Lions sign WR Amendola to one-year deal

Lions sign WR Amendola to one-year deal

Slot wide receiver Danny Amendola landed on his feet in Detroit, signing a one-year, $5.75 million deal days after being punted by the Miami Dolphins.

Amendola, 33, spent last season with the Dolphins but previously played with the New England Patriots during Lions head coach Matt Patricia’s run as defensive coordinator and assistant coach.

The Dolphins signed Amendola to a three-year, $24 million deal on March 13, 2018.

Amendola has 485 career receptions, including 59 grabs in 15 games in Miami last season. He had 40 receptions or more in seven NFL seasons, including 138 in his first two seasons in the league with the then-St. Louis Rams.

The Lions traded Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in October and did not have a suitable replacement in the slot on the roster. In return to Tate, Detroit received a third-round pick.

Marvin Jones went down with a season-ending knee injury two weeks after Tate was traded.

–Field Level Media

Pats’ odds strengthen with Brown on board

Pats' odds strengthen with Brown on board

Antonio

Pats’ odds strengthen with Brown on board

Antonio Brown had yet to physically arrive at the New England Patriots’ facility Saturday, but agent Drew Rosenhaus confirming his client’s signing with the Super Bowl champs helped strengthen their odds to repeat.

The Patriots entered training camp as 6.5-1 favorites to repeat by PointsBet, but were co-6-1 favorites with the Kansas City Chiefs by Caesars Sportsbook before the Brown signing. After news of Brown’s signing broke on Saturday, the Patriots’ odds moved to 4-1 at Caesars and 5-1 at PointsBet.

The Chiefs remained 6-1 at Caesars and are 7-1 at PointsBet.

The Patriots have a +300 moneyline to win the AFC Championship by PointsBet, slightly ahead of the Chiefs (+320).

At Caesars, New England’s win total moved from 11 to 11.5 following the Brown news.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Vikings WR Diggs expected to play vs. Falcons

Report: Vikings WR Diggs expected to play vs. Falcons

Report: Vikings WR Diggs expected to play vs. Falcons

Minnesota Vikings standout receiver Stefon Diggs is expected to play despite being listed as questionable for the club’s season-opening game against the visiting Atlanta Falcons, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Diggs has been bothered by a hamstring injury. He sat out Wednesday’s practice before being a limited participant the next two days.

Assuming Diggs returns, he joins Adam Thielen in the starting lineup as they look to build on a historic 2018 season.

Diggs set career highs last season with 102 receptions for 1,021 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games. He and Thielen (113 receptions) became the first Vikings teammates to both eclipse 100 receptions in the same season.

They also both eclipsed 1,000 yards (Thielen had 1,373), a first for a Vikings duo since Randy Moss and Cris Carter did it in 2000.

–Field Level Media

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Colts All-Pro LB Leonard, DE Sheard out vs. Falcons

Colts All-Pro LB Leonard, DE Sheard out vs. Falcons

Colts All-Pro LB Leonard, DE Sheard out vs. Falcons

Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) and defensive end Jabaal Sheard (knee) have been ruled out of Sunday’s home game against the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Frank Reich announced Friday.

Leonard suffered the concussion last weekend against the Tennessee Titans and was placed in the league’s concussion protocol and didn’t pass, missing a full week of practices.

As a rookie in 2018, Leonard, a second-round pick (36th overall) out of South Carolina State, led the NFL in tackles with 163. He has a team-leading 18 tackles and one sack in two games this season.

Adjusting to replace Leonard, the Colts are expected to give rookie Bobby Okereke the start at middle linebacker and move Anthony Walker from the middle to the outsidet.

“[Okereke looks] like he needs more playing time. He’s that kind of guy,” Reich said. “… He’ll get some more time this week.”

Sheard practiced Wednesday, as a limited participant, for the first time in almost two months. He underwent a minor surgical procedure after feeling “soreness and swelling” on July 25, the team’s first training camp practice.

