Super Bowl LIII: Rams take aim at historic Patriots

Super Bowl LIII: Rams take aim at historic Patriots

ATLANTA — A sixth Lombardi Trophy would further cement the legacy of the New England Patriots, and specifically Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but the upstart Los Angeles Rams are chasing history of their own in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.

The Patriots are 5-3 in the Super Bowl, riding their historic coach-QB pairing to unmatched success.

“I think because of that experience, when those guys are so great at what they do and then they have that inventory that they have to draw on is so broad because of that experience,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said. “Tom has seen so many different things and he’s been able to adjust. He’s got such a great feel for understanding how to manipulate, move coverage, handle certain situations where he might have to redirect a protection or throw quick-element throws if he is hot. Then, the same thing with coach Belichick. I can’t imagine that there’s really a scheme that he hasn’t seen or hasn’t had to defend, because really, all the stuff that we’re running is some form of another play that we had already seen.”

Brady, who at 41 is eight years older than McVay, has a 29-10 record in the postseason. McVay, 26-9 including the postseason in two seasons as a head coach, has the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL since he took over a 4-12 Rams team in 2016.

The Rams feature a 4,000-yard passer, Jared Goff, two 1,200-yard receivers (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods) and running back Todd Gurley, the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year who eclipsed 1,800 yards from scrimmage and scored 21 total touchdowns in 2018.

The Rams were third in the NFL in rushing yards — 143.4 yards per game — in 2018.

Belichick said this week the Patriots always want to take away the run first, which prompted a Gurley smile and sharp retort.

“Nobody can take away both,” Gurley said. “You have to pick and choose what to stop.”

Brady has been unstoppable in the Super Bowl. While he’s breaking his own record — set last year in Super Bowl LII — as the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl, Brady also has 18 touchdown passes in eight appearances and threw for 505 yards in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That broke his record from the win in the previously Super Bowl — 466 yards against the Atlanta Falcons.

Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said the title game experience doesn’t matter on Sunday.

“Experience is great. But none of us have played in Super Bowl 53,” Suh said.

Suh has seen plenty of Brady from his years in the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins. And defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has also drawn Brady plenty in the postseason, and lived to tell about it. Phillips’ defenses have seven sacks and five interceptions against Brady in those games.

But former Brady teammate Aqib Talib isn’t banking on history to slow Brady. He backed Phillips’ comment that great quarterbacks aren’t fooled, they have to be outplayed.

“We have to play big, fast and physical,” Talib said. “They have a Hall of Fame quarterback.”

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the expected Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, said the Patriots can’t be stopped if the Rams don’t prioritize slowing down a running game that has been explosive and dominant in the playoffs. New England was third in the NFL (131.6 per game) in rushing.

One of the challenges with getting to Brady is his rapid release. NFL Next Gen stats show Brady had the quickest release in the NFL, letting it fly in an average of 2.6 seconds. By comparison, Goff had one of the slowest releases in the league.

“We know this: we have to stop the run first, then we have to get to Brady, make him uncomfortable,” said Donald, who recorded a league-high 20.5 sacks in the regular season.

Belichick sounds like a coach who expects the game to be a shootout. The aspect of the Rams’ offense that stood out to him in film study was they turn mistakes into touchdowns.

The Rams scored 527 points, including five touchdowns on returns, and run their offense at a fastbreak pace. McVay’s troops snapped the ball within three seconds of breaking the huddle on 123 snaps this season.

“Screw up one play, it will end up in the end zone,” Belichick said.

Goff will need to be precise with the ball against New England’s man coverage. No team had tighter coverage this season — the Patriots allowed an average of 3.0 yards of separation per route run — and All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore was one of the top cover men in the league in 2018. Quarterbacks targeting Gilmore had a 56.3 passer rating and a completion percentage of 42. He defended a career-high 20 passes.

“He doesn’t even let guys catch the ball in walkthroughs. That’s kind of his mindset and his demeanor,” Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty said.

New England won its first Super Bowl, Feb. 3, 2002, by beating the St. Louis Rams, 20-17.

The Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl 10 times entering Sunday’s game.

The Rams, who moved back to L.A. from St. Louis in 2016, are in their fourth Super Bowl. The franchise won 23-16 over the Tennessee Titans in 2000 and lost to the Steelers in 1980 (31-19).

