Cowboys stress numbers over No. 1 at receiver without Bryant

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Cole Beasley doesn’t need a lot of prodding to bring up how much he thinks outsiders will overlook Dallas receivers now that the Cowboys have moved on from Dez Bryant.

The new dean of the group sees opportunity rather than uncertainty at a position that lacks a big name, and the history of big production that usually goes with it.

Dallas isn’t necessarily looking for a new No. 1 receiver while also trying to replace 15-year tight end Jason Witten, who retired as the franchise leader in catches and yards. Headlined by holdovers Beasley and Terrance Williams and newcomers Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin, the Cowboys think their strength could be in numbers — and matchups.

“They’re giving everybody an opportunity to do everything,” said Beasley, who is going into his seventh season. “This is the most open it’s ever been since I’ve been here as far as who’s where. That makes it a lot of fun. And it’s exciting to see what everybody can do.”

The Cowboys cut Bryant , the club’s career leader with 73 touchdowns receiving, in a cost-cutting move after three subpar years under the big contract he signed after his only All-Pro season in 2014.

The thing is, Bryant’s replacements are coming off subpar years as well.

Beasley’s catches and yards fell by more than half from career highs in 2016. Williams didn’t have a touchdown for the first time in his five seasons, and became an off-field concern with an arrest in a public intoxication case.

Hurns, a free agent addition going into his fifth season, didn’t reach 500 yards in either of his two years in Jacksonville since the only 1,000-yard season among the 12 receivers that Dallas currently plans to take to training camp late next month.

Austin, a bust as the eighth overall pick in 2013 by the Rams when they were still in St. Louis, was mostly a spectator for the most dramatic turnaround in the NFL last year. The Los Angeles Rams took the NFC West at 11-5 with the franchise’s first winning season since 2003. The Cowboys traded for him during the draft.

“We’re all coming off years that we’re not so proud of,” said Hurns, who also has the only double-digit touchdown season in the group with 10 in 2015, when he had 1,031 yards. “We’ve all got that motivation to come in and do well. What people talk about, it just adds fuel to the fire. But that’s not our pure motivation.”

Hurns didn’t want to overlook the rookies in a group with something to prove, and there are two to watch. Michael Gallup was the first receiver the Cowboys have drafted post-Bryant — a third-rounder out of Colorado State. Dallas took Cedrick Wilson from Boise State in the sixth round.

It’s likely to be a while before practice is any indication of how the receivers might line up for the opener Sept. 9 at Carolina. For one thing, Williams wasn’t on the field during offseason practices because he broke his right foot in January and had surgery.

Nearly everyone has had first-team work with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, the only sure things at the skill positions on offense right now for the Cowboys.

“There’s a big hole,” Gallup said. “There’s a lot of open space in there. It just opens your eyes if you’re a rookie, honestly. You can come in here and potentially start Day 1. That role is something that everybody wants to go get. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

There’s a new coach to go with all those new receivers as well. Sanjay Lal replaced Derek Dooley as part of an overhaul of coach Jason Garrett’s staff.

“I’m excited to see how it shakes out,” Lal said. “I couldn’t tell you who the six or five or however many we keep are going to be, and that’s exciting to me. And for them it should be exciting. Gives you all the motivation you need.”

Prescott planned to get together with the receivers during the break between minicamp and training camp. The third-year QB envisioned a gathering away from Dallas, working out in the morning and hanging out in the afternoon.

Looking for a bounce-back himself after the Cowboys missed the playoffs a year after he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the NFC East champs, Prescott won’t be trying to force the ball to a No. 1 receiver. That happened at times with Bryant.

“I think when you come out of minicamp, you kind of see that, when you see all the different guys we’re throwing to, the different guys that are running with the ones, different guys that are running with the twos,” Prescott said. “It’s about spreading the ball around, just going to the right place with the ball.”

Prescott will have plenty of motivated targets.

“I think last season was a good thing for all of us,” Beasley said. “It added like a hunger to our group. A lot of people pushed us to the side this offseason and they’re sleeping on us, but that gives us a chance to prove a lot of people wrong.”

___

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Chiefs put franchise tag on pass rusher Ford

Chiefs put franchise tag on pass rusher Ford

The

Chiefs put franchise tag on pass rusher Ford

The Kansas City Chiefs placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford on Monday with a potential eye toward making a trade.

Both NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs are looking to deal the pass-rushing specialist.

The Chiefs are switching from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, with Ford likely moving to defensive end if he stays with Kansas City.

