Super Bowl LIII referee Parry retires, joins ESPN

Super Bowl LIII referee Parry retires, joins ESPN

Super Bowl LIII referee John Parry has retired and is joining ESPN as an officiating analyst.

He will provide analysis from the broadcast booth on “Monday Night Football” and also will work on NFL studio shows and SportsCenter, the network announced Monday.

“John’s role will be a first for ESPN’s NFL coverage. He will educate our commentators, staff, and, most importantly, millions of fans,” said Jay Rothman, producer of the Monday night telecast, in a network statement. “John will appear on our array of studio shows throughout the season and be part of the Monday Night Football team. With the attention to replay and rules at an all-time high, he is uniquely qualified to teach, add perspective and bring clarity to fans.”

Former NFL officials Gerry Austin and Jeff Triplette previously worked for ESPN.

Parry, who became an NFL official in 2000, worked as a back judge and side judge until his promotion to referee for the 2007 season.

He officiated in the Super Bowls in 2007, 2012 and 2019.

“I will fully embrace this new position,” Parry said in the statement. “We hope to leverage 20 years of NFL officiating experience to our talent and to our great fans. Bringing clarity to a complicated game will be both challenging and rewarding. ESPN is a perfect fit based on their dedication to educating and entertaining fans.”

Al Riveron, the league’s head of officiating, wished Parry well on a league-sanctioned Twitter account on Monday.

“Referee John Parry has announced his retirement after 19 seasons & 3 Super Bowls. Thank you, John, for your dedication to the game. We wish you all the best!” Riveron wrote.

Parry’s retirement follows those of referees Triplette, Walt Coleman, Ed Hochuli, Terry McAulay, Pete Morelli and Gene Steratore over the past few years.

–Field Level Media

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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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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Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach

Steelers name veteran Sherman interim WR coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers named Ray Sherman as the interim wide receivers coach for the 2019 season.

He replaces Darryl Drake, who died suddenly on Aug. 11.

Sherman joined the Steelers at the start of training camp, initially as an observer. But after Drake’s death, Sherman began working with the wide receivers group.

He hasn’t coached since he retired following the 2015 season but has a lengthy resume.

Sherman, 67, was a wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State, and he started his coaching career in 1974 as a graduate assistant at San Jose State.

He spent 14 years in the college ranks, coaching at Cal, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Purdue and Georgia. In 1988, he moved on to the NFL and had stops with the Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams.

He also served as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh in 1998.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster praised the selection.

“A guy who has been here,” Smith-Schuster said in a team statement. “He has coached everybody from Jerry Rice to young guys like us. It’s the best opportunity to have him step up and play that role for us.”

He added that Sherman has helped them through the transition after Drake’s death.

“To go through this at a young age, 22 years old, there are no words that can explain what we are going through. For Ray, he was retired, for him to come out of his way to be here it means a lot not only to myself but to the receivers in the room. We don’t want to change that.”

–Field Level Media

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Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Olesen to stand trial on sexual assault, other charges

Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will stand trial next month after pleading not guilty to charges of assault by beating, sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft.

Olesen was arrested July 29 at Heathrow Airport in London following his alleged actions on a British Airways flight from Memphis, where he played in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

He has been suspended by the European Tour pending the outcome of the trial.

Olesen briefly appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in London on Wednesday to enter his plea and also confirm his name, age and address.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Sept 18 at Isleworth Crown Court in London.

Olesen, 29, is ranked No. 65 in the world. He has five European Tour victories and was a member of Europe’s victorious 2018 Ryder Cup team.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play

Cowboys WR Cooper downplays injury

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will not play in the preseason but the 25-year-old said his foot injury is not a concern.

Cooper, starting his first full season with the Cowboys, dealt with a foot injury as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders and before that as a sophomore at Alabama. This summer, he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and has missed three weeks of practice.

“I’m not really worried,” Cooper said in an interview with USA Today. “It’s not really that bad, especially just walking around. But to do the things that I do on the field, obviously I’m cutting really hard, I’m stopping really hard.”

Now in his fifth season, Cooper said he’s accustomed to playing with injuries if necessary.

“I played with a lot of foot injuries,” Cooper said. “I played with high ankle sprains. All those things so I’m pretty good at playing with foot injuries. But I don’t think I’m going to have to play with it.”

The Pro Bowl wideout enters the final year of his contract as a focal point of the passing game in Dallas. With running back Ezekiel Elliott missing from the startling lineup as well — Elliott is holding out for a new deal with two years remaining on his rookie contract — the Cowboys have an assortment of variables to figure out before the opener against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

“Of course I feel like I’m missing things because I’m missing practice,” Cooper said. “But, like I said, I’m able to keep up mentally. … The plays are, for the most part, the same or similar. It’s a lot of the same routes from my perspective.”

