The Latest: Rams halfway to 16-0 after comeback against Pack

The Latest on Week 8 in the NFL on Sunday (all times EDT):

7:55 p.m.

Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams are halfway to 16-0 after a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers.

The Rams remained unbeaten by overcoming their largest deficit of the season to beat Aaron Rodgers and Co. 29-27 despite trailing by 10 points after the first quarter.

And they did it despite a pro-Packers crowd that loudly supported the visiting team at the Coliseum.

Gurley accounted for 195 yards — 114 on 25 carries, and another 81 on six catches — and a TD. Greg Zuerlein made the go-ahead 34-yard field goal with a little more than two minutes left, before Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Rams recovered.

Next for LA (8-0) is a game against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

In other late afternoon NFL action:

— Andrew Luck threw a trio of TD passes to push the Indianapolis Colts past Jon Gruden and Oakland 42-28 to win in consecutive weeks for the first time in three years;

— A couple of rookies, Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk, teamed up for a 9-yard scoring pass with 34 seconds left, and the Arizona Cardinals edged the San Francisco 49ers 18-15 in a game between two teams that entered the day with matching 1-6 records.

In Sunday’s last game, the Minnesota Vikings host the Saints at night.

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7 p.m.

Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is now alone in seventh place for most career NFL touchdown catches with 112.

Fitzgerald broke a tie at 111 with Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee Tony Gonzalez by grabbing a 13-yard scoring pass from Josh Rosen in the fourth quarter against San Francisco.

No. 6 on the list is Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who is still active and has 115 TD receptions.

The record of 197 is held by former 49ers star Jerry Rice.

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6:10 p.m.

A fake punt, a safety and back-to-back big gains on calls reversed by video replay are helping the Los Angeles Rams keep it close with the Green Bay Packers.

The unbeaten Rams trailed Green Bay 10-8 at halftime, but they were down by a season-high 10 points before getting back in it.

With LA’s high-powered offense getting stymied by Green Bay’s inspired defense, the Rams had to get creative.

Punter Johnny Hekker completed a pass to former Packers cornerback Sam Shields to convert a first down. Later, Shields downed a punt by Hekker at the Green Bay 1, where the defense scored the hosts’ first points with a safety.

The Rams then put together their only scoring drive of the first half, picking up 57 yards on consecutive catches by Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley. Both passes were initially ruled incomplete on close plays.

Josh Reynolds caught a 1-yard TD toss from Jared Goff with 21 seconds left in the half, but the 2-point conversion attempt failed.

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5:50 p.m.

Two of the NFL’s worst teams are playing like it. Just look at the halftime score: The San Francisco 49ers lead the Arizona Cardinals 5-3.

No, this is not baseball. Or hockey. Or soccer. It’s the pass-happy, point-happy NFL.

The 49ers have accumulated a paltry 61 total yards, but lead thanks to Robbie Gould’s 27-yard field goal and a safety when Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen was sacked.

Arizona’s offense has 111 yards in its first game under new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Its only points came via Phil Dawson’s 31-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Rosen has thrown an interception and been sacked three times.

The 49ers and Cardinals entered the day with matching 1-6 records.

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5:25 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored more points than anyone in NFL history, breaking the record on a 25-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in the first half against the Oakland Raiders.

That increased Vinatieri’s total to 2,547 points, three more than Morten Andersen.

Vinatieri entered Sunday trailing Anderson’s mark by four points and pulled even with an extra point and a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter.

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5:10 p.m.

The Los Angeles Rams are trailing after the first quarter for the first time this season, thanks to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Jamaal Williams scored on a 1-yard TD plunge after back-to-back big throws by Rodgers, who staked the Packers to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter at the Coliseum.

The 10-point deficit is the biggest faced at any time in any game all season by the unbeaten Rams.

Backed by big cheers from the Packers’ huge West Coast fan base, Green Bay outgained the Rams 142-38 in the first quarter.

Los Angeles coach Sean McVay’s high-powered offense got off to a slow start with just 38 yards on its first 12 plays.

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4:50 p.m.

Pat Mahomes just keeps putting up big numbers for the Kansas City Chiefs at age 23.

Adrian Peterson is doing the same for the Washington Redskins at age 33.

No wonder both of those teams are in first place.

Mahomes threw for 303 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Sammy Watkins, and the Chiefs improved to 7-1 by beating the AFC West rival Denver Broncos 30-23.

Peterson ran for a season-high 149 yards, 64 on a late TD run, and added a 7-yard scoring catch to help the Redskins top the New York Giants 20-13 and stay atop the NFC East at 5-2. Washington hasn’t started a season that well since 2008.

In other early games Sunday:

— Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown paired up for two scores in Pittsburgh’s 33-18 victory over Cleveland, which has lost 25 road games in a row — one shy of the NFL record;

— Cam Newton threw for two TDs and ran for another to lead the Panthers past the Ravens and the league’s top-rated defense 36-21;

— Russell Wilson connected for three scoring passes in the second quarter and led Seattle past Detroit 28-14 for the Seahawks’ fourth victory in five games;

— Chicago won without injured linebacker Khalil Mack, using two TD tosses by Mitchell Trubisky to top the New York Jets 24-10;

— the Bengals picked off Jameis Winston four times before he was benched and Randy Bullock kicked a 44-yard field goal on the final play in Cincinnati’s 37-34 win over Tampa Bay;

— Carson Wentz overcame turnovers on Super Bowl champion Philadelphia’s first two possessions to throw three TD passes and help the Eagles beat the Jaguars 25-18 in London.

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4:35 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is now tied for the all-time NFL lead in points scored.

Vinatieri made an extra point and a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders, giving him 2,544 career points. That pulled him even with Morten Andersen for the most in league history.

