Raiders agree to deals with RB Crowell, LB Marshall

Raiders agree to deals with RB Crowell, LB Marshall

The Oakland Raiders continued their offseason acquisitions on Thursday, agreeing to deals with running back Isaiah Crowell and linebacker Brandon Marshall.

Crowell, who became the odd man out with the New York Jets when the team signed Le’Veon Bell, agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Raiders, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.

With Bell on board, the Jets released Crowell, 26, earlier this month to save $3 million against the salary cap. Last season, he led the team with 685 rushing yards and had six touchdowns in 13 games.

Signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent from Alabama State in 2014, Crowell spent four seasons with the Browns before moving on the Jets. He has 3,803 rushing yards to go with 922 career receiving yards and 28 overall touchdowns.

The Denver Broncos released Marshall, who had spent six seasons with the team, earlier this month to cut $4.84 million from the salary cap. While the Raiders had not yet confirmed the signing, Marshall, 29, shared a photo of himself dressed in the silver and black on social media Thursday afternoon.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Marshall’s deal is for one year and worth as much as $4.1 million.

Marshall, a fifth-round draft choice by Jacksonville in 2012, spent one season in Jacksonville before moving on to Denver. In his career, he has 423 tackles, two interceptions, five forced fumbles and 6.5 sacks.

–Field Level Media

Steelers to take $21.12M cap hit despite Brown trade

Steelers to take $21.12M cap hit despite Brown trade

The

Steelers to take $21.12M cap hit despite Brown trade

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ trade of wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders can be consummated Wednesday when the new NFL year begins. And while he will be gone, he won’t be forgotten.

That’s because the Steelers must devote $21.12 million of their 2019 cap space to Brown.

The Steelers will take a dead-money cap hit of $11.4 million for the remainder of his $19 million signing bonus with the Steelers and $9.72 million from his restructured contract in 2018.

Despite the salary cap cost, the team is saving $15 million in cash from his salary.

Brown will be receiving that amount – and more – from the Raiders.

The Raiders will pay Brown $50.1 million over the next three seasons, with $30.1 million of it guaranteed. He had no guaranteed money left on his contract with the Steelers.

The 30-year-old wideout now becomes the top offensive threat in Oakland after a remarkable but sometimes turbulent nine-season stint with Pittsburgh. Brown has surpassed 1,250 receiving yards in six straight years and hauled in double-digit touchdowns in four of his past five seasons.

Quarterback Derek Carr seemingly embraced his soon-to-be teammate on social media after word of the trade spread Saturday night.

When Brown tweeted a video that showed him with Carr at the Pro Bowl, he captioned it: “Love at first Sight……@derekcarrqb”

Carr’s response: “Brother let’s get to work!”

–Field Level Media

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Woods scheduled for Tuesday TPC Sawgrass presser

Woods scheduled for Tuesday TPC Sawgrass presser

Woods scheduled for Tuesday TPC Sawgrass presser

One week after withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods is at least making an appearance at The Players Championship.

The PGA Tour announced Sunday that Woods will be on hand for a Tuesday press conference at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Woods cited a “neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks” for pulling out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he said at the time he still hoped to play the following week.

“I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn’t improved enough to play,” he wrote. “My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.”

Woods, 43, has played in three events in 2019, with three top 20 finishes, including a 10th-place finish in his most recent event, the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City, which ended Feb. 24.

The 14-time major winner won The Players Championship in 2001 and 2013.

Woods already has set his sights on the April 11-14 Masters Tournament, saying he is trying to be careful to not play in too many or too few events leading up to the first major of the year.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Seahawks’ Clark won’t report without extension

Report: Seahawks' Clark won't report without extension

Seattle Seahawks defensive end

Report: Seahawks’ Clark won’t report without extension

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark doesn’t plan to sign his franchise tender or report to training camp without a new contract, NFL Network reported Sunday.

