Rams settle lawsuit over personal seat licenses in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of people who paid a fee giving them the right to buy season tickets for the former St. Louis Rams.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a settlement notice was filed in federal court Monday but details of the agreement were not released.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of fans who bought personal seat licenses, or PSLs. The licenses were good for 30 seasons, which was the length of the stadium lease at the former Edward Jones Dome. The Rams moved to Los Angeles in 2016 after 21 seasons in St. Louis.

The case involves more than 20,000 ticket accounts. The lawsuit sought a refund for the nine unused years of the seat license fee, plus damages.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

Draw held for WGC match play event

Draw held for WGC match play event

Draw held for WGC match play event

Defending champion Bubba Watson is in the same group as local standout Jordan Spieth after the draw for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was held Monday.

The event at Austin Country Club in Texas begins on Wednesday, but the selection process via lottery balls determined the pairings of 16 four-player groups.

Fellow Americans Billy Horschel and Kevin Na are also part of Group 15 with Watson and Spieth. Golfers in each group face one another in round-robin play Wednesday through Friday before the winners advance to the knockout rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

Tiger Woods, a three-time event winner, is participating for the first time since 2013. He is in Group 13 along with three other Americans — Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker and Aaron Wise.

Group 12 features 2016 and 2014 champion Jason Day of Australia and Phil Mickelson, along with Jim Furyk and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. Group 16 includes Patrick Reed and Spain’s Sergio Garcia.

England’s Ian Poulter, part of Group 14 with Tony Finau, has won 27 matches at the event, second to Woods’ 33.

Not surprisingly, he likes playing one-on-one.

“It’s a great form of golf,” Poulter told the Golf Channel. “It’s a pure form for the simple fact that you can see your opponent’s eyes. You can try to control your match as much as you can with your own play. The clock starts ticking as soon as you tee off. You need to try to dispose your man as soon as possible, and that’s what I’ll be trying to do over the next few days.”

American Xander Schauffele is part of Group 9 with three Europeans. Schauffele admits he plays differently in this format.

“More aggression, I’d say. Consistent aggression,” Schauffele told the Golf Channel. “There’s no cut and overall, just the same sore of positive attitude as stroke play, but definitely more happy-go-lucky. That’s sort of my style for match play.”

Top-seeded Dustin Johnson, who won the event two years ago, is in Group 1. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is one of the others in the group.

All groups (seeds in parenthesis)

Group 1 — (1) Dustin Johnson, (24) Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), (40) Branden Grace (South Africa), (55) Chez Reavie

Group 2 — (2) Justin Rose (England), (22) Gary Woodland, (34) Eddie Pepperell (England), (53) Emiliano Grillo (Argentina)

Group 3 — (3) Brooks Koepka, (27) Alex Noren (Sweden), (36) Haotong Li (China), (60) Tom Lewis (England)

Group 4 — (4) Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), (32) Matthew Fitzpatrick (England), (47) Justin Harding (South Africa), (64) Luke List

Group 5 — (5) Justin Thomas, (31) Keegan Bradley, (33) Matt Wallace (England), (50) Lucas Bjerregaard (Denmark)

Group 6 — (6) Bryson DeChambeau, (17) Marc Leishman (Australia), (39) Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), (59) Russell Knox (Scotland)

Group 7 — (7) Francesco Molinari (Italy), (21) Webb Simpson (45) Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark), (63) Satoshi Kodaira (Japan)

Group 8 — (8) Jon Rahm (Spain), (23) Matt Kuchar (43), J.B. Holmes (54), Si Woo Kim (South Korea)

Group 9 — (9) Xander Schauffele, (29) Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain), (35) Tyrrell Hatton (England), (62) Lee Westwood (England)

Group 10 — (10) Paul Casey (England), (25) Cameron Smith (Australia), (42) Charles Howell III, (58) Abraham Ancer (Mexico)

Group 11 — (11) Tommy Fleetwood (England), (19) Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), (41) Kyle Stanley, (49) Byeong-Hun An (South Korea)

Group 12 — (12) Jason Day (Australia), (20) Phil Mickelson, (37) Henrik Stenson (Sweden), (52) Jim Furyk

