Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs’ Hill

Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs’ Hill

Prosecutors in suburban Kansas City are not looking into Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill on suspicion of child abuse but the Kansas Department for Children and Families is continuing to investigate Hill.

In the meantime, his status with the team remains uncertain.

The Kansas City Star reported Friday that Steve Howe, the Johnson County district attorney, said a criminal investigation is inactive but added, “As in any case, if we receive additional evidence we reevaluate.”

In April, Howe’s office declined to press charges against Hill or his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, after an incident in which their young son suffered a broken arm. He said he believed someone had hurt the child but couldn’t prove it.

Howe told The Star that those remarks “still hold true.”

Two days after Howe’s April news conference, an audiotape emerged in which Espinal accuses Hill of breaking the boy’s arm, and he threatens her in return. The Chiefs banned Hill, 25, from participating in team activities but did not cut ties with him. At the time, head coach Andy Reid said the investigation had been reopened.

“It’s my understanding the criminal investigation has been closed for quite some time now and obviously there’s been some misinformation about that, but it is closed,” Hill’s attorney, Trey Pettlon, told The Star.

NFL officials have launched an investigation into Hill, but they have not yet interviewed him. League spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Star that the league is waiting for the Department for Children and Families to give its permission.

Through their lawyer, Hill and Espinal have denied allegations of child abuse.

Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first three seasons with the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Patriots get off to strong start, cruise past Steelers

Patriots get off to strong start, cruise past Steelers

Patriots get off to strong start, cruise past Steelers

Seemingly ageless Tom Brady passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the New England Patriots toppled the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3.

The Patriots held a pregame celebration for their Super Bowl championship, then began defense of that title in strong style.

Brady improved to 6-0 at home against Pittsburgh. The 42-year-old was 24 of 36, hitting Phillip Dorsett for two touchdowns and Josh Gordon for another.

Stephen Gostkowski added four field goals.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 27 of 47 for 276 passing yards, with an interception.

The Patriots thwarted the Steelers’ offense (308 total yards) without linebacker Kyle Van Noy, last season’s leading tackler, whose wife was in labor. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore stepped up to provide strong coverage on top Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had six receptions for 78 yards.

New England led 7-0 after the first quarter and 20-0 at halftime.

The Patriots moved 82 yards on seven plays, shrugging off an offensive pass interference penalty, to take a 7-0 lead on Brady’s 20-yard scoring pass to Gordon at 4:46 of the first quarter.

At 11:52 of the second, Gostkowski’s 25-yarder made it 10-0.

Dorsett got behind the defense at the goal line to pull in a 25-yard pass from Brady to push it to 17-0 at 3:49 of the second.

The Steelers failed to convert on a fourth-and-1 at midfield, helping to set up Gostkowski’s 41-yard field goal to make it 20-0 with 21 seconds left before halftime.

Pittsburgh finally moved down the field early in the second half but stalled inside the 5 and settled for a Chris Boswell 19-yard field goal to close it to 20-3 at 10:17 of the third.

Brady and Dorsett hooked up again at 8:05 of the third as Dorsett sped far behind the defense for a 58-yard scoring catch to make it 27-3.

Gordon’s 44-yard catch in traffic keyed a 73-yard drive that culminated in Gostkowski’s 35-yard field goal for a 30-3 Patriots lead with 13 seconds left in the third.

Gostkowski added a 39-yarder at 6:38 of the fourth.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Falcons rookie Lindstrom may have broken foot

Report: Falcons rookie Lindstrom may have broken foot

Report: Falcons rookie Lindstrom may have broken foot

The Atlanta Falcons fear first-round offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom fractured his foot in Sunday’s season-opening loss at the Minnesota Vikings, FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported.

Lindstrom, the 14th overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Boston College, started at right guard in his NFL debut.

He will have further tests Monday and the Falcons are “holding out hope,” per the report.

Lindstrom, 22, signed a four-year, $14.7 million rookie contract that included an $8.7 million signing bonus.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots’ Brady offers Brown room at his house

Report: Patriots' Brady offers Brown room at his house

Report: Patriots’ Brady offers Brown room at his house

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft approached Tom Brady about the news that embattled Antonio Brown would join the team.

“I’m 100 percent in,” Brady said.

Two minutes later, the future Hall of Fame quarterback clarified his stance.

“I’m 1,000 percent in,” Brady said.

Two minutes later, another clarification.

“I’m 1 million percent in,” Brady said.

Al Michaels of NBC Sports relayed the account Sunday night before the Patriots hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. One day earlier, the Patriots agreed to a deal with Brown after he was released by the Oakland Raiders.

Brown’s stint with the Raiders was littered with strange behaviors and problems with authority. The star receiver’s tenure with the Steelers also ended in controversy.

Could Brown turn things around in New England? He has at least one big advocate, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

“Drew said that Brady told Brown, ‘Come move in with me until you get settled in New England,'” Michaels said. “How happy is Tom?”

Brown has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in seven of the past eight seasons. Brady entered Sunday with 517 touchdown passes in his illustrious career.

–Field Level Media

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NFL roundup: Jones rallies Giants past Bucs in debut

NFL roundup: Jones rallies Giants past Bucs in debut

NFL roundup: Jones rallies Giants past Bucs in debut

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones led the Saquon Barkley-less New York Giants on a game-winning drive in the final two minutes in his first career start to defeat the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-31 on Sunday.

Matt Gay missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired to seal the victory for New York (1-2). Gay had made four previous field goals but had missed two extra points, one of which was blocked.

