NFL teams with foundation to support veterans, families

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL is joining an effort for nonprofit organizations to support healthy lifestyle programs for veterans and their families.

The league will contribute $2 million to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which was established in 2006 after the television journalist was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq.

The foundation has invested more than $55 million for programs that empower the military and their families. The NFL will work with the Woodruff group in creating a grant referral system for nonprofits.

Anna Isaacson, the NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, says the league is committed to “evolving its work in the military landscape and funding programs that will make a tangible, long-lasting impact.”

One of those programs is Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a nationwide nonprofit that provides rehabilitative fly fishing programs for disabled active duty personnel and for disabled veterans. It has 8,500 participants and another 3,500 volunteers who teach disabled veterans the intricacies of fly fishing and stages events locally, regionally and nationally.

“The BWF provides us with a grant each year that supports one of our largest programs for rod building,” says Todd Desgrosseilliers, president and CEO of Project Healing Waters who spent 31 years in the military and sustained traumatic head injuries in combat. “We had over 900 veterans participate in it thanks to that. It’s part of a larger core of activities we have that include fly fishing education and outings.

“We meet on a regular basis, whether weekly or twice or month, with a minimum of once a month. This is a group of disabled veterans coming together with folks who care about them, and involved in an activity that is fun and therapeutic.”

An affiliation with the NFL is logical, says Marshall Lauck, chief growth and marketing officer for the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

“The NFL is such a prominent American brand and one that has a longstanding commitment to the vet community,” Lauck says. “This is not something new to them, given their history with supporting veterans and the active military. It’s a time of increased interest on their part in how most effectively they can support the veteran community (through nonprofits).

“Our expertise can be very helpful for the NFL in its goals in supporting the veteran communities.”

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Manziel confident he can still play ‘at any level’

Manziel confident he can still play 'at any level'

As he

Manziel confident he can still play ‘at any level’

As he prepares to launch his latest comeback attempt, Johnny Manziel remains confident that he can still play quarterback “at any level anywhere.”

“My confidence level is high,” Manziel said Tuesday in Memphis at an introductory press conference with his newest employer, the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football. “I believe I still have a unique skill set and still have the ability to play at any level anywhere.”

Rejected by the NFL and banned by the Canadian Football League for his on-field struggles and off-field issues, the 26-year-old signed a standard player contract with the upstart AAF last weekend and was claimed off waivers by last-place Memphis.

Express coach Mike Singletary said he is eager to work with the former Texas A&M star, who earned the nickname “Johnny Football” while winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

“Our guys are excited, our team is excited, and I feel that many of the people here in Memphis are excited,” said Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker who is known as a strict, by-the-book boss.

Manziel, who sought treatment for alcohol abuse and anger management in the past, might be an interesting match with Singletary’s authoritarian style.

“I’ve done a lot of soul searching and a lot of looking at myself in the mirror and coming to the realization that when I’m on a football field and on a team, my life is substantially better,” Manziel said.

Manziel could see his first AAF action on Sunday when Memphis hosts the Birmingham Iron. The Express lost starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger to an ankle injury last weekend.

“In my eyes and in my mind, I believe I’m here for a reason,” Manziel said. “This is a great fit for me.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Raiders, LB Burfict agree to deal

Reports: Raiders, LB Burfict agree to deal

Vontaze Burfict's time as a

Reports: Raiders, LB Burfict agree to deal

Vontaze Burfict’s time as a free agent apparently was very short-lived.

One day after Burfict was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, the only NFL team for which he has played, the linebacker agreed to a one-year deal Tuesday with the Oakland Raiders, multiple media outlets reported.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the contract is worth $5 million including incentives.

Burfict managed to play in only 43 games in the past five seasons, encountering repeated head injuries — seven documented concussions — and three suspensions.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict amassed more than $4 million in on-field conduct fines. He was suspended by the NFL to start both the 2016 and 2017 seasons for violation of player-safety policies and in 2018 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

He was a physical force for the Bengals in the middle of Marvin Lewis’ defense, but when the Bengals parted with Lewis, a change at linebacker was expected under new head coach Zac Taylor.

