NFL Today, Week 4

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Oct. 1

Kansas City at Denver, 8:15 p.m. The Chiefs have won five straight in the series following seven straight losses. Patrick Mahomes has an NFL-record 13 TDs through three games and zero interceptions, and will go up against a Broncos defense that ranks 22nd against the pass. Meanwhile, Case Keenum has struggled to start the season for the Broncos with three TDs and five INTs while completing just 61 percent of his passes.

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STARS

Passing

— Mitchell Trubisky, Bears, threw a career-high six touchdown passes — one shy of the NFL record — to lift Chicago to a 48-10 rout of Tampa Bay.

— Deshaun Watson, Texans, was 29 of 42 with 375 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception, and also rushed six times for 41 yards and his first rushing score of the season in Houston’s 37-34 OT win at Indianapolis.

— Blake Bortles, Jaguars, passed for a career-high 388 yards with two TDs and an INT to help Jacksonville to a 31-12 win over the New York Jets.

— Derek Carr, Raiders, threw four TD passes and a game-tying 2-point conversion with 30 seconds left in regulation, helping Oakland top Cleveland 45-42 in overtime.

— Tom Brady, Patriots, threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns and New England handed Miami its first loss of the season in a 38-7 rout.

— Andrew Luck, Colts, was 40 of 62 for a career-high 464 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Indianapolis’ 37-34 overtime loss to Houston.

— Matt Ryan, Falcons, had 419 yards passing and three touchdowns in Atlanta’s 37-36 loss to Cincinnati.

— Philip Rivers, Chargers, threw for three touchdowns and helped Los Angeles rally for a 29-27 victory over San Francisco.

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Rushing

— Alvin Kamara, Saints, ran for three second-half touchdowns and finished with 134 yards on 19 carries in New Orleans’ 33-18 victory over the New York Giants.

— Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, had a career-high 240 all-purpose yards, with 152 yards rushing on a season-high 25 carries and 88 receiving — highlighted by a 38-yard touchdown on a screen in the second quarter — in Dallas’ 26-24 win over Detroit.

— Sony Michel, Patriots, rushed 25 times for 112 yards and his first career touchdown to help New England beat Miami 38-7.

— Mike Davis, Seahawks, ran for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 21 carries to help Seattle to a 20-17 victory at Arizona.

— Marshawn Lynch, Raiders, ran for 130 yards for his most productive game in four years as Oakland topped Cleveland 45-42 in overtime.

— Giovani Bernard, Bengals, had two touchdown runs in Cincinnati’s 37-36 win at Atlanta.

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Receiving

— Golden Tate, Lions, caught two touchdown passes and finished with eight receptions for 132 yards in Detroit’s 26-24 loss at Dallas.

— DeAndre Hopkins, and Keke Coutee, Texans. Hopkins had eight catches for 134 yards and a touchdown, while Coutee had 11 receptions for 109 yards in Houston’s 37-34 overtime win at Indianapolis.

— Corey Davis, Titans, had nine receptions for 161 yards, including a winning 10-yard catch in overtime to lift Tennessee to a 26-20 victory over Philadelphia.

— Julio Jones, Falcons, caught nine passes for 173 yards in Atlanta’s 37-36 loss to Cincinnati.

— Dede Westbrook, Jaguars, had nine receptions for 130 yards to help lift Jacksonville to a 31-12 win over the New York Jets.

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Special Teams

— Adam Vinatieri, Colts, became the league’s career leader in field goals when he made a 42-yarder with 2 seconds left in the first half of Indianapolis’ 37-34 overtime loss to Houston and extended the mark to 567 with a 44-yarder in the extra period.

— Brett Maher, Cowboys, kicked a 38-yard field goal — his fourth kick of the game — as time expired, lifting Dallas to a 26-24 victory over Detroit.

— Ka’imi Fairbairn, Texans, took advantage of his second chance on a 37-yard field goal attempt, making it as time expired in overtime to give Houston a 37-34 victory over Indianapolis. He had missed the first kick wide left, just after Indy called timeout.