Jones completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns, plus two scores on the ground. He was 5 of 7 on the go-ahead drive that covered 75 yards and ended with his 7-yard rushing score with 1:16 remaining to put the Giants up for the first time all day. Jones was the team’s leading rusher with 28 yards.

Barkley, who hurt his ankle in the second quarter when tackled awkwardly by safety Mike Edwards, had to be helped off the field. The running back — who had eight carries for 10 yards — was later seen on the sidelines with a walking boot and using crutches.

Chiefs 33, Ravens 28

Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards and three touchdowns as Kansas City won its home opener by outlasting Baltimore.

The 300-yard passing performance was the 13th for Mahomes in 20 career starts. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 22 of 43 passes for 267 yards and rushed for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:01 remaining, but his two-point rush failed.

A 14-yard pass to LeSean McCoy with 2:07 left in the third quarter resulted in the Chiefs’ last touchdown as Mahomes went 27 of 37. Tight end Travis Kelce topped the Chiefs with seven receptions, while Darrel Williams had 62 of the team’s 140 rushing yards.

Patriots 30, Jets 14

Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns while passing Drew Brees for second place in career touchdown passes, and New England continued its early-season roll with a victory over New York in Foxborough, Mass.

Brady was 28-of-42 passing and threw first-half touchdown passes to Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman, giving him 524 career touchdown passes, two more than Brees in league history and trailing only Peyton Manning (539). Brees is expected to miss another five weeks or more with a thumb injury.

Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead had rushing touchdowns for the Patriots, who threatened an NFL record for fewest points allowed in the first three games of the season before Jamal Adams intercepted a Jarrett Stidham pass and went 61 yards for a touchdown with 6:23 remaining.

Cowboys 31, Dolphins 6

Dak Prescott passed for 246 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third TD as Dallas rolled past hapless Miami in Arlington, Texas and remained undefeated.

Both of Prescott’s scoring passes went to Amari Cooper, who led the Cowboys with six catches for 88 yards. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 125 yards on 19 carries, and Tony Pollard added 103 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries as Dallas recorded its first back-to-back games with 200 yards rushing since 2009.

Josh Rosen, who was acquired in the offseason after starting 13 games last season for Arizona, started for the first time for the Dolphins and passed for 200 yards. He was sacked three times by the Cowboys, who entered the game with just two sacks in their first two games.

Packers 27, Broncos 16

Aaron Rodgers threw for 235 yards and one touchdown as Green Bay beat visiting Denver in a battle of first-year head coaches and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

The Packers improved to 3-0 under coach Matt LaFleur, while the Broncos fell to 0-3 under Vic Fangio. Denver’s Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards but tossed one interception and was sacked six times.

The Broncos controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes and ran 21 more plays. Six of their first nine possessions reached Green Bay’s side of the field. Their final possession in Green Bay territory came late in the fourth quarter, with Denver trailing by 11. The Packers got a turnover on downs when outside linebacker Preston Smith made his third sack of the game.

Colts 27, Falcons 24

Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards as host Indianapolis earned its second straight win, holding off Atlanta.

Brissett completed 28 of 37 passes, including an 11-yard strike to Jack Doyle in the final two minutes for a first down to the Atlanta 16 that sealed the outcome. The Colts also got 74 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries from Marlon Mack, who provided the Colts’ final score, running 4 yards with 8:40 left to lead 27-17.

The Falcons drew back within a field goal on Matt Ryan’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 4:11 left, but never saw the ball again.

Lions 27, Eagles 24

Matthew Stafford completed 18 of 32 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown, and Detroit remained unbeaten with a victory at Philadelphia.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had six receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown as the Lions improved to 2-0-1. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was 19 of 36 for 259 yards and two touchdowns to Nelson Agholor, but Philadelphia fell to 1-2.

The Eagles had one last chance to win when Malcolm Jenkins blocked a 46-yard field-goal attempt by Matt Prater just inside the two-minute warning. Wentz connected with running back Darren Sproles on fourth-and-5 for a 25-yard strike to get to the Lions’ 20, but Sproles was called for pass interference to negate the play.

Texans 27, Chargers 20

Deshaun Watson connected with tight end Jordan Akins for two second-half touchdowns to lead Houston to a come-from-behind victory over Los Angeles on Sunday at Carson, Calif.

Watson escaped the grasp of Melvin Ingram and hit Akins for a 53-yard scoring play with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter to make it 27-17. The Texans missed the PAT.

The Chargers had appeared to stop the Texans’ drive five plays earlier on Rayshawn Jenkins’ interception, but the turnover was nullified by offsetting penalties, including a facemask infraction on Desmond King. Los Angeles’ 14-play, 60-yard drive in the final minutes ended when Philip Rivers’ fourth-and-14 pass fell incomplete.

Vikings 34, Raiders 14

Minnesota got rushing touchdowns from three different players and totaled 211 yards on the ground in bulldozing visiting Oakland in Minneapolis.

Adam Thielen scored twice, once on a pass from Kirk Cousins, and the Vikings’ defense harassed Derek Carr into four sacks and an interception in the most lopsided game in 38 years in the 16-game all-time series between the Super Bowl XI combatants.

Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a second-quarter touchdown, and also caught four passes for 33 yards. He went over 100 yards rushing for the third straight game, a feat last accomplished by a Viking when Adrian Peterson did it in 2015.