Per the report, Clark would — absent an extension — miss training camp and play out the regular season with the intention of hitting free agency next spring, when Seattle might not be able to tag him again. Other Seahawks currently without contracts for 2020 include quarterback Russell Wilson, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and defender tackle Jarran Reed.

Clark, who was tagged last week, has been vocal about his intentions to maximize his earnings, but he has said on multiple occasions he hopes to remain in Seattle. The sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement, or Clark will play the 2019 season on the one-year, $17.128 million tender.

Fox Sports reported Friday that teams around the league, including the Buffalo Bills, have shown interest in trading for Clark, but there has been no indication that the Seahawks wish to deal him.

Clark, 25, notched career highs with 13 sacks and 27 quarterback hits in 2018, the final year of his rookie deal after the Seahawks drafted him in the second round in 2015. He earned $943,938 in 2018.

Through four seasons, Clark has 35 sacks and 72 quarterback hits while playing 62 of 64 possible games.

–Field Level Media

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Fitzpatrick leads over McIlroy at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Fitzpatrick leads over McIlroy at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Fitzpatrick leads over McIlroy at Arnold Palmer Invitational

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick fired a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday to jump into a one-shot lead at 9-under 207 after the third round of competition at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Resort and Club in Orlando.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, the defending champion of this event, is lurking a shot in arrears of Fitzpatrick after a 66 on Saturday while Australia’s Aaron Baddeley of (69), Matt Wallace of England (70), and Kevin Kisner (70) are tied for third at 7 under.

Fitzpatrick climbed eight spots on the leaderboard and finished 54 holes in the lead thanks to a five-birdie, no-bogey round on Saturday.

“I just played really solid,” Fitzpatrick said. “I like the golf course a lot, so I do feel comfortable out there. The plan was to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and do as best you can and it sort of paid off today. And I holed a few more putts, which is great.”

The 24-year-old Fitzpatrick is ranked 44th in the Official World Golf Ranking but has never won on the PGA Tour in 44 tries. Fitzpatrick has won five times on the European Tour, most recently capturing the Omega European Masters in Switzerland the past two years.

“Obviously it’s a little bit of a stronger field than normal, but it’s just another golf tournament, really,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s the attitude you got to try to go into it with. There’s water around here, the greens are firm, the rough’s thick. Someone was saying it’s a bit like a U.S. Open, which I could totally see.”

McIlroy started the day seven shots off the pace set by second-round leaders Tommy Fleetwood of England and Keegan Bradley at 9 under but played himself again into a position to win. McIlroy has top-five finishes in his past four events, the first time he’s done that in his Tour career.

“The golf course has played much tougher this year compared to the previous years,” McIlroy said. “Overall I played a really good round of golf, exactly what I needed to do, and I’m excited to be in the hunt for tomorrow.”

Fleetwood and Bradley enjoyed a four-shot lead after 36 holes but both fell off the pace by shooting a 76 and a 75, respectively.

Chris Kirk matched McIlroy for a third-round low 66 to jump 49 shots into a tie for sixth at 6 under, where was joined by Luke List (68), Charles Howell III (69), first-round leader Rafa Cabrera Bello (70) of Spain and Bradley (75).

Six players are at 5 under, including Tyrell Hatton (66) of England, Martin Kaymer (70) of Germany, Sungjae Im of South Korea (71) and Americans Jason Kokrak (68), Bubba Watson (71) and Fleetwood (76) of England.

Twenty-two players are within four strokes of Fitzpatrick’s lead, setting the table for a wild finish on Sunday.

“It’s just that sort of golf course, Baddeley explained. “If you hit good shots you get rewarded, and if you don’t you can sort of get penalized. And some of the pin locations are hard to get to so. So things like that make it difficult to keep like making a ton of birdies.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Raiders trading G Osemele to Jets

Reports: Raiders trading G Osemele to Jets

The Oakland Raiders have an agreement in place

Reports: Raiders trading G Osemele to Jets

The Oakland Raiders have an agreement in place to trade former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

According to the Bay Area News Group, the Raiders will receive a fifth-round pick while sending a sixth-rounder to the Jets. The deal cannot become official until the new league year begins Wednesday.

