Madness, not sadness: Browns turn home field into advantage

CLEVELAND (AP) — Empty seats. Anemic football. Bad vibes.

Home field hasn’t meant any advantage in recent years for the Browns, who entered this season with three wins in their last 27 home games at FirstEnergy Stadium, dubbed “The Factory of Sadness.”

Madness has been the norm so far this season.

The Browns (2-2-1) have played two overtime games already at home and rallied to win a nationally televised Thursday nighter to end their 19-game winless streak and breathe life into a fan base that couldn’t take much more misery.

Lifeless for years, the Dawg Pound is howling once more, and Browns coach Hue Jackson begged Cleveland fans to bring the noise for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers (3-2).

“I want them to be as loud as they have ever been,” Jackson pleaded. “This week our players will need that. We need that assistance for them. They have been outstanding, but boy, we need a little bit more from them this week, too. “

Jackson’s hoping a roaring crowd will make things tougher on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who is off to one of the best starts of his 15-year NFL career. Rivers has thrown 13 touchdown passes and two interceptions, and Jackson believes Cleveland’s crowd can be as disruptive as any of the Browns’ 11 defenders.

“He’s one of the best that have played the game,” Jackson said. “It does not look like he is slowing down at all. He is one of the top quarterbacks in this league, bar none. We need 12 people when they are on offense, and the 12th person is going to be our crowd.”

Rivers often resets his offense before the snap, changing the plays after taking a look at how the defense is aligned. The Browns experienced that last season in a 19-10 loss to the Chargers.

“We’ve just got to do a better job of bogeying and disguising and making it harder for him to do that,” Browns linebacker Joe Schobert said. “I think being at home this year, where it will be harder for him to make checks if we have a loud crowd, will be an advantage to us. It will be harder for them to change every single play that will be perfectly what they want.”

Rivers enjoys playing in Cleveland.

“It is a great, kind of an old-school NFL atmosphere,” he said.

But while the setting may feel dated, Rivers knows there’s nothing out of style about the Browns and their young defense, which is leading the league with 15 takeaways. After playing against the Browns last season, Rivers felt it was just a matter of time before they jelled.

“It did not feel like they were an 0-16 team or 0-14, whatever they were when we played them last year,” he said. “It was a good football team. They just did not find ways to win. I remember our guys walking away with a heck of a lot of respect for that defense.”

This time, the Chargers will also have to deal with a hungry Cleveland crowd that has watched rookie Baker Mayfield lead two wins already.

“We feed off of the crowd’s energy,” Mayfield said. “We need to continue that, and this needs to be a place that people need to fear coming to play. It needs to be so loud that they can’t communicate, and it needs to be a harsh place for an offense to come in.”

OFF TARGET

In a season of balls going wide right, wide left and clanking off uprights around the NFL, the Chargers and Browns have had more than their share of kicking issues.

The Chargers have missed a league-leading four extra points, the Browns are tied for second with three. The teams are also near the bottom in field-goal accuracy: San Diego is 9 for 12, Cleveland 8 for 12.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn gave kicker Caleb Sturgis a tepid vote of confidence by signing a new holder last week, but Sturgis has been slowed by a quad injury. The team signed Michael Badgley, a rookie from Miami who could kick against the Browns.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s on its second kicker: Greg Joseph, who missed a field goal and PAT last week before knuckling through a 37-yard field goal to beat Baltimore in overtime.

RECORD BEAKER

Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry didn’t set out to catch the most passes in league history over his first five seasons. But that’s what he did.

Landry surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (426) last week and enters Sunday’s game with 429 receptions. Landry said he idolized Fitzgerald and never considered the mark until he was well on his way.

“I broke the second-year mark, then the third, the fourth and now the fifth,” he said. “That is when it kind of hit me, and it has been like that ever since.”

JOE PRO

The Browns will honor retired left tackle Joe Thomas , by adding 10,363 — the number of consecutive snaps he played over 11 seasons — into the team’s ring of honor.

