Patriots owner Kraft: ‘I am truly sorry’

Patriots owner Kraft: ‘I am truly sorry’

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement Saturday that expressed his remorse following charges of solicitation of prostitution.

The statement represented the first comments made by Kraft since he was charged last month for allegedly receiving sex acts at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. He has pleaded not guilty, and on Friday, his attorney said they intended to vehemently fight the charges as well as the release of two tapes that purportedly show Kraft receiving services at the spa.

“In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks,” Kraft’s statement read. “To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks.

“I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.

“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years.”

Kraft’s wife, Myra, died of ovarian cancer in 2011 at age 68, shortly after their 48th anniversary.

Kraft and 24 other men were charged as part of a law-enforcement operation to stop human trafficking in South Florida.

William Burck, who represents Kraft, issued a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday evening that read:

“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it,” Burck told Schefter, who posted the quote on his Twitter account. “The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it.

“The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”

Kraft and the other men accused in the case were offered the opportunity to have their charges dropped if they performed 100 hours of community service, took a class on the dangers of prostitution, were tested for sexually transmitted diseases and paid a fine.

Sources close to Kraft earlier this week said he wouldn’t accept that deal, according to multiple reports.

The statement from Kraft, a 77-year-old billionaire businessman who also owns the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, continued:

“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”

Kraft is expected to be in Florida next Friday for his next court hearing.

–Field Level Media

Book expects Cowboys to bet big on Prescott

Book expects Cowboys to bet big on Prescott

Book expects Cowboys to bet big on Prescott

Contracts are newsworthy in Dallas, but the interest in final numbers for the Cowboys’ trio of stars set to cash in is garnering wide interest.

In particular, bettors are pondering just how rich the Cowboys will make quarterback Dak Prescott before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Bovada is offering a prop bet on whether Prescott’s deal will exceed $32.5 million annually amid reports he’s aiming to be the highest-paid player at the position.

In addition to Prescott, the Cowboys need to pile their pennies to renew deals with wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back Ezekiel Elliott. Of the three, Prescott appears to be the most likely to be signed before the start of the 2019 regular season on Sept. 8. It’s a common tactic from owner/GM Jerry Jones, who has offered nothing but praise for Prescott while Cooper (foot) is on injury watch and Elliott is pounding the weights in Mexico as a contract holdout.

Bovada sets the odds at -120 for Prescott’s deal to have an annual average value of $32.5 million. Over $32.5 million per season was the same value as of Tuesday morning.

The number is important because it hovers over the value of Philadelphia Eagles MVP candidate Carson Wentz.

Per multiple reports, it’s important to the Prescott camp to achieve a contract above the value of division rival Wentz.

Prescott hasn’t missed a game in his three seasons, and the former fourth-round pick is 32-16 in the regular season with two division titles and two Pro Bowl selections. Wentz has missed eight regular season games, undergone reconstructive knee surgery and is 23-17 as a starter with zero playoff starts.

Wentz is well ahead of Prescott in current MVP odds. Prescott is +5000 in a tier with Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Elliott.

Wentz checks in at +1200 via PointsBet, which is seventh overall and between Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots).

–Field Level Media

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Mayfield: ‘Can’t believe’ Giants drafted Daniel Jones

Mayfield: 'Can't believe' Giants drafted Daniel Jones

Mayfield: ‘Can’t believe’ Giants drafted Daniel Jones

Baker Mayfield offered his usual no-holds barred opinion when discussing the Giants drafting Daniel Jones, telling GQ he “can’t believe” New York selected the Duke quarterback sixth overall in April.

Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft and went 6-7 as a starter as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns. Jones was drafted by the Giants after Mayfield’s former Oklahoma teammate, quarterback Kyler Murray, went first to the Arizona Cardinals.

“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” Mayfield said when a Sportscenter segment about the Giants aired during one of his interviews with the magazine. “Blows my mind. … Some people overthink it. That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win.”

The Giants’ decision to draft Jones early in the first round was viewed a relative surprise. However, 38-year-old Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, and Jones has drawn universal acclaim from teammates in his first training camp. During two preseason games, Jones completed 16 of his 19 passes and led a pair of touchdown drives.