Group 13 — (13) Tiger Woods (18), Patrick Cantlay, (44) Brandt Snedeker, (61) Aaron Wise

Group 14 — (14) Tony Finau, (30) Ian Poulter (England), (48) Kevin Kisner, (56) Keith Mitchell

Group 15 — (15) Bubba Watson, (28) Jordan Spieth, (38) Billy Horschel, (57) Kevin Na

Group 16 — (16) Patrick Reed, (26) Sergio Garcia (Spain), (46) Shane Lowry (Ireland), (51) Andrew Putnam

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Gruden affirms Carr as Raiders’ QB

NFL notebook: Gruden affirms Carr as Raiders' QB

NFL notebook: Gruden affirms Carr as Raiders’ QB

Amid rumors and speculation that the Oakland Raiders could be looking to move on from Derek Carr, coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Carr’s status is set for 2019.

“Yeah. He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said in an interview with NFL Network from the league meetings in Phoenix. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors.”

Gruden also confirmed the team will conduct private workouts with top quarterback prospects Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, as The MMQB reported earlier Monday. But he noted that those workouts are simply part of the team’s due diligence.

“We’re going to meet with a lot of guys at every position,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to look past anybody at any position.”

–NFL owners unanimously approved the Raiders’ lease agreement with the city of Oakland, keeping the team in the city for one more season before the club relocates to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority voted unanimously 10 days earlier to approve a new stadium lease with the franchise.

The Raiders will play seven games in Oakland in 2019, with an eighth “home” game scheduled against the Chicago Bears in London.

–Rob Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, suggested the now-retired tight end might come back for a few games if he was asked by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

“If the team was struggling or they needed him at some point next year, and let’s just say hypothetically Tom Brady gave him a call and said ‘Rob, I need you,’ I wouldn’t be shocked if he came back to play a few games,” Rosenhaus said.

–The Bears and Green Bay Packers will kick off the NFL’s 100th season when they meet at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Thursday night, Sept. 5.

The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will open their season on Sunday night, Sept. 8, against a yet-to-be-announced opponent. It will be the first time since 2003 that the Super Bowl champion won’t play in the season’s first game.

–Free agent defensive end Ziggy Ansah might not sign with a team until mid-April, NFL Network reported, due to concerns about his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Per the report, teams would like to know more about Ansah’s shoulder and will wait for his four-month checkup. Ansah reportedly visited the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints earlier this month.

A first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2013, Ansah missed nine games last season while playing on the franchise tag. He will turn 30 in May.

–Lions nose tackle Damon Harrison has approached the team about a new contract after changing agents this offseason, MLive.com reported.

Harrison, 30, was acquired for a conditional fifth-round pick from the New York Giants last offseason. One of the best run-stoppers in football, he has two years and $15.75 million remaining on his contract, with a $7 million cap figure for 2019.

Meanwhile, the Lions are bringing former Indianapolis Colts wideout Dontrelle Inman for a free agent visit, according to NFL Network.

–Defensive lineman Malik McDowell, a second-round pick in 2017 who has never played in the NFL because of off-field injuries, has been cleared to play by independent doctors, according to Rosenhaus, his agent.

McDowell sustained reported extensive head and eye injuries in July 2017 in an ATV accident. He was waived with a non-football-injury designation by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month.

–The San Francisco 49ers do not plan to release running back Jerick McKinnon, general manager John Lynch said.

McKinnon, who turns 27 in May, missed all of last season with a torn ACL after joining the 49ers on a four-year, $30 million deal. San Francisco added former Falcons running back Tevin Coleman in free agency this month.

–After being cut by the Tennessee Titans 10 days ago, quarterback Blaine Gabbert is expected to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to The Athletic.

Gabbert played for new Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians while both were with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.

–The New York Jets re-signed outside linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Neal Sterling.

Copeland’s deal is for one year and $1.25 million, with an additional $1.75 million in incentives, the New York Daily News reported. He had five sacks and 14 QB hits last season, his first in New York.

–The Buffalo Bills added a familiar face by signing cornerback E.J. Gaines to a one-year contract.