The move to Oakland would reunite Burfict with Paul Guenther, the Raiders’ defensive coordinator who served in the same position with the Bengals from 2014-17.

Burfict had two seasons remaining on a $33.2 million contract extension he signed with the Bengals, but by releasing him, Cincinnati sustained a cap charge of only $1.8 million.

Burfict, 28, was an undrafted free agent signee with Cincinnati after an All-America career at Arizona State. He had 298 tackles in his first two seasons with the Bengals and played in every game.

–Field Level Media

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Rams, LB Matthews agree on two-year deal

Rams, LB Matthews agree on two-year deal

Rams, LB Matthews agree on two-year deal

After 10 seasons in Green Bay, linebacker Clay Matthews is returning home to Southern California.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection and Packers franchise leader in career sacks is joining the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent. Matthews made the news public with a new profile picture on his Twitter profile: him sporting the No. 52 in a Rams uniform.

The Rams then tweeted that they have indeed agreed on a two-year deal with Matthews. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the deal is worth a maximum of $16.75 million — less than other offers for Matthews, per Garafolo, but family considerations and a shot at a championship outweighed the increased money from other clubs.

A Southern California native born in Northridge, Matthews starred in college at USC before the Packers selected him with the 26th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He quickly made a name for himself with both his level of play and his famed sack celebrations.

He had 10 sacks as a rookie, making the 2009 All-Rookie Team. He had a career-high 13.5 the following year, a season which ended with the Packers defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

In all, Matthews has 83.5 sacks in his career, though his production has slowed in recent seasons. He has not had double-digit sacks since registering 11 in 2014, the fifth of his six Pro Bowl seasons.

The Rams, the NFC champions last season, aren’t exactly hurting for pass rushers. Reigning two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald led the NFL with 20.5 sacks last season. The team also re-signed edge rusher Dante Fowler to a one-year contract earlier this month. The team acquired him in a trade-deadline deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.

–Field Level Media

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QB McCarron signs with Texans

QB McCarron signs with Texans

The Houston Texans

QB McCarron signs with Texans

The Houston Texans bought themselves a veteran insurance policy for starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, signing AJ McCarron to a contract Tuesday.

Shortly after reports broke of a deal being finalized, McCarron tweeted a photo of himself signing a contract in the Texans offices.

Houston NFL reporter John McClain tweeted the deal is worth $3 million.

According to the Texans’ official website, Watson was the only quarterback on the active roster at the time of signing.

A 2014 fifth-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals after a decorated career at Alabama, McCarron spent the first four seasons of his career with the Bengals, showing flashes of potential when asked to fill in for Andy Dalton. But after filing a grievance against the club and being granted free agency in February 2018, McCarron has become a bit of a journeyman.

In March 2018, he signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Buffalo. But on Sept. 2 of last year, a week before the beginning of the season, the Bills traded McCarron to Oakland in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round pick. He played in two games with the Raiders last season, completing 1 of 3 passes for 8 yards.

Then last week, with the 28-year-old McCarron set to count $5 million against the cap in 2019, the Raiders cut him. He is 87 of 136 for 928 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions in his career.

Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb backed up Watson last season, but one would never know it looking at statistics. The only player on the team other than Watson to throw a pass all of last season was wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (and he was 0 for 1).

In his second season in the NFL, Watson threw for 4,165 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions and ran for another 551 yards with five scores on the ground in 2018. But his tendency to run with the ball and seeming fearlessness of getting hit has led to many anxious moments in Houston.

He reportedly played with a broken rib and partially collapsed lung against the Cowboys in Week 5. He also missed half of his rookie season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during practice.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys sign WR Cobb for 1 year, $5M

Report: Cowboys sign WR Cobb for 1 year, $5M

Report: Cowboys sign WR Cobb for 1 year, $5M

The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed to terms Tuesday on a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal is worth $5 million, according to the NFL Network.

Cobb, 28, has been with the Green Bay Packers since they drafted him in the second round in 2011. He missed seven games last season due to concussion and hamstring injuries and caught just 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

Cobb could replace the recently departed Cole Beasley and will give quarterback Dak Prescott another veteran target to pair with Amari Cooper, acquired midway through last season.

