Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB’s run with Steelers

Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB’s run with Steelers

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wishes Antonio Brown’s end run in Pittsburgh had been amicable.

Smith-Schuster jumped to the No. 1 receiver role with the team when Brown was dealt to the Oakland Raiders.

Brown left Pittsburgh, torch in hand, criticizing management, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and other team leaders. He didn’t exactly share kind words about Smith-Schuster, either.

“The man’s a role model. In that situation, I didn’t want it to end like that,” Smith-Schuster said Wednesday. “I have no hard feelings against him. Obviously if we’re ever in the same room, I’m going to say what’s up to him. I think hatred is a huge word to use against somebody. At the end of the day he’s a great player, he comes out every day with work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don’t have anything toward him like that.”

Brown put Smith-Schuster on blast with a direct attack via Twitter shortly after the Steelers announced Smith-Schuster as the team’s 2018 Most Valuable Player. The team award is voted on by players in the locker room.

Brown tweeted: “Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! by the way check the list.”

Smith-Schuster replied to the April 7 Twitter storm.

“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/ a big contract, and now he takes shots at me on social media?

“Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love! Smh.”

With the benefit of hindsight, Smith-Schuster said he should have passed on the emotional response and avoided the negative attention it brought.

“I never want to be the center of attention for causing problems,” Smith-Schuster said. “I just try to stay positive as much as possible. When stuff like that goes sideways, I say what I say and then I back out and leave it at that.”

–Field Level Media

Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Chicago’s search for a kicker hit the upright again at minicamp.

The Bears waived former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt on Wednesday, one of three kickers at mandatory minicamp. On Tuesday, with the whole team and about 25 former Bears gathered to watch, all three kickers missed a 42-yard attempt.

“Um, whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” head coach Matt Nagy said of the missed kicks. “Yeah, no, I mean, that’s about as real as it gets. They were 0-for-3 out there. For today, we can’t have that. We are going to figure this thing out but 0-for-3 today, no good.”

Still under contract are Eddy Pineiro, acquired from the Oakland Raiders, and former AAF kicker Elliott Fry, but the Bears aren’t satisfied with those options as training camp looms.

“We talk it through and we figure it out and we do everything we possibly can to make sure that in the end, when we get to the very end, we have the right guy there,” Nagy said.

The Bears cut Cody Parkey, who missed a 43-yard attempt that would have given Chicago a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Instead, the Bears lost 16-15 after Parkey missed the kick with seconds remaining.

The Bears have actively searched for a new starting place-kicker since the club cut Parkey.

Parkey missed seven field goal attempts and three extra points in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders to draw spotlight on ‘Hard Knocks’

Raiders to draw spotlight on 'Hard Knocks'

Just watch, baby.

Raiders to draw spotlight on ‘Hard Knocks’

Just watch, baby.

That is what HBO is hoping football fans will do this summer when they feature the Oakland Raiders on the latest season of “Hard Knocks.” The network and the NFL announced Tuesday that the Raiders will be showcased in the 14th edition of the series.

The five-episode series will have no shortage of storylines as it focuses on the Raiders, who are led by fiery head coach Jon Gruden and acquired superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown during the offseason. Oakland is looking to bounce back from a 4-12 season in what is expected to be its final season in the Bay Area before the franchise moves to Las Vegas.

The series likely will spend ample time on the Raiders’ rookie class, which includes a trio of first-round picks: defensive tackle Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson, running back Josh Jacobs out of Alabama and safety Johnathan Abram out of Mississippi State.

HBO plans to air the series debut on Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

“Everybody wants to be a Raider,” team owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “Now they’ll find out what it takes to become one.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Saints’ Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

NFL notebook: Saints' Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

NFL notebook: Saints’ Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

–HBO and the NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders will be featured on Season 14 of “Hard Knocks.” HBO plans to air the series debut on Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

The five-episode series will have no shortage of storylines as it focuses on the Raiders, who are led by fiery head coach Jon Gruden and newly acquired superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown. Oakland is looking to bounce back from a 4-12 season in what is expected to be its final season in the Bay Area before the franchise moves to Las Vegas.

The series likely will spend ample time on the Raiders’ rookie class, which includes a trio of first-round picks: defensive tackle Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson, running back Josh Jacobs out of Alabama and safety Johnathan Abram out of Mississippi State.