–Field Level Media

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Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

The

Veteran WR Inman returns to Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers brought back wide receiver Dontrelle Inman on Thursday.

Inman, 30, played in 41 games over four seasons with the Chargers before being traded to the Chicago Bears in October 2017.

He had his best season with the team in San Diego in 2016, catching 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns.

Inman played in 15 games with the Indianapolis Colts last season, tallying 28 catches for 304 yards and three scores. He added eight catches for 108 yards and one TD in two playoff games.

He spent most of this offseason with the New England Patriots before being released on Sunday.

In 58 career games (34 starts), he has 158 receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

New England

Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung reportedly was indicted on a charge of cocaine possession in New Hampshire.

According to the Laconia Daily Sun, he was indicted by a Belknap County jury on Aug. 8 for an incident that took place on June 25 in Meredith, where Chung has a home.

Chung “did possess or have under his control a quantity of the controlled substance cocaine,” according to the indictment.

The Patriots issued the following statement on Thursday:

“We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place.”

The article posted by the newspaper Wednesday night said Meredith police did not arrest Chung during the June 25 encounter.

Chung, who turned 32 on Monday, is scheduled to be arraigned at Laconia District Court next Wednesday.

Chung was not at practice Wednesday and did not appear in the first two preseason games. In April, he signed a one-year extension through the 2021 season.

A second-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009, Chung has spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons in New England, with his tenure broken by one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. The three-time Super Bowl champion has 11 interceptions and 723 tackles in 140 career games (110 starts).

The Daily Sun reported that cocaine possession is a Class B felony and carries a potential prison term of 3½ to seven years.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Redskins reject Pats’ offer for LT Williams

Report: Redskins reject Pats' offer for LT Williams

Report: Redskins reject Pats’ offer for LT Williams

The Washington Redskins turned down an offer of a 2020 first-round pick from the New England Patriots for disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The Team 980 tweeted that the Patriots were told the offer “wasn’t enough.” NBC Sports Washington echoed the report: “Have heard the same.”

However, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport questioned the veracity of the information. “From what I understand, this is false. ‘Unequivocally not true’ was the precise wording. So, carry on,” he tweeted.

Williams has been on the reserve/did not report list since he failed to show up for training camp.

He is said to be unhappy with the medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and he would also like to alter his current contract.

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

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said earlier this month that he seriously doubted the team would trade Williams.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

Steelers sign LB Elliott, waive DE Hooks

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent linebacker Jayrone Elliott on Thursday and waived injured defensive end Lavon Hooks.

Elliott recorded 57 tackles, 4.0 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in 38 career games with the Green Bay Packers from 2014-16. He also had short stints with the Dallas Cowboys (2017) and New Orleans Saints (2018).

Elliott, 27, played in one game with the Cowboys before being waived prior to the second week of the season.

He also played with the Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio club this year before spending time with the Miami Dolphins.

Hooks sustained a torn Achilles in practice Wednesday and is expected to miss the entire 2019 season, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Hooks recorded one tackle while playing in both preseason games for the Steelers.

—Field Level Media

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Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release WR White, sign Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday and signed veteran wideout Michael Crabtree to a one-year deal.

Crabtree visited the team earlier this month, but the sides couldn’t agree on a deal. The terms of Wednesday’s agreement weren’t immediately reported.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin

Cardinals release WR White, reportedly will add Crabtree

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

Later Wednesday, NFL Network reported the Cardinals are closing in on a deal with wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who visited the team earlier this month but couldn’t agree on a deal.

Crabtree, who turns 32 in September, had gone unsigned following his release from Baltimore in February. He had 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in 16 games with the Ravens last season.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

The 27-year-old played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp. The Cardinals are expected to keep at least six receivers, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme is expected to feature four or five wideouts often, unlike most NFL offenses.

Kingsbury and Crabtree both played in college under coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech, though Kingsbury graduated four years before Crabtree arrived in Lubbock (2006).

Crabtree spent his first six NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him 10th overall in 2009, before joining the Oakland Raiders for three seasons. He was released by Oakland in March 2018.

In 141 career games (138 starts), he has 633 catches for 7,477 yards and 54 touchdowns.

–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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McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

McIlroy rises to No. 3 in world rankings

Rory McIlroy will enter this week’s U.S. Open as the No. 3-ranked player in the world, moving up one spot on Monday following his seven-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open.

The Northern Irishman moved past England’s Justin Rose with his second victory and 10th top 10 finish in 12 events this year. McIlroy won The Players Championship in March and posted a pair of T8s before missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

He also rose to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings behind Matt Kuchar.

“Obviously a huge confidence builder not just for next week, but for the rest of the season,” McIlroy said after posting a 61 on Sunday. “To be tied for the lead and to play the way I did, play with that freedom and play with no inhibitions, take driver and stay aggressive …

“Hopefully sets up well for the rest of year, too.”