Per the Houston Chronicle, the deal will pay Gaines, who spent 2017 in Buffalo, $3.6 million for the 2019 season.

–Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Nick Perry is visiting the Seahawks, CBS Sports reported.

Perry, who was released earlier this month, had 1.5 sacks in nine games last season after totaling 18 over the previous two years. He turns 29 in April.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ravens QB Griffin III sued by former agent

Report: Ravens QB Griffin III sued by former agent

Baltimore Ravens backup

Report: Ravens QB Griffin III sued by former agent

Baltimore Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III is being sued by his former agent for more than $650,000, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Court filings in Missouri last week indicate agent Ben Dogra claims that Griffin has not paid his 15 percent share of marketing and endorsement deals. ESPN reported the amount in question Tuesday.

Last week, Griffin re-signed with the Ravens. Last season, Griffin signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract to be the third quarterback in Baltimore.

He fired Dogra in 2018.

Court documents revealed Dogra’s claim that he invoiced Griffin for $390,000 in 2014 and $260,000 in 2015, but was paid a total of $49,000. In 2016, Dogra invoiced for $59,000 but received no pay.

–Field Level Media

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Saints sign free agent TE Cook

Saints sign free agent TE Cook

Saints sign free agent TE Cook

The New Orleans Saints signed unrestricted free agent Jared Cook on Tuesday, filling a hole at tight end.

The Saints had been targeting Cook through the offseason after the retirement of Benjamin Watson. Cook made a career-high 68 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns with the Oakland Raiders in 2018, when he earned his first Pro Bowl nod.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Cook, who turns 32 next month, has been productive in stints with the Raiders, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. He has 425 catches for 5,464 yards and 25 touchdowns in a 10-year career. Cook has at least 39 receptions in seven of the past eight seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks WR Baldwin set for hernia surgery

Seahawks WR Baldwin set for hernia surgery

Seahawks WR Baldwin set for hernia surgery

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin will undergo sports hernia surgery on April 4, coach Pete Carroll confirmed at the NFL meetings in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Baldwin, who underwent shoulder and knee surgeries after last season, hinted at needing the procedure during a radio appearance last week.

Carroll said at the NFL Scouting Combine late last month that Baldwin was expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 season, but the coach didn’t offer a new timetable on Tuesday.

Baldwin, 30, missed two games in September with the knee injury, which bothered him even before the start of the season. His shoulder problem arose later in the campaign.

In 13 regular-season games last season, Baldwin caught 50 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns. Baldwin had three receptions for 32 yards in a playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys in January. He is entering his ninth season with Seattle.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders sign backup QB Jones

Raiders sign backup QB Jones

The Oakland Raiders have signed

Raiders sign backup QB Jones

The Oakland Raiders have signed quarterback Landry Jones, giving head coach Jon Gruden another prospective backup to David Carr.

The team announced his signing on Tuesday but didn’t reveal contract terms.

The Raiders already have veteran Mike Glennon and ex-Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman on the roster, but Jones brings something to the team they don’t have: familiarity with recently acquired star wideout Antonio Brown.

Jones, who turns 30 next week, spent five seasons (2013-17) as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup in Pittsburgh, and Gruden said Jones can help Brown adjust to the Oakland offense.

“Landry Jones is a guy that’s started and won games in the league,” Gruden told reporters at the annual league meeting on Tuesday.

“He can help us with Antonio’s transition as well. ‘What’d they call this in Pittsburgh?’ ‘Why did he convert his route and do that?’ So there are some really interesting side things that Landry can bring to the table also.”

With the Steelers, Jones played in 19 games (five starts), passing for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He started the 2018 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was released in November without playing in a game.

On Monday, Gruden committed to Carr as the team’s quarterback in 2019, despite speculation the Raiders are interested in selecting a quarterback in next month’s NFL Draft. The Raiders have three first-round picks — Nos. 4, 24 and 27.

Gruden has said the team will meet with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, who finished third in the balloting.

–Field Level Media

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Rosenhaus: DL McDowell cleared after missing two seasons

Rosenhaus: DL McDowell cleared after missing two seasons

Rosenhaus: DL McDowell cleared after missing two seasons

Defensive lineman Malik McDowell, a second-round pick in 2017 who has never played in the NFL because of off-field injuries, has been cleared to play, his agent Drew Rosenhaus said Monday.