Mayfield has not held back when asked for his opinion on team and league headlines. For example, he ripped former teammate Duke Johnson for requesting a trade — typically it’s taboo for one player to comment on another player’s contract situation or trade request — and chided Giants fans when the Browns traded Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.

Jones is not expected to start ahead of Manning this season but could force his way onto the field if Manning falters.

–Field Level Media

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49ers QB Garoppolo on stinker: ‘It’s the first step’

49ers QB Garoppolo on stinker: 'It's the first step'

49ers QB Garoppolo on stinker: ‘It’s the first step’

Zero yards, 0.0 passer rating and one first step to forget.

That was Jimmy Garoppolo’s return for the San Francisco 49ers in Monday’s preseason game against the Denver Broncos, his comeback from a torn ACL.

Garoppolo was pulled after three series with one completion in six attempts for no gain, and coach Kyle Shanahan said the plan was definitely to get him more work.

“Obviously a little frustrated, but it’s the NFL,” Garoppolo said. “Unfortunately, we don’t get to play the whole game right now so I only get so many plays. You wish you could be out there for more so we could bounce back. But it is what it is. It’s preseason right now, so we just have to take it in stride.”

C.J. Beathard spelled Garoppolo, but Shanahan said he expects to see his first-team offense for at least a few quarters against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

“He’s had a year off football, and before that he only played about eight games total,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “The more he can play, the better. I wish we could have kept him out there longer today but you risk everyone else too, so I had to get those guys out of there.”

Acquired by the 49ers from the New England Patriots in 2017, San Francisco bet the farm on Garoppolo with a five-year contract worth $137 million. Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3 last season and is still working his way back.

“Anxious to get out there and everything but nothing too crazy,” Garoppolo, 27, said. “It’s something I haven’t done in a year obviously, so got to knock the rust off and everything and thankfully we have a short week this week so we can bounce back quickly but it’s the first step of getting back into it.”

–Field Level Media

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St. Louis-based Rams fans win class-action suit

St. Louis-based Rams fans win class-action suit

Settlement of a

St. Louis-based Rams fans win class-action suit

Settlement of a class-action lawsuit that claimed the NFL’s Rams misled fans about the intention to stay in St. Louis could allow the team’s former Missouri-based fans to recoup a 25 percent refund on tickets and merchandise.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the details of the settlement include purchases from April 21, 2010, to Jan. 4, 2016. Refunds could be worth up to $25 million. Each of the former fans who filed the original suit will receive $5,000, and attorney fees are projected to be separate at a value of $7 million.

Judge Timothy Boyer granted preliminary approval of the settlement in St. Louis on Monday.

The Rams originally claimed “no damage” was done when the team opted to relocate to Los Angeles.

In 2016, St. Louis residents James Pudlowski, Louis C. Cross III, Gail Henry and Steve Henry filed the suit, which claimed the Rams purposefully misled fans. Those fans would not have bought the tickets or merchandise had they known the Rams were planning their 2016 move, they claimed in the suit.

A separate suit filed by personal seat license holders was also settled. Fans face a Friday deadline to sign up for reimbursement settlements.

The ticket and merchandise settlement announced Monday will cover only purchases made from the Rams, unless fans have receipt of other purchases, not to include tickets purchased on the secondary marketplace.

–Field Level Media

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Beckham Jr.: Giants sent me to Cleveland ‘to die’

Beckham Jr.: Giants sent me to Cleveland 'to die'

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. told Sports Illustrated the New

Beckham Jr.: Giants sent me to Cleveland ‘to die’

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. told Sports Illustrated the New York Giants had better trade offers but chose to trade him to Cleveland “to die.”

“This wasn’t no business move,” he told writer Ben Baskin. “This was personal. They thought they’d send me here to die.”

Beckham was acquired by the Browns for the Nos. 17 and 95 draft picks in 2019 and safety Jabrill Peppers. The San Francisco 49ers were among other known suitors, but general manager Dave Gettleman opted for the deal with Cleveland.

Not long after the trade, Beckham took to Twitter to agree with a fan who was upset the Giants didn’t give Beckham a proper goodbye after five years with the franchise.

“Im not upset in ANY way about where I landed,” he tweeted. “But outta respect what they did, was crazy! And beyond disrespectful ! I wanted nothin but the best for NY. But on to a new chapter…. ITS LIFE”

Beckham, interviewed for this week’s SI NFL preview publication, also took a swing at the coach-quarterback combinations he had with the Giants, compared to the present with first-year coach Freddie Kitchens and quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham said he considers the Browns’ setup ideal.