Thomas never missed a play before suffering a torn triceps midway through last season.

“I will never forget walking on that field when he was down there and him not being able to get up, understanding that this might be it,” Jackson said. “To watch and look back on his career and see what he has done, man, that’s amazing to me. Nobody else has ever played that many consecutive snaps, and I do not know if anybody else will do that again for a long time.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Golf Glance

Golf Glance

Golf Glance

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

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Valspar Championship (Paul Casey)

THIS WEEK: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, March 27-31

Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas (Par 71, 7,108 yards)

Purse: $10.25 million (Winner: $1.745 million)

Defending champion: Bubba Watson

FedEx Cup leader: Rory McIlroy

Television: Wednesday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-7 p.m. (NBC).

Sixteen groups of four players each will compete in a round-robin group format Wednesday through Friday, with each of the group winners moving on to the single-elimination weekend rounds. … World No. 1 Dustin Johnson won the first WGC event of the season at the Mexico Championship. … Tiger Woods will play in his first WGC-Match Play event since 2013. He is the only three-time winner of Match Play. … Rickie Fowler and Australia’s Adam Scott are the only eligible players who chose not to compete this week. … Watson, Charles Howell III and Sweden’s Alex Noren are the only players to advance out of their groups each of the past two years. … Bryson DeChambeau is among the 10 players who will be competing in his first Match Play.

THIS WEEK: Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, March 28-31

Corales Golf Club, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Par 72, 7,670 yards)

Purse: $3 million (Winner: $540,000 million)

Defending champion: Brice Garnett

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS Sports analyst Tony Romo is in the field for the second consecutive year. He missed the cut in 2018. … Garnett led wire-to-wire last year, winning by four shots over Keith Mitchell. … Held opposite the WGC event, the winner does not earn an automatic spot into next month’s Masters. … Tour rookie Sungjae Im is ranked No. 59 in the world and has a mathematical chance to rise into the Top 50 and earn a spot in the Masters.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. ET; Saturday, 2-5 p.m.; Sunday 2:30-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

NEXT WEEK: Valero Texas Open, San Antonio

LPGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Bank of Hope Founders Cup (Jin-Young Ko)

THIS WEEK: Kia Classic, March 28-31

Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif. (Par 72, 6,609 yards)

Purse: $1.8 million (Winner: $270,000)

Defending champion: Eun-Hee Ji

CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda

Television: Thursday, 9-11 p.m. ET; Friday, 8:30-10:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7-9 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

The tournament scoring record of 20-under par 268 was set by 2017 champion Mirim Lee. … No. 6 Nelly Korda has overtaken Lexi Thompson (No. 9) as the top American in the Rolex Rankings. South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park remains No. 1. South Korea has 38 of the Top 100 players. … There have been five different winners in as many events in 2019. … Korda, who has five top-10 finishes this year, leads the money list ($472,810) and leads the Tour in scoring average (68.35), greens in regulation (81.7 percent) and birdies (103). … The average age of winners on Tour this season is 25.67.

NEXT WEEK: ANA Inspiration, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic (Kirk Triplett)

THIS WEEK: Rapiscan Systems Classic, March 29-31

Fallen Oak Golf Course, Biloxi, Miss. (Par 72, 7,151 yards)

Purse: $1.6 million (Winner: $240,000)

Defending champion: Steve Stricker

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Bernhard Langer

Television: Friday, 9:30-11:30 p.m. ET (tape delay); Saturday-Sunday, 4-6 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

The 78-player field includes six World Golf Hall of Fame members. … Langer returns after missing the past two events due to an injury to his midsection. … Since joining the Champions Tour in 2017, Stricker has had 42 of 44 rounds under par. … Miguel Angel Jimenez (2016-17) is the only player to defend his title at the Rapiscan Systems Classic. … 2012 champion Fred Couples is in the field for the first time since 2015. … Darren Clarke, Chris DiMarco and Gary Nicklaus will make their first starts in the event.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Mitsubishi Electric Classic, Duluth, Ga., April 19-21

