The Latest: Steelers get special teams TD vs Denver

The Latest on Week 12 in the NFL (all times EDT):

6:10 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger was 25 of 31 for 221 yards in the first half at Denver, but the Steelers’ lone touchdown came from kicker Chris Boswell on a fake field goal as time expired.

Boswell took the direct snap and hit left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a wide receiver during his college days at Army, with the tying touchdown pass. He’s the first Steelers offensive lineman to catch a touchdown pass since Ray Pinney did it against the Browns in 1983.

The Steelers had frittered away a couple of scoring chances.

Justin Simmons blocked Boswell’s 48-yard field goal attempt, and Will Parks punched away the football just as tight end Xavier Grimble was about to score on a 24-yard catch-and-run, the ball going out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback.

— Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver

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6 p.m.

The Chargers’ Philip Rivers tied Ryan Tannehill’s NFL record by completing 25 consecutive passes in their game against the Cardinals before misfiring on a dump-off to Austin Ekeler.

Rivers was 19 of 19 in the first half Sunday, then connected on his first three passes in the second half to break Mark Brunnell’s record for consecutive completions to start a game.

Rivers added two more completions to match Tannehill’s record, the 25th a short touchdown pass to Keenan Allen that withstood a video review to see whether it was caught inbounds.

Tannehill’s record was set over two games with Miami during the 2015 season.

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5:30 p.m.

Philip Rivers has been perfect in the first half for the Chargers, going 19 of 19 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in helping the Chargers to a 28-10 lead over the Cardinals.

Melvin Gordon also has a pair of TD runs for the Chargers.

The Chargers (7-3) are trying to keep pace with the Chiefs (9-2) in the AFC West.

Another one of their AFC West rivals, Denver, is helping both of their causes when it comes to playoff positioning. They’re giving the Steelers (7-2-1) all they can handle in the first half.

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4:40 p.m.

Miami’s Ryan Tannehill took his first snaps in a game after missing the previous five with an injured throwing shoulder and looked like he hadn’t missed a thing in Indianapolis.

Tannehill completed his first two passes for 34 yards, capping the drive with a screen pass that Kenyan Drake took 33 yards for a touchdown — ending the Dolphins’ nine-quarter stretch without a TD.

The drive took just six plays and came five plays after Colts linebacker Darius Leonard injured his knee and walked straight to the locker room. Leonard came into the weekend leading the league with 104 tackles. His return was listed as questionable.

— Mike Marot reporting from Indianapolis

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4:25 p.m.

Rookie quarterbacks ruled the early games in Week 12 as Lamar Jackson had two touchdowns to lead Baltimore past Oakland, Baker Mayfield threw for four TDs in the Browns’ win over the Bengals and Josh Allen had scores on the ground and through the air in a win over Jacksonville.

Tom Brady and Sony Michel had big days to lead the Patriots to a 27-13 win over the New York Jets, and Russell Wilson led Seattle from behind for a 30-27 win over the Panthers.

That spoiled a big day by Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey.

In the other early games, the Buccaneers routed the 49ers 27-9 while the Super Bowl champion Eagles came from behind to beat the Giants, 25-22.

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4:15 p.m.

The Cardinals scored on their opening drive as Josh Rosen threw a 25-yard touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald to take a 7-0 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Rosen, who grew up in Manhattan Beach and went to UCLA, completed all four of his passes for 56 yards on the drive in front of his hometown fans.

The StubHub Center also marks the 41st different NFL stadium where Fitzgerald has caught a pass.

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4:05 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans have downgraded wide receiver Taywan Taylor, who hurt his foot a few weeks ago against Dallas, to out for Monday night’s game in Houston.

Taylor had been limited in practice this week.

The Titans also added starting outside linebacker Derrick Morgan to the injury report as questionable with an illness. Left tackle Taylor Lewan did not practice with an illness, but he was expected to play Monday night.

— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

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3:50 p.m.

Christian McCaffrey has 10 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown along with 17 carries for 125 yards and a score, making him the first player in Carolina history with at least 100 yards receiving and rushing in the same game.