The 45-year-old Vinatieri is in his 23rd NFL season.

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4 p.m.

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston was benched and replaced by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter after throwing four interceptions against Cincinnati.

Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, was just 18 for 35 for 276 yards, one TD and the four picks.

Fitzpatrick started the first three games this season, while Winston was serving a suspension.

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3:20 p.m.

Well, this was an appropriate way to mark a TD at World Series time.

Tyler Lockett was the pitcher and fellow Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was the batter in Seattle’s clever touchdown celebration at Detroit.

After one of the Seahawks’ three second-quarter TDs, Seattle players acted out a baseball scene in the end zone. The “pitch” was Lockett throwing the football to Baldwin, and when Baldwin was hit by the ball, he ran at Lockett as if charging the mound, then threw a phantom punch.

Two other Seattle receivers joined in on the fun: Jaron Brown acted as the catcher, and David Moore served as the umpire.

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3:15 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger and Adrian Peterson moved up a couple of pretty significant NFL lists by overtaking a couple of pretty significant names.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger surpassed Fran Tarkenton for No. 8 on the list of most touchdown throws with No. 343.

That came on a 1-yard TD toss to Antonio Brown with 10 seconds left in the first half against the Cleveland Browns. That was Big Ben’s second touchdown pass of the day.

No. 7 in NFL history is New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who entered Sunday with 346.

Peyton Manning holds the record with 539.

Washington Redskins running back Peterson surpassed Tony Dorsett for No. 9 on the career rushing chart with a 4-yard gain around the right end late in the first half against the New York Giants.

That play put Peterson at 12,743 yards for his career, ahead of Dorsett’s total of 12,739. Even when Peterson lost 3 yards on his next carry, he stayed in front of Dorsett.

Next on the list is No. 8 Eric Dickerson with 13,259 yards. The record-holder is Emmitt Smith, with 18,355.

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2:50 p.m.

The Detroit Lions inducted Herman Moore, Roger Brown and the late Alex Karras into the Pride of the Lions during halftime of their game against Seattle.

Brown said he was overcome with emotion when he was told of the honor given to the franchise’s greats.

“I cried,” said Brown, a five-time Pro Bowler. “To be out on the field and look at all the names, I never saw mine, and I wanted mine up there. And now it’s happening.”

Brown was recognized along with Karras, a “Fearsome Foursome” defensive linemate. Karras died in 2012.

Karras was a four-time All-Pro selection and later starred as a film and television actor.

Moore once held the NFL record for receptions in a season with 123.

Moore is second in Lions history in catches (670), receiving yards (9,174) and receiving touchdowns (62).

The Seahawks were up 21-7 at halftime.

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2:25 p.m.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Panthers’ stadium in support of Carolina safety Eric Reid and his protest against social and racial injustice.

The organization, known as Serve The People-Charlotte, held signs and chanted on a sidewalk near the stadium before the game against the visiting Ravens, then gathered at a nearby street to take a knee just before kickoff.

About 50 people participated in the protest outside the stadium, while Reid was taking a knee on the Carolina sideline inside during the national anthem.

Jabril Hough, a Panthers season ticket holder who has refused to stand during the national anthem since former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf remained seated nearly 23 years ago, organized the protest.

“We want to show Eric Reid he is not alone,” Hough said. “We’re also recognizing we have an owner (David Tepper) who recognizes Eric’s right to do that.”

The demonstration went off without counter-protest or police action.

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1:45 p.m.

How many coaches have the guts to make this call?

Leading 7-0 in the first quarter at Carolina, Ravens coach John Harbaugh went for a fake punt from his own 10-yard line on a fourth-and-1 — and Baltimore appeared to pick it up easily with Anthony Levine plowing ahead for an 8-yard gain.

Not so fast, though.

The Ravens were called for an illegal shift on the play, wiping out the first down, and they wound up punting.

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1:05 p.m.

Damon “Snacks” Harrison has made his debut for the Detroit Lions.

The crowd at Ford Field cheered when Harrison’s name was announced and his picture appeared on the videoboards before kickoff against Seattle.

The run-stuffing defensive tackle was acquired from the New York Giants for a fifth-round pick. His first practice with the Lions was on Thursday.

Harrison did not start against the Seahawks, but he did come in on the third and fourth snaps and helped make a tackle both times.

The game was preceded by a moment of silence for Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner who died Oct. 15. This was Seattle’s first game since then, because they had a bye last week.

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1 p.m.

The Browns and Steelers observed a moment of silence at Heinz Field for the 11 people killed by a gunman inside a Pittsburgh synagogue a day earlier.

There were other such tributes at NFL games elsewhere Sunday.

Eight men and three women were murdered inside the Tree of Life Synagogue during services on Saturday. The names of the victims, which included a pair of brothers and a married couple, were released Sunday.

In a statement issued before his team’s game, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said: “Our hearts are heavy, but we must stand against anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any nature and come together to preserve our values and our community.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the slayings the “darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history.”

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12:45 p.m.

Carson Wentz set aside turnovers on Philadelphia’s opening two drives and threw a trio of TD passes to lead the Super Bowl champion Eagles past the collapsing Jacksonville Jaguars 24-18 at Wembley Stadium in London.

The first time the Eagles (4-4) had the ball, Wentz fumbled on a sack. The next, Jalen Ramsey picked him off in the end zone.

But the Jaguars (3-5) only managed to turn that pair of opportunities into one measly field goal and were on their way to a fourth consecutive loss.

This was not a great trip overseas for the Jaguars: Four players were detained by the police in the wee hours of Saturday over a bar bill.

Wentz wound up 21 for 30 for 286 yards and scoring passes to Dallas Goedert with 29 seconds left in the first half, and to Wendell Smallwood and Zach Ertz in the second half.

