Fitzgerald still going strong as he approaches 15th season

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The temperature was well into triple digits and sweat-soaked Larry Fitzgerald was still going full bore, hauling in passes from Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen.

Entering his 15th season, with career receiving numbers among the best to have played the game, Fitzgerald is not talking about whether this year in the NFL will be his last.

“I’m just trying to make it to February in one piece,” he said after the team’s second day of minicamp on Wednesday.

Fitzgerald, who will turn 35 before the season begins, has taken part in every voluntary session with the same competitive mindset he’s always had. As silly as it sounds, he said he plays like his job is on the line.

“When I say that I’m not saying it jokingly, that’s the mentality that you have to have,” he said. “All these guys, they’re not bringing them in here for their own health. They’re bringing them here to give them the opportunity to take your job. That’s not lost on me ever. I’m fighting and competing just like everybody else is.”

New coach Steve Wilks treasures having someone like Fitzgerald to help the Cardinals transition into a new system with the retirement of Bruce Arians.

“His commitment to this team, to this organization is invaluable,” Wilks said. “It means a lot to me as a first-year head coach, a guy like that who can be an extension of you in the locker room, a true leader.”

Fitzgerald is No. 1, with a lot of competition as to who will line up at the other receiver spots.

“The speed of the pack is determined by the speed of the leader,” Wilks said. “He’s one of the leaders. Guys are going to fall in line with him. The younger receivers are going to take his lead. It’s great to have him out there. Not just being out there, but the way he goes about his business.”

Fitzgerald said Wilks asked him to be there during voluntary OTAs and was effusive in his praise of new receivers coach Kevin Garver, who was assistant receivers coach in Arians’ five seasons in Arizona.

Fitzgerald called Garver “one of the sharpest minds I’ve been around.”

“I knew coach Wilks asked me early on to be here,” Fitzgerald said. “And more so than that I wanted to start off on the right foot and make sure Kevin knew I was in the fight with him from day one. I want to be successful for Kevin and I knew in a few more years he’ll be an offensive coordinator and a few years after that he’ll be a head coach. I want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can while I can to help him elevate.”

Fitzgerald has had a lot of quarterbacks throw him passes since he was drafted third overall by the Cardinals in 2004.

Now he’s getting used to a new one in Bradford, who is being eased into workouts because he’s coming off a knee injury.

Fitzgerald said the two are still learning each other, as is expected.

“That comes through repetition,” Fitzgerald said. “The same thing with Kurt Warner when he first got here and with Carson (Palmer) six years ago when he got here. It takes a little time but once two veterans are able to learn each other it makes it a lot easier.”

With Bradford watching much of the time, Fitzgerald has caught a lot of balls from the rookie Rosen.

“I’m really impressed with how Josh has been able to grasp everything,” Fitzgerald said.

Star running back David Johnson was absent again Wednesday in an apparent contract holdout.

Fitzgerald wouldn’t say much about that but hinted at his support for the player.

“I don’t know the details of it, honestly,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know anything that’s going on. But I’m always for my teammates. I love my guys. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Fitzgerald is a well-documented world traveler. After the final minicamp session on Thursday, he and cornerback Patrick Peterson, a fellow avid golfer, are headed off together.

“We’ll be over in St. Andrews playing some golf,” he said. “We’re going to have a good time. It’s Pat’s first time, so I want to beat him at the oldest golf course in the world.”

Who’s paying for the trip? At least indirectly, Fitzgerald said, Peterson is.

“Pat’s paying for the trip after all the money I’ve taken from him this offseason,” he said. “I’m appreciative of that.”

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Patriots ‘character’ coach leaving team

Patriots 'character' coach leaving team

The

Patriots ‘character’ coach leaving team

The coach in charge of building “character” among the New England Patriots has decided to leave the team.

Jack Easterby, who joined the Patriots six years ago, said his contract expired and he decided to pursue other interests.

The Boston Globe first reported the news, which USA Today confirmed on Friday.

“Just processing,” Easterby told USA Today via text message. “Been a challenging week. Humbled by all I’ve seen and been a part of.”

The Globe reported that Easterby thought his job “had run its course,” but he also wasn’t comfortable with the solicitation charges against team owner Robert Kraft.

Easterby’s title was character coach/team development, and he was uniquely qualified to fill that role.