— Sebastian Janikowski, Seahawks, kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to give Seattle a 20-17 victory over Arizona.

— Keith Tandy, Falcons, blocked Kevin Huber’s punt on Cincinnati’s first drive of the second half in Atlanta’s 37-36 loss.

— Wil Lutz, Saints, matched his career high with four field goals in New Orleans’ 33-18 win over the New York Giants.

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Defense

— Demarcus Lawrence, Cowboys, matched his career high with three sacks in Dallas’ 26-24 win over Detroit, and has at least half a sack in all four games.

— Jadeveon Clowney, Texans, recovered a botched snap in the end zone for a touchdown and had two sacks in Houston’s 37-34 overtime win at Indianapolis.

— Antone Exum, 49ers, put San Francisco on the board 57 seconds into the game when he picked off Philip Rivers’ pass intended for Keenan Allen and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown in a 29-27 loss to the Chargers.

— Kyler Fackrell, Packers, had three of Green Bay’s seven sacks in a 22-0 victory over Buffalo.

— Gareon Conley, Raiders, returned his first interception 36 yards for a touchdown in Oakland’s 45-42 overtime win over Cleveland.

— Takkarist McKinley, Falcons, had three sacks in Atlanta’s 37-36 loss to Cincinnati.

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MILESTONES

Adam Vinatieri became the league’s career leader in field goals when he made a 42-yarder with 2 seconds left in the first half of Indianapolis’ 37-34 overtime loss and extended the mark to 567 with a 44-yarder to give the Colts a 34-31 lead in the extra period. The 45-year-old kicker moved past Hall of Famer Morten Andersen, who had 565 career field goals. … Andrew Luck broke the Colts’ single-game franchise record for attempts (62), tied the franchise mark for completions (40), wound up second in franchise history for single-game yards (464) and came within a whisker of tying the franchise’s largest regular-season comeback (21). … Miami’s Frank Gore became the eighth running back in NFL history to appear in 200 NFL games. … Philip Rivers passed for 250 yards in the Los Angeles Chargers’ 29-27 win over San Francisco, giving him 51,504 for his career and passing John Elway (51,475) for eighth on the NFL’s all-time list.

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STREAKS & STATS

Chicago’s Khalil Mack had a strip-sack in the first half of the Bears’ 48-10 win over Tampa Bay, making him the first player with a sack and forced fumble in four straight games since Robert Mathis for Indianapolis in 2005. … New England’s Tom Brady improved to 15-1 as a starter against Miami with a 38-7 rout. … Since 2002, the Patriots are 7-0 after back-to-back losses. … Cordarrelle Patterson became the 70th player to catch a touchdown pass from Brady. It tied Brady with Vinny Testaverde for the most players with a touchdown reception from a single quarterback in NFL history. … Green Bay dominated Buffalo 22-0 for its first shutout since a 9-0 win over the Jets in 2010. … Cleveland’s Nick Chubb had just three carries in a 45-42 OT loss at Oakland, but the first went for a 63-yard score in the second quarter and the last went for 41 yards and another TD. He finished with for 105 yards.

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BONUS FOOTBALL

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first four weeks of the season, joining the 1979, ’83 and 2002 seasons as the only campaigns to feature at least one OT game in each of its first four weeks. On Sunday, Houston beat Indianapolis 37-34, Tennessee topped Philadelphia 26-23, and Oakland edged Cleveland 45-42.

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TRU DOMINANCE

Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdown passes in a 48-10 win over Tampa Bay, finishing one TD pass short of the NFL and franchise marks. Sid Luckman set the Bears record against the New York Giants in 1943, and is tied with seven others in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game. Trubisky had never thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game, but he threw for five in the first half alone as Chicago grabbed a 38-3 lead. The only other player with more in a single half since 1991 was Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers with six in the first two quarters against the Bears in a romp at Lambeau Field in November 2014. The Bears also racked up 483 yards in this one, nearly matching their record of 488 in that same game, on the way to their highest point total since 51-20 victory over Tennessee in 2012.

