The Latest: Kirk Cousins throws his 1st TD pass for Vikings

The Latest on the NFL’s first Sunday of the regular season (all times eastern):

1:40 p.m.

Kirk Cousins has thrown his 100th career touchdown pass and his first for the Minnesota Vikings.

The new quarterback found Stefon Diggs in single coverage by San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on a fade route on third-and-3 from 22 yards out in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The ball was perfectly placed along the edge of the end zone to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead over the 49ers.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington. He signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in March.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

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1:26 p.m.

Andrew Luck is getting off to a bit of a rocky start in his return for the Indianapolis Colts.

After receiving a loud ovation during introductions, Luck made it onto the field for his first regular-season series in more than 20 months at the Bengals 7.

It didn’t last long.

Following a first-down run, rookie guard Quenton Nelson was called for a hold. On second-and-14 from the Bengals 14, Luck was picked off by linebacker Preston Brown on his first official pass since returning from shoulder surgery.

It got worse. Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams has been ejected after making a helmet to helmet hit on Luck. The Colts quarterback ran for 7 yards before being hit in the head by Williams while being tackled.

Luck did not leave the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

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1:05 p.m.

The Ravens and Bills kicked off a new season on a wet field.

It’s been raining in the Baltimore area all weekend, at times heavily. Throw in a stiff wind and temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, and it’s as if this game was taking place in the middle of the season.

The Ravens are seeking to improve their record in openers under coach John Harbaugh to 8-3. Baltimore has won 18 of its last 20 home games in September.

This is the third career start for Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman, who enters with a career QB rating of 38.4.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore.

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1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

___

10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night’s season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players’ association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

___

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Seahawks’ Wagner not practicing while seeking new deal

Seahawks' Wagner not practicing while seeking new deal

Seahawks’ Wagner not practicing while seeking new deal

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is present at organized team activities but will not practice, as he seeks an extension from the team entering the final year of his contract.

“It’s a tricky situation,” Wagner told reporters Tuesday, adding that he wanted to attend as a leader of the defense. “This is a business. You get hurt, they’re going to cut you. So you’ve got to be mindful of that. … Y’all know I’m fresh enough, going to be in shape.”

Wagner, who turns 29 in June, is due $11.4 million in 2019, the final season of a four-year, $43 million deal. He said Tuesday he intends to set a new benchmark for salary among off-ball linebackers, after C.J. Mosley joined the New York Jets on a five-year, $85 million contract in free agency in March.

“That’s the plan, to break that,” said Wagner, who is serving as his own agent and said the sides have had communication and have a plan for the negotiation.

Head coach Pete Carroll sounded pleased with how Wagner has handled the situation, and said that talks have gone well.

“Bobby’s been great,” Carroll said. “Everything’s going to come together in time. Everything’s in order, and we’re in order of what we want to do, and it feels very comfortable and very amicable and all of that. So everything’s going just right.”

Wagner has reached five straight Pro Bowls and had four first-team All-Pro nods, including in each of the last three seasons. He racked up 138 tackles (six for loss), 11 passes defensed, one interception (returned for a touchdown), one sack and eight quarterback hits in 15 games last season.

He hopes to reach an agreement before the season but reiterated that he’s prepared for this to be his final season in Seattle, if necessary.

The seven-year veteran has 916 tackles (51 for loss), 41 passes defensed, nine interceptions, 16.5 sacks and 60 QB hits in 103 career games since the Seahawks drafted him in the second round in 2012.

–Field Level Media

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Bosa pulls hamstring, 49ers RBs still hurting

Bosa pulls hamstring, 49ers RBs still hurting

San Francisco 49ers top pick

Bosa pulls hamstring, 49ers RBs still hurting

San Francisco 49ers top pick Nick Bosa left practice early on Tuesday, sustaining a hamstring during a pass-rushing drill and sitting out the remainder of workouts.