–Field Level Media

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Muirfield to welcome women for first time

Muirfield to welcome women for first time

For 275 years, Muirfield in Scotland has welcomed only male members. Next month, that will change.

Muirfield to welcome women for first time

For 275 years, Muirfield in Scotland has welcomed only male members. Next month, that will change.

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which includes Muirfield, said 12 female members will be admitted next month as part of an extensive makeover of the grounds. The club voted two years ago to welcome women, after declining in 2016 to expand membership from men-only status.

The Royal and Ancient, which operates the Open Championship, ruled the Open rotation would not include male-only clubs.

That forced Muirfield into a second vote in 2017, when members of the club voted in favor of admitting women by more than 80 percent.

“This marks a milestone in the Club’s illustrious history, and we look forward to welcoming all of our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club,” Alistair Campbell, captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said in a statement.

Located in Gullane, Scotland, Muirfield first staged the Open in 1892 and 16 times overall. There was no announcement Thursday about when the Open might return to the site of Phil Mickelson’s victory in the 2013 Open.

R&A awarded the next three Open Championships to Royal St. George’s (2020), The Old Course at St. Andrews in 2021 and Royal Liverpool in 2022.

–Field Level Media

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Mayfield, Elliott look like value plays in ’19 MVP field

Mayfield, Elliott look like value plays in '19 MVP field

Mayfield, Elliott look like value plays in ’19 MVP field

Patrick Mahomes started one NFL game before his MVP season in 2018, but the flashes of greatness were evident to the Kansas City Chiefs — so much so that

Andy Reid and Company parted with Alex Smith in an offseason deal with the Washington Redskins and set the stage for Mahomes 2018 Breakout Tour. It was a smashing success.

Prior to the 2018 season, Mahomes was a serious longshot to win the league’s MVP award, anywhere from off the board to 100-1 entering training camp.

Once he put up his first aerial show in the preseason, Mahomes climbed to 25-1 at sportsbooks Bovada and Westgate.

The moral to this story: Find your NFL MVP value, play now and let it ride.

Mahomes took home the trophy and is the favorite to win MVP in 2019 at Westgate.

Superbook USA has Mahomes at 4-1 ahead of Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers at 8-1, and Drew Brees and Carson Wentz at 10-1.

Here’s where you should start to like the value.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady comes in at 12-1, with Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson 14-1.

With the Los Angeles Chargers, Rivers has one of the best – arguably the No. 1 group – defenses in the NFL backing him. I think Wilson is closer to 20-1 and would pass here.

Brady might be inching closer to 50 but he just bagged another Lombardi Trophy and won his third MVP award just two years ago in 2017.

If I’m not investing in Brady and Rivers, then dollars and hollers to Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. His ascension would not be unlike Mahomes’ as a second-year breakout star. Mayfield is a household name, of course, but with two Pro Bowl receivers and a team on the climb, the playoffs are a real possibility in Cleveland again.

Should the Browns win 11 or 12 games, Mayfield is easily a top three MVP candidate. His current odds? Twenty-five to 1 … 25-1!

That’s on the same line as Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Two other quarterbacks and one running back I’d be willing to take a flier on:

Mitchell Trubisky is 200-1. I’m not saying he’s the best quarterback in his division, but he might be on the best team in the NFC North, the Chicago Bears. And if the Bears are 13-3 or 12-4, Trubisky has just put up some video game numbers in Matt Nagy’s offense.

Jimmy Garappolo is 80-1 and coming off of ACL surgery, but the San Francisco 49ers are a sneaky good pick out of the West if the Rams can’t shake the typical Super Bowl runner-up hangover.

Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys is 60-1 and playing for a long-term contract. The Cowboys are tweaking their offense with Randall Cobb to assist Amari Cooper, and Elliott could approach 400 touches running and receiving.

Adrian Peterson won the award in 2012 with the Vikings and is the last non-quarterback to claim the hardware. All he had to do was clear 2,097 yards.

