The Latest: Mahomes has 6 TD passes, Chiefs lead Pittsburgh

The Latest on the second Sunday of the NFL regular season (all times EDT):

4 p.m.

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has thrown for six touchdowns — and there’s still plenty of time to go.

Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for a 29-yard score with 13:42 to play in the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh. He’s now thrown 10 TD passes through the first two weeks of the season, breaking the record of nine that was shared by Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Charlie Johnson.

Mahomes’ six touchdowns also tied Hall of Famer Len Dawson for the most in a single game in Kansas City history and tied the most allowed by the Steelers.

Kansas City leads 42-30 in the fourth quarter as it tries to win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986.

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3:40 p.m.

It’s slipping away again for the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns, seeking to end an 18-game winless streak, have wasted a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter at New Orleans. Tyrod Taylor threw an interception, giving the Saints the ball at the Cleveland 18, and New Orleans eventually scored a touchdown to take an 18-12 lead with 2:40 remaining.

Now it’s on Taylor and the Cleveland offense to try to rally.

The Browns opened the season with a tie against Pittsburgh, but they haven’t won since Dec. 24, 2016.

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3:15 p.m.

It’s been a rough second week of the NFL season for placekickers.

Not on field goals so much, but extra points.

Five were missed before any of the early Sunday games ended.

In Dolphins-Jets, both Miami’s Jason Sanders and New York’s Jason Myers were wide on PATs.

Cleveland’s Zane Gonzales missed at New Orleans, as did Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell against Kansas City, and Tampa Bay’s Chandler Catanzaro against Philadelphia.

At least the Steelers made up for Boswell’s error by later making a 2-point conversion.

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3:05 p.m.

Could this finally be the day for the Cleveland Browns?

Cleveland, which went 0-16 last season, snapped a 17-game losing streak with a season-opening tie against Pittsburgh. But it wasn’t a win.

Now the Browns lead New Orleans 12-3 after three quarters.

Cleveland’s defensive coordinator is Gregg Williams, who held the same post in New Orleans when the Saints won their only Super Bowl. The Browns have contained the New Orleans offense and scored the game’s lone touchdown so far on a 1-yard run by Carlos Hyde in the third quarter.

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3 p.m.

The defending champions have their hands full again.

The Philadelphia Eagles trail Tampa Bay 27-7 in the third quarter after a pair of 75-yard touchdown passes in the first half.

Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with former Eagle DeSean Jackson for one of those TDs on the first offensive play of the game.

Philadelphia had to hold on late for an 18-12 win over Atlanta in the season opener.

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2:50 p.m.

It took nearly 95 minutes, but the Buffalo Bills finally reached the end zone.

The Bills were the last NFL team that hadn’t scored a touchdown this season, but Chris Ivory scored on 1-yard plunge with 11:06 left in the third quarter against the Chargers. The TD cut Los Angeles’ lead to 28-13.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.

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2:45 p.m.

So much for Ben Roethlisberger’s achy right elbow.

The 36-year-old quarterback has thrown for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from an early deficit to pull into a 21-all tie with Kansas City. Roethlisberger missed two days of practice last week after injuring the elbow late in a Week 1 tie in Cleveland.

Kansas City led the Steelers 21-0 after the first quarter.

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2:35 p.m.

The Cleveland Browns are making another credible bid to end their winless streak.

The Browns took a 6-3 lead into halftime against the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans has moved the ball in stints, but has two turnovers on fumbles after receptions. The Saints also have missed a field goal.

Cleveland now has eight takeaways this season, including six in the season opener against Pittsburgh. That game ended in a tie, snapping a 17-game losing streak for the Browns.

Facing the Browns appears to have brought about a remarkable transformation of New Orleans’ defense, which gave up more than 500 yards in a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 1.

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2:20 p.m.

Calvin Ridley has scored his first NFL touchdown.

Ridley, a first-round draft pick out of Alabama, hauled in an 11-yard scoring pass from Matt Ryan with 4:03 left in the first half, pulling the Atlanta Falcons into a 10-all tie with the Carolina Panthers.

On third-and-8, Ridley broke toward the middle on a slant, beat cornerback Donte Jackson and made the catch crossing into the end zone. He celebrated with an emphatic spike before being mobbed by his teammates.

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2:10 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are dueling at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers’ 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Davante Adams with 12:28 left in the second quarter gave the Green Bay Packers a 14-7 lead over the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers is wearing a brace on his injured left knee.

He’s limited and slower than usual, though Rodgers does have some mobility. Rodgers is also getting outstanding protection from his offensive line after getting sacked to end his first series.

Cousins, meanwhile, hit his first nine passes for the Vikings. Minnesota gave up a special teams touchdown on a blocked punt.

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2 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee has been ejected from the game against Carolina for a vicious hit to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton was struck after running for 10 yards on a fourth-and-4 play in Falcons territory.