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Day hires Williams to caddie at U.S. Open

Steve Williams will caddie for Jason Day at next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, according to multiple reports.

Williams caddied for Tiger Woods when he set a major championship record with a 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open at the same course in 2000.

Williams was on the bag for 13 of Woods’ 15 major titles. The New Zealander later caddied for Adam Scott from 2011-17 before announcing his retirement.

Day, whose only major victory to date was the 2015 PGA Championship, has missed the cut in the U.S. Open in each of the past two years. He finished in second place at the U.S. Open in 2011 and tied for second in 2013.

Day’s caddie since 2017 has been longtime friend and fellow Australian Luke Reardon. When asked by Golf Channel, Day and his representatives would not say if using Williams was a one-time thing or a permanent move.

–Field Level Media

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ESPN’s McShay being considered for Jets’ front office

ESPN's McShay being considered for Jets' front office

ESPN draft

ESPN’s McShay being considered for Jets’ front office

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said he’s under consideration for a job in the New York Jets’ front office.

McShay, 42, told ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Saturday that new Jets general manager Joe Douglas “is considering multiple options and I’m one of the options.”

He did not specify a potential role with the team but said he and Douglas would be talking in the next week.

Douglas and McShay were teammates at Richmond in the mid-1990s. After injuring his back, McShay stopping playing and performed a variety of duties for the Spiders, including videotaping practices and evaluating players.

McShay has been part of ESPN’s draft coverage since 2006.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Carolina quarterback Cam

Panthers QB Newton to participate in throwing drills

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s surgically repaired shoulder will be tested next week when he participates in throwing drills during a three-day minicamp.

The Panthers announced Saturday that the former MVP will throw during all quarterback drills and execute a limited number of throws to stationary targets. The camp begins on Tuesday.

“This is all part of the rehab process,” head trainer Ryan Vermillion said. “Cam has worked extremely hard this offseason with his rehabilitation and his preparation. … He’s achieved every milestone we’ve set out for him so far in preparation for this.”

Newton had an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder in January after sitting out the last two games of the 2018 season. Doctors removed scar tissue that remained from a 2017 surgery on the former league MVP’s partially torn rotator cuff.

Newton turned 30 in May and is preparing for his ninth NFL season.

“He’s done an outstanding job with his rehab and just being accountable to get his shoulder in the best shape possible,” quarterbacks coach Scott Turner said. “Mentally, with me in the classroom, he’s just been great. He understands how important all of this is. He’s progressing and he’s excited about it. We all are. He’s got a chance to have a really great year.”

Vermillion said Newton’s progress this week will be closely monitored.

“Cam’s confidence level is up because he’s pain-free,” Vermillion said. “He feels good about where he is right now — but we’re not done. This is one more step in our process as we get him ready for 2019.”

Newton completed a career-high 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2018. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has appeared in 123 (122 starts) of a possible 128 games since Carolina drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2011.

–Field Level Media

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Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

The New

Jets agree to bring back RB Powell

The New York Jets agreed to terms to bring back running back Bilal Powell on Friday, a month after he was cleared from a neck injury that was once considered potentially career threatening.

Powell, 30, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Jets, but he suffered a season-ending neck injury on Oct. 21. He underwent surgery soon after, and then-head coach Todd Bowles said it could end the running back’s career depending on the results of surgery.

Instead, Powell was cleared on May 8 and sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams saying he was “really looking forward to getting back to work.”

A fourth-round pick by New York in 2011, Powell has 791 carries for 3,446 yards and 15 touchdowns in 96 games (37 starts), along with 204 catches for 1,567 yards and five scores. In seven games last year, he had 343 rushing yards on 80 carries, plus 11 catches for 110 yards and a score.

Powell’s three-year, $11.25 million contract expired after 2018, in which he made $4 million. Terms of his new deal have not been reported.

–Field Level Media

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Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Kuchar, Brown lead RBC Canadian Open by 1

Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar posted equal rounds of 63 on Friday to share the lead at 12-under 128 following the second round of the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

Brandt Snedeker put together the round of the day in the morning wave, blistering the Hamilton Golf & Country Club with eight birdies and an eagle in carding a 10-under 60. That put him at 11 under for the tournament and gave Snedeker the clubhouse lead.