With the 49ers in their second day of a three-day week of organized team activities, Bosa did some 11-on-11 work, as well, before the injury forced the defensive end to limp off to the sidelines.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters afterward that the team does not yet know the severity of the injury, which happened while Bosa was working with the second-team defense, but Bosa remained out on the sidelines through the end of practice.

Bosa, 21, was selected second overall in April. He played in only three games as junior last season at Ohio State, suffering a core muscle injury in September and sitting out the remainder of the season to recover and prepare for the draft.

Shanahan also gave injury updates on his running backs, a position group with three players currently out.

Matt Breida suffered a slightly torn pectoral muscle during offseason lifting, Raheem Mostert had his fractured arm re-set because it was not healing properly, and Jerick McKinnon, coming off a torn ACL that cost him all of last season, is running lightly. All three are expected back for training camp, however.

On the bright side, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo — also coming back from a torn ACL, his suffered in Week 3 last season — threw passes during 7-on-7 drills while wearing a knee brace. He won’t be cleared for full team drills until camp, Shanahan said.

–Field Level Media

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Report: 2021 NFL Draft awarded to Cleveland

Report: 2021 NFL Draft awarded to Cleveland

The 2021 NFL Draft

Report: 2021 NFL Draft awarded to Cleveland

The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland, according to an Uproxx report on Tuesday.

The league is expected to officially announce the news, and potentially the hosts of other future drafts, on Wednesday, as owners hold spring meetings in Florida this week.

Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver were among the finalists for recent drafts that were awarded to Nashville (2019) and Las Vegas (2020). Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that Denver is not expected to be awarded a future draft this week.

“We’re confident in our city and our proposal, and feel Cleveland has a great chance at securing this event,” David Gilbert, president of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, told Cleveland.com in a statement earlier Tuesday.

The draft began moving around the country in 2015, being held in Chicago for two years before going to Philadelphia (2017), Dallas (2018) and then Nashville last month. Before that, the draft was held annually in New York City from 1965-2014.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers’ Roethlisberger: ‘I lacked in leadership’ in 2018

Steelers' Roethlisberger: 'I lacked in leadership' in 2018

As the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2019 organized

Steelers’ Roethlisberger: ‘I lacked in leadership’ in 2018

As the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 organized team activities got underway on Tuesday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pinned the team’s 2018 struggles on himself.

“I lacked in leadership,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “Because that’s my job as the leader of this team, to get us to the playoffs. I’m gonna need to focus and refocus my energy and time on, how can I be a better leader to get us back to the playoffs?”

The comments came a day after Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate, KDKA, he probably went “too far” in making critical comments about wide receiver Antonio Brown after a loss at Denver last year. Brown had a falling out with the team, demanded a trade this offseason and was dealt to the Oakland Raiders.

“I took some heat and deservedly so for some of the comments … and especially towards him,” Roethlisberger told KDKA. “I genuinely feel bad about that and I’m sorry.”

On Tuesday, the 37-year-old spoke further about Brown, who responded Monday to the quarterback’s interview with KDKA by tweeting only, “Two face.” The QB said he wasn’t sure why the pair’s relationship deteriorated last year and added that he didn’t get a chance to repair it.

“I never really saw any of it coming,” Roethlisberger said. “I would have loved to have had the chance to talk to him. That’s why I said yesterday, whatever I did to offend him, I apologize for it. I tried to do that in person, talk to him. He wouldn’t allow me to.”

Roethlisberger also said Tuesday he is emphasizing his connections with his current teammates, as this group looks to build toward a better season.

“You just have to focus on the guys that are here and make sure they are good,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked to is good with me. … We’ve been attacked from all angles this year, this offseason. We just need to stick together and have each other’s backs.”

The Steelers finished 9-6-1 in 2018, missing the postseason for the first time since 2013. They haven’t had a losing season since 2003.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots OT Veldheer retiring after nine seasons

Patriots OT Veldheer retiring after nine seasons

The New England Patriots placed

Patriots OT Veldheer retiring after nine seasons

The New England Patriots placed recently signed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer on the reserve/retired list Tuesday.