His total of 229 yards and counting against Seattle is also a franchise record.

Meanwhile, quarterback Cam Newton completed his first 14 passes in the first half and was 21 of 24 for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers built a 27-20 lead on the Seahawks.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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3:40 p.m.

Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette and Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson have been ejected after trading punches along the sideline late in the third quarter of their game.

The fight began after the Jags’ Donte Moncrief caught what was initially ruled a 30-yard TD pass at the left pylon. He was battling for control of the ball with Levi Wallace when a Jaguars player struck Bills safety Jordan Poyer from behind, and then Lawson ran in and hit Fournette.

Lawson and Fournette pushed their way to side of the stands where they traded punches while Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde and Bills defensie end Jerry Hughes attempted to separate them.

The two were then escorted off their respective sidelines and began yelling at each other as they reached the tunnel. Lawson had to be held back by a Bills official while Fournette was asked to wait — he was then struck in the left shoulder by a fan, who had reached out from the stands.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York

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3:30 p.m.

Tom Brady has reached 3,000 yards passing for the 16th straight season, tying Peyton Manning for second in NFL history behind Brett Favre’s streak of 18.

The New England quarterback surpassed 3,000 early in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard completion to a diving Josh Gordon. Earlier, he became the NFL’s career leader in total yards passing in both regular-season and playoff games.

Brady entered the game against the New York Jets on Sunday needing 147 yards to pass Manning’s mark of 79,279. He accomplished the feat with a 16-yard pass to Gordon early in the second quarter.

Brady He had a chance at setting another record, needing four touchdown passes to top Manning’s 579 for the most in NFL history, including postseason games.

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3:10 p.m.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton hurt the thumb on his passing hand while trying to recover a fumble early in the second half of their game against the Cleveland Browns.

Dalton chased a snap that went over his head and got caught in a pileup. He immediately headed to a locker room for an exam.

The Browns recovered the fumble, and Baker Mayfield threw his fourth touchdown pass for a 35-7 lead. Dalton was 10 of 17 for 100 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Dalton broke his right thumb late in the 2015 season and missed the playoffs.

— Joe Kay reporting from Cincinnati

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3 p.m.

Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen wore a black T-shirt during early warmups supporting the Los Angeles Fire Department and asking fans to text donations to the Red Cross for wildfire relief before Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center.

Rosen is a Southern California native. He grew up in Manhattan Beach and went to UCLA before he was chosen 10th overall by the Cardinals in the draft last April.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

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2:30 p.m.

When the Jets’ Jason Myers made a 55-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining in the opening half against New England, he became the first kicker in NFL history to hit five field goals from 55-plus yards in one season.

Myers also had 55-yarders against Miami, Minnesota and Buffalo. He made a 56-yarder at Miami, which is the second longest for the franchise. Chandler Catanzaro had a 57-yard field goal against Cleveland last season.

Myers also tied the Jets’ home field-goal distance record for the fourth time this season with the 55-yard boot. It tied the score at 10 at halftime.

— Barry Wilner reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

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2:25 p.m.

Saquon Barkley hit the big 5-0 again against Philadelphia.

The Giants’ rookie running back had a 51-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter to give New York a 19-3 lead over the Super Bowl champion Eagles.

Barkley has mastered the art of the long run against them.

He had a 55-yard gain on a screen pass and a 50-yard rushing TD in the first game this season between the NFC East rivals. Barkley had 130 yards rushing and caught nine passes for 99 yards in that game last month, and he had 94 yards rushing in the first half Sunday.

— Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia

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2:15 p.m.

Browns safety Damarious Randall predicted on Friday his team would drub the Bengals if wide receiver A.J. Green didn’t play, and so far Cleveland is off to a 21-0 lead.

Randall just picked off Andy Dalton near midfield, ran out of bounds and handed the ball to former Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson, now a special assistant in Cincinnati.

Meanwhile in Baltimore, Cyrus Jones returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown to give the Ravens a 10-7 lead over Oakland. It was the Ravens’ longest play of the year.

The Ravens’ field goal also was the product of a big play: rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson hit tight end Mark Andrews to set it up. Jackson has run only once while carrying 27 times in his first NFL start last week against Cincinnati.