–Field Level Media

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Seattle Seahawks training camp primer

Seattle Seahawks training camp primer

New faces: DE Ezekiel Ansah,

Seattle Seahawks training camp primer

New faces: DE Ezekiel Ansah, G Mike Iupati, DT Al Woods, DE L.J. Collier, DE Cassius Marsh, FB Nick Bellore, K Jason Myers, WR D.K. Metcalf, S Marquise Blair, QB Geno Smith, WR Gary Jennings

They’re gone: S Earl Thomas, DE Frank Clark, WR Doug Baldwin, CB Justin Coleman, G J.R. Sweezy, RB Mike Davis, QB Brett Hundley, DT Shamar Stephen, DT Malik McDowell, K Sebastian Janikowski

2019 snapshot: Taken as a whole, the departures of Thomas, Clark, Baldwin and Coleman were rather jarring, especially after Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor all departed just a year earlier. But as the Seahawks showed last year, they excel at weathering storms.

Thomas (who missed most of last season) and Coleman were never expected back. Clark (franchise-tagged) was, but things pivoted when his price tag skyrocketed, and Seattle got first- and second-round picks in return for him.

The first-rounder turned into Collier, a crafty type who should replicate some of Bennett’s inside-outside versatility. Ansah’s arrival will also make Clark’s departure easier to stomach, assuming he can return to form following a shoulder injury.

The team might not have a like-for-like replacement for Baldwin, but Metcalf impressed in the offseason, and Jennings could compete for snaps. Meanwhile, Seattle kept K.J. Wright (two years, $14 million) and D.J. Fluker for cheap (two years, $6 million), while adding Iupati and Myers to shore up a few holes.

Of course, the Seahawks also handled Russell Wilson’s contract extension, a necessary move that was completed before it could become a distraction. Now they must turn to an extension for Bobby Wagner, for which the price tag jumped considerably after two massive linebacker contracts were signed in free agency (Kwon Alexander and C.J. Mosely) and another (Deion Jones) followed last week.

Worth the investment?

–In the last four seasons, Seattle has three 10-win campaigns and one with nine victories. We’re tempted to lean toward the under on their 9-win total this season, but it might be best to just stay away.

–Wilson has never won MVP, coming closest with a scorching finish to the 2015 campaign. He’s not a bad bet at +2000, but he’ll need more volume than Seattle’s run-heavy attack offered him last year.

Bottom line: It was another bumpy spring in Seattle, but the Seahawks again landed on their feet. As usual, they’ll go as far as Wilson can take them.

–Field Level Media

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San Francisco 49ers training camp primer

San Francisco 49ers training camp primer

New faces: DE Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander, DE Nick

San Francisco 49ers training camp primer

New faces: DE Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander, DE Nick Bosa, RB Tevin Coleman, CB Jason Verrett, WR Deebo Samuel, LB David Mayo, WR Jordan Matthews, WR/TE Jalen Hurd, TE Kaden Smith, P Mitch Wishnowsky

They’re gone: WR Pierre Garcon, DT Earl Mitchell, DE Cassius Marsh, P Bradley Pinion, RB Alfred Morris, LB Dekoda Watson

2019 snapshot: Hyped as a team set to make the leap last year, the 49ers stacked up another strong offseason and could finally be primed for a breakthrough.

No other NFL team improved as much on defense as San Francisco, which suddenly has two potential star edge rushers in Ford (acquired via trade from Kansas City) and Bosa (drafted second overall). Alexander’s price tag was absurd (four years, $54 million), but the structure doesn’t carry long-term risk, and he adds speed for D-coordinator Robert Saleh. This could certainly become a top-10 unit, especially if Verrett stays healthy.