49ers 24, Steelers 20

Jimmy Garoppolo’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis with 1:15 left boosted the error-prone San Francisco to a 3-0 start as it rallied past winless Pittsburgh in Santa Clara, Calif.

Garoppolo completed 23 of 32 passes for 277 yards with two interceptions. The Niners won despite making five turnovers and committing 71 yards worth of penalties.

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph hit on 14 of 27 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, including a 39-yarder to rookie Diontae Johnson with 10:22 left in the game for a 20-17 edge. But Pittsburgh (0-3) was outgained 436-239 on the day.

Saints 33, Seahawks 27

Teddy Bridgewater threw two touchdown passes in his first start in place of Drew Brees as New Orleans won at Seattle.

Bridgewater was making his second NFL start since the 2015 season as he fills in for Brees. The former Pro Bowl quarterback completed 19 of 27 passes for 177 yards. He hit running back Alvin Kamara on a 29-yard touchdown late in the second quarter and wide receiver Michael Thomas from 1 yard out in the third.

The Saints’ defense and special teams each contributed a touchdown as New Orleans improved to 2-1. It was just the third time in Saints history that the team scored a touchdown in all three phases in the same game.

Panthers 38, Cardinals 20

Kyle Allen threw two of his four touchdown passes to tight end Greg Olsen as Carolina notched its first victory by defeating host Arizona at Glendale, Ariz.

Allen, who made his first start of the season and second of his career, was filling in for injured Cam Newton (foot). For Allen, who is from Arizona, it was a happy homecoming as he completed 19 of 26 passes for 261 yards.

For Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, they’ll have to wait to produce their first NFL victory. The Cardinals are 0-2-1. Murray finished 30-for-43 passing for 173 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, taking eight sacks.

Bills 21, Bengals 17

Frank Gore scored on a 1-yard run with 1:50 remaining to give Buffalo a victory over visiting Cincinnati in its home opener.

After Gore’s touchdown, the Bengals mounted a drive in the final minute to Buffalo’s 28-yard line, but Tre’Davious White intercepted a pass by Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at the 10-yard line to end the game. Buffalo is 3-0 for the first time since 2008.

Gore rushed for a team-high 76 yards on 14 carries. Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed 23 of 36 passes for 243 yards, with a touchdown and interception. Dalton was 20 of 36 for 249 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Bowlen family to receive Hall of Fame memorabilia

Bowlen family to receive Hall of Fame memorabilia

Bowlen family to receive Hall of Fame memorabilia

The family of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will be given the ring and gold jacket he was scheduled to receive upon induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3.

Bowlen was elected to the 2019 Hall of Fame class last winter but passed away on June 13 at age 75 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

When deceased people have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame previously, families have not been give the priceless memorabilia, which is the organization’s policy.

Hall of Fame spokesman Pete Fierle told 9News in Denver on Tuesday that Bowlen’s items already were in the works at the time of his death.

“Pat Bowlen is the first individual to pass away between the time he was elected and formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Fierle said in a statement. “The process was underway to create his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence.”

The Bowlen family intends to display the items in the lobby of the Broncos’ UCHealth Training Center, according to 9News.

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis said he supports the Hall of Fame’s decision in the Bowlen case and added he hopes other families will receive the same consideration.

“It opens the door to making it right for other families, like Junior Seau’s and Kenny Stabler’s,” Davis told ESPN. “There’s no reason I should have my father’s ring and Bruce Allen (son of former coach NFL George Allen) does not have his. As a new member of the NFL owners Hall of Fame Committee, I’ll continue to advocate for the families.”

Seau, Stabler and George Allen all were elected for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, after their deaths.

–Field Level Media

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Former Giants QB Lorenzen gaining ‘traction’ in hospital

Former Giants QB Lorenzen gaining 'traction' in hospital

Former New York Giants backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen was said to be gaining "traction" Wednesday, a positive sign after being hospitalized last week with heart and kidney issues, as well as an infection.

"Jared's overnight was uneventful and that is a good

Former Giants QB Lorenzen gaining ‘traction’ in hospital

Former New York Giants backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen was said to be gaining “traction” Wednesday, a positive sign after being hospitalized last week with heart and kidney issues, as well as an infection.

“Jared’s overnight was uneventful and that is a good thing,” Lorenzen’s family said in a statement through Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio. “He remains on dialysis. He continues to maintain his ground. His cardiac and renal issues remain however his treatment has been effective.

“Jared is still very sick … but (is) developing some traction and remains a fighter. The entire family thanks you for your support and prayers.”

Lorenzen remains in the intensive care unit after being admitted to the hospital Friday.

Lorenzen, 38, played four seasons at Kentucky (2000-03) and led the SEC in passing yards (3,687) as a freshman. He still holds the Wildcats’ record for career passing yards with 10,354.

Despite his collegiate success, he was undrafted in 2004 and later signed with the New York Giants as a free agent, backing up Eli Manning in 2006-07. He appeared in four games, completing four passes for 28 yards.

Because of his weight, which was listed at 285 pounds in his NFL career, he was nicknamed the “Hefty Lefty.” Weight continued to be an issue for Lorenzen after retirement and he said it climbed to more than 500 pounds.

In 2017, he launched The Jared Lorenzen Project, a videotaped weight-loss journey. He lost about 100 pounds within the first year.