— Joe Kay reporting from Cincinnati and David Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

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1:55 p.m.

Tom Brady has become the NFL’s career leader in total yards passing in both regular-season and playoff games.

The Patriots quarterback entered Sunday’s game against the New York Jets needing 147 yards to pass Peyton Manning’s mark of 79,279. He accomplished the feat with a 16-yard pass to Josh Gordon early in the second quarter.

Brady also came into the game needing 252 yards passing to reach 3,000 for the 16th straight season, tying Manning for second-most behind only Brett Favre’s 18 seasons.

Brady had a chance at setting another record Sunday. He needs four touchdown passes to top Manning’s 579 for the most in NFL history, including postseason games.

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

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1:45 p.m.

This year’s rookie quarterback class is off to a good start in Week 12.

Josh Allen threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster to help Buffalo jump to a 14-0 lead over Jacksonville, while Baker Mayfield has a touchdown pass for Cleveland as the Browns leaped to a 14-0 lead over Cincinnati.

Josh Rosen leads the Cardinals against the Chargers later in the day.

Meanwhile, the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski has announced his return from an injury by hauling in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to forge a 7-all tie with the New York Jets

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1 p.m.

It’s not quite Showdown Sunday in the NFL in Week 12.

Of the 11 games on deck, none involves two teams with winning records. The closest is the early afternoon visit by Seattle (5-5) to Carolina (6-4), while a pair of 5-5 teams meet later in the day when Miami visits Indianapolis.

Elsewhere, the Jaguars visit the Bills, the Browns visit the Bengals, the Patriots travel to the Jets, the Giants are in Philadelphia, the 49ers head to Tampa Bay and the Raiders visit Baltimore.

The Cardinals visit the Chargers and the Steelers visit the Broncos later in the day.

Perhaps the most important matchup comes Sunday night, when the Packers (4-5-1) visit the Vikings (5-4-1) in a matchup of NFC North rivals competing for a wild-card playoff spot.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah officially signed

Ansah officially signs with Seahawks

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah officially signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.

Ansah, who has 48 career sacks, reportedly received a one-year, $9 million contract.

“I’m super excited,” Ansah told the team website after signing his contract. “This is a great team. The caliber of players who have been through here, they have a great coach out here, the environment, the organization, it’s just great. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

The signing of Ansah figures to help make up for the departure of Frank Clark, who was recently dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs after leading the team with 13 sacks last season..

Coming off of shoulder surgery after missing nine games in 2018, Ansah is expected to be cleared by mid-August, according to the NFL Network.

Ansah, who will turn 30 on May 29, had four sacks and seven quarterback hits in seven games (two starts) while playing on the franchise tag ($17.1 million) for the Detroit Lions last season, after posting 12 and 17, respectively, in 2017.

His best season came in 2015, when he had 14.5 sacks and 34 QB hits while earning his only Pro Bowl nod.

Drafted fifth overall by Detroit in 2013, Ansah has 110 quarterback hits in six NFL seasons.

The change of scenery appeals to Ansah.

“I am really motivated right now,” Ansah said. “Not that I wasn’t motivated before, but I’m just super excited to be part of the Seahawks.”

Defensive end Nate Orchard was released to open a roster spot for Ansah. The four-year veteran was signed by Seattle last month.

Orchard has five sacks in 38 NFL games for the Cleveland Browns (2015-17), Buffalo Bills (2018) and Kansas City Chiefs (2018).

–Field Level Media

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Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will miss five to six months as a best-case scenario due to the broken neck he suffered in a car accident last week.

The best-case scenario was provided by coach Bruce Arians on Friday, when he met with reporters. A decision on whether Pierre-Paul will need neck surgery hasn’t yet been reached.

“Very unfortunate,” Arians said of the situation. “All we can do is just pray and hope for the best and hope it’s one of those five- or six-month things and go from there.”

Pierre-Paul was injured in the early morning hours of May 2 when he lost control of his Ferrari and it veered off the road and crashed into a concrete barrier. It was raining at the time of the accident, according to the crash report.