On offense, Coleman was one of the offseason’s biggest bargains (two years, $8.5 million), giving coach Kyle Shanahan yet another multi-dimensional back to employ as a runner and receiver. Samuel and especially Hurd will probably need time to develop, but both bring unique skillsets to the offense, and Smith could contribute early in a scheme that caters perfectly to tight ends.

Meanwhile, the 49ers lost very few players of consequence, extended LT Joe Staley and will get QB Jimmy Garoppolo and RB Jerick McKinnon back from injuries after both missed nearly all of 2018. Taking a punter (Wishnowsky) in the fourth round was absurd, but if that’s the biggest quibble of the offseason, it seems things have gone quite well for the Niners.

Worth the investment?

–Last year’s preseason optimism has cooled somewhat, bringing the 49ers’ over/under win total into a friendly range at eight. Even in a tough division, that’s a bargain.

–If the 49ers take the leap many forecast in 2018, Jimmy Garoppolo (+3300) could be a sneaky MVP longshot. Kyle Shanahan coaxed an MVP campaign out of Matt Ryan just three years ago.

Bottom line: The health of Garoppolo will likely tell the story, but San Francisco did just about everything it could to thrust itself into playoff contention.

–Field Level Media

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NFL suspends Vikings CB Hill for 4 more games

NFL suspends Vikings CB Hill for 4 more games

NFL suspends Vikings CB Hill for 4 more games

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Holton Hill has been suspended without pay for an additional four games for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substance abuse, the league announced Tuesday.

The league in April suspended Hill for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Hill will be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games. He can return to the active roster Oct. 25 — the day following the Vikings’ eighth game — and is eligible to play in a Nov. 3 game at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hill, 22, had 36 tackles and one interception in 16 games (three starts) last season as an undrafted rookie.

He reportedly failed a drug test at the 2018 NFL Combine and also reportedly failed at least one drug test as a college player at Texas.

–Field Level Media

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Los Angeles Rams training camp primer

Los Angeles Rams training camp primer

New faces: S Eric Weddle, OLB Clay Matthews, S Taylor

Los Angeles Rams training camp primer

New faces: S Eric Weddle, OLB Clay Matthews, S Taylor Rapp, QB Blake Bortles, RB Darrell Henderson, CB David Long

They’re gone: DT Ndamukong Suh, G Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, S LaMarcus Joyner, LB Mark Barron, RB C.J. Anderson, LB Ramik Wilson

2019 snapshot: After assembling a “Dream Team” of sorts last spring, the Rams quieted considerably this offseason, limited by a lack of cap space despite a number of players hitting free agency. Suh, Saffold, Joyner and Barron all seemed like obvious candidates to walk, and Sullivan’s retirement wasn’t a shock.

What was surprising is that L.A. did essentially nothing to replace either Saffold or Sullivan, trusting that 2018 draft picks Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen can step in to start at left guard and center, respectfully.

The defense took an interesting turn, with Weddle and Matthews arriving to provide veteran savvy, and potentially a more schematically diverse approach from coordinator Wade Phillips. Both have declined physically, but if the normally straightforward Phillips wants to get more creative, he certainly can. Dante Fowler was retained, but his contract (one year, $12 million with $2 million in incentives) doesn’t offer much surplus value.

For the second consecutive year, a series of trades in the draft brought a deep class, led by Rapp and Henderson. Rapp, who has been compared to Weddle for his instinctive play, should contribute early as a dime linebacker, and Henderson could bring another dimension to the offense as a big-play threat and spread receiving option. Long provides some insurance behind contract-year CBs Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

Worth the investment?

–Coming off a 13-win season and a Super Bowl appearance, the Rams should at least push on their over/under total of 10 wins. But there are a few key holes, making the over less than a slam dunk.

–The Rams have three players with less-than-astronomical MVP odds, with Jared Goff and Aaron Donald at +4000 and Todd Gurley at +5000. Goff is the most realistic candidate, but we’d still pass given how much of his success is credited to McVay.

