Dogs’ Smart to be in spotlight as SEC Media Days continue

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be in the spotlight when the Southeastern Conference’s annual preseason media gathering enters its second day.

After leading Georgia to the SEC championship and a spot in the national championship game in his second season, Smart is facing new challenges. The Bulldogs must replace such 2017 leaders as tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and linebacker Roquan Smith.

Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm has new competition from freshman Josh Fields, one of the biggest names in Smart’s top-rated 2018 signing class.

Arkansas coach Chad Morris, Florida coach Dan Mullen and Mississippi coach Matt Luke also will speak on Tuesday.

This is the first year since 1985 the SEC Media Days have been held outside of the Birmingham, Alabama, area.

The annual event brings together coaches and players from the league’s 14 schools. This year approximately 1,000 media credentials have been issued.

The event will return to Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham, in 2019.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

Texans request interview with Patriots' Caserio

The

Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

The Houston Texans officially requested permission to interview New England Patriots director of pro personnel Nick Caserio.

Caserio serves as the scouting right-hand man for head coach Bill Belichick in New England, but he is also a friend of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. Caserio has been pro personnel director since 2008.

The first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine were former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won't attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said he won’t take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp, scheduled to start Tuesday, because he’s frustrated by his lack of a contract extension.

“I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved,” Ngakoue said in a written statement. “I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”

The Jaguars selected Ngakoue, a product of Maryland, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 48 games (47 starts) over three seasons with the Jaguars, he has produced 29.5 sacks.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and is scheduled to earn $2.025 million.

It’s another bump in a rocky offseason for the Jaguars.

Linebacker Telvin Smith said in May that he is taking the 2019 season off for personal reasons. Before that announcement, he and cornerback Jalen Ramsey drew the wrath of team executive vice president Tom Coughlin for failing to show up at voluntary organized team activities.

Ngakoue has at least one teammate in his corner as he makes his stand.

Running back Leonard Fournette tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Pay @YannickNgakoue @Jaguars”

–Field Level Media

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Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The league made the announcement Monday.

Garcia, 25, was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2017 but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Garcia missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs, reportedly losing more than 40 pounds. The Patriots released Garcia in May 2018 with a non-football injury designation.

The Colts added Garcia to their practice squad in October.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

Rory McIlroy will enter this week’s U.S. Open as the No. 3-ranked player in the world, moving up one spot on Monday following his seven-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open.

The Northern Irishman moved past England’s Justin Rose with his second victory and 10th top 10 finish in 12 events this year. McIlroy won The Players Championship in March and posted a pair of T8s before missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

He also rose to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Matt Kuchar.

“Obviously a huge confidence builder not just for next week, but for the rest of the season,” McIlroy said after posting a 61 on Sunday. “To be tied for the lead and to play the way I did, play with that freedom and play with no inhibitions, take driver and stay aggressive …

“Hopefully sets up well for the rest of year, too.”

Two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will arrive at Pebble Beach this week atop the world rankings, followed by good friend Dustin Johnson. Johnson closed the gap a bit with a T20 in Canada, while Koepka posted a T50 in his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month.

Tiger Woods remained No. 5, followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who moved up one spot past Justin Thomas. Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele round out the top 10.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

McIlroy sets scoring record in RBC Canadian Open win

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy ran away from the field and set a new scoring record in the process on Sunday, firing a 9-under-par 61 to reach 22-under 258 and win by seven shots at the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

It was the 16th career PGA Tour win and sixth national open title for McIlroy, who made his event debut this week. The win was also his second of 2019 — he captured The Players Championship in March. McIlroy bested the previous Canadian Open scoring record by five shots. The previous record of 263 was set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 and matched most recently in 2014 by Tim Clark.

“Just awesome,” McIlroy told CBS Sports following his win. “I said it from the start I wanted to be aggressive, you know I played with so much freedom yesterday and I just wanted to keep that going today.

“Tied for the lead going out and playing with that freedom, it gives me so much confidence. Obviously, this is a huge tournament to win. I’m very proud of myself but going forward for this season to play the way I did in a final round like this, I’m going to take a lot from this and I’m excited for next week.”