–Field Level Media

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Murray meeting with Cardinals; would be ‘great’ to go No. 1

Murray meeting with Cardinals; would be 'great' to go No. 1

Murray meeting with Cardinals; would be ‘great’ to go No. 1

INDIANAPOLIS — The Arizona Cardinals have publicly supported Josh Rosen as their quarterback of the future, but it appears they are at least considering targeting Kyler Murray in the draft.

The Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner said Friday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that he is meeting this week with Arizona, which holds the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, and he would be thrilled to be the first overall pick.

“To be the No. 1 pick, that’s a kid’s dream come true,” Murray said. “If my name was called No. 1, I’d be ready to go for sure.”

New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has voiced confidence in Rosen, but general manager Steve Keim used the qualifier of “right now” when referring to Rosen as his starter on Wednesday. Speculation began swirling when Kingsbury — who recruited Murray to Texas A&M when he coached there in 2012 — was hired, and an old quote from his time at Texas Tech resurfaced in which Kingsbury said he would take Murray with the No. 1 pick if he could.

The rumors have continued to fly in Indianapolis, and Murray himself agrees it would be a great fit.

“I know what type of offense he runs,” Murray said of Kingsbury. “Obviously he recruited me out of high school, I have a great relationship with him. If I were to play under him, I think it’d be a great deal.

“But again, like I said, I don’t get to pick the players. All I can do is show up where I’m supposed to be, work hard and get after it.”

If he doesn’t get picked by the Cardinals, Murray is still expected to challenge Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins to be the first quarterback off the board. Haskins told reporters earlier Friday he’s less concerned about going first than about landing in the right spot, and Murray had a similar refrain.

“I’m not going into it with any expectations, like, ‘If this guy gets taken before me, I’m going to be upset,'” Murray said. “Nah, I’m going to be happy wherever I go.”

Murray’s week in Indianapolis got off to a great start on measurement day, where he stood 5-foot-10 1/8 and weighed in at 207 pounds, both above expectations. He said he played around 195 pounds at Oklahoma but intends to play heavier in the NFL, adding that having more time in his schedule and all of his focus on football has made it much easier to keep weight on.

Murray won’t participate in any workouts when the quarterbacks take the field Saturday, but he does plan to do everything at his pro day.

As for meetings with teams this week, he said he hasn’t been grilled much about whether he’s fully committed to football, after declaring as much a few weeks ago.

“I think for the most part everybody’s been pretty solid knowing that I’m here to play football,” he said.

“It’s a final decision,” Murray added about leaving baseball for the NFL. “I’m here, I’m ready to go. I was born a football player. I love this game. There was no turning back when I made this decision. I’m 100 percent in.”

Now a few weeks removed from the announcement, Murray admitted it’s a bit of a relief to put it behind him and narrow his focus on one sport. He also isn’t having any second thoughts, despite many pointing out the size of Bryce Harper’s 13-year, $330 million contract as a reason he should have stuck with baseball.

“Everybody makes a big deal about it because it’s $300 million dollars,” Murray said. “There’s quarterbacks making more money than him per year.”

If Murray follows in the footsteps of his Oklahoma and Heisman-winning predecessor, Baker Mayfield, he’ll start his career with around $33 million fully guaranteed over his first four years. The NFL’s highest-paid player, Aaron Rodgers, makes $33.5 million annually on his new deal.

–By David DeChant, Field Level Media

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Disgruntled WR Brown opens up on LeBron show

Disgruntled WR Brown opens up on LeBron show

Disgruntled WR Brown opens up on LeBron show

Disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown appeared on LeBron James’ HBO show “The Shop” on Friday night and opened up about his grievances with the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In a discussion with James, Maverick Carter and rapper Meek Mill, Brown said the reason he didn’t play in the final game of the season — a must-win for the Steelers — was because coach Mike Tomlin told him to “just go home” after Brown told the coach he wasn’t at 100 percent.

“I’m a little banged up,” said Brown. “So, I meet with Coach Tomlin and I’m telling him like, hey, man, I’m a little banged up. So, I’m going to need a little time to get right. So, he’s like, if you’re banged up, man, just, you know, you, you can just go home.”

“So, I’m like … damn, that’s where we at?”

He also took exception to Roethlisberger blaming Brown for an interception in a loss to the Denver Broncos in late November.

“He feels like he’s the owner,” Brown said. “Bro, you threw the (expletive) to the D-lineman! What the (expletive)? I’m over here wide open! You need to give me a better ball!”

As it becomes ever clearer that Brown and the Steelers are headed for a split, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday morning that the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans have shown the most interest in acquiring the 30-year-old Brown.

The Steelers are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in return, after previously hoping for a first-rounder plus another asset.

Brown met with team president Art Rooney II last week, and he later announced on Twitter that both sides had decided to part ways.

General manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that trade interest in Brown has heated up, but that the team would not deal the four-time All-Pro without significant compensation in return.

In an interview with ESPN, which will air over the weekend, Brown said he isn’t “angry” with the Steelers but still wants to move on from the franchise.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Dolphins to release DE Branch

Report: Dolphins to release DE Branch

The Miami Dolphins are

Report: Dolphins to release DE Branch

The Miami Dolphins are set to release defensive end Andre Branch in a cost-cutting move, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Branch, in the final year of his contract, would earn $6.9 million this season. Releasing him would result in a savings of about $5 million in terms of a cap hit.

Branch, 29, joined the Dolphins in 2016 and started 25 of 30 games over his first two seasons, but he fell into a reserve role last season with just one start in 14 appearances.

He had 97 tackles, including 18 for loss and 11.5 sacks, in his three seasons in Miami.

