The Latest: Fashion takes center stage at SEC Media Days

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on SEC Media Days (all times local):

2 p.m.

The final session of SEC Media Days turned into a bit of a fashion show.

Auburn’s Deshaun Davis sported stylish sunglasses and an orange bow tie. Vanderbilt’s LaDarius Wiley countered with a shiny red vest that matched his bow tie and the collar of his gray plaid suit. But no one stood out like South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel , who wore a glaring white jacket and dress shoes, paired with skinny gray slacks for his moment in the spotlight.

Samuel says he wants “to make an impression” every time he goes out in public. But, being an unpaid college student, he had to put together his ensemble right off the rack. Samuel spotted the jacket at Men’s Wearhouse. Everything else fell into place after that.

Wiley gave props to his mother. She bought his bold suit before her son even knew he was one of three Vandy players selected to attend Media Days. Once he got the word, Wiley knew he had the “perfect look” for the occasion. He called suit “a mixture of classy and a little flashy.”

___

11 a.m.

Derek Mason is enjoying his new life as Vanderbilt’s coach.

“Head coach only,” he said for clarification.

Though Mason actually is entering his fifth season with the Commodores, he is dropping the additional duties of defensive coordinator. Mason hired good friend Jason Tarver, a former NFL assistant with the Raiders and 49ers, to lead the defense after serving as his own coordinator the last three years.

Mason says shedding the extra title allows him to focus on “being head coach and CEO.”

Vanderbilt finished only 5-7 overall and 1-7 in the SEC last season. Even so, offered an optimistic outlook for his team. He says “I believe it is our time.”

Mason says Kyle Shurmur is “one of the most dynamic and underrated quarterbacks” in the league and a reason the Commodores should improve this season.

___

9:52 a.m.

Gus Malzahn says his Auburn Tigers are motivated to take the next step after coming so close to their championship goals last season.

Auburn took regular-season wins over Alabama and Georgia when each team was ranked No. 1 last season. The Tigers won the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division before losing to Georgia in the SEC championship game — costing them a shot to compete in the College Football Playoff.

Malzahn says at SEC Media Days his Tigers will be “a hungry team trying to take that next step.”

Auburn will return to Atlanta to open its season against Washington on Sept. 1. Malzahn says the game will be “a good measuring stick for where this team is.”

The Tigers are expected to have a strong offense led by quarterback Jarrett Stidham and running back Kam Martin.

___

2:27 a.m.

Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers are coming off an interesting 2017 season, enjoying the highs of wins over eventual SEC champion Georgia and national champion Alabama before losing to the Bulldogs in the SEC championship game.

Auburn also lost to Central Florida in the Peach Bowl to finish their season.

Malzahn returns 14 starters, including quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and will discuss the Tigers’ outlook on the final day of the SEC Media Days on Thursday.

Auburn finished 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the SEC last season and will return to Atlanta on Sept. 2 to open their season against Washington.

Also scheduled to speak on Thursday will be Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason and South Carolina coach Will Muschamp.

___

More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

Linebacker Derrick

LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30

Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement on Monday.

Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010.

“It’s been real,” Morgan wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 9 years old. Over the years it’s brought a lot of struggle, triumph, adversity and joy to my life. It’s help shape me into the man I am today. But for the longest the game was ‘who I was’..it was my IDENTITY. I didn’t know who Derrick Morgan was outside of this game. I tried to shake this reality in a business that tells you your value IS your performance. However the one thing that helped me evolve as a man over the years was knowing that I couldn’t play this game forever..that there was life after football. I realized early on the importance of this platform and my goal has been to use it for good.”

Morgan played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

“I wanted to leave the game on my OWN terms. And over 9 years, 5 head coaches, 9 surgeries, and seeing a locker room turn over multiple times I am thankful to say that I accomplished both of these goals,” Morgan wrote on Instagram.

He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

–Field Level Media

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Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

Open form: Mickelson drops 15 pounds on water, coffee fast

A six-day fast helped Phil Mickelson drop 15 pounds ahead of the Open Championship.

The 49-year-old said in a video posted to his Twitter feed that he wanted to do everything possible to be his best at Royal Portrush, site of the 2019 Open Championship this week. That included a six-day fast during which he allowed himself only a special coffee blend for nutrition and water.