“I’ve never had that before,” Beckham said.

Gettleman has said the Giants did not sign Beckham to a five-year, $90 million contract before the 2018 season only to trade him. After the deal with the Browns, one he said was consummated over 10 hours of negotiations, Gettleman said the deal was not part of a plan. He also said he initiated only one trade call on Beckham, and it went to the Buffalo Bills after a deal for Antonio Brown fell through.

“This was a decision we didn’t enter into lightly,” Gettleman said after the trade. “Obviously, there is a lot of stuff that factors in. At the end of the day, in order for us to move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park. It was just too much for us to pass up.”

–Field Level Media

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AAF: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

AAF: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

De'Veon Smith rushed

AAF: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

De’Veon Smith rushed for three touchdowns Saturday as the visiting Orlando Apollos cruised to a 36-6 win over the Atlanta Legends to clinch an Alliance of American Football playoff berth.

Orlando (6-1) bounced back from its first loss of the season last week and handed Atlanta (2-5) its second consecutive defeat.

Garrett Gilbert passed for 217 yards and threw a touchdown to Charles Johnson for the Apollos, who also got a 65-yard pick-six from Deji Olatoye. Smith scored on runs of 1, 1 and 4 yards and added a successful two-point conversion.

Aaron Murray’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Jones cut Orlando’s lead to 8-6 on the first play of the second quarter, but the Apollos responded with 28 unanswered points.

–Field Level Media

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AAF roundup: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

AAF roundup: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

De'Veon Smith

AAF roundup: Orlando rips Atlanta, clinches playoff berth

De’Veon Smith rushed for three touchdowns Saturday as the visiting Orlando Apollos cruised to a 36-6 win over the Atlanta Legends to clinch an Alliance of American Football playoff berth.

Orlando (6-1) bounced back from its first loss of the season last week and handed Atlanta (2-5) its second consecutive defeat.

Garrett Gilbert, who played briefly for the Carolina Panthers in 2018, passed for 217 yards and threw a touchdown to former Minnesota Vikings wideout Charles Johnson. The Apollos also got a 65-yard pick-six from Deji Olatoye. Smith scored on runs of 1, 1 and 4 yards and added a successful two-point conversion.

Aaron Murray’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Jones cut Orlando’s lead to 8-6 on the first play of the second quarter, but the Apollos responded with 28 unanswered points.

Commanders 19, Stallions 15

Marquise Williams relieved injured starting quarterback Logan Woodside and hit running back Trey Williams for the go-ahead 36-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping San Antonio dispatch visiting Salt Lake.

Woodside, a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018, went 13 of 19 for 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception before hurting his shoulder while getting sacked for the sixth time in the game. With 5:29 remaining, Marquise Williams found Trey Williams on third-and-16 for what proved to be the game-winning score.

Salt Lake quarterback Josh Woodrum, who has spent time on six NFL rosters, hit Terrell Newby for a 21-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining to get within 17-15. However, the ensuing two-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Commanders cornerback De’Vante Bausby and returned for two points for San Antonio, creating the final four-point margin.

San Antonio remained atop the Western Conference at 5-2, while Salt Lake dropped to 2-5.

–Field Level Media

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Casey leads Johnson by one at Valspar

Casey leads Johnson by one at Valspar

Casey leads Johnson by one at Valspar

England’s Paul Casey worked really hard and played very well through most of Saturday’s third round at the Valspar Championship. He fired a 3-under-par 68 and leads by one shot with a 204 total after 54 holes. So why does it seem like he has to do the chasing on Sunday rather than enjoy his night atop the leaderboard?

Casey, the defending champion, finds himself trapped in that scenario because of what happened on the final hole Saturday at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Casey had ripped off three birdies in a four-hole stretch of the back nine and led by three shots with two holes to play in the third round. But that’s when Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer playing two groups in front of Casey under flawless, sun-splashed conditions, birdied the 18th, cutting into Casey’s lead with a 4-under 67.

Casey then bogeyed the closing hole to end the day at 9 under, allowing Johnson to pick up two valuable shots on the demanding track’s daunting, three-hole “Snake Pit” finishing stretch.