While studying sports management at Newberry College in South Carolina, he was captain of the basketball and golf teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars hired him in football operations to work with the salary cap, but he decided numbers weren’t for him. He enrolled at Erskine and Liberty Theological Seminaries, according to a 2018 profile of him on the Patriots’ website.

“Just really wanted to learn more about Scripture and how to apply things more specifically to everyday life,” according to the profile. “I love people. I love Microsoft Excel, but not that much. I felt like I was called to go back and build relationships.”

He soon became the character coach for South Carolina’s athletic department, then joined the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots hired him in 2013 to help the team cope with the arrest of tight end Aaron Hernandez on murder charges.

He also served as team chaplain, and players described a warm relationship that existed between him and the team.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens RB Collins arrested after car crash

Ravens RB Collins arrested after car crash

Ravens RB Collins arrested after car crash

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins was arrested early Friday morning following a car accident near the team’s headquarters, Baltimore County police and the team confirmed.

Collins, 24, was taken into custody around 6:45 a.m. after police responded to a report of a car crashed into a tree in Owings Mills, Md. It was unclear whether Collins was the driver or a passenger.

The charges against him were not immediately known.

Chad Steele, the team’s vice president of public relations, told The Baltimore Sun that the team was aware of the arrest.

Collins was a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2016 and joined the Ravens the following year. In 25 games (22 starts) over two seasons in Baltimore, he has gained 1,676 total yards from scrimmage and scored 14 touchdowns.

He was a star on the rise following the 2017 season, in which he gained 973 yards rushing. But he struggled in 2018, running for just 411 yards, and wound up on injured reserve in December with a foot injury.

He will become a restricted free agent later this month. Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL Scouting Combine this week that second-year running back Gus Edwards is first on the depth chart at the position.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens waive RB Collins after arrest for car crash

Ravens waive RB Collins after arrest for car crash

Ravens waive RB Collins after arrest for car crash

The Baltimore Ravens waived running back Alex Collins on Friday afternoon following his early morning arrest after a car accident near the team’s headquarters.

Baltimore County police and the team confirmed that Collins, 24, was taken into custody around 6:45 a.m. after police responded to a report of a car crashed into a tree in Owings Mills, Md. It was unclear whether Collins was the driver or a passenger.

The charges against him were not immediately known.

“We have spoken to the police and are aware of the situation,” the Ravens told NFL.com in a statement.

The team confirmed Collins’ release on social media by 3 p.m. ET.

Collins was a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2016 and joined the Ravens the following year. In 25 games (22 starts) over two seasons in Baltimore, he has gained 1,676 total yards from scrimmage and scored 14 touchdowns.

He was a star on the rise following the 2017 season, in which he gained 973 yards rushing. But he struggled in 2018, running for just 411 yards, and wound up on injured reserve in December with a foot injury.

A restricted free agent before his release, Collins will now be subject to waivers. If he is not claimed, he will immediately become a free agent.

Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL Scouting Combine this week that second-year running back Gus Edwards is first on the depth chart at the position.

–Field Level Media

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Mizzou QB Lock anxious to prove worth

Mizzou QB Lock anxious to prove worth

INDIANAPOLIS

Mizzou QB Lock anxious to prove worth

INDIANAPOLIS — Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is excited to show naysayers he’s a first-round pick.

“I think I’ll be a little more athletic than people think in some of these drills,” said Lock, who is transitioning from 22-year-old senior and preparing to live outside of the Columbia, Mo., area for the first time.

Lock stood out at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., but in the 2019 draft class he’s not viewed on the same plateau as Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

In the conversation as a potential first-round pick in 2018, Lock came back to Missouri after throwing 44 touchdown passes. He had 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season.

Lock already has the endorsement of some NFL teams.

“I can kind of call him my neighbor because I live in Lee’s Summit,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “But no, he is an extremely talented player. Great family. I know his dad, [and] I got to know the son a little bit. I think he has very intriguing arm talent. I think he has great ad-lib ability, which you certainly need in this league. Arm strength and ad-lib ability is a good place to start. He has both those qualities and I’m sure it won’t be long for him to hear his name to be called on draft night.”

Lock compared his game to a Pro Bowl passer whose initial wait on draft night in 2005 is viewed as a major blunder in retrospect.