Pierre-Paul was not ticketed at the scene.

The loss of Pierre-Paul would be a big blow as even the best-case scenario outlined by Arians would have him missing six to 10 games. Not having him at all in 2019 is possible if the timetable worsens.

Pierre-Paul had a team-best 12.5 sacks last season, his first with the Bucs after playing eight years for the New York Giants. The 12.5 sacks tied for his second most behind the 16.5 he had for New York in 2011.

Pierre-Paul has faced adversity before as he was involved in a fireworks accident on July 4, 2015. He lost a finger and part of a second and played in just eight games in the 2015 season.

Arians is still pondering how the Buccaneers would replace Pierre-Paul.

“I don’t know what the answer is yet, if he’s gonna play, if he’s not gonna play,” Arians said. “(You) just practice with the guys you have, just like if anybody else gets hurt, on the field or off the field. You march on.”

–Field Level Media

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Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Tony

Romo misses cut at Byron Nelson

Tony Romo was happy with Friday’s 3-over 74 but the round didn’t prevent him from missing the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

Romo shot 8-over 150 in 36 holes in his third PGA Tour event, all due to sponsor’s exemptions.

The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback said he was encouraged by his trek around the course on Friday.

“I think more than anything, I got a sense to be able to hit a lot of high-quality shots under what is a pressure situation for me,” Romo told reporters. “That’s encouraging and shows that the work you’re doing holds up when it counts. And from there, you just got to find the little things that allow you to keep things going and not derail a round. Just small stuff, technique-wise, but we’re coming on.”

Romo shot three birdies, four bogeys and one double-bogey during the second round. He hit nine of 14 fairways.

He felt he performed better than Thursday, when he shot 76 despite recording an eagle-3 on the par-5, seventh hole.

“I hit so many good shots today,” Romo said after Friday’s round. “I mean, I kind of know that the driver is going to be the ability to go low because you have to put yourself in position to attack the pins consistently. I think you found the next step of what we’re going to be working on (with the driver). I think it’s more just your ability to keep your misses small. Out here, golf is a game of misses.”

–Field Level Media

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Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Bucs LB Beckwith to miss second straight season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith will miss a second consecutive season after being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Friday.

Beckwith missed last season after having surgery to repair a fractured ankle suffered in a single-car accident near his home in Louisiana.

According to ESPN, there are fears Beckwith’s ankle injury could be career-ending. He returned to the practice field late last season, but after three weeks the team declined to add him to the active roster.

Beckwith, 24, played in all 16 games (11 starts) as a rookie third-round pick in 2017, collecting 73 tackles, two passes defensed and a sack. His NFL debut was his first in-game action since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in November of 2016 during his senior season at LSU.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

The New England

Report: Patriots agree to deal with WR Inman

The New England Patriots agreed to terms with receiver Dontrelle Inman on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Inman reportedly visited the Patriots on Friday and the deal was consummated during his stay.

Inman, 30, caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Inman’s best season came in 2016 when he established career highs of 58 receptions, 810 yards and four touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers.

Inman played for the Chargers from 2014-17 — including four games in 2017 after the move to Los Angeles — and also played for the Chicago Bears (eight games in 2017).

He has 158 career receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 scores in 58 games (34 starts).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins will make

Reports: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins will make Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $76.5 million extension, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The deal reportedly includes $46 million in guarantees and $51 million over the first three seasons. Howard, 25, was set to earn $1.3 million in 2019, the final year of a four-year, $6.12 million rookie contract.

Washington’s Josh Norman was previously the NFL’s highest-paid corner at $15 million annually, signing a five-year, $75 million deal in April 2016 after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag. Norman’s deal included $36.5 million in guarantees.

A second-round pick (38th overall) by the Dolphins out of Baylor in 2016, Howard tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season despite missing the final four games to injury, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. He had four interceptions in 2017 and has 31 career pass breakups in 35 games (34 starts).

Various reports earlier this offseason suggested Howard could be traded for the right price, as the Dolphins entered a rebuild under new head coach Brian Flores. Instead, the new deal puts him under contract through 2024.