Ford has 30.5 career sacks in five seasons, all with the Chiefs, including a personal-best 13 in 2018, when he attained career firsts by starting all 16 regular-season games and being selected to the Pro Bowl. He also forced a league-high seven fumbles.

Ford, 27, earned about $8.7 million in 2018 after the fifth-year option of his contract was exercised. The one-year franchise tag for linebackers is worth $15,443,000 in 2019.

Ford was one of several top pass rushers who were tagged Monday, including the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence, the Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney, the Atlanta Falcons’ Grady Jarrett and the Seattle Seahawks’ Frank Clark.

–Field Level Media

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49ers retain RG Person with 3-year deal

49ers retain RG Person with 3-year deal

49ers retain RG Person with 3-year deal

The San Francisco 49ers will keep their offensive line intact after agreeing to a three-year contract extension with right guard Mike Person on Monday.

Person, who was due to become a free agent later this month, is now under contract through the 2021 season. Though the 49ers didn’t announce the contract’s finances, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Person landed a three-year, $9 million deal that features $3 million in guaranteed money.

“Mike earned the respect of everyone in our building for the way he battled through injury last season to start all 16 games and perform the way he did,” San Francisco general manager John Lynch said in a statement released by the team.

“Aside from his toughness and durability, he brings tremendous versatility to our offensive line, and we look forward to his contributions to the growth and development of that unit. Mike is exactly the type of person and competitor we look for, and we are very happy to have gotten this extension done.”

Person, 30, had started just 18 games in his first seven NFL seasons before starting every game last year.

A seventh-round pick by the 49ers out of Montana State in the 2011 NFL Draft, Person never got into a game in his first stint with the team, subsequently ending up with the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs and the Colts again.

He started 14 games for the Falcons in 2015 and four for the Colts in 2017 among his 59 career NFL games.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots release TE Allen

Patriots release TE Allen

The New England

Patriots release TE Allen

The New England Patriots released tight end Dwayne Allen on Monday, saving the team a salary-cap hit of $7.3 million in 2019.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions were among the suitors showing preliminary interest in meeting with Allen, who was entering the final year of a four-year deal signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016.

Allen, 29, caught three passes for 27 yards in 13 games last season for the Super Bowl champions, mostly filling a role as a blocking tight end. His most productive season as a pass-catcher came as a rookie in 2012, when he had 45 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns for the Colts.

The Patriots acquired Allen in a trade in March 2017.

He had 13 catches in two seasons in New England, giving him 139 receptions in 86 career games (72 starts).

ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter last week that the Patriots have shown interest in bringing back Allen at a lower salary.

The Patriots also released wide receiver Darren Andrews on Monday. The rookie free agent out of UCLA spent last season on the reserve/non-football injury list.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles reportedly cut ties with DT Jernigan

Eagles reportedly cut ties with DT Jernigan

The Philadelphia Eagles declined the contract option on defensive

Eagles reportedly cut ties with DT Jernigan

The Philadelphia Eagles declined the contract option on defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, multiple sources reported Monday.

The move wasn’t a surprise, considering Jernigan played in just three games last season and was set to make $13 million in 2019. The Eagles will incur a $6 million dead-cap penalty, but they cleared $7 million in cap space in the transaction.

Jernigan is set to become a free agent on March 13.

The Eagles are unsettled along the defensive line this offseason and could be interested in bringing him back at a price they like.

Jernigan, 26, missed the first 10 games last season after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk in May. He would up playing only about 100 snaps, according to Philly.com.

He started in all 15 games in which he played in 2017 — and started all three playoff games in the Eagles’ run to winning Super Bowl LII.

In 61 career games (42 starts), Jernigan has 122 tackles, including 26 for loss, and 15.5 sacks.

Jernigan was a second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 and was traded to the Eagles in April 2017.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bears releasing LB Acho

Reports: Bears releasing LB Acho

The Chicago Bears informed linebacker Sam Acho that he will be released, according

Reports: Bears releasing LB Acho

The Chicago Bears informed linebacker Sam Acho that he will be released, according to multiple reports.

Acho, 30, played just four games last season. He tore a pectoral muscle in late September and finished the season on injured reserve. The Bears will save more than $2 million against the cap, according to the reports.

Acho started 12 games for the Bears in 2017, compiling 45 tackles and three sacks.

Acho began his career with the Cardinals in 2011 and has recorded 17 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in eight seasons in the NFL.