Osemele, 29, has two years remaining on his contract, with unguaranteed figures of $10.2 million in 2019 and $11.7 million in 2020. The Raiders will save the full $10.2 million from their cap this year.

Osemele missed five games due to injury in 2018 and allowed four sacks, his highest figure since his rookie season of 2012, in 11 games. That came after back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances in 2016 and 2017 and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016, when he didn’t allow a sack.

A former second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Osemele started 51 games over four years in Baltimore before joining the Raiders on a record-setting contract as a free agent in March of 2016.

–Field Level Media

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NFL transactions: Chiefs release LB Houston

NFL transactions: Chiefs release LB Houston

The Kansas City

NFL transactions: Chiefs release LB Houston

The Kansas City Chiefs released outside linebacker Justin Houston on Sunday, saving $14 million in salary cap space.

Multiple outlets reported the Chiefs tried to trade Houston, but no team was willing to take on his $15.5 million salary for 2019. Houston was set to count $21.1 million against the cap, which will be reduced to a dead-money hit of $7.1 million.

“Justin has made a lasting impact on this franchise and I can’t thank him enough for his contributions over the years,” general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “These decisions are never easy. I have a great deal of respect for Justin as a player and person and I wish him and his family the best moving forward.”

Houston, 30, missed four games to injury in 2018 but still managed nine sacks and 12 quarterback hits, after posting 9.5 and 20, respectively, in 15 games in 2017. However, he has missed 21 games to injury over the last four seasons and hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2015.

–The Oakland Raiders have an agreement in place to trade former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets, multiple outlets reported.

According to the Bay Area News Group, the Raiders will receive a fifth-round pick while sending a sixth-rounder to the Jets. The deal cannot become official until the new league year begins Wednesday.

Osemele, 29, missed five games to injury in 2018 and allowed four sacks, his highest figure since his rookie year of 2012. He has two years remaining on his contract, with unguaranteed figures of $10.2 million in 2019 and $11.7 million in 2020. The Raiders will save the full $10.2 million from their cap this year.

–The Detroit Lions are releasing cornerback Nevin Lawson, according to multiple reports, saving $4.675 million of his $5.8 million cap figure for 2019.

Lawson, who turns 28 in April, had signed a two-year, $9.6 million extension last March. He started 45 games for Detroit over the last three seasons, notching 18 passes defensed.

–The Cleveland Browns are releasing tight end Darren Fells after being unable to trade him, multiple outlets reported, saving $2.3 million of his $3.7 million cap figure for 2019.

Fells, who turns 33 in April, joined Cleveland on a three-year, $12 million deal last March. He caught 11 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games last season while serving primarily as a blocker.

–The Denver Broncos tendered restricted free agent defensive tackle Shelby Harris at the second-round level of $3.095 million, according to multiple reports

Harris, 27, will make about $1 million more than the original-round tender, which would have allowed other teams to sign him away from Denver for a seventh-round pick instead of a second-rounder. A former Raiders seventh-round pick who was cut by three teams before joining the Broncos in 2017, Harris has seven sacks and 16 QB hits over the last two seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs release OLB Houston

Chiefs release OLB Houston

The

Chiefs release OLB Houston

The Kansas City Chiefs released outside linebacker Justin Houston on Sunday, saving $14 million in salary cap space.

Multiple outlets reported the Chiefs tried to trade Houston, but no team was willing to take on his $15.5 million salary for 2019. Houston was set to count $21.1 million against the cap, which will be reduced to a dead-money hit of $7.1 million.

“Justin has made a lasting impact on this franchise and I can’t thank him enough for his contributions over the years,” general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “These decisions are never easy. I have a great deal of respect for Justin as a player and person and I wish him and his family the best moving forward.”