“Obviously I have a lot to prove, a lot to do to be even compared to this guy, but if there’s anybody I’d pattern a lot of my game after it’s Aaron Rodgers,” Lock said. “Just the stuff that he does off-platform. If you watch my game, I throw a lot off weird platforms, my feet aren’t necessarily perfect, I throw from weird arm angles. I get critiqued about it, he gets critiqued about it a little bit. That’s just our game.”

For now, Lock is focused on convincing he belongs. That doesn’t mean he’s not star struck on occasion, like the time Broncos vice president John Elway showed up at one of the Tigers’ games.

“I actually didn’t know he was there at the time, which probably helped a little bit,” Lock said. “He’s one of the greatest of all-time, to be able to be looked at, in his eyes, as someone who might be able to take over the franchise, that means a lot to me.”

Elway described Lock as accurate, and Raiders coach Jon Gruden gave a sparkling assessment Thursday of Lock’s quick release.

On a scale of 1-10, Lock said he would give himself a 10 rating for accuracy.

“I give myself a 10. Why wouldn’t I give myself a 10? I think every quarterback would give themselves a 10,” he said.

Even if teams don’t give Lock a 10, and media interest is higher in Haskins and Murray, the Mizzou quarterback has no intention of losing his motivation.

“I’m a QB from Missouri, I played in the middle of the country, not California. Regardless if I’m the first QB taken or last I’ll keep that chip my entire career,” he said.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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Reports: Giants LB Vernon on trading block

Reports: Giants LB Vernon on trading block

The New York Giants

Reports: Giants LB Vernon on trading block

The New York Giants could be looking to trade outside linebacker Olivier Vernon, according to multiple reports Friday.

Vernon was a splashy signing in the 2016 offseason, heading to the Giants on a five-year, $84.75 million deal. But he has missed a combined nine games in the past two seasons with injuries, and his production has dropped.

If the Giants cut or trade him, they would save $11.5 million against the salary cap.

Vernon has played seven seasons in the NFL, the first four with Miami.

In his debut season with the Giants in 2016, he had 64 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. The following season, he played 12 games and had 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks, with 30 tackles and 7.0 sacks in 11 games in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Haskins: ‘Not that important’ to be first QB taken

Haskins: ‘Not that important’ to be first QB taken

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Ohio

Haskins: ‘Not that important’ to be first QB taken

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is not lacking in self confidence, but that doesn’t mean he cares about being the first quarterback off the board in April’s draft.

“It’s not that important to me,” Haskins said Friday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. “For me, it’s being with the right franchise, being with the right team and winning a Super Bowl. So whether that’s first quarterback taken, second quarterback taken, it’s all a blessing regardless of where I’m going.”

Most have pegged Haskins as one of the top two quarterback prospects in the class, along with Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. Since declaring his intentions to commit fully to football, Murray has steadily garnered more attention as potentially being the top signal-caller off the board.

But while Haskins says he feels he’s “the top quarterback,” he isn’t focused on jockeying with Murray for position.

“I’m not worried about Kyler,” an easy-going Haskins said with a laugh. “I gotta worry about me. I’m going to do what I need to do in meetings, and out on the field tomorrow, showcase my talents. I know I’m a franchise quarterback and I’m going to be a really great quarterback in the NFL.”

Unlike Murray, Haskins fits the mold of a prototypical pocket passer, having thrown for 4,831 yards in his lone season as a starter at Ohio State, and doing so almost exclusively from the pocket.

Asked about a claim earlier this month that he’s “more of a runner than a thrower,” Haskins laughed it off.

“I can maneuver if I need to, but I’m deadly in the pocket,” he said.

That said, the QB doesn’t agree with the perception of some that he lacks the mobility to survive when needed.

“Ha,” Haskins said when asked about that suggestion. “That’s how I feel about that.”

A likely top-10 pick — if not the first quarterback off the board — Haskins likely won’t be spending much time on the bench as a rookie. But if he winds up with a team like the New York Giants, who could keep Eli Manning as a bridge to a rookie, Haskins could wind up learning from the sidelines like he did in college.

Behind Buckeyes starter J.T. Barrett, Haskins sat for two years without much action, getting in only for 57 pass attempts in 2017 before taking over as a starter in 2018.