Casey is bidding to become this event’s first back-to-back winner. His victory last year here was his second on the PGA Tour and first since the 2009 Shell Houston Open.

“Having won this, my mindset now is I have nothing to lose,” Casey said. “I’m feeling like I’m in a good position, like I don’t have really any pressure. I’ve got one of those trophies. Yeah, I want another one, but it’s not as much sort of urgency or pressure. Tomorrow’s going to be highly entertaining for me.”

Thirteen players are within five strokes of the lead heading into the final round, and 20 golfers are within six shots.

“There’s a lot of guys in with a chance, but it’s a tough golf course to shoot low,” Casey said. “A 65 by somebody out of the pack just behind us would be problematic, but I can’t control that. I’m going to go out there and attack the golf course the way I attacked it today.”

Jason Kokrak (66 on Saturday) is two shots back, while Luke Donald of England (who shot a 70 on Saturday) and Scott Stallings (70) are three back at 207.

Johnson blasted a “moon-ball” approach out of a fairway bunker on the closing hole to set up a curling, downhill 10-foot birdie putt to close the gap on Casey’s lead.

“That was a tough shot and I hit a great shot and then made a tough putt, too,” Johnson said about the 18th hole. “Today it was a good day — I hit it well, and had a couple of loose shots, but around here you’re going to hit a couple. I hit my irons really well, controlled distance good, I gave myself a lot of opportunities, hit a lot of really good shots and even hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in.”

Kokrak’s round included five birdies, a bogey, and a hole-in-one on the 218-yard par-3 15th hole.

“I like this golf course,” Kokrak said. “It’s a good, hard golf course. There’s nothing quirky about it, it’s right there in front of you, you just got to hit quality golf shots. You hit good ones, you’re rewarded. You can make birdies, but if you hit bad ones you can make bogeys.”

Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa also shot a 66 and headed a pack of six players tied for sixth at 208 that included Canada’s Nick Taylor (67), Jim Furyk (68), Curtis Luck of Australia (70), Sung-jae Im of South Korea (71) and second-round co-leader Austin Cook (72).

Kokrak and Oosthuizen fired the low rounds of the day.

Matt Jones (68) of Australia and Brian Stuard (69) finished the third round tied for 12th at 209, five shots off Casey’s lead.

Casey and Cook started the third round at 6 under and a stroke up on Stallings, Donald and Im. Cook momentarily tied Casey for the lead at 8 under with a birdie on the 12th hole, but had bogeys on 13, 16 and 18 to fall off the pace.

“We have seen people come from behind, shoot good rounds here,” said Donald, whose most recent victory in the United States was this event, then called the Transitions Championship, in 2012. “If you get on a hot streak and can get off early and with the greens a little bit softer, a little bit more receptive and make a few putts, six, seven shots still has a chance.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

Reports: Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran safety George

Reports: Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran safety George Iloka to a one-year deal on Saturday, multiple outlets reported.

Iloka played with the Minnesota Vikings last season. He visited with the Cowboys on Friday. No financial terms of the deal were immediately available.

Iloka, who turns 29 on March 31, was a five-year starter for the Cincinnati Bengals before getting cut last preseason and signing with the Vikings.

A fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012, Iloka has appeared in 99 games (79 starts) and registered 362 tackles, nine interceptions and three forced fumbles. He has played both safety positions but primarily plays closer to the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys had previously hosted safeties Clayton Geathers, who re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts, and Eric Berry, who remains unsigned after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Dallas also had interest in Earl Thomas, who joined the Baltimore Ravens.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran safety George Iloka

Cowboys sign S Iloka to 1-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran safety George Iloka to a one-year deal on Saturday, the team announced.

Iloka played with the Minnesota Vikings last season. He visited with the Cowboys on Friday. No financial terms of the deal were immediately available.

Iloka, who turns 29 on March 31, was a five-year starter for the Cincinnati Bengals before getting cut last preseason and signing with the Vikings.

A fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012, Iloka has appeared in 99 games (79 starts) and registered 362 tackles, nine interceptions and three forced fumbles. He has played both safety positions but primarily plays closer to the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys had previously hosted safeties Clayton Geathers, who re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts, and Eric Berry, who remains unsigned after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Dallas also had interest in Earl Thomas, who joined the Baltimore Ravens.