The quarterback was sliding to the turf at the end of the play when Kazee dove low to deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit that snapped back Newton’s head. Teammate Torrey Smith raced in to deliver a hit that sent Kazee to the turf, also drawing a personal foul penalty but not an ejection.

Several skirmishes broke out. Newton was finally able to get up and head to the medical tent. As he walked off the field, he took off his helmet and let out a defiant scream.

While officials sorted out the penalties, Newton was quickly examined and returned to the field without missing a play.

Six plays later, Newton threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright, giving the Panthers a 10-3 lead.

Kazee was making his second career start. He is the first player ejected for the league’s new helmet rule this season.

— Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta.

1:55 p.m.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is picking up right where he left off in the season opener. The 22-year-old threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter as the Chiefs raced to a quick 21-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mahomes threw four touchdown passes in a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the opener.

The Steelers finally got on the board in the second quarter to make it 21-7. The Chiefs are trying to win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986.

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1:40 p.m.

Rookie quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are facing early deficits.

Darnold got off to a better start than he did in the New York Jets’ opener at Detroit, when he threw an interception on his first career pass. But Darnold was picked off late in the first quarter against Miami on Sunday, and the Dolphins took advantage of a short field to take a 7-0 lead over the Jets.

Allen made his first start for the Buffalo Bills, but they fell behind 14-0 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Buffalo finally got on the board with a field goal in the second quarter.

The Bills remain the only NFL team that hasn’t scored a touchdown this season.

___

1:25 p.m.

Blaine Gabbert started at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, though Marcus Mariota is active against the Houston Texans.

Mariota hurt his elbow in the season opener, a 27-20 loss at Miami. Gabbert came out with the offense for its opening series after the Titans stopped the Texans’ opening drive. It was the 46th start of Gabbert’s career.

Rookie coach Mike Vrabel dipped into a bag of tricks to get the Titans on the board first on a fake punt . Safety Kevin Byard threw the ball to wide-open rookie Dane Cruikshank. He ran down the right sideline and faked out Texans returner Tyler Ervin for a 66-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

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1:20 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers started for the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings, wearing a brace on his left knee. Rodgers completed three passes on Green Bay’s first drive, which ended with a punt.

The Packers later took a 7-0 lead with a special teams touchdown. Geronimo Allison blocked a punt deep in Vikings territory after rushing up the middle. The ball was recovered by rookie Josh Jackson, who jumped to secure the ball and landed in the end zone.

Rodgers was questionable coming into the game after hurting the knee in the season-opening, come-from-behind win over Chicago. The Packers operated out of a shotgun or pistol formation on Rodgers’ first drive.

___

1:05 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson again took a knee during the national anthem, this time before the team’s game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

All of the Jets players linked arms, along with coach Todd Bowles and CEO Christopher Johnson while standing together on the sideline during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Last Sunday, Stills and Wilson also took knees, and were the only players in the NFL to do so.

Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America. He thanked both Stills and Wilson on Twitter last week for “their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed.”

League-wide, only about 10 players participated in any form of protests. On Thursday, Stills insisted that his pregame statements are not going away.

“It’s something I’m committed to forever,” he said.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Chargers tackle Russell Okung stood behind the line of Los Angeles players with his right arm raised and hand in a fist before the game at Buffalo.

— Dennis Waszak Jr. reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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12 p.m.

The NFL Foundation will contribute $1 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

That contribution will be distributed to organizations that will address the immediate needs of those impacted throughout the Carolinas and other areas.

“The NFL family sends its support to the individuals, families and communities affected by Hurricane Florence,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday. “Natural disasters like this are devastating. As communities in and around the Carolinas recover and rebuild, we hope these funds will provide some measure of relief in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

NFL fans are encouraged to text FLORENCE to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Florence relief.

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AAF: Woodrum, Stallions stomp Express

AAF: Woodrum, Stallions stomp Express

Josh Woodrum threw for two touchdowns

AAF: Woodrum, Stallions stomp Express

Josh Woodrum threw for two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions, leading the Salt Lake Stallions to a 22-9 win over the Memphis Express on Saturday in an Alliance of American Football game at Salt Lake City.

Woodrum’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Nick Truesdell and his 14-yard scoring toss to Anthony Denham, each followed by a successful two-point conversion, put the Stallions (2-4) on top 16-0 in the first quarter.

Memphis (1-5) got within 16-9 after a second-quarter field goal and an 11-yard Brandon Silvers-to-Zac Stacy touchdown pass. However, short field goals from Taylor Bertolet in the second quarter and fourth quarter helped Salt Lake put the game away.

Express quarterback Zach Mettenberger was knocked out of the game after sustaining a left ankle injury on his team’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Mettenberger, a former Tennessee Titans starter, was sacked by Stallions defensive end Karter Schult, who fell on the QB’s ankle. Silvers replaced Mettenberger and threw for 242 yards.

The Express, who are in last place in the East Division, fell to 0-4 on the road by losing to the last-place team in the West Division.

In Saturday night action, the Arizona Hotshots were set to visit the Orlando Apollos.