McDowell suffered reported extensive head and eye injuries in July 2017 in an ATV accident. He was waived with a non-football injury designation by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month, becoming a free agent.

“Unfortunately Malik got injured and it was a brain injury, a head injury,” Rosenhaus said in Phoenix at the NFL owners meetings, according to the Seattle Times.

“And the Seahawks, they did a wonderful job of exhaustively checking to see if they could get him cleared to play. Ultimately their doctors were not comfortable clearing him. He has since been cleared by independent doctors.”

McDowell visited last week with the Dallas Cowboys.

“So hopefully he will be able to continue his career, possibly with (Dallas),” Rosenhaus said.

Seattle traded down from the 26th pick in the 2017 draft to take McDowell at No. 35. McDowell last played in 2016 for Michigan State.

–Field Level Media

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PGA Tour suspends Garrigus for drug use

PGA Tour suspends Garrigus for drug use

PGA Tour suspends Garrigus for drug use

Golfer Robert Garrigus been suspended for three months for violation of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping program, the tour announced Friday.

The PGA did not specify the substance, identifying it only as a “drug of abuse.”

Garrigus, 41, has talked publicly about previous addiction struggles: He admitted to smoking marijuana regularly while playing on the Web.com Tour (called the Buy.com Tour at the time) and spent 45 days in drug rehabilitation in 2003.

The Idaho native turned pro in 1997 and has one PGA Tour win, at the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic. In 2019, he has competed in four tournaments, missing three cuts and finishing tied for 64th at the Genesis Open.

He is 201st in the FedExCup standings and 450th in the world golf rankings.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Falcons, WR Jones closing in on extension

Report: Falcons, WR Jones closing in on extension

The Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Julio Jones are

Report: Falcons, WR Jones closing in on extension

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

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

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

Jones, 30, has two years and $21 million remaining on a five-year extension he signed in August 2015. He stayed away from the Falcons throughout the 2018 offseason while seeking further contract guarantees. The team responded by turning $4.4 million of his future salary into a signing bonus while reportedly promising to redo the deal after the 2018 season, a rare concession for a player with multiple years remaining on his deal.

Jones had 113 receptions for an NFL-high 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018, with all three figures marking his best since 2015. He earned his fifth straight Pro Bowl nod and played in all 16 games for the second consecutive season and the third time in four years.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders sign QB Glennon, S Riley

Raiders sign QB Glennon, S Riley

The Oakland Raiders signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon and safety

Raiders sign QB Glennon, S Riley

The Oakland Raiders signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon and safety Curtis Riley on Friday, the team announced.

The Raiders released AJ McCarron last week, creating a need for a backup quarterback behind Derek Carr.

Glennon, 29, was released by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month after joining the team on a two-year, $8 million deal last spring. It was his second consecutive year getting cut after one year with a new team, as the Chicago Bears released him last March after adding him on a three-year, $45 million deal in 2017.

Glennon saw action in two games for Arizona, going 15 of 21 for 174 yards and a touchdown. He went 1-3 as a starter for Chicago in 2017, throwing for 833 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions.

A former third-round pick out of N.C. State by the Buccaneers, Glennon has a career passer rating of 84.0, with 5,107 yards, 35 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 27 games (22 starts).

Riley, 26, started all 16 games for the New York Giants in 2018, nabbing four interceptions and totaling 75 tackles. A former undrafted free agent out of Fresno State, he spent his first two seasons with the Tennessee Titans as a reserve, before earning a starting job with the Giants.

–Field Level Media

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Casey, Cook share Valspar lead

Casey, Cook share Valspar lead

If

Casey, Cook share Valspar lead

If there’s a horse for the course this week at the Valspar Championship, Paul Casey certainly fits that bill. However, there are plenty of golfers poised and ready to give the Englishman a challenge over the next two days on one of the PGA Tour’s toughest tests.