–Field Level Media

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Former Patriots WR Mitchell retires at 25

Former Patriots WR Mitchell retires at 25

Former Patriots WR Mitchell retires at 25

Former New England Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell has ended his short NFL career, he announced over the weekend.

Speaking at an event at his alma mater, Georgia, Mitchell told attendees he was moving on to a “new chapter” of his life.

The oft-injured Mitchell was waived by the Patriots before the 2018 season and spent the year out of the league. He was continuing to battle a knee issue after missing all but one preseason game in 2017.

A fourth-round pick from Georgia in 2016, Mitchell carried injury concerns from college after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee early in the Bulldogs’ 2013 season.

Through two years in the NFL, the 26-year-old played in 14 games (six starts), all in 2016, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and four scores. He added six grabs for 70 yards in the team’s Super Bowl LI victory that postseason.

–Field Level Media

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Homeowners sue Giants CB Jenkins for $700,000

Homeowners sue Giants CB Jenkins for $700,000

Homeowners sue Giants CB Jenkins for $700,000

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been sued by the owners of the New Jersey home he rented, contending the value has fallen by 30 percent since a man’s body was found there.

In court documents filed last week, the owners said they are seeking $700,000 in damages, according to NorthJersey.com.

The body of music producer Roosevelt Rene was found in the basement of the home last June. Jenkins’ brother, William Jenkins, was charged with aggravated manslaughter and other charges related to Rene’s death.

William Jenkins and Rene both lived with the cornerback in the home in Fair Lawn, N.J., and the property owners, identified in the lawsuit as S.R. and N.R. Tummalapenta, also contend Janoris Jenkins broke the terms of the lease by allowing others to reside there.

“Setting aside the utterly tragic incident that occurred in June of last year,” said attorney Jonathan Swichar, who represents the Tummalapentas, “Mr. Jenkins and the additional, non-occupant tenants and visitors have caused considerable reputational and physical damage to the property, in addition to emotional pain for the Tummalapentas — who one day hoped to pass this home to their children.”

Janoris Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5 million contract in 2016 with the Giants.

–Field Level Media

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Kingsbury on No. 1 pick: ‘Everything’s on the table’

Kingsbury on No. 1 pick: 'Everything's on the table'

Kingsbury on No. 1 pick: ‘Everything’s on the table’

If first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury knows who his Arizona Cardinals will select next month with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, he isn’t letting on.

In an interview with NFL Media this weekend, Kingsbury said the team hasn’t made a decision.

“I think everything’s on the table,” he said. “When you have that first pick, you’ve gotta turn over every stone and look at every scenario that’s out there, and so we’re definitely doing that.”

One frequently mentioned possibility is that the Cardinals – who selected quarterback Josh Rosen with the No. 10 overall pick in 2018 – will choose Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy-winner from Oklahoma and trade Rosen.

But Arizona, which finished an NFL-worst 3-13 last season, has a number of needs on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals scored a league-low 225 points while surrendering 425.

“We haven’t (decided),” Kingsbury said. “We haven’t. We’re a long ways from that. You know, coaches on the road, scouts from the road, private workouts, pro days. And we won’t even discuss until next week and try to fill our board and go from there.”

The Cardinals’ brass met with Murray in Oklahoma last week. At the same time, Kingsbury said he is high on Rosen, calling him a “tremendous talent.”

A former QB himself, Kingsbury said he has communicated that opinion to Rosen and also talked about the draft.

“Yeah, I’ve talked to Josh and he understands it’s a business and what all goes with the first pick and what’s going on,” Kingsbury said.

Trading the pick isn’t out of the question. The Oakland Raiders are said to be high on Murray, and they have the No. 4, 24 and 27 picks in the first round – giving them some arsenal to swap with the Cardinals

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

The Houston Texans agreed with offensive tackle

Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

The Houston Texans agreed with offensive tackle Matt Kalil on a one-year contract, multiple outlets reported Friday

Kalil, 29, was released by the Carolina Panthers last week in a salary-cutting move after he missed all of 2018 with a knee injury.