Other options from the longshot bin we’d consider:

Saints WR Michael Thomas, 100-1

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, 100-1

Jets RB Le’Veon Bell, 100-1

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon, 100-1

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, 100-1

Giants RB Saquon Barkley, 80-1

–Field Level Media

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Bills DE Lawson to pay for funeral of slain girl

Bills DE Lawson to pay for funeral of slain girl

Bills DE Lawson to pay for funeral of slain girl

Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson will pay for the funeral of 11-year-old girl who was killed this week when gunshots hit her home in Anderson, S.C.

“It could have been my little sister,” he told the Greenville News late Wednesday. “I’ve got a little sister around that age, and it could have been one of my family members.”

Ja’Naiya Scott was killed after someone fired more than 35 gunshots at her home about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Greenville News reported. A bullet entered through her shoulder, severing her subclavian artery, the county coroner’s office reported.

Lawson, who played at Clemson, was raised about 20 miles north of Anderson in Central, S.C. He said he contacted the child’s mother, Marshella Rice.

“I felt like any way I could possibly help out, I was going to do that. It hit my heart,” Lawson, 25, said.

Ja’Naiya’s 11-year-old cousin was wounded in the incident and is in critical condition. Her 18-year-old sister, also shot, remains hospitalized.

No arrests have been made in the case.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens TE Hurst says foot problems behind him

Ravens TE Hurst says foot problems behind him

Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden

Ravens TE Hurst says foot problems behind him

Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst said he has recovered from the foot fracture that slowed him last year, has gained weight and is ready for the start of his second season.

“Kind of felt it all last year, was never really at 100 percent,” Hurst said during an interview with 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore. “Obviously, you kind of have the aches and pains of a screw being in my foot. But I’m good to go now, all healthy, don’t feel it and feel 100 percent.”

Hurst, a South Carolina product, was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but his season never gained traction. He suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot in training camp that cost him the first four games of the season, and he wound up catching just 13 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown in 12 games.

He said he felt as if he were “pushed around a little bit on the field” and added 15 pounds of muscle to put him over 260 pounds.

“I just feel strong. When I’m in and out of cuts and guys are on me at the top of my routes, I’m able to get separation better,” said Hurst, who turns 26 in August. “Obviously I’m able to hold the point of attack better blocking and stuff, so that’s going to be fun. I’m just excited. It’s going to be a really good year.”

The Ravens will open training camp July 24 at Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Md.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers QB Newton (foot) officially out of Sunday’s game

Panthers QB Newton (foot) officially out of Sunday's game

Panthers QB Newton (foot) officially out of Sunday’s game

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton officially is out of Sunday’s road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Second-year QB Kyle Allen will start in Newton’s place.

The announcement was expected as Newton missed practice all week after aggravating a mid-foot sprain in Week 2’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He sustained the left foot injury in the third preseason game.

Newton, a former MVP, has completed 50 of 89 passes for 572 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in the Panthers’ 0-2 start. His passer rating of 71.0 is among the league’s worst.

Allen, 23, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., started Carolina’s regular-season finale in 2018, completing 16 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two scores in a 33-14 win at New Orleans.

Newton has not thrown or run for a touchdown in his last four games dating to last season when he was plagued by shoulder injuries.

The Panthers listed defensive lineman Kawann Short (shoulder) and tight end Greg Olsen (back) as questionable. Rashaan Gaulden (groin), Bruce Irvin (hamstring) and Brandon Greene (neck) were listed as out.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers K Badgley doubtful vs. Colts

Chargers K Badgley doubtful vs. Colts

Chargers K Badgley doubtful vs. Colts

The Los Angeles Chargers downgraded kicker Michael Badgley to doubtful for the club’s season opener, the team announced Saturday.

Punter Ty Long may be summoned to handle the kicking duties for Sunday’s game against the visiting Indianapolis Colts in place of Badgley, who injured his groin during practice this week.

Long is no stranger to pulling double duty in regard to assuming both kicking and punting responsibilities, having done so with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for the past two seasons.

