Raiders release LB Derrick Johnson

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders are releasing linebacker Derrick Johnson.

Coach Jon Gruden announced the move Tuesday and said linebacker Jason Cabinda will be promoted from the practice squad to take Johnson’s spot on the roster.

The Raiders signed Johnson in May to be the starting middle linebacker. But second-year player Marquel Lee has earned the bulk of the playing time at the position and the Raiders decided to go in a different direction heading into the bye week this week.

Gruden also said that running back Marshawn Lynch is dealing with a groin injury and receivers Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts are still in concussion protocol. Gruden said he’s hopeful left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) and safety Karl Joseph (hamstring) will be back when the team returns from the bye to host Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

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NFL notebook: Rosen calls life in limbo ‘annoying’

NFL notebook: Rosen calls life in limbo 'annoying'

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen spoke publicly

NFL notebook: Rosen calls life in limbo ‘annoying’

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen spoke publicly for the first time Thursday about the limbo he finds himself in with the team that drafted him last year, telling SI TV that it’s “annoying” but that he “definitely understands the situation.”

The Cardinals hold the No. 1 pick in next week’s NFL draft and speculation is rampant that the team, with new coach Kliff Kingsbury at the helm, will select former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

“I definitely understand the situation,” Rosen told SI TV. “I mean, it’s annoying but, like, it is what it is. Football’s a business, and I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions. … Whatever decisions are made, it’s my duty to prove them right if they keep me, and prove them wrong if they ship me off.”

The Cardinals went 3-13 last year under former coach Steve Wilks. Rosen started 13 games and passed for 2,278 yards, throwing for 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in his rookie season. Rosen was conspicuous in his omission from the Cardinals’ hype video — save for a brief shot of him 56 seconds in — released earlier Thursday along with a 2019 promotional calendar.

–The Carolina Panthers restructured the contract of star linebacker Luke Kuechly to free up more than $7 million in cap space, ESPN reported.

The Panthers converted $9.05 million of Kuechly’s 2019 salary into a bonus, a move that gives the cap-strapped club an additional $7.24 million to play with one week ahead of the draft, according to the report. The Panthers had just $1.34 million in cap space prior to the restructure.

It’s the second consecutive year the Panthers have given Kuechly upfront money. The 28-year-old linebacker is coming off his fifth first-team All-Pro bid. Kuechly posted 130 tackles — including a career-high 20 for loss — last year to go with two sacks and an interception in 16 games.

–Speaking during the Jacksonville Jaguars’ annual state of the franchise address, team executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin spoke about team attendance at this week’s organized team activities and criticized those not in attendance.

“We’re very close to 100 percent attendance, and quite frankly, our players should be here building the concept of team, working hard side by side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals,” Coughlin said, via ESPN.

The players not in attendance are All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey — who also missed last offseason’s program to train at his father’s facility in Nashville, Tenn. — and starting linebacker Telvin Smith. Following Coughlin’s comments, the NFLPA tweeted a statement from president Eric Winston reiterating that such activities are voluntary and that coaches and executives are prohibited “from threatening players to participate in voluntary workouts.”

–Washington Redskins defensive end Matt Ioannidis agreed to a three-year extension worth $21.75 million, NFL Network reported.

Ioannidis was drafted 152nd overall in 2016 out of Temple and was entering the final year of his rookie contract. In 38 career games, Ioannidis has 19 starts and 12.0 sacks, including 7.5 last season.

–The Houston Texans expect wide receiver Will Fuller to be on the field for their season-opening Monday night game against the Saints at New Orleans, team general manager Brian Gaine told the team’s website.

Fuller emerged as a dangerous deep threat in his third season in 2018, catching 32 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns through seven games but suffered a torn ACL in Week 8 against Miami.

–Field Level Media

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Texans WR Fuller (ACL) on track for Week 1 return

Texans WR Fuller (ACL) on track for Week 1 return

Texans WR Fuller (ACL) on track for Week 1 return

The Houston Texans expect wide receiver Will Fuller to be on the field for their season-opening Monday night game at New Orleans.

Fuller is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in October and is on pace to return by Week 1, Texans general manager Brian Gaine said Thursday.

“Everything is going well with Will,” Gaine told the team’s website. “I won’t speak to specifics but I anticipate when we kick off vs. New Orleans that he’ll be ready to go and he’ll be at full speed by then. I’m sure through the preseason we’ll be smart and efficient as it relates to getting him right, but everything has gone well, no setbacks, been very positive.”

Fuller emerged as a dangerous deep threat in his third season in 2018, catching 32 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns through seven games.

Fuller, who turned 25 on Tuesday, was a first-round pick (21st overall) in 2016. He has 107 catches for 1,561 yards and 13 touchdowns in 31 games.

“Everything is trending in the right direction,” Gaine said. “He’s been here the whole offseason. He’s looking good: mind, spirit, body. Everything is going well for Will and we’re excited to see him get back to the field.”

–Field Level Media

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Coughlin criticizes absent players, drawing NFLPA response

Coughlin criticizes absent players, drawing NFLPA response

Coughlin criticizes absent players, drawing NFLPA response

Just like last offseason, cornerback Jalen Ramsey is skipping Jacksonville’s voluntary workouts. This time, however, the Jaguars are voicing their displeasure.

And that has led to a war of words with the players’ union.

With players in town for the start of the offseason program, the Jaguars held their annual state of the franchise address Thursday. During his four-minute turn at the podium, team executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin spoke about team attendance — or lack thereof.

“We’re very close to 100 percent attendance, and quite frankly, our players should be here building the concept of team, working hard side by side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals,” Coughlin said, per ESPN. “Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team.

“It’s not about rights and privileges. It’s about obligations and responsibility, and the question is: Can we count on you?”