–Field Level Media

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Rookie signings: Cardinals’ Murray inks $35.1M deal

Rookie signings: Cardinals' Murray inks $35.1M deal

Rookie signings: Cardinals’ Murray inks $35.1M deal

Arizona Cardinals quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray signed his rookie contract on Thursday, a four-year deal worth $35.1 million fully guaranteed. Like all first-round pacts, it includes a fifth-year team option.

Murray repaid a $4.66 million signing bonus to the Oakland A’s and, according to The MMQB, turned down more than $18 million in guarantees from the A’s when he announced his full commitment to football instead of baseball. His deal with the Cardinals includes a $23.59 million signing bonus and will count $6.39 million against the cap in 2019.

“This is just the beginning,” Murray told the team’s website. “I plan to work as hard as I can, lead this team to a lot of wins and, hopefully, a lot of rings.”

The Cardinals also signed five other rookie draft picks to four-year deals: CB Byron Murphy (second round), DE Zach Allen (third), WR KeeSean Johnson (seventh), OL Joshua Miles (seventh) and TE Caleb Wilson (seventh).

–The Washington Redskins signed 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins to his rookie contract, worth $14.4 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Haskins was the first quarterback to sign in the first round, hours before the Cardinals announced Murray.

Washington also signed seven other picks to four-year deals: RB Bryce Love (fourth round), OLs Wes Martin (fourth) and Ross Pierschbacher (fourth), LB Cole Holcomb (fifth), WR Kelvin Harmon (sixth), CB Jimmy Moreland (seventh) and OLB Jordan Brailford (seventh).

–The Detroit Lions signed first-round tight end T.J. Hockenson to his rookie contract, which is worth $19.8 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Detroit took Hockenson eighth overall last month, making him the first tight end drafted in the top 10 since the Lions took Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014.

The Lions also signed second-round LB Jahlani Tavai and fifth-round cornerback Amani Oruwariye to four-year deals.

–The Buffalo Bills signed first-round defensive tackle Ed Oliver to his rookie contract, which is worth $19.6 million over four years with a fifth-year team option.

Buffalo took Oliver ninth overall last month.

The team also signed six other draft picks — OT Cody Ford (second round), RB Devin Singletary (third), LB Vosean Joseph (fifth), S Jaquan Johnson (sixth), DE Darryl Johnson (seventh) and TE Tommy Sweeney (seventh) — to four-year deals, leaving TE Dawson Knox (third) as the only unsigned pick in the class.

–The Miami Dolphins signed five draft picks, including first-round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Taken 13th overall, Wilkins’ deal is worth $15.4 million over four years, with a fifth-year team option.

Signed to four-year deals were: LB Andrew Van Ginkel (fifth round), OT Isaiah Prince (sixth) and RBs Chandler Cox (seventh) and Myles Gaskin (seventh).

–The Philadelphia Eagles signed their full five-man draft class, led by first-round offensive tackle Andre Dillard.

Dillard, the 22nd overall pick, will make $12.33 million over four years, with a fifth-year team option.

Signed to four-year deals were: RB Miles Sanders (second round), WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (second), DE Shareef Miller (fourth) and QB Clayton Thorson (fifth).

–The Houston Texans signed first-round offensive tackle Tytus Howard to a four-year deal worth $12.3 million, according to the Houston Chronicle, plus a fifth-year team option.

Howard was drafted 23rd overall.

According to the report, Houston also signed fifth-round DE Charles Omenihu and sixth-round CB Xavier Crawford.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed five of their eight draft picks to four-year deals, including second-round cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Also signing were fourth-round DE Anthony Nelson, K Matt Gay (fifth), WR Scotty Miller (sixth) and DE Terry Beckner (seventh).

–The Carolina Panthers signed five of their seven draft picks, including third-round quarterback Will Grier, to four-year deals.

Also signing were fourth-round OLB Christian Miller, RB Jordan Scarlett (fifth), OT Dennis Daley (sixth) and WR Terry Godwin (seventh).