“I can point to Ohio State, and how I didn’t play for a year and a half at Ohio State, played a little bit as a backup,” Haskins said. “I’m comfortable enough to learn from someone that’s been there in front of me, and I know that I’m going to compete to be ready for when my time’s called.”

While Haskins isn’t concerned with how high he’s drafted or if he goes in front of Murray, he does appear to have a friendly competition with Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa, a defensive end who is a contender to go first overall.

“He said I can go first, and he’ll go second,” Haskins said with a laugh. “…We both joke about that a lot whenever we see each other.”

–By David DeChant, Field Level Media

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NFL suspends Cowboys DL Irving indefinitely

NFL suspends Cowboys DL Irving indefinitely

Dallas Cowboys

NFL suspends Cowboys DL Irving indefinitely

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the NFL announced Friday.

This is the third suspension in Irving’s four-year NFL career. The 25-year-old was first suspended at the start of 2017 for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers. Last year he served a four-game ban for a substance-abuse violation.

“I don’t want to get into any specifics with David Irving,” said head coach Jason Garrett when asked Wednesday about Irving. “Obviously he’s been dealing with some different things over the course of the last year and really was not part of our team last year. He’s a free agent, as we know.”

The indefinite ban comes just two days after the league suspended Cowboys’ teammate Randy Gregory indefinitely for violating the substance-abuse policy. Gregory, however, had a year left on his deal while the Cowboys reportedly did not intend to re-sign Irving.

Irving, who joined the Cowboys in 2015, played in only two games last season and recorded one sack. He suffered a high ankle sprain in November and was out the rest of the year.

Over four seasons with Dallas, he’s played 37 games (10 starts) and recorded 12.5 sacks. He earned $2.9 million last year after recording seven sacks in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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Former Ravens RB Collins faces drug, gun charges

Former Ravens RB Collins faces drug, gun charges

Running back

Former Ravens RB Collins faces drug, gun charges

Running back Alex Collins is facing three charges following his early morning arrest after a car accident near the team’s headquarters on Friday.

Collins was charged with possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a handgun in a vehicle. He was released on $7,500 bail just after midnight Saturday morning, according to ESPN.

He was waived by the Baltimore Ravens on Friday afternoon, shortly after the team learned of the incident.

Collins was taken into custody around 6:45 a.m. on Friday after police responded to a report of a car crashed into a tree in Owings Mills, Md. Police reportedly found him asleep at the wheel of his Chevrolet Corvette and smelled marijuana in the vehicle.

According to the report, police found a glass jar holding about five ounces of marijuana and a handgun in the car. A subsequent search warrant on his home turned up a pair of rifles and a small amount of marijuana.

Collins told police he was giving a friend a ride home when he lost control of the car on the snowy road and had fallen asleep after calling for a tow truck.

Collins was a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2016 and joined the Ravens the following year. In 25 games (22 starts) over two seasons in Baltimore, he has gained 1,676 total yards from scrimmage and scored 14 touchdowns.

He was a star on the rise following the 2017 season, in which he rushed for 973 yards. But he struggled in 2018, running for just 411 yards, and wound up on injured reserve in December with a foot injury.

A restricted free agent before his release, Collins will now be subject to waivers. If he is not claimed, he will immediately become a free agent.

Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL Scouting Combine this week that second-year running back Gus Edwards is first on the depth chart at the position.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles extend C Kelce through 2021

Eagles extend C Kelce through 2021

Eagles extend C Kelce through 2021

The Philadelphia Eagles extended center Jason Kelce’s contract by one year through 2021, the team announced Saturday morning.

No terms were announced, but Sirius XM reports the extension raises the value of Kelce’s deal over the next three seasons to $11 million annually, the highest average for an NFL center. Kelce had previously been set to make $6.5 million in 2019 and $7 million in 2020.

“Obviously, it’s a tremendous gesture by the team,” Kelce told the team’s website. “They didn’t have to do anything like this. I’m really happy to be in Philadelphia — I have been my whole career. I love being part of this organization. For everything to continue to go this (well), for the team to be how good it is, for the coaches to be as good as they are, I just feel extremely lucky to be in this situation.”

Some had wondered if Kelce, 31, would consider retirement this offseason, but that appears to be at least a few years away.

The eight-year veteran is coming off of back-to-back first-team All-Pro selections and has started 73 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak among NFL centers. He also reached the Pro Bowl in 2014 and 2016.