Houston, 30, missed four games to injury in 2018 but still managed nine sacks and 12 quarterback hits, after posting 9.5 and 20, respectively, in 15 games in 2017. However, he has missed 21 games to injury over the last four seasons and hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2015.

A third-round pick out of Georgia in 2011, Houston made four straight Pro Bowls from 2012-15, earning first-team All-Pro honors by notching 22 sacks — a half-sack shy of the NFL single-season record — in 2014. His 78.5 career sacks rank fourth all-time in Chiefs history since the statistic became official in 1982.

The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on edge rusher Dee Ford earlier this month, but his spot on the roster is not necessarily secure. Various reports have said Kansas City could trade Ford for as little as a second-round pick, in part because he isn’t a perfect fit at defensive end in new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme.

The Chiefs have drafted edge rushers in the second round in each of the last two drafts: Tanoh Kpassagnon in 2017 and Breeland Speaks in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

Garrett

Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

Garrett Gilbert threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and De’Veon Smith rushed for 119 yards to lead visiting Orlando past the Birmingham Iron 31-14 on Saturday and keep the Apollos as the AAF’s only undefeated team.

Gilbert, an SMU product who played briefly for the Carolina Panthers in the 2018 season finale, finished 23 of 35 with touchdowns of 21 yards to Scott Orndoff and 12 yards to Charles Johnson. Johnson, a former Minnesota Vikings receiver, had six catches for 83 yards, extending his league leads in receptions (29) and receiving yards (493). Smith, a former Michigan Wolverines star who has spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, averaged 8.5 yards per carry.

Iron running back Trent Richardson scored his league-high eighth touchdown on a 3-yard plunge, though he totaled just 21 yards on eight carries. The former Cleveland Browns first-round pick also leads the AAF in carries (75) but is averaging just 2.4 yards per rush. Richardson added four catches for 37 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Former 49ers, Raiders DL Hardman dies at 70

Former 49ers, Raiders DL Hardman dies at 70

Former 49ers, Raiders DL Hardman dies at 70

Former NFL defensive end Cedrick Hardman died Friday night. He was 70.

His cause of death was not announced.

Hardman, a North Texas product, was the No. 9 overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft by San Francisco. He played 10 seasons with the 49ers and earned two Pro Bowl berths and a pair of All-Pro honors, then finished his career with two seasons in Oakland.

“We are truly saddened by the loss of one of the all-time great 49ers, Cedrick Hardman,” the team said in a statement. “During his 10-year career in red and gold, he anchored the vaunted ‘Gold Rush’ defensive line with a non-stop motor that put fear in the minds of opposing quarterbacks. As a football player, Cedrick’s accomplishments were many. As a man, his impact on the lives of others was just as impressive”

Sacks did not become an official statistic until 1982, but the 49ers credit Hardman with a franchise-most 112.5 during his time with the team.

Hardman signed with Oakland in 1980 and appeared in 32 games with the Raiders. He was part of the team that won Super Bowl XV and assumed the role of mentor to a number of young players, including future Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long.

In all, he appeared in 171 games in his career, 139 in San Francisco. He ranks No. 5 all-time in Niners history in games played by a defensive lineman.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs sign RB Hyde to one-year deal

Chiefs sign RB Hyde to one-year deal

Running back Carlos

Chiefs sign RB Hyde to one-year deal

Running back Carlos Hyde signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, the team announced Saturday.

The deal is worth $2.8 million with $1.6 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.

Hyde, 28, was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday. He split last season with the Cleveland Browns and Jaguars and rushed for a combined 571 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

Hyde has rushed for 3,300 yards and 26 touchdowns and caught 119 passes for 667 yards and three scores in 64 games (43 starts) over five seasons.

Hyde twice topped 900 yards rushing during four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2014-17). He had a career-best 988 yards in 2016.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cowboys keep LB Lee on restructured deal

Report: Cowboys keep LB Lee on restructured deal

The Dallas Cowboys will keep linebacker Sean

Report: Cowboys keep LB Lee on restructured deal

The Dallas Cowboys will keep linebacker Sean Lee in 2019 after agreeing to a restructured deal on Saturday, NFL Network reported.