ESPN reported earlier in the day Veldheer informed the team he planned to retire.

Veldheer, who turns 32 in June, joined the Patriots on May 13 as a free agent, signing a reported one-year, $3.5 million deal worth up to $6.5 million with incentives.

A nine-year veteran, Veldheer started 12 games at right tackle for the Denver Broncos last season after being acquired via trade, allowing just one sack but committing seven penalties.

He spent the previous four years with the Arizona Cardinals, playing primarily left tackle before moving to the right side in 2017. A third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2010, Veldheer made 113 career starts in 118 games, with the majority at left tackle.

Isaiah Wynn, a 2018 first-round pick, was expected to get the first shot at starting on Tom Brady’s blind side after incumbent left tackle Trent Brown left for the Raiders in free agency. Wynn is recovering from a torn Achilles sustained in August.

New England also lost swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

–Field Level Media

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OTAs notebook: Jags’ Ramsey absent, but Ngakoue shows

OTAs notebook: Jags' Ramsey absent, but Ngakoue shows

Cornerback

OTAs notebook: Jags’ Ramsey absent, but Ngakoue shows

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey remains absent from Jacksonville Jaguars offseason workouts, but defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was present on Tuesday after missing workouts earlier this spring.

Ngakoue, 24, is entering a contract year — in which he’ll make $2.025 million — after totaling 29.5 sacks through three seasons. The former third-round pick said he’ll continue to participate as he seeks a new deal.

“Of course, I’m going to play,” he said. “I love the game. I’m in God’s hands at the end of the day. I’ve been playing this game my whole life and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Ramsey is not expected to attend until the team’s mandatory minicamp is held from June 11-13. He is working out on his own and has said he will be with the team and “ready when it’s time.”

–Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is present at OTAs but will not practice, as he seeks an extension from the team entering the final year of his contract.

“It’s a tricky situation,” Wagner told reporters, adding that he wanted to attend as a leader of the defense. “This is a business. You get hurt, they’re going to cut you.”

Wagner, who turns 29 in June, is due $11.4 million in 2019, the final season of a four-year, $43 million deal. He said he intends to set a new benchmark for salary among off-ball linebackers, after C.J. Mosley joined the New York Jets on a five-year, $85 million contract in free agency in March.

–As expected, Houston Texans franchise-tagged outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney did not show for OTAs.

Clowney, who has yet to sign his $15.967 million tender, is not expected to attend even for mandatory minicamp absent a long-term extension, which the sides have until July 1 to work out.

“I have every belief and trust that JD is working on his own and getting ready for whenever he does decide to show up.,” head coach Bill O’Brien said.

–Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is absent from OTAs, as expected.

Jones, who turns 25 in July, has been absent all offseason while seeking a new deal. He is due $1.2 million in 2019, the final year of his rookie deal.

Jones racked up 15.5 sacks and 29 QB hits last season, ranking third and fifth, respectively, in the NFL.

–Wideout Antonio Brown was not present for the start of Oakland Raiders OTAs.

Head coach Jon Gruden did not offer a reason for Brown’s absence but did not sound concerned.

“Hopefully we’ll see him here in the next couple of days,” Gruden said. “He’s been working extremely hard learning our offense, and really excited to get him out here.”

–Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay and defensive tackle Damon Harrison were absent from OTAs, amid reports that both are interested in new contracts.

Slay, 28, has two years left on a four-year, $48.2 million extension signed in July of 2016. He is due $13 million in 2019 and $10.5 million in 2020, with cap figures of $15.9 million and $13.4 million, respectively.

Harrison, 30, was acquired for a conditional fifth-round pick from the New York Giants in October and also has two years remaining on his deal. He is due $7 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020.

–Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was absent from OTAs, amid reports he is seeking a new deal.

Jenkins, 31, is due $8.4 million in 2019 and $7.9 million in 2020 before his contract expires. The safety market jumped considerably this offseason, with four players reaching at least $13.75 million annually.