It wouldn’t survive the afternoon wave.

With ideal scoring conditions, Brown was the first to finish at 12 under courtesy of an eagle followed up by a string of five consecutive birdies. Kuchar, who like Brown shot an opening-round 65, was three shots off the pace before closing his round with three consecutive birdies.

“There’s definitely a stress level (on the course),” Kuchar, who has only one bogey through two rounds, told the Golf Channel. “This place, if you get off line, if you’re in the rough, if you miss greens, they’re tricky up-and-downs, they’re tricky par saves. I’ve done a good job of kind of managing and giving myself some chances.”

So, too, has Brown, who also has a lone bogey through 36 holes to go with 11 birdies and the eagle. While Kuchar entered this week with a pair of victories already on the season and leading the FedEx Cup standings, Brown entered ranked 250th in the world and coming off six missed cuts in his past eight events.

“I haven’t played great, but I’ve hit a lot of good shots,” Brown said. “I just haven’t been scoring that well, so I was able to put it together … these two days, anyway.”

Snedeker will play on Saturday with Nick Taylor, who closed with a pair of birdies to card a 65 and get to 11 under and a tie for third. He’s the top Canadian at the halfway point, one shot better than Adam Hadwin, who bogeyed the 18th to fall to 9 under.

No Canadian has won the country’s national event since Pat Fletcher in 1954, but four of the 12 in the field enter the weekend within the top 10. Mackenzie Hughes is at 8 under, while Ben Silverman posted a 61 – 10 shots better than his opening round – to move into a tie with Hughes.

They are one shot clear of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. The fourth-ranked player in the world reeled off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine, but closed with a bogey in carding a 4-under 66 on Friday.

McIlroy is making his event debut, as is Brooks Koepka. The top-ranked player in the world rebounded from an opening 70 to shoot a 4-under 66 on Friday. He’s tied with defending champion Dustin Johnson (65 on Friday), who has an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking this week.

NOTES: Snedeker shot a 59 in last year’s Wyndham Championship. … Overnight leader Keegan Bradley carded a 1-over 71 on Friday to drop to 6 under for the tournament. … The event moved from July to June for the first time since 1989. … Scott Piercy (263 in 2012) holds the tournament scoring record at Hamilton G&CC, which first hosted the event 100 years ago. Piercy (2 over) missed the cut, as did Spain’s Sergio Garcia (1 over) … Johnson is seeking to become the seventh player to successfully defend a Canadian Open title.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced

NFL notebook: Texans fire Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday that they have fired general manager Brian Gaine after one season, admitting that the timing of the change was “unusual.”

“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager. Brian is a man of high character and we appreciate his contributions to our organization,” said Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair in a statement.

“We will begin an immediate search for a new GM. In the interim, Football Operations will be led by Senior Vice President of Football Administration Chris Olsen. While the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of our organization in our quest to build a championship team for the City of Houston.”

Gaine spent three seasons with the Texans as director of player personnel from 2014 to 2016 before joining the Buffalo Bills as vice president of player personnel in 2017. He was hired as the Texans’ GM in January 2018 after former general manager Rick Smith took a leave of absence to take care of his wife as she battled cancer. Gaine was signed to a five-year contract.

–The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas as their new general manager.

ESPN reports Douglas was given a six-year contract, and that he tried to turn down the job multiple times before agreeing to the lengthy deal.

Douglas was widely reported as the favorite for the job, and some reports noted his name surfaced as a potential candidate even before the firing of previous GM Mike Maccagnan last month. The New York Daily News reported earlier this week the Jets were “not thrilled with the perception” that the job was Douglas’ to lose.

–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 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.”

–The New York Jets agreed to terms to bring back running back Bilal Powell, a month after he was cleared from a neck injury that was once considered potentially career threatening.

Powell, 30, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Jets, but he suffered a season-ending neck injury on Oct. 21. He underwent surgery soon after, and then-head coach Todd Bowles said it could end the running back’s career depending on the results of surgery.

Instead, Powell was cleared on May 8 and sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams saying he was “really looking forward to getting back to work.”