According to multiple reports, the specific players Coughlin was criticizing for not being in attendance are Ramsey and starting linebacker Telvin Smith.

Last offseason, Ramsey worked out on his own at his father’s training facility in Nashville, Tenn. The All-Pro also stayed away from the team’s mandatory minicamp last June.

“How do I put this the nicest way possible?” Ramsey said at the time last season. “I don’t think any of my teammates had an issue because they know I was going to come back ready. But at the same time, if they did, I don’t think I would care because once I get out here I know what I was doing was the right thing for me.”

As for Smith, he has reportedly been at every team offseason workout since the club drafted him in 2014. Head coach Doug Marrone told reporters Tuesday that he had yet to hear from either player after reaching out to them to ask if they would attend.

Following Coughlin’s comments, the NFLPA tweeted out a statement from president Eric Winston, not specifically addressed to Coughlin or referencing Coughlin’s comments, but with the message, “Since there seems to [be] some confusion over what a voluntary workout actually means…#NFLPA President @ericwinston.”

Winston’s statement read:

“Our CBA definition of voluntary is the same as the actual definition and prohibits anyone from threatening players to participate in voluntary workouts. This is precisely the reason players negotiated strict work rules and bright lines when it comes to offseason activities. We know, from experience, that not all coaches and executives will adhere to them and we always pursue any violations to protect our rules.”

–Field Level Media

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Ireland’s Lowry leads by one at RBC Heritage

Ireland's Lowry leads by one at RBC Heritage

Ireland’s Lowry leads by one at RBC Heritage

Ireland’s Shane Lowry shot a bogey-free round of 6-under-par 65 on Thursday to claim a one-shot lead after the first round of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C.

Playing in the morning wave, Lowry birdied four holes during a seven-hole stretch at Harbour Town GL and no one was able to catch him.

Americans Daniel Berger, Luke List, Ryan Moore, Trey Mullinax and Ryan Palmer are one shot back at 5 under, with another group of eight players that includes 18th-ranked Patrick Cantlay another shot off the pace.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is tied for 15th at 3-under par, with his 68 on Thursday his lowest career opening round in the event. Johnson said he drove the ball well all day in posting four birdies, with his lone blemish a three-putt bogey on the par-3 seventh hole.

“It was a really solid day,” Johnson, who reclaimed the No. 1 spot after tying for second at last week’s Masters, told reporters. “I was in position all day. I drove it nicely, hit some good iron shots. The wind is always a little tricky around here.

“The only bogey I made I missed a short putt there on 7. Other than that, I felt like I gave myself a chance all day.”

FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar is tie for 27th at 2 under, along with Zach Johnson and a host of others. They are a shot ahead of Bryson DeChambeau and England’s Ian Poulter, and two shots better than Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, who was part of that tie for second at the Masters.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari, coming off his disappointing final round at Augusta National, struggled to a 3-over 74 and is tied for 111th.

Dustin Johnson will go out in the morning wave on Friday, when winds are expected to blow between 25-35 mph with rain also in the forecast as the day progresses.

“The weather is going to be here in the morning,” he told reporters. “It’s supposed to blow all day tomorrow. So, yeah, it’s going to be difficult. This golf course is tough enough as it is. Just add wind blowing 30 – it’s going to make it a little bit tougher.

“Just shooting a decent score tomorrow is going to be really, really important.”

NOTES: Five-time event champion Davis Love III withdrew after leaving Wednesday’s pro-am for the birth of his third grandchild. He was replaced by Scott Langley, who is 3 under. … England’s Luke Donald, a five-time runner-up at Harbour Town, is tied for 39th at 1 under. … Defending champion Satoshi Kodaira of Japan is tied for 93rd after shooting a 2-over 73, same as South Korea’s Si Woo Kim, whom Kodaira defeated in a playoff last year.

–Field Level Media

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Cards QB Rosen calls situation ‘annoying’ but respects ‘higher-ups’

Cards QB Rosen calls situation 'annoying' but respects 'higher-ups'

Arizona Cardinals quarterback

Cards QB Rosen calls situation ‘annoying’ but respects ‘higher-ups’

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen spoke publicly for the first time about the limbo he finds himself in with the team that drafted him last year, telling SI TV that it’s “annoying” but that he “definitely understands the situation.”

The Cardinals hold the No. 1 pick in next week’s NFL Draft and speculation is rampant that the team, with new coach Kliff Kingsbury at the helm, will select former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

“I definitely understand the situation,” Rosen told SI TV. “I mean, it’s annoying but, like, it is what it is. Football’s a business, and I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions. … Whatever decisions are made, it’s my duty to prove them right if they keep me, and prove them wrong if they ship me off.”

The Cardinals went 3-13 last year under former coach Steve Wilks. Rosen started 13 games and passed for 2,278 yards, throwing for 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in his rookie season.

“I think the season went as poorly as it could possibly go,” Rosen said in the clip provided by SI. “We won three games and each one of those wins, to me, it felt like we won the Super Bowl. That feeling is so intoxicating and that’s why I want nothing more than to be a part of a team next year and have the same opportunities to go out and compete.”

Rosen was conspicuous in his omission from the Cardinals’ hype video — save for a brief shot of him 56 seconds in — released Thursday along with a 2019 promotional calendar.

–Field Level Media

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Johnson, Fowler commit to inaugural Detroit tourney

Johnson, Fowler commit to inaugural Detroit tourney

World

Johnson, Fowler commit to inaugural Detroit tourney

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler both committed Thursday to play in the first ever PGA Tour event in Detroit this June.

Johnson and Fowler, currently ranked 10th in the world, join a field that includes two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2016 PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic will be held at the Detroit Golf Club from June 27-30. The course was designed by Donald Ross and has been a fixture in Detroit for more than 100 years.