“It is a voluntary program, and Malcolm is one of those guys, leader of the football team, and not concerned with him,” head coach Doug Pederson said.

–Green Bay Packers safety Josh Jones is absent from OTAs as he seeks a trade, ESPN reports.

The team was expected to move Jones, 24, to linebacker after signing Adrian Amos in free agency and drafting Darnell Savage in the first round last month, but Jones is reportedly not on board with the switch.

A 2017 second-round pick, Jones is under contract through 2020. He has started 12 of 29 games through two seasons, making 96 tackles and breaking up seven passes.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Patriots extend Edelman through 2021

NFL notebook: Patriots extend Edelman through 2021

NFL notebook: Patriots extend Edelman through 2021

The Patriots finalized a two-year extension worth $21 million to perhaps keep Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman in New England for his entire career.

According to multiple reports, the extension includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million guaranteed.

The 32-year-old wide receiver’s contract was set to expire after the 2019 season. He signed a two-year, $11 million deal in June 2017.

Since the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round in 2009, Edelman has played in 115 regular-season games and tallied 499 receptions for 5,390 yards and 30 touchdowns. In 18 postseason games, he has won three Super Bowl rings and caught 115 passes for 1,412 yards and five scores.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finalizing a one-year contract with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, multiple media outlets reported.

The deal comes a day after the team “mutually parted ways” with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who, coincidentally, was chosen one pick after Suh in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The Bucs also claimed former New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett off waivers, after he was waived Monday.

–As the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 organized team activities got underway, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pinned the team’s 2018 struggles on himself.

“I lacked in leadership,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “Because that’s my job as the leader of this team, to get us to the playoffs. I’m gonna need to focus and refocus my energy and time on, how can I be a better leader to get us back to the playoffs?”

The comments came a day after Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate, KDKA, he probably went “too far” in making critical comments about wide receiver Antonio Brown last year.

–Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck sat out the first day of organized team activities due to a minor calf strain.

The injury isn’t considered serious, and the Colts are likely just being cautious with the 29-year-old franchise quarterback.

–The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland, according to an Uproxx report.

The league is expected to officially announce the news, and potentially the hosts of other future drafts, on Wednesday, as owners hold spring meetings in Florida this week.

Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver were among the finalists for recent drafts that were awarded to Nashville (2019) and Las Vegas (2020).

–San Francisco 49ers top pick Nick Bosa tweaked his hamstring and sat out the rest of practice.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters the severity is unclear, but Bosa remained on the sidelines through the end of practice.

–The Buffalo Bills signed defensive end Jerry Hughes to two-year extension, putting the team’s longest-tenured player under contract through 2021.

According to ESPN, Hughes’ extension is worth up to $23 million with $19.5 million guaranteed. Hughes, who turns 31 in August, was set to make $7.5 million in 2019.

–Bills tight end Tyler Kroft suffered a broken right foot Monday and will require surgery, which reportedly brings with it a three-to-four month recovery.

Four other offseason acquisitions are also sidelined: Wide receiver Cole Beasley and center Mitch Morse are recovering from core muscle surgeries, while running backs Frank Gore (foot, ankle) and T.J. Yeldon (groin) are also out.

–Running back Senorise Perry is the first Bills player to wear No. 32 since O.J. Simpson in 1977.

Perry, 27, told The Athletic he was surprised that the disgraced Hall of Famer’s number was an option.

–The Patriots placed recently signed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer on the reserve/retired list.

Veldheer, who turns 32 in June, joined the Patriots on May 13 as a free agent, signing a reported one-year, $3.5 million deal worth up to $6.5 million with incentives.

–Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson had offseason foot/ankle surgery and is in a walking boot, NFL Network reported. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for training camp.

Tight end Delanie Walker participated in individual drills and told reporters he’s “in the 85-percent range” as he recovers from a September ankle injury that required surgery.

–Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed will be out until training camp as he recovers from sports hernia surgery, head coach Pete Carroll said.

