Romero takes one-shot lead at Puerto Rico Open

Romero takes one-shot lead at Puerto Rico Open

Andres Romero of Argentina, who is in search of his first PGA Tour victory in 11 years, shot a bogey-free, 6-under-par 66 on Thursday to take the lead after the opening round of the Puerto Rico Open at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

PGA Tour rookie Sepp Straka of Austria, who tied for 13th place at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, was one shot back with a 5-under 67. Nine golfers were tied for third place at 4-under, 68, including Alex Kang, who is making just his fifth career PGA Tour start.

Defending Puerto Rico Open champion D.A. Points opened with a 71, leaving him tied for 36th place. Daniel Berger, the highest-ranked player in the event at No. 72 in the Official World Golf Rankings, opened with a 70, while amateur and Clemson senior Bryson Nimmer shot 69 in his PGA Tour debut.

–Field Level Media

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal with defensive lineman Allen Bailey on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

The deal includes $6 million in 2019 and $3.5 million guaranteed, per ESPN and NFL Network.

Bailey became a free agent in March but remained unsigned despite several reported visits, including with the Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

The 30-year-old posted six sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games (13 starts) for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, playing end and tackle in their 3-4 scheme. He could contribute at both spots for the Falcons, who lost end Steven Means to a torn Achilles in May and tackle Michael Bennett to a reported broken ankle Monday, the first day of training camp.

Bailey has 19.5 career sacks and 33 QB hits in 102 games (61 starts), all spent in Kansas City. The Chiefs took him in the third round of the 2011 draft out of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Oakland Raiders training camp primer

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams,

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams, S LaMarcus Joyner, DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, S Jonathan Abram, LB Vontaze Burfict, G Richie Incognito, LB Brandon Marshall, RB Isaiah Crowell, CB Nevin Lawson, CB Trayvon Mullen, QB Mike Glennon

They’re gone: TE Jared Cook, G Kelechi Osemele, WR Jordy Nelson, OT Donald Penn, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Seth Roberts, S Reggie Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Rashaan Melvin

2019 snapshot: Never lacking for headlines, the Raiders had another eventful offseason that, in turn, landed them on HBO’s Hard Knocks for the first time.

Jon Gruden’s hire of GM Mike Mayock was surprising, but Mayock’s eye for talent is well regarded. The pair then embarked on an aggressive search for talent while simultaneously touting culture and then disregarding it.

The Raiders justified taking Ferrell fourth overall — a reach on almost any draft board — by lauding his impeccable character, even after the team added talented-but-disruptive veterans in Antonio Brown and Burfict (and later Incognito). Oakland’s other first-round picks (Jacobs and Abram) were better values, but both play positions of relatively low value, and it’s hard to imagine either bringing sufficient return for the trading away of Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack.

Oakland’s spending spree in free agency drew some criticism, as Trent Brown (four years, $66 million), Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Williams (four years, $43 million) were all handsomely overpaid. However, the Raiders smartly structured deals to be escaped after one or two years with minimal cap consequences. The same was true of Antonio Brown’s new deal (three years, $50.1 million), which can be chopped easily after two years if things go south.

Those deals were still too rich, but there are much worse uses of cap space.

Worth the investment?

–Even if things don’t click with all the new arrivals, the Raiders have enough talent to reach their over/under of six wins. Betting on more is reasonable but not without risk.

–It wasn’t that long ago (mid-2016) that Derek Carr was getting peripheral MVP buzz. That was clearly premature, but his 100-1 odds to win it in 2019 might be worth a shot.

Bottom line: The Raiders were hypocritical in emphasizing character and handed out some massive salaries, but they also made major talent upgrades, especially if Antonio Brown pans out.

–Field Level Media

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Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT Jerry Tillery, S Nasir Adderley, P Tyler Newsome

They’re gone: WR Tyrell Williams, DT Corey Liuget, S Jahleel Addae, CB Jason Verrett, DT Darius Philon, P Donnie Jones

2019 snapshot: Already one of the better teams in the AFC, the Chargers didn’t need any remodeling this spring, instead focusing on minor touchups.

They found much-needed talent and depth at linebacker, re-signing Denzel Perryman (two years, $12 million) and adding Davis (two years, $10.5 million) on very reasonable deals. Dime safety Adrian Phillips (one year, $2 million) was also retained for cheap, giving coordinator Gus Bradley several options to cover tight ends and running backs.