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STARTS

Miami was denied its first 4-0 start since Hall of Fame coach Don Shula’s last season in 1995 with a 38-7 drubbing at New England. … The Arizona Cardinals are 0-4 for the first time since 1986, two years before they moved from St. Louis.

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BOLD CALL

Instead of punting on fourth-and-4 from his 43-yard line and settling for a tie, Indianapolis coach Frank Reich called for a short, seemingly safe pass from Andrew Luck to Chester Rogers. But Luck’s pass bounced short, the Texans got a 24-yard completion on the next play and Ka’imi Fairbairn made a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Houston Texans a 37-34 overtime victory.

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INJURY AND INSULT

Seattle’s Earl Thomas was carted to the locker room with a broken left leg in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 20-17 win at Arizona. Thomas, who’s embroiled in a contract dispute with the team, raised his middle finger toward the Seattle side of the field as he was being carted off. The six-time Pro Bowler held out of training camp while seeking a contract extension and joined the Seahawks a week before the season despite having a contract that expires at the end of this season.

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HELLO, MR. PRESIDENT

Former President Jimmy Carter was presented a No. 39 Falcons jersey, as the 39th U.S. president, before Atlanta’s 37-36 loss to Cincinnati. In a pregame ceremony, Carter was given a birthday cake by team owner Arthur Blank one day before Carter’s 94th birthday. Carter also rang the pregame train horn and yelled “Rise Up” to Falcons fans.

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GORDON DEBUTS

New England wide receiver Josh Gordon made his debut with the team Sunday, finishing with two catches for 32 yards in a 38-7 win over Miami. It was his first playing time in New England since his trade from the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 17. He made his first reception at the 7:27 mark of the first quarter, hauling in a 13-yard grab. Gordon was inactive in Week 3 in New England’s loss to Detroit with a hamstring injury and was limited in practice this week.

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TITANIC WIN

Marcus Mariota hit Corey Davis with a 10-yard touchdown pass just before the end of overtime, rallying Tennessee from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter for a 26-23 win over Philadelphia. The Titans also trailed 23-20 in overtime before coming back again behind Mariota, who in his first start since being knocked out of the season opener with an injured elbow threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score. On the winning drive, the Titans converted three fourth downs, one by penalty. Mariota hit Taywan Taylor with a 19-yarder on fourth-and-15, and Mariota found a wide-open Dion Lewis on fourth-and-2 for a 17-yard gain. Facing third-and-goal and the clock running out, Mariota found Davis for the receiver’s first TD catch in the regular season.

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SWING AND A MISS

Caleb Sturgis missed two extra-point attempts in the Chargers’ 29-27 win over San Francisco. Los Angeles has missed eight PATs since the start of last season, the most in the league. The Chargers have missed 10 extra points since the kick was moved back in 2015, and are one of eight teams in the league to have missed 10 or more.

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SPOILED FIRST START

Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick, threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns to put Cleveland in position to win, but also committed four turnovers, losing two fumbles and throwing two interceptions in the Browns’ 45-42 overtime loss at Oakland. The Browns were seeking their first back-to-back wins since November 2014. Mayfield’s first start got off to a rough start when his pass on the second play of Cleveland’s second drive deflected off Antonio Callaway and went right to Gareon Conley, who returned his first career interception 36 yards for a TD

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BENGALS ROAR

Andy Dalton threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with 7 seconds remaining, lifting the Cincinnati Bengals to a 37-36 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Dalton moved the Bengals 75 yards in about four minutes. He completed two passes on fourth down to Tyler Boyd, who had 11 catches for 100 yards, to keep the drive alive. Green made a diving catch in the right side of the end zone to cap the drive.