“I haven’t been my best and I’m doing all I can to get it right,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson has not posted a top-15 finish since winning at Pebble Beach in February. Since tying for 18th at The Masters, he has missed the cut in four of his last six tournaments.

Mickelson won The Open at Muirfield in 2013 and has been preparing for this week’s challenges on and off the course.

“The last 10 days I’ve done what I call a hard reset to change and try and make things better,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans are not expected to reach agreement on a contract Monday, the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

According to multiple reports, the two sides are not engaged in negotiations at this time.

Clowney, by rule, would earn the $15.967 million one-year tender value for 2019 if he doesn’t sign a new deal by 4 p.m. ET Monday.

Houston’s front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans have shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

Without a deal in place, Clowney is not expected to participate in training camp and could opt to stay away from the team until September, returning in time to avoid fines and prepare for Week 1 of the regular season.

The 26-year-old pass rusher was named to each of the past three Pro Bowls, tallying 53 tackles for loss over that period. He has 29 sacks since the Texans made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2014.

Prior to the draft, there were rumblings Clowney could be available via trade, but Clowney’s camp has said he did not request a trade out of Houston.

–Field Level Media

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49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

Robbie

49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline

Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal on Monday, beating the 4 p.m. deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family — which maintained residence in Chicago — was a top priority.

Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

But according to multiple reports, the 49ers found the salve over the weekend in a fully guaranteed $10.5 million contract that can become a $19 million, four-year deal.

The 49ers have the option to trigger the final two years of the contract at $4.5 million (2021) and $4.1 million (2022), per reports.

Gould has made 72 of his 75 field goal attempts in two seasons with the team and led the NFL in field goal percentage (97.1) last season.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins’ Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Dolphins' Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have

Dolphins’ Norton to undergo sixth surgery

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery Monday since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

Norton’s agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old’s final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

Norton, who played collegiately at Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier visited Norton the next day and head coach Brian Flores cut his vacation short and has stopped by every day. Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz has also been a regular visitor, according to Rapoport.

Norton spent the 2018 season on the Panthers’ practice squad after Carolina selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Dolphins signed him in December.

NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report. He suddenly pulled his F-250 truck in front of a Maserati and clipped it, sending his car into a concrete barrier. The other driver was not injured and the report said drugs or alcohol were not believed to be a factor.

–Field Level Media

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Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 a.m. ET Thursday in the first

Woods paired with Reed in Open Championship

Tiger Woods tees off at 10:10 a.m. ET Thursday in the first round of The Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Woods is paired with Patrick Reed and Matthew Wallace. He’s been on the grounds in Northern Ireland for more than a week, syncing his body with the time zone and getting familiar with the layout.

A three-time British Open champion, Woods played 18 holes with Reed on Sunday. On Monday he played another 18 with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Woods hasn’t played in a tournament since the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach a month ago.

“The breaks are always great for my golf,” Woods said Monday, noting he’s following the plan he shared late last year to trim back the number of tournaments he entered in hopes of competing for the entire season.

Woods won his 15th major at The Masters in April. He claimed the Claret Jug by winning the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006, but missed the cut at the PGA Championship in May. He tied for 21st at the U.S. Open.

Portrush native Darren Clarke has the honors of taking the first tee shot Thursday — at 1:35 a.m. ET — and spent last week serving as an ambassador for the town and course.

Another local favorite, Rory McIlroy, is paired with U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and Paul Casey. McIlroy set the Portrush course record of 61 when he was 16 years old. McIlroy said he’s entirely comfortable on the challenging course, which “just feels like Portrush to me.”

McIlroy hasn’t won a major in five years, but said winning this week would be a career-defining achievement in his mind.

“Never in a million years did I think that an Open Championship would be played again at Royal Portrush,” he said.

Defending champion Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau are in a group with Adam Scott and will tee off (4:58 a.m. ET) one group before McIlroy’s.

Charles Howell III, who tied for sixth Sunday at the John Deere Classic, withdrew from the field Monday and was replaced by Brian Harman.