Badgley, 24, made 15 of 16 field-goal attempts and 27 of 28 extra-point tries in 10 games last season.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys lift snaps limit for RB Elliott

Cowboys lift snaps limit for RB Elliott

The

Cowboys lift snaps limit for RB Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys are taking the restrictions off Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott’s action was measured in the Cowboys’ first two games after the running back missed the preseason holding out for a new contract.

No more, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said.

“This is our third game,” Moore told the Dallas Morning News. “I think he’s at that point where we’re pretty much playing this thing out at this point. It was good those first two weeks just to be aware of it and then also trust Zeke’s response and how he feels and all those things and just balancing that stuff out.”

Elliott, who signed a six-year, $90 million contract earlier this month, played about half the snaps in Week 1 and 75 percent in Week 2. Overall, has 36 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cowboys (2-0) host the Miami Dolphins (0-2) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins OL Davis receives three-year extension

Dolphins OL Davis receives three-year extension

The Miami Dolphins signed offensive lineman

Dolphins OL Davis receives three-year extension

The Miami Dolphins signed offensive lineman Jesse Davis to a three-year extension, the team announced Saturday.

ESPN reported that the deal is worth $15 million, attributing the amount to Davis’ agent, Collin Roberts. The contract, which runs through 2022, includes $8.5 million in guarantees.

Davis has played guard and tackle in 32 games (26 starts) over the last two seasons. He didn’t miss an offensive snap in 2018.

Davis was slated to play right tackle this season but worked at left tackle all week after the trade of Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans. The Dolphins play the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s season opener.

The 27-year-old Davis was undrafted in 2015 after finishing his college career at Idaho.

Davis was cut by the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets (twice) before eventually catching on with the Dolphins’ practice squad late in the 2016 season. He emerged as a key player the following season.

Davis is making $645,000 this season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: BMW ends sponsorship of PGA Tour playoff event

Report: BMW ends sponsorship of PGA Tour playoff event

Report: BMW ends sponsorship of PGA Tour playoff event

BMW will sponsor an event in the PGA Tour playoffs for the final time this summer, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

The BMW Championship has been on the schedule since the tour began a postseason format in 2007, with Tiger Woods winning the inaugural edition in Lemont, Ill. This year, the tournament is scheduled for Aug. 15-18 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.

The event replaced the former Western Open, a longtime Midwest event that was staged in the Chicago area annually from 1962-2006. The Western Golf Association (WGA) still runs the BMW Championship.

“We are thankful for the impact BMW has made,” PGA Tour chief competitions and tournament officer Andy Pazder said, according to the Tribune. “Beyond 2019, the PGA Tour and WGA are in active discussions with several companies and are very confident we’ll have a long-term agreement in place starting in 2020.”

From 2007-18, the BMW Championship was the third of four playoff events, following The Northern Trust (formerly The Barclays) and the Dell Technologies Championship (formerly the Deutsche Bank Championship) and preceding the Tour Championship.

This year, the PGA Tour playoffs are down to three events, The Northern Trust, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship, which will be played in August, a change from previous editions that were held in the fall.

The BMW Championship has exited the Chicago area for editions in Missouri (2008), Indiana (2012 and ’16) and Pennsylvania (2018).

Keegan Bradley is the reigning champion, having won at Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia last year. Woods (2007, ’09) and Dustin Johnson (2010, ’16) are the only two-time BMW Championship winners.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Accuser tells NFL that WR Brown sent ‘threatening’ texts

Report: Accuser tells NFL that WR Brown sent 'threatening' texts

Report: Accuser tells NFL that WR Brown sent ‘threatening’ texts

The female artist who leveled claims earlier this week that New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her contacted the NFL Thursday saying that Brown sent her “intimidating and threatening” texts, Sports Illustrated reported.

Already facing a civil lawsuit brought by his former trainer Britney Taylor over sexual assault allegations, Brown was accused by the artist’s attorney of sending text messages to the artist that were “intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”

The letter from lawyer Lisa J. Banks to the NFL stated that her client was “understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her.” Banks also denied that the artist planned to be seeking money “to compensate her for his sexual misconduct, contrary to his allegations in the text messages.”