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SIDELINED

Seattle safety Earl Thomas left the Seahawks’ 20-17 win at Arizona on a cart with a broken left leg. Angry over his contract situation, Thomas was injured in the fourth quarter while defending Arizona’s Chad Williams, who caught a tying touchdown pass. Thomas, who wanted contract security beyond this season or a trade, made an obscene gesture toward the Seattle side of the field as he was being carted off. The Seahawks also lost starting tight end Will Dissly, who was carted to the locker room in the first quarter with a knee injury. … Cincinnati also lost its tight end, with Tyler Eifert suffering a gruesome lower right leg injury early in the third quarter of the Bengals’ 37-36 victory over Atlanta. … Rob Gronkowski departed New England’s 38-7 victory over Miami in the third quarter with a right ankle problem and did not return. … Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton left the Colts’ loss to Houston with a chest injury, returned, and then left again with a hamstring injury. The Texans’ Will Fuller V caught a TD pass but left with a hamstring injury late in the first half.

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SPEAKING

“We should fire every person that was on that field today, starting with me. That was horrific.” — Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter after the Buccaneers were routed by Chicago 48-10 on Sunday.

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“I’m tired of growing pains. I think we can do those things better. Those things hadn’t reared their ugly head until now. We can do better. Baker can do better. Our offense can do better. Special teams can do better, defense can do better. So, we’ve got to play better. — Cleveland coach Hue Jackson, whose Browns blew a 14-point second-half lead and lost 45-42 to Oakland in overtime after snapping a 19-game winless streak last week.

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“It feels like my first win in 100 years. It’s great to be back.” — Oakland’s Jon Gruden, who won his first game since returning to coaching from the TV broadcasting booth, a span of 3,591 days.

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

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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Redskins sign OT Flowers

Redskins sign OT Flowers

The Washington Redskins signed

Redskins sign OT Flowers

The Washington Redskins signed free-agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, the team announced Monday.

Flowers was signed to a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

Flowers was the ninth overall selection by the New York Giants in 2015 but didn’t pan out as an impact lineman. The Giants released him last October.

Flowers finished last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and he started the final seven games of the season.

Overall, Flowers has playing 59 games (55 starts) during his four seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

The Kansas

Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to sign cornerback Bashaud Breeland to a three-year contract, ESPN reported on Monday.

The 27-year-old Breeland played seven games with the Green Bay Packers 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).

A former fourth-round pick of the Washington Redskins, Breeland has played in 67 career games (63 starts), collecting 10 interceptions and 64 passes defensed while forcing seven fumbles in five NFL seasons.

The Chiefs have spent much of this month remaking their defense, which ranked 31st in total yards allowed per game (405.5) last season. The team released veteran stalwarts in safety Eric Berry and pass-rushing linebacker Justin Houston, and the Chiefs also traded defensive end Dee Ford to San Francisco. In free agency, the Chiefs have added safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive end Alex Okafor.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was informed

Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was informed he would be released by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, according to multiple reports.

He 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 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 first-year coach Zac Taylor.

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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GM Gettleman: Giants ‘couldn’t refuse’ offer for OBJ, defends Manning

GM Gettleman: Giants 'couldn't refuse' offer for OBJ, defends Manning

New

GM Gettleman: Giants ‘couldn’t refuse’ offer for OBJ, defends Manning

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

“This was purely a football decision,” Gettleman told reporters in his first public comments since trading the three-time Pro Bowler Beckham for two draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. “Odell was a tremendous talent making him a valuable asset … With football being the ultimate team sport, we turned that fact into three assets.”

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.

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

The Browns sent the Giants a first-round pick and a third-round pick along with Peppers.

Gettleman said he didn’t seek the Browns as trade partners. He conceded he called the Buffalo Bills after their failed attempt to acquire another disgruntled star wideout, Antonio Brown, failed, however.

“I completely understand why people would debate the merits of this deal. This trade really won’t be able to be fully evaluated until we get further down the road. We did not enter this decision to trade Odell lightly,” Gettleman added.

Gettleman wasn’t eager to share his plan for the team, though.

“Very honestly, it’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing,” he told reporters. “That’s not my job. That’s not my responsibility. Trust me, we’ve got a plan. You’ve got to be patient. Everyone wants the answers now. Over time, you’ll see it.”