–Field Level Media

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Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Frittelli wins John Deere, spot in The Open

Dylan Frittelli closed with a 7-under-par 64 on Sunday to claim his first PGA Tour title by winning the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Frittelli, a 29-year-old South African who attended the University of Texas, finished at 21-under 263 to beat hard-charging Russell Henley by two shots. Henley climbed 23 spots on Sunday by firing a career-low 10-under 61 to finish solo second.

“Wow, it’s awesome,” Frittelli said. “I watched this tournament as a kid, didn’t know much about it besides that it’s a really low-scoring event. … But now to have won it, I don’t know, still sinking in. Feels awesome.”

Frittelli earned the final spot at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, which begins Thursday. And the victory gets him a two-year extension on his PGA Tour card.

“Yeah, that’s huge. I’d obviously won on The European Tour, but my exemption was running out at the end of this year,” he said. “All this stuff has been going through my mind the last four to eight weeks and … you just have to play golf and try to put it in the background.”

Third-round co-leader Andrew Landry shot a 69 that included a birdie at No. 18 to finish alone in third at 18 under. Collin Morikawa and Chris Stroud were one stroke back, tied for fourth. Morikawa, a 22-year tour rookie, has posted back-to-back top-5 finishes.

Frittelli, in his 33rd start on the tour, began the day tied for fifth, two shots off the pace, but he made an early move with birdies on the first three holes. His bogey-free round included seven birdies, including a chip-in at No. 10 and an 11-foot putt at the par-5 17th.

“I don’t want to say it was easy out there,” Frittelli said. “It just felt a whole lot easier than it has been the last few weeks.”

He tied for 46th in each of the past two weeks and had missed the cut in two of his past five events.

Henley made 10 birdies and closed with a 30 on the back nine en route to the lowest final-round score in John Deere Classic history.

“Everybody’s so good out here, you have to keep making birdies and keep making birdies,” Henley said. “When you make bogeys or doubles like I have this week, you just have to keep fighting. If you get down on yourself like I’ve done a lot in my career, it never ends in a good result.”

Cameron Tringale, the other third-round co-leader, stumbled to a 2-over 73 that included five bogeys. He tied for 16th at 14 under.

Four golfers tied for sixth at 16 under — Charles Howell III, Vaughn Taylor, Nick Watney and Adam Schenk.

The field was limited because most of the top players were in Europe preparing for The Open Championship. The John Deere Classic provided a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released.

The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there wasn’t a violation of the personal conduct policy, the league said.

Johnson was displeased with the NFL’s decision so he filed charges on Friday.

“To just not have anything happen to him, the NFL is basically saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK for you to go to Vegas, get obliterated, then go shove people over fences,'” Johnson told Fox 5.

After Elliott met with Goodell earlier this month, the Dallas star posted a note on his Twitter account afterward, saying he needs to make better decisions. He also said he apologized to Johnson at the time of the incident.

“I’ve worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me,” Elliott wrote. “I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.

“I need to work harder to ensure I do not put myself in compromised situations in the future. I am rededicating myself to use all of the resources that the league has made available. But in the end, it is up to me and I am determined not to be in this position again.”

Elliott has had personal conduct issues in the past, most notably receiving a six-game suspension in 2017 due to allegations of abuse made by a former girlfriend.

Elliott, who turns 24 on July 22, rushed for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He also caught three touchdown passes.

–Field Level Media

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Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Tringale, Landry lead pack at John Deere Classic

Cameron Tringale and Andrew Landry shared the third-round lead Saturday at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., eking ahead of a large pack of challengers.

Tringale shot a 6-under-par 65 on Saturday, firing off seven birdies after opening with a bogey to get to 16-under 197 for the tournament. Tringale, 31, is looking for his first victory on the PGA Tour in his 262nd start.

“The bogey at the first was a shot in the leg, just because you know you’ve got to shoot a low round out here to stay in the mix,” he said. “But I was able to get out of there myself and birdie the next two, which gave me some momentum, a little confidence.”

Landry began the tournament with consecutive 65s, then salvaged a 4-under 67 on Saturday by making birdies on three of the final six holes, including Nos. 16 and 17.

“I don’t ever take these moments for granted. It’s very hard to get into this situations,” said Landry, whose only career victory came at the Valero Texas Open in April 2018. “It was definitely a struggle day, but I definitely played very, very well. It was just a struggle from how the last two days were.”