GM Tom Telesco addressed the D-line by keeping Brandon Mebane (two years, $10.6 million) and drafting Tillery, whose upside is among the highest of any prospect in the 2019 draft class. He then found a perfect partner for Derwin James in Adderley (second round), who has the speed and ball skills to patrol center field while James hunts in the box.

Williams’ departure was inevitable (and should bring a fourth-round compensatory pick). While another body at wide receiver would have helped, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dylan Cantrell should be able to pick up the slack. The O-line could have used an upgrade or two — guards Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield and right tackle Sam Tevi struggled at times last year — but continuity usually breeds improvement up front, and there’s still hope for 2017 second-rounder Forrest Lamp to develop.

Worth the investment?

–Taking the over on the Chargers’ 10-win total is scary given their rotten luck in recent years, but this team is good enough to win 13 or even 14.

–Philip Rivers has never won MVP, garnering only two votes when he led the NFL in passer rating in 2008. But there are worse bets than his +2000 odds.

Bottom line: Two wins from the Super Bowl a year ago, the Chargers didn’t mess with the formula and still found a few upgrades. They should threaten in the playoffs yet again.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting has two new jobs.

The 21-year-old Texas native is an acquisitions officer for the Air Force, and he also signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday to be a long snapper.

The Vikings made him a seventh-round draft pick (250th overall) out of the Air Force Academy in April.

Cutting, a second lieutenant, will be allowed to serve his two-year military commitment while simultaneous playing in the NFL, the (Saint Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Sunday.

According to the newspaper, Cutting was set to receive a four-year, $2.59 million contract, including a $74,576 signing bonus.

The Air Force plans to employ Cutting as a recruiting officer, according to his agent, Darren Deloatche.

“(Cutting is) thankful,” Deloatche told the Pioneer Press. “It’s a weight off his shoulders at this stage. … He’s definitely excited about this opportunity to compete in the NFL right now. … But he wants to serve his country.”

The Vikings reported that Cutting will challenge incumbent Kevin McDermott for the role as the team’s long snapper.

With Cutting and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines signing Monday, only four of this year’s draft picks remain unsigned: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (first round), New York Jets defensive linemen Quinnen Williams (first round), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (first round) and 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (second round).

–Field Level Media

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Giants sign first-round QB Jones

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick,

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick, quarterback Daniel Jones, multiple outlets reported.

Based on his draft slot, Jones’ deal will be worth more than $25 million over four years. Like all first-round picks, his deal has a fifth-year team option.

Jones, 22, was the No. 6 overall pick after passing for 8,201 yards and 52 touchdowns in 36 games at Duke from 2016-18. He was the second quarterback off the board, following No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones is expected to be on the field when the Giants open training camp Thursday in East Rutherford, N.J. Also present will be third-round outside linebacker Oshane Ximines, who signed his deal earlier Monday.

Jones’ and Ximines’ signings leave only four unsigned draft picks: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall), New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (No. 16) and 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel (No. 36 overall).

–Field Level Media

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Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE Frank Clark, S Tyrann Mathieu, DE Alex Okafor, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Bashaud Breeland, LB Darron Lee, LB Damien Wilson, S Juan Thornhill, WR Mecole Hardman, DT Khalen Saunders

They’re gone: OLB Dee Ford, OLB Justin Houston, S Eric Berry, C Mitch Morse, DT Allen Bailey, CB Steven Nelson, TE Demetrius Harris, WR Chris Conley, RB Spencer Ware, S Eric Murray, S Ron Parker

2019 snapshot: The team that came thisclose to a Super Bowl appearance didn’t rest on its laurels, instead churning the coaching staff and roster, particularly on defense.

Steve Spagnuolo replaced fired D-coordinator Bob Sutton, while Clark, Mathieu and Okafor/Ogbah step in for departed Pro Bowlers Ford, Berry and Houston, respectively. At best, those changes feel like a wash, especially because Clark and Mathieu have higher salaries than their counterparts (and acquiring Clark cost Kansas City its first-round pick).

The defense added enough talent to improve, depending on how quickly the group clicks under Spagnuolo, but there are still concerns. Unless Breeland returns to his form from Washington, cornerback remains a question mark. There’s also no dangerous edge-rushing threat other than Clark. Chris Jones could hold out while seeking a massive extension entering a contract year, and locking him up is imperative after trading Ford and releasing Houston.