–Field Level Media

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Texans release former first-round CB Johnson

Texans release former first-round CB Johnson

Former

Texans release former first-round CB Johnson

Former first-round pick Kevin Johnson was released by the Houston Texans.

Johnson battled concussions and ended last season on injured reserve due to a recurrence of head injuries. He played only 13 games the past two seasons and missed a total of 29 in four seasons.

Johnson played 35 games after entering the league as a first-round pick in 2015 out of Wake Forest.

General manager Brian Gaine said at the NFL Scouting Combine the Texans have not seen Johnson’s full potential due to injuries.

“Kevin has had some tough luck the last few years,” Gaine said. “He’s a former first-round pick, I was here when we drafted Kevin.”

The Texans have other key decisions to make in the secondary.

Safety Tyrann Mathieu is expected to reach free agency after a stellar season in 2018, his only year with the team, which ended in teammates naming him a captain.

Mathieu signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Houston after being released by the Arizona Cardinals in a cap-related move. Cornerback Kareem Jackson, entering his 10th NFL season, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next week as well. Jackson turns 31 before the start of the 2019 regular season.

–Field Level Media

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Winslow II has bail revoked after new charges of lewd conduct

Winslow II has bail revoked after new charges of lewd conduct

Former NFL

Winslow II has bail revoked after new charges of lewd conduct

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was jailed without bail Monday, accused of new charges of lewd conduct against a 77-year-old woman while out on bail on charges of kidnapping and rape.

Prosecutors last week charged Winslow II with two counts of lewd conduct and a count each of battery and willful cruelty against an elder, all misdemeanors, after allegedly touching himself on two separate occasions at a Carlsbad, Calif., gym last month, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In one of the alleged incidents, according to the Union-Tribune, prosecutors accuse Winslow of entering a hot tub the woman was in, then engaging in lewd conduct before “reaching out and touching the woman’s arm, and touching her foot as she got out of the hot tub to report the incident.”

Vista Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman on Monday ordered Winslow II jailed without bond.

Winslow II, 35, was out on $2 million bond while facing trial next month on multiple counts of kidnapping and rape of two transient women, charges that were brought last June. If convicted on those charges, Winslow II could face life in prison.

Later last summer, a woman accused Winslow II of raping her in 2003 when she was 17 years old. Winslow was 19 at the time.

Winslow II is the son of Hall of Fame player and former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. Winslow II played 10 seasons in the NFL.

–Field Level Media

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Bucs re-sign OT Smith to 3-year deal worth reported $41M deal

Bucs re-sign OT Smith to 3-year deal worth reported $41M deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs re-sign OT Smith to 3-year deal worth reported $41M deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday announced they have re-signed left tackle Donovan Smith to a three-year deal worth a reported $41 million.

Smith, 25, has started 64 consecutive games for the Bucs. A second-round pick in 2015, Smith was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next week. Smith’s consecutive starts are tied for the third-longest active mark among offensive tackles in the NFL.

ESPN reported that deal is worth $41.25 million with $27 million guaranteed.

“Donovan has been a valuable player and a model of durability since we drafted him four years ago,” general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. “We always aim to develop our players and reward them for their productivity and reliability, so keeping Donovan as a Buccaneer was a major priority for us this offseason.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Raiders, Oakland reach deal for 2019; key vote remains

Report: Raiders, Oakland reach deal for 2019; key vote remains

Report: Raiders, Oakland reach deal for 2019; key vote remains

The Raiders reportedly found a home for next season, but a key vote is still required before any deal is cemented.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken, the team on Tuesday finalized an agreement on a one-year lease with the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum that would keep the team in Northern California for one more season before it officially moves to Las Vegas.

But the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board Commissioners still have to approve the new lease and, according to Gehlken, when the board convenes a special meeting on Wednesday, the vote will not take place.

“A special meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. has been scheduled for the board that ultimately will vote on a stadium lease, once completed. But vote won’t yet be held. That could come next week,” Gehlken tweeted.

Wednesday’s special meeting will be held in open session, but it is not certain the measure will be approved.

The Raiders are scheduled to move Las Vegas, their new home, when their new stadium is ready for the 2020 season. Their lease with Oakland ran out following the 2018 season, leaving the team scrambling for months to find a home stadium in 2019.

The sides had previously agreed on a $7.5 million fee for the Raiders to play home games at the Coliseum in 2019, but the team pulled out of the deal after the city of Oakland filed a federal lawsuit in December over the Raiders’ pending departure.