A sixth-round pick by Philadelphia in 2011, Kelce has started 110 games in his career with the Eagles.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys to put franchise tag on DE Lawrence

Report: Cowboys to put franchise tag on DE Lawrence

The Dallas Cowboys will put the

Report: Cowboys to put franchise tag on DE Lawrence

The Dallas Cowboys will put the franchise tag on pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence for the second consecutive season, the team announced Monday.

The Cowboys and Lawrence have been talking about a long-term deal, but the sides were “not close,” according to multiple reports Sunday.

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

Lawrence, 26, has been clear in his desire not to play under the franchise tag, setting up a potentially contentious offseason. The deadline to sign a player to a multi-year deal after a franchise tag is July 15.

Lawrence is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal worth upward of that $20.5 million tag amount. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that if he does not receive an extension, he likely will skip the offseason program, minicamps, and perhaps training camp and some regular-season games. He also could delay the shoulder surgery he needs.

In the past two seasons, Lawrence has a combined 25 sacks, 49 quarterback hits and 122 tackles. The Cowboys selected the Boise State product in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks place franchise tag on DE Clark

Seahawks place franchise tag on DE Clark

Seahawks place franchise tag on DE Clark

The Seattle Seahawks used the franchise tag for the first time since 2010, putting one on defensive end Frank Clark, the team announced Monday.

Clark had a team-high 13 sacks in the 2018 regular season and 32 in the past three years.

The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal. If none is reached, they can’t negotiate again until after the season.

Clark, 25, was a second-round pick out of Michigan in the 2015 draft. He earned $943,938 in the final year of his rookie deal last season and will receive a huge bump in 2019 one way or another. He would make $17.128 million under a franchise tag for a defensive end.

Clark told The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., in January that he expected to remain with the Seahawks this season, if not beyond.

“At the end of the day, I just feel like whatever’s in my coach’s plans, whatever’s in our guys’ plans, I think they are going to take care of it,” Clark said after the Seahawks lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs.

Seattle has been successful in negotiating contract extensions for most of its stars this decade, including quarterback Russell Wilson and defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.

The last player to receive the franchise tag was kicker Olindo Mare in 2010.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons tag DT Jarrett

Falcons tag DT Jarrett

Defensive tackle Grady

Falcons tag DT Jarrett

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

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

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.

Asked last week if the Falcons were considering the franchise designation for Jarrett, Dimitroff made it clear the goal was a long-term extension. But they ran out of time ahead of Tuesday’s tag deadline.

“As we have said since the end of the season, getting a deal done with Grady is our priority,” Dimitroff said in a team release. “Applying the franchise tag to him does not change that in any way. Our aim is for Grady to be an integral part of our plan for many years to come and this allows us to extend our negotiating window.”

When he elaborated last week in Indianapolis, Dimitroff said he hoped both sides would take the tag as a positive maneuver because it assures they’re staying together.

“The good thing is he’s going to be with the Atlanta Falcons. It is our focus and will continue to be our focus right now. Confident that that’s going to get done. He will be with us,” Dimitroff said.

Jarrett, a fifth-round pick in 2015 who doesn’t turn 26 until April, was ranked the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades. He has completed his budget-friendly four-year rookie deal valued at $2,527,853.

He had 52 tackles and six sacks last season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Giants, S Collins set for split

Report: Giants, S Collins set for split

Report: Giants, S Collins set for split

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 Monday.

Collins, a four-year pro, can become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins March 13. The Giants have until Tuesday to use the franchise tag on him.

Kim Jones, who covers the Jets and Giants for NFL Network, said Monday in a report from Indianapolis on the final day of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that the team loves the player but wants him back only at its price.

Projections for the 2019 salary cap number at safety put the one-year salary next season at $11.15 million.

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, 25, ended last season on injured reserve because of 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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Reports: Chiefs still shopping OLB Houston

Reports: Chiefs still shopping OLB Houston

Reports: Chiefs still shopping OLB Houston

Not so fast on the idea that the Kansas City Chiefs have released Justin Houston. Multiple reports indicated Monday that the outside linebacker remains on the team, which is still exploring its options.

The Chiefs continue to look for a trade partner for Houston, according to the NFL Network.

With notable pass rushers getting hit with franchise tags Monday — the Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney, the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence, the Seattle Seahawks’ Frank Clark — the market for Houston could be on the rise, at least for the time being.