McIlroy got off to a hot start by making birdie on five of his first seven holes. He made the turn at 5 under before reeling off four straight birdies on holes 11-14. His first hiccup of the day came with a bogey on the par-3 16th hole, but he rebounded with an eagle 3 on 17 and finished with a bogey at 18.

Webb Simpson and Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished tied for second at 15 under. Simpson, who played the first 54 holes without a bogey, finally bobbled at the third but made five birdies over the rest of his round including a chip-in at the 18th and finished with a 68. Lowry, who started the day one shot behind the leaders, carded four birdies and one bogey for a final-round 67.

Brandt Snedeker (69) and Matt Kuchar (70) finished tied for fourth at 13 under, and Canadian Adam Hadwin carded a 70 to finish alone in sixth.

World No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, who also made his event debut, shot an even-par 70 on Sunday to finish tied for 50th place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished with a 69 for a tie for 20th at 7 under.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

Report: Texans interviewing former Browns, Lions GMs

The Houston Texans’ first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine are former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South

Wrist injury forces Schwartzel to end season

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel announced that he will sit out the rest of the 2019 season in order to let a lingering wrist injury heal.

“I’ve been forced, due to my wrist injury to take the remainder of the season off to give my wrist time to rest and heal!,” Schwartzel tweeted. “It’s very frustrating but with a long career still ahead of me, I will get this fixed and I look forward to the come back.”

The 34-year-old entered 2019 ranked No. 79 in the world, but has slipped to 135 with only three cuts made in 11 worldwide starts. He has not played since missing the cut at the RBC Heritage in April.

The 2011 Masters champion also missed the cut at Augusta this year. He withdrew from last month’s PGA Championship due to the wrist injury and then withdrew ahead of sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.

–Field Level Media

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McIlory moves into tie for lead at RBC Canadian Open

McIlory moves into tie for lead at RBC Canadian Open

McIlory moves into tie for lead at RBC Canadian Open

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Webb Simpson each enjoyed bogey-free rounds on Saturday to join Matt Kuchar in a three-way tie for the lead at 13-under-par following the third round of the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

McIlroy, who is making his event debut, roared into contention at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club with a 6-under 64. He kicked off with a birdie at the first hole, followed by two more at Nos. 5 and 8 before making the turn. He dropped three more on the back, at Nos. 11, 15 and 17, and was first into the clubhouse at 13 under.

McIlroy missed his first cut of the season last week at The Memorial and said that gave him some extra practice time.

“I feel like I turned that missed cut into a positive,” he said. “There were a couple things in my game that were highlighted and I had a chance to work on them. … That’s why I am where I am on the leaderboard.”

Simpson, who started the day two shots off the lead at 10 under, posted birdies at Nos. 7, 11 and 12 en route to his 3-under 67. The 33-year-old North Carolina native, whose last win came in 2018 at The Players Championship, is seeking his sixth PGA Tour win.

It was not as smooth of a day for Kuchar, the second-round co-leader, who had two bogeys and three birdies in his round of 69. Kuchar dropped a shot early with a bogey at No. 3 but rebounded with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 4 and 5. He canceled out a birdie at 11 with a bogey at 15 and finished by getting up and down on 18 to shoot 1 under for the day.

In a tie for fourth are Ireland’s Shane Lowry (66), Brandt Snedeker (69) and Canada’s Adam Hadwin (67), who is aiming to become the first Canadian to win country’s national event since Pat Fletcher in 1954. Fellow Canadians Mackenzie Hughes (69, 9 under) and Nick Taylor (73, 8 under) are also within striking distance.

World No. 1-ranked Brooks Koepka, who also is making his event debut, posted a 2-over 72 on Saturday and stands tied for 50th place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who has an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking this week, moved into a tie for 17th place after shooting 68. Jonathan Byrd matched McIlroy for low round of the day with a 64 and moved into a tie for ninth place.

–Field Level Media

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Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Steve Williams will caddie for Jason Day at next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, according to multiple reports.

Williams caddied for Tiger Woods when he set a major championship record with a 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open at the same course in 2000.

Williams was on the bag for 13 of Woods’ 15 major titles. The New Zealander later caddied for Adam Scott from 2011-17 before announcing his retirement.