The Chiefs caught a break when Tyreek Hill avoided league punishment following a child and family services investigation. The pick of Hardman (second round) provided some insurance, but Hill’s role as a centerpiece in Andy Reid’s offense would have been impossible to fill if he missed time. The offense made few other additions while losing its starting center (Morse) and a few role players, and all numbers suggest at least slight regression from 2018’s heights.

–Patrick Mahomes’ sudden stardom makes the Chiefs an annual favorite for double-digit wins. Taking the over on 10.5 wins always carries risk, but this team is a good bet.

–Battling voter fatigue and year-to-year regression, only Peyton Manning (who did it twice) has won back-to-back MVPs since 1996. We’d steer clear of Mahomes’ +450 odds (best by 200) to repeat.

Bottom line: The Chiefs clearly worked to improve on defense, but the upgrades appear marginal for now. They remain Super Bowl contenders but might have to keep winning shootouts.

–Field Level Media

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Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Jordan Howard, DE Vinny Curry, LB Zach Brown, OT Andre Dillard, RB Miles Sanders, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, S Andrew Sendejo, LB L.J. Fort,

They’re gone: QB Nick Foles, DE Michael Bennett, WR Golden Tate, LB Jordan Hicks, DE Chris Long, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Darren Sproles

2019 snapshot: One of the few teams in the league without any real glaring holes to fill, Philadelphia entered the offseason with plenty of flexibility and put it to good use.

Three former Eagles — DeSean Jackson, Curry and Timmy Jernigan — were brought back for cheap, and GM Howie Roseman also signed two former Pro Bowl defenders who were released (Malik Jackson, Brown). Bennett (traded to New England) and Long (retired) will be missed, but Curry, a healthy Derek Barnett and a freshly paid Brandon Graham should be sufficient on the edge.

Roseman also had a great draft, starting with a mini trade-up past Houston to nab Jason Peters’ successor in Dillard. He acquired Howard for cheap (2020 conditional sixth-rounder) and drafted offensive contributors in Sanders and Arcega-Whiteside, both of whom could have roles from Day 1. The Eagles are also in line for more draft capital in 2020 thanks to the compensatory pick formula.

Foles’ departure was unavoidable, but the Eagles drafted Clayton Thorson and moved quickly to extend Carson Wentz. That extension — while complicated in structure — looks like a clear win for the team. Any deal would carry some risk given Wentz’s injury history, but if he remains healthy moving forward, Philadelphia will have one of the league’s best quarterbacks on a deal significantly short of the top of the market.

Worth the investment?

–After 13 wins in 2017 and nine last season, the Eagles’ over/under is set at 10 this year. Wentz’s injury history isn’t enough to shy away from the over.

–Wentz was likely headed for his first MVP award before tearing his ACL late in 2017. Betting on him to do so this year at +1500 is a fair wager.

Bottom line: Few GMs in the business are better than Roseman, who put together another strong offseason with a clear and coherent plan. There’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t compete for a Super Bowl appearance.

–Field Level Media

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New York Giants training camp primer

New York Giants training camp primer

New faces:

New York Giants training camp primer

New faces: WR Golden Tate, QB Daniel Jones, OG Kevin Zeitler, S Jabrill Peppers, OT Mike Remmers, OLB Markus Golden, S Antoine Bethea, DT Dexter Lawrence, CB Deandre Baker, DT Olsen Pierre, DE Oshane Ximines, CB Julian Love

They’re gone: WR Odell Beckham Jr., S Landon Collins, OLB Olivier Vernon, OLB Connor Barwin, G Jamon Brown, DT Mario Edwards, CB B.W. Webb, DT Kerry Wynn

2019 snapshot: For someone who once said “you don’t quit on talent,” GM Dave Gettleman sent an awfully large amount of it out the door this offseason.

Beckham, Collins and Vernon — arguably three of the team’s four best players — are gone, with only Peppers, Lawrence (first round), Ximines (third), Zeitler and a 2020 third-round compensatory pick in return. Pretty much any way you slice it, that’s a poor tradeoff. Even if you agree with trading Beckham, spending $21.5 million on him just months before the trade is indefensible. Collins likely would have had trade value had the Giants simply franchise-tagged him.

Gettleman drew more ire by drafting Jones sixth overall, a reach on almost any board. The GM deserves credit for ensuring he landed the quarterback he wanted, but Jones carries plenty of concerns, including a perceived lower ceiling than Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock.