Bottom line: The Rams should be able to overcome most of their losses, but the lack of additions along the O-line is mildly concerning. Health and development from Noteboom and Allen will be critical.

–Field Level Media

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Arizona Cardinals training camp primer

Arizona Cardinals training camp primer

New faces: QB Kyler Murray, LB Jordan Hicks, OLB Terrell Suggs, OT

Arizona Cardinals training camp primer

New faces: QB Kyler Murray, LB Jordan Hicks, OLB Terrell Suggs, OT Marcus Gilbert, CB Robert Alford, CB Byron Murphy, G J.R. Sweezy, DT Darius Philon, G Max Garcia, LB Brooks Reed, TE Charles Clay, DT Terrell McClain, WR Kevin White, DE Zach Allen, WR Andy Isabella, WR Hakeem Butler, QB Brett Hundley

They’re gone: QB Josh Rosen, OLB Markus Golden, LB Deone Buccannon, S Antoine Bethea, G Mike Iupati, QB Mike Glennon, DT Olsen Pierre, TE Germaine Gresham, LB Josh Bynes, S Tre Boston

2019 snapshot: When you have a season as disastrous as Arizona’s 2018 campaign, blowing everything up and starting over is understandable. Even so, it’s hard to argue head coach Steve Wilks or Rosen deserved to be sent packing after just one year. Of course, Wilks’ replacement — Kliff Kingsbury — had everything to do with why Rosen was shipped to Miami, as Kingsbury wanted Murray to run his Air Raid offense.

Many might prefer Murray to Rosen, but Rosen was widely viewed as the better prospect coming out of college, and a horrible supporting cast did him no favors in 2018. More importantly, the Cardinals could have had Rosen and Nick Bosa (or Quinnen Williams), but instead wound up with Murray and Isabella (the 62nd pick in return for Rosen). It’s difficult to agree with that tradeoff.

Arizona also churned the roster elsewhere, adding three players (Alford, Reed, Clay) before free agency even began, reinforcing the offensive line with Gilbert (via trade) and Sweezy (free agency) and adding Hicks and Suggs to a defense that slipped last season. The draft brought all sorts of potential contributors, with Murphy, Allen, Isabella and Butler all having a chance to grab a role early, and Murray very likely to start.

Worth the investment?

–If you believe in the coach-QB combo, go right ahead with the over on Arizona’s 5.5-win total. The defense and offensive line should be at least marginally improved, and Murray could win a game or two on his own.

–Would you rather take Murray or David Johnson (both at +6600) as a longshot to win MVP? Given Johnson got zero votes after a transcendent 2016 campaign, we’d lean heavily toward Murray.

Bottom line: Kingsbury and Murray must hit for Steve Keim’s risky offseason to be a success, which is far from a certainty. The Cardinals should be fascinating but most likely not major factors in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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Washington Redskins training camp primer

Washington Redskins training camp primer

New faces: S Landon Collins, QB Dwayne Haskins, OLB Montez Sweat, QB Case

Washington Redskins training camp primer

New faces: S Landon Collins, QB Dwayne Haskins, OLB Montez Sweat, QB Case Keenum, LB Jon Bostick, OT Ereck Flowers, WR Terry McLaurin, RB Bryce Love

They’re gone: WR Jamison Crowder, OLB Preston Smith, LB Zach Brown, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LB Mason Foster, OT Ty Nsekhe, OLB Pernell McPhee, WR Maurice Harris

2019 snapshot: Normally a very active team, Washington focused more on quality than quantity this offseason, resulting in a number of moves that could be categorized as boom or bust.

Collins might become the linchpin of a strong defense, or he might struggle in coverage and become an albatross of a contract (six years, $84 million, $44.5 million guaranteed). The deal has no out until at least 2022, and even then would carry $6 million in dead money to escape, making it one of the riskiest handed out this spring. Whether by design or not, the Redskins also let important contributors in Smith, Nsekhe, Clinton-Dix, Brown and Foster depart without many ideal replacements.