Day, whose only major victory to date was the 2015 PGA Championship, has missed the cut in the U.S. Open in each of the past two years. He finished in second place at the U.S. Open in 2011 and tied for second in 2013.

Day’s caddie since 2017 has been longtime friend and fellow Australian Luke Reardon. When asked by Golf Channel, Day and his representatives would not say if using Williams was a one-time thing or a permanent move.

–Field Level Media

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ESPN’s McShay being considered for Jets’ front office

ESPN's McShay being considered for Jets' front office

ESPN draft

ESPN’s McShay being considered for Jets’ front office

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said he’s under consideration for a job in the New York Jets’ front office.

McShay, 42, told ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Saturday that new Jets general manager Joe Douglas “is considering multiple options and I’m one of the options.”

He did not specify a potential role with the team but said he and Douglas would be talking in the next week.

Douglas and McShay were teammates at Richmond in the mid-1990s. After injuring his back, McShay stopping playing and performed a variety of duties for the Spiders, including videotaping practices and evaluating players.

McShay has been part of ESPN’s draft coverage since 2006.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Carolina quarterback Cam

Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s surgically repaired shoulder will be tested next week when he participates in throwing drills during a three-day minicamp.

The Panthers announced Saturday that the former MVP will throw during all quarterback drills and execute a limited number of throws to stationary targets. The camp begins on Tuesday.

“This is all part of the rehab process,” head trainer Ryan Vermillion said. “Cam has worked extremely hard this offseason with his rehabilitation and his preparation. … He’s achieved every milestone we’ve set out for him so far in preparation for this.”

Newton had an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder in January after sitting out the last two games of the 2018 season. Doctors removed scar tissue that remained from a 2017 surgery on the former league MVP’s partially torn rotator cuff.

Newton turned 30 in May and is preparing for his ninth NFL season.

“He’s done an outstanding job with his rehab and just being accountable to get his shoulder in the best shape possible,” quarterbacks coach Scott Turner said. “Mentally, with me in the classroom, he’s just been great. He understands how important all of this is. He’s progressing and he’s excited about it. We all are. He’s got a chance to have a really great year.”

Vermillion said Newton’s progress this week will be closely monitored.

“Cam’s confidence level is up because he’s pain-free,” Vermillion said. “He feels good about where he is right now — but we’re not done. This is one more step in our process as we get him ready for 2019.”

Newton completed a career-high 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2018. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has appeared in 123 (122 starts) of a possible 128 games since Carolina drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2011.

–Field Level Media

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Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

The New

Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

The New York Jets agreed to terms to bring back running back Bilal Powell on Friday, a month after he was cleared from a neck injury that was once considered potentially career threatening.

Powell, 30, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Jets, but he suffered a season-ending neck injury on Oct. 21. He underwent surgery soon after, and then-head coach Todd Bowles said it could end the running back’s career depending on the results of surgery.

Instead, Powell was cleared on May 8 and sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams saying he was “really looking forward to getting back to work.”

A fourth-round pick by New York in 2011, Powell has 791 carries for 3,446 yards and 15 touchdowns in 96 games (37 starts), along with 204 catches for 1,567 yards and five scores. In seven games last year, he had 343 rushing yards on 80 carries, plus 11 catches for 110 yards and a score.

Powell’s three-year, $11.25 million contract expired after 2018, in which he made $4 million. Terms of his new deal have not been reported.

–Field Level Media

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Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar posted equal rounds of 63 on Friday to share the lead at 12-under 128 following the second round of the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

Brandt Snedeker put together the round of the day in the morning wave, blistering the Hamilton Golf & Country Club with eight birdies and an eagle in carding a 10-under 60. That put him at 11 under for the tournament and gave Snedeker the clubhouse lead.

It wouldn’t survive the afternoon wave.

With ideal scoring conditions, Brown was the first to finish at 12 under courtesy of an eagle followed up by a string of five consecutive birdies. Kuchar, who like Brown shot an opening-round 65, was three shots off the pace before closing his round with three consecutive birdies.

“There’s definitely a stress level (on the course),” Kuchar, who has only one bogey through two rounds, told the Golf Channel. “This place, if you get off line, if you’re in the rough, if you miss greens, they’re tricky up-and-downs, they’re tricky par saves. I’ve done a good job of kind of managing and giving myself some chances.”