Branch was drafted in the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. The former Clemson star emerged as a starter in his fourth season with the Jaguars but left after his rookie contract ended.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals OT Fisher eyes move to tight end

Bengals OT Fisher eyes move to tight end

Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals OT Fisher eyes move to tight end

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who can become a free agent on March 13, has lost weight in an attempt to find a role as a blocking tight end, the NFL Network reported Saturday.

Fisher, listed at 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds last season, is down to 285, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who added that Fisher is running routes with current NFL quarterbacks in workouts in California.

Fisher, a 2015 second-round pick out of Oregon, made seven starts at right tackle for the Bengals in 2017 before his season ended early after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. He played in 11 games last season, with one start, before being placed on injured reserve.

He finished a four-year, $4.26 million contract after last season.

Fisher, noted for his athleticism, filled a “big tight end” role for the Bengals as a rookie, seeing time in extra-blocker formations and stepping in as an injury replacement at H-back.

He is a former high school tight end who ran a 5.01-second 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Foles to become free agent

NFL notebook: Foles to become free agent

NFL notebook: Foles to become free agent

Nick Foles will become a free agent in March as the Philadelphia Eagles declined to use the franchise tag to retain and trade Foles for compensation.

Howard Roseman, the team’s vice president of football operations, said the Eagles understand and respect Foles’ desire to lead a team after using him in relief of injured starter Carson Wentz for back-to-back playoff berths, including the team’s first Super Bowl win in February 2018.

“We decided to let Nick become a free agent,” Roseman said Wednesday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. “He deserves an opportunity to lead a team.”

–As more teams call to inquire on the asking price for disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Pittsburgh Steelers say they are considering all trade partners — even rivals from the AFC North.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said a growing number of potential trade partners have stepped forward. He added that although the Steelers still would prefer not to face Brown twice in the regular season, Pittsburgh might make an exception for the right price.

–Giants coach Pat Shurmur said he still considers Eli Manning his starting quarterback, but New York general manager Dave Gettleman might have other ideas.

“I think Eli can help us win games. He proved, when the players around him starting playing better, that he can play at a very high level and help us win games,” Shurmur said.

Even though Manning might be on the roster when training camp opens, Gettleman wouldn’t guarantee that the 38-year-old would begin, and end, the 2019 season as the starting QB.

–New head coach Brian Flores continues to plot the future of the Miami Dolphins, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not guaranteed to be along for the ride.

“Right now, everything is in the evaluation process,” Flores said of the 30-year-old Tannehill, whose salary-cap hit for next season is extremely high at $26.6 million.

–Derek Carr’s place on the hot seat seemingly has cooled off, as Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has given the signal-caller an endorsement.

“We’ve got a young quarterback that we think is a franchise quarterback that’s going to be 28 in March, so we’re pretty happy with where we are,” Mayock said.

–Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury made headlines when a video from last college football season — when he was the head coach at Texas Tech — made the rounds. The money line: Kingsbury said he would take Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the top pick in the draft if he could.

As it turns out, Kingsbury could. The Cardinals have the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

But Kingsbury said Josh Rosen, the No. 10 pick in 2018, remains the Arizona quarterback. “We want to build it around him,” Kingsbury said.

–The contract of Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been extended through the 2020 season, general manager Rick Spielman said. His contract was to expire after 2019.

Zimmer, 62, has a 47-32-1 record in five regular seasons in Minnesota. His team has won two NFC North titles (2015 and 2017) and lost to Philadelphia in the 2018 NFC Championship Game.

–The Denver Broncos will pick up the contract options on receiver Emmanuel Sanders ($1.5 million) and defensive end Derek Wolfe ($1 million), general manager John Elway said.

Sanders, 31, had 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games last season. Wolfe, 29, played all 16 games and tallied 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception.

–Settling the status of defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is the top priority for the Atlanta Falcons, general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. He could wind up receiving the franchise tag if the sides don’t reach an agreement on a contract extension.

Jarrett, a fifth-round pick in 2015, was ranked the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades.

–The Chicago Bears will release kicker Cody Parkey, coach Matt Nagy confirmed.

Parkey, 27, not only missed a career-high seven field-goal attempts and three extra points during the regular season, but he also failed to convert a 43-yard attempt in the final seconds of the NFC wild-card loss to the Eagles.

–Former NFL receivers Wes Welker and Miles Austin joined the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff.

Welker, 37, will coach the wide receivers. He spent the past two seasons as an offensive/special teams assistant with the Houston Texans. Austin, 34, will be an offensive quality control coach.

–The New York Jets will entertain offers for the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, general manager Mike Maccagnan said.

“It would have to be the right kind of deal, but I definitely wouldn’t rule anything out at this point in time,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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Golf notebook: Johnson to reclaim No. 1 ranking

Golf notebook: Johnson to reclaim No. 1 ranking

Golf notebook: Johnson to reclaim No. 1 ranking

Dustin Johnson will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the official world rankings when the next update is released Monday.

Johnson leapt passed Brooks Koepka for No. 2 following his dominating victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and will move past England’s Justin Rose for the top spot next week. The rankings are determined by a two-year period, and both players are idle this week.

However, Rose will have a chance to reclaim the No. 1 spot as early as next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Johnson, 34, has two wins and a tie for ninth in his last four worldwide starts. He also opened the year with a tie for fourth at the Tournament of Champions. Rose and Koepka have spent time at No. 1 since Johnson last held the spot in October.