Reed was originally given a four-to-six week timeline for the surgery, which happened in late April.

–The New Orleans Saints signed former Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton and waived linebacker Darrell Williams.

Horton, 29, has seven sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 32 games (eight starts) over the past two seasons.

–The Jets signed wideout Deonte Thompson and waived wideout Xavier Ubosi.

Thompson, 30, caught 17 passes for 167 yards in 13 games between the Bills and Cowboys last season.

–After considering retirement, linebacker Gerald Hodges intends to keep playing, ESPN reported, noting he is “drawing interest from several teams.”

Hodges, 28, had 55 tackles in 16 games for the Cardinals last season.

–Field Level Media

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Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

The Buffalo Bills signed defensive end Jerry Hughes to two-year extension on Tuesday, putting the team’s longest tenured player under contract through 2021.

According to ESPN, Hughes’ extension is worth up to $23 million with $19.5 million guaranteed.

Hughes, who turns 31 in August, was set to make $7.5 million in 2019, the final year of a five-year, $45 million extension signed in March of 2015.

“Honestly, it feels good to have an organization, an owner, a head coach and a GM who really believes in you,” Hughes told reporters at a press conference. “It’s really exciting for me to be back in this building, with the team, with the guys so we can build this relationship early.”

The nine-year veteran has spent the last six seasons in Buffalo, totaling 42 sacks, 63 tackles for loss, 12 forced fumbles and 90 quarterback hits while playing in all 96 games (80 starts). He had seven sacks, 13 TFLs, three forced fumbles and 18 QB hits last season, all his best marks since 2014, with the TFL total tying a career high.

A former first-round pick (31st overall) of the Indianapolis Colts in 2010, Hughes was acquired by the Bills for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard in 2013, after he had just five sacks through his first three seasons in Indy.

In addition, the Bills announced former center Eric Wood, who retired after the 2017 season, would be joining the radio broadcast and content teams in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: DT Suh finalizing deal with Bucs

Reports: DT Suh finalizing deal with Bucs

The Tampa

Reports: DT Suh finalizing deal with Bucs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finalizing a one-year contract with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

Reports of the Bucs’ interest in Suh emerged on Monday, but head coach Bruce Arians was cagey when asked about the subject earlier Tuesday, telling reporters, “I can’t talk about him, he’s not on my team.”

Reminded that Suh was a free agent, Arians added, “He’s a hell of a player, so we’ll see.”

The deal comes a day after the team “mutually parted ways” with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who, coincidentally, was chosen one pick after Suh in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Suh, 32, had 4.5 sacks and 19 quarterback hits for the Los Angeles Rams last season, starting all 16 games for the eighth time in nine seasons since he was drafted second overall in 2010. He has never missed a game to injury, with the only absence of his career due to a two-game suspension in 2011.

Suh has 56 career sacks and 166 QB hits in 142 games, earning five Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections. Just one of those honors has come since 2014, when he made the Pro Bowl with the Miami Dolphins in 2016.

A member of the final draft class before the new CBA, Suh has made $138.7 million in his career, the second-most of any active non-quarterback behind Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald ($163.3 million), who entered the league in 2004. He earned $14 million on a one-year deal with the Rams last season.

Terms on Suh’s deal with the Buccaneers have not yet been reported.

–Field Level Media

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Colts QB Luck (calf strain) misses start of OTAs

Colts QB Luck (calf strain) misses start of OTAs

Colts QB Luck (calf strain) misses start of OTAs

Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck sat out the first day of organized team activities Tuesday due to a minor calf strain.

The injury isn’t considered serious, and the Colts are likely just being cautious with the 29-year-old franchise quarterback.

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

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

–Field Level Media

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Bills TE Kroft breaks foot on first day of OTAs

Bills TE Kroft breaks foot on first day of OTAs

Bills TE Kroft breaks foot on first day of OTAs

Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft suffered a broken right foot Monday on the first day of offseason training activities and will require surgery.