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12:25 p.m.

Former Carolina receiver Rae Carruth’s son, Chancellor Lee Adams, attended the Panthers’ home game against the Ravens — six days after Carruth was released following 18-plus years in prison in connection to the murder of Adams’ mother.

The 19-year-old Adams has brain damage and cerebral palsy as a result of his mother’s shooting.

Adams wore a white No. 1 jersey of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday, when he spent time on Carolina’s sideline with his grandmother, Saundra Adams, before kickoff. Several players greeted Chancellor Lee Adams, including safety Eric Reid, who gave him his playing gloves.

Carruth, who played for the Panthers from 1997-99, was convicted of conspiracy to murder Cherica Adams in 1999. He was released from Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina, on Monday and is now living in Pennsylvania. He remains on post-release probation and cannot leave the country for nine months.

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11:35 a.m.

Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters returned to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London after being evaluated for a concussion, but right tackle Lane Johnson will not after sustaining a knee injury.

Peters left the game in the second quarter before undergoing medical scans. Johnson left the game at the end of the Eagles’ first series.

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Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

New York

Rumors: Jets target Peyton Manning as next GM

New York Jets CEO and chairman Christopher Johnson said he is looking for a general manager who is a “great strategic thinker” and can work with head coach Adam Gase.

After the Jets dismissed Mike Maccagnan on Wednesday and handed Gase the interim GM tag, Johnson said he was not looking for a traditional general manager.

Rumors immediately began circulating around the NFL that Peyton Manning could check both of those boxes.

“I want a great strategic thinker. It’s more than a talent-evaluation guy,” Johnson said. “I want a great manager, a communicator, someone who can collaborate well with the building. I’m convinced we’re going to find that person.”

Manning, 43, periodically has been linked to management openings since retiring after the 2015 season.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said Gase “would be one of the few guys who could draw Manning back into football.”

Manning was the starting quarterback in Denver for the last four seasons of his legendary career, working with Gase for three seasons as quarterbacks coach (2012) and offensive coordinator (2013-14).

During their 2013 campaign together, Manning broke the NFL single-season records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

Woods misses cut by one at PGA Championship

There will be no repeat of the Masters magic for Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Woods, who stunned the sports world when he won the Masters last month for his 15th career major and first since 2008, failed to make the cut Friday, missing it by one stroke at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y.

When Woods’ bump-and-run birdie chip from just off the 18th green rolled left of the hole, he was left with a short par putt, which he knocked down. But that left him with a 3-over-par 73 for his round, and at 5-over 145 through two rounds, one off the 4-over par cut line.

“Unfortunately, I just made too many mistakes,” Woods told reporters after the round. “I didn’t do the little things I needed to do. I had a couple three putts, I didn’t hit wedges close, didn’t hit any fairways today. I did a lot of little things wrong. … I just didn’t play well.”

Sitting three majors short of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, Woods came to Bethpage with high hopes — and expectations. But he also entered the tournament having not played competitively since winning at Augusta.

While acknowledging there was a quick turnaround between the two majors, and rust and rest could have been a factor, Woods also made it clear it will take more than one missed cut to bring him down from his Masters high.

“I’m the Masters champion at 43 years old, and that’s a pretty good accomplishment,” he said.

After shooting a 72 in Thursday’s opening round, Woods opened the second round with a bogey at the par-4 second. He birdied the par-4 sixth to get back to even for the day, then went bogey-par-birdie to end the front nine even for the day.

But Woods opened the back nine with three straight bogeys, responded with a birdie at No. 13, and bogeyed once more to reach 3 over for the day. He parred out from there.

It is his ninth missed cut at a major as a professional, according to the PGA Tour.

In a stark contrast, playing partner Brooks Koepka birdied No. 18 for a second-round 65 and a two-day total of 12-under 128. The 128 total equaled the 36-hole low in major tournament history and was good for a seven-stroke lead heading into the weekend.

Last year, Koepka topped Woods by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.

–Field Level Media

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Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Koepka sets 36-hole record to lead PGA Championship

Defending champion and first-round leader Brooks Koepka kept his momentum going through Round 2 of the 101st PGA Championship on Friday, firing a 5-under-par 65 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., to build a seven-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth and Australia’s Adam Scott.

Koepka’s playing partner, Tiger Woods, missed the cut by a shot after shooting 73 on Friday to finish at 5 over for the tournament.

Koepka opened with three birdies over his first four holes, experienced a few hiccups on the back nine with bogeys at Nos. 10 and 17, but carded four more birdies — including one on No. 18 — to finish at 12-under 128 for the lowest 36-hole score in major championship history.

“Today was a battle,” Koepka told TNT after his round. “I did not hit it very well today. I was fighting just a block (shot), but I was able to find a couple fairways, thankfully, and when I did miss a fairway, it was in a great lie. … I’m still putting really well. I hit my lines and feel very comfortable over these putts, which is big.”

Chasing history and his elusive major form at the same time, Spieth shot 66 on Friday morning to charge into a tie for second at 5 under.

Spieth, No. 39 in the world rankings, is attempting to become just the sixth player to win the career Grand Slam, but he entered the week without a top-20 finish so far this season, and he hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since last year’s Open Championship. And while he’s aware of his so-called slump, Spieth has insisted all week that his game is coming together.

“I haven’t been in contention on a Sunday since The Open last year, and if I’m able to put some good work in tomorrow, then … I will be in contention on Sunday,” said Spieth, who is third on the PGA Tour in second-round scoring this season.

“At that point, it will be just more of trying to win a golf tournament. It won’t matter to me what tournament it is. I’ll be pleased to be in contention, knowing that the work I put in from being pretty far off has really come back nicely on a very difficult golf course.”