–Field Level Media

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AAF roundup: Hotshots hand Apollos first defeat

AAF roundup: Hotshots hand Apollos first defeat

Jhurell Pressley's 1-yard touchdown

AAF roundup: Hotshots hand Apollos first defeat

Jhurell Pressley’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter led the Arizona Hotshots to a 22-17 win over host Orlando, handing the Apollos their first loss in the Alliance of American Football.

John Wolford’s two-point conversion pass to Marquis Bundy followed Pressley’s touchdown and represented the game’s final points.

Wolford completed 16 of 27 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Former Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Nick Folk made two of three field-goal attempts for Arizona (3-3), connecting from 55 yards in the first quarter.

Garrett Gilbert threw two touchdown passes and one interception for Orlando (5-1). The former Carolina Panthers backup finished 23 of 48 for 269 yards.

Stallions 22, Express 9

Josh Woodrum threw for two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions, leading Salt Lake to a win over Memphis at Salt Lake City.

Woodrum’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Nick Truesdell and his 14-yard scoring toss to Anthony Denham, each followed by a successful two-point conversion, put the Stallions (2-4) on top 16-0 in the first quarter.

Memphis (1-5) got within 16-9 after a second-quarter field goal and an 11-yard Brandon Silvers-to-Zac Stacy touchdown pass. However, short field goals from Taylor Bertolet in the second quarter and fourth quarter helped Salt Lake put the game away.

Express quarterback Zach Mettenberger was knocked out of the game after sustaining a left ankle injury on his team’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Mettenberger, a former Tennessee Titans starter, was sacked by Stallions defensive end Karter Schult, who fell on the QB’s ankle. Silvers replaced Mettenberger and threw for 242 yards.

The Express, who are in last place in the East Division, fell to 0-4 on the road by losing to the last-place team in the West Division.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: TE Eifert returns to Bengals

NFL notebook: TE Eifert returns to Bengals

NFL notebook: TE Eifert returns to Bengals

Injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert is re-signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, he announced on Twitter on Saturday. Eifert is signing a one-year contract, according to multiple reports.

Eifert, a product of Notre Dame, was the No. 21 overall selection by the Bengals in 2013 and played 15 games that season. Since then, he has only reached double-digit games in a season once.

That was 2015, when he scored 13 touchdowns in 13 games. He made the Pro Bowl that year, but an ankle injury in that game limited his action the following season.

Eifert, 28, has had season-ending surgery each of the past three seasons. In 2018, it was a broken ankle suffered in Week 4 that sent him to injured reserve.

–The Oakland Raiders released veteran left tackle Donald Penn in what was called a mutual decision.

Penn, who turns 36 next month, indicated that he wants to return for a 13th NFL season elsewhere in 2019.

Penn missed 12 games with a groin injury in 2018 and was slated to count $7.2 million against Oakland’s salary cap this season.

–New Orleans Saints center Max Unger retired in a surprising development, multiple outlets reported.

Unger, who turns 33 next month, completed his 10th NFL season and earned his third Pro Bowl selection in 2018. He had one year left on a three-year, $22 million contract and was set to earn $5.1 million in base salary in 2019.

Unger started 130 regular-season and 12 postseason games with the Seattle Seahawks (2009-14) and Saints (2015-18).

–When suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving shared a post — in which he appeared to be smoking marijuana — on Instagram and announced his retirement last week, it was with coach Jason Garrett’s encouragement, he said.

“He told me I should just quit, smoke all the weed I want, the team didn’t need me,” Irving told USA Today in an interview. “I’m a distraction to the team.”

Irving said he suffers from mental illnesses that he attributes to football and that players should have the option to treat their ailments with cannabis.

“People need to understand I’m not doing this — I didn’t quit football to smoke weed,” Irving said. “That would be idiotic. I understand that. … It’s about wellness, about rights. People need to understand that.”

–The Jacksonville Jaguars stayed busy in free agency, announcing the signings of wide receiver Chris Conley and offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi. NFL Media also reported they were signing former Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan, 27, who missed last season with a torn ACL.

Conley, 26, played for the Kansas City Chiefs over his first four seasons, making 104 catches for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. He emerged as a scoring target for Patrick Mahomes last season, catching 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns.

Ogbuehi, 26, started 25 of 35 games over his first four seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, but appeared in just two games last season.

–New head coach Bruce Arians is bringing a familiar face to Tampa Bay, with the Buccaneers signing offensive lineman Earl Watford to a one-year deal.

Watford, who spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and spent his first five seasons playing for Arians.

Watford, 28, has played both guard spots and right tackle over his NFL career, which spans 55 games and 22 starts. Financial terms of his deal were not disclosed.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi, LB Ryan

Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi, LB Ryan

Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi, LB Ryan

The Jacksonville Jaguars stayed busy in free agency, announcing the signings of wide receiver Chris Conley and offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi on Saturday.

NFL Media also reported that the Jaguars were signing linebacker Jake Ryan.