Among the Giants’ other moves, Tate’s contract (four years, $37.5 million) seemed a bit oversized for a player who appears redundant with newly extended slot wideout Sterling Shepard (four years, $41 million) already on the roster. One-year pacts for Golden and Remmers look like possible bargains, and the draft brought plenty of reinforcements on defense. But that’s not enough to redeem what was otherwise an alarming approach from Gettleman.

–Big Blue clearly downgraded in talent, but bottoming out appears unlikely. The Giants look like a sneaky bet to hit the over if you can find a line at 5.5 wins instead of six.

–Adrian Peterson (2012) is the lone running back to win MVP since 2006, and that required nearly breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. We’d pass on Saquon Barkley (+5000), even though he should get plenty of volume.

Bottom line: Unless Jones sees the field and shows promise — which might only happen once the Giants are out of contention — Gettleman looks to be in for a long season.

–Field Level Media

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Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

New faces: DE Justin

Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

New faces: DE Justin Houston, WR Devin Funchess, RB Spencer Ware, CB Rock Ya-Sin, LB Ben Banogu, WR Parris Campbell, LB Bobby Okereke

They’re gone: WR Dontrelle Inman, DT Al Woods, WR Ryan Grant, S J.J. Wilcox, G Matt Slauson, S Mike Mitchell

2019 snapshot: With more than $45 million still remaining in cap space, the Colts certainly could have gone bigger in free agency.

Trey Flowers, Earl Thomas, Ndamukong Suh and Le’Veon Bell were all realistic options, and Indianapolis probably could have nabbed two of them. But GM Chris Ballard is committed to smart, patient building, and it’s hard to question that approach after he orchestrated the Colts’ bounce-back season in 2018.

Ballard did pay up for Houston (two years, $24 million), who immediately brings a pass-rush presence the team hasn’t had since Robert Mathis retired, and on extensions for CBs Pierre Desir (three years, $22.5 million) and Kenny Moore (four years, $34 million). He also kept S Clayton Geathers (one year, $2.8 million) and DT Margus Hunt (two years, $9 million) on modest deals. The biggest surprise was the one-year, $10 million deal (with $3 million in incentives) for Funchess, who fell out of favor in Carolina.

Ballard didn’t do anything fancy in the draft, either, trading down a few times to collect a war chest of picks and spending them mostly on defensive talents. Ya-Sin, Okereke and Banogu will compete to start from Day 1, with all likely to have at least a rotational role early on. The lone offensive pick, Campbell, will be one of Frank Reich’s favorite weapons, with wheels to terrify defenses on the speedy Lucas Oil Stadium turf.

Worth the investment?

–The Colts have come a long way, going from 1-5 last season to being one of seven teams this year with a double-digit over/under win total (10). They’re capable of topping that mark, but 11 wins is a lot for any team.

–Yet to win an MVP in his career, Andrew Luck seems destined for one sooner or later. Unfortunately, Vegas feels the same way, putting his odds (+650) behind only reigning winner Patrick Mahomes (+450).

Bottom line: If Indy’s Super Bowl window were closing, you could question Ballard’s lack of aggression this offseason. But it’s not, and the Colts might still wind up in Miami in February anyway.

–Field Level Media

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Houston Texans training camp primer

Houston Texans training camp primer

New faces: S Tashaun

Houston Texans training camp primer

New faces: S Tashaun Gipson, CB Bradley Roby, OT Matt Kalil, OT Tytus Howard, OL Max Scharping, S Jahleel Addae, CB Lonnie Johnson, TE Darren Fells, TE Kahale Warring

They’re gone: S Tyrann Mathieu, CB Kareem Jackson, WR Demaryius Thomas, OT Kendall Lamm, CB Kevin Johnson, TE Ryan Griffin, DT Christian Covington, RB Alfred Blue, CB Kayvon Webster

Firing GM Brian Gaine 17 months into a five-year contract was certainly cause for concern. Gaine wasn’t given the resources nor the time to prove he was the wrong man for the job, and the Texans weren’t able to pry Nick Caserio from New England (yet) to replace him, choosing to go without a GM for the 2019 season.

How will they navigate without a GM? Will the post remain open until Caserio’s Patriots contract is up after the 2020 draft?

Either way, many of the Texans’ moves this spring were curious. Set on improving Deshaun Watson’s protection, Houston focused on offensive tackle but might not have made large enough gains.

Free agent signee Kalil is a liability even when healthy. In the draft, the Texans were jumped by the Eagles for Andre Dillard and then took Howard 23rd overall, a significant reach on most boards for the Alabama State product. Scharping (second round, Northern Illinois) provides another option, but trusting small-school rookies to play early is dangerous.