–Field Level Media

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Jets hire Eagles’ Douglas as GM

Jets hire Eagles' Douglas as GM

The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles

Jets hire Eagles’ Douglas as GM

The New York Jets hired Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas as their new general manager on Friday evening.

ESPN reports Douglas was given a six-year contract, and that he tried to turn down the job multiple times before agreeing to the lengthy deal.

Douglas was widely reported as the favorite for the job, and some reports noted his name surfaced as a potential candidate even before the firing of previous GM Mike Maccagnan last month. The New York Daily News reported earlier this week the Jets were “not thrilled with the perception” that the job was Douglas’ to lose.

Douglas previously worked with Jets head coach Adam Gase — who has been serving as interim GM — in Chicago during the 2015 season, when Gase was the Bears’ offensive coordinator and Douglas was the director of college scouting.

He left the Bears to join the Eagles in May of 2016 and helped construct the team that won Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl. Before arriving in Chicago, Douglas spent 16 years in the Baltimore Ravens’ personnel department from 2000-15.

Other candidates interviewed last week were Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Chicago Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly and New Orleans Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot.

The Jets held a second round of interviews with candidates on Wednesday before Friday’s announcement.

–Field Level Media

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Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday

Texans fire GM Gaine after one season

The Houston Texans announced Friday that they have fired general manager Brian Gaine after one season.

The Texans admitted that the timing of the change was “unusual.”

“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager. Brian is a man of high character and we appreciate his contributions to our organization,” said Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair in a statement.

“We will begin an immediate search for a new GM. In the interim, Football Operations will be led by Senior Vice President of Football Administration Chris Olsen. While the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of our organization in our quest to build a championship team for the City of Houston.”

Gaine spent three seasons with the Texans as director of player personnel from 2014 to 2016, before joining the Buffalo Bills as vice president of player personnel in 2017. He was hired as the Texans’ GM in January 2018 after former general manager Rick Smith took a leave of absence to take care of his wife as she battled cancer. Gaine was signed to a five-year contract.

Last season, the Texans finished 11-5 to win the AFC South but lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round. Mandatory mini-camp begins next week.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Prosecutors not investigating Chiefs’ Hill

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

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Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Bradley shoots 63, leads RBC Canadian Open by 1

Keegan Bradley shot a 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the first round of the RBC Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario.

Bradley was even par through six holes at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club before going on a tear that saw him reel off five consecutive birdies and seven birdies overall on his final 12 holes.

“It was solid almost top to bottom,” Bradley told the Golf Channel. “I hit almost every fairway, almost every green, then holed some putts. With me, it’s all about the putter. If that thing gets going, I can do stuff like today.”

Bradley is one shot clear of a group of five players at 6 under that includes Nick Taylor, who is one of 12 players in the field attempting to become the first Canadian to win the country’s national event since Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Also shooting 64s on Thursday were Roberto Castro, Ireland’s Shane Lowry, South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen and PGA Tour rookie Sungjae Im of South Korea.

Adam Hadwin, the most successful Canadian player on Tour over the past several years, is among a group of eight players at 5 under. That pack also includes FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar and former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, a Northern Irishman who spent hours on Tuesday trying to locate his clubs from Air Canada.

Top-ranked Brooks Koepka, playing for the first time since winning the PGA Championship last month, is at even par. So, too, is sixth-ranked Justin Thomas, who added this event last Friday after missing the cut at the Memorial.

Like Koepka, Rory McIlroy is making his debut in the event, using it as a tune-up for next week’s U.S. Open. The fourth-ranked Northern Irishman is four shots off the lead after carding a 3-under 67 on Thursday.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, is at 1 over, as are Bubba Watson and Spain’s Sergio Garcia.

Bradley will have to keep up his phenomenal all-around play to hold off the deepest field the Canadian Open has seen in recent memory. Bradley entered the week ranked No. 37 in the world after missing the cut in two of his past three events. His most recent victory came at the BMW Championship last September, and Bradley has only two top-20 finishes this year.

He hit 12 of 14 fairways Thursday and all but one green while needing only 29 putts during his bogey-free round.

“Today was one of the best of the year, if not the best,” Bradley said of his ball-striking. “I knew that if I just put myself in the fairway, which I did today … I was having these short irons in. I’m pretty dialed in right now, so I was able to really get that close, and then hole those putts.