Bill Haas tied for the low round of the day with a bogey-free 64 to join Adam Schenk in a tie for third, one stroke behind the leaders at 15 under.

Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Vaughn Taylor and South African Dylan Frittelli are tied for fifth at 14 under. Watney shot one of four 64s on the day.

Chris Stroud, Lucas Glover and Canadian Roger Sloan sit at 13 under, tied for ninth.

Two more are at 12 under, including 22-year-old rookie Collin Morikawa, who tied for second last week at the 3M Open in Minnesota.

“I’m still kind of working on some putting things, but I’m hitting some good lines on my putts, and obviously when I get them close, I’m able to drop a few,” he told The Golf Channel after shooting a 65 on Saturday. “So we’ve just got to keep that up for tomorrow and, obviously, (get) a few more drop outside of that.”

With seven golfers at 11 under, there are 18 within five shots of the leaders heading into the final round.

First-round leader Roberto Diaz, who opened with a 62, did not make the 54-hole cut after rounds of 73 and 76.

The field is limited due to top players being in Europe preparing for The Open Championship next week.

The event holds the final available spot into the field for The Open, which would go to the top player not otherwise exempt who finishes inside the top five and ties. The John Deere Classic provides a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard press charges against Elliott for Vegas incident

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released.

The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there wasn’t a violation of the personal conduct policy, the league said.

Johnson was displeased with the NFL’s decision so he filed charges on Friday.

“To just not have anything happen to him, the NFL is basically saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK for you to go to Vegas, get obliterated, then go shove people over fences,'” Johnson told Fox 5.

After Elliott met with Goodell earlier this month, the Dallas star posted a note on his Twitter account afterward, saying he needs to make better decisions. He also said he apologized to Johnson at the time of the incident.

“I’ve worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me,” Elliott wrote. “I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.

“I need to work harder to ensure I do not put myself in compromised situations in the future. I am rededicating myself to use all of the resources that the league has made available. But in the end, it is up to me and I am determined not to be in this position again.”

Elliott has had personal conduct issues in the past, most notably receiving a six-game suspension in 2017 due to allegations of abuse made by a former girlfriend.

Elliott, who turns 24 on July 22, rushed for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He also caught three touchdown passes.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

Security guard

NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott

Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Saturday, Elliott’s camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

“Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion,” Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. “Kyle Johnson’s filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations.”

TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released. The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident.

–Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues.

“I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention,” Caldwell said in a statement. “I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family.”

Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season. The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores’ staff in February.

–Running back Melvin Gordon said he doesn’t want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will “do what I need to do” to get paid.

“I want to end up with the Chargers. That’s my home,” Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, via NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. … I can’t forget them for that. But it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid.”

Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand. In April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019. “I’m prepared to do what I need to do,” Gordon said. “That’s just what it’s going to be.”

–An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Simmons, 23, did not survive, while Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Miami Dolphins assistant

Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence

Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues..

“I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention,” Caldwell said in a statement Saturday. “I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family.”

Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season.

The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores’ staff in February.

“Our focus is on Jim’s health and supporting him in every way that we can,” Flores said. “With his knowledge and experience, Jim has been an invaluable member to our coaching staff and will continue to serve as a sounding board for me throughout the season.”

Caldwell had a 62-50 record as a head coach with Indianapolis (2009-11) and Detroit (2014-17). He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season.

–Field Level Media

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Teen arrested in shooting of Giants’ Ballentine

Teen arrested in shooting of Giants' Ballentine

An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged

Teen arrested in shooting of Giants’ Ballentine

An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

Simmons, 23, did not survive. Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

Ballentine, also 23, began practicing with the Giants in late May and is expected to make a full recovery.

Police made the arrest after connecting the shooting to two aggravated robberies that occurred in the area on April 27 and 30, ESPN reported.

–Field Level Media

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RB Gordon: ‘Hopefully I end up a Charger’

RB Gordon: 'Hopefully I end up a Charger'

Running back Melvin

RB Gordon: ‘Hopefully I end up a Charger’

Running back Melvin Gordon said Saturday he doesn’t want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will “do what I need to do” to get paid.