–Field Level Media

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Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson,

Bills backup QB Anderson retires

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Buffalo Bills last October, has decided to retire from the NFL, the team announced Thursday.

“Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed (for the season) and wanted to still think about it,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement. “So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire.”

Anderson, 36, a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2005 who began his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns in 2006, appeared in 78 career games, completing 909 of 1,674 passes for 10,878 yards with 60 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

He led the Browns to a 10-5 record in 2007 — making the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career — then after two more seasons with the Browns, played for the Arizona Cardinals (2010) and Carolina Panthers (2011-17) before joining the Bills.

Last season, he played in only two games with Buffalo (both starts) and completed 42 of 70 passes for 465 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

Among the remaining Bills quarterbacks are starter Josh Allen and backups Matt Barkley and Tyree Jackson, an undrafted free agent.

–Field Level Media

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McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

McCarthy scorches 63 to lead Byron Nelson by one

Denny McCarthy rebounded from an early setback on Thursday to scorch the final 13 holes at Trinity Forest Golf Club and take a one-stroke lead after one round at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

McCarthy leads Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge by one stroke after shooting 8-under 63.

World No. 3 Brooks Koepka, the highest-ranked player in the field, is one of nine players tied for fourth place after shooting 65. Nine more are another stroke back at 5 under.

McCarthy, a 26-year-old fifth-year pro seeking his first PGA title, opened with three pars before double-bogeying the par-4 sixth, following a penalty off his tee shot. But he responded by starting an incredible run at No. 6, birdieing five straight holes, eight of nine and 10 of 12 to go 10 under across the final 13 holes.

On greens softened by rain, McCarthy attacked pins with deadly accuracy. All 10 birdie putts came from 18 feet or closer, and six game from within nine feet. He also drained an eight-footer for par at the 18th to cap a 6-under 29 on the back nine.

“I’m not the farthest hitter, so the golf course played somewhat long for me, but I really put some work in on my mid-irons, long irons, so gave me a chance to work on those today,” McCarthy told reporters afterward. “Hit a lot of great ones today.”

McCarthy, who has one Web.com Tour victory, has missed six cuts in 12 PGA Tour tournaments since late January, including last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. His only finish better than 26th this year came when he tied for ninth at the Valspar Championship in March.

“I’ve kind of been looking for a round like this just to kind of get me going,” he said. “I know I can be out here playing with the best, and today kind of showed that. It’s a good start but still have three more days to go.”

Duncan started on the back nine and also had a hot finish, playing his final nine holes at 6 under with the help of an eagle at the par-4 fifth. Hoge had a bogey-free day with seven birdies.

Koepka also started on the back nine and was 6 under through 14 holes before finishing bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey.

“I’m pleased with the way I played,” Koepka said afterward. “What I did there on 6 … just hit a flyer from the middle of the fairway, and 9, didn’t hit a good shot. Other than that, I struck the ball beautifully.”

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot 5-over 76 and is tied for 148th in the 155-person field. He opened with a birdie and got as low as 2 under with an eagle at the par-5 seventh, but he double-bogeyed Nos. 9 and 13 before three bogeys in the final four holes.

Defending champion Aaron Wise is tied for 55th after shooting 69.

D.J. Trahan withdrew after eight holes.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

Seahawks release injured WR Baldwin, S Chancellor

The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.

“These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending.

Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.

Baldwin is recovering from three offseason surgeries — on his knee, shoulder and abdomen — after battling nagging injuries throughout the 2018 campaign. Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll appeared to be holding out hope Baldwin could keep playing, before Thursday’s news.

NFL Network reports Baldwin is “leaning toward” retirement, with his release allowing him to keep his signing bonus and possibly future injury-protection money.

An undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2011, Baldwin had 493 catches for 6,563 yards and 49 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Seahawks, reaching the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017 and playing in 123 of a possible 128 games (90 starts). He ranks third in team history in catches and yards and second in receiving touchdowns.

Chancellor was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in 2010 and went on to make four Pro Bowls, intercepting 12 passes and breaking up 44 in 109 career games (93 starts) across eight seasons before missing 2018.