Casey, the defending champion, is tied with American Austin Cook at 6-under-par 136, good enough for a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second round under sunny, and ultimately wind-swept, conditions at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Casey’s 5-under-par 66 was tied for the low score for the second round and featured four birdies, an eagle (on the par-5 fifth hole) and just one bogey on the course that ends with the famed “Snake Pit,” a three-hole, closing stretch that’s among the hardest on the circuit.

“Champions always like the golf courses they win on,” Casey said about the Copperhead Course. “It’s really quality, and it’s very tough as well. There’s a premium on ball-striking. Scoring’s never that low around here. Bogeys do happen, and if you can just minimize those, it puts you in a good position.”

Casey, who came second in February at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his best finish of the 2018-19 season, is a two-time PGA Tour winner and has captured 13 events on the European Tour and two on the Asian Tour. His victory at the Valspar last year was his first on the PGA Tour since the Shell Houston Open in 2009.

“I worked very, very hard on the game, and for whatever reason, it’s slowed things down,” Casey said. “I’ve quieted the transition at the top of the swing. These are very, very difficult greens, but that’s the way I kind of like them. It’s why I play well at places like Augusta as well. It’s clicked (this week), and I’m near the top of my game, which is good.”

Cook’s 67 on Friday included five birdies and a bogey. He is in the hunt for his second PGA Tour win. He made the cut at Innisbrook last year in his only other time playing the event.

“The first nine holes we played in no wind, so it was as easy as you could get this golf course,” Cook said. “The wind definitely picked up, and that back side, going through the Snake Pit with all the wind, was tough. I played it well — I had three great birdie opportunities and just didn’t make any of them. I’m looking forward to the weekend and happy about where the game is right now.”

Scott Stallings (who shot 3 under on Friday), Luke Donald of England (1 under), and Sungjae Im of South Korea (4 under) are tied for third at 5 under.

Donald had a share of the lead until he bogeyed the par-3 eighth, his 17th hole of the day.

Donald, who spent 56 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world in a stretch from 2011 and 2012, is currently ranked 919th. He has battled a back injury that forced him to miss most of last season and hasn’t won anywhere since the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan in 2013. Donald’s most recent victory in the United States was this event, then called the Transitions Championship, in 2012.

“It was a mixed bag today — a few bogeys, a few birdies,” Donald said. “Overall, pretty pleased, I really haven’t had too many reps, and maybe lost a little bit of focus down the stretch there the last few holes, but overall I’m in a great position. I’m thankful that I feel good and healthy and ready for a weekend. It’s been awhile.”

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is playing in this tournament for the first time since 2010, carded a 2-under 69 and is tied for sixth along with first-round co-leader Joel Dahmen (1 over) and Australian Curtis Luck (3 under), two shots off the pace.

Americans Roberto Castro (even), Lucas Glover (4 under), Shawn Stefani (even) and Kramer Hickok (3 under) are tied for ninth at 3 under with Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini (2 under) and Spain’s Jon Rahm (3 under). Twenty-two players are within five strokes of Casey and Cook’s lead.

Austria’s Sepp Straka, the first-round co-leader, followed his opening-round 66 with a 76 on Friday and is in a pack of golfers at even-par 142.

Seventy players made the cut at 1-over 143 or better. The list of golfers who will not be around for the weekend includes Americans Ryan Moore, Ollie Schniederjans, Kenny Perry, Gary Woodland, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed; K.J. Choi of South Korea; Charl Schwartzel of South Africa; Jason Day of Australia; and, 17-year-old American amateur Akshay Bhatia (who finished at 4 over).

–Field Level Media

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Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

The attorney of New

Patriots owner Kraft fights back against charges

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, Kraft is prepared to fight the charges.

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

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

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

NFL notebook: Falcons, Jones close to extension

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

The Houston Texans agreed with offensive tackle

Reports: Texans add ex-Panthers OT Kalil

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Casey defends title at Valspar Championship

Casey defends title at Valspar Championship

Casey defends title at Valspar Championship

England’s Paul Casey limited his mistakes and grinded his way to a one-shot victory on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, becoming the first player to defend his title at the event in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Casey let the challenging Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort whittle away his competition down the stretch. His 1-over 72 in the final round left him at 8 under, edging Jason Kokrak (final round of 71) and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (69) by a stroke.