In other PGA Tour news, viral sensation Hosung Choi has received a sponsor’s exemption and will play in the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., on July 10-14. Choi was invited to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year but missed the cut.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins, Ioannidis agree to $21.75M extension

Redskins, Ioannidis agree to $21.75M extension

Redskins, Ioannidis agree to $21.75M extension

Washington Redskins defensive end Matt Ioannidis agreed to a three-year extension worth $21.75 million on Thursday, NFL Network reported.

Ioannidis was drafted 152nd overall in 2016 out of Temple and was entering the final year of his rookie contract.

In 38 career games, Ioannidis has 19 starts and 12.0 sacks, including 7.5 last season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Panthers restructure Kuechly’s contract, create $7M in cap space

Report: Panthers restructure Kuechly’s contract, create $7M in cap space

The

Report: Panthers restructure Kuechly’s contract, create $7M in cap space

The Carolina Panthers restructured the contract of star linebacker Luke Kuechly to free up more than $7 million in cap space, ESPN reported Thursday.

The Panthers converted $9.05 million of Kuechly’s 2019 salary into a bonus, a move that gives the cap-strapped club an additional $7.24 million to play with one week ahead of the NFL Draft, according to the report. The Panthers had just $1.34 million in cap space prior to the restructure.

It’s the second consecutive year the Panthers have given Kuechly upfront money. The 28-year-old linebacker is coming off his fifth first team All-Pro bid.

Kuechly posted 130 tackles – including a career-high 20 for loss – last year to go with two sacks and an interception in 16 games.

Kuechly has made the Pro Bowl the past six seasons.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Defending champion Patriots open against Steelers

NFL notebook: Defending champion Patriots open against Steelers

The New England Patriots will

NFL notebook: Defending champion Patriots open against Steelers

The New England Patriots will open the defense of their Super Bowl LIII title against the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 1, the NFL announced in its unveiling of the 2019 schedule.

The league announced in late March that the opening game of the season would pit the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5. The defending Super Bowl champion normally opens the season with a home game on Thursday night, but the NFL wanted to feature its oldest rivalry to open its 100th season, which bumped New England to Sunday night, Sept. 8.

The Patriots will also be in prime time on Oct. 10 vs. the New York Giants (Thursday night), Oct. 21 at the New York Jets (Monday night), Nov. 3 at the Baltimore Ravens (Sunday night) and Dec. 1 at the Houston Texans (Sunday night), with a Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 home meeting with the Buffalo Bills as a possible flex option to Saturday night in prime time.

Joining the Patriots with five scheduled prime-time games are the Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, who have three in a row from Nov. 24-Dec. 8. The Cleveland Browns have four, plus several games that could be flexed later in the season, as do the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

–Fresh off receiving the richest deal in NFL history, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson declared he wants to “be a Seahawk for life.”

“My goal is to play 20 years, so I would be 43ish around then,” said Wilson, who was born in 1988. “So, that would be my goal to be honest with you, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

The next five years are taken care of after Wilson signed a four-year, $140 million extension on Tuesday afternoon. He received a $65 million signing bonus and is signed with the Seahawks through the 2023 season.

–A Florida judge issued a temporary protective order Wednesday halting the impending release of videos allegedly showing Patriots owner Robert Kraft soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor.

Judge Joseph Marx scheduled a hearing for April 29 to rule on whether police surveillance videos of Kraft and 24 other men from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., will be released.

Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution following two January visits to the spa. He has pleaded not guilty and is requesting a jury trial.

–Recently retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dented the team’s newest Lombardi Trophy by “bunting” a pitch from teammate Julian Edelman before the Boston Red Sox’s Opening Day game at Fenway Park last week.

As detailed in a story and video on the team’s website, the incident happened as a portion of the team was preparing to throw out the first pitch on April 9, a little over two months after the Patriots’ triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

As a warm-up pitch approached, Gronkowski squared and used the “bat” to bunt, making square contact with the back of the football shape atop the trophy. A loud clank can be heard on the video as the ball hits and bounces back toward the mound, followed by a bunch of players howling — some in laughter, others in surprise.

–The Miami Dolphins do not plan to trade safety Reshad Jones, general manager Chris Grier said.

Jones skipped the first two days of the Dolphins’ volunteer workouts, which prompted speculation that he might be moved. He is due to earn $13 million, including $11 million in guarantees, with Miami this season.

“I haven’t given him permission to seek a trade,” Grier said in comments published by the Miami Herald. “He doesn’t want a trade. At least he has not informed me. Yeah, Reshad is going to be here.”

–The Seattle Seahawks hosted former Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget and former Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Al Woods on a visit to the team facility, according to a report from ESPN.

The Seahawks also hosted Allen Bailey, a free-agent defensive end who last played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots’ Gronkowski dented Lombardi by ‘bunting’ baseball

Patriots' Gronkowski dented Lombardi by 'bunting' baseball

Patriots’ Gronkowski dented Lombardi by ‘bunting’ baseball

Recently retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dented the team’s newest Lombardi Trophy by “bunting” a pitch from teammate Julian Edelman before the Boston Red Sox’s Opening Day game at Fenway Park last week.

As detailed in a story and video on the team’s website, the incident happened as a portion of the team was preparing to throw out the first pitch on April 9, a little over two months after the Patriots’ triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

A few players, including Edelman and Gronkowski, were throwing warm-up pitches in a tented area before the game when Gronkowski grabbed the trophy like a bat and stood with it in a batters’ stance, waiting on a pitch from Edelman.

“I say to myself, ‘Certainly that’s just Rob having some fun. He would never hit the ball with that,'” Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater recalled to the team’s website.

As the pitch approached, Gronkowski squared and used the “bat” to bunt, making square contact with the back of the football shape atop the trophy. A loud clank can be heard on the video as the ball hits and bounces back toward the mound, followed by a bunch of players howling — some in laughter, others in surprise.