The secondary turned over without really improving, as Gipson, Roby and Lonnie Johnson must make up for the more proven trio of Mathieu, Jackson and Kevin Johnson. Franchise-tagged linebacker Jadeveon Clowney remains away from the team and without a long-term contract, and the roster has other weak spots (tight end, guard) despite the Texans still holding $40 million in cap space.

Worth the investment?

–After winning 11 games and their division last season, the Texans should probably top their 8-win over/under, but a disappointing season is certainly possible given the improved AFC South.

–Watson has the star power and talent to win MVP, and his odds are rather enticing. At +3300, he’s even with Jimmy Garoppolo and a longer shot than Mitchell Trubisky (+2000).

Bottom line: The Texans don’t look all that improved, and they enter the year without a GM, which puts just about anything on the table.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is not expected to report to training camp with the rest of the team this week, NFL Network reported Monday.

Williams missed mandatory minicamp in June, and his absence is expected to extend well into training camp, per the report.

“This could take awhile before Trent Williams is back in Washington, if at all,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on Training Camp Live. “It just really seems like an open-ended thing right now.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that Williams’ motivations are two-fold, relating to concerns with the team’s medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and also to his contract, for which he wants at least an “alteration.”

–Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has not ruled out a holdout during training camp as the sides explore the possibility of a new contract, NFL Network reported.

Rapoport said “all options are on the table,” and the fourth-year running back “still has not yet firmly decided whether or not he is going to hold out.”

Elliott still has two years remaining on his rookie contract. He will make $3.85 million in the upcoming season, with an option in 2020 for $9.1 million.

–The NFL suspended Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed six games without pay for violating the personal conduct policy.

Reed was disciplined for an incident in Bellevue, Wash., on April 27, 2017, according to multiple reports. A woman filed a complaint of assault against Reed. Prosecutors investigated and declined to press charges.

NFL Network reported that Reed’s appeal of the suspension was denied on Friday.

–New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman has a finger injury and will be out about three weeks, ESPN reported.

Over the weekend, Edelman had a brace on his left thumb while working at his youth camp, and whether the thumb was broken wasn’t clear. The Patriots open training camp later this week in Foxborough, Mass.

–New Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers will start training camp on the shelf with a shoulder injury, per multiple reports.

Flowers, who signed a five-year, $90 million contract in March, had what was described as a minor shoulder procedure after the Super Bowl in February.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Damon Harrison told NFL Network he’ll report for training camp after sitting out offseason workouts in search of a new deal. Detroit opens training camp on Thursday.

–The Atlanta Falcons lost defensive tackle Michael Bennett and safety J.J. Wilcox to serious injuries on the first day of training camp, according to multiple reports from NFL Network.

Bennett is out indefinitely with a broken ankle, while Wilcox tore his ACL and will miss the 2019 season, NFL Network reported. Both players were competing for rotational roles on defense.

–DJ Durkin, ousted as Maryland’s football coach after the death of one of his players, is working as a training camp assistant coach with the Falcons.

Durkin was one of four camp-only coaches announced by head coach Dan Quinn, ESPN reported.

–The New York Jets signed former Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin to fill in for the recently suspended Chris Herndon.

Earlier this month, the NFL suspended Herndon for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He pleaded guilty in January to a 2018 DWI charge.

Meanwhile, Jets safety Marcus Maye was placed on the PUP list as he continues to recover from shoulder and thumb injuries from last season.

–The Tennessee Titans placed defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, tight end Jonnu Smith and kicker Ryan Succop on the PUP list.

Casey and Smith are still recovering from late-season knee injuries — Casey reportedly had a sprained MCL, while Smith tore his MCL — and Succop missed all offseason work with an undisclosed issue. The team also placed first-rounder Jeffery Simmons, who tore his ACL in February, on the non-football injury list.

–The Buffalo Bills placed running back Frank Gore on the NFI list and tight end Tyler Kroft on the PUP list.

Gore’s injury is unknown but not believed to be serious. Kroft broke his foot on the first day of OTAs. Both players joined the team in March via free agency.

–Green Bay Packers first-round safety Darnell Savage was placed on the NFI list after having his wisdom teeth pulled, ESPN reported.

–Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted rookie safety Zedrick Woods filed retirement papers with the NFL, The Athletic reported.