Part of that plan that concerns some fans and critics includes Gettleman’s apparent continued trust in longtime starting quarterback Eli Manning, who has won two Super Bowls with New York but whose performance has dipped over the past few seasons (8-23 record as starter since 2017).

Manning, 38, recently received a $5 million bonus amid an upcoming draft with the Giants holding two first-round picks, including the No. 6 overall selection. But Gettleman defended his veteran quarterback to reporters on Monday.

“This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman said, per NJ.com. “At the end of the day, you have to say, ‘Gettleman is out of his mind’ or ‘he knows what he is talking about when he evaluates players.’ That’s really where it’s at. I’m OK if you disagree with me.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ex-Raiders WR Nelson to visit Seahawks

Report: Ex-Raiders WR Nelson to visit Seahawks

Free agent wide

Report: Ex-Raiders WR Nelson to visit Seahawks

Free agent wide receiver Jordy Nelson will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

The New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs are among other teams interested in Nelson, per the report.

The veteran receiver became available last week when the Oakland Raiders released him following their trade for former Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown and acquisition of former Los Angeles Chargers deep threat Tyrell Williams in free agency.

Nelson signed a two-year, $14.2 million deal last spring with Oakland. The Raiders already had paid him a $3.6 million roster bonus for 2019.

Nelson, who turns 34 in May, has been released in consecutive offseasons after the Green Bay Packers let him go last spring. He had 63 catches for 739 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games (14 starts) last season.

Nelson had 97 grabs for 1,257 yards and a league-high 14 scores in 2016 while coming off a torn ACL, but he posted just 53 catches for 482 yards in 2017, marking a career-low 9.1 yards per catch. In 10 career seasons, he has 613 catches for 8,587 yards and 72 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Report: ESPN meets with Manning about ‘MNF’ job

Report: ESPN meets with Manning about 'MNF' job

ESPN

Report: ESPN meets with Manning about ‘MNF’ job

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

The Hollywood Reporter revealed Monday 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 Manning, who retired after leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl win in 2016, is interested in assuming the analyst role.

This is believed to be at least the second overture the network has made to Manning, 42.

Once Jon Gruden announced last winter that he was leaving the broadcast booth to return to coaching, ESPN reportedly reached out to Manning before hiring Jason Witten. After being criticized for his performance as an analyst, Witten decided to return to the Dallas Cowboys and reclaim his tight end position.

Manning is well-known to television audiences for his endeavors off the field, working as a pitchman for insurance, pizza and credit cards. He also has done some work for ESPN, analyzing quarterbacks for ESPN+.

If Manning declines to join ESPN, the network likely will go with a team of play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and analyst Booger McFarland, according to author Jim Miller, who wrote a book about the network.

“They’re going to have a two-man booth unless somehow Peyton changes his mind,” Miller said earlier this month on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. “They have a relationship with Peyton because of the ESPN+ show right now and Peyton has thought about this, but if you’re Peyton, what’s the upside?”

“I believe from everything I’ve heard it’s going to be the two of them (Tessitore and McFarland) and the only third possibility would be Peyton. Peyton is the only reason to pull up a third chair. If they start auditioning people and bringing somebody else in as a third that isn’t Peyton, I’d be surprised and I’d ask, why?”

–Field Level Media

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Peterson officially back with Redskins

Peterson officially back with Redskins

Adrian Peterson is officially back

Peterson officially back with Redskins

Adrian Peterson is officially back with the Washington Redskins after the team announced his signing on Tuesday.

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

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

The seven-time Pro Bowler ranks eighth in NFL history with 13,318 rushing yards and would pass three more players — Jerome Bettis (13,662), LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) and Curtis Martin (14,101) — with another 1,000-yard season.

Peterson, who turns 34 on Thursday, 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 had 272 receptions for 2,223 yards and six touchdowns during his 149-game career.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys host WR Cobb

Cowboys host WR Cobb

Cowboys host WR Cobb

Free agent wide receiver Randall Cobb is visiting the Dallas Cowboys on Monday.