A first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, Kalil also missed 14 games to injury in 2016, but in his other five NFL seasons, he has started all 80 possible games at left tackle.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last season, easily most in the NFL and equaling the fifth-highest total in NFL history. The Texans re-signed right tackle Seantrel Henderson — who missed all but one game in 2018 with a broken ankle — earlier this offseason.

Incumbent left tackle Julien Davenport allowed 8.75 sacks and committed 12 penalties last season, according to STATS LLC. Martinas Rankin, a 2018 third-round pick, allowed 5.5 sacks in four starts at tackle before being benched. Kendall Lamm, who started 13 games at right tackle, signed with the Cleveland Browns in free agency last week.

Kalil allowed 7.5 sacks and committed seven penalties in 2017 with the Panthers. He has allowed 39.25 sacks while committing 32 penalties in 82 career games.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

The attorney of New

Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

The attorney of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is firing back against law-enforcement officials in South Florida.

William Burck, who represents Kraft, issued a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday evening. Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla., but he has pleaded not guilty.

“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it,” Burck told Schefter, who posted the quote on his Twitter account. “The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it.

“The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”

Kraft and 24 other men accused in the case were offered the opportunity to have their charges dropped if they performed 100 hours of community service, took a class on the dangers of prostitution, were tested for sexually transmitted diseases and paid a fine, according to the New York Times.

Instead, Kraft is prepared to fight the charges.

William Snyder, the sheriff of Martin County, Fla., said he expected surveillance video of Kraft’s alleged illegal activities to be released before long.

“I do think ultimately they are probably going to get released,” Snyder said during an interview with CNBC.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers to release S Burnett

Steelers to release S Burnett

Steelers to release S Burnett

The Pittsburgh Steelers will release safety Morgan Burnett on April 1, his agent, Kevin Conner, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Burnett asked the team in January to release him before free agency.

Burnett indicated he wants to join a team that will use him in a pure safety role, after playing what he believes was out of position at dime linebacker in Pittsburgh, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported at the time.

Burnett, 30, joined the Steelers on a three-year, $14.4 million deal as a free agent last March, but he started just two of 11 games in 2018 as the third safety. Sean Davis primarily played free safety, with rookie first-round draft pick Terrell Edmunds taking the strong safety spot and Burnett playing in sub packages, logging 55.7 percent of the defensive snaps.

The Steelers reportedly told Burnett that the delay in releasing him is due to accounting issues. Burnett is set to count just under $6.5 million against the cap in 2019. His release would save Pittsburgh about $3.6 million in cap space, while bringing a $2.8 million dead-money hit.

After eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Burnett registered 30 tackles and six passes defensed in his first season with the Steelers in 2018. In 113 career games (104 starts), he has 747 tackles, 50 passes defensed and nine interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Steelers to release S Burnett

Report: Steelers to release S Burnett

Report: Steelers to release S Burnett

The Pittsburgh Steelers will release safety Morgan Burnett on April 1, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Burnett asked the team in January to release him before free agency.

Burnett indicated he wants to join a team that will use him in a pure safety role, after playing what he believes was out of position at dime linebacker in Pittsburgh, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported at the time.

Burnett, 30, joined the Steelers on a three-year, $14.4 million deal as a free agent last March, but he started just two of 11 games in 2018 as the third safety. Sean Davis primarily played free safety, with rookie first-round draft pick Terrell Edmunds taking the strong safety spot and Burnett playing in sub packages, logging 55.7 percent of the defensive snaps.

The Steelers reportedly told Burnett that the delay in releasing him is due to accounting issues. Burnett is set to count just under $6.5 million against the cap in 2019. His release would save Pittsburgh about $3.6 million in cap space, while bringing a $2.8 million dead-money hit.

After eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Burnett registered 30 tackles and six passes defensed in his first season with the Steelers in 2018. In 113 career games (104 starts), he has 747 tackles, 50 passes defensed and nine interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Rams match offer on RB Brown

Rams match offer on RB Brown

Rams match offer on RB Brown

The Los Angeles Rams matched an offer by the Detroit Lions to keep running back Malcolm Brown in the fold, the team announced Friday.

Brown, 25, has rushed for 514 yards in four seasons in a backup role to Todd Gurley, including 43 carries for 212 yards and five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018.

The two-year deal gives Brown a $100,000 signing bonus and is worth $3.3 million total, with $1 million guaranteed.