In 105 games with Green Bay, Cobb caught 470 passes for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns. Those totals rank sixth, 11th and 11th, respectively, in franchise history.

He made the Pro Bowl in 2014 with career highs in catches (91), receiving yards (1,287) and touchdowns (12).

Cobb helped the Packers knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs following the 2014 and 2016 seasons, catching a combined 15 passes for 178 yards in those two Green Bay wins.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Prosecutors reportedly make Kraft an offer

NFL notebook: Prosecutors reportedly make Kraft an offer

NFL notebook: Prosecutors reportedly make Kraft an offer

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft can have the solicitation of prostitution charges in Florida against him dropped, but there’s a catch.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors have offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial.

Additionally, the defendant must complete an education course about prostitution, perform 100 hours of community service, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay court costs, per the report.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea in late February after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money both times.

–In an interview with Sports Illustrated, running back Le’Veon Bell said he never intended to sit out the entire 2018 season.

Bell, who recently signed with the New York Jets as a free agent, told the outlet that his original plan was to miss only Week 1 of last season. But the running back had a change of mind as events played out with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Once he realized the Steelers could again put the franchise tag on him following the season, Bell continued to sit out, and never joined the team. He became a free agent after the season and received a four-year, $52.5 million deal from the Jets.

–Coveted quarterback Kyler Murray met with Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury near the Oklahoma campus, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Oklahoma product and Heisman Trophy winner is under heavy consideration as he is viewed as a solid fit for first-year coach Kingsbury’s offense.

Arizona took quarterback Josh Rosen 10th overall in last year’s draft but the team’s actions involving Murray may display a willingness to move on from Rosen.

–Tempted to join his brother with the Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett said he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

–The Carolina Panthers signed defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $5 million in an effort to boost their pass rush after the retirement of Julius Peppers. The seven-year pro has 43.5 sacks, 277 tackles, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions.

–The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced. The deal is worth $5 million, according to the NFL Network. Cobb, 28, has been with the Green Bay Packers since they drafted him in the second round in 2011. He missed seven games last season due to concussion and hamstring injuries and caught just 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

–Defensive end Robert Quinn visited the Cowboys as a precursor to a potential swap with the Miami Dolphins, but reportedly left town without a deal pending. The Dolphins are willing to pay part of Quinn’s 2019 salary to help facilitate a trade of the pass rusher, according to NFL Network.

–Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad has been cleared for pre-draft workouts after he had to leave the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month when a heart issue was found during his physical. Prior to the combine, most outlets had pegged him as a late-round prospect.

–Kicker Dan Bailey re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings, agreeing to a one-year deal with a base value of $1 million, per reports. … The Patriots have reportedly re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal. … The Detroit Lions have signed restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet, which the Los Angeles Rams have until Monday to match, according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

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Bell planned to report to Steelers after Week 1

Bell planned to report to Steelers after Week 1

Bell planned to report to Steelers after Week 1

Le’Veon Bell says he never intended to sit out the entire 2018 season.

Bell, who recently signed with the New York Jets as a free agent, told Sports Illustrated that his original plan was to miss only Week 1 of last season. But the running back had a change of mind as events played out with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I was not going to come until Week 1, that was my original goal, original plan in my head,” Bell told SI. “At first I was literally thinking like, ‘I don’t want to play (training) camp and OTAs’ because of the hurt in my body and I’m like, ‘I’m not playing.’

“When Week 1 comes, I’m going to come, but the things that kind of led up to Week 1, I started thinking, ‘I’m not going to play Week 1.’ After even Week 1, it started to build up and it’s not making me feel comfortable.”

Bell doesn’t indicate what made him uncomfortable but he was criticized sharply by his teammates just days before the season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, left guard Ramon Foster and center Maurkice Pouncey all strongly voiced concern about Bell’s refusal to sign his $14.5 million franchise tag and join the club

“What do you do?” Foster said to reporters. “Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, so I guess we’ll treat it as such. I just hate it came to this.

“… He’s making seven times what I make, twice as much as (left tackle) Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him.”