“It sounded exactly what you think a baseball hitting the Lombardi Trophy would sound like,” offensive lineman Ted Karras said.

Executive vice president of media relations Stacey James told ESPN that the team will “keep the dent and tell the story” for now, although it could be fixed in the future.

The trophy is the sixth in franchise history, all of which have been won since February 2002. Many Super Bowl-winning teams have replica trophies for use at public events while keeping the originals under lock and key, but the dented trophy is apparently the original from Super Bowl LIII.

Long known for his rambunctious personality, the 29-year-old Gronkowski announced his retirement in late March after nine NFL seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks QB Wilson plans on playing 20 seasons

Seahawks QB Wilson plans on playing 20 seasons

Seahawks QB Wilson plans on playing 20 seasons

Fresh off receiving the richest deal in NFL history, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson declared that he wants to “be a Seahawk for life.”

He also vowed at Wednesday’s press conference that he wants to play through the 2031 season.

“My goal is to play 20 years, so I would be 43ish around then,” said Wilson, who was born in 1988. “So, that would be my goal to be honest with you, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

The next five years are taken care of after Wilson signed a four-year, $140 million extension on Tuesday afternoon. He received a $65 million signing bonus and is signed with the Seahawks through the 2023 season.

Though Wilson placed an April 15 deadline for getting a deal done, he said he never wanted to play anywhere other than Seattle.

“For me, for my family, we love Seattle, and it’s the place I want to be,” Wilson said. “I’ve always wanted to be here. When I first got drafted in 2012, I wanted to be here forever. This helps solidify that. I’ve got many more years to go and a lot more winning to do — we’ve got more Super Bowls to win. I’m excited about that.”

The 30-year-old Wilson has passed for 25,624 yards, 196 touchdowns and only 63 interceptions in 112 NFL games, never missing a start. The five-time Pro Bowler threw a franchise-best 35 touchdown passes last season against just seven interceptions, matching his career low.

Wilson has guided Seattle to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons. The Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII following the 2013 season and lost to the New England Patriots in the big game the next season.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll is well aware of the team’s 75-36-1 regular-season record during the Wilson era and is pleased to see it continue.

“Russ has been a huge factor in everything that has happened, and this allows us to stay on track with continuing to push to find that consistency,” Carroll said. “Russell is a unique player, a unique competitor. It’s rare the way he’s just so consistently connected to competing and battling. To keep that factor as part of the program is just a real positive for our fans and for everyone. We’re all fortunate to see this happen.”

The former third-round pick still feels plenty of motivation … partly because of that “third-round pick” label.

Wilson has never forgotten that 74 players were chosen before him in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was the sixth quarterback selected behind Andrew Luck (No. 1 overall), Robert Griffin III (No. 2), Ryan Tannehill (No. 8), Brandon Weeden (No. 22) and Brock Osweiler (No. 57).

“I was going to make the 31 other teams regret it, and that was my mentality, and still is today,” Wilson said. “I’ve just been fortunate — been very, very fortunate — and blessed to be with great teammates, a great culture here, a great organization. There’s no better place than here, and obviously a great city with amazing fans. The best fans in the world, so it’s a special thing.”

–Field Level Media

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Take 5: Can’t-miss NFL games in 2019

Take 5: Can't-miss NFL games in 2019

Take 5: Can’t-miss NFL games in 2019

The NFL’s schedule release is like Christmas morning — that is, if after unwrapping all of your gifts, you sat and stared at them for 4 1/2 months before unboxing the goods.

With Wednesday night’s unveiling, we can finally start circling the calendar, counting the days and drooling over the best 2019 battles to come.

You don’t need me to tell you to watch the rematches of last season’s conference championships — Saints at Rams in Week 2, Chiefs at Patriots in Week 14 — but here are a few others you absolutely should not miss.

1. Patriots at Eagles — Week 11, Sunday, Nov. 17

Not only is this a rematch of Super Bowl LII, a battle of the last two Super Bowl winners and the first meeting between Tom Brady and Carson Wentz, but it’s also the next installment of a very strange head-to-head history.

These teams have faced each other just 14 times total, with two of those coming in the Super Bowl. The five meetings since 2003 have pitted Brady against five different quarterbacks, with very odd results.

Brady outlasted Donovan McNabb in Super Bowl XXXIX but needed a fourth-quarter rally to keep 2007’s perfect season alive against A.J. Feeley, of all people. The Patriots rallied from a 10-0 deficit to beat Vince Young (!) and the “Dream Team” Eagles in 2011, then blew a 14-0 lead at home to Sam Bradford, Chip Kelly & Co. in 2015, as Philadelphia scored three non-offensive touchdowns.

Of course, Nick Foles & Co. won Super Bowl LII — which featured the most combined yards (1,151) in a game in NFL history — despite Brady throwing for 505 yards and the Patriots never punting.

The star power at quarterback is reason enough to watch. The possibility of something strange happening only makes it more fascinating.

2. Colts at Chiefs — Week 5, Sunday night, Oct. 6

This game is a rematch from January’s divisional playoffs. Let’s also hope it’s the second of many installments in a Patrick Mahomes vs. Andrew Luck rivalry.

When Father Time eventually ousts Brady in a 12-round split decision, not only will there be a superstar vacuum to fill, but the battle for AFC supremacy will be more open than it’s been in two decades. These two quarterbacks (ahem … Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson also would like a word) are the most likely future rulers of the conference. We can only hope Mahomes vs. Luck becomes a rivalry half as historic as Manning vs. Brady.