Bubba Watson fired a 68 on Sunday to climb 10 spots and into a tie for fourth with Sungjae Im of South Korea (71) at 6 under.

Casey began the day at 9 under and never surrendered the lead, although there were times when others tied him atop the leaderboard. One of those times happened when Casey bogeyed the par-3 13th, allowing Oosthuizen and Kokrak to join him in first place.

Casey then birdied the par-5 14th after hitting a pitch to within 3 feet to retake the lead. He survived the par-4 16th by again relying on his short game, pitching from a gnarly, deep-grass lie from behind the green to 5 feet and calmly rolling in the ensuing putt.

After Casey bogeyed the 17th to fall back into a tie with Kokrak, he watched from the fairway as Kokrak bogeyed the 18th — not even touching the hole from 5 feet on his par putt.

Casey then hit his approach from a fairway bunker, found the putting surface 23 feet from the cup and two-putted to close out the victory. His victory here last year was his second on the PGA Tour and first since the 2009 Shell Houston Open.

It was the third career win for the 41-year-old Casey on the PGA Tour (he had 12 European Tour wins and three others internationally) and the first time he has ever defended a title.

Two of the scenarios that could have played out on Sunday never did.

Casey was paired with Dustin Johnson, the world’s top-ranked player, and those two could have turned the final 18 holes into a match play competition. Bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 by Johnson, who began the day a shot behind Casey in second place, quickly dropped him off the pace and he never recovered.

Johnson’s birdie-free 74 was his first over-par final round of the season. He finished tied for sixth at 5 under with Spain’s Jon Rahm (68) and Ryan Armour (69).

Casey was also wary that a golfer or two from a few shots off the pace but playing earlier in the day when the course was a little easier might post a good score and sit and watch in the clubhouse as the leaders faltered at the end.

Casey knew of that opportunity because that’s how he won here last year, beginning the final round tied for 11th before carding a 65 and completing his round when the final group was on No. 12.

Thirteen players began the final round within five strokes of the lead to set that table, but the situation never materialized, with the Copperhead Course and the warm and windy conditions allowing a low round of 68 on Sunday, achieved by four golfers.

Instead, Casey trudged along, recording four birdies and four bogeys through the first 14 holes as the last four groups headed into the course’s treacherous “Snake Pit,” which ranks among the toughest closing stretches on Tour.

The PGA Tour heads to a split schedule next week with the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play being competed in Austin beginning Wednesday and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic teeing off on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by

NFL notebook: Bengals release LB Burfict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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QB Mayfield: ‘It’s an exciting time in Cleveland’

QB Mayfield: 'It's an exciting time in Cleveland'

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Friday he can't wait to show the fans what

QB Mayfield: ‘It’s an exciting time in Cleveland’

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Friday he can’t wait to show the fans what the team can do in 2019.

“It’s an exciting time in Cleveland, absolutely,” Mayfield said. “The fans there, after having a decent year, nothing that we were too happy about (7-8-1), were unbelievably satisfied. But now, I can’t even imagine.

Mayfield made his first public comments since the Browns acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants on Tuesday. He spoke to the media from the Milwaukee Brewers spring training locker room in Phoenix, where he spent the day as a guest of his close friend, Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.

The Browns have spent the offseason surrounding the second-year quarterback with offensive weapons, most notably Beckham and running back Kareem Hunt, who must serve an eight-game NFL suspension before he can take the field. Beckham is reunited in Cleveland with wide receiver Jarvis Landry, his teammate at LSU and training partner in the NFL.

He called the offense “a thing where you pick your poison.”

When a reporter asked Mayfield about the oversized personalities of Landry and Beckham, he said he has no intention of trying to change anything about the receivers.

“You could say the same thing about me; you don’t want to tame it,” Mayfield said. “You just let them be themselves and make plays. That’s who they are, and when it comes down to it, the guys in that locker room, you’re going to love playing with them.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was informed

Reports: Bengals release LB Burfict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

The Kansas

Report: Chiefs to sign ex-Packers CB Breeland

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

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

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

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

–Field Level Media

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