Woods is battling turf toe, according to agent Ron Butler. He had surprised teams by running the fastest 40-yard dash (4.29) at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

–The Minnesota Vikings waived running back Roc Thomas and signed guard Tiano Pupungatoa.

Thomas is suspended for the season’s first three games after pleading guilty to a marijuana charge earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Redskins’ Williams to hold out of camp

Report: Redskins' Williams to hold out of camp

Report: Redskins’ Williams to hold out of camp

Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is not expected to report to training camp with the rest of the team later this week, NFL Network reported Monday.

Williams missed a mandatory minicamp in June and his absence is expected to extend well into training camp, per the report.

“This could take awhile before Trent Williams is back in Washington, if at all,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on Training Camp Live. “It just really seems like an open-ended thing right now.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that Williams’ motivations are two-fold, relating to concerns with the team’s medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and also to his contract, for which he wants at least an “alteration.”

Williams had surgery in April to remove a tumor from his scalp, after there were initial concerns that the tumor could be malignant. It was not, and he was expected to recover in time for the regular season, but CBS Sports reported in June that Williams wanted out of Washington because of how the medical staff handled the situation.

Rapoport and Garafolo reported Monday that Williams has since had a second surgery to address a cosmetic issue with the original wound and could still have more operations. That could mean he wouldn’t be cleared to practice anyway, even if present at training camp.

“I know Trent knows how much we need him and want him back,” head coach Jay Gruden told reporters in June. “That’s the only thing I can do from here. As far as what happened with him and the doctors, that’s between he and the doctors, and hopefully we get that cleared up soon.”

As for Williams’ contract, he has two years and $24 million remaining — including base salaries of $11 million in 2019 and $12.5 million in 2020 — on a five-year, $68 million deal signed in 2015. Six offensive tackles have since exceeded Williams’ $13.6 million annual average, led by Oakland’s Trent Brown at $16.5 million.

Williams, who turned 31 on Friday, has reached seven consecutive Pro Bowls. He has been with the Redskins since 2010, when they took him fourth overall in the NFL draft.

Reliable swing tackle Ty Nsekhe left Washington for Buffalo during free agency. Former New York Giants first-round pick Ereck Flowers has been working as the first-team left tackle, and 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian is also competing for the swing tackle job.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons’ Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Falcons' Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Falcons’ Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle Monday in the first practice of training camp, NFL Network reported.

Bennett, 26, played in two games for the Falcons last season and was expected to compete for a primary role in the defensive-line rotation. He is out indefinitely.

Drafted in the sixth round by Jacksonville in 2015 out of Ohio State, Bennett played in 13 games with the Jaguars as a rookie and appeared in one game in 2017 when he struggled with chest and groin injuries. He also missed the entire 2016 season due to a calf injury.

He has tallied 16 tackles, two tackles for a loss and half a sack in 16 career NFL games.

It is the second major injury to the Falcons’ defensive line. Defensive end Steven Means suffered a torn Achilles tendon during organized team activities in May.

–Field Level Media

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Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

The New York Jets

Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

The New York Jets signed former Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin on Monday to fill in for the recently suspended Chris Herndon.

Earlier this month, the NFL suspended Herndon for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He pleaded guilty in January to a 2018 DWI charge.

Griffin, 29, caught 136 passes for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns in 77 games (36 starts) with the Texans from 2013-18.

He made a career-high 11 starts in 2018 and caught 24 passes for 305 yards.

Griffin’s six-year run in Houston ended abruptly in May when he was cut by the Texans after getting arrested in Nashville, Tenn., during the NFL draft. Charges of vandalism for breaking a hotel window and public intoxication were later dismissed.

–Field Level Media

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Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

New Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers will start training camp on the shelf with a shoulder injury, per multiple reports Monday.

On the bright side, the Lions will get back defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who told NFL Network he’ll report for training camp after sitting out offseason workouts in search of a new deal.

Flowers, an end and linebacker in the 3-4 defense, signed as a big-ticket prize in free agency in March. He left the New England Patriots, where he began his career as a protege of current Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

Flowers underwent what was described as a minor shoulder procedure at the end of the 2018 postseason. But starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list could be an ominous, unexpected signal of Flowers’ health. The Detroit Free Press was the first outlet to identify the nature of Flowers’ current injury.

Detroit opens training camp on Thursday.

The Lions spent almost all of last season without their prized pass rusher, Ziggy Ansah, who was playing on the one-year franchise tender but battled shoulder issues all year.