Per the report, Lee will make at least $3.5 million, with incentives boosting his possible earnings up to $7 million, which was his original salary for 2019.

Lee, 32, was entering the final year of his contract and set to count $10.1 million against the cap.

He played in just seven games last season while battling hamstring injuries, and he saw his role shrink with the emergence of first-round rookie Leighton Vander Esch. Lee finished with 30 tackles (one for loss), a half-sack and one pass defensed, a year after leading the Cowboys with 101 tackles (13 for loss) despite missing five games to injury.

A second-round pick in 2010, Lee has missed 51 games during his nine-year career, collecting 688 tackles, 26 passes defensed and 13 interceptions in 93 contests for the Cowboys. He earned Pro Bowl nods in 2015 and 2016, along with first-team All-Pro honors in 2016.

–Field Level Media

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NFL transactions: Chargers release Addae

NFL transactions: Chargers release Addae

NFL transactions: Chargers release Addae

The Los Angeles Chargers released starting safety Jahleel Addae, the team announced on Saturday.

Addae recorded 75 tackles while starting all 16 games last season. He started 59 of 80 games played in six seasons with the Chargers, recording two interceptions and 4.5 sacks.

–Tight end Dwayne Allen reportedly has agreed to a two-year, $7 million with the Miami Dolphins, according to the NFL Network.

Allen, who had 13 receptions for 113 yards in two seasons with New England, recently was cut by the Patriots. He will be playing for new coach Brian Flores, the former New England defensive coordinator.

–The New Orleans Saints agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract with safety Chris Banjo, according to the NFL Network. Banjo had two interceptions last season but primarily has worked on special teams during six NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers (2013-16) and Saints (2016-18).

–Defensive tackle Michael Pierce and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor are expected to receive second-round tenders from the Baltimore Ravens, according to the NFL Network. Both players will be restricted free agents.

–Field Level Media

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NFL transactions: Chargers sign Perryman, release Addae

NFL transactions: Chargers sign Perryman, release Addae

NFL transactions: Chargers sign Perryman, release Addae

The Los Angeles Chargers released starting safety Jahleel Addae and officially announced the re-signing of linebacker Denzel Perryman.

Addae recorded 75 tackles while starting all 16 games last season. He started 59 of 80 games played in six seasons with the Chargers, recording two interceptions and 4.5 sacks.

Perryman, 26, will reportedly make $12 million over two years. He has been a force in the middle of Los Angeles’ defense when healthy, but he has missed 16 games over the last two seasons and 22 in his four-year career.

–Tight end Dwayne Allen signed with the Dolphins on a two-year deal, the team announced. Multiple outlets report the total value at $7 million.

Allen, who had 13 receptions for 113 yards in two seasons with New England, recently was cut by the Patriots. He will be playing for new coach Brian Flores, the former New England defensive coordinator.

–The New Orleans Saints agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract with safety Chris Banjo, according to the NFL Network. Banjo had two interceptions last season but primarily has worked on special teams during six NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers (2013-16) and Saints (2016-18).

–Defensive tackle Michael Pierce and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor are expected to receive second-round tenders from the Baltimore Ravens, according to the NFL Network. Both players will be restricted free agents.

–The Cleveland Browns are shopping tight end Darren Fells in trade talks, Pro Football Talk reported. The New York Daily News reports the New York Jets are interested in Fells, who caught three touchdowns in 16 games after joining the Browns as a free agent last march.

–The Jets have agreed to a deal to re-sign interior offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison, according to multiple reports. The 27-year-old was set to hit free agency after playing in all 16 games (eight starts) at center and left guard for the Jets last season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Packers, 49ers interested in Chiefs’ Ford

Report: Packers, 49ers interested in Chiefs' Ford

Two prospective

Report: Packers, 49ers interested in Chiefs’ Ford

Two prospective suitors have cropped up in the days since the Kansas City Chiefs placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford with a potential eye toward making a trade.