Owner Mark Davis had been adamant the team would not play in Oakland if a lawsuit was filed, but he has simultaneously expressed a desire to play 2019 close to the Oakland faithful, particularly as other options dried up.

“I’ve said from the beginning, my biggest concern is our fans, and it’s my hope and preference to remain in the Bay Area (in 2019) for them,” Davis told the Review-Journal last week. “The fans have always been first in my heart. We do have other options, but the hope is to remain in the Bay Area next season until we move to Las Vegas in 2020, which I remain very excited about.”

Reports emerged the night of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 that the Raiders had agreed with MLB’s San Francisco Giants to play in 2019 at Oracle Park (previously known as AT&T Park) on the San Francisco waterfront, but the San Francisco 49ers reportedly refused to waive their territorial rights to the city, killing any deal between the Raiders and Giants.

–Field Level Media

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USGA clarifies tweet: Thomas never canceled meetings

USGA clarifies tweet: Thomas never canceled meetings

USGA clarifies tweet: Thomas never canceled meetings

The simmering feud between Justin Thomas and the USGA apparently cooled, as the organization on Tuesday tweeted a retraction of an earlier tweet critical of the 2017 FedEx Cup champion.

“After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings. We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules,” the tweet from the USGA’s public relations Twitter account read.

Shortly afterward, Thomas retweeted the @USGA_PR’s tweet.

The tweet came three days after a back-and-forth between Thomas and the USGA over rule changes that culminated with the organization accusing the fourth-ranked player in the world of “cancelling every meeting we’ve planned with you.”

On Saturday, golfer Adam Schenk received a two-stroke penalty for action on the 17th hole of Friday’s round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The penalty was for Schenck’s caddie standing behind him and was announced by the PGA Tour on Twitter.

Schenk’s bogey on the par-3 hole turned into a triple bogey.

Thomas, 25, retweeted the post, adding a brief sarcastic comment directed toward the USGA, and then engaged with golf fans and explained what he thinks of the new caddie rule.

“My problem with the rule is that unless a caddie is clearly lining a player up (which is very obvious), I don’t see how there’s any benefit to it. Doesn’t make the game any better in my eyes. That being said, we know the rule and have to be careful to go by it,” Thomas tweeted.

Eventually, the USGA public relations account responded with this tweet:

“Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.”

Thomas responded that he agreed, adding he hopes that “the USGA starts communicating with the current players to better the game and the sport. The rules are rules, no getting past that. Just hoping going forward, communication is had and ALL GOLFERS benefit from any changes.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: 6 players get franchise tag

NFL notebook: 6 players get franchise tag

Six players received the franchise designation before Tuesday's

NFL notebook: 6 players get franchise tag

Six players received the franchise designation before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline: San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould and five pass rushers from around the NFL — DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Grady Jarrett, Frank Clark and Dee Ford.

Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Lawrence, Houston Texans outside linebacker Clowney, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jarrett, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Clark and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Ford could all sign long-term deals but their prospects for those riches vary.

Lawrence is reportedly perturbed by the repeat tag and has no intention to report without a long-term deal in Dallas, while Ford could be traded for the right offer, according to reports.

A non-exclusive tag means Clowney can talk to other teams, which would have to give up two first-round picks as compensation if the Texans didn’t match an offer sheet, while both the 49ers and Falcons have been out front with their position, which is to sign Gould and Jarrett to long-term contracts.

–According to multiple reports, the Baltimore Ravens released safety Eric Weddle. The reported $7.5 million in cap space the team gains could be used to sweeten an offer to linebacker C.J. Mosley as he prepares to enter free agency.

Last month, the Ravens agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos to free up a reported $10.5 million in cap space.

Weddle, 34, signed a four-year, $26 million contract with the Ravens before the 2016 season after spending nine seasons with the Chargers. He made the Pro Bowl in all three seasons in Baltimore.

–The New York Giants did not use their franchise tag on safety Landon Collins, setting the 25-year-old, three-time Pro Bowl selection free and onto the open market.

The four-year pro can become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins March 13. A franchise tag would have guaranteed Collins a one-year, $11.15 million deal.

Collins has led the Giants in tackles in each of his four seasons after being selected in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Other roster news of note:

–New England did not use the franchise tag on any player, making defensive end Trey Flowers one of the top free agents hitting the market.

–The Arizona Cardinals have cut veteran linebacker Josh Bynes, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, clearing more than $1.8 million from Arizona’s salary cap.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed left tackle Donovan Smith to a three-year deal worth a reported $41 million.