As for meeting No. 2, the Colts should be awfully dangerous. Luck is further removed from his lost 2017 season, and a coaching staff that was duct-taped together on the fly last January (thanks, Josh McDaniels) has had another year to jell after an outstanding debut season. With former Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston aboard and Chris Ballard’s war chest of draft picks, Indy’s defense should make major strides under rising coordinator Matt Eberflus.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, have a ton to prove despite an excellent 2018 campaign. Almost no offense that reached the level they did last season has been able to sustain it year after year, while the defense lost Dee Ford and Eric Berry in addition to Houston.

3. Rams at Browns — Week 3, Sunday night, Sept. 22

This will be the Browns’ first time hosting a non-Thursday night prime-time game since 2015, and their first time hosting a Sunday night game since — amazingly — 2008.

It’s easy to forget because they’ve had so little to cheer for in ages, but Cleveland fans are among the most devoted in football. With the Browns’ expectations suddenly pointing skyward, FirstEnergy Stadium will be electric when the reigning NFC champions come to town.

Freddie Kitchens and Mayfield will try to break down Wade Phillips’ scheme while hoping Joel Bitonio & Co. can hold up long enough against reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. On the back end, the team that tried to trade for Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason will be tasked with slowing him down, likely with heavy doses of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

Meanwhile, Steve Wilks’ defense faces one of its toughest tests of the season against Sean McVay, as freakish young star Myles Garrett battles crafty veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth to get to Jared Goff.

4. Cowboys at Saints — Week 4, Sunday night, Sept. 29

This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but last year’s Thursday night meeting in Week 13 at Dallas was like a bar-room brawl you couldn’t turn away from. The Cowboys’ defense, led by blossoming star linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, battered the previously red-hot Saints offense and delivered the first major blow to Drew Brees’ MVP candidacy.

New Orleans getting robbed of a Super Bowl LIII appearance overshadowed a suspect finishing stretch from Brees, who averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt with seven touchdowns and five interceptions from Week 13 through the postseason. No one is arguing he’s washed up, but when the end arrives for quarterbacks, it does so swiftly and with little warning.

Jared Cook gives Brees his most dynamic tight end since Jimmy Graham was traded in 2015, but trusted center Max Unger retired, and Mark Ingram is also gone. The Week 4 rematch with Dallas’ defense should be an excellent barometer for where Brees stands early in his 19th NFL season.

5. Vikings at Chiefs — Week 9, Sunday, Nov. 3

It’s easy to overlook Minnesota after 2018 went sideways, but the Vikings still have one of the NFL’s best rosters. If they can piece together a respectable offensive line, they could be a juggernaut.

Most fascinating in this battle is the clash of Andy Reid’s offense and Mike Zimmer’s defense. Zimmer’s unit dictates terms to opposing offenses more than any other NFL defense, using a terrifying front four, finely tuned coverage rotations and a litany of blitzes to punish opposing quarterbacks.

But trying to dictate to the Chiefs’ offense is dangerous because Reid has so many answers. He routinely creates six- and even five-man boxes to run against through spread formations and packaged plays. He also feasts on zone coverage by getting Tyreek Hill inside against linebackers and safeties.

There should be fireworks against Zimmer’s aggressive, flat-footed zones, but Harrison Smith & Co. should also force Mahomes into a few turnovers.

–David DeChant, Field Level Media

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NFL schedule release: Pats open on SNF vs. Steelers

NFL schedule release: Pats open on SNF vs. Steelers

NFL schedule release: Pats open on SNF vs. Steelers

The New England Patriots will open the defense of their Super Bowl LIII title against the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 1, the NFL announced in its unveiling of the 2019 schedule.

The league announced in late March that the opening game of the season would pit the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5. The defending Super Bowl champion normally opens the season with a home game on Thursday night, but the NFL wanted to feature its oldest rivalry to open its 100th season, which bumped New England to Sunday night, Sept. 8.

The Patriots will also be in prime time on Oct. 10 vs. the New York Giants (Thursday night), Oct. 21 at the New York Jets (Monday night), Nov. 3 at the Baltimore Ravens (Sunday night) and Dec. 1 at the Houston Texans (Sunday night), with a Dec. 21 or Dec. 22 home meeting with the Buffalo Bills as a possible flex option to Saturday night in prime time.

The other prime-time games in Week 1 will be the Texans at the New Orleans Saints and the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Raiders in a “Monday Night Football” doubleheader on Sept. 9.

Joining the Patriots with five scheduled prime-time games are the Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, who have three in a row from Nov. 24-Dec. 8. The Cleveland Browns have four, plus several games that could be flexed later in the season, as do the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans.

The Thanksgiving Day games, Nov. 28, will feature the Bears at the Detroit Lions, the Bills at the Cowboys and the Saints at the Atlanta Falcons, the third straight year the NFC South rivals will meet on the night of Thanksgiving. With Christmas Day falling on a Wednesday, there will be no Dec. 24 or Dec. 25 games this season, but the Packers will visit the Vikings on “Monday Night Football” on Dec. 23.

Among the most prominent “revenge” games on the slate: Le’Veon Bell and the Jets will host the Steelers on Dec. 22; Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will host the Washington Redskins on “Thursday Night Football” on Oct. 24; and Earl Thomas and the Ravens will visit the Seahawks on Oct. 20.