According to multiple reports, Cobb’s scheduled visit will take place at The Star, Dallas’ posh team headquarters in Frisco, Texas. The Cowboys could use Cobb for his ability to operate out of the slot after losing Cole Beasley to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

A 2011 second-round pick who spent eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Cobb has 470 career receptions and 41 touchdowns but was dogged by soft-tissue injuries last season.

Cobb turns 29 in August and reportedly drew interest last season from the New England Patriots. The Patriots also were involved in the bidding last week for Beasley.

A hamstring injury limited Cobb to a nine games in 2018, and he recorded 38 receptions for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy jumps to No. 4 in world rankings

McIlroy jumps to No. 4 in world rankings

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy jumped

McIlroy jumps to No. 4 in world rankings

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy jumped two spots to No. 4 in the official world rankings on Monday, a day after claiming his first win in more than a year at The Players Championship.

Dustin Johnson tied for fifth at TPC Sawgrass to maintain his slim margin at the top over England’s Justin Rose, who managed to tie for eighth after rallying to make the cut. Brooks Koepka is No. 3, followed by McIlroy, who has steadily moved up since entering the year ranked eighth. He has yet to finish worse than a tie for sixth place in six events in 2019.

No. 5 Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau both moved down a spot, and were followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Spain’s Jon Rahm in the top 10.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Australia’s Jason Day moved past Tiger Woods, who dropped to No. 13 following his T30 at The Players.

Former No. 1 Jordan Spieth missed the cut and continued his slide, falling another five spots to No. 30. He has three missed cuts and has not finished better than T35 in nine events since the second leg of last season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The top 50 features 23 Americans and eight Englishmen.

–Phil Mickelson, who dropped a spot to No. 21 with his missed cut, has committed to the PGA Tour’s new stop in at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn., this summer. The July 4-7 event outside of Minneapolis takes place three weeks after the U.S. Open and two weekends before the British Open.

In a statement, Mickelson said the event was a “perfect slot” for his schedule.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles DL Ngata goes out on top — of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Eagles DL Ngata goes out on top -- of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Eagles DL Ngata goes out on top — of Mt. Kilimanjaro

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

The 13-year-NFL veteran posted a photo on Instagram Monday morning 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,” his social media post read, in part.

Ngata, 35, was a two-time All-Pro who played in five Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.

The No. 12 overall selection by the Ravens in the 2006 NFL Draft, he spent nine seasons with the Ravens, followed by three seasons in Detroit and one in Philadelphia. In seven of his nine campaigns in Baltimore, the Ravens were in the top five in the league in run defense.

Ngata played in 180 career games (174 starts) and had 519 tackles (63 for loss), 91 quarterback hits, 32.5 sacks, five interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Saints sign OL Easton for four years, $24M

Reports: Saints sign OL Easton for four years, $24M

Reports: Saints sign OL Easton for four years, $24M

The New Orleans Saints are signing former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton to a four-year, $24 million deal, multiple outlets reported late Sunday evening.

According to ESPN, the Saints view Easton as their starting center moving forward, after three-time Pro Bowler Max Unger retired on Saturday.

Easton, 26, missed all of 2018 after having surgery to repair a neck injury sustained during training camp. He was locked in as the starter at left guard, where he started the first 12 games of 2017 before fracturing his ankle and ending the year on injured reserve.

Per STATS LLC, Easton hasn’t allowed a sack in 23 career games (17 starts), though he did commit 12 penalties in as many games in 2017.

An undrafted rookie out of Harvard in 2015, he spent time on the Ravens’ and 49ers’ rosters before earning a spot in Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

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AAF roundup: Perez leads Iron to wild win over Fleet

AAF roundup: Perez leads Iron to wild win over Fleet

Playing just miles

AAF roundup: Perez leads Iron to wild win over Fleet

Playing just miles from his childhood home in Chula Vista, Calif., Luis Perez threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns and set up the game-winning field goal as the Birmingham Iron survived the San Diego Fleet on Sunday, 32-29.