The draft also brought two swings for the fences, even if they were great value. Haskins has the tools to be a franchise quarterback, but he’ll need protection — LT Trent Williams’ holdout doesn’t appear close to an end — and weapons early on to ease the transition. Sweat could become the star that Smith never was opposite Ryan Kerrigan, but he cost a 2020 second-round pick and was pulled from some teams’ boards due to a heart condition. Both picks seemed like worthwhile gambles, but they are gambles nonetheless.

The offense could use another weapon, and Williams’ holdout could leave the unit as a disaster. But the defense looks solid, and underrated DL Matt Ioannidis was extended at a nice price (three years, $21.8 million).

Worth the investment?

–Despite lacking a high ceiling, the Redskins have won at least seven games in four straight seasons, which makes the over on their 6.5-win total tempting. With their improving defense and possible upside at quarterback, that figure seems reasonable.

–Only four teams — the Dolphins, Cardinals, Bengals and Bucs — have longer odds to reach the postseason than Washington (+500). There might be some value there, given the possibility that Haskins pops.

Bottom line: It could all go south, but it’s hard to argue with the upside of Haskins, Sweat and Collins. Whether they pay dividends in 2019 remains to be seen.

–Field Level Media

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Dallas Cowboys training camp primer

Dallas Cowboys training camp primer

New faces: WR Randall Cobb, TE

Dallas Cowboys training camp primer

New faces: WR Randall Cobb, TE Jason Witten, DT Trysten Hill, DT Christian Covington, DT Kerry Hyder, S George Iloka, G Connor McGovern

They’re gone: WR Cole Beasley, WR Allen Hurns, DT David Irving, TE Geoff Swaim, LB Damien Wilson

2019 snapshot: No team answered fewer questions this offseason than the Cowboys, whose long list of players needing contract extensions produced just one deal: five years, $105 million for DE DeMarcus Lawrence.

Next in line are contract-year players QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper, CB Byron Jones, LB Jaylon Smith (restricted), OT La’el Collins, DT Maliek Collins and even head coach Jason Garrett. RB Ezekiel Elliott might also merit an extension — or choose to hold out if he doesn’t get one — though he has a fifth-year option for 2020.

Prescott is obviously the top priority, but it’s unclear what his deal will look like. Carson Wentz’s extension likely raised Prescott’s price tag, and the QB’s leverage will only grow, so a deal must come soon if Dallas hopes to use its franchise tag elsewhere next spring. Then again, the Cowboys have just $19.4 million in cap space, so the structure will have to be creative. They would also be wise to extend Cooper — who cost this year’s first-round pick — or Jones before the season, which would provide more options with the tag.

With limited cap space and draft capital, Dallas made only modest additions, replacing Beasley with Cobb and betting on Rod Marinelli to coach up Hill. McGovern could compete to start, but the draft class otherwise lacked punch. Witten’s return can’t hurt, but the 37-year-old is hardly a long-term answer at tight end. Getting Travis Frederick back from missing 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome is extremely welcome.

Worth the investment?

–Dallas hit 10 wins last season and must do so again to top its over/under total (nine). While this team should still be good, the over seems risky if Carson Wentz is fully healthy in Philadelphia.

–The Cowboys have a pair of MVP candidates with +5000 odds in Prescott and Elliott. Given how difficult it is for running backs to win the award, we’d lean toward Prescott with hopes of him blossoming in Kellen Moore’s system.

Bottom line: The Cowboys mostly maintained the status quo and now must reproduce last year’s performance with several high-leverage contract situations simmering. Their fortunes could go in any number of directions.

–Field Level Media

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Packers agree to extension with DE Lowry

Packers agree to extension with DE Lowry

Packers agree to extension with DE Lowry

The Green Bay Packers agreed on a contract extension with defensive end Dean Lowry, the team announced Tuesday.