Ford was one of several top pass rushers who were tagged Monday, including the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence, the Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney, the Atlanta Falcons’ Grady Jarrett and the Seattle Seahawks’ Frank Clark.

Both NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs are looking to deal the pass-rushing specialist.

Now, Rapoport reports that the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers have expressed interest in dealing for Ford.

Ford, 27, earned about $8.7 million in 2018 after the fifth-year option of his contract was exercised. The one-year franchise tag for linebackers is worth $15.44 million in 2019.

He would have to sign the franchise tender before any deal could be made.

The Chiefs are switching from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, with Ford likely moving to defensive end if he stays with Kansas City.

Ford has 30.5 career sacks in five seasons, all with the Chiefs, including a personal-best 13 in 2018, when he attained career firsts by starting all 16 regular-season games and being selected to the Pro Bowl. He also forced a league-high seven fumbles.

–Field Level Media

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Bennett Bros. plot teaming up with Patriots

Bennett Bros. plot teaming up with Patriots

Retired tight

Bennett Bros. plot teaming up with Patriots

Retired tight end Martellus Bennett might be motivated to return to the field by his brother Michael Bennett being traded to the New England Patriots, ESPN reported.

The Patriots and Eagles are expected to finalize a deal that will send Michael Bennett to New England. Trades cannot be finalized until the first day of the league year.

Martellus Bennett played for coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but retired a year ago when the team released him rather than paying a $2 million roster bonus.

Martellus Bennett turns 32 on Sunday, but could return to give New England insurance should Rob Gronkowski retire. Even if Gronkowski returns, injuries have slowed him in recent seasons.

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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Report: Woman bit by Prescott’s dog lost part of finger

Report: Woman bit by Prescott's dog lost part of finger

A woman who spent four days in

Report: Woman bit by Prescott’s dog lost part of finger

A woman who spent four days in the hospital after being bitten by the dog of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has reportedly lost part of a finger because of her injuries.

WFAA in Dallas cited court documents on Friday saying the female neighbor of Prescott’s had a portion of her right ring finger severed during an incident on Feb. 25 in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas.

Per the documents cited in the report, local animal control officials had issued a pair of warnings recently to people at Prescott’s house about his dogs escaping through a garage door that occasionally was not secured properly.

A municipal hearing is slated for March 20 to determine whether the dog that bit Prescott’s neighbor should be categorized as a “dangerous dog.”

Police in Frisco, north of Dallas, said a woman called them at about 10:50 a.m. local time when her dog and a loose dog were fighting through a fence outside her home. When she went outside to try to stop the fight, she saw a second loose dog, and one of the two bit her.

Authorities said they seized the dog that bit her, an American Staffordshire terrier, and took the other dog back to Prescott’s home. Police said the dogs escaped through an open door.

–Field Level Media

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Onside kick alternative among NFL rule change proposals

Onside kick alternative among NFL rule change proposals

Onside kick alternative among NFL rule change proposals

After rule changes significantly reduced the success rate of NFL teams succeeding at recovering onside kicks last season, a proposed rule change would allow teams one opportunity per game to regain possession a different way.

The proposal, from the Denver Broncos, was one of nine announced by the league on Friday. Seven of the other eight proposals involved widening the use of replay, and the other deals with overtime possessions.

The Broncos’ idea is to give a team a chance to remain on offense after a score in the fourth quarter. The team would run a play from its own 35-yard line and would have to pick up 15 yards to keep the ball. If it fails, the defense takes over.

According to the Washington Post, citing statistics from Elias, teams that attempted an onside kick last season recovered only four, while the receiving team recovered 49. That success rate of 7.5 percent was down markedly from 21.7 percent (13 of 60) a year earlier.