Regardless, Bell reassessed his plan and continued to sit out week after week, game after game before again deciding he was going to return after Game 6.

“Then it got to a point, regardless of what they say, I am going to bite the bullet and come back at the bye week,” Bell said.

But the 27-year-old again changed the plan and didn’t return when he realized the Steelers could again slap the franchise tag on him after the season.

He became a free agent after the season and received a four-year, $52.5 million deal from the Jets.

Bell rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns and caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven scores in 62 games over five seasons with Pittsburgh.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Prosecutors conditionally offer to drop Kraft charges

Report: Prosecutors conditionally offer to drop Kraft charges

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft can have the

Report: Prosecutors conditionally offer to drop Kraft charges

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft can have the solicitation of prostitution charges in Florida against him dropped, but there’s a catch.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday afternoon that prosecutors have offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial.

Additionally, the defendant must complete an education course about prostitution, perform 100 hours of community service, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay court costs, according to the Journal.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money.

Jupiter police have said Kraft was caught on surveillance video on both occasions, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.

More than two dozen people were charged in February in a police sting that law enforcement said was aimed at stopping human trafficking through massage parlors in Florida.

Kraft is scheduled to be arraigned March 28 in Palm Beach County, Fla.

If Kraft chooses to go to trial and is convicted, he could receive one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Kentucky TE Conrad (heart) cleared for Pro Day

Ex-Kentucky TE Conrad (heart) cleared for Pro Day

Kentucky

Ex-Kentucky TE Conrad (heart) cleared for Pro Day

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad has been cleared for pre-draft workouts after he had to leave the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month when a heart issue was found during his physical.

He wrote on Twitter on Monday: “My prayers have been answered! After getting further testing done, today I was finally CLEARED. I plan on having a pro day April 8. Thank you all that have encouraged and prayed for me through this tough time. I’m back!”

Conrad was medically cleared by cardiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, his agent Joe Linta, told Adam Schefter of ESPN on Tuesday.

NFL Network reported at the combine that Conrad had an irregular heartbeat due to an issue with a heart valve. He was not able to participate in on-field testing in Indianapolis but will do so at Kentucky’s Pro Day in Lexington on April 8.

Conrad caught 80 passes for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns in 35 career games at Kentucky. Prior to the combine, most outlets had pegged him as a late-round prospect.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals’ brass meets with Murray

Report: Cardinals' brass meets with Murray

Coveted quarterback Kyler Murray

Report: Cardinals’ brass meets with Murray

Coveted quarterback Kyler Murray met with Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury near the Oklahoma campus on Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Oklahoma product is under heavy consideration as he is viewed as a solid fit for Kingsbury’s offense. Kingsbury is entering his first season as coach after a college stint at Texas Tech.

Arizona took quarterback Josh Rosen in the first round of last year’s draft but the team’s actions involving Murray display a willingness to move on from the 10th overall selection.

Murray is expected to meet individually with other teams during the process leading up to next month’s draft. He worked out last Wednesday at Oklahoma’s Pro Day.

Kingsbury’s infatuation with Murray is rooted in Texas football tradition. Murray went 43-0 as a starter in high school (Allen), was the 2014 Gatorade National Player of the Year and was recruited by Kingsbury before choosing to sign with Texas A&M.

But Murray ultimately transferred and wound up following Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma. With the Sooners, he went 12-2 as a starter and led the team into the College Football Playoff while winning the Heisman Trophy.

Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and added 1,001 yards and 12 scores on the ground.

His NFL stock soared higher after he spurned the Oakland Athletics, who drafted Murray in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft.

The familiarity between coach and NFL prospect is a two-way street.

“I know what type of offense he runs,” Murray recently said of Kingsbury.

“Obviously he recruited me out of high school; I have a great relationship with him. If I were to play under him, I think it’d be a great deal. But again, like I said, I don’t get to pick the players. All I can do is show up where I’m supposed to be, work hard and get after it.”

Murray said he would covet the opportunity to follow Mayfield as the first players from the same program to win the Heisman, then be chosen first overall in the draft.