The NFL Network reported Lowry’s deal is worth $20.325 million over three years.

The 25-year-old Lowry is slated to make $2.025 this season in the final year of his rookie contract.

After Green Bay drafted the former Northwestern product in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Lowry worked himself into a steady role on the defensive line, playing all but one game since entering the league.

Last season Lowry posted a career-high 44 tackles, three sacks and three passed defensed in 16 games (eight starts). In three seasons, Lowry owns 84 tackles and seven sacks in 47 games (19 starts).

This offseason the Packers also added former Ravens D-lineman Za’Darius Smith via free agency to a defense that recorded 44 sacks last season, ranking tied for eighth-best in the NFL.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Financial issues mount for Redskins RB Peterson

Report: Financial issues mount for Redskins RB Peterson

Financial problems continue to mount for Washington Redskins

Report: Financial issues mount for Redskins RB Peterson

Financial problems continue to mount for Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, who is being sued for failure to repay a $5.2 million loan, according to a report Tuesday in The Athletic.

Now involved in three lawsuits, Peterson owes $6.6 million (which included interest and legal fees) to DeAngelo Vehicle Sales, the company that filed the latest lawsuit in New York, according to The Athletic. He also owes a combined $3 million to two other creditors.

Chase Carlson, the lawyer for the 34-year-old Peterson, believes his client’s problems involve a matter of trusting the wrong people.

“The truth behind Adrian Peterson’s current financial situation is more than is being reported at this time,” Carlson said in a statement. “Because of ongoing legal matters, I am unable to go into detail, but I will say this is yet another situation of an athlete trusting the wrong people and being taken advantage of by those he trusted. Adrian and his family look forward to sharing further details when appropriate.”

Peterson reportedly has earned $99.22 million in his 12-year career, according to Spotrac.com, during which the seven-time Pro Bowler moved up to rank eighth in NFL history with 13,318 rushing yards.

Peterson, who agreed in March to a two-year deal with Washington worth up to $5 million that also includes annual incentives of $1.5 million, enters training camp on Wednesday in competition with Derrius Guice for the starting job.

Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Redskins last season after signing late in training camp following Guice’s torn ACL.

The 1,000-yard campaign was the eighth of Peterson’s career, topped by his memorable 2,097-yard season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, when he fell 8 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s all-time mark set in 1984. With another 1,000-yard season, Peterson would pass three more players — Jerome Bettis (13,662), LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) and Curtis Martin (14,101) on the career rushing list.

Peterson is tied with Jim Brown for fifth all-time with 106 career rushing scores. He needs five more to pass Walter Payton for fourth.

Peterson also has 272 receptions for 2,223 yards and six touchdowns during his 149-game career.

–Field Level Media

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Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

Golf Glance: Loaded WGC field takes aim following major

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

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: The Open Championship (Shane Lowry)

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

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

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

Defending champion: Justin Thomas

FedEx Cup leader: Brooks Koepka

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

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

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

THIS WEEK: Barracuda Championship, July 25-28

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

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

Defending champion: Andrew Putnam

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

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

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

LPGA TOUR

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

THIS WEEK: The Evian Championship, July 25-28

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

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

Defending champion: Angela Stanford

CME Race to the Globe leader: Jin Young Ko

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

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

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

CHAMPIONS TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Senior Players Championship (Retief Goosen)

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

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

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

Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

The Dallas Cowboys

Report: Cowboys releasing WR Hurns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

The Washington Redskins are releasing veteran linebacker

Reports: Redskins to part ways with LB Mason Foster

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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

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

Cincinnati wide

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

Former Houston Texans

Gaine returns to Bills as senior personnel adviser

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Lowry bows out of WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick,

Report: Cowboys C Frederick ready for camp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Broncos add punter, waive kicker

Broncos add punter, waive kicker

The Denver Broncos signed punter Justin Vogel and

Broncos add punter, waive kicker

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Detroit Lions

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring after 10 years in

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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