So, too, has Brown, who also has a lone bogey through 36 holes to go with 11 birdies and the eagle. While Kuchar entered this week with a pair of victories already on the season and leading the FedEx Cup standings, Brown entered ranked 250th in the world and coming off six missed cuts in his past eight events.

“I haven’t played great, but I’ve hit a lot of good shots,” Brown said. “I just haven’t been scoring that well, so I was able to put it together … these two days, anyway.”

Snedeker will play on Saturday with Nick Taylor, who closed with a pair of birdies to card a 65 and get to 11 under and a tie for third. He’s the top Canadian at the halfway point, one shot better than Adam Hadwin, who bogeyed the 18th to fall to 9 under.

No Canadian has won the country’s national event since Pat Fletcher in 1954, but four of the 12 in the field enter the weekend within the top 10. Mackenzie Hughes is at 8 under, while Ben Silverman posted a 61 – 10 shots better than his opening round – to move into a tie with Hughes.

They are one shot clear of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. The fourth-ranked player in the world reeled off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine, but closed with a bogey in carding a 4-under 66 on Friday.

McIlroy is making his event debut, as is Brooks Koepka. The top-ranked player in the world rebounded from an opening 70 to shoot a 4-under 66 on Friday. He’s tied with defending champion Dustin Johnson (65 on Friday), who has an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking this week.

NOTES: Snedeker shot a 59 in last year’s Wyndham Championship. … Overnight leader Keegan Bradley carded a 1-over 71 on Friday to drop to 6 under for the tournament. … The event moved from July to June for the first time since 1989. … Scott Piercy (263 in 2012) holds the tournament scoring record at Hamilton G&CC, which first hosted the event 100 years ago. Piercy (2 over) missed the cut, as did Spain’s Sergio Garcia (1 over) … Johnson is seeking to become the seventh player to successfully defend a Canadian Open title.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced

NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday that they have fired general manager Brian Gaine after one season, admitting that the timing of the change was “unusual.”

“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager. Brian is a man of high character and we appreciate his contributions to our organization,” said Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair in a statement.

“We will begin an immediate search for a new GM. In the interim, Football Operations will be led by Senior Vice President of Football Administration Chris Olsen. 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.”

Gaine spent three seasons with the Texans as director of player personnel from 2014 to 2016 before joining the Buffalo Bills as vice president of player personnel in 2017. He was hired as the Texans’ GM in January 2018 after former general manager Rick Smith took a leave of absence to take care of his wife as she battled cancer. Gaine was signed to a five-year contract.

–The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas as their new general manager.

ESPN reports Douglas was given a six-year contract, and that he tried to turn down the job multiple times before agreeing to the lengthy deal.

Douglas was widely reported as the favorite for the job, and some reports noted his name surfaced as a potential candidate even before the firing of previous GM Mike Maccagnan last month. The New York Daily News reported earlier this week the Jets were “not thrilled with the perception” that the job was Douglas’ to lose.

–Prosecutors in suburban Kansas City are not looking into Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill on suspicion of child abuse, but the Kansas Department for Children and Families is continuing to investigate Hill. In the meantime, his status with the team remains uncertain.

The Kansas City Star reported that Steve Howe, the Johnson County district attorney, said a criminal investigation is inactive but added, “As in any case, if we receive additional evidence we reevaluate.”

In April, Howe’s office declined to press charges against Hill or his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, after an incident in which their young son suffered a broken arm. He said he believed someone had hurt the child but couldn’t prove it. Howe told The Star that those remarks “still hold true.”

–The New York Jets agreed to terms to bring back running back Bilal Powell, a month after he was cleared from a neck injury that was once considered potentially career threatening.

Powell, 30, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Jets, but he suffered a season-ending neck injury on Oct. 21. He underwent surgery soon after, and then-head coach Todd Bowles said it could end the running back’s career depending on the results of surgery.

Instead, Powell was cleared on May 8 and sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams saying he was “really looking forward to getting back to work.”

–Field Level Media

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Jets hire Eagles’ Douglas as GM

Jets hire Eagles' Douglas as GM

The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles

Jets hire Eagles’ Douglas as GM

The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas as their new general manager on Friday evening.