“It’s a lot of fun … it’s a lot more fun doing that.”

NOTES: Bradley came in fourth place in the Canadian Open last year. … The event moved from July to June for the first time since 1989. … Scott Piercy (263 in 2012) holds the tournament scoring record at Hamilton G&CC, which first hosted the event 100 years ago. … Johnson is seeking to become the seventh player to successfully defend a Canadian Open title.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

The Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles, QB Wentz agree to 4-year extension

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with the sides agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

ESPN reports the extension is worth $128 million, with a max value of $144 million and a record of more than $107 million guaranteed. Combined with the final two years of his rookie deal — including $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.8 million in 2020 — Wentz’s contract is worth $154 million, with a max value of $170 million, over six years.

“I can’t even explain to you right now how excited I am to be a part of this great city for this many more years,” Wentz said in a video on Twitter.

“It means the world to me. From the moment I got drafted here, I knew this place was special and I knew they had the most passionate fans in the world in all of sports, and I knew we had the opportunity to build something truly special. …

“It’s going to be a fun ride.”

The Eagles in April exercised the fifth-year option on Wentz’s rookie contract for the 2020 campaign, worth about $22.8 million.

Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has passed for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games. He finished third in MVP balloting in 2017, when he passed for a franchise-record 33 touchdowns in 13 games before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Backup Nick Foles directed the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Wentz, 26, returned from the injury to play in 11 games last season and passed for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests with a back injury but is healthy and participating in OTAs.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday,

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with the sides agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

ESPN reports the extension is worth $128 million, with a max value of $144 million and a record of more than $107 million guaranteed. Combined with the final two years of his rookie deal — including $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.8 million in 2020 — Wentz’s contract is worth $154 million, with a max value of $170 million, over six years.

Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has passed for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games. He finished third in MVP balloting in 2017, when he passed for a franchise-record 33 touchdowns in 13 games before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Backup Nick Foles directed the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Wentz, 26, returned from the injury to play in 11 games last season and passed for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests with a back injury but is healthy and participating in OTAs.

–New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady clarified to reporters that his attempt to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific” was not done with the intent to use the moniker but rather to stop its use.

Brady, who filed to trademark the term last month, has drawn heavy criticism from New York Mets fans, as longtime Mets pitcher Tom Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his time with the Mets from 1967 to 1977. Brady said Thursday he regrets filing the trademark, adding he did so only so nobody else could.

“It’s unfortunate,” Brady said.

“I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname, and I wanted to make sure no one used it, because some people wanted to use it. I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around to something different than what it is. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”

–Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joined the Detroit Lions and reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The one-year deal reportedly is worth $2.3 million, according to multiple reports.

Kearse, 29, played for Bevell with the Seattle Seahawks but played most recently for the New York Jets. He caught 37 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown last season.

–The Arizona Cardinals claimed offensive tackle Desmond Harrison off the waiver wire.

The Cardinals had the first claim for the 25-year-old lineman, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday after he missed the first day of minicamp.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Harrison missed a flight and was “a little late.” He added that the team “just decided to move on.”

–New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy during a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Cardona, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The event was held on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose father, Steve, coached and scouted for the Navy football team from 1956-89, was in attendance to say a few words.

“Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion,” Bill Belichick said, per ESPN. “And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that’s kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals to claim OT Harrison

Report: Cardinals to claim OT Harrison

The Arizona Cardinals will

Report: Cardinals to claim OT Harrison

The Arizona Cardinals will claim offensive tackle Desmond Harrison off the waiver wire, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.

The Cleveland Browns waived Harrison on Wednesday.

By league rules, the Cardinals can’t put in a waiver claim for him until later Thursday afternoon, but they have first claim on the waiver wire. Rapoport said the 25-year-old lineman already was spotted in an airport headed to Arizona

Harrison played his rookie season in 2018 with the Browns as an undrafted free agent. He started the first eight games, but when coach Hue Jackson was fired, Harrison was benched and didn’t play again.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots LS Cardona promoted to lieutenant in Navy

Patriots LS Cardona promoted to lieutenant in Navy

New England

Patriots LS Cardona promoted to lieutenant in Navy

New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy on Thursday during a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Cardona, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The event was held on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose father, Steve, coached and scouted for the Navy football team from 1956-89, was in attendance to say a few words.

“Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion,” Belichick said, per ESPN. “And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that’s kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did.

“…[We’re] happy to recognize Joe on this day. It just makes it a special day for all of us.”

Cardona, 27, was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round in 2015. He has played in all 64 possible games through four seasons despite his commitments to the Navy, and he signed a four-year contract extension last June.

–Field Level Media

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Pats’ Brady clarifies ‘Tom Terrific’ intentions

Pats' Brady clarifies 'Tom Terrific' intentions

Pats’ Brady clarifies ‘Tom Terrific’ intentions

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady clarified to reporters on Thursday that his attempt to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific” was not done with the intent to use the moniker but rather to stop its use.

Brady, who filed to trademark the term last month, has drawn heavy criticism from New York Mets fans, as longtime Mets pitcher Tom Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his time with the Mets from 1967 to 1977. Brady said Thursday he regrets filing the trademark, adding he did so only so nobody else could.

“It’s unfortunate,” Brady said. “I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname, and I wanted to make sure no one used it, because some people wanted to use it.

“I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around to something different than what it is. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”

After news of the trademark filing emerged, the Mets posted on Twitter saying that only Seaver should be called “Tom Terrific.” In a show of bipartisan support, two New York congressmen — Peter King and Tom Suozzi — both told TMZ Sports the same on Wednesday.

“There’s only one ‘Tom Terrific,’ and that’s Tom Seaver,” King said. “Brady should stay up in New England.”

“(King is) a Republican, I’m a Democrat, and we both agree there will always only be one ‘Tom Terrific,'” Suozzi added.

Brady reiterated Thursday that he meant no disrespect to Hall of Fame member Seaver, a three-time Cy Young Award winner.

“I don’t like the nickname,” Brady said. “I don’t like when people give me many nice compliments, certainly that. It wasn’t something I was trying to do out of any disrespect or ill manner, or anything like that.”

–Field Level Media

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Lions sign WR Kearse

Lions sign WR Kearse

Wide

Lions sign WR Kearse

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joined the Detroit Lions and reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The one-year deal reportedly is worth $2.3 million, according to multiple reports.

Kearse, 29, played for Bevell with the Seattle Seahawks but played most recently for the New York Jets.

Kearse caught 37 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown last season.

Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay were Detroit’s top receivers last season but have been unable to participate fully in offseason workouts as they recover from injuries. The Lions signed slot receiver Danny Amendola in free agency.

Kearse, entering his eighth season, did not bow out of New York peacefully, saying he was overlooked by the Jets and rookie quarterback Sam Darnold in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos RB Lindsay hopes to be ready for camp

Broncos RB Lindsay hopes to be ready for camp

Broncos RB Lindsay hopes to be ready for camp

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has been out of action with a right wrist injury since Dec. 24, and he — along with new head coach Vic Fangio — is looking forward to getting back to work when the team reports to training camp in mid-July.

Lindsay, who suffered the injury in a loss to the Oakland Raiders, required surgery to repair ligament damage and has missed the team’s workouts since. While on the practice field during OTAs and this week’s minicamp, he has focused on strength and conditioning while the rest of the players go through team drills.

“The surgeon told me [it would take a few months to recover] … but when you hear it, it’s ‘OK, OK,’ but when you have to go through it and now it’s like four months in, you’re like, ‘Man, now it’s going to be six months,'” Lindsay said Wednesday at minicamp. “It’s a long process, but it’s worth it. … It’s your livelihood, you’ve got to be OK and they want to put me in the best position to make plays.”

Lindsay shed a bulky wrist brace this week and has been catching passes from the jugs machine, showing progress.

After Wednesday’s practice, Fangio said he expects Lindsay to be ready for training camp.

“I haven’t seen him out on the field, but I think he’s a very intense competitor, wants to do well and has his priorities in order,” Fangio said. “I think he can already be classified as a good pro even though it’s his second year, and that’s probably why he had the very good rookie season. Everything that I’ve learned about him is all good.”