“To be the No. 1 pick, that’s a kid’s dream come true,” Murray said. “If my name was called No. 1, I’d be ready to go for sure.”

–Field Level Media

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Panthers sign DE Irvin to one-year deal

Panthers sign DE Irvin to one-year deal

The Carolina

Panthers sign DE Irvin to one-year deal

The Carolina Panthers signed defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year contract Tuesday in an effort to boost their pass rush after the retirement of Julius Peppers.

The contract is worth $4 million, but Irvin can earn up to $5 million through incentives, a source told the Charlotte Observer.

Irvin is an seven-year pro who has 43.5 sacks, 277 tackles, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions.

“Our primary focus coming into the offseason was to add talent to our offensive line and our front on defense, primarily in the area of rushing the passer,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. “Bruce has a knack for sacking and disrupting the quarterback. We are very pleased to have him as a member of the Carolina Panthers.”

Irvin (6-3, 250) recorded a career-high eight sacks in 2017 with Oakland but fell out of favor last season under new coach Jon Gruden and was waived in early November. He was picked up by Atlanta, posting 3.5 sacks in eight games (three starts) for the Falcons.

Irvin, the 15th overall selection in the 2012 draft by Seattle, had 22 sacks in four seasons with the Seahawks before signing a four-year, $37 million contract with the Raiders.

–Field Level Media

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Martellus Bennett won’t join brother on Patriots

Martellus Bennett won't join brother on Patriots

Martellus Bennett won’t join brother on Patriots

Tempted to play with his brother for the New England Patriots, tight end Michael Bennett said that he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

Martellus Bennett has since focused his creative efforts on his “life’s work” for The Imagination Agency.

“This is why I can’t come out of retirement,” he wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “I would love to play ball with my brother it would truly be a dream come true. But my biggest dream is to change lives with my creativity and that is what I am currently doing @theimaginationagency

“these kids don’t need another athlete to look up to or to aspire to be there’s plenty of inspiration out there for that. I want to inspire the next wave of creatives. The storytellers. The engineers. The designers. The doctors. The filmmakers. The composers. Tech moguls. And maybe a few athletes who like me never felt like they belonged in a locker room.

“I was never one of the guys guys most of my teammates would tell that. I’ve always been a creative who enjoyed competing. I’m playing the game that I was made to play and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Scoring touchdowns winning a super bowl has never made me feel the way seeing kids/families/people enjoying things I have created. I’m doing my life’s work fulfilling what I believe to be my life’s purpose. I hope everyone finds something that makes them as happy and as fulfilled as I have with my work @theimaginationagency I appreciate all of the love but this is waaaaayyy bigger than the game of football.”

Martellus Bennett has 30 career touchdowns and played 16 games for the Patriots in 2016, posting 55 receptions and seven scores.

Michael Bennett, 33, has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Eagles.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings bring back PK Bailey

Vikings bring back PK Bailey

Dan Bailey re-signed with the

Vikings bring back PK Bailey

Dan Bailey re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings, agreeing to a one-year deal with a base value of $1 million, per reports.

Bailey must fight for his roster spot — and the kicking job — with only $250,000 guaranteed, NFL Network reports. If he’s not on the final 53-man roster, Bailey will not be paid the remainder of his salary.

The deal includes an additional $1 million in incentives.

Bailey, 31, joined the Vikings after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys at final cuts last September. Bailey spent seven seasons in Dallas.

He played the final 14 games of last season with the Vikings but made only 21 of his 28 field-goal attempts. His 75 percent conversion rate matched his uncharacteristically poor 2017 campaign in Dallas.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys, Dolphins talk Quinn trade

Report: Cowboys, Dolphins talk Quinn trade

Defensive

Report: Cowboys, Dolphins talk Quinn trade

Defensive end Robert Quinn is reportedly visiting the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday as a precursor to a potential swap with the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins are willing to pay part of Quinn’s 2019 salary, according to NFL Network, to help facilitate a trade of the pass rusher. The Cowboys have six draft picks in 2019 and are without a first-rounder, which went to Oakland in October as part of the trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper.

In addition to Quinn, the Cowboys are expected to sit down with recently released Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Berry missed the majority of last season with a heel issue and his current health status is unclear.