–The Chicago Bears released linebacker Sam Acho after the 30-year-old was limited to just four games because of a torn pectoral muscle.

–The Texans released 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson after concussions and head injuries limited him to 13 games the past two seasons.

–The Los Angeles Rams reportedly did not exercise their 2019 option on center John Sullivan and released linebacker Mark Barron, reportedly clearing more than $13 million in cap space.

–NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Chiefs have begun negotiating a long-term, “record-setting” extension with wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

–The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly restructured the contract of offensive tackle Lane Johnson, converting his base salary into signing bonuses allocated over multiple years to free up cap space.

–The Indianapolis Colts re-signed defensive lineman Margus Hunt, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent later this month.

–According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Oakland Raiders finalized an agreement on a one-year lease with the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum that would keep them in Northern California in 2019 before they officially move to Las Vegas in 2020.

But it is not known when the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board Commissioners will vote on whether to approve the agreement.

–Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was jailed without bail Monday, accused of new charges of lewd conduct against a 77-year-old woman at a Carlsbad, Calif., gym last month while out on bail on charges of kidnapping and rape.

Winslow II, 35, was out on $2 million bond while facing trial next month on multiple counts of kidnapping and rape of two transient women, charges that were brought last June. If convicted on those charges, Winslow II could face life in prison.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: 5 pass rushers receive franchise tag

NFL notebook: 5 pass rushers receive franchise tag

The

NFL notebook: 5 pass rushers receive franchise tag

The Kansas City Chiefs placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford on Monday with a potential eye toward making a trade.

Both NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs are looking to deal the pass-rushing specialist. The Chiefs are switching from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, with Ford likely moving to defensive end if he stays with Kansas City.

Ford, 27, has 30.5 career sacks in five seasons, all with the Chiefs, including a personal-best 13 in 2018. He also forced a league-high seven fumbles.

The one-year franchise tag for linebackers is worth $15,443,000 in 2019.

–Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett remains with the Atlanta Falcons, but a long-term extension is on hold after the team used the franchise tag on the 25-year-old star.

Using the franchise designation assures Jarrett of a one-year deal worth nearly $15 million for 2019. The two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract extension.

–The Dallas Cowboys are putting the franchise tag on pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence for the second consecutive season.

The Cowboys and Lawrence, 26, have been talking about a long-term deal, but the sides were “not close,” according to multiple reports. Dallas tagged Lawrence last season, when he made $17.1 million. He would earn $20.5 million under the franchise tag in 2019.

–The Houston Texans placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker/defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. He is reportedly being tagged as a linebacker, according to The Sporting News.

The non-exclusive tag means Clowney can talk to other teams, which would have to give up two first-round picks as compensation if the Texans didn’t match an offer sheet. The Texans and Clowney can negotiate a longer-term deal until July 15.

–The Seattle Seahawks used the franchise tag for the first time since 2010, putting one on defensive end Frank Clark. Clark had a team-high 13 sacks in the 2018 regular season and 32 in the past three years.

–Three-time Pro Bowl safeties under the age of 26 are rarely set free on the open market in the NFL, but Landon Collins will escape the franchise tag and become a free agent, NFL Network reported.

Collins, a four-year pro, can become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins March 13. Collins, 25, led the team with 96 tackles last season despite missing the final four games due to a shoulder injury.

–The Baltimore Ravens will not use their franchise tag on the Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, Schefter reported. Mosley earned $8.7 million in 2018, when he helped the Ravens lead the NFL in total defense.

–The New England Patriots released tight end Dwayne Allen, saving the team a salary-cap hit of $7.3 million in 2019.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions were among the suitors showing preliminary interest in meeting with Allen, who caught three passes for 27 yards in 13 games last season.

–Not so fast on the idea that the Chiefs have released Justin Houston. Multiple reports indicated that the outside linebacker remains on the team, which is still exploring its options, including finding a trade partner.

–The Philadelphia Eagles declined the contract option on defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, multiple sources reported. The move wasn’t a surprise, considering Jernigan played in just three games last season and was set to make $13 million in 2019. The Eagles will incur a $6 million dead-cap penalty.

–The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a three-year contract with right guard Mike Person, who was due to become a free agent later this month. Though the 49ers didn’t announce the contract’s finances, Schefter reported that Person landed a three-year, $9 million deal that features $3 million in guaranteed money.

–Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, posting a time of 4.30 seconds on the final day of the event in Indianapolis. He edged out the 4.31 times of Massachusetts wide receiver Andy Isabella and Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell.

–Former Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield has a partially torn pectoral muscle and ended the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine prematurely and wearing a sling. Sheffield was hurt while doing a bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he told NFL Network that he will not require surgery.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots don’t use franchise tag on DE Flowers

Report: Patriots don't use franchise tag on DE Flowers

Report: Patriots don’t use franchise tag on DE Flowers

The New England Patriots did not use the franchise tag on any player, making defensive end Trey Flowers one of the top free agents hitting the market, according to multiple reports.

Flowers, 25, led the Super Bowl LIII champions in sacks for the third straight year with a career-high 7.5 in 2018.

The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Flowers played in 15 regular-season games and all three playoff games last season, missing one contest due to a concussion.

A fourth-round pick in 2015 out of Arkansas, Flowers has tallied 21.0 sacks, 164 tackles and five forced fumbles the past three seasons.

Draft Analyst reported last week that the Miami Dolphins are the front-runners to sign Flowers. Miami hired former Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores as their head coach last month.

New England could still negotiate a new deal with Flowers, but won’t have exclusive negotiating rights without the franchise tag.

Other Patriots set to become unrestricted free agents on March 13 include kicker Stephen Gostkowski, left tackle Trent Brown, cornerback Jason McCourty, wide receiver Chris Hogan, punter Ryan Allen and receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson.

–Field Level Media

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Giants resist franchise tag for Collins

Giants resist franchise tag for Collins

Suitors

Giants resist franchise tag for Collins

Suitors can begin forming a queue for safety Landon Collins.

The New York Giants did not use their franchise tag to retain Collins’ refusal rights in free agency, setting the 25-year-old, three-time Pro Bowl selection free and onto the open market when the new league year begins next week.

Collins, a four-year pro, can become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins March 13. The Giants had until Tuesday to use the franchise tag, which would have guaranteed Collins a one-year, $11.15 million deal.

The New York Daily News also reported there is expected to be a “significant market” for the former Alabama safety if he’s allowed to hit free agency.

Collins ended last season on injured reserve because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He still led the team with 96 tackles, despite missing the final four games.

Collins has led the Giants in tackles in each of his four seasons after being selected in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Collins has 428 tackles and eight interceptions in 59 games, all starts.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals release veteran LB Bynes

Report: Cardinals release veteran LB Bynes

The Arizona

Report: Cardinals release veteran LB Bynes

The Arizona Cardinals cut veteran linebacker Josh Bynes on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Bynes, 29, joined the Cardinals in 2017 and signed a three-year extension with the club in March 2018.

His release clears more than $1.8 million from Arizona’s salary cap, per NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk.

Bynes started the first 11 games in 2018 before suffering a season-ending thumb injury, finishing the campaign with 75 tackles and two sacks.

Undrafted out of Auburn, Bynes played three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and three with the Detroit Lions before signing with Arizona.

In 89 career games (40 starts), he has 319 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Tagged: Six players receive franchise designation

Tagged: Six players receive franchise designation

Kicker Robbie Gould and five pass

Tagged: Six players receive franchise designation

Kicker Robbie Gould and five pass rushers — DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Grady Jarrett, Frank Clark and Dee Ford — received the franchise designation before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

The tag assures a one-year salary for 2019 at top dollar relative to players at the same position if the sides cannot reach a long-term extension by the July 15 deadline.

Left tackle Donovan Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers negotiated a three-year deal announced Tuesday to avoid the franchise dance.

Two veterans at one time thought to be under consideration for the tag, which essentially blocks players from free agency, avoided the marker: Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and Giants safety Landon Collins.

Bell skipped last season altogether after being tagged the past two offseasons.

Collins, 25, has been to the Pro Bowl three of his four seasons since entering the NFL as a second-round pick out of Alabama. He could command a staggering contract in free agency — along with former Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas — but the Giants opted not to guarantee more than $11 million in 2019 and bypassed the franchise designation.

Slightly less surprising: the Ravens opted not to use the franchise tag on linebacker C.J. Mosley. But coach John Harbaugh said the team hopes to keep Mosley, drafted 17th overall in 2014, in Baltimore. Negotiations are ongoing, per reports.

Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Lawrence, Texans outside linebacker Clowney, Falcons defensive tackle Jarrett, Seahawks defensive lineman Clark and Chiefs outside linebacker Ford could all sign long-term deals but their prospects for those riches vary.