According to the SI report, the NFL reached out to Banks within an hour of receiving her complaint to coordinate a phone call between league investigators and the artist’s counsel.

Per the SI article earlier this week in a story detailing multiple domestic violence allegations against the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, Brown met the artist at a 2017 charity softball game and invited her to his house to create another piece of artwork. Per her claim, the unnamed artist, who requested anonymity before speaking about Brown, “was in a kneeling position while painting and turned to find Brown behind her, naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals.” The artist continued painting, but “after that, it all ended abruptly,” she told SI.

The report indicated the artist received $2,000 from Brown, who didn’t contact her after the incident. The woman did not plan to file charges or receive renumeration, though Brown’s behavior troubled her, SI reported.

Thursday’s report alleged that the artist was included on a group text with three other unidentified phone numbers that seemingly came from the same number she was originally given by Brown two years ago. Among other texts claiming she was a “super broke girl” and prompts to “look up her background history,” the texts reportedly included an accusation that she was lying about her 2017 claim in order to extort money out of Brown, 31.

“This sort of intimidation and harassment is the reason victims are often so reluctant to step forward in these cases,” Banks told SI Thursday. “We have confidence the NFL and the Patriots will step in and end this behavior.”

After Monday’s report was published, Brown’s attorney Darren Heitner wrote on Twitter, “Antonio Brown has reviewed the sexual misconduct allegations made by an unnamed artist included in a recently published Sports Illustrated article and denies that he ever engaged in such activities. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Regarding the Taylor civil suit, the league has interviewed her and continues to investigate, but it is not known whether the league will interview Brown.

Taylor claims Brown sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions, including once in Pittsburgh, where the wide receiver played for the Steelers for nine seasons, and twice in Florida.

ESPN also has reported that Brown, who hired Taylor as a trainer after they attended Central Michigan at the same time, turned down a $2 million settlement before the suit was filed.

–Field Level Media

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Minshew, defense carry Jaguars to victory over Titans

Minshew, defense carry Jaguars to victory over Titans

Minshew, defense carry Jaguars to victory over Titans

Gardner Minshew threw two first-quarter touchdowns Thursday night and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense took it from there, stifling the error-prone Tennessee Titans for a 20-7 win at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

Jacksonville (1-2) struck first, taking the lead less than two minutes into the game and never letting go. Minshew, starting his second NFL game in place of the injured Nick Foles, completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards with no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 108.2.

It was a completely different story for Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, who suffered nine sacks for 55 yards and couldn’t find any traction against the aggressive Jaguars’ defense. Mariota hit 23 of 40 passes for 304 yards, 81 of those on a meaningless final drive, with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Jacksonville also shut down Derrick Henry, who tied an NFL record with a 99-yard run in the teams’ last meeting last December and set a franchise single-game record with 238 yards. Henry managed only 44 yards on 17 attempts.

Minshew hit tight end James O’Shaughnessy with a 7-yard touchdown pass just 1:58 into the game for a 7-0 lead, one play after Titans punt returner Adoree’ Jackson tried to field a bouncing punt inside the 20. He couldn’t corral it and Leon Jacobs recovered it, returning it to the 7.

The Jaguars made it 14-0 at the 6:36 mark of the first when Minshew connected with DJ Chark on a 22-yard scoring strike to polish off a 62-yard drive. Josh Lambo upped the margin to 17-0 with 7:54 left in the third quarter by connecting on a 40-yard field goal.

Henry’s 1-yard run with 12:04 left in the game pulled the Titans within 17-7, but Lambo tacked on a 48-yard field goal with 7:34 remaining for the final points.

Calais Campbell finished with three sacks for Jacksonville, while Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot bagged two each.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins TE Reed ruled out vs. Eagles

Redskins TE Reed ruled out vs. Eagles

Redskins TE Reed ruled out vs. Eagles

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed will sit out the team’s season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Saturday.