Quinn was acquired by the Dolphins in 2018 from the Los Angeles Rams, and he started all 16 games with 6.5 sacks last season. He turns 29 in May, and has a $12.93 million salary cap number for the upcoming season.

To facilitate a trade of quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans, the Dolphins agreed to pay $5 million of his $7 million guaranteed salary for 2019.

The Cowboys are locked in a staredown with free agent defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who counts more than $20 million against the 2019 salary cap as a two-time franchise tag recipient. Lawrence is hopeful for a long-term deal.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by

NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after seven seasons, the team confirmed Monday.

“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement.

Burfict, 28, had two seasons remaining on a $33.2 million contract extension, but releasing him results in a cap charge of only $1.8 million.

Burfict appeared in only 43 games in the past five seasons, encountering repeated head injuries — seven documented concussions — and three suspensions. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict amassed more than $4 million in on-field conduct fines.

–Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata went to great lengths — rather heights — to announce his retirement.

The 13-year-NFL veteran posted a heartfelt message along with a photo on Instagram showing him standing atop Mount Kilimanjaro holding a banner that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.”

“Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years,” read the social media post by Ngata, a 35-year-old who played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

–New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that he traded star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. because the Cleveland Browns made an offer that was impossible to pass up.

“We didn’t sign him to trade him, but things changed,” he said. “Frankly, what changed is another team made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

The trade last Wednesday ended months of speculation that Beckham was on his way out of New York. After signing Beckham to a five-year, $95 million contract in 2018, the Giants saw their season spiral downward.

–Adrian Peterson is officially back with Washington after the Redskins announced his signing.

Multiple outlets reported last Wednesday that Peterson agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal.

Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Redskins last season. He signed late in training camp after Derrius Guice sustained a torn ACL.

–Free agent wide receiver Jordy Nelson will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, ESPN reported.

The New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs reportedly are among other teams interested in Nelson. He became available last week when the Oakland Raiders released him following their trade for former Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown and the acquisition of Tyrell Williams in free agency.

–Kansas City agreed to sign cornerback Bashaud Breeland to a three-year contract, ESPN reported.

Breeland, 27, played seven games with Green Bay last season, starting five, after originally agreeing to a three-year, $24 million free agent deal with the Carolina Panthers last March. That agreement was nixed because of a failed physical (foot).

–Running back and kick returner Ameer Abdullah signed a one-year deal with Minnesota.

Abdullah, 25, was Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the final seven games of last season after he was claimed off waivers from Detroit. He returned 10 kicks for 258 yards, with a long of 33.

–Philadelphia announced a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with Minnesota. The 31-year-old became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

–Washington signed free agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers to a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

Flowers was the ninth overall selection by the Giants in 2015 but didn’t pan out as an impact lineman and was released last October. He finished last season with Jacksonville, where he started the final seven games of the season.

–ESPN apparently is trying to convince Peyton Manning to join the “Monday Night Football” broadcast team.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell flew to Denver a week ago to meet with the future Hall of Fame quarterback. It’s unclear if 42-year-old Manning is interested in assuming the analyst role.

–The investigation into allegations of battery against Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill remains open.

Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., acknowledged in a written statement that his office “has received numerous requests for information” about the status of the investigation into Hill but could provide no additional details.

Hill, 25, has not been charged with any crimes but is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports. The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son sustained a broken arm in the incident.

–Field Level Media

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Rams, QB Bortles agree to one-year deal

Rams, QB Bortles agree to one-year deal

The Los Angeles Rams added

Rams, QB Bortles agree to one-year deal

The Los Angeles Rams added an experienced backup quarterback Monday, agreeing with former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Blake Bortles on a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not announced by the team.

Bortles, 26, gives the defending NFC champions an experienced starter behind Jared Goff as the team moves on from former backup Sean Mannion, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Bortles spent the first five seasons of his NFL career in Jacksonville, starting 73 of his 75 games and leading the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game after the 2017 season. The New England Patriots won 24-20.

The Jaguars gave Bortles a three-year, $54 million contract last year, but he went 3-9 and was benched for Cody Kessler. Jacksonville signed free agent Nick Foles last week and released Bortles.

Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, has completed 59.3 percent of his career passes for 17,646 yards with 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions. The Jaguars made the playoffs once in his five seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings bring back RB/KR Abdullah

Vikings bring back RB/KR Abdullah

Running back and kick returner Ameer Abdullah has signed with

Vikings bring back RB/KR Abdullah

Running back and kick returner Ameer Abdullah has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced Monday.

He will come back to the Vikings on a reported one-year deal.

Abdullah, 25, was Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the final seven games of last season after he was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions. He returned 10 kicks for 258 yards, with a long of 33.

He rushed only one time last season, that coming with the Lions. He caught one pass for 10 yards with the Vikings.

Abdullah’s best season came in his rookie year in 2015, when he gained 780 total yards (597 rushing, 183 receiving) and scored three touchdowns after being a second-round pick of the Lions.

–Field Level Media

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Investigation into Chiefs WR Hill continues

Investigation into Chiefs WR Hill continues

Investigation into Chiefs WR Hill continues

The investigation into allegations of battery against Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill remains open.

Steve Howe, the district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., acknowledged in a written statement Monday that his office “has received numerous requests for information” about the the status of the investigation into Hill but could provide no additional details.

“While we understand the public’s concern, the investigation is still ongoing. It would be irresponsible to make definitive ‘official’ statements before the investigation is complete,” according to the statement.

The 25-year-old Hill has not been charged with any crimes.

Hill is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports. The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son suffered a broken arm in the incident.

The report from police in Overland Park, Kan., where Hill lives, is dated March 14. It is unclear if the incident occurred that day.

Overland Park police also responded to the same address on March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill’s name is listed on the report.

His fiancee, Crystal Espinal, is listed on the March 14 report under the category of “others involved.” The Star reported that Espinal is pregnant with twins and that she is the mother of the 3-year-old whose arm was broken.

Hill reportedly choked and punched Espinal when she was pregnant in December 2014. Hill was arrested and dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team.

Hill later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation and received three years’ probation.

The Chiefs issued the following statement last week regarding Hill:

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement to The Kansas City Star. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

–Field Level Media

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Bengals release LB Burfict after seven seasons

Bengals release LB Burfict after seven seasons

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

Bengals release LB Burfict after seven seasons

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after seven seasons, the team confirmed on its website Monday afternoon.

“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” said Bengals first-year head coach Zac Taylor in a statement. “Vontaze has been a good player here — the team appreciates that, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that — but our focus is on the future. Our goal is to build a successful team for the upcoming season, and we felt that making this change now was best for everyone.”

Burfict had two seasons remaining on a $33.2 million contract extension, but releasing him results in a cap charge of only $1.8 million.

Burfict managed to play in only 43 games in the past five seasons, encountering repeated head injuries — seven documented concussions — and three suspensions.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict amassed more than $4 million in on-field conduct fines. He was suspended by the NFL to start both the 2016 and 2017 seasons for violation of player-safety policies and in 2018 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

He was a physical force for the Bengals in the middle of Marvin Lewis’ defense, but when the Bengals parted with Lewis, a change at linebacker was expected under Taylor.

Later on Monday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Burfict may be of interest to the Oakland Raiders, who reportedly are already hosting fellow free-agent linebackers Manti Te’o and Aaron Lynch.

Burfict had 298 tackles in his first two seasons with the team and played in every game.

Burfict, 28, was an undrafted free agent signee with Cincinnati after an All-America career at Arizona State.

A poor performance at the NFL Scouting Combine — he ran a 5.09 40-yard dash and reportedly failed a drug test — coupled with concerns about his temperament and decision-making on and off the field left Burfict looking for work after the 2012 draft.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo, the team announced Monday.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

Sendejo, 31, only played in five games last season due to a groin injury. He had 27 tackles.

Sendejo intercepted six passes and recovered three fumbles in 93 games (58 starts) for the Vikings. He also played in two games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010.

The Eagles figure to use Sendejo as the third safety in the defense with Malcolm Jenkins set as the starting strong safety.

–Field Level Media

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