–Phil Mickelson has also committed to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which will also feature Koepka and Tiger Woods. Thirteen of the current top 20 players in the world are entered to play at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

Mickelson, 48, won at Bay Hill in 1997.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion. He has not posted a victory since last year’s event but has finished in the top five in four consecutive events, including second to Johnson last week.

Players have until Friday to commit to play at Bay Hill.

–Koepka, who previously had a reputation as a soft-spoken player, has made several headlines this year with comments about Spain’s Sergio Garcia “acting like a child” with an alleged temper tantrum in Saudi Arabia and calling out Bryson DeChambeau for perceived slow play.

However, the three-time major champion said people are probably “getting the real me now” as he has made a conscious decision to be more outspoken with his established position among the game’s elite.

“I think, before, I was just trying to be politically correct, not stir any bubbles and just kind of go on with things and be unnoticed,” Koepka told reporters after Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the Honda Classic.

“There are a lot of things I’ve got opinions on. I’m going to say it now. I’m not going to hold anything back.”

–Field Level Media

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Browns GM comfortable with Hunt signing; chasing Antonio Brown?

Browns GM comfortable with Hunt signing; chasing Antonio Brown?

Browns GM comfortable with Hunt signing; chasing Antonio Brown?

INDIANAPOLIS — Signing Kareem Hunt was all about knowing his heart, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said Thursday.

Hunt should soon know his standing with the NFL and Browns.

Dorsey said at 2019 NFL Scouting Combine the league was still reviewing Hunt’s status. The running back is on the Commissioner’s Exempt List as a result of a physical confrontation with a woman at a Cleveland hotel caught on video. The release of the evidence led to Hunt’s contract being terminated by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We had done our research,” Dorsey said. “We thought at the appropriate time with all the information we did have, how truly remorseful he was and … knowing when he comes here there are no guarantees, he’s going to earn your respect with his actions. Right now, I feel very comfortable with the signing.

“Deep down, if you really sit down and engage with him, he has a really good heart. The act he did last year — it was egregious. We all know that. … He’s showing through his actions, not his words, how remorseful he is.”

Dorsey was with the Chiefs when Hunt, who grew up in Ohio and played at Toledo, was drafted.

“He’s got a lot of work to do,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said, “between now and when that second chance comes. Right now, our job is to support Kareem and help him grow as a person.”

Hunt is expected to be suspended at least six games and likely 10-plus games, ESPN reported.

Kitchens said Nick Chubb is the starting running back for the Browns, and Duke Johnson will be viewed as the third-down back. While Hunt might be able to contribute in the future, Kitchens said football is not yet his priority.

“Kareem has to be willing, has to show remorse, has to be willing to make a change. There’s some good that can come out of this,” Kitchens said.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he expected a second chance to come for Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie and was leading the league in total yards when Kansas City cut him.

“I’m a fan of second chances as long as they do the right steps to get there,” Reid said.

On the topic of second chances, when asked about the Browns’ interest in Antonio Brown, Dorsey held his cell phone in the air with his right hand and said, “(Steelers GM) Kevin (Colbert) here’s my cell phone.”

Dorsey said the Browns will continue to be aggressive in their personnel pursuit.

“You have to explore all opportunities,” Dorsey said. “We’ll examine everything. That’s what you’re trying to do — get better year in, year out.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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Steelers’ Brown: ‘It’s all about respect’

Steelers' Brown: 'It's all about respect'

Steelers’ Brown: ‘It’s all about respect’

Disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown said recent comments from Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed that the team doesn’t respect its players.

In an interview with ESPN, which will air over the weekend, Brown said he isn’t “angry” with the Steelers but still wants to move on from the franchise.

Last week, Colbert told reporters that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger “has 52 kids under him, quite honestly” and wanted players to look to the veteran QB for guidance and advice.

Later, Colbert seemed to step back from those comments and told NFL Network he was trying to emphasize Roethlisberger is the team’s “unquestioned leader” and didn’t mean to imply that the Steelers have a “bunch of juveniles.”

“Of course he tried to clarify because, you know, he stated the truth and he’s going to backpedal on his words,” Brown told ESPN. “But what grown man is calling another grown man a kid? ‘Fifty-two kids.’ Like, you don’t have no respect for these guys? Like, these are the guys that go to work for you. And that’s what I’m telling you guys … that’s my issue. You know what I’m saying? It’s all about respect.

“… Things [are] not getting better. They’re not changing. You know what I mean? He just stated it. There’s 52 kids and it’s this guy (Roethlisberger). Bro, it’s one team. … So that’s what it is, man. Just understanding truths.”

Brown met with team president Art Rooney II last week, and he later announced on Twitter that both sides had decided to part ways.

Colbert said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that trade interest in Brown has heated up but that the team would not deal the wide receiver without significant compensation in return for the four-time All-Pro.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders, Gruden smitten with 2019 QB class

Raiders, Gruden smitten with 2019 QB class

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jon Gruden was

Raiders, Gruden smitten with 2019 QB class

INDIANAPOLIS — Jon Gruden was the first coach to the podium at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, and the Oakland Raiders head coach shared lasting impressions of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft.

The Raiders are visiting with most of the top-rated passers in the draft during 15-minute allotted interview times in the evening at the event, including Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones.

The Raiders pick fourth overall and also own the 24th and 27th picks in the first round via trade. Gruden quickly made it known the Raiders are eyeing trades, including getting to the No. 1 pick.

“Pretty attractive,” Gruden said of the first overall pick. “That’s why we’re here. To figure all that out.”