Both players were a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII winning team and the squad that lost Super Bowl XLIV to the New England Patriots a year later.

–Field Level Media

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Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Cornerback Jamar Taylor agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle

Seahawks sign CB Taylor, FB Bellore

Cornerback Jamar Taylor agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

Taylor, a nickel cornerback, follows defensive end Ziggy Ansah as another potential value find deep into free agency.

Ansah, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, was due in Seattle on Thursday to a sign a one-year deal that could be worth $8 million. However, Ansah is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and might not be cleared until August.

Taylor, 28, is a former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins out of Boise State but has bounced around from Miami to the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos, where he ended last season.

The Seahawks lost cornerback Justin Coleman (Detroit Lions) in free agency.

Seattle also announced the signings of fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

NFL notebook: Seahawks officially cut ties with Baldwin, Chancellor

The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.

“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.

“These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”

The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending. Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.

–Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he won’t play the 2019 season for personal reasons, writing on Instagram, “I must take time away from this game & get my world in order.”

A full-time starter the past four seasons and a 2017 Pro Bowler, Smith affirmed he doesn’t plan to play for any team other than the Jaguars, despite rumors of a possible trade. The 28-year-old was set to earn a base salary of $9.75 million this season.

The Jaguars issued a statement, reading, “We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time. We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances. If there is a way we can support him we need to understand that.”

–Tight end Benjamin Watson plans to end his short-lived retirement and sign with the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots, multiple media outlets reported.

According to ESPN, Watson will sign a one-year, $3 million deal.

Watson, 38, was drafted 32nd overall by the Patriots in 2004. He played six seasons in New England, followed by three in Cleveland, and spent four of the last five in New Orleans.

–The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move their facility to South Carolina, after the state’s Senate approved a bill by a 27-15 vote.

Under the bill, which Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to sign, the Panthers would be exempt from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years, assuming that money is used toward a new complex in South Carolina.

Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., the team has been planning a 200-acre development in Rock Hill, S.C., about 25 miles south of its current facilities next to Bank of America Stadium, though it will continue to play games in Charlotte.

–The Miami Dolphins signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year deal, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported is worth $3 million.

Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games (82 starts) for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).

Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.

–The Jaguars released backup quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Blair Brown.

Kessler, who turns 26 on Saturday, was 2-2 as a starter for Jacksonville last season. He completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 709 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Brown was a fifth-round pick in 2017. He has 12 career tackles in 28 games (two starts), with 495 of his 548 career snaps on special teams.

–The Seahawks signed cornerback Jamar Taylor, fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin.

Taylor, 28, is a former second-round pick who has bounced around from Miami to the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos in recent years.

Bellore started four of 14 games for the Lions last year. Martin has not played in a regular-season game since 2016.

–Backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Bills last season, has decided to retired from the NFL, the team announced Thursday.

“Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed [for the season] and wanted to still think about it,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement. “So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire.”

Anderson, who began his NFL career with the Browns in 2006, appeared in 78 games, completing 909 of 1,674 passes for 10,878 yards, with 60 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins have will

Report: Dolphins make Howard highest-paid CB

The Miami Dolphins have will make cornerback Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $76.5 million extension, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The deal reportedly includes $46 million in guarantees and $51 million over the first three seasons. Howard, 25, was set to earn $1.3 million in 2019, the final year of a four-year, $6.12 million rookie contract.

Washington’s Josh Norman was previously the NFL’s highest-paid corner at $15 million annually, signing a five-year, $75 million deal in April 2016 after the Carolina Panthers rescinded his franchise tag. Norman’s deal included $36.5 million in guarantees.

A second-round pick (38th overall) by the Dolphins out of Baylor in 2016, Howard tied for the league lead with seven interceptions last season despite missing the final four games to injury, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career. He had four interceptions in 2017 and has 31 career pass breakups in 35 games (34 starts).

Various reports earlier this offseason suggested Howard could be traded for the right price, as the Dolphins entered a rebuild under new head coach Brian Flores. Instead, the new deal puts him under contract through 2024.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move

Panthers offered $120M to move facility to S.C.