“I want to end up with the Chargers. That’s my home,” Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, per NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. They changed my life. Of all 32 teams, that was the team that called me. I can’t forget them for that.

“But it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That’s just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger. That’s the goal. I want to end up with the Chargers.”

Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand.

“I’m prepared to do what I need to do,” Gordon said. “That’s just what it’s going to be.”

Gordon signed a four-year, $10.67 million deal as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and in April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019.

The 26-year-old has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, the two-time Pro Bowl selection has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.

Gordon did not attend voluntary workouts with the Chargers but did report to minicamp in June. The team is scheduled to open training camp July 25.

Gordon said he was not sure where talks stand.

“My guess is as good as yours right now,” he said. “We’re going to give them some time and see where it heads. We’ve still got some time out before training camp. But hopefully things get figured out.”

–Field Level Media

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Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players don’t have any incentive to support it.

“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players,” Smith told ESPN. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”

The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011. And even though the added work would add tens of millions to the payroll of each team, the players have held strong that more regular-season games are not their preference.

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said, according to the WSJ.

“Why is it our job to figure out how to make 18 games work as players? You tell someone you’re going to work longer and you figure out how to make it work? That doesn’t work,” Smith told ESPN. “It’s not our job to put that square peg in the round hole.”

Instead, the players seem keen on non-schedule increasing proposals like a quicker route to free agency, changes in the minimum salary guidelines, increased benefits and bonuses.

–Field Level Media

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Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Vegas shoots 62, surges to John Deere lead

Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela delivered scorching round of 9-under-par 62 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead through two rounds of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.

Vegas’ bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run put him at 13-under 129 through 36 holes, a stroke ahead of Andrew Landry, who shot 65 for the second consecutive day.

Lucas Glover shot 64 — with the help of an albatross — to hold third place alone at 11 under. Five players are tied for fourth another stroke back, with two others at 9 under. A whopping 14 players are tied for 11th at 8 under.

Vegas opened his day at No. 10 with a birdie, then ran off four in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 13 to 17. Three of the four came after his approach settled within six feet of the pin. He tacked on three straight birdies starting at No. 2 and added a 16-foot birdie putt at No. 8 to cap his day.

“Probably the best I’ve felt all year, to be honest,” Vegas told reporters after his round. “I mean, I hit the ball extremely well, kind of what I’ve been struggling with a little bit the past few months. I was able to kind of figure out a little bit something yesterday on the range after I got done playing, and I was able to carry it through today.

“It felt really good, in control the whole time with the ball-striking, which is my type of game. So I’m glad that stuff is back.”

Vegas tied for third at the PLAYERS Championship in March and for eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, but he had missed three cuts in four events entering this week. He’s seeking his fourth career victory and his first since 2017.

Landry also started on the back nine, and he had his round at 8 under through 12 holes after birdieing three straight to start the front. But he managed just five pars and a bogey (at No. 6) the rest of the way.

“Saturday and Sunday will be fun,” Landry said. “It’s going to be a firm and fast golf course come Sunday.”

Glover, the only player in the top 10 who already qualified for next week’s Open Championship, had the highlight of the day, holing out from 255 yards on his second shot at the par-5 10th. The ball bounced 20 yards shy of the green, rolled up and curled perfectly into the cup. He also sprinkled four birdies — three on a 6-under 30 back nine — in a bogey-free round.

First-round leader Roberto Diaz of Mexico struggled, totaling three birdies and three bogeys before finishing with a double bogey to post 73 and slip into a tie for 23rd at 7 under.

Defending champion Michael Kim missed his 18th straight cut after shooting 72, finishing the tournament at 3 over.

The field is limited due to top players being in Europe preparing for The Open Championship next week.

The event holds the final available spot into the field for The Open, which would go to the top player not otherwise exempt who finishes inside the top five and ties. The JDC provides a charter flight to players traveling to The Open on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

While the concept of a future

NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players don’t have any incentive to support it.

“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players,” Smith told ESPN. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

–New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have to wait a few weeks to make his debut with his new team after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.

The discipline, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, comes three months after he pleaded guilty in Arizona to three misdemeanors, two of which involved his 90-year-old grandmother.

Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty to a pair of Class 1 misdemeanors after he punched a hole in the wall of his grandmother’s Arizona home in August of last year and damaged the control box of a security system. Incognito was reportedly upset after the death of his father and blamed his grandmother.