Head coach Sean McDermott confirmed the injury Tuesday. The expected recovery time is 3-4 months and Kroft could miss the start of the regular season, NFL Media reported.

Kroft, 26, was expected to start for Buffalo this season after signing a three-year, $18.75 million contract in March.

Kroft’s 2018 campaign ended with a similar injury. He was placed on injured reserve in November after having surgery to repair his fractured right foot.

A third-round pick of the Bengals in 2015, Kroft played in 51 games over four seasons with the Bengals and caught 67 passes for 661 yards and eight touchdowns.

Four other offseason acquisitions are also on the sidelines at OTAs.

Wide receiver Cole Beasley and center Mitch Morse are recovering from recent core muscle surgeries, while 36-year-old running back Frank Gore is out with foot and ankle injuries and running back T.J. Yeldon is dealing with a groin injury.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots, WR Edelman agree to $21M extension

Patriots, WR Edelman agree to $21M extension

Patriots, WR Edelman agree to $21M extension

The Patriots finalized a two-year extension worth $21 million to perhaps keep Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman in New England for his entire career.

According to multiple reports, the extension includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million guaranteed.

The 32-year-old wide receiver’s contract was set to expire after the 2019 season. He signed a two-year, $11 million deal in June 2017.

Since the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round in 2009, Edelman has played in 115 regular-season games and tallied 499 receptions for 5,390 yards and 30 touchdowns. In 18 postseason games, he has won three Super Bowl rings and caught 115 passes for 1,412 yards and five scores.

Last season, he caught 74 passes for 850 yards and six TDs after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Edelman had 10 receptions for 141 yards and was named MVP of New England’s 13-3 win against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

–Field Level Media

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Bills assign Simpson’s No. 32 for first time since 1977

Bills assign Simpson's No. 32 for first time since 1977

Running back Senorise Perry

Bills assign Simpson’s No. 32 for first time since 1977

Running back Senorise Perry is wearing jersey No. 32 during Buffalo’s organized team activities, the first player assigned the uniform number by the Bills since O.J. Simpson in 1977.

Perry, 27, signed a one-year free agent contract in March. He told The Athletic he was surprised that the disgraced Hall of Famer’s number was an option.

“I thought it was retired, but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it,” said Perry, who has played 48 career games mostly on special teams with the Chicago Bears (2014) and Miami Dolphins (2017-18).

“I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I’m willing to take anything that comes my way,” he said. “I’m going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I’m doing well for my family.”

Simpson rushed for 10,183 yards and 57 touchdowns and won four rushing titles during a nine-year tenure with Buffalo from 1969-77.

Simpson, 71, was acquitted in 1995 for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. A jury in civil court later found him liable for wrongful death. In 2008, he was sent to prison for armed robbery and kidnapping after he tried to recover stolen memorabilia in Las Vegas. He was paroled in 2017.

Perry has returned 22 kicks for 454 yards and rushed eight times for 30 yards during his NFL career.

–Field Level Media

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Browns showing interest in DT McCoy

Browns showing interest in DT McCoy

The Cleveland Browns are interested in signing defensive tackle Gerald

Browns showing interest in DT McCoy

The Cleveland Browns are interested in signing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday with three years left on his contract. The deal called for him to make $13 million in base pay this season. The original contract was for six years and $95.2 million.

“These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. “Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community. Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job. We wish Gerald, along with his wife, Ebony, and the entire McCoy family continued success and thank them for everything they have meant to our organization and community.”

General manager John Dorsey has been aggressive in stocking the Browns’ roster, including trades that brought in wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and defensive end Olivier Vernon.

After the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud originally reported McCoy was released, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the Bucs tried for two months to find a trade partner, but when it was clear there was none, the two sides “mutually parted ways.”

The 31-year-old McCoy has been a pillar on otherwise subpar defenses for most of his career in Tampa, earning six Pro Bowl selections and tallying 54.5 sacks.

Earlier this month, McCoy voiced his displeasure with trade rumors while skipping voluntary workouts.