ESPN reports Douglas was given a six-year contract, and that he tried to turn down the job multiple times before agreeing to the lengthy deal.

Douglas was widely reported as the favorite for the job, and some reports noted his name surfaced as a potential candidate even before the firing of previous GM Mike Maccagnan last month. The New York Daily News reported earlier this week the Jets were “not thrilled with the perception” that the job was Douglas’ to lose.

Douglas previously worked with Jets head coach Adam Gase — who has been serving as interim GM — in Chicago during the 2015 season, when Gase was the Bears’ offensive coordinator and Douglas was the director of college scouting.

He left the Bears to join the Eagles in May of 2016 and helped construct the team that won Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl. Before arriving in Chicago, Douglas spent 16 years in the Baltimore Ravens’ personnel department from 2000-15.

Other candidates interviewed last week were Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Chicago Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly and New Orleans Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot.

The Jets held a second round of interviews with candidates on Wednesday before Friday’s announcement.

–Field Level Media

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Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday

Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday that they have fired general manager Brian Gaine after one season.

The Texans admitted that the timing of the change was “unusual.”

“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager. Brian is a man of high character and we appreciate his contributions to our organization,” said Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair in a statement.

“We will begin an immediate search for a new GM. In the interim, Football Operations will be led by Senior Vice President of Football Administration Chris Olsen. 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.”

Gaine spent three seasons with the Texans as director of player personnel from 2014 to 2016, before joining the Buffalo Bills as vice president of player personnel in 2017. He was hired as the Texans’ GM in January 2018 after former general manager Rick Smith took a leave of absence to take care of his wife as she battled cancer. Gaine was signed to a five-year contract.

Last season, the Texans finished 11-5 to win the AFC South but lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round. Mandatory mini-camp begins next week.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs’ Hill

Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs' Hill

Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs’ Hill

Prosecutors in suburban Kansas City are not looking into Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill on suspicion of child abuse but the Kansas Department for Children and Families is continuing to investigate Hill.

In the meantime, his status with the team remains uncertain.

The Kansas City Star reported Friday that Steve Howe, the Johnson County district attorney, said a criminal investigation is inactive but added, “As in any case, if we receive additional evidence we reevaluate.”

In April, Howe’s office declined to press charges against Hill or his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, after an incident in which their young son suffered a broken arm. He said he believed someone had hurt the child but couldn’t prove it.

Howe told The Star that those remarks “still hold true.”

Two days after Howe’s April news conference, an audiotape emerged in which Espinal accuses Hill of breaking the boy’s arm, and he threatens her in return. The Chiefs banned Hill, 25, from participating in team activities but did not cut ties with him. At the time, head coach Andy Reid said the investigation had been reopened.

“It’s my understanding the criminal investigation has been closed for quite some time now and obviously there’s been some misinformation about that, but it is closed,” Hill’s attorney, Trey Pettlon, told The Star.

NFL officials have launched an investigation into Hill, but they have not yet interviewed him. League spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Star that the league is waiting for the Department for Children and Families to give its permission.

Through their lawyer, Hill and Espinal have denied allegations of child abuse.

Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

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Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Keegan Bradley shot a 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the first round of the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

Bradley was even par through six holes at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club before going on a tear that saw him reel off five consecutive birdies and seven birdies overall on his final 12 holes.

“It was solid almost top to bottom,” Bradley told the Golf Channel. “I hit almost every fairway, almost every green, then holed some putts. With me, it’s all about the putter. If that thing gets going, I can do stuff like today.”

Bradley is one shot clear of a group of five players at 6 under that includes Nick Taylor, who is one of 12 players in the field attempting to become the first Canadian to win the country’s national event since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Also shooting 64s on Thursday were Roberto Castro, Ireland’s Shane Lowry, South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen and PGA Tour rookie Sungjae Im of South Korea.

Adam Hadwin, the most successful Canadian player on Tour over the past several years, is among a group of eight players at 5 under. That pack also includes FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar and former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, a Northern Irishman who spent hours on Tuesday trying to locate his clubs from Air Canada.

Top-ranked Brooks Koepka, playing for the first time since winning the PGA Championship last month, is at even par. So, too, is sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, who added this event last Friday after missing the cut at the Memorial.