Brown’s 2018 season ended in Week 13, when he suffered a clavicle injury against the Detroit Lions.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Rams match offer on RB Brown

Report: Rams match offer on RB Brown

Report: Rams match offer on RB Brown

The Los Angeles Rams matched an offer by the Detroit Lions to keep running back Malcolm Brown in the fold, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Brown, 25, has rushed for 514 yards in four seasons in a backup role to Todd Gurley, including 43 carries for 212 yards and five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018.

The two-year deal gives Brown a $100,000 signing bonus and is worth $3.3 million total, with $1 million guaranteed.

Brown’s 2018 season ended in Week 13, when he suffered a clavicle injury against the Detroit Lions.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

The Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Julio Jones are closing in on an extension that would pay him $20 million per season on a four- or five-year deal, Bleacher Report reported Friday.

According to the report, Jones is expected to get around $50 million-$60 million in new guarantees, though the deal is not done yet.

The league’s highest-paid wideout, recent Cleveland Browns addition Odell Beckham Jr., averages $18 million annually with an additional $1 million per season available via incentives. He got $41 million fully guaranteed at signing and $65 million in injury guarantees.

Jones, 30, has two years and $21 million remaining on his contract. He stayed away from the Falcons throughout the 2018 offseason while seeking further contract guarantees. The team responded by turning $4.4 million of his future salary into a signing bonus while reportedly promising to redo the deal after the 2018 season, a rare concession for a player with multiple years remaining on his deal.

–The attorney of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is firing back against law-enforcement officials in South Florida.

William Burck, who represents Kraft, issued a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla., but he has pleaded not guilty.

“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it,” Burck told Schefter, who posted the quote on his Twitter account. “The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it. The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”

–The Houston Texans signed offensive tackle Matt Kalil to a one-year contract, multiple media outlets reported.

Kalil, 29, was released by the Carolina Panthers last week in a salary-cutting move after he missed all of 2018 with a knee injury. He also missed 14 games to injury in 2016, but in his other five NFL seasons, Kalil started all 80 possible games at left tackle.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last season, easily most in the NFL and equaling the fifth-highest total in NFL history. The Texans re-signed right tackle Seantrel Henderson — who missed all but one game in 2018 — earlier this offseason.

–The Pittsburgh Steelers will release safety Morgan Burnett by April 1, his agent, Kevin Conner, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Burnett asked the team in January to release him before free agency.

Burnett indicated he wants to join a team that will use him in a pure safety role, after playing what he believes was out of position at dime linebacker in Pittsburgh, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in January.

–The Oakland Raiders signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon and safety Curtis Riley.

The Raiders released AJ McCarron last week, creating a need for a backup quarterback behind Derek Carr. Glennon, 29, was released by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month after joining the team on a two-year, $8 million deal last spring.

Riley, 26, started all 16 games for the New York Giants in 2018, nabbing four interceptions and totaling 75 tackles.

–The Los Angeles Rams matched an offer by the Detroit Lions to keep running back Malcolm Brown in the fold. The two-year deal gives Brown a $100,000 signing bonus and is worth $3.3 million total, with $1 million guaranteed.

Brown, 25, has rushed for 514 yards in four seasons in a backup role to Todd Gurley, including 43 carries for 212 yards and five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018.

–Former Broncos first-round pick Shane Ray visited the Indianapolis Colts, according to multiple reports.

Ray, who had eight sacks in 2016 but has battled injuries the last two years, would move from linebacker to defensive end if he joins the Colts. Indianapolis reportedly added pass rusher Justin Houston on Thursday.

–The Buffalo Bills signed former Seahawks safety Maurice Alexander and former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who is making the transition to be a blocking tight end.

Buffalo also reportedly visited with former Titans guard Quinton Spain and former Seahawks defensive back Neiko Thorpe.

–The Lions agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with free agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin, multiple media outlets reported. Detroit also officially re-signed offensive lineman Andrew Donnal.

–Wide receiver Cody Latimer officially re-signed with the New York Giants.

–The Cleveland Browns signed free agent offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann.

–The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed fullback Anthony Sherman, per multiple reports.

–The Bengals signed former Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn, ESPN reported.

–The Texans re-signed special teamer Joe Webb III, who also serves as a backup wide receiver and quarterback.

–Field Level Media

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