Also in Arizona, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an arrest in August of 2018, two days after the incident at his grandmother’s home.

Incognito is eligible to return to the Raiders on Sept. 16, the day following a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

–New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL announced.

The league stated that Herndon can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 7, after their Oct. 6 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Herndon pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to a charge of driving while intoxicated, stemming from a multi-car accident in June 2018 in Rockaway Township, N.J.

According to a Rockaway Township court spokesperson, he paid a $639 fine and his license was revoked for 90 days in New Jersey.

Herndon was arrested June 2, 2018, after his SUV allegedly hit another car at 4:45 a.m. on Interstate 80 about 20 minutes from the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J. Herndon’s vehicle flipped and slid about 700 feet, and the vehicle he hit — which was transporting a vintage car — was totaled, according to police.

–New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who says he was harassed by police in the driveway of his Fort Bend County home in Texas during a traffic stop in March, wants a further investigation into the incident.

Jennine Hovell-Cox, Roberts’ attorney, told USA Today Sports that she made a request to the district attorney of Fort Bend County to further investigate the sheriff’s department over the March 10 incident, when the player was pulled over for speeding.

Roberts, who is heading into his fourth season with the Patriots after they made him a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Houston, was stopped in Richmond, a Houston suburb, allegedly for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also received a citation for not providing proof of insurance.

The dashcam video of the incident obtained by USA Today shows Roberts, 25, getting out of his sports car with his hands in the air after arriving at the driveway of his home.

“Get back in the car,” Fort Bend County Sheriff deputy Adam Watkins tells Roberts.

“This is my house,” says Roberts, who does get back in his car.

Watkins, calling for backup about “the big black man,” also says, “I told him to get back in. He wouldn’t comply. I had to yell at him pretty hard.”

Watkins also told Roberts’ wife to return to their home after she checked to see what was happening. Charges were not officially filed.

–Field Level Media

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NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

NFL suspends Jets TE Herndon 4 games for substance violation

New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL announced Friday.

The league stated that Herndon can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 7, after their Oct. 6 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Herndon pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to a charge of driving while intoxicated, stemming from a multi-car accident in June 2018 in Rockaway Township, N.J.

According to a Rockaway Township court spokesperson, he paid a $639 fine and his license was revoked for 90 days in New Jersey.

Herndon was arrested June 2, 2018, after his SUV allegedly hit another car at 4:45 a.m. on Interstate 80 about 20 minutes from the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J. Herndon’s vehicle flipped and slid about 700 feet, and the vehicle he hit — which was transporting a vintage car — was totaled, according to police.

A witness told police Herndon was driving more than 100 mph, and police records showed his blood-alcohol content to be 0.14 percent.

A fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Miami, Herndon finished with 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie while playing in all 16 games last season.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

Report: Compromise possible in push for 18-game schedule

While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

In early negotiations regarding the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011. And even though the added work would add tens of millions to the payroll of each team, the players have held strong that more regular-season games are not their preference.

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFL Players’ Association analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said, according to the WSJ.

Instead, the players seem keen on non-schedule increasing proposals like a quicker route to free agency, changes in the minimum salary guidelines, increased benefits and bonuses.

–Field Level Media

Read More 169 Words

Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have

Raiders G Incognito suspended first two games of 2019

New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have to wait a few weeks to make his debut with his new team after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.

The discipline, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, comes three months after he pleaded guilty in Arizona to three misdemeanors, two of which involved his 90-year-old grandmother.

Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty to a pair of Class 1 misdemeanors after he punched a hole in the wall of his grandmother’s Arizona home in August of last year and damaged the control box of a security system. Incognito was reportedly upset after the death of his father and blamed his grandmother.

Also in Arizona, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an arrest in August of 2018, two days after the incident at his grandmother’s home.

Incognito is eligible to return to the Raiders on Sept. 16, the day following a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Nebraska product is a four-time Pro Bowler and has played for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills in his career. The former third-round draft pick in 2005 has started in all 150 career games he has played.

He has been involved in a number of incidents involving questionable behavior, most notably a bullying scandal involving former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin.

–Field Level Media

Read More 172 Words