Reed will miss Sunday’s game in Philadelphia because of a concussion sustained on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal on Aug. 22. The hit drew a penalty and later a $28,075 fine.

The 29-year-old Reed has a history of concussions, with at least three during his time in Washington.

Reed has recorded 329 receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns in six seasons with the Redskins, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2016. He had 54 catches for 558 yards and two scores in 13 games (eight starts) last season.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Cowboys release RB Morris, add Elliott to roster

Reports: Cowboys release RB Morris, add Elliott to roster

The Dallas Cowboys released veteran

Reports: Cowboys release RB Morris, add Elliott to roster

The Dallas Cowboys released veteran running back Alfred Morris on Saturday to make room on the roster for Ezekiel Elliott, according to multiple reports.

Elliott ended his holdout this week and signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension with Dallas.

Morris, 30, was a sixth-round pick of the Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft and spent four seasons with Washington before his first go-round with the Cowboys in 2016-17. He played with the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, gaining 428 yards and scoring twice.

In seven seasons, Morris has run for 5,931 yards and scored 34 touchdowns.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the Cowboys could be interested in bringing Morris back next week. They open the season Sunday at home against the New York Giants.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins to honor Langer with decal

Dolphins to honor Langer with decal

The Miami Dolphins will honor the

Dolphins to honor Langer with decal

The Miami Dolphins will honor the memory of Pro Football Hall of Fame center Jim Langer with a decal on their helmets this season.

The Dolphins will add the tribute decal with the initials “JJL” in honor of Langer, whose full name was James John Langer. He passed away Aug. 29 at the age of 71.

The decal will be the second this season for the Dolphins, who also will wear the initials “NAB” in honor of Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti. Born Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti, he passed away July 30 at the age of 78.

Langer played every offensive snap at center for the unbeaten 1972 team.

Langer spent 10 years with the Dolphins (1970-1979), earning first-team All-Pro honors four times and six selections to the Pro Bowl. He finished his career with two seasons with his home-state Minnesota Vikings.

Langer was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987, becoming the fourth Dolphins player to make it in his first season of eligibility. The others are quarterback Dan Marino, receiver Paul Warfield and defensive end Jason Taylor.

–Field Level Media

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WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

Wide receiver Antonio Brown agreed to a contract with the New England Patriots on Saturday just hours after being released by the Oakland Raiders.

Brown and the Patriots agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $15 million that includes a $9 million signing bonus, according to multiple reports. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the agreement between his client and New England to ESPN.

Brown took to social media to announce the deal in his own way, posting a picture of himself with a Patriots jersey and hat.

The news came on a whirlwind day in which Brown was abruptly released by Oakland and just two days before the Raiders’ season opener against the Denver Broncos.

The move capped a tumultuous week in Oakland and came just hours after the receiver posted a message to Instagram on Saturday morning that ended with “Release me @raiders”.

“You are gonna piss a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you,” the message begins. “And that’s fine! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines. Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that failed me all those years.”

“I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong. Release me @raiders. #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake.”

Brown also posted a video on YouTube later Saturday, showing him finding out about his release and celebrating. The video shows him yelling in happiness and running out into his yard, then calling his grandmother to deliver the news.

He became a free agent as of 4:01 p.m. ET on Saturday and was free to sign with any team. He’s eligible to play in Week 2 but cannot play Sunday night, when the Patriots open the season against Brown’s former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We tried every way possible to make it work,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters.

“All I’m going to say is it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you I’m very proud of what we did as an organization to try. I wish Antonio nothing but the best.”

Rosenhaus, speaking on NFL Network, said he would get to work on finding a new team, which proved to happen quickly.

“It’s been well-documented that it’s been a rocky road from the beginning. Unfortunately, not all relationships between players and teams work out. … Everybody had the best intentions going, in but it didn’t pan out.”

He continued: “We’re going to have to see what the market is. When you’re a free agent, it’s not always what you expect. It’s what the market is. Of course, my job as an agent is to always get the best contracts for my clients. That’s no different here.”