The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move their facility to South Carolina, after the state’s Senate approved a bill Thursday by a 27-15 vote.

Under the bill, which Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to sign, the Panthers would be exempt from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years, assuming that money is used toward a new complex in South Carolina.

Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., the team has been planning a 200-acre development in Rock Hill, S.C., about 25 miles south of its current facilities next to Bank of America Stadium. The development plans include expansive football facilities as part of a broader campus with hotels, shopping and restaurants.

The bill was supported by McMaster, but many senators pushed back against the idea of giving public funds to a team owned by David Tepper, whose net worth is estimated at $11.6 billion.

“We’d like to be there. Hopefully they help us out there,” Tepper told reporters Wednesday of the potential facility in Rock Hill. “But I could be with a (practice) bubble and a cafeteria in Charlotte, too. So it’s up to them.”

Now the path appears clear for the Panthers to proceed with the planned move, which is not expected until at least 2022. The team will continue to play games at Bank of America Stadium, its home since its second season in 1996.

Tepper also told reporters Wednesday he hopes to bring a Major League Soccer team to the area eventually, potentially housing it on the same campus in Rock Hill.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins are signing former

Report: Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins are signing former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year, $3 million deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games with 82 starts for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).

Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.

He was a fifth-round draft pick by Chicago in 2013.

Mills offers veteran stability to a Miami offensive line that lost Ja’Wuan James to the Denver Broncos in free agency.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins signed former Buffalo Bills

Dolphins sign former Bills tackle Mills

The Miami Dolphins signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year deal Thursday, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports is worth $3 million.

Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games with 82 starts for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).

Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.

He was a fifth-round draft pick by Chicago in 2013.

Mills offers veteran stability to a Miami offensive line that lost right tackle Ja’Wuan James to the Denver Broncos in free agency.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars release QB Kessler

Jaguars release QB Kessler

Cody Kessler is looking

Jaguars release QB Kessler

Cody Kessler is looking for work after the Jacksonville Jaguars released the quarterback on Thursday.

Kessler, who turns 26 on Saturday, was 2-2 as a starter for Jacksonville last season. He completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 709 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

A third-round pick in 2016 by Cleveland, Kessler was 0-8 as a rookie starter for the Browns and was traded to the Jaguars during the 2018 offseason for a seventh-round pick.

Kessler and Blake Bortles were the only quarterbacks used by the Jaguars last season, and now both are gone.

Bortles was released in March after Jacksonville signed Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl hero Nick Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract.

Foles’ remaining backups on the roster are untested 2018 draft picks Tanner Lee (sixth round by Jacksonville) and Alex McGough (seventh round by Seattle).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: TE Watson to join Patriots

Reports: TE Watson to join Patriots

Reports: TE Watson to join Patriots

Tight end Benjamin Watson plans to end his short-lived retirement and sign with the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

According to ESPN, Watson will sign a one-year, $3 million deal. ESPN previously reported the tight end was also considering the Chiefs, Bills and 49ers.

Reports earlier Thursday said Watson was meeting with the Patriots, who took him 32nd overall in 2004. He played six seasons in New England, followed by three seasons in Cleveland.

Watson, 38, played four of his previous five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, including last season’s run to the NFC Championship Game.

He announced his retirement in December.

“It’s time. It’s time to be done,” he said then. “I’m going to finish strong.”

In his career, Watson has played in 195 games, with 530 receptions for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns. In 12 postseason games, he has 22 catches for 234 yards and three scores.

The Patriots were looking for depth at tight end following the retirement of All-Pro Rob Gronkowski. They previously added free agents Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse, and they did not draft a tight end last month.

On Wednesday, the Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Bruce Ellington. He signed with New England as a free agent on March 15.

–Field Level Media

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Jags LB Smith to skip 2019 for personal reasons

Jags LB Smith to skip 2019 for personal reasons

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he

Jags LB Smith to skip 2019 for personal reasons

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he won’t play the 2019 season for personal reasons.

A full-time starter the past four seasons and a 2017 Pro Bowler, Smith made the announcement Thursday on Instagram.

“At this time I must take time away from this game & get my