Flowers came in to replace Ansah, signing a five-year, $90 million deal to unite with Patricia. Flowers had 57 tackles for the Patriots last season and a career-best 7 1/2 sacks. He has 164 career tackles and 21 sacks in 46 games (37 starts) over four seasons.

Harrison, 30, was acquired for a fifth-round pick from the New York Giants last October and totaled 50 tackles (five for loss) with 3.5 sacks and seven QB hits in 10 games with the Lions. One of the game’s premier run-stuffers, he earned All-Pro honors in 2016 and hasn’t missed a game since 2012.

The eighth-year veteran has two years and $16.25 million remaining on his contract.

It’s unknown if the Lions’ other prominent offseason holdout, cornerback Darius Slay, also plans to report to training camp. Slay has two years and $23.5 million remaining on his contract.

Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for both Harrison and Slay, reportedly met with the Lions this week.

–Field Level Media

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Jacksonville Jaguars training camp primer

Jacksonville Jaguars training camp primer

New faces: QB Nick Foles,

Jacksonville Jaguars training camp primer

New faces: QB Nick Foles, LB Jake Ryan, DE Josh Allen, OT Jawaan Taylor, WR Chris Conley, WR Terrelle Pryor, TE Geoff Swaim, TE Josh Oliver

They’re gone: DT Malik Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson, LB Telvin Smith (at least for 2019), OT Jermey Parnell, WR Donte Moncrief, QB Blake Bortles, RB Carlos Hyde, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, G Chris Reed

2019 snapshot: The Bortles era is finally over, and Foles will surely provide an upgrade, but that doesn’t make his addition a slam dunk.

The price tag ($22 million annually, up to $25 million annually with incentives) was curiously high considering there was no other apparent suitor. There also isn’t much evidence Foles is a quality starter outside of Philadelphia, where his career rating is 74.2 compared to 93.2 with the Eagles. Pairing with former Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo could help, but the duo seems like an odd fit with Jacksonville’s run-heavy identity.

If Foles isn’t more than an average starter, the Jaguars’ defense must get back near its 2016 form, but the group still has plenty of holes. Jackson (released), Gipson (released) and Smith — who announced he won’t play in 2019 for personal reasons — were all key pieces of the dominant group from two years ago, and none has a proven replacement on the roster. Ryan helps some but isn’t nearly as fast as Smith.

On the plus side, the Jags had a terrific draft, capitalizing on Allen’s slide to No. 7 overall and then scooping up Taylor — considered a top-10 prospect by some — in Round 2. Oliver needs polish but has the talent to thrive as a receiver, and he could see plenty of work at a thin position.

Worth the investment?

–Are the Jaguars closer to their 2017 selves (10-6) than the group that went 5-11 last year? Vegas smartly has the 2019 over/under smack dab in the middle at 7.5.

–Even if you’re a believer in Foles, it’s hard to like him as a longshot MVP at +6600. If you hope to catch lightning in a bottle, you could have Kyler Murray for the same odds or Sam Darnold for better (+7500).

Bottom line: Foles is an upgrade, but he’s far from a savior. Likewise, the Jags should be better, but the difference might be marginal.

–Field Level Media

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Tennessee Titans training camp primer

Tennessee Titans training camp primer

New faces: G Rodger Saffold, WR Adam Humphries, DE Cameron

Tennessee Titans training camp primer

New faces: G Rodger Saffold, WR Adam Humphries, DE Cameron Wake, QB Ryan Tannehill, DT Brent Urban, DT Jeffery Simmons, WR A.J. Brown

They’re gone: OLB Brian Orakpo, OLB Derrick Morgan, S Johnathan Cyprien, DT Bennie Logan, G Josh Kline, TE Luke Stocker, G Quinton Spain, QB Blaine Gabbert

2019 snapshot: A small-market team that hasn’t won double-digit games since 2008, the Titans don’t draw many headlines, but they’ve been perhaps the league’s most aggressive team under GM Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel. For the second consecutive year, they handed out multiple major deals in free agency and then took heavy risks in the draft.

The question is whether that aggression makes sense, especially for two men who learned from the famously patient Patriots.

Saffold (four years, $44 million) and Humphries (four years, $36 million) should both help contract-year QB Marcus Mariota, but neither contract has an easy out if either flops. Tennessee also paid the 37-year-old Wake (three years, $23 million) handsomely, giving the team two undersized starting edge rushers along with Harold Landry.