The moves follow the Jaguars’ big free-agent splash when they signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on Wednesday.

Contract terms for the three players were not announced.

Conley, 26, played for the Kansas City Chiefs over his first four seasons, making 104 catches for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. He emerged as a scoring target for Patrick Mahomes last season, catching 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns.

Conley and Foles were teammates in Kansas City in 2016, and the wide receiver cited the signing of Foles as a big factor in his decision.

“There was opportunity here to begin with, but then the addition of him at quarterback … that sealed the deal for me,” Conley said.

Ogbuehi figures to replace offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, who was released as part of the Jaguars’ efforts to free up money for Foles.

Ogbuehi, 26, started 25 of 35 games over his first four seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, but appeared in just two games last season. A Texas A&M product, he was the Bengals’ first-round draft pick in 2015.

Ryan, 27, had been with the Green Bay Packers since they made him a fourth-round pick in 2015.

Ryan ranked third on the team with 81 tackles in 2017, but spent last season on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in training camp. In 43 games (27 starts), he tallied 213 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

–Field Level Media

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Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF’s Memphis Express

Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF's Memphis Express

Johnny Manziel

Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF’s Memphis Express

Johnny Manziel has found a new home in the Alliance of American Football.

After failed stops in the NFL and the Canadian Football League, the 26-year-old quarterback signed a standard player contract with the upstart league on Saturday and was claimed off waivers by the Memphis Express.

“We are pleased to welcome Johnny Manziel to Alliance of American Football, which we’ve always described as a league of opportunity for talented players to launch or revitalize their pro football careers,” AAF co-founder and head of football Bill Polian said.

“We completed extensive background work to determine whether it would be appropriate for Johnny to play this season, and after consulting with many people familiar with his situation, we concluded that it would be good for him to resume his pro football career here at The Alliance.”

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner at Texas A&M, Manziel entered the AAF waiver system because his college allocation rights previously had been released by the San Antonio Commanders.

The Express, coached by Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, held the first claim because they have the league’s worst record at 1-5.

Manziel is expected to report to Memphis on Sunday. The Express lost quarterback Zach Mettenberger to an injury on Saturday.

AAF chairman Tom Dundon said his league had been in contact with Manziel’s camp since the quarterback was released last month from his contract with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

Manziel is no longer the property of the Montreal team, and he is not allowed to join any CFL club for violating terms of his contract. Neither the Alouettes or the CFL revealed the exact reason the contract was terminated, but that apparently was not enough to scare off the AAF.

Manziel threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns in two seasons at Texas A&M.

He was the No. 22 pick overall in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns but was released at the end of the 2015 season. He played in 15 games (eight starts) with the Browns, throwing for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Manziel had more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (five) in his eight games for Montreal last year. He threw for 1,290 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF

Reports: Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF

Johnny Manziel may

Reports: Troubled QB Manziel signs with AAF

Johnny Manziel may have found a new home in the Alliance of American Football, according to multiple sources.

AAF chairman Tom Dundon said his league had been in contact with Manziel’s camp since the 26-year-old quarterback was released last month from his contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and reports Saturday said he had agreed to the league’s standard player contract.

Manziel is no longer the property of the Montreal team, and he is not allowed to join any CFL club for violating terms of his contract. Neither the Alouettes or the CFL revealed the exact reason the contract was terminated. But that was apparently not enough to scare off the AAF.

Because Manziel is a product of Texas A&M, where he won the Heisman in 2012, his rights would belong to the AAF’s Texas team, the San Antonio Commanders, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the team had released his college allocation rights. That means he would go through the waiver system, with the team with the worst record in the league having first shot, and so on.

Manziel threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns in two seasons at Texas A&M.

He was the No. 22 pick overall in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns but was released at the end of the 2015 season. He played in 15 games and made eight starts with the Browns, throwing for 1,675 yards with seven touchdowns.

Manziel had more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (five) in his eight games for Montreal last year. He threw for 1,290 yards.

–Field Level Media

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TE Eifert to re-sign with Bengals

TE Eifert to re-sign with Bengals

Injury-plagued tight end Tyler

TE Eifert to re-sign with Bengals

Injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert is re-signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, he announced on Twitter on Saturday.

Eifert, a product of Notre Dame, was the No. 21 overall selection by the Bengals in 2013 and played 15 games that season. Since then, he has only reached double-digit games in a season once.

That was 2015, when he scored 13 touchdowns in 13 games. He made the Pro Bowl that year, but an ankle injury in that game limited his action the following season.

He has had season-ending surgery each of the past three seasons. In 2018, it was a broken ankle suffered in Week 4 that sent him to injured reserve.

Eifert, 28, also has battled back problems through the years.

“Excited to be signing back with the @Bengals! Can’t thank the Brown family enough for giving me another opportunity. I look forward to a great season,” his tweet read, in part.

Eifert is signing a one-year contract, according to multiple reports.