Houston, 30, had nine sacks and 37 tackles last season, but that is far below the 22 sacks and 68 tackles he had in 2014. Following that season, the Chiefs signed the University of Georgia product to a six-year, $101 million deal that has not paid full dividends.

Houston has not recorded more than 9.5 sacks in any of the four seasons under the deal. He has 30 combined sacks over the last four seasons. If Houston is released, it would free up $14 million in cap space for the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Browns open to offers for RB Johnson

Report: Browns open to offers for RB Johnson

General

Report: Browns open to offers for RB Johnson

General manager John Dorsey is never one to talk away from a trade conversation, so it’s not a major surprise Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson is on the block.

In his first offseason with the Browns, Dorsey spun up deals for quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry while unloading every quarterback on the roster he inherited and turning Cleveland into a borderline contender in 2018.

Cleveland.com reported Johnson, 25, was privately frustrated with his role and prefers to move on this offseason.

Johnson is predominantly a third-down back. A midseason trade that sent leading rusher Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville appeared to create an opportunity for Johnson, but the second half of the season belonged to rookie Nick Chubb.

Dorsey said last week at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that Chubb was the starter for the Browns, even after troubled back Kareem Hunt signed a one-year deal with no guarantees.

After signing a three-year, $15.6 million contract with the Browns, including $7,757,000 guaranteed, Johnson had 87 total touches, including 47 receptions, in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ravens to let LB Mosley hit free agency

Report: Ravens to let LB Mosley hit free agency

Report: Ravens to let LB Mosley hit free agency

Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley is inching closer to seeing what his value is on the open market.

The Ravens will not use their franchise tag on the four-time Pro Bowl player, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday.

If the Ravens don’t tag Mosley by Tuesday, he can become an unrestricted agent on March 13.

The franchise tag for a linebacker comes with a $15.443 million salary for 2019, which figures to be beyond what Baltimore wants to spend for an inside linebacker, the position at which Mosley spends most of his time. The inside position isn’t as valued in NFL salary structures as an edge spot.

Baltimore is expected to keep negotiating with the 26-year-old, even if he hits free agency.

“Yeah, you’d rather have C.J. back,” coach John Harbaugh said at a team news conference in late January.

“There’s always the give and take of course. There’s limitations with the money. But C.J. wants to be back and we want him back, so I think that’s a really good formula for a player coming back. I’m not even going to entertain the possibility that won’t happen.”

The Ravens selected Mosley, an Alabama product, with the No. 17 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. In five seasons, he has 597 tackles, nine interceptions, 8.5 sacks and five fumble recoveries.

Mosley earned $8.7 million in the 2018 season, when he helped the Ravens lead the NFL in total defense.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Pats DE Flowers rehabbing from shoulder surgery

Report: Pats DE Flowers rehabbing from shoulder surgery

Report: Pats DE Flowers rehabbing from shoulder surgery

New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers underwent a recent shoulder surgery that sources characterized as a “cleanup” procedure, ESPN reported Sunday.

Set to become an unrestricted free agent later this month, the 25-year-old pass rusher 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 three postseason games last season, missing one contest due to a concussion.

A fourth-round pick in 2015 out of Arkansas, Flowers has recorded 21.0 sacks, 25 tackles for loss and 59 quarterback hits in 46 career games.

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.

–Field Level Media

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Im, Mitchell share Honda Classic lead

Im, Mitchell share Honda Classic lead

Im, Mitchell share Honda Classic lead

Keith Mitchell and South Korea’s Sungjae Im are tied for the lead at 6-under par after two rounds of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Im, 20, dominated the Web.com Tour last season with two victories and three runner-up finishes while leading the regular-season money list. He went out early Friday and tied for the low round of the day with a 6-under 64 that included seven birdies against a lone bogey.

Mitchell’s 4-under 66 featured five birdies and a bogey.

The pair is one shot clear of Lucas Glover, but all 83 players who made the 2-over cut are within eight shots of the lead.

With the field including only three of the top 20 ranked players in the world, the front page of the leaderboard isn’t stocked with many household names. A group of nine players tied at 4 under includes third-ranked Brooks Koepka, a resident of nearby Jupiter, Fla., who is seeking to win at PGA National for the first time.