Gruden echoed general manager Mike Mayock’s statement Wednesday that the Raiders view quarterback Derek Carr as a franchise quarterback.

“He’s our franchise quarterback — let’s make that clear,” Gruden said.

Gruden said his father was involved in drafting a good professional baseball player who was played in the NFL — Bo Jackson — so he was compelled to ask Murray — three times — if he was “serious” his sport was football. Gruden said finding out whether players love the game and are physically healthy are the two priorities for him this week.

He said the quarterback’s height — measured at 5-10 1/8 at the combine — should not dissuade teams from drafting Murray. On Wednesday, Mayock said Murray was a player the scouting staff was “trying to figure out.”

“I think that’s been proven to not be as much of a factor as maybe it was years ago,” Gruden said, offering Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield — or, “the kid in Cleveland, as Gruden labeled him — as reasons to believe. “I don’t know that it’s a true impact on the position or the performance.”

Gruden said gamesmanship is not a factor when he offers his assessment of Murray. Reporters who regularly cover the team claim the franchise would prefer Haskins.

“People try to read between the lines. Some guy asked me a question at the Senior Bowl about Kyler Murray and all of a sudden …,” Gruden said. “Honest to God, Jiminy Christmas. People will write whatever they want.”

Based on their prospect meetings Wednesday night, Gruden sounds as if he was wowed by two players — Haskins and Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.

Metcalf measured 6-3 3/8, 228 pounds and has a chiseled physique worthy of strongman competitions.

“He looked like Jim Brown. He’s the biggest receiver I’ve ever seen,” Gruden said.

Gruden, like Mayock, said Haskins has “all kinds of upside.”

“Great production — 50 touchdowns — great system,” he said.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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Jets will entertain offers for No. 3 pick

Jets will entertain offers for No. 3 pick

The New York

Jets will entertain offers for No. 3 pick

The New York Jets will entertain offers for the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

“Right now, we feel good at No. 3, but I’d definitely say if there’s an opportunity to trade down, we would absolutely look at it,” Maccagnan said. “If we end up picking a player at three, we’ll feel really good. If there’s an opportunity for us to move back and acquire more picks, that’s something we’d definitely be potentially interested in.

“It would have to be the right kind of deal, but I definitely wouldn’t rule anything out at this point in time.”

Last year, Maccagnan and the Jets jumped from the No. 6 spot to No. 3 in order to draft quarterback Sam Darnold.

This year, the New York Giants have the No. 6 pick and might be willing to deal for a chance to land a quarterback like Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins.

The local rivals haven’t made a trade since 1983, but Maccagnan said he wouldn’t rule out dealing with the Giants.

“I think I would be open to any team,” he said. “As long as the trade made sense to us, there’s nothing that would stop us from doing that.”

–Field Level Media

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Elway: Broncos picking up options on Sanders, Wolfe

Elway: Broncos picking up options on Sanders, Wolfe

The Denver Broncos will pick up the

Elway: Broncos picking up options on Sanders, Wolfe

The Denver Broncos will pick up the contract options on wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and defensive end Derek Wolfe, team executive John Elway said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Elway said the team will exercise the $1.5 million option for Sanders and $1 million option for Wolfe for the 2019 season.

Sanders, 31, tore his left Achilles tendon in a Dec. 5 practice. He finished the season with 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games. He also ran for a score and threw a TD pass.

He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection is entering the final year of a four-year, $38.6 million contract that included $20 million guaranteed at signing. Sanders will earn a base salary of $10.25 million in 2019, per Spotrac, with the option now guaranteeing $1.5 million of that salary.

Wolfe, who turned 29 on Sunday, has been with the Broncos since they drafted him in the second round in 2012. He played all 16 games in 2018, tallying 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception.

Wolfe is due to earn a base salary of $8 million this season before becoming a free agent in 2020.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys’ Garrett dismisses own fate, focused on keeping Lawrence

Cowboys' Garrett dismisses own fate, focused on keeping Lawrence

Cowboys’ Garrett dismisses own fate, focused on keeping Lawrence

INDIANAPOLIS — Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett claims the next second he spends thinking about his expiring contract will be the first.

“The best teams, the best players I’ve been around in this game have the same mentality, sense of urgency and back-against-the-wall mentality,” Garrett said Wednesday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

Garrett is in the final year of his existing contract, but owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones indicate the coach has no reason to be concerned about his status with the team.

Garrett, though, isn’t sure what the makeup of his 2019 roster might be because of contract challenges with multiple players. That includes pending free agent defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and wide receiver Cole Beasley.

“The business side with the salary cap, you can’t keep everybody,” Garrett said. “DeMarcus has been a great player for us. He’s definitely a priority for us to get signed. There’s a lot of business stuff that goes on … but no question the sentiment is we want DeMarcus Lawrence to be with the Cowboys for a long, long time.”

Linebacker Sean Lee was an asset to the Cowboys even after he was unseated as a starter, Garrett said Wednesday. Lee “has a lot of football left and will be a part of what we do going forward.”

“Unfortunately, durability has been an issue,” Garrett said. “But when he has played — he has played really well. You continue to try to find the key to keep him healthy. Sean works harder at this than anyone I’ve been around.”

The Cowboys are planning to keep the pass-rushing Lawrence, even if it means “the hard way,” which is applying the franchise tag designation.

Garrett said the Cowboys will continue to support defensive end Randy Gregory, who continues to deal with off-field issues.