Like Koepka, Rory McIlroy is making his debut in the event, using it as a tune-up for next week’s U.S. Open. The fourth-ranked Northern Irishman is four shots off the lead after carding a 3-under 67 on Thursday.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, is at 1 over, as are Bubba Watson and Spain’s Sergio Garcia.

Bradley will have to keep up his phenomenal all-around play to hold off the deepest field the Canadian Open has seen in recent memory. Bradley entered the week ranked No. 37 in the world after missing the cut in two of his past three events. His most recent victory came at the BMW Championship last September, and Bradley has only two top-20 finishes this year.

He hit 12 of 14 fairways Thursday and all but one green while needing only 29 putts during his bogey-free round.

“Today was one of the best of the year, if not the best,” Bradley said of his ball-striking. “I knew that if I just put myself in the fairway, which I did today … I was having these short irons in. I’m pretty dialed in right now, so I was able to really get that close, and then hole those putts.

“It’s a lot of fun … it’s a lot more fun doing that.”

NOTES: Bradley came in fourth place in the Canadian Open last year. … The event moved from July to June for the first time since 1989. … Scott Piercy (263 in 2012) holds the tournament scoring record at Hamilton G&CC, which first hosted the event 100 years ago. … Johnson is seeking to become the seventh player to successfully defend a Canadian Open title.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

The Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with the sides agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

ESPN reports the extension is worth $128 million, with a max value of $144 million and a record of more than $107 million guaranteed. Combined with the final two years of his rookie deal — including $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.8 million in 2020 — Wentz’s contract is worth $154 million, with a max value of $170 million, over six years.

“I can’t even explain to you right now how excited I am to be a part of this great city for this many more years,” Wentz said in a video on Twitter.

“It means the world to me. From the moment I got drafted here, I knew this place was special and I knew they had the most passionate fans in the world in all of sports, and I knew we had the opportunity to build something truly special. …

“It’s going to be a fun ride.”

The Eagles in April exercised the fifth-year option on Wentz’s rookie contract for the 2020 campaign, worth about $22.8 million.

Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has passed for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games. He finished third in MVP balloting in 2017, when he passed for a franchise-record 33 touchdowns in 13 games before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Backup Nick Foles directed the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Wentz, 26, returned from the injury to play in 11 games last season and passed for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests with a back injury but is healthy and participating in OTAs.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday,

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with the sides agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

ESPN reports the extension is worth $128 million, with a max value of $144 million and a record of more than $107 million guaranteed. Combined with the final two years of his rookie deal — including $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.8 million in 2020 — Wentz’s contract is worth $154 million, with a max value of $170 million, over six years.

Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has passed for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games. He finished third in MVP balloting in 2017, when he passed for a franchise-record 33 touchdowns in 13 games before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Backup Nick Foles directed the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Wentz, 26, returned from the injury to play in 11 games last season and passed for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests with a back injury but is healthy and participating in OTAs.

–New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady clarified to reporters that his attempt to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific” was not done with the intent to use the moniker but rather to stop its use.

Brady, who filed to trademark the term last month, has drawn heavy criticism from New York Mets fans, as longtime Mets pitcher Tom Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his time with the Mets from 1967 to 1977. Brady said Thursday he regrets filing the trademark, adding he did so only so nobody else could.

“It’s unfortunate,” Brady said.

“I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname, and I wanted to make sure no one used it, because some people wanted to use it. I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around to something different than what it is. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”

–Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joined the Detroit Lions and reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The one-year deal reportedly is worth $2.3 million, according to multiple reports.

Kearse, 29, played for Bevell with the Seattle Seahawks but played most recently for the New York Jets. He caught 37 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown last season.

–The Arizona Cardinals claimed offensive tackle Desmond Harrison off the waiver wire.

The Cardinals had the first claim for the 25-year-old lineman, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday after he missed the first day of minicamp.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Harrison missed a flight and was “a little late.” He added that the team “just decided to move on.”

–New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy during a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Cardona, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The event was held on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose father, Steve, coached and scouted for the Navy football team from 1956-89, was in attendance to say a few words.

“Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion,” Bill Belichick said, per ESPN. “And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that’s kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did.”

–Field Level Media

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