“It was definitely a little bit tougher today,” Koepka, who shot a 1-under 69 after posting a 67 on Thursday, told reporters. “Yesterday the course was a little bit more get-able. These greens have definitely firmed up, baked out, where it can be difficult with this wind.

“Par is not too bad. It kind of reminds me of a major, which is nice.”

Spain’s Sergio Garcia is tied for 13th at 3 under along with Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas, the first-round leader who struggled to a 3-over 73 on Friday.

J.T. Poston was outside of the cut line after three bogeys through his first six holes, but recovered with a 5-under 30 on his back nine — which was on the front side of the course — to finish at 1-over.

Gary Woodland birdied his final two holes to make the cut on the number, extending his streak of cuts made to 21. Woodland had three bogeys during a four-hole stretch on the back nine to fall to 5-over par and put his streak in severe jeopardy.

Defending champion Justin Thomas, who chipped in for eagle on No. 3, also made the cut on the number while playing through an arm injury suffered when his club hit a tree on a follow through Thursday. He made it close by carding a double bogey after hitting his approach into the water on the sixth hole, his 15th of the day after starting on the back nine.

Thomas is 6-over par over his past 27 holes since making hard contact with the tree.

“It’s not bad, it’s just more annoying than anything,” Thomas told reporters. “It’s just been about a seven-hour-long ‘dead-arm.'”

Australia’s Adam Scott finished at 3 over to miss the cut by one shot.

The infamous three-hole stretch from Nos. 15-17 known as “The Bear Trap” claimed 21 more balls in the water on Friday after 35 wound up wet in the first round. The field was 35-over par on the stretch Friday, three worse than the previous day, including 81 bogeys or worse.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs, Reid want guaranteed possession for both teams in OT

Chiefs, Reid want guaranteed possession for both teams in OT

Chiefs, Reid want guaranteed possession for both teams in OT

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is developing a proposal that would guarantee both teams having a chance to get the ball in overtime games next season.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach announced the development on Pro Football Talk Live on Friday.

Guaranteeing each team an offensive possession in overtime would prevent outcomes like in January’s AFC Championship Game, when the Chiefs lost 37-31 to the New England Patriots, who won the coin toss, then scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the extra period to end the game.

“I think everybody wants a chance for guys to do what they do,” Veach told Pro Football Talk. “I don’t really see the downside of having that. Especially when you have a player like (Chiefs quarterback) Pat Mahomes. It would have been a lot of fun. I think people, if they weren’t already tuned in for a great game, would have turned on that overtime.”

To have a proposed measure pass, Kansas City would need 24 of 30 teams to approve a potential rule change.

The NFL currently allows each team a possession unless the team that receives the overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession. Before the method for the current overtime system was adopted in 2012, the NFL relied on sudden death, with the first score, no matter how it was made, ending the game.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Jaguars trying to trade Jackson, Hyde

Report: Jaguars trying to trade Jackson, Hyde

The Jacksonville

Report: Jaguars trying to trade Jackson, Hyde

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to trade defensive tackle Malik Jackson and running back Carlos Hyde with the hope of clearing cap space before the new league year begins March 13, ESPN reported Saturday.

Jackson, 29, is set to count $15 million against the cap in 2019, the fourth year of a six-year, $85.5 million deal he signed in free agency in March of 2016. Jacksonville can save $11 million against the cap by trading or releasing him. Any team acquiring Jackson would have him under contract for $40.5 million over the next three seasons, with the ability to move on without cap consequences at any time.

The Jaguars already restructured the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, and they drafted Taven Bryan in the first round last year, leaving Jackson as the odd man out.

The seven-year pro had 3.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and 12 QB hits last year in 16 games, though he was bumped out of the starting lineup in favor of Bryan late in the year. He has 18 sacks, 28 tackles for loss and 42 QB hits in 48 games for Jacksonville, after tallying 14.5, 27 and 44, respectively in 62 games with the Denver Broncos.

Hyde, 28, was acquired in October from the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick, but he totaled just 189 yards on 58 carries (3.3 average) for Jacksonville. He has a career average of 4.0 yards per carry in five NFL seasons, totaling 3,300 yards and 26 touchdowns in 64 games.

Hyde is set to count $4.7 million against the cap in 2019, all of which can be saved by trading or releasing him.

–Field Level Media

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