He has 142 receptions for 1,716 yards and 21 touchdowns in 43 career games (32 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Saints C Unger retiring after 10 seasons

Reports: Saints C Unger retiring after 10 seasons

Reports: Saints C Unger retiring after 10 seasons

New Orleans Saints center Max Unger retired Saturday in a surprising development, multiple outlets reported.

Unger, who turns 33 next month, completed his 10th NFL season and earned his third Pro Bowl selection in 2018. He had one year left on a three-year, $22 million contract and was set to earn $5.1 million in base salary in 2019.

With his help, New Orleans ranked third in the league last year in scoring at 31.5 points per game and Drew Brees was only sacked 17 times, fewest of any quarterback in the NFL with at least 10 starts.

Unger started 130 regular season and 12 postseason games with the Seattle Seahawks (2009-14) and Saints (2015-18).

He missed only one of the Saints’ 64 games over the past four seasons. He led the team with 1,013 offensive snaps in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders part ways with veteran OT Penn

Raiders part ways with veteran OT Penn

The Oakland Raiders

Raiders part ways with veteran OT Penn

The Oakland Raiders released veteran left tackle Donald Penn in what was called a mutual decision Saturday.

Penn, who turns 36 next month, indicated that he wants to return for a 13th NFL season elsewhere in 2019.

“Looking forward to the next chapter of my career — I’ve got a lot of football left!” the three-time Pro Bowl selection posted on Twitter.

Penn missed 12 games with a groin injury in 2018 and was slated to count $7.2 million against Oakland’s salary cap this season.

He became expendable when the Raiders signed former New England Patriots tackle Trent Brown to a four-year, $66 million contract last week.

Undrafted out of Utah State in 2006, Penn played 178 games (174 starts) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007-13) and Raiders (2014-18).

“Donald will always be a Raider and his presence will be missed by the entire Raiders family,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “I wish the absolute best for Donald in his family.”

–Field Level Media

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Rahm soars into third-round lead at Players Championship

Rahm soars into third-round lead at Players Championship

Rahm soars into third-round lead at Players Championship

Jon Rahm of Spain sped his way up the leaderboard with a round-best 64 on Saturday to forge a one-shot lead over Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and England’s Tommy Fleetwood after the third round of play at The Players Championship at the famed TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Rahm’s round Saturday featured seven birdies, one eagle (on the par 5 11th) and one bogey and allowed him finish 54 holes at 15-under-par 201 and to jump nine spots and sleep on the lead with 18 holes to play. Rahm hit nine of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation and had a great day on the greens, with no misses on putts within 10 feet.

McIlroy and Fleetwood each posted up-and-down rounds of 70 on Saturday, with McIlroy missing a 13-foot birdie putt on the par 4 closing hole and hitting just four fairways in the round.

Rahm is in search of his third PGA Tour win and his seventh victory worldwide, most recently the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.

After playing in near-perfect and warm conditions for the first two days of the tournament, the weather was a factor on Saturday, with temperatures dropping 20 degrees into the 60s and the wind whipping from the north. But the course played softer than expected — a situation that is not likely to be the case in the final round.

Eleven players are at least 10 strokes under par, tying The Players Championship record after 54 holes.

Jason Day of Australia was alone in fourth at 12 under after a third-round 68. Abraham Ancer of Mexico (who shot a 70 on Saturday) stands in fifth, four shots off Rahm’s lead.

Six Americans — Ollie Schniederjans and Brandt Snedeker, each of whom shot 65s — Keegan Bradley (68), Dustin Johnson (69), Brian Harman (71) and Jim Furyk (71) are in a logjam tied for sixth five shots off the pace.

McIlroy and Fleetwood started the third round at 12 under and three shots clear of Furyk, Ian Poulter of England, Harman, and Ancer. Rahm was five shots back.

Fleetwood started the day with a thud, double-bogeying the first hole, and was three over after seven holes. He turned around his day with a birdie on the par-3 eighth and added four more birdies on the back nine, including a near-kick-in three-foot putt on the treacherous par-3 island 17th.

McIlroy’s third round also began poorly, with bogey on the first two holes, but he bounced back with birdies on the third, seventh and eighth holes and shared the lead with Rahm, who finished about an hour in advance of the final pairing, after another birdie on the 11th.

McIlroy has posted Top-10 finishes in five of six starts this season, with a runner up at the WGC-Mexico Championship as his top result.

Defending champion Webb Simpson is tied for 24th at 6 under after his third straight 70, while Tiger Woods finished 54 holes in a tie for 43rd at 3 under after an even-par 72 on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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Ex Cowboy Irving: Garrett ‘told me I should just quit’

Ex Cowboy Irving: Garrett 'told me I should just quit'

Ex Cowboy Irving: Garrett ‘told me I should just quit’

When suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving shared a post – in which he appeared to be smoking marijuana – on Instagram and announced his retirement last week, it was with coach Jason Garrett’s encouragement, he said.

“He told me I should just quit, smoke all the weed I want, the team didn’t need me,” Irving told USA Today in an interview. “I’m a distraction to the team.

“He views marijuana as a drug, whereas I view it as a medicine. It’s not a good situation.”

Two weeks ago, the NFL suspended Irving indefinitely for a third violation of its policy regarding banned drugs.

“Basically, guys, I quit,” Irving said in his post. “I don’t want to talk about a suspension and all this other nonsense. I’m outta there. I’m not doing this (junk) no more. You know, it’s a lot of reasons.

Now, he said, rather than give up the drug, he will make his living through it. He already has an agreement to market two products — cannabidiol pre-rolls (joints) and cannabidiol vape pens.

Irving said he suffers from mental illnesses that he attributes to football and that players should have the option to treat their ailments with cannabis.

“People need to understand I’m not doing this – I didn’t quit football to smoke weed,” Irving said. “That would be idiotic. I understand that.

“It’s about wellness, about rights. People need to understand that.”

While the Cowboys didn’t respond to USA Today’s request for comment, Irving said owner Jerry Jones understands him.

“Basically, Jerry, he is supportive of me,” Irving said. “He understands my situation and what I was dealing with. Our hands were pretty much tied. His hands were tied.”

Irving, 25, spent the past four seasons with the Cowboys after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State. He appeared in 37 games (10 starts) and recorded 12.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and 56 tackles. Irving played in just two games in 2018, notching one sack.

–Field Level Media

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OL Watford joins Bucs on one-year deal

OL Watford joins Bucs on one-year deal

New head coach Bruce Arians is bringing

OL Watford joins Bucs on one-year deal

New head coach Bruce Arians is bringing a familiar face to Tampa Bay, with the Buccaneers signing offensive lineman Earl Watford to a one-year deal on Saturday.

Watford, who spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and spent his first five seasons playing for Arians.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Watford joins a Buccaneers offensive line that has four returning starters.

He’ll likely get a shot at the open right guard position, but he can provide flexibility across the line.

Watford, 28, has played both guard spots and right tackle over his NFL career, which spans 55 games and 22 starts.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi

Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi

Jaguars sign WR Conley, OL Ogbuehi

The Jacksonville Jaguars stayed busy in free agency, announcing the signings of wide receiver Chris Conley and offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi on Saturday.

The moves follow the Jaguars’ big free-agent splash when they signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on Wednesday.

Contract terms for the two players were not announced.

Conley, 26, played for the Kansas City Chiefs over his first four seasons, making 104 catches for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. He emerged as a scoring target for Patrick Mahomes last season, catching 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns.

Conley and Foles were teammates in Kansas City in 2016, and the wide receiver cited the signing of Foles as a big factor in his decision.

“There was opportunity here to begin with, but then the addition of him at quarterback … that sealed the deal for me,” Conley said.

Ogbuehi figures to replace offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, who was released as part of the Jaguars’ efforts to free up money for Foles.

Ogbuehi, 26, started 25 of 35 games over his first four seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, but appeared in just two games last season. A Texas A&M product, he was the Bengals’ first-round draft pick in 2015.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, $21M

Report: Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, $21M

Report: Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, $21M

The Denver Broncos have signed former Chicago Bears slot cornerback Bryce Callahan to a three-year, $21 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday evening.

The move reunites Callahan, 27, with new Denver head coach Vic Fangio, who was the Bears’ defensive coordinator during Callahan’s first four seasons in the league. Callahan has four interceptions in 45 games (29 starts).

Callahan started 10 of 13 games played last season and recorded 45 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and defended six passes. He missed the final three games of the season after he broke his left foot in the Bears’ 15-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in a Sunday night game.

Also Friday, the Broncos announced they have re-signed tight end Jeff Heuerman, who was a free agent following the 2018 season. Multiple sources report the two-year deal is worth $9 million.

The three-year veteran is coming off his best professional season to date. Last season, the 26-year-old recorded 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games (10 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, reported $21M

Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, reported $21M

Broncos add CB Callahan for three years, reported $21M

The Denver Broncos signed former Chicago Bears slot cornerback Bryce Callahan to a three-year contract on Friday evening.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal is worth $21 million with $10 million guaranteed.

The move reunites Callahan, 27, with new Denver head coach Vic Fangio, who was the Bears’ defensive coordinator during Callahan’s first four seasons in the league. Callahan has four interceptions in 45 games (29 starts).

Callahan started 10 of 13 games played last season and recorded 45 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and defended six passes. He missed the final three games of the season after he broke his left foot in the Bears’ 15-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in a Sunday night game.

Also Friday, the Broncos announced they have re-signed tight end Jeff Heuerman, who was a free agent following the 2018 season. Multiple sources report the two-year deal is worth $9 million.

The four-year veteran — who missed his entire rookie season to a torn ACL — is coming off his best professional season to date. The 26-year-old recorded 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games (10 starts) in 2018 before going on injured reserve with broken ribs.

Heuerman has missed 27 games to injury through four seasons since being drafted in the third round in 2015.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals sign G Miller for 3 years, reported $16.5M

Bengals sign G Miller for 3 years, reported $16.5M

The

Bengals sign G Miller for 3 years, reported $16.5M

The Cincinnati Bengals are signing free agent guard John Miller to a three-year, $16.5 million contract, according to multiple reports Friday.

Miller, 25, was Buffalo’s third-round pick in 2015 and started 47 games at right guard for the Bills over the past four seasons.

Miller ranked fourth on the Bills with 883 offensive snaps in 15 starts last season.

Miller visited Thursday with the Bengals. He will be reunited on the offensive line with former Buffalo teammate Cordy Glenn, a tackle who joined Cincinnati in a trade last March.

Cincinnati also brought former Browns and Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton in for a visit, according to ESPN.

The 25-year-old run-stopper was drafted 12th overall by Cleveland in 2015 and traded to New England for a swap of third- and fifth-round picks last March. He is a free agent after his fifth-year option was declined.

–Field Level Media

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Titans acquire Dolphins QB Tannehill, release Gabbert

Titans acquire Dolphins QB Tannehill, release Gabbert

The

Titans acquire Dolphins QB Tannehill, release Gabbert

The Miami Dolphins traded quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Titans on Friday, receiving a 2020 fourth-round pick and 2019 seventh-rounder while also sending a 2019 sixth-rounder to Tennessee.

Tannehill restructured his existing contract and will have a fully guaranteed one-year, $7 million deal with the Titans, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, $5 million of which will be paid by the Dolphins. The value could climb to $12 million with performance incentives.

The QB was previously due a base salary of $18.75 million in 2019.

Tannehill, 30, started 11 games in 2018 and completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,979 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He missed five games with an injured throwing shoulder.

To make room for Tannehill, the Titans released quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Dolphins made the move without a proven quarterback on the roster to replace him, having failed to sign free agents Teddy Bridgewater (Saints) or Tyrod Taylor (Chargers). Luke Falk and Jake Rudock are the only QBs on the Miami roster. Falk has never played in an NFL game and Rudock has thrown five passes in three games, including one interception.

Miami made Tannehill the eighth overall pick in 2012, but the Dolphins reached the playoffs only one time in his six seasons.

Tannehill leaves the Dolphins with a 42-46 record. He ranks third in franchise history in passing yards (20,434) and touchdown passes (123).

The Titans now have an insurance policy for Mariota. The 25-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner missed two starts last season because of a nerve injury that affected his throwing shoulder.

Mariota has a 27-28 record in four seasons since Tennessee picked him second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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NFL transactions: Dolphins trade Tannehill to Titans

NFL transactions: Dolphins trade Tannehill to Titans

The Miami Dolphins traded

NFL transactions: Dolphins trade Tannehill to Titans

The Miami Dolphins traded quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans on Friday, receiving a 2020 fourth-round pick and 2019 seventh-rounder while also sending a 2019 sixth-rounder to Tennessee.

Tannehill restructured his existing contract and will have a fully guaranteed one-year, $7 million deal with the Titans, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, $5 million of which will be paid by the Dolphins. The value could climb to $12 million with performance incentives. The QB was previously due a base salary of $18.75 million in 2019.

Tannehill, 30, started 11 games in 2018 and completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,979 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He missed five games with an injured throwing shoulder.

To make room for Tannehill, the Titans released quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

–Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will visit the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, NFL Network reported.

Bortles, a 2014 first-round pick, was released earlier this week after the Jaguars signed Nick Foles. Incumbent Rams backup Sean Mannion is a free agent, leaving an opening behind Jared Goff.

— The Denver Broncos signed former Chicago Bears slot cornerback Bryce Callahan to a three-year. ESPN reports the deal is worth $21 million, with $10 million guaranteed.

The move reunites Callahan, 27, with new Denver head coach Vic Fangio, who was the Bears’ defensive coordinator during Callahan’s first four seasons in the league. Callahan has four interceptions in 45 games (29 starts).

The Broncos also re-signed starting tight end Jeff Heuerman on a two-year deal worth a reported $9 million.

–Cornerback Ronald Darby will remain with the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced.

According to multiple outlets, the deal is worth $8.5 million.

Darby had one interception in nine games last season before suffering a torn ACL in his right knee in a game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 11. It hasn’t yet been determined if he will be healthy by the start of the 2019 season.

–New England is releasing defensive end Adrian Clayborn, a move that clears about $4 million in cap space.

Clayborn, 30, broke the news on Twitter and thanked the Patriots for granting his release.

–Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has come out of retirement to sign with the Washington Redskins.

Rodgers-Cromartie retired midseason with the Oakland Raiders last season before deciding this spring to return.

–The Titans are releasing right guard Josh Kline, one year after signing him to a four-year, $26 million contract extension.

NFL Network reported the 29-year-old veteran declined to take a pay cut. Releasing him saves $3.25 million while leaving $3.5 million in dead money.

–The Cincinnati Bengals signed free agent guard John Miller to a three-year contract. The deal is worth $16.5 million, according to multiple reports.

The Bengals also brought former Cleveland Browns and Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton in for a visit, according to ESPN.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added former Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett on a one-year deal worth a reported $5 million.

The team also signed guard Earl Watford, per multiple reports, and re-signed cornerback De’Vante Harris and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

–The San Francisco 49ers released defensive end Cassius Marsh, saving $4.7 million against the cap in 2019.

Marsh had 5.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits last season but was apparently deemed expendable after the acquisition of Pro Bowler Dee Ford earlier this week.

The 49ers also re-signed linebacker Mark Nzeocha, per the team, and restricted free agent running back Raheem Mostert, per his agent, on three-year deals.

–The Los Angeles Chargers retained safety Adrian Phillips on a one-year deal. Phillips was a Pro Bowler in 2018 as a special teamer.

–The New York Giants are likely to sign former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Mike Remmers, his agent said. Remmers was primarily a right tackle before switching to guard last season.

Meanwhile, the Giants signed defensive tackle Olsen Pierre, who had 5.5 sacks under Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher when both were with the Cardinals in 2017.

–The New Orleans Saints signed former New York Giants defensive lineman Mario Edwards on a two-year deal. The contract is worth $5 million with up to $1.5 million additional in incentives, per Pro Football Talk.

–The Baltimore Ravens signed former Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Justin Bethel to a two-year deal. Bethel made three Pro Bowls from 2013-15 as a special teamer.

–The Green Bay Packers re-signed restricted free agent wideout Geronimo Allison on a one-year deal, CBS Sports reported.

Per the report, the deal will pay Allison more than his restricted free agent tender and has additional incentives, after other teams expressed interest in the 25-year-old.

–The Raiders signed speedster wideout J.J. Nelson and defensive end Josh Mauro, while re-signing linebacker Jason Cabinda and guard Chaz Green.

Mauro’s one-year deal is reportedly worth $1.4 million.

–Former Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard is visiting the Kansas City Chiefs, per multiple reports.

–The New York Jets signed former kicker Chandler Catanzaro, after Pro Bowler Jason Myers left in free agency.

–The Browns signed former Houston Texans right tackle Kendall Lamm to a two-year deal worth $7 million, per the Houston Chronicle.

–The Texans signed former Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun on a one-year deal worth a reported $900,000. Houston also worked out former Bengals second-round offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who is trying to transition to tight end.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim.

–The Bears signed former Falcons wideout/returner Marvin Hall to a one-year deal.

–Former Saints offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod visited the Carolina Panthers but left without a deal, per multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ex-Jags QB Bortles to visit Rams

Report: Ex-Jags QB Bortles to visit Rams

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will visit the Los

Report: Ex-Jags QB Bortles to visit Rams

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will visit the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, NFL Network reported Friday evening.

The Jaguars released Bortles on Wednesday, less than two hours after officially signing free agent Nick Foles.

The Rams have an opening behind starter Jared Goff, with incumbent backup Sean Mannion an unrestricted free agent.

Bortles, who turns 27 next month, signed a three-year, $54 million extension with the Jaguars last offseason, but he threw for 2,718 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while going 3-9 as a starter before being benched for Cody Kessler. Jacksonville was willing to eat $16.5 million in dead money from Bortles’ contract to move on from him this offseason.

A first-round pick in 2014, Bortles has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 17,646 yards, 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions in his career, with a passer rating of 80.6 and a record of 24-49.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Chiefs WR Hill under investigation for battery on juvenile

Reports: Chiefs WR Hill under investigation for battery on juvenile

Reports: Chiefs WR Hill under investigation for battery on juvenile

Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports.

The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son suffered a broken arm in the incident.

Police responded to a home in Overland Park, Kan., according to a police report by the Overland Park (Kan.) Police Department.

The report is dated March 14. It is unclear if the incident occurred that day.

The Chiefs know about a situation involving Hill.

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement to The Kansas City Star. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

KCTV said it contacted Hill’s agent, who “would also not comment on the matter and hung up the phone on KCTV5’s investigative reporters.”

Overland Park police also responded to the same address on March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill’s name is listed on the report.

Hill’s fiance, Crystal Espinal, is listed on the March 14 report under others involved. The Star reports that Espinal is pregnant with twins. Espinal is the mother of the 3-year-old son whose arm was broken.

Hill reportedly choked and punched Espinal when she was pregnant in December 2014. Hill was arrested and dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team.

Hill later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation, and received three years probation.

The conviction was dismissed last August after Hill completed probation requirements.

Hill was a fifth-round draft pick in 2016 and has blossomed into a major star for the Chiefs.

He has 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first three seasons, and is in line to receive a big-money deal from Kansas City. He also has returned four kickoffs and one punt for scores.

News about Hill broke on the same day that former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt was handed an eight-game suspension. Hunt was released by the Chiefs on Nov. 30 when a video was released showing him kicking a woman.

Hunt was recently signed by the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media

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