Two-time reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will arrive at Pebble Beach this week atop the world rankings, followed by good friend Dustin Johnson. Johnson closed the gap a bit with a T20 in Canada, while Koepka posted a T50 in his first start since winning the PGA Championship last month.

Tiger Woods remained No. 5, followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who moved up one spot past Justin Thomas. Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele round out the top 10.

–Field Level Media

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Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been

Colts OT Garcia suspended for PED violation

Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Antonio Garcia has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The league made the announcement Monday.

Garcia, 25, was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2017 but has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Garcia missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs, reportedly losing more than 40 pounds. The Patriots released Garcia in May 2018 with a non-football injury designation.

The Colts added Garcia to their practice squad in October.

–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, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

According to published reports, jurors told Judge Blaine K. Bowman they were deadlocked on eight 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.”

Winslow’s lawyers requested the judge declare a mistrial on the remaining charges. Bowman declined and ordered the jury to return to court on Tuesday morning.

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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Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Nagy defends Bears' exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach

Nagy defends Bears’ exhaustive kicking search

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy defended his team’s exhaustive search for a suitable kicker this offseason, despite criticism from a Sports Illustrated story published Wednesday.

The story included quotes from several kickers, some anonymous, who were among nine to try out for the Bears this offseason. Many of the kickers described a negative environment in the kicking room, perceived bias from consultant Jamie Kohl and Nagy’s obsession with field goals of 43 yards — the distance from which Cody Parkey missed in an attempt to win a wild-card playoff game in January.

“I understand, we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy told reporters Wednesday. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we were going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there. We felt like we, at that point in time, when we brought in a bunch of kickers, we’re going to test them all out and see what they can do.”

After trying out nine kickers, the Bears kept four on their roster for an extended period, then whittled the competition to two entering training camp: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Fry was waived on Sunday, but Nagy said that doesn’t necessarily mean Pineiro — acquired for a conditional seventh-round pick from Oakland in May — has won the job.

“Is the competition over? Between those two, yeah,” Nagy said.

The Bears hired Kohl — an independent kicking coach — to coach their own kickers in May. Multiple kickers told Sports Illustrated that Kohl appeared biased toward kickers who had previously attended his camps.

“All of Jamie’s guys, they could have shanked the kick, and it was like, ‘Oh, you have really good rotation, your foot is wrapping around the ball,'” an anonymous kicker said in the story. “I don’t think this situation will be solved or will be what the team needs to be until Jamie Kohl is gone. The way he very much tries to control a room, tries to be the alpha.”

Meanwhile, former Notre Dame kicker Justin Yoon was critical of Nagy’s repeated emphasis on 43-yard field goals.

“It’s not efficient for the team to continuously beat that one dead horse the whole time,” he said. “You have to build a system of confidence for your kicker. I don’t think that’s how the Bears are running it.”

“Is it exactly the perfect science?” Nagy asked rhetorically when discussing the offseason’s approach on Wednesday. “I don’t know that, maybe not. … I just really like how we’re going through this thing. (General manager) Ryan (Pace) and I talk about no regrets, right?”

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals release former first-round WR White

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on

Cardinals release former first-round WR White

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team before he played in a game.

White, a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015, signed with Arizona in March on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $400,000 guaranteed. He missed the first two games of the preseason while battling a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

White had been listed among three first-team wideouts on the Cardinals’ first depth chart, but Arizona also has three rookie receivers — Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth) — in addition to expected starters Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

Butler has a broken hand and could miss a chunk of the regular season, but Johnson has impressed in camp.

White, 27, played in just 14 games (five starts) across three seasons with the Bears, missing time due to a number of injuries. He has 25 catches for 285 yards and no touchdowns in his career.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries

Seahawks to play QB Smith, rule out Lynch vs. Chargers

While injuries continue to mount for the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll did have some good news to share on Wednesday.

Quarterback Geno Smith is healthy after having a cyst removed from his knee and will serve as backup behind Russell Wilson in Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angles Chargers.

“Geno needs to play a lot, so it will work out,” Carroll said Wednesday.

Former Ohio State star J.T. Barrett will be the Seahawks’ third QB this week because Paxton Lynch was evaluated for a concussion after getting hit by Holton Hill in Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. “[We] want to take care of Paxton,” Carroll said. “He took a nasty hit.”

The team has already decided that Lynch, who has a sore neck, will not see action in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Carroll also updated the status of rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who underwent minor surgery on Tuesday to fix an unspecified issue in his right knee.

“It was a minimal surgery,” Carroll said after the team practiced indoors. “Minimal findings. So we have high expectations. We will go week to week with it and see how he does. We really don’t have any concern that he won’t get back soon.

“We are excited that we got it done. It was the kind of deal we could have put off and waited. But we decided to use the time frame that we had available, and hopefully it will work out just right for us.”

Metcalf began rehabilitation on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

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