Brown’s release came less than 24 hours after Gruden said he expected Brown to play in Monday’s season opener.

Brown was fined $215,000 on Friday for a confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday. The conduct fine voided the approximately $30 million of guarantees in his contract, while the Raiders also reportedly would not be obligated to give him any termination pay.

The Raiders acquired Brown in a trade in March, sending third- and fifth-round draft picks to Pittsburgh. They then signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million restructured contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the Raiders had yet to pay Brown any money. Spotrac, which tracks players’ salaries and bonuses, points out that Brown already missed out on a $500,000 bonus for not attending at least 85 percent of the offseason program and would be due no money or have any salary cap impact if cut before the Week 1 game.

“No way I play after they took [his guaranteed money] and made my contract week to week,” Brown wrote to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington in an email Saturday.

There has been plenty of drama around Brown since he joined the Raiders.

In the most recent episode, Brown and Mayock had to be physically separated during a testy exchange on Wednesday, ESPN and NFL Network reported, leading to Brown opening a team meeting on Friday morning with what was dubbed an “emotional apology.”

Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Brown confronted Mayock over being fined almost $54,000 and called Mayock a “cracker” and addressed him with a number of “cuss words” during the altercation. Anderson reported Mayock began to walk away because he felt the situation would escalate.

Brown told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that he did not call Mayock a “cracker” during their Wednesday altercation. Brown told Russini he would “never use that word.”

Brown, 31, initially had been expected to be suspended by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team and miss at least the Week 1 game, before he apologized to the team and was temporarily on track to play.

Later Friday, Brown posted a video to his YouTube channel that appeared to contain the audio of a phone call he had with Gruden, reportedly earlier this week while Brown’s status with the team was in flux. The video lasted nearly two minutes and in it, Gruden asks Brown, “What the hell is going on, man?”

“Just a villain all over the news, man,” Brown replies.

“You’re not a villain,” Gruden then says back. “You’re just, you’re the most misunderstood (expletive) human being in my entire life that I’ve ever met.”

“Do you want to be a Raider or not,” Gruden later asks, to which Brown replies, “Man I’ve been trying to be a Raider since Day 1.”

Brown also missed time due to a frostbite-like condition on his feet, an incident Gruden said wasn’t Brown’s fault but stemmed from improper protection on his feet during cryotherapy.

Then he sat out during a dispute with the NFL over his helmet, returning only after losing two grievances.

–Field Level Media

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Report: WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

Report: WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

Report: WR Brown joins Patriots after Raiders release

Wide receiver Antonio Brown agreed to a contract with the New England Patriots on Saturday just hours after being released by the Oakland Raiders, ESPN reported.

Brown and the Patriots agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $15 million that includes a $9 million signing bonus, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted. Agent Drew Rosenhaus reportedly confirmed the agreement between his client and New England.

Brown took to social media to announce the deal in his own way. posting a picture of himself with a Patriots jersey and hat.

The news came on a whirlwind day in which Brown was abruptly released by Oakland and just two days before the Raiders’ season opener against the Denver Broncos.

The move capped a tumultuous week in Oakland and came just hours after the receiver posted a message to Instagram on Saturday morning that ended with “Release me @raiders”.

“You are gonna piss a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you,” the message begins. “And that’s fine! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines. Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that failed me all those years.”

“I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong. Release me @raiders. #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake.”

He became a free agent as of 4:01 p.m. ET on Saturday and was free to sign with any team. He’s eligible to play in Week 2.

“We tried every way possible to make it work,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters.

“All I’m going to say is it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you I’m very proud of what we did as an organization to try. I wish Antonio nothing but the best.”

Rosenhaus, speaking on NFL Network, said he will get to work on finding a new team.

“It’s been well-documented that it’s been a rocky road from the beginning. Unfortunately, not all relationships between players and teams work out. … Everybody had the best intentions going in but it didn’t pan out.”