The proposal comes as a new football league, the Alliance of American Football, has a similar component, allowing teams the opportunity to convert a fourth-and-12 from its 28. The AAF requires that the team be trailing by 17 points or more in a game, or by any amount inside the final five minutes of the game.

Rule changes require the approval of 24 owners, who typically rely on the NFL’s Competition Committee to explore the ideas first.

The overtime-related proposal, from the Kansas City Chiefs, would be to mandate that each team gets a possession. Currently, if the team receiving team scores a touchdown on its first possession of overtime, the opponent never gets possession.

–Field Level Media

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S Weddle, Rams agree to two-year deal

S Weddle, Rams agree to two-year deal

Safety Eric Weddle

S Weddle, Rams agree to two-year deal

Safety Eric Weddle and the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to a two-year contract, the team announced Friday.

The announcement came after Weddle visited the Rams’ headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The team did not disclose contract terms, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the deal has a $10.5 million base salary but could be worth as much at $12.5 million.

The Ravens released Weddle, 34, on Wednesday. He twice has been selected first-team All-Pro and has been named to six Pro Bowl teams, including in 2018.

By releasing him, the Ravens saved $7.5 million against the salary cap.

For Weddle, playing in Los Angeles will be a homecoming. A Southern California native, he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played nine seasons in San Diego, then three in Baltimore.

In 12 seasons, he has played in 185 games (170 starts) and make 1,067 tackles and 29 interceptions.

Free agent signings begin Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Dolphins waive WR Amendola

Reports: Dolphins waive WR Amendola

Veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola

Reports: Dolphins waive WR Amendola

Veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola was released Friday by the Miami Dolphins, according to multiple reports.

The Dolphins signed Amendola, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, to a two-year, $12 million contract a year ago. By releasing him, the Dolphins will free up $6 million in salary cap money.

In his one season in Miami, the 33-year-old Amendola started 15 games but caught just 59 passes for 575 yards, an average of just 38.3 yards per game. He caught one touchdown pass.

Undrafted out of Texas Tech, Amendola played for the St. Louis Rams from 2009-12, then with the Patriots from 2013-17. He has 485 career receptions for 4,684 yards and 20 receiving scores.

–Field Level Media

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AAF roundup: Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

AAF roundup: Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

AAF roundup: Gilbert, Smith lead undefeated Apollos past Iron

Garrett Gilbert threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and De’Veon Smith rushed for 119 yards to lead visiting Orlando past the Birmingham Iron 31-14 on Saturday and keep the Apollos as the AAF’s only undefeated team.

Gilbert, an SMU product who played briefly for the Carolina Panthers in the 2018 season finale, finished 23 of 35 with touchdowns of 21 yards to Scott Orndoff and 12 yards to Charles Johnson. Johnson, a former Minnesota Vikings receiver, had six catches for 83 yards, extending his league leads in receptions (29) and receiving yards (493). Smith, a former Michigan Wolverines star who has spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, averaged 8.5 yards per carry.

Iron running back Trent Richardson scored his league-high eighth touchdown on a 3-yard plunge, though he totaled just 21 yards on eight carries. The former Cleveland Browns first-round pick also leads the AAF in carries (75) but is averaging just 2.4 yards per rush. Richardson added four catches for 37 yards.

Fleet 27, Stallions 25

Former San Diego State kicker Donny Hageman drilled a 44-yard field goal as time expired to lift San Diego to a win over visiting Salt Lake.

Cornerback Kameron Kelly, who spent time with the Dallas Cowboys last summer but was let go before the preseason, picked off three passes to lead the Fleet on defense. Quarterback Mike Bercovici completed 22 of 43 passes for 304 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Former NFL running back Bishop Sankey struggled to find gaps as he finished with five carries for 11 yards.

For Salt Lake, quarterback Josh Woodrum completed 31 of 48 passes for 380 yards and one touchdown but was beset by the interceptions. Wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El hauled in eight catches for 130 yards, and ex-NFL running back Matt Asiata managed only one carry for 2 yards.

–Field Level Media

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