–A judge declared a mistrial on eight remaining counts against former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who was found guilty of felony rape one day earlier in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct. He was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge on Monday, but the jury was deadlocked on the other eight charges, and Judge Blaine K. Bowman ordered the jurors to return Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 a.m. PT, Bowman received a note from the jurors saying they remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, which included six felonies. He then polled the jury in the courtroom. After hearing the results, he declared a mistrial on all eight counts.

–New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones.

Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order. That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.

“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “I know we’re dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll just see what happens.”

–Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no-brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars informed Jalen Ramsey he won’t receive a contract extension this year, the All-Pro cornerback said at minicamp.

Ramsey, 24, who is entering his fourth season, said he wasn’t upset about the situation, even joking on Twitter that he planned to “ask for so much money, they have to put me on lay-away.”

–Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

–Allen Hurns was expected to miss at least part of the 2019 NFL season after sustaining a horrific lower-leg injury in January, but the Dallas Cowboys receiver told reporters that he expects to be fully ready when training camp opens next month.

Hurns, 27, ran pass routes for the first time since badly dislocating his left ankle and breaking his fibula during the NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5. He said he would participate in individual drills on Thursday, the final day of camp.

–The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

The Los Angeles Chargers signed defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, the team’s 2019 first-round draft pick, to a four-year contract Tuesday.

According to ProFootballRumors.com, Tillery is set to receive $11.4 million, which is the slotted amount for the 28th overall pick, with a $6.3 million signing bonus.

The Chargers could lean heavily on Tillery (6-foot-6, 300), who shined during his collegiate career at Notre Dame. Tillery joins a talented defensive front that includes Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Los Angeles has two more draft picks to sign: second-rounder Nasir Adderley (defensive back, Delaware) and third-rounder Trey Pipkins (offensive guard, Sioux Falls.)

–Field Level Media

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Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith was arrested Monday in Kansas on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The 29-year-old was initially stopped for a traffic violation. He was issued citations at the station in Mission, Kan., and picked up there by a friend, a police spokesman told the Kansas City Star.

Smith has not played in the NFL since November 2015, when he was suspended by the league for a year for violating its substance-abuse policy.

The 49ers drafted Smith No. 7 overall in 2011 and he was an immediate success, tallying 14 sacks as a rookie and earning first-team All-Pro honors with 19.5 sacks in 2012.

After four seasons and 44 sacks in 50 games with San Francisco, he played in seven games for the Raiders prior to his suspension in 2015.

Smith has a long history of run-ins with the law, including at least three previous DUI arrests.

Last November, Smith entered no-contest pleas to two misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

In exchange for his plea, he received a sentence of 90 days in jail and received credit for time served in a residential treatment center. He also was sentenced to three years of probation, one year of domestic violence counseling and 25 hours of community service.

–Field Level Media

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Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared a mistrial Tuesday on eight remaining counts against former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who was found guilty of felony rape one day earlier in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge on Monday. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

But the jury was deadlocked on the other eight charges and Judge Blaine K. Bowman ordered the jurors to return Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 a.m. PT, Bowman received a note from the jurors saying they remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, which include six felonies.

A short time later, Bowman polled the jury in the courtroom. After hearing the results, he declared a mistrial on all eight counts.

Winslow still faces as long as nine years in prison, due to the rape conviction and the two misdemeanor convictions.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 57-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 77-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the courtroom daily, including when the verdicts against his son were read on Monday.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is known as the toughest test in golf, with narrow fairways, penalizing rough, and pin placements almost impossible to reach.

Some of the top pros claim the way the USGA has set up its championship courses in recent years is more than tough; it’s been unfair.

Those complaints were a big topic of conversation Tuesday after practice rounds for this week’s U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the famed and picturesque Pebble Beach in northern California.

But you won’t hear any moaning from the guy who is going for his third consecutive U.S. Open title.

“I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course,” Brooks Koepka said.

“It doesn’t make a difference if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there’s really no problem, is there? So obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. So they’re not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn’t have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn’t have to complain about the greens.

“I’ve just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn’t matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody’s excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they’re dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me.

“It’s just something we’ve all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn’t have a problem.”