“I will be playing football somewhere,” McCoy told a local reporter at the time. When asked where that would be, McCoy said, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

Reports: Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

Reports: Bills extend DE Hughes through 2021

The Buffalo Bills agreed to a contract extension with defensive end Jerry Hughes, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday, putting him under contract through 2021.

According to ESPN, Hughes’ extension is worth up to $23 million with $19.5 million guaranteed.

Hughes, who turns 31 in August, was set to make $7.5 million in 2019, the final year of a five-year, $45 million extension signed in March of 2015.

The nine-year veteran has spent the last six seasons in Buffalo, totaling 42 sacks, 63 tackles for loss, 12 forced fumbles and 90 quarterback hits while playing in all 96 games (80 starts). He had seven sacks, 13 TFLs, three forced fumbles and 18 QB hits last season, all his best marks since 2014, with the TFL total tying a career high.

A former first-round pick (31st overall) of the Indianapolis Colts in 2010, Hughes was acquired by the Bills for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard in 2013, after he had just five sacks through his first three seasons in Indy.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots OT Veldheer retiring

Report: Patriots OT Veldheer retiring

Offensive tackle Jared Veldheer has informed the

Report: Patriots OT Veldheer retiring

Offensive tackle Jared Veldheer has informed the New England Patriots he plans to retire, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Veldheer, who turns 32 in June, joined the Patriots just two weeks ago as a free agent, signing a reported one-year, $3.5 million deal worth up to $6.5 million with incentives.

A nine-year veteran, Veldheer started 12 games at right tackle for the Denver Broncos last season after being acquired via trade, allowing just one sack but committing seven penalties.

He spent the previous four years with the Arizona Cardinals, playing primarily left tackle before moving to the right side in 2017. A third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2010, Veldheer made 113 career starts in 118 games, with the majority at left tackle.

Isaiah Wynn, a 2018 first-round pick, was expected to get the first shot at starting on Tom Brady’s blind side after incumbent left tackle Trent Brown left for the Raiders in free agency. Wynn is recovering from a torn Achilles sustained in August.

New England also lost swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

–Field Level Media

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Todd, Taylor, Weir earn berths in U.S. Open

Todd, Taylor, Weir earn berths in U.S. Open

Todd, Taylor, Weir earn berths in U.S. Open

Brendon Todd and Canada’s Nick Taylor each shot 10-under-par 131 on Monday to top the pack of 10 players who advanced to the U.S. Open from sectional qualifying in Dallas.

The event drew 102 players to par-71 Bent Tree Country Club and par-70 Northwood Club.

Also earning a spot in the U.S. Open was Canada’s Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion.

Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz (8 under) and Argentina’s Julian Etulain (6 under) came in third and fourth, respectively. Weir tied for fifth at 5 under with Scottie Scheffler, Brian Davis and Australia’s Matthew Jones.

Three players finished the 36 holes tied for the last two qualifying spots at 4 under, forcing a three-man playoff. Charles Danielson and amateur Austin Eckroat edged out Dallas native Cody Gribble, who will be the first alternate.

Todd was cruising in his second round of the day until he triple-bogeyed the par-4 15th hole. However, he immediately bounced back to make eagle on the par-5 16th hole.

Taylor was steady in his two rounds, making 10 birdies and no bogeys.

The next sectional U.S. Open qualifier is scheduled for Kuwana, Japan, on May 27. Then on June 3, sectional qualifiers will be held in Surrey, England; Milton, Ontario; and eight spots in the United States: Newport Beach, Calif.; Streamsong, Fla.; Ball Ground, Ga.; Rockville, Md.; Purchase, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Springfield, Ohio; and Walla Walla, Wash.

The 119th U.S. Open will be held June 13-16 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. The reigning champion is Brooks Koepka, who shot 1-over par to win by one stroke last year at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

–Field Level Media

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Gase disputes belief he undermined fired GM Maccagnan

Gase disputes belief he undermined fired GM Maccagnan

Adam Gase doesn't agree with

Gase disputes belief he undermined fired GM Maccagnan

Adam Gase doesn’t agree with the overriding perception that he undermined recently fired general manager Mike Maccagnan.

