunday.

According to the newspaper, Cutting was set to receive a four-year, $2.59 million contract, including a $74,576 signing bonus.

The Air Force plans to employ Cutting as a recruiting officer, according to his agent, Darren Deloatche.

“(Cutting is) thankful,” Deloatche told the Pioneer Press. “It’s a weight off his shoulders at this stage. … He’s definitely excited about this opportunity to compete in the NFL right now. … But he wants to serve his country.”

The Vikings reported that Cutting will challenge incumbent Kevin McDermott for the role as the team’s long snapper.

With Cutting and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines signing Monday, only four of this year’s draft picks remain unsigned: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (first round), New York Jets defensive linemen Quinnen Williams (first round), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (first round) and 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (second round).

–Field Level Media

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Giants sign first-round QB Jones

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick,

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick, quarterback Daniel Jones, multiple outlets reported.

Based on his draft slot, Jones’ deal will be worth more than $25 million over four years. Like all first-round picks, his deal has a fifth-year team option.

Jones, 22, was the No. 6 overall pick after passing for 8,201 yards and 52 touchdowns in 36 games at Duke from 2016-18. He was the second quarterback off the board, following No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones is expected to be on the field when the Giants open training camp Thursday in East Rutherford, N.J. Also present will be third-round outside linebacker Oshane Ximines, who signed his deal earlier Monday.

Jones’ and Ximines’ signings leave only four unsigned draft picks: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall), New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (No. 16) and 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel (No. 36 overall).

–Field Level Media

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Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE Frank Clark, S Tyrann Mathieu, DE Alex Okafor, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Bashaud Breeland, LB Darron Lee, LB Damien Wilson, S Juan Thornhill, WR Mecole Hardman, DT Khalen Saunders

They’re gone: OLB Dee Ford, OLB Justin Houston, S Eric Berry, C Mitch Morse, DT Allen Bailey, CB Steven Nelson, TE Demetrius Harris, WR Chris Conley, RB Spencer Ware, S Eric Murray, S Ron Parker

2019 snapshot: The team that came thisclose to a Super Bowl appearance didn’t rest on its laurels, instead churning the coaching staff and roster, particularly on defense.

Steve Spagnuolo replaced fired D-coordinator Bob Sutton, while Clark, Mathieu and Okafor/Ogbah step in for departed Pro Bowlers Ford, Berry and Houston, respectively. At best, those changes feel like a wash, especially because Clark and Mathieu have higher salaries than their counterparts (and acquiring Clark cost Kansas City its first-round pick).

The defense added enough talent to improve, depending on how quickly the group clicks under Spagnuolo, but there are still concerns. Unless Breeland returns to his form from Washington, cornerback remains a question mark. There’s also no dangerous edge-rushing threat other than Clark. Chris Jones could hold out while seeking a massive extension entering a contract year, and locking him up is imperative after trading Ford and releasing Houston.

The Chiefs caught a break when Tyreek Hill avoided league punishment following a child and family services investigation. The pick of Hardman (second round) provided some insurance, but Hill’s role as a centerpiece in Andy Reid’s offense would have been impossible to fill if he missed time. The offense made few other additions while losing its starting center (Morse) and a few role players, and all numbers suggest at least slight regression from 2018’s heights.

–Patrick Mahomes’ sudden stardom makes the Chiefs an annual favorite for double-digit wins. Taking the over on 10.5 wins always carries risk, but this team is a good bet.

–Battling voter fatigue and year-to-year regression, only Peyton Manning (who did it twice) has won back-to-back MVPs since 1996. We’d steer clear of Mahomes’ +450 odds (best by 200) to repeat.

Bottom line: The Chiefs clearly worked to improve on defense, but the upgrades appear marginal for now. They remain Super Bowl contenders but might have to keep winning shootouts.

–Field Level Media

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Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Jordan Howard, DE Vinny Curry, LB Zach Brown, OT Andre Dillard, RB Miles Sanders, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, S Andrew Sendejo, LB L.J. Fort,

They’re gone: QB Nick Foles, DE Michael Bennett, WR Golden Tate, LB Jordan Hicks, DE Chris Long, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Darren Sproles

2019 snapshot: One of the few teams in the league without any real glaring holes to fill, Philadelphia entered the offseason with plenty of flexibility and put it to good use.

Three former Eagles — DeSean Jackson, Curry and Timmy Jernigan — were brought back for cheap, and GM Howie Roseman also signed two former Pro Bowl defenders who were released (Malik Jackson, Brown). Bennett (traded to New England) and Long (retired) will be missed, but Curry, a healthy Derek Barnett and a freshly paid Brandon Graham should be sufficient on the edge.

Roseman also had a great draft, starting with a mini trade-up past Houston to nab Jason Peters’ successor in Dillard. He acquired Howard for cheap (2020 conditional sixth-rounder) and drafted offensive contributors in Sanders and Arcega-Whiteside, both of whom could have roles from Day 1. The Eagles are also in line for more draft capital in 2020 thanks to the compensatory pick formula.

Foles’ departure was unavoidable, but the Eagles drafted Clayton Thorson and moved quickly to extend Carson Wentz. That extension — while complicated in structure — looks like a clear win for the team. Any deal would carry some risk given Wentz’s injury history, but if he remains healthy moving forward, Philadelphia will have one of the league’s best quarterbacks on a deal significantly short of the top of the market.

Worth the investment?

–After 13 wins in 2017 and nine last season, the Eagles’ over/under is set at 10 this year. Wentz’s injury history isn’t enough to shy away from the over.

–Wentz was likely headed for his first MVP award before tearing his ACL late in 2017. Betting on him to do so this year at +1500 is a fair wager.

Bottom line: Few GMs in the business are better than Roseman, who put together another strong offseason with a clear and coherent plan. There’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t compete for a Super Bowl appearance.

–Field Level Media

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