–Field Level Media

Read More 322 Words

Full 2019 NFL schedule by week

Full 2019 NFL schedule by week

Full 2019 NFL schedule by week

Full 2019 NFL schedule by week (all times local)

WEEK 1

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (Thu)# 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Los Angeles Rams at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals 1:25p (MST) 4:25p FOX

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:25p (ET) 4:25p FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Monday, September 09, 2019

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (Mon) 6:10p (CT) 7:10p ESPN

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (Mon) 7:20p (PT) 10:20p ESPN

WEEK 2

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NFLN

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Buffalo Bills at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p FOX

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (Mon)# 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 3

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NFLN

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys# 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New York Jets at New England Patriots 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals 1:05p (MST) 4:05p FOX

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05p (ET) 4:05p FOX

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Monday, September 23, 2019

Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 4

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (Thu) 7:20p (CT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins# 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Washington Redskins at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals 1:05p (MST) 4:05p FOX

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears 3:25p (CT) 4:25p CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p CBS

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, September 30, 2019

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 5

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (Thu) 5:20p (PT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders (London) 6:00p (BST) 1:00p FOX

New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans# 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, October 07, 2019

Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers (Mon) 5:15p (PT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 6

Thursday, October 10, 2019

New York Giants at New England Patriots (Thu)# 8:20p (ET) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (London) 2:30p (BST) 9:30a NFLN

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals 1:05p (MST) 4:05p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p CBS

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, October 14, 2019

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (Mon) 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 7

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (Thu) 6:20p (MT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers# 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans 3:05p (CT) 4:05p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX

Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, October 21, 2019

New England Patriots at New York Jets (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 8

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings (Thu) 7:20p (CT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New York Giants at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (London) 5:00p (BST) 1:00p CBS

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs# 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, October 28, 2019

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 9

Thursday, October 31, 2019

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (Thu) 5:20p (MST) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (London) 2:30p (BST) 9:30a NFLN

Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs# 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p CBS

Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Monday, November 04, 2019

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 10

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (Thu) 5:20p (PT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints# 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New York Giants at New York Jets 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts 4:05p (ET) 4:05p CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25p (ET) 4:25p FOX

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, November 11, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (Mon) 5:15p (PT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 11

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

New York Jets at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles# 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, November 18, 2019

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (Mexico) 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 12

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (Thu) 7:20p (CT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Giants at Chicago Bears 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets# 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans 3:05p (ET) 4:05p CBS

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots 4:25p (ET) 4:25p FOX

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Monday, November 25, 2019

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams (Mon) 5:15p (PT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 13

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving) 12:30p (ET) 12:30p FOX

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (Thanksgiving) 3:30p (CT) 4:30p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Thanksgiving) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Sunday, December 01, 2019

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens# 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals 2:05p (MST) 4:05p FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p CBS

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, December 02, 2019

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 5:15p (PT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 14

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (Thu) 7:20p (CT) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns# 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars 4:05p (ET) 4:05p FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals 2:25p (MST) 4:25p CBS

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, December 09, 2019

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 15

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p FOX/NFLN/Amazon*

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Miami Dolphins at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals 2:05p (MST) 4:05p CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, December 16, 2019

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (Mon)# 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 16

Saturday, December 21, 2019

FLEX 1:00p NFLN

FLEX 4:30p NFLN

FLEX 8:15p NFLN

Network, Date (Saturday or Sunday) & Time TBD

Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers#

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers

Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New York Giants at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25p (ET) 4:25p FOX

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, December 23, 2019

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (Mon) 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

WEEK 17

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p CBS

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

* NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

#NFL 100 Game of the Week (Week 17 TBD)

–Field Level Media

Read More 2578 Words

AAF files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

AAF files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The Alliance of

AAF files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

The Alliance of American Football filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday, 15 days after the folding of the eight-team league.

The AAF filed the bankruptcy paperwork with the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio.

Filings show the league listed $11.4 million in assets and $48.4 million in liabilities.

“The AAF is committed to ensuring that our bankruptcy proceeds in an efficient and orderly manner,” the league said in a statement. “Pursuant to the bankruptcy laws, a trustee will be empowered to resolve all matters related to the AAF’s remaining assets and liabilities, including ongoing matters related to player contracts.”

The AAF suspended operations eight weeks into a 10-game schedule. AAF majority owner Tom Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, made the call despite the protests of league co-founder Bill Polian. Television/film producer Charlie Ebersol was the other co-founder.

“We are deeply disappointed to be taking this action,” the league said in Wednesday’s bankruptcy statement. “The AAF was created to be a dynamic, developmental professional football league powered by an unprecedented alliance between players, fans and the game. The AAF strove to create new opportunities for talented players, coaches, executives and officials while providing an exciting experience for fans. We are proud of the fact that our teams and players delivered on that goal.”

The AAF’s teams were the Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Orlando Apollos, Arizona Hotshots, Salt Lake Stallions, San Antonio Commanders and San Diego Fleet.

–Field Level Media

Read More 191 Words

Florida prosecutors say they’ll release Kraft videos

Florida prosecutors say they'll release Kraft videos

Florida prosecutors say they’ll release Kraft videos

Florida prosecutors on Wednesday said they intend to release videos that allegedly show New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men engaged in sexual acts at a massage parlor because they are required to by state law.

In court documents filed by the Palm Beach County state’s attorney’s office, which were obtained by The Boston Globe, prosecutors said they “cannot delay the release of records to allow a person to raise a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents. The Public Records Act does not allow a custodian to delay the production of records to allow the resolution of a constitutional challenge to the release of the documents.”

No timetable was given for the release.

Kraft has been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution following two January visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla.

The 77-year-old billionaire’s defense team has argued in court against the release of the videos.

“It’s basically pornography,” William Burck, one of Kraft’s attorneys, said in court Friday. Burck said release of the videos would result in “catastrophic” harm for Kraft and that “the public’s interest in seeing this video is all about prurient interest.”

Kraft’s lawyers filed an emergency motion Wednesday to “oppose the State’s intended disclosure” of the videos, CNBC reported.

Several media groups also have requested the videos’ release.

“The public now has a right of access to them,” Diane Schulman, an attorney for the media groups said, adding concerns about embarrassment and publicity are not justifiable reasons to seal the videos under Florida law.