Lawrence is reportedly perturbed by the repeat tag and has no intention to report without a long-term deal in Dallas.

Dallas tagged Lawrence last season, when he made $17.1 million. He would earn $20.5 million under the franchise tag in 2019.

Ford could be traded, according to reports, if the right offer comes along.

The Chiefs are switching from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, with Ford likely moving to defensive end if he stays with Kansas City.

Ford, 27, has 30.5 career sacks in five seasons, all with the Chiefs, including a personal-best 13 in 2018. He also forced a league-high seven fumbles.

The one-year franchise tag for linebackers is worth $15,443,000 in 2019.

A non-exclusive tag means Clowney can talk to other teams, which would have to give up two first-round picks as compensation if the Texans didn’t match an offer sheet.

The 49ers and Falcons have been out front with their position, which is to sign Gould and Jarrett to long-term contracts.

Using the franchise designation assures Jarrett of a one-year deal worth just north of $15 million for 2019. Gould would earn a little less than $5 million in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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Last call: Steelers tell suitors WR Brown trade imminent

Last call: Steelers tell suitors WR Brown trade imminent

Teams

Last call: Steelers tell suitors WR Brown trade imminent

Teams interested in acquiring wide receiver Antonio Brown for a first-round draft pick were informed by the Pittsburgh Steelers that a trade is likely by Friday.

General manager Kevin Colbert reportedly offered a last call, not atypical in major trades, in hopes of pulling in the last, best offer from any suitors, ESPN reported.

Brown has six consecutive 100-catch seasons but fell out of favor in Pittsburgh at the end of last season. He was inactive Week 17 following reports of a walkthrough confrontation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger denied any incident took place.

Brown told LeBron James on HBO’s “The Shop” that he felt disrespected by Roethlisberger following an interception in November against the Broncos.

“He feels like he’s the owner,” Brown said. “Bro, you threw the (expletive) to the D-lineman! What the (expletive)? I’m over here wide open! You need to give me a better ball!”

Head coach Mike Tomlin said at his season-ending press conference that the implication Brown quit on his team was not lost on him.

Brown met with team officials two weeks later and the sides agreed a trade would be the best solution for all involved. Pittsburgh is also parting with running back Le’Veon Bell, the twice-franchise-tagged former All-Pro who opted to sit out the 2018 season in a contract squabble.

The Oakland Raiders are thought to be the leaders to acquire Brown, in part because the team has three first-round picks and a glaring hole at wide receiver. That was created, in part, by dumping Pro Bowler Amari Cooper for one of those first-round picks to the Dallas Cowboys in October.

–Field Level Media

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Riley: NFL teams ‘glowing’ after interviewing Murray

Riley: NFL teams 'glowing' after interviewing Murray

Riley: NFL teams ‘glowing’ after interviewing Murray

Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley refuted comments that his former quarterback, potential top draft pick Kyler Murray, interviewed poorly at the recently completed NFL Scouting Combine.

“I know Kyler met with a lot of different teams at the combine, and I have personally spoken with the majority of the teams he met with,” Riley said Wednesday on the Dan Patrick Show. “And every one of them were glowing in their reports about Kyler, basically the complete opposite of what Charley threw out there.”

That would be former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, who said Tuesday he had heard negative reviews from teams who met with Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner.

“These were the worst comments I ever got on a top-rated quarterback, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” Casserly said on NFL Network. “Leadership — not good. Study habits — not good. The board work — below not good. Not good at all in any of those areas, raising major concerns about what this guy is going to do.”

Casserly said he spoke with “more than two teams” but would not provide an exact number. He also said he heard Murray was poorly prepared for his interviews.

“I just hate that people go out and make these comments and (they) haven’t talked to the two people who’ve actually coached this kid,” Riley said. “You went on what one team said. Which is probably a smokescreen. Kyler was a tremendous leader for us.

“… all he cares about is winning. I think our team took on his personality.”

Murray’s agent Erik Burkhardt echoed Riley’s defense and issued a pointed attack on Casserly.

“Look, If you don’t like Kyler’s game, it’s cool,” Burkhardt told Pro Football Talk. “If you don’t like his size and want to talk about that, that’s fine, too. If you’re into a Heath Shuler-type looking guy, then hype those guys and say why.

“But when you slander the character and work ethic of a young man who’s worked his (tail) off his entire life and done everything right to put himself in his current position, you’d better cite your sources and come with a better record than 18-46 as a GM of the Texans, and whose own leadership and accountability has been questioned by his old bosses and colleagues, as well as the greatest coach on the planet.”