The New York Jets coach addressed the issue on Monday for the first time since Maccagnan was stunningly dismissed last Wednesday as reports insist the two had a relationship filled with heavy friction.

“I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle,” Gase, the current interim GM, told reporters. “Because whoever is getting hired (as the new GM) is going to have the same role — control of the roster. I will coach the football team. That’s what I’m going to do. Nothing is changing in that structure.”

Gase was hired to coach the Jets in January so the working relationship with Maccagnan lasted barely four months.

Both mean denied there was friction as reporters percolated. Multiple reports claimed prior to the NFL draft that Gase was upset over personnel decisions made by Maccagnan.

Other reports say Gase pulled a power play to get Maccagnan fired. But Gase is maintaining he was surprised when Maccagnan and vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger were dismissed by CEO Christopher Johnson.

“He told me. That’s what it was,” Gase said. “He’s the owner. In this business, (expletive) like that happens all the time. It happened to me last year (in Miami). That’s what it is. I work for him. We’re aligned, as the head coach and the GM both report to the owner. That’s the way it is.”

Johnson said Gase had no influence on the decision, but he did cite the two weren’t clicking the way he had hoped.

One of the transactions Gase reportedly disagreed with was the signing of free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal. Gase reportedly was not keen on spending top dollar for a running back.

Gase went 23-25 in three seasons as Dolphins’ coach before being fired after last season.

Maccagnan became New York’s GM in January of 2015.

–Field Level Media

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Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

The Gerald McCoy saga is over as the Tampa

Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

The Gerald McCoy saga is over as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that they released the six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who spent the past nine seasons with the organization.

McCoy, the third overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft, had three years left on his contract which called for him to make $13 million in base pay this season. The original contract was for six years and $95.2 million.

“These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. “Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community. Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job. We wish Gerald, along with his wife, Ebony, and the entire McCoy family continued success and thank them for everything they have meant to our organization and community.”

After the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud originally reported the news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the Bucs tried for two months to find a trade partner, but when it was clear there was none, the two sides “mutually parted ways.”

The 31-year-old McCoy has been a pillar on otherwise subpar defenses for most of his career in Tampa.

Earlier this month, McCoy voiced his displeasure with trade rumors while skipping voluntary workouts.

“I will be playing football somewhere,” McCoy told a local reporter at the time. When asked where that would be, McCoy said, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

First-year coach Bruce Arians didn’t get to coach McCoy but wished him well.

“I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here,” Arians said in a statement. “You hate to see good football players go, but this is a decision that we felt needed to be made in order to allow us, and Gerald, the ability to move forward. Gerald is a class act and I wish him the best.”

Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2010, McCoy has 296 tackles, 54.5 sacks, 140 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 123 career games.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

Reports: Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

The Gerald McCoy-Tampa Bay Buccaneers saga appears to

Reports: Bucs release six-time Pro Bowl DT McCoy

The Gerald McCoy-Tampa Bay Buccaneers saga appears to be finally be over, as multiple outlets reported Monday that the team is releasing its six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

McCoy, the third overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft, has three years left on his contract which called for him to make $13 million in base pay this season. The original contract was for six years and $95.2 million.

After the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud originally reported the news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the Bucs tried for two months to find a trade partner, but when it was clear there was none, the two sides “mutually parted ways.”

The 31-year-old McCoy has been a pillar on otherwise subpar defenses for most of his career in Tampa.

Earlier this month, McCoy voiced his displeasure with trade rumors while skipping voluntary workouts.

“I will be playing football somewhere,” McCoy told a local reporter at the time. When asked where that would be, McCoy said, “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2010, McCoy has 296 tackles, 54.5 sacks, 140 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 123 career games over nine seasons.

–Field Level Media

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