–Field Level Media

Read More 209 Words

Boom or bust? QB Murray leads list of 10 risky picks

Boom or bust? QB Murray leads list of 10 risky picks

Boom or bust? QB Murray leads list of 10 risky picks

NFL scouting departments fight to find hidden gems in the late rounds and undrafted free agency. But striking out on top picks often determines whether a team succeeds or fails.

Teams cannot avoid risky players entirely.

Obviously, every player comes with some degree of risk. Going from college to pro is a projection game for scouts and general managers. No player is going to be asked to mirror the role he played in college and the leap in competition is incredibly steep. As informative as the athletic, psychological and medical testing performed at the Combine can be, there is no exact, scientific predictor which players will work even harder after depositing their first NFL paycheck.

This top 10 list of the biggest boom-or-bust prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft zeroes in on a handful of prominent prospects, but the rundown could be all-encompassing.

In each case, the prospect could blossom into the coveted All-Pro who makes an immediate impact and turns your favorite team into a Super Bowl contender. Or, in many cases, the same players could be colossal busts, the kind of failure that results in a reset at the position in just a few years – quite possibly a new general manager, too.

Players are listed in their projected order of selection.

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma, first round: There is no greater boom-or-bust prospect in the 2019 draft. His talent is undeniable and at no time in NFL history has the league been more accommodating to a dual-threat quarterback. Yet, I’ve always been leery of quarterbacks who were only successful for one year at the major college level, were protected by a phenomenal offensive line, threw to future NFL star wide receivers and were aided by an innovative play-caller. Murray checks every one of those boxes.

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU, first round: Williams is an exceptional athletic talent worthy of being selected in the top 10 – so was Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State, Cleveland Browns). The problem? Williams didn’t show NFL production and very little in terms of technical progress in his two starting seasons at LSU. His lack of competitiveness in run support last season is troubling. Talent is there, but it would not shock me to see Williams fall out of the first round entirely.

Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson, first round: Full disclosure, I’m higher on Ferrell than most. His size, physicality and use of hands all translate well to the next level. But edge rushers get drafted in the top 10 or earn Pro Bowl nods based on their ability to affect the quarterback and Ferrell simply does not possess the quick-twitch explosiveness to consistently threaten NFL offensive tackles with his speed. I have a hard time imagining a player with his size, competitiveness and production falling too far on draft day. Some wonder if he’s a bit of a “parasite player,” who fed off attention opponents gave Clemson’s stud defensive tackles.

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi, first round: The team that hits on Metcalf could have the second coming of Calvin Johnson, who some forget was also very much a boom-bust prospect when he left Georgia Tech’s triple option offense. Of course, Johnson became one of the most dominant forces in NFL history. For all of Metcalf’s exceptional abilities, his lack of the most important one – durability – is frightening.

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington, first round: Murphy, too, struggled with durability over his short college career, a fact made more disconcerting given his physical playing style. Scouts are aware that recent former Washington cornerbacks have largely struggled to play with the same effectiveness in the NFL after leaving DB guru Jimmy Lake and the Huskies. And as any redshirt sophomore, Murphy has to convince scouts that he has the maturity to handle the responsibilities of the NFL – a concern only enflamed with his post-Combine decision to switch agents.

Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State, first round: Dillard is an easy first-round talent from an athletic perspective. He possesses the best feet of any offensive lineman in this draft, which translates beautifully to a pass blocking offense, like the one he played in with the Cougars. Few NFL teams rely on passing the ball as much as Mike Leach; I was stunned Dillard labored significantly during a relatively easy positional workout at his Pro Day. He looked out of shape, raising questions about how seriously he is taking this process.

Deionte Thompson, FS, Alabama, first-second round: Despite his exciting range and ball skills, no player has dropped further on my board than Thompson since the end of the college football regular season and that includes recently injured prospects Jeffery Simmons (Mississippi State) and Kendall Sheffield (Ohio State). Thompson struggled on the field during the playoffs, especially the national championship game loss to Clemson. Thompson raised some eyebrows at the Combine by opting not to run or jump at the Combine due to a right wrist injury and two Pro Days later, he still has not run the 40-yard dash for scouts, leaving some questioning his competitiveness and true athleticism. Thompson comes with character red-flags following an April 25, 2017 charge of felony aggravated assault in which he and three former high school teammates allegedly beat a man severely.

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State, second round: I am as intrigued by Butler’s exceptional height-weight-speed combination (6-5 3/8, 227, 4.48) as anyone and he does have some phenomenal one-handed catches to ascend to highlight reel royalty. Unfortunately, there are a fair number of two-handed drops that show up on the real tape, a significant counterbalance in the overall evaluation.

Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State, second-third round: There is no denying that in this below-average running back crop, Sanders’ prototypical 5-11, 211-pound frame, lateral agility and proven 4.4 speed stands out. Just as catching the ball is the single-most important component to playing wide receiver, hanging on to the ball is most important at running back. Given that he was only Penn State’s one season after backing up Saquon Barkley, the fact that Sanders fumbled the ball 10 times over his career (losing seven) is alarming.

Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida, second-third round: Disappointing 40-yard dash times at the Combine (4.84) and his subsequent Pro Day (4.88-4.95) have generated a ton of negative publicity for Polite since the end of the season, when he notably led the country with seven forced fumbles. I believe 40-yard dash times for defensive linemen mean very little, especially for a player with Polite’s exceptional initial burst off the line. I am concerned that Polite’s slow times could mean that the poor conditioning which plagued his early career at Florida may be a lasting worry, raising plenty of questions about how hard he will work once those NFL game checks starting coming in.

–By Rob Rang, Field Level Media

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NFL puts dates on International Series games

NFL puts dates on International Series games

Five International Series games

NFL puts dates on International Series games

Five International Series games on the 2019 NFL schedule were assigned dates on Wednesday, including a primetime AFC West rivalry game in Mexico pitting the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers at Azteca Stadium.