“Unfortunately he’s had a setback,” Garrett said. “Our eyes were wide open to his situation. He won’t be with us in the near term. I think there’s certainly a point with different players — we aren’t at that point with Randy right now — and he’s suspended indefinitely, not allowed to participate in the offseason program and some very specific things. He’ll continue to work, continue to get professional help. The way it has been explained to me that sometimes relapse is part of rehab. He’s working very hard to get his issues under control.”

Beasley, an unrestricted free agent, turns 30 in April and is primarily a slot receiver with punt return ability.

“The business of the NFL is challenging,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately, when you have players like Cole Beasley, other teams want him, too. He’s had a huge impact on our team. … He knows how much I love him, coaching staff loves him, teammates love him.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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NFL coaches: QB Murray measures up

NFL coaches: QB Murray measures up

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kyler Murray might

NFL coaches: QB Murray measures up

INDIANAPOLIS — Kyler Murray might not step foot on the field at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. He will still be one of the most-watched prospects at the event Thursday morning.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma steps instead on the scale and up to the measuring tape Thursday when the quarterback group goes through official measurements around 9:30 a.m. ET.

Murray’s production — 54 total touchdowns, 42 TD passes, 5,362 total yards last season — could seemingly provide a team with a lot of answers.

Yet there are two pressing questions teams have about Murray when evaluating his pro potential.

Height. According to Oklahoma’s strength and conditioning coach, Murray will measure 5 feet, 10 inches in Indianapolis. That’s not up to NFL standards, where the prototype is over 6-2.

“If guys can throw, they can play the position,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “They don’t have to dunk.”

Weight. Murray must convince teams longevity is a realistic trait to pair with incomparable darting quickness and straight-line speed. Per reports this week, Murray is over 200 pounds — and weighed in at 203.

“He’s a great athlete. The size is always a question. You’ve seen guys have success in the league that aren’t necessarily the prototype,” Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said. “I will say this, having played the position — if you’re shorter and in shotgun, you can see the field much better. If you are playing in shotgun every down, the height to me doesn’t have nearly the impact as it would coming out underneath.”

Elway, who is 6-3, said one answer is to overhaul your offense, but he also believes a running game can only be effective if the quarterback lines up under center.

Reports indicate the New York Giants might rate Murray as “too small.”

Based on the success of under-6-foot quarterbacks Russell Wilson (Seahawks) and Drew Brees (Saints), teams are tossing aside preconceived notions about what players at the position should look like.

“I’m putting away all the prototypes I once had,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who stands 5-foot-10, said at the 2019 Senior Bowl. “We’re looking for guys who can play.”

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid brings a record of success with quarterbacks such as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes to the conversation. Mahomes is 6-3, McNabb was 6-2 and Vick is an even 6 feet tall.

“Can he throw?” Reid said Wednesday at the combine.

Throw he did at Oklahoma, where he had 208 completions in 283 attempts — 36 touchdowns, five interceptions — last season from a “clean pocket.” Pro Football Focus film review counted only three tipped passes all season, discrediting one implied weakness for shorter passers, that attempts will be batted down at the line.

“A year ago I was here and asked about a quarterback, and he went to Baltimore — turned out pretty good,” Reid said of Lamar Jackson, a former Heisman Trophy winner some in the league projected as a wide receiver because of his athletic ability. “You like them, you give them a shot. It’s not a surprise maybe, quarterback is not our top priority, but we keep our eyes open.”

Case Keenum started most of the 2018 season for the Minnesota Vikings and last season with Elway’s Broncos and is barely 6-1.

Former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who has been pinned down about comments he made in October about Murray being the No. 1 pick in the draft, is now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals, of course, have the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft.

“He’s got some special ability,” Kingsbury said, extrapolating further to say Murray is the quickest player on the field regardless of position no matter what level he’s playing on.

Kingsbury, for the record, played the position at Texas Tech and in the NFL. He stands 6-4.

Reid said the rapidly changing NFL game to become a pass-heavy, high-speed sport suits quarterbacks like Murray. And the success of such systems, all the way down to high school and low-level colleges, are proof positive the “Air Raid” type system Kingsbury ran at Tech and Murray operated at Oklahoma has lasting power.

“Kyler is going to be a fit for anybody,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said prior to Super Bowl LIII. “Of course there are teams I’d rather see him with than not and coordinators I’d rather see him with than not, just personally. But there’s not any situation where I’d really fear for him. I think he’s going to go in and do well. Would he do a great job with what Kliff’s going to do offensively? I don’t think there’s any question.”

Murray will answer questions from the media Friday afternoon.

Like all other prospects invited, he will participate in medical testing and meet with individual teams for 15-minute interviews.

Beyond the tale of the tape, he’s not likely to answer any questions with his performance on the field. That is a confounding decision to some coaches.

“If you can throw, throw,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. “It’s like going to a track meet to not run.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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Vikings extend Zimmer’s contract through 2020

Vikings extend Zimmer's contract through 2020

Vikings extend Zimmer’s contract through 2020

The contract of Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been extended through the 2020 season, general manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday.

His contract was to expire after the 2019 season.

“He is the right head coach to lead us going forward,” Spielman said.

Zimmer, 62, has a 47-32-1 record in five regular seasons in Minnesota. His team has won two NFC North titles (2015 and 2017) and lost to Philadelphia in the 2018 NFC championship game.

Under Zimmer, the Minnesota defense has ranked 11th or better in points allowed each season, including first in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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