Perez, a former professional bowler who began playing quarterback in college and spent the 2018 preseason with the Los Angeles Rams, threw touchdowns of 13, 83 and 23 yards before driving the Iron in range for a 44-yard field goal attempt, which former Chargers kicker Nick Novak hit to win on the final play. Perez also ran for 28 yards and threw two interceptions.

Former Cleveland Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson had 23 touches for 90 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, to extend his league lead to 10. No other AAF player has more than six scores. San Diego quarterback Mike Bercovici, who spent the 2018 preseason with the Chargers, finished 17 of 34 for 311 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Commanders 37, Legends 6

The San Antonio defense intercepted host Atlanta quarterback Aaron Murray three times, returning one for a score, in a dominating victory.

Derron Smith, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, capped the scoring with an 87-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter. Zack Sanchez, a 2016 fifth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers, and De’Vante Bausby, who played in six games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, also had interceptions. The Commanders, who moved to 4-2, also scored on a 79-yard punt return by Greg Ward Jr.

Murray, a former Georgia star whom the Kansas City Chiefs drafted in the fifth round in 2014, finished 30 of 41 for 215 yards with the three picks and a touchdown as the Legends fell to 2-5. Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside, a 2017 seventh-round pick by the Bengals, went 17 of 23 for 164 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Steelers add former Rams LB Barron

Report: Steelers add former Rams LB Barron

Report: Steelers add former Rams LB Barron

The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with linebacker Mark Barron, ESPN reported Sunday.

Barron was recently released by the Los Angeles Rams after 4 1/2 seasons with the organization.

Barron had 60 tackles in 2018 while being limited to 12 games due to an ankle injury. He also had one sack and one forced fumble.

The 29-year-old Barron has nine career sacks, eight interceptions five forced fumbles in 104 games (93 starts) over seven NFL seasons.

Barron spent his first 2 1/2 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy hangs on to win The Players by one over Furyk

McIlroy hangs on to win The Players by one over Furyk

McIlroy hangs on to win The Players by one over Furyk

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy marshalled the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and clutch play down the stretch, to finish at 16-under par and capture a one-shot victory over American Jim Furyk on Sunday at The Players Championship on the demanding TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

McIlroy finished with an erratic 2-under 70 over the final 18 holes that featured six birdies, a bogey and a double bogey. But with the rest of the field also struggling, it was enough for the win.

McIlroy took the lead for good with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th. A nervy swing on the par-3 17th, with its famed island green led to a par; he then ripped a driver off the tee on the closing hole, found the middle of the fairway, hit the green in regulation and two-putted for the victory.

The 48-year-old Furyk put a charge through the chilled and wind-swept gallery with a 67 that included a 3-foot putt for birdie on the closing hole. That putt allowed Furyk the clubhouse lead for about an hour as he made a bid to become the oldest winner of the event.

Eddie Pepperell of England and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela each fired 66s to finish in a tie for third at 14 under, with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson (69), Brandt Snedeker (69), and England’s Tommy Fleetwood (73) tied for fifth another stroke back.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan (67), Justin Rose of England (68), Brian Harman (70), and Australia’s Jason Day (72) finished tied for eighth at 11-under par.

The win was McIlroy’s first since last year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and the 15th of his PGA Tour career. Eight of McIroy’s PGA Tour victories have come when he trailed entering the final round and he has now posted top-10 finishes in six of seven starts this season.

McIlroy started the day at 14 under, tied with Fleetwood, a shot off the pace set after 54 holes by Spain’s Jon Rahm.

Rahm struggled early on with bogeys on three of his first four holes, righted the ship for a while but ended his chances with a double bogey on the watery 17th and finished tied for 12th at 11 under after a 76.

Defending champion Webb Simpson tied for 16th at 10 under after a 68 in the final round, while Tiger Woods finished in a tie for 30th at 6-under par upon carding a 69 on Sunday.

The PGA Tour moves back down the Florida coast to Palm Harbor next week for the Valspar Championship at the Innisbrook Resort.

–Field Level Media

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