The matchups for all five games, four of which are scheduled to be played in London, were announced by the NFL on Jan. 21.

The Chiefs-Chargers game is the final date on the International Series schedule, which opens Oct. 6 with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders in a 1 p.m. ET game at Tottenham Stadium.

NFC South division foes are at Tottenham the following Sunday, when the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off in a 9:30 a.m. ET game (Oct. 13).

Play shifts to Wembley Stadium on Oct. 27 as the Cincinnati Bengals and NFC champion Los Angeles Rams meet (1 p.m. ET), and AFC South opponents — Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars — play Nov. 3 in a 9:30 a.m. ET contest.

The Rams were scheduled to play the Chiefs at Azteca Stadium last season, but that “Monday Night Football” game was moved to Los Angeles due to field conditions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the Super Bowl in February that NFL officials are confident the game will be played in Mexico City this year.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots sign veteran WR Thomas

Patriots sign veteran WR Thomas

The New England Patriots

Patriots sign veteran WR Thomas

The New England Patriots have signed four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to a one-year deal, according to published reports.

Thomas, 31, could earn up to $6 million on the deal, NFL Network reported. He bolsters New England’s passing attack ahead of next week’s NFL draft.

In nine seasons with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, Thomas has hauled in 688 catches for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. The Broncos traded him to the Texans before last season’s trade deadline, and he finished the year with 59 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games overall.

Thomas’ season ended Dec. 23 when he tore his left Achilles against the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be about seven months removed from the injury when the Patriots report to training camp, and it is uncertain whether he will be fully recovered for the first practice.

Last season’s production marked a decline for Thomas, who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in five straight seasons from 2012-16. He was part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship team during the 2015 season and has scored six touchdowns in 10 career playoff games.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has spoken highly of Thomas in the past. He complimented the receiver and Emmanuel Sanders before the 2015 AFC title game.

“You can’t just take away one thing,” Belichick said in comments published by the Boston Herald. “They’re both great catch-and-run players. They can both beat you on intermediate routes, come-backs, in-cuts, slim posts, things like that, and then they’re both great down the field with vertical routes.”

Thomas joins a group of receivers in New England that includes top target Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Bruce Ellington, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios and others. Josh Gordon has been indefinitely suspended by the league.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: QB Wilson becomes league’s top-paid player

NFL notebook: QB Wilson becomes league's top-paid player

NFL notebook: QB Wilson becomes league’s top-paid player

The Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson agreed to a four-year extension worth a reported $140 million, making the franchise quarterback the highest-paid player in the NFL.

The deal, which includes a $65 million signing bonus and no-trade clause, was reached late Monday night. Wilson confirmed the new deal in a Twitter post early Tuesday.

“Hey Seattle, we got a deal,” Wilson said from his bed, next to his wife, Ciara. “Go Hawks. But I’ma see y’all in the morning. Time for y’all to go to bed.”

Wilson’s reported annual average of $35 million tops the blockbuster extension signed last summer by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers at $33.5 million. Rodgers’ deal included a $57.5 million signing bonus, also topped by Wilson.

–The Oakland Athletics reportedly offered Kyler Murray, their 2018 first-round draft pick, a whole lot of money to give up his football dreams.

Sports Illustrated reported that Oakland offered to add a guaranteed $14 million to his $4.6 million signing bonus to try to persuade the Heisman Trophy winner to play baseball. The A’s also would have added him to their 40-man roster.

Instead, the 21-year-old Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma last season, walked away from baseball to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. He could be the first player selected when the draft kicks off on April 25 in Nashville, Tenn.

–The Atlanta Falcons reunited with defensive end Chris Odom and signed offensive lineman John Wetzel, the team announced.

Odom got a two-year deal. The 24-year-old originally signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2017 but was eventually cut. He went on to play seven games with Green Bay and is coming off a halted season in the Alliance of American Football league where he registered 2.5 sacks for the Salt Lake Stallions.

Wetzel, 27, inked a one-year deal with the Falcons after spending the past three seasons with Arizona, where he made 24 starts. The 6-foot-7 combo guard/tackle was put on injured reserve last November due to a neck injury.

–Los Angeles Chargers wideout Travis Benjamin received a one-year extension through 2020 as part of a reworked contract, ESPN reported.

Benjamin reportedly will receive a $3 million signing bonus in exchange for agreeing to reduce his 2019 base salary from $5.25 million to $1 million. His 2020 salary wasn’t immediately known.

The new agreement creates $2.75 million in salary-cap space for the Chargers, according to ESPN.

–The New England Patriots signed four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to a one-year deal, according to published reports.

Thomas, 31, could earn up to $6 million on the deal, NFL Network reported. He bolsters New England’s passing attack ahead of next week’s NFL draft.

In nine seasons with Denver and Houston, Thomas has hauled in 688 catches for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. The Broncos traded him to the Texans before last season’s trade deadline, and he finished the year with 59 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games overall.

–Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller announced his retirement, 18 months after he sustained a horrific knee injury.

He had hoped to return to the game but in an Instagram post said he just physically couldn’t do it.

“The time has come to move on from playing the game of football,” Miller, 34, said in the post. “It has been an incredible journey for myself and my entire family and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support. I would love more than anything to step on Soldier Field one last time but I physically cannot give the game and our fans what they deserve.”

–The NFL will release the 2019 schedule Wednesday night during a televised show on NFL Network.

The unveiling begins at 8 p.m. ET, and it comes one week before the NFL draft, which starts April 25.

The NFL previously announced that the season will kick off Sept. 5 with a game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, a storied rivalry to commemorate the league’s 100th anniversary.

–Field Level Media

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