The “greatest coach” comment was in reference to Bill Belichick, who was publicly critical of Casserly in 2010. Shuler was a 6-foot-2 quarterback whom Casserly and the Redskins took third overall in the 1994 draft, who went on to play in just 29 NFL games.

Murray did not participate in drills at the combine but reportedly met with 10 teams in Indianapolis, including the team with the No. 1 overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals. The draft begins April 25.

There are likely to be smokescreens and waves of misinformation before then, and Murray — with concerns about his size (5-10 1/8, 207 pounds) — is likely to be a polarizing prospect. Still, many around the league believe the Cardinals are enamored with Murray’s skills and could be shopping 2018 first-round quarterback Josh Rosen to make room.

ESPN reported later Wednesday that the Cardinals have not shopped Rosen to this point, despite interest expressed from multiple teams at last week’s combine.

–Field Level Media

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49ers inducting WR Owens into team HOF

49ers inducting WR Owens into team HOF

49ers inducting WR Owens into team HOF

Terrell Owens will become the 28th inductee into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame, the team announced Wednesday.

The wide receiver played his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers (1996-2003), catching 592 passes for 8,572 yards and 81 touchdowns in 121 games and earning four Pro Bowl selections.

“Over the course of eight seasons, the 49ers Faithful were fortunate to have front row seats to watch Terrell Owens develop into one of the most prolific wide receivers in the history of the NFL,” said team CEO Jed York in a statement. “Not only was Terrell one of the most physically gifted athletes to ever play the game, but he was also one of the most competitive.”

The team did not announce an exact date for the induction ceremony.

Owens ranks second in franchise history behind Jerry Rice in catches, receiving yards, receiving TDs, 100-yard games (25) and 1,000-yard seasons (five).

“I am so humbled to be mentioned with the likes and greats of Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and many others that have represented the San Francisco 49ers organization,” Owens said in a statement. “… The Bay Area is where I began my career, and I will forever be indebted to the 49ers and recognized as one of the 49ers greats.”

The 49ers drafted Owens in the third round in 1996 out of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Owens, 45, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018.

He played for four other teams — Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati — across seven seasons after his time with the 49ers.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Issue arises in Raiders’ lease deal with Oakland

Report: Issue arises in Raiders' lease deal with Oakland

Report: Issue arises in Raiders’ lease deal with Oakland

The lease deal to keep the Oakland Raiders in town for the 2019 NFL season has hit a snag, according to Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben.

But McKibben declined to divulge details of the issue.

“We have one significant open issue that needs to be resolved,” McKibben told reporters on Wednesday after a closed-session meeting of the Coliseum Authority board.

The development comes one day after multiple reports cited the Raiders had agreed to play in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2019 with an option for 2020.

McKibben said he hopes the issue can be resolved by Friday. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that it involves the team’s headquarters and training facility in Alameda. The Raiders reportedly pay $525,000 rent.

“Hopefully we will be able to settle it,” McKibben said. “It requires agreement by both of us, and we have a difference of opinion. This could very likely put us in a position where there is not a deal.”

The Raiders are scheduled to relocate to Las Vegas when their new stadium is ready for the 2020 season. Their lease with Oakland ran out following the 2018 season, leaving the team scrambling for months to find a home stadium in 2019.

The sides had previously agreed on a $7.5 million fee for the Raiders to play home games at the Coliseum in 2019, but the team pulled out of the deal after the city of Oakland filed a federal lawsuit in December over the Raiders’ pending departure.

Owner Mark Davis had been adamant the team would not play in Oakland if a lawsuit was filed, but he has simultaneously expressed a desire to play 2019 close to the Oakland faithful, particularly as other options dried up.

“I’ve said from the beginning, my biggest concern is our fans, and it’s my hope and preference to remain in the Bay Area (in 2019) for them,” Davis told the Review-Journal last week. “The fans have always been first in my heart. We do have other options, but the hope is to remain in the Bay Area next season until we move to Las Vegas in 2020, which I remain very excited about.”

Reports emerged the night of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 that the Raiders had agreed with MLB’s San Francisco Giants to play in 2019 at Oracle Park (previously known as AT&T Park) on the San Francisco waterfront, but the San Francisco 49ers reportedly refused to waive their territorial rights to the city, killing any deal between the Raiders and Giants.

–Field Level Media

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