He continued: “We’re going to have to see what the market is. When you’re a free agent, it’s not always what you expect. It’s what the market is. Of course, my job as an agent is to always get the best contracts for my clients. That’s no different here.”

Brown’s release came less than 24 hours after Gruden said he expected Brown to play in Monday’s season opener.

Brown was fined $215,000 on Friday for a confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday. The conduct fine voided the approximately $30 million of guarantees in his contract, while the Raiders also reportedly would not be obligated to give him any termination pay.

The Raiders acquired Brown in a trade in March, sending third- and fifth-round draft picks to Pittsburgh. They then signed him to a three-year, $50.125 million restructured contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the Raiders have yet to pay Brown any money. Spotrac, which tracks players’ salaries and bonuses, points out that Brown already missed out on a $500,000 bonus for not attending at least 85 percent of the offseason program and would be due no money or have any salary cap impact if he were cut before the Week 1 game.

“No way I play after they took [his guaranteed money] and made my contract week to week,” Brown wrote to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington in an email Saturday.

There has been plenty of drama around Brown since he joined the Raiders.

In the most recent episode, Brown and Mayock had to be physically separated during a testy exchange on Wednesday, ESPN and NFL Network reported, leading to Brown opening a team meeting on Friday morning with what was dubbed an “emotional apology.”

Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Brown confronted Mayock over being fined almost $54,000 and called Mayock a “cracker” and addressed him with a number of “cuss words” during the altercation. Anderson reported Mayock began to walk away because he felt the situation would escalate.

Brown told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that he did not call Mayock a “cracker” during their Wednesday altercation. Brown told Russini he would “never use that word.”

Brown, 31, initially had been expected to be suspended by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team and miss at least the Week 1 game.

Later Friday, Brown posted a video to his YouTube channel that appears to contain the audio of a phone call he had with Gruden, reportedly earlier this week while Brown’s status with the team was in flux. The video lasts nearly two minutes and in it, Gruden asks Brown, “What the hell is going on, man?”

“Just a villain all over the news, man,” Brown replies.

“You’re not a villain,” Gruden then says back. “You’re just, you’re the most misunderstood (expletive) human being in my entire life that I’ve ever met.”

“Do you want to be a Raider or not,” Gruden later asks, to which Brown replies, “Man I’ve been trying to be a Raider since Day 1.”

Brown also missed time due to a frostbite-like condition on his feet, an incident Gruden said wasn’t Brown’s fault but stemmed from improper protection on his feet during cryotherapy.

Then he sat out during a dispute with the NFL over his helmet, returning only after losing two grievances.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Jones, Falcons finalize 3-year, guaranteed $66M deal

Reports: Jones, Falcons finalize 3-year, guaranteed $66M deal

The Atlanta Falcons

Reports: Jones, Falcons finalize 3-year, guaranteed $66M deal

The Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Julio Jones finalized a three-year, $66 million fully guaranteed contract extension with $64 million due immediately, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Saturday afternoon.

“$66 million guaranteed and, yes, $64 million due at signing. That’s today,” Mortensen tweeted.

Schefter said that his 97 percent of the deal guaranteed at signing eclipses the previous record for a non-quarterback, which was the 74 percent that defensive end Trey Flowers received from the Detroit Lions.

Jones and the Falcons have been working toward a new contract for months. Owner Arthur Blank said in March the team wanted a deal done before training camp. General manager Thomas Dimitroff set a goal of the start of the season — which is Sunday.

Jones, 30, was set to make $21 million over the next two seasons on his existing contract. With the three-year extension tacked on, Jones and the Falcons are tied together for five years.

Entering his ninth season, Jones is coming off of his sixth Pro Bowl selection — and fifth in a row — after catching 113 passes for a league-high 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He remains the NFL’s all-time leader in career receiving yards per game (96.7).

Dimitroff said the Falcons expect Jones to be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL when his contract is finalized. Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas signed for $100 million over five years, pushing the price tag for top pass catchers to an all-time high.

Multiple outlets reported Thursday a deal between Jones and the Falcons was imminent.

The Falcons open the season against the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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