Brown should contribute early, but his fit is odd — he’s best in the slot, where Humphries thrives and where Corey Davis has flashed at times. Despite adding Brown and Humphries, Tennessee’s offense still lacks perimeter speed. Meanwhile, the Titans’ first-round pick, Simmons, is recovering from a torn ACL and might not play this year, leaving just eight healthy picks from the past two drafts on the roster.

The Titans deserve credit for adding an option at quarterback in Tannehill, who could fill in if Mariota gets hurt or struggles. Still, it seems like they could be shopping for a new QB next spring.

Worth the investment?

–The Titans have reached nine wins in three straight seasons, making the over on their 7.5-win total look very reasonable, especially given Tannehill’s presence as a safety net.

–In a make-or-break year, Vegas appears to be leaning “break” for Mariota. He’s a 100-1 longshot, after entering 2018 with 40-1 odds.

Bottom line: Tennessee made some clear upgrades but took plenty of risks, and the pieces don’t quite seem to fit right. If Mariota doesn’t blossom, serious changes could follow next year.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars rookie S Woods retires

Jaguars rookie S Woods retires

Jacksonville rookie safety Zedrick Woods filed

Jaguars rookie S Woods retires

Jacksonville rookie safety Zedrick Woods filed retirement papers with the NFL, The Athletic reported Monday.

Woods, who signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent, was dealing with a turf toe injury, according to his agent, Ron Butler.

“It was kind of shocking to me just because I knew how much he was grateful for the opportunity to get a chance to play in Jacksonville and not being too far from home,” Butler told The Athletic of the decision by Woods, who is from Lake City, Fla., about 65 miles west from Jacksonville.

Woods, who turns 22 next month, played college football at Ole Miss and had six interceptions in 47 career games. He surprised NFL teams by running the 40-yard-dash in 4.29 seconds at the NFL Combine.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks DT Reed draws six-game suspension

Seahawks DT Reed draws six-game suspension

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed

Seahawks DT Reed draws six-game suspension

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed has been suspended for the six first games of the NFL season without pay for violating the personal conduct policy, the league announced Monday.

Reed was disciplined for an incident in Bellevue, Wash., on April 27, 2017, according to multiple reports. A woman filed a complaint of assault against Reed. Prosecutors investigated and declined to press charges.

The NFL Network reported that Reed’s appeal of the suspension was denied on Friday.

“We are aware of the situation involving Jarran Reed and have followed league and law enforcement protocol since the alleged incident in April of 2017,” the team said in a statement Monday.

Reed posted his own statement on Twitter.

“I apologize to those close to me including my family, the entire Seattle Seahawks organization and fans of the team for putting myself in a position where I could be disciplined by the NFL,” Reed wrote. “While I totally disagree with the decision of the NFL, I still must accept it and take responsibility for the situation. I have learned from this and will do everything I can to make my friends, family, teammates, fans and the Seahawks proud of me moving forward.”

Reed will forfeit approximately $394,000 of his nearly $1.17 million salary in 2019.

The 26-year-old Reed will be eligible to return to the active roster of the Seahawks on Oct. 14, one day after a game against the Cleveland Browns.

Reed had a career-best 10.5 sacks in 16 games last season after having just three in 30 games over his first two NFL seasons.

Reed underwent sports hernia surgery in late April but recovered in time to participate in minicamp drills during the second week of June.

–Field Level Media

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Lions’ $90M man Flowers on PUP

Lions' $90M man Flowers on PUP

New

Lions’ $90M man Flowers on PUP

New Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers will start training camp on the shelf with a shoulder injury, per multiple reports.

Flowers, an end and linebacker in the 3-4 defense, signed as a big-ticket prize in free agency in March. He left the New England Patriots, where he began his career as a protege of current Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

Flowers underwent what was described as a minor shoulder procedure at the end of the 2018 postseason. But starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list could be an ominous, unexpected signal of Flowers’ health. The Detroit Free Press was the first outlet to identify the nature of Flowers’ current injury.

Detroit opens training camp on Thursday.

The Lions spent almost all of last season without their prized pass rusher, Ziggy Ansah, who was playing on the one-year franchise tender but battled shoulder issues all year.

Flowers came in to replace Ansah, signing a five-year, $90 million deal to unite with Patricia. Flowers had 57 tackles for the Patriots last season and a career-best 7 1/2 sacks. He has 164 career tackles and 21 sacks in 46 games (37 starts) over four seasons.

–Field Level Media

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