Koepka won last year at Shinnecock Hills in New York with a 1-over-par total. Perhaps the moment most remember from the event is Phil Mickelson, afraid his putt at a treacherous hole location was going to roll off the green and into a bunker, chased down the ball and hit it back while it was moving. He was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

On Saturday at Shinnecock, the last 45 players to tee off failed to break par.

Tough or unfair?

“I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that’s what you want to do in majors, you want to separate who is playing the best from who’s not,” said Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when dead fescue grass on the greens was a significant storyline.

“And I don’t see how that’s not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone a hundred percent perfectly and it didn’t, necessarily.”

The USGA has narrowed the fairways slightly from the typical setup at Pebble Beach, and Englishman Justin Rose said, “The rough seems penal but not outrageous.”

“I think there’s going to be some very unlucky lies around the greens and the tops of the bunkers the way they’ve let the fescue, or whatever that grass is around the tops of the bunkers, grow,” he added.

“It’s quite a coarse grass as well. Any ball that lands just over the top of a bunker and lands in that longer grass, I think the ball is going to stick in there and you’re going to have some tough lies. And maybe you’ll see guys not move a ball possibly from the tops of those bunkers. That’s probably the most penal area of the golf course, I think.”

It’s all fine by Koepka.

“I just view it as this is what it is this week, and I’ve got to deal with it and go,” he said. “In my mind it doesn’t equate to a bad setup or good setup.”

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Allen Hurns’ horrific lower-leg injury appeared to be the type that might cause him to miss at least part of the 2019 NFL season.

But the Dallas Cowboys receiver is recovering fast and he told reporters on Tuesday that he expects to be fully ready when training camp opens next month.

Hurns, 27, ran pass routes on Tuesday for the first time since badly dislocating his left ankle and breaking his fibula during the NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5. He said he will participate in individual drills on Thursday, the final day of camp.

Hurns was injured after catching a pass in the first quarter of the wild-card contest and was taken to the hospital with his leg in an air cast. He soon underwent surgery.

“I still get a little cringy thinking about it, but you know what’s surprising going through that? It wasn’t like the worst pain in my life,” Hurns told reporters in Frisco, Texas. “I was more freaked out about my ankle facing another way, but it was crazy for sure. Especially I had to stay off social media with everybody tagging me and things like that showing me the videos. I try not to watch it.”

Hurns was unable to put weight on the lower leg for two months. The first step was jogging, and now he describes himself as 90 percent recovered.

“It’s a progression thing,” Hurns said. “That’s the great thing about it. Each week you come in and you see that, ‘OK, I progressed to this,’ and you can look back and say I’m not where I was. That’s the great thing.”

Hurns caught just 20 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns last season in his first year with Dallas after playing his first four campaigns with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His best season was in 2015 when he established career highs of 64 receptions, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The meager 2018 production adds another element, as Hurns is due to be paid $4 million in base salary in 2019 with a salary cap hit of $6.25 million.

He said he is aware the Cowboys might approach with an ultimatum: Take a pay cut or be released.

“I know that I’d return. I’m not sure where it’s going to be,” Hurns said. “My main thing is to get healthy, put together a great training camp and go from there.”

–Field Level Media

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Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka's U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

It’s hard to argue with the game plan of the man who has won four of the past nine majors, but U.S. sportsbooks have cooled a bit on Brooks Koepka’s odds of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open this week.

Koepka acknowledged that he did not touch a club after winning the PGA Championship last month until arriving at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He then tied for 50th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. He never sniffed at contention.

A distinct favorite for Pebble Beach after his two-stroke triumph at Bethpage Black, Koepka has been surpassed by Dustin Johnson as the listed favorite by several sportsbooks. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has also nudged ahead in some sportsbooks following his seven-shot victory in Canada.

While those three are co-favorites at +850 by FanDuel, SugarHouse favors Johnson (+700) over McIlroy (+800) and Koepka (+900). William Hill also has Johnson at +700, followed by Koepka (+850) and Jordan Spieth (+1000). Despite his record-setting victory at the Canadian Open, McIlroy is only tied for the third betting favorite by William Hill at +1000.

PointsBet lists Johnson and McIlroy as the co-favorites at +800 — slightly ahead of Koepka (+850).

Tiger Woods is no worse than +1100 by each of the four books.

Looking for a stab at the riches? SugarHouse is offering +250000 on a trio of players: Connor Arendell, Eric Dietrich and Hayden Shieh.

William Hill is offering some fun matchup prop bets, with McIlroy (-165) favored to finished higher than Woods (+145), and Johnson (-130) expected to out-duel Koepka (+110).

William Hill Prop Bets

Top 10 finish/not

Tiger Woods: +120/-140

Brooks Koepka: +100/-120

Rory McIlroy: +100/-120

Dustin Johnson: -110/-110

Jordan Spieth: -120/+100

Phil Mickelson: +200/-240

Rickie Fowler: +110/-130

Justin Thomas: +130/-150

Make/Miss Cut props:

Phil Mickelson: -250/+210

Sergio Garcia: -220/+190

Bubba Watson: -190/+170

Patrick Reed: -260/+220

Paul Casey: -260/+220

Hole In One

Yes: -130

No: +110

Decided By Playoff

Yes: +300

No: -360

Lowest Round Score (64.5): -110/-110

72-hole Winning Score (278.5): -110/-110

36-hole Cut Score (146.5): -110/-110

PointsBet is offering odds on the nationality of the winner:

USA: -400

England: +540

Northern Ireland: +550

Australia: +800

Spain: +1200

Japan: +1600

Italy: +1800

South Africa: +1800

Sweden: +2000

Ireland: +2500

South Korea: +3000

Germany: +3500

Denmark: +4000

China: +5000

Chinese Tapei: +5000

Slovakia: +5000

Belgium: +5000

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to Schefter.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

The next pressing contract matter for the Saints to address is wide receiver Michael Thomas. The two sides have held loose discussions about the direction of a deal, but no tangible progress has been reported.

He has spent his eight-year NFL career with the Saints after being selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2011 draft out of Cal. He has 71.5 career sacks and 98 tackles for loss in 128 games (127 starts).

He earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod last season, when he had 12 sacks and helped New Orleans reach the NFC Championship Game. Jordan was first-team All-Pro in 2017, when he had a career-best 13 sacks, broke up 11 passes and forced two fumbles.

–Field Level Media

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Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters Tuesday that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

Luck, 29, was named the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after completing a career-best 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns and leading the Colts to a playoff berth.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft sat out the entire 2017 season following surgery on his right shoulder.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The Atlanta Falcons will induct Roddy White into their Ring of Honor this season.

The team’s all-time leading receiver made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the ceremony will happen during the Dec. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“I’m extremely happy about it for me and my family,” tweeted White, who becomes the 11th player to be inducted and the first since running back Warrick Dunn in 2017.

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, spent his entire 11-year career with Atlanta (2005-15) and caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns in 171 games.

Julio Jones enters 2019 ranked second on the franchise list in receptions (698) and yards (10,731), while Terance Mathis ranks second in touchdown grabs (57).

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars’ Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

Jaguars' Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

Jaguars’ Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

The Jacksonville Jaguars informed Jalen Ramsey he won’t receive a contract extension this year, the All-Pro cornerback said Tuesday at minicamp.

Ramsey said he wasn’t upset about the situation, even joking on Twitter that he planned to “ask for so much money, they have to put me on lay-away.”

“As long as I’m a part of this organization, as long as I’m a part of Duval County, I’m going to give the city and the players all I’ve got, and I think y’all know that,” Ramsey said. “I’ve fought through injuries. I’ve fought through everything, haven’t missed a game. …

“I feel like I have outplayed my rookie contract and I feel I’ve earned a new contract. But at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world. I’m tremendously blessed. I’m so blessed. I’m not down on it or anything like that at all, but that is the circumstance. That is what I’ve been told.”

Ramsey, 24, is entering his fourth season. In April, the Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract that will pay him $13.7 million in 2020. He will earn a base salary of $3.6 million in 2019.

Ramsey has started all 48 games since the Jags made him the No. 5 overall pick in 2016, totaling 193 tackles, nine interceptions and 44 passes defensed. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2017 and has made two straight Pro Bowls (2017-18).

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed

Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

Jones, 24, is due $1.2 million in base salary. That’s not anywhere near market value considering his 15.5-sack 2018 season.

Jones has generated 24 sacks through his first three NFL seasons.

Per NFL Network, a slowdown in negotiations prompted Jones to pass on mandatory minicamp.

Kansas City is moving to a 4-3 front under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His scheme is precedented on pass-rushing skill at all four defensive line spots.

–Field Level Media

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Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

Giants' Shurmur stokes QB controversy: 'We'll see what happens'

Giants’ Shurmur stokes QB controversy: ‘We’ll see what happens’

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones on Tuesday.

Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order.

That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.

“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “I know we’re dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll just see what happens. … We do feel good where Eli is, he’s our starting quarterback, and we’ve got a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player getting himself ready to play.”

Manning, 38, has faced questions about his diminished skills and longevity before. Two years ago, then-coach Ben McAdoo ended Manning’s consecutive starts streak to start Geno Smith, fanning the flames for pundits insisting Manning’s best days are behind him.

Shurmur, hired to replace McAdoo, hopped in Manning’s corner. At the end of the 2018 regular season, he said Manning had “years left” as a starting quarterback and insisted he would continue to start because “experience matters.”

Jones, drafted sixth overall by the Giants in April, has a similar demeanor to Manning and has been tutored by Peyton Manning. The team also has 2018 fourth-rounder Kyle Lauletta and veteran backup Alex Tanney.

“I’m not trying to be cryptic about it,” Shurmur said Tuesday. “It is what I said it is. Eli is getting ready to have an outstanding year and Daniel is getting ready to play. That’s really about it.”

Shurmur was strong in his assessment last month of where the quarterbacks stood.

“At the quarterback position, we have a starter in Eli and we have guys behind him, specifically Daniel Jones, who need to do everything they can to be ready to play Week 1. That’s where we’re at,” Shurmur said.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle

Vikings’ Rudolph reportedly gets 4-year, $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multiyear contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp is set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. ESPN and NFL.com both reported that he landed a four-year, $36 million extension.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end

Winslow II found guilty of rape, two other charges

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II was found guilty of felony rape and two other charges on Monday in a courtroom in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

According to published reports, jurors told Judge Blaine K. Bowman they were deadlocked on nine other counts, including six felonies.

The jurors went back to their room to deliberate further but later delivered a note to the judge saying, “We remain deadlocked on all remaining charges.”

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 78-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the court room when the verdicts against his son were read.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

Texans request interview with Patriots' Caserio

The

Texans request interview with Patriots’ Caserio

The Houston Texans officially requested permission to interview New England Patriots director of pro personnel Nick Caserio.

Caserio serves as the scouting right-hand man for head coach Bill Belichick in New England, but he is also a friend of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. Caserio has been pro personnel director since 2008.

The first candidates to replace fired general manager Brian Gaine were former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew, according to reports.

Farmer, who was fired by Cleveland in January 2016 after two seasons, was in Houston for an interview on Saturday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Farmer, 44, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of player personnel from 2006-12 before becoming the assistant general manager in Cleveland in 2013. He was promoted to GM in 2014.

In March 2015, the NFL suspended Farmer for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for texting coaches during games in violation of league rules. The Browns were also fined $250,000.

Mayhew, 53, was in Houston for an interview on Sunday, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager reported. He is currently the San Francisco 49ers’ vice president of player personnel and previously served as the Lions’ general manager from 2008-15.

Other candidates linked to the Texans’ search include Patriots’ director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie and former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won't attend minicamp

Jaguars DE Ngakoue wants extension, won’t attend minicamp

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said he won’t take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp, scheduled to start Tuesday, because he’s frustrated by his lack of a contract extension.

“I will not be attending minicamp as my contract has not been resolved,” Ngakoue said in a written statement. “I remain committed to Jacksonville, the fans and my teammates. My hope is to be with Jacksonville for years to come.”

The Jaguars selected Ngakoue, a product of Maryland, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 48 games (47 starts) over three seasons with the Jaguars, he has produced 29.5 sacks.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal and is scheduled to earn $2.025 million.

It’s another bump in a rocky offseason for the Jaguars.

Linebacker Telvin Smith said in May that he is taking the 2019 season off for personal reasons. Before that announcement, he and cornerback Jalen Ramsey drew the wrath of team executive vice president Tom Coughlin for failing to show up at voluntary organized team activities.

Ngakoue has at least one teammate in his corner as he makes his stand.

Running back Leonard Fournette tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Pay @YannickNgakoue @Jaguars”

–Field Level Media

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