Asked if they are taking extra precautions with Lindsay and his wrist, Fangio said, “No, it’s not heightened. It’s a particular injury where they tell me everything’s gone well and they just don’t want it to get bumped on yet. He can go out there and do everything. They just want to use this time and the next five weeks to make sure he’s ready to go.”

Lindsay, who became the first undrafted offensive rookie ever to earn Pro Bowl honors, amassed 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns on 192 carries last season. His average of 5.4 yards per carry tied for second in the league.

Regarding his current status, Lindsay said, “I feel like I’m very close. It’s going to come down to the head coach and our training staff to make the decisions. I trust them. For me, I’m going to be ready when it’s time. That’s it. When they say it’s time to go, they say I’m going today, I’ll be ready.”

–Field Level Media

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49ers extend LT Staley through 2021

49ers extend LT Staley through 2021

The San Francisco 49ers signed

49ers extend LT Staley through 2021

The San Francisco 49ers signed left tackle Joe Staley to a two-year contract extension Monday, the team announced Wednesday evening during its “State of the Franchise” presentation for season-ticket holders.

Staley was set to enter the final year of a six-year, $44.7 million contract, with expected earnings of $8.6 million in 2019, but is now under contract through 2021. Additional terms of the extension have yet to be reported.

Staley appeared on the show alongside other players, coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and CEO Jed York.

“Honestly Jed, since the moment you guys drafted me in 2007, it’s been my absolute honor to play for my franchise,” Staley said, “and I wanted nothing more to complete my entire career with this franchise.

“…What we want to do is bring you a championship trophy. I want to because this is the only franchise that matters to me.”

Staley, who will turn 35 in August, has 174 career starts since the 49ers drafted him 28th overall in 2007, reaching six Pro Bowls. He started all 16 games last season for the first time since 2015, allowing 3.5 sacks, per STATS LLC. That was his lowest single-season figure since 2013.

San Francisco drafted tackle Mike McGlinchey ninth overall last year, but he will remain on the right side for the forseeable future.

–Field Level Media

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Browns waive former LT Harrison after tardiness

Browns waive former LT Harrison after tardiness

The

Browns waive former LT Harrison after tardiness

The Cleveland Browns waived former starting left tackle Desmond Harrison on Wednesday, a day after he missed the first practice of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Harrison missed a flight and was “a little late.” He added that the team “just decided to move on.”

Harrison, 25, started the Browns’ first eight games in 2018 at left tackle — the first player to start at the position following stalwart Joe Thomas’ retirement — as an undrafted rookie out of West Georgia. He was a late scratch in Week 9 with an illness and was inactive the rest of the year after losing the starting job to Greg Robinson.

Robinson was re-signed to a one-year, $7 million deal this offseason.

Harrison was once considered a potential high draft pick after joining Texas as a top high school recruit, but he was suspended three times by the Longhorns and spent two years away from football before joining West Georgia in 2017. He starred at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine but still went undrafted.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka ‘could care less’ about Canadian Open result

Koepka 'could care less' about Canadian Open result

Koepka ‘could care less’ about Canadian Open result

Brooks Koepka acknowledges that his debut appearance at this week’s RBC Canadian Open is geared specifically toward preparing for next week’s U.S. Open.

The world’s top-ranked player told reporters that “I’ve not touched a club” since winning last month’s PGA Championship. That victory marked Koepka’s fourth major title in the past eight majors, and the two-time defending U.S. Open champion’s sole concern this week is in sharpening his game for Pebble Beach.

“I could care less what happens (this week),” he said, per the Golf Channel. “I just want to feel good going into next week. As long as I can leave feeling confident, striking the ball very well, starting it where I want to, finishing where I want to, hitting some good putts … it doesn’t matter if they do go in or not. I just want to feel confident leaving.”

The Canadian Open benefitted greatly from the move to June from its traditional July slot. Pegged between two majors, it boasts a field featuring Koepka, No. 2 Dustin Johnson and No. 4 Rory McIlroy.

Koepka has played the week before all four of his major victories, including finishing no better than 30th the week before his two U.S. Open triumphs.

“The result doesn’t really matter this week,” he said. “It’s just how I feel I’ve played. Am I hitting enough good shots and really finding a rhythm?”

–Field Level Media

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