Scott rebounded from an opening-round 71 with the low round of the day on Friday, posting a 64 to reach 5 under for the tournament. He carded four birdies on the front nine and three more on the back — with his lone bogey at No. 17 — to tie his career low round in a major championship.

“Everything was pretty solid today,” said 38-year-old Scott, who finished third at the 2018 PGA Championship. “It was nice to kinda keep the momentum going with the saves and post a number, but, you know, I’m going to have to post two more pretty good ones by the looks of things at this stage.”

Rounding out the top spots on the leaderboard were Englishman Matt Wallace (67) and a foursome of Americans, Daniel Berger (66), world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67), Kelly Kraft (65) and Luke List (68). They all share fourth place at 4 under.

Starting on the back nine, Johnson bogeyed No. 10 before going on a tear that included five birdies over a seven-hole stretch to get to 5 under for the day. His charged stalled with a couple of short missed putts, as Johnson was 1 over par across his final 10 holes.

“I felt like I did a really good job today,” Johnson, who has hit 30 of 36 greens this week, told TNT. “I hit the ball really, really well … gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. Made some nice putts but missed quite a few short ones. The greens are really tricky to read … lot of subtle breaks.

“I’m pleased with the score again and pleased with how I played.”

Kraft, the last player to be added to the field when Justin Thomas withdrew, took advantage of the opportunity and carded his lowest round in a major to date. He had one bogey and six birdies on the day.

“I feel like I may need to send Justin a bottle of wine or something, but it’s been good,” said Kraft, 30, who has yet to win on the PGa Tour.

“I’ve been playing really well. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways. The driver is going where I’m looking, and the game plan is just to get as many birdie looks as we can and see what happens, and I rolled a few of them in today.”

Along with four-time tournament winner Woods, several former champions missed the cut, including Germany’s Martin Kaymer (2010; 5-over 148), Jason Dufner (2013; 8 over) and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (2008; 12 over). John Daly, the 1991 champion who was allowed to use a cart this week, missed the cut after shooting a 6-over 76 on Friday to finish 11 over for the tournament.

World No. 11 Jon Rahm of Spain missed by one after shooting 70-75, as did countryman Sergio Garcia, who shot 74-71.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut TE Griffin

NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut TE Griffin

The Houston Texans

NFL notebook: Texans reportedly cut TE Griffin

The Houston Texans have released veteran tight end Ryan Griffin, multiple outlets reported Friday, three weeks after he was arrested in Nashville, Tenn., for allegedly punching a hotel window.

Griffin, 29, was charged with vandalism and public intoxication after he was arrested April 26, the night of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft held in Nashville. He sustained a bloody left hand in the incident and was released a day later on $1,750 bond, with a court date set for May 31.

Griffin was entering the final year of a three-year, $9 million extension signed in March of 2017. He was set to count $2.7 million against the cap, but Houston will save all of that figure. A sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2013, Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards in 14 games (11 starts) last season. Through six seasons, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores in 77 games (36 starts).

–New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder will miss offseason workouts as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in an ankle, NFL Network reported. He is expected to be ready to take part in training camp this summer.

Solder, 31, played the first seven years of his career with New England before he signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants in advance of the 2018 season. He started all 16 games.

The Giants will be counting on Solder to help improve the protection of the quarterback after Eli Manning was sacked 47 times last season.

–The Baltimore Ravens made additions to both sides of the ball, reaching one-year free agent deals with defensive end Shane Ray and wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Ray, the 23rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, had 12 sacks over his first two NFL seasons, including eight in 2016. But multiple wrist surgeries in 2017 led to a drop in production — two sacks over the next two seasons and inactive for the final three games of 2018.

Floyd, the 13th overall selection in 2012 by the Arizona Cardinals, has played with four teams in the past three seasons. He was with the Washington Redskins last season when he had 10 receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown over 13 games (three starts). He has 266 career receptions for 3,959 yards and 25 touchdowns.

–In other personnel moves:

The Carolina Panthers announced the signing of wide receiver Aldrick Robinson to a one-year contract. He had 17 catches for 231 yards and a career-high five touchdowns last season with Minnesota, his fifth team in seven seasons.

The New England Patriots signed linebacker Brandon King to a two-year extension, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported. King’s biggest impact comes on special teams, where he has played 1,307 snaps over the last four seasons.

The Indianapolis Colts announced they have signed safety Isaiah Johnson and waived cornerback D.J. Killings. Johnson, 27, has six tackles in 12 career games with Detroit and the Los Angeles Rams. Killings, 23, has spent most of his two-year career on numerous practice squads, though he was active for a time with the Colts last season.

–Prosecutors in Florida are appealing a judge’s decision to suppress video evidence in their case against Robert Kraft, in which they allege the Patriots owner solicited a prostitute at a massage parlor in Jupiter.

Earlier this week, Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser sided with the defense’s contention that the warrant that allowed recording devices into the spa, and the methods detectives used to obtain video, did not sufficiently protect the privacy and identity of innocent people in the surveillance videos.

Kraft, 77, visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter on Jan. 19 and 20, during which time prosecutors claim Kraft paid for and received sex acts at the spa.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston

Reports: Texans release TE Griffin

The Houston Texans have released veteran tight end Ryan Griffin, multiple outlets reported Friday, three weeks after he was arrested in Nashville, Tenn., for allegedly punching a hotel window.

Griffin, 29, was charged with vandalism and public intoxication after he was arrested April 26, the night of the second and third rounds of the NFL draft, which was held in Nashville. He sustained a bloody left hand in the incident and was released a day later on $1,750 bond, with a court date set for May 31.

Griffin was entering the final year of a three-year, $9 million extension signed in March of 2017. He was set to count $2.7 million against the cap, but Houston will save all of that figure.

A sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2013, Griffin had 24 catches for 305 yards in 14 games (11 starts) last season. Through six seasons, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores in 77 games (36 starts).

The Texans drafted tight end Kahale Warring in the third round out of San Diego State hours before Griffin was arrested, after taking Jordan Akins (third round) and Jordan Thomas (sixth) in the 2018 draft. The team also signed veteran Darren Fells, formerly of Cleveland, Detroit and Arizona, in March.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

The Baltimore Ravens

Ravens add Ray, Floyd on one-year deals

The Baltimore Ravens made additions to both sides of the ball Friday, reaching one-year free-agent deals with defensive end Shane Ray and wide receiver Michael Floyd.

Ray, the 23rd overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, had 12 sacks over his first two NFL seasons, including eight in 2016. But multiple wrist surgeries in 2017 led to a fall off in production, and the Missouri product had just two sacks over the next two seasons and was not active for the final three games of 2018.

Ray, who turns 26 on Saturday, has 94 career tackles to go along with his 14 sacks over four seasons, playing in 49 games with the Broncos, 15 as a starter. His deal with the Ravens is pending a physical, ESPN reported.

Floyd, the 13th overall selection in 2012 by the Arizona Cardinals, has played with four teams in the past three seasons. He was with the Washington Redskins last season when he had 10 receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown over 13 games (three starts).

A Notre Dame product, Floyd, 29, has 266 career receptions for 3,959 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cardinals, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Redskins. His most productive season came in 2013 with the Cardinals, when he had 65 receptions for 1,041 yards and five TDs.

Friday’s moves come one day after the Ravens brought back linebacker Pernell McPhee, a former fifth-round draft pick by the team, who had played the past four seasons with the Chicago Bears and Redskins.

–Field Level Media

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Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

Giants LT Solder undergoes ankle surgery

New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder will miss offseason workouts as he recovers from arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in an ankle, NFL Network reported Friday.

He is expected to be ready to take part in training camp this summer.

Solder, 31, played the first seven years of his career with New England before he signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants in advance of the 2018 season. He started all 16 games.

The Giants will be counting on Solder to help improve the protection of the quarterback after Eli Manning was sacked 47 times last season.

–Field Level Media

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Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Spieth makes charge at 101st PGA Championship

Chasing history and his elusive major form at the same time, Jordan Spieth shot a 4-under-par 66 on Friday to charge into second place at 5 under following the morning wave of the second round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Spieth is attempting to become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam, but he entered the week without finishing in the 20 this year and having slid to No. 39 in the world rankings.

Spieth, who is third on the PGA Tour in second-round scoring this season, opened on the back nine Friday. He traded a pair of birdies and bogeys before catching fire after making his turn. Spieth birdied the first hole and then poured in three more birdies in posting a 4-under 31 for his final nine holes.

Finishing well before Brooks Koepka was scheduled to take the course, Spieth was in the clubhouse just two shots behind the overnight leader as rain and heavier winds rolled over Bethpage Black. He is one shot clear of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (67 on Friday) and Daniel Berger (66).

“Just trying to get a little bit better than yesterday,” Spieth told TNT of his mindset entering the second round. “Just try to feel like I have good control of the club, good timing, good rhythm to the swing. And it was nice to roll in a few putts, too.”

Spieth hasn’t posted a top 10 finish since last year’s Open Championship but has insisted all week that his game is coming together.

“It’s less of what could go wrong, and it’s more of just trying to force things,” Speith said when asked what some of his mental hurdles have been. “And I feel like I didn’t do that. And on this golf course, you can’t. It requires more patience, which is nice because that feeds into what I’m trying to do.”

Also starting on the back nine, Johnson bogeyed No. 10 before going on a tear that included five birdies over a seven-hole stretch to get to 5 under. His charged stalled with a couple of short missed putts, as Johnson was 1-over par over his final 10 holes.

“I felt like I did a really good job today,” Johnson, who has hit 30 of 36 greens this week, told TNT. “I hit the ball really, really well… gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. Made some nice putts, but missed quite a few short ones. The greens are really tricky to read … lot of subtle breaks.

“I’m pleased with the score again and pleased with how I played.”

Berger did not enter the week on many people’s radars, but did share the 54-hole lead at last year’s U.S. Open and posted his 66 despite hitting only half the fairways.

“My short game was really on point today,” he said. “You gotta chip and putt well around here because you’re going to not hit a lot of fairways, and that’s what I did today.

“It’s a long week, 72 holes of extremely difficult golf. You’re not gonna hit a ton of perfect shots, but your bad shots have to be a little bit better than everyone else’s.”

South Korea’s Sung Kang, who has now made the cut in all six of his career majors, reached 4 under before bogeys on his final two holes. Also at 2 under is New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who shot a 74 on Friday – 10 shots worse than his opening round.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was 5 over through six holes and 7 over for the tournament through 12 holes on Friday. He then reeled off four birdies over a five-hole stretch to get back to 3 over. He is tied with Australia’s Jason Day, who got back to 3 over with a birdie on his final hole after a stretch of three bogeys in four holes.

“I just needed one putt to go in, just to see something go into the bottom of the hole,” said McIlroy, who made less than 50 feet in total putts on Thursday but more than 100 on Friday. “That was at the fourth hole, and from there I started to play some good golf.

“My goal was just to be here for the weekend and it looks like I’ve done that, which is nice.”

NOTES: Koepka entered Friday at 62 under par in majors since the start of the 2016 PGA Championship — 22 shots better than anyone else.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona

Cardinals CB Peterson gets six-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the length of the suspension — compared to the typical four-game punishment for a PED violation — is because the violation involved a masking agent.

“Definitely sorry for what broke out today,” Peterson told reporters before an event at his foundation in the Phoenix area on Thursday night.

“But I think you guys understand my character and also understand my commitment on and off the field and also to my teammates and also to the Arizona Cardinals organization. That’s why this is very, very hard for me, because, obviously, I have never been in this situation before and never wanted to have my name attached to anything like this. …

“I’m looking forward to getting back in Week 7 … trying to keep that smile on my face and getting back to being the best DB in the league.”

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times. The Pro Bowl streak will now end, with Peterson ineligible due to the violation.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

However, reports earlier this offseason said Peterson’s relationship with the team has become strained, and Rapoport reported Thursday that the suspension has further complicated things.

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

Read More 403 Words

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned six games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the length of the suspension — compared to the typical four-game punishment for a PED violation — is because the violation involved a masking agent.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times. The Pro Bowl streak will now end, with Peterson ineligible due to the violation.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement Thursday. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals. However, reports earlier this offseason said Peterson’s relationship with the team has become strained, and Rapoport reported Thursday that the suspension has further complicated things.

–Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015. In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In 2018, Collins played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

–The Baltimore Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal to bring back free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14. McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

–Scott Pioli resigned after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, after months of discussions about his future with the club.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s Browns staff, which included Pioli.

–Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota, telling the Star Tribune: “I am too young for that.”

Rudolph, the subject of trade rumors and reported broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, said he is hoping to find a way to stay with the only team he played for in his eight seasons. The 29-year-old has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

–First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts — both four-year deals — with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Williams, the No. 11 overall selection, played 44 games at offensive tackle for Alabama and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018. Sample, a tight end from the University of Washington, was the No. 52 overall selection.

–Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York Giants as he continues his rehabilitation from injuries suffered on the night he was drafted. He was shot in the backside on April 28 in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that claimed the life of Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons.

Ballentine missed New York’s rookie minicamp from May 3-5. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to mourn the loss of his best friend, whose funeral took place on May 4.

–Field Level Media

Read More 660 Words

Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Koepka leads PGA by 1 after course-record 63

Brooks Koepka said before the start of the 101st PGA Championship that he believes majors are easier to win because perhaps only 35-40 players begin the tournament with a legitimate shot of beating him.

The three-time major champion and world’s third-ranked player backed up that statement with a course-record 7-under-par 63 in Thursday’s first round in Farmingdale, N.Y. Koepka’s bogey-free card on the demanding Black Course at Bethpage State Park included seven birdies — none of which came on the course’s two par-5s.

“That was one of the best rounds I’ve played probably as a professional,” Koepka said. “This golf course is brutal.”

However, he acknowledged that his round could have been even better and that Thursday’s conditions lent themselves to low scoring.

While no one in the morning wave could get within four shots of Koepka’s masterpiece, New Zealand’s Danny Lee used eight birdies to offset a pair of bogeys in posting a 6-under 64 in the afternoon.

The next closest competitor is England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who was one of the first players out Thursday and posted a 3-under 67. Another shot off the pace are Luke List, Chez Reavie, Pat Perez, France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera and South Korea’s Sung Kang.

A star-studded and deep group of players at 1 under includes world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, who is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. Australia’s Jason Day is also at 1 under.

They’ll begin Friday tied for ninth place, but staring a long way up at Koepka with 54 holes to play.

Koepka began his round with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to throw down the early gauntlet as he attempts to defend his title and become the first player since World War II to win his first four career majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole — his first eagle at a PGA Championship since 2001 — to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods made par from just off the back to complete his 2-over 72.

“Just make it,” Koepka told reporters when asked about his thought process on the final putt. “I think that was the only thing that was going through my head.

“I had good reads on it all day. The speed control was very solid. I felt very comfortable with the putter after a couple of changes we made, and very pleased with the way I putted today.

“(The course) definitely tests every part of your game, that’s for sure.”

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. He has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens. He’ll need a solid round Friday just to make the cut, as will Rory McIlroy, who also carded a 72 but only after rolling in his first birdie of the day at No. 18.

“It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure,” said Woods, who admitted he skipped Wednesday’s practice round because he was “a little bit sick” but felt fine Thursday.

“Didn’t get off to a very good start. It was a good drive and ended up in a bad spot, and I compounded the problem with trying to use the backboard behind the hole there and missing a putt I should have made.

“And then found my way back around. Got it back under par for the day, and let a couple slip away with a couple bad putts and a couple mistakes at the end.”

If Woods can take any positive away from Thursday, it may be the fact that the past four PGA champions were outside the top 10 after the first round. On the flip side, he is chasing a man in Koepka who has posted six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the PGA Championship while shooting a combined 25-under par.

The scary part for the rest of the field is that Woods said that 63 was about the highest Koepka could have shot on Thursday with the way he was playing.

“I didn’t take care of the par-5s, didn’t birdie any of the par-5s,” Koepka said. “That was disappointing because I felt like you know those are holes you should be able to birdie. … And then the second hole today, my 11th hole, I missed about a 5-footer.

“That would have been nice to shoot 60. I guess that would have been pretty good.”

But Koepka also realizes that the number he posted on Thursday already limits the number of players in the field who have a realistic shot of catching him.

“I wouldn’t say there’s very many guys,” Koepka acknowledged. “It tests every asset of your game. You’ve got to drive the ball straight. It’s long, so you’ve got to hit it far and really position yourself with some of these shots in.

“You can’t miss — you can’t take a shot off, and that’s what I love. There’s a fine line between 5, 6 over and a couple under out here. It’s a fun golf course to play, that’s for sure.”

Other notable finishers included Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, England’s Justin Rose and Spain’s Jon Rahm at even par; Bryson DeChambeau and Italy’s Francesco Molinari (2 over); Patrick Reed and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (4 over) and Bubba Watson (6 over).

NOTES: John Daly, who has been permitted to use a cart during the tournament, carded a 5-over 75. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals, led by Jason Caron and Ryan Vermeer at even-par 70 on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

Read More 1069 Words

Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona

Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first-team All-Pro honors three times.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

Read More 223 Words

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro

NFL notebook: Cardinals CB Peterson banned 6 games (PEDs)

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal. Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him fifth overall in 2011. He has made the Pro Bowl in all eight seasons, earning first-team All-Pro honors three times.

“Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans,” the Cardinals said in a statement Thursday. “As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents.”

Peterson would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

–Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015. In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In 2018, Collins played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

–The Baltimore Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal to bring back free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14. McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

–Scott Pioli resigned after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, after months of discussions about his future with the club.

A restructuring under general manager Thomas Dimitroff was expected.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s Browns staff, which included Pioli.

–Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph won’t take a pay cut to stay in Minnesota, telling the Star Tribune “I am too young for that.”

Rudolph, the subject of trade rumors and reported broken-down negotiations over a contract extension, said he is hoping to find a way to stay with the team. The 29-year-old has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1.13 million left in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

Rudolph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has spent his eight-year career in Minnesota.

–First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both signed four-year deals, and Williams’ contract contains a team option for a fifth year. Financial terms were not announced.

Williams, the No. 11 overall selection, played 44 games at offensive tackle for Alabama and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018. Sample, a tight end from the University of Washington, was the No. 52 overall selection.

–Sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine signed his rookie contract with the New York Giants.

Ballentine is participating in meetings and classroom work with the other rookies while he continues his rehabilitation from injuries suffered on the night he was drafted. He was shot in the backside on April 28 in an incident in Topeka, Kan., that claimed the life of Washburn University teammate Dwane Simmons.

Ballentine missed New York’s rookie minicamp from May 3-5. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to mourn the loss of his best friend, whose funeral took place on May 4.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

The Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal Thursday to bring

Report: Ravens bringing back LB McPhee

The Ravens reportedly reached a one-year deal Thursday to bring free agent linebacker Pernell McPhee back to Baltimore.

After three seasons with the Chicago Bears (2015-17) and one with the Washington Redskins (2018), McPhee returns to the organization he called home from 2011-14.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal, but no financial details were released.

McPhee, 30, has 31 career sacks, 94 quarterback hits, 197 tackles and six forced fumbles in 109 games.

The Ravens’ 2011 fifth-round pick posted a career-high 7.5 sacks in his final season in Baltimore in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Read More 32 Words

Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Scott Pioli resigned Thursday after five

Falcons assistant GM Pioli resigns

Scott Pioli resigned Thursday after five years as assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons.

Pioli’s seat at the personnel table had been under discussion for months, and a restructuring under general manager Thomas Dimitroff was expected.

Pioli, who has 26 years in NFL personnel evaluation under his belt, and Dimitroff have been friends for decades after meeting in Cleveland. Dimitroff’s father was a scout for Bill Belichick’s staff, which included Pioli.

“After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas over the past year I have decided to step away from my position as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons to pursue other potential opportunities,” Pioli said. “I want to thank both (owner) Arthur (Blank) and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014.”

Dimitroff worked on the Browns’ grounds crew, but with bonds formed with Belichick and Pioli, he would rise to the position of Patriots’ director of college scouting as the Belichick-Pioli team began building a dynasty in New England. Pioli left the Patriots to be a first-time general manager with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Dimitroff headed to Atlanta.

After a brief foray into media, Pioli followed Dimitroff to Atlanta.

The Falcons did not announce a new personnel structure, but Dimitroff said options are under consideration.

“Over the last five years Scott has not only provided tremendous value to me, but to the entire Falcons organization. He is a dear friend and will be missed within our organization. We are continuing to assess the structure within our organization and move forward with our next steps,” Dimitroff said.

–Field Level Media

Read More 210 Words

Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger’s rally stalls

Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger's rally stalls

Koepka charges to PGA lead as Tiger’s rally stalls

Defending champion Brooks Koepka fired a 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab the early lead in the first round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Beginning on the back nine of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Koepka’s bogey-free round started with a birdie on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to serve early notice as he attempts to become the first player since World War II to win his first four majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the 7,459-yard, Par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added two more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods parred from just off the back to complete his 2-over round of 72.

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par. In his last six rounds in the PGA Championship — all in the 60s — Koepka is a combined 25-under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens.

NOTES: Koepka finished two shots ahead of Woods at last year’s PGA Championship. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … Jordan Spieth is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. None of the previous five completed it at the PGA Championship. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals.

–Field Level Media

Read More 353 Words

Koepka fires course record as Tiger’s rally stalls at PGA

Koepka fires course record as Tiger's rally stalls at PGA

Koepka fires course record as Tiger’s rally stalls at PGA

Defending champion Brooks Koepka fired a course-record 7-under-par 63 on Thursday to grab the early lead in the first round of the 101st PGA Championship in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Beginning on the back nine of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, Koepka’s bogey-free round started with a birdie on No. 10. He would roll in six more birdies to serve early notice as he attempts to become the first player since World War II to win his first four majors within a two-year span.

He played Thursday’s opening round with Tiger Woods, who had a far more stressful time around the 7,459-yard, Par-70 track. Woods, seeking his 16th major title, double-bogeyed the opening hole and added another double on No. 17 to go out in 3-over 38.

Woods blistered the opening portion of the front nine with a pair of birdies followed by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole – his first at a PGA Championship since 2001 – to get under par for the first time. The rally stalled when his par putt on the following hole lipped out, and Woods added two more bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 to fall eight shots back of his playing partner.

The margin grew to nine when Koepka rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on his final hole while Woods parred from just off the back to complete his 2-over round of 72.

“I drove the ball pretty well today, and the key is you’ve got to put it in the fairway here if you want to put it on the green,” Koepka told TNT. “If you put it in the rough all day, you’re going to be laying up and really trying to scramble for pars.

“Did a good job there, and my iron play was solid, hit a lot of greens. And if I didn’t, I left it in the correct place to get up and down. And then, my putter was hot today, I’m not going to lie. It hasn’t felt that good in a long time.”

Koepka finished the morning wave four shots clear of England’s Tommy Fleetwood (3 under), with Luke List, Chez Reavie and France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera another shot off the pace.

Woods is playing for the first time since winning the Masters last month, while Koepka is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and has now played 10 consecutive major rounds under par.

The rust showed for Woods, who missed a pair of greens from inside of 100 yards and struggled with the speed of the greens. He’ll need a solid round Friday just to make the cut.

“I got off to just not the best start today,” Woods told TNT. “Fought my way back in the round there, but unfortunately let a couple slip away at the end with some bad putts.

“Making two double bogeys and making two three-putts wasn’t very clean today, and consequently I’m a long way back.”

If Woods can take any positive away from Thursday, it may be the fact that the past four PGA champions were outside of the top 10 after the first round. On the flip side, he is chasing a man in Koepka who has posted six consecutive rounds in the 60s at the PGA Championship while shooting a combined 25-under par.

The scary part for the rest of the field is Koepka believes he still left some shots out on the course.

“This is a crazy day,” he acknowledged. “Seven under isn’t going to happen every day, I know that. I parred two par-5s and missed about a five-footer on No. 11, so it could have been a helluva round.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was great. I’ll take it every day, but just need to clean a few things up.”

Other notable scores from the morning wave included Rickie Fowler (1 under), Xander Schauffele and England’s Justin Rose (even), Patrick Reed and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (4 over) and Bubba Watson (6 over).

NOTES: Koepka finished two shots ahead of Woods at last year’s PGA Championship. … The Black Course is playing host to the PGA Championship for the first time after serving as the venue for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. It will also be the host site for the 2024 Ryder Cup. … The Championship was moved to May for the first time since 1949 as part of the PGA Tour’s schedule overhaul this season. … Jordan Spieth is attempting to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam. None of the previous five completed it at the PGA Championship. … The 156-player field includes 20 club professionals.

–Field Level Media

Read More 710 Words

Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the

Report: Cardinals CB Peterson gets 6-game PED ban

Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended for the first six games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, ESPN reported.

Details of the violation have not been released, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Peterson has dropped his appeal.

Peterson, 28, has never missed a start since the Cardinals drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in 2011, making the Pro Bowl all eight seasons and earning first team All-Pro honors three times.

He would be eligible to return for the Oct. 20 road game against the New York Giants.

In 128 games, Peterson has registered 387 tackles, 23 interceptions, 76 passes defensed and 12 fumble recoveries.

Peterson asked for a trade last October, but rescinded the request and later confirmed his commitment to the Cardinals.

“I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season,” Peterson said while competing in a golf tournament in Phoenix in January. “I’m here to stay, baby.”

Peterson, who did not participate in Arizona’s voluntary workouts last month, signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the Cardinals in 2014 and was due to make a base salary of $11 million in 2019. The suspension will cost Peterson $3.88 million.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

First-round draft

Bengals sign top draft picks Williams, Sample

First-round draft pick Jonah Williams and second-round selection Drew Sample signed their rookie contracts Thursday with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both players signed four-year deals, and Williams’ contract contains a team option for a fifth year. Financial terms were not announced.

The No. 11 overall selection, Williams, an offensive tackle, played 44 games for the Crimson Tide and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2018.

Sample, a 6-foot-5 tight end, played four seasons at Washington and caught 46 passes for 487 yards and five touchdowns. The No. 52 overall selection, Sample caught 25 passes for 252 yards and three scores in his senior season.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt, selected in the third round, and quarterback Ryan Finley, a fourth-round pick, are the only players among the Bengals’ 10 draftees to remain unsigned. Both played at North Carolina State.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Outside

Patriots bring back former Pro Bowl LB Collins

Outside linebacker Jamie Collins rejoined the New England Patriots on Thursday after two-plus seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the Patriots made room by releasing second-year defensive tackle Frank Herron.

Collins, 29, spent three-plus seasons with the Patriots before being dealt to the Browns for a conditional third-round pick midway through the 2016 season. Cleveland signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million extension in January 2017, but he was released this March after 30 games with the club.

The Patriots drafted Collins in the second round in 2013 and he blossomed with a Pro Bowl campaign in 2015, racking up 89 tackles (eight for loss), 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and six passes defensed in just 12 games.

In 50 games (41 starts) with the Patriots, Collins totaled 326 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, five interceptions and 16 passes defensed.

After missing 10 games to injury in 2017, Collins played in all 16 for the first time in his career last year, totaling 104 tackles, four sacks, an interception and four passes defensed for the Browns.

Collins will be coached by a former teammate, as he played alongside Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo from 2013-15.

He adds experience and depth to a strong linebacker corps that includes Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and 2018 fifth-rounder Ja’Whaun Bentley.

Herron, 24, joined the Patriots in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of LSU. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad before joining the Patriots’ practice squad on Oct. 8, where he stayed for the duration of the campaign. He has not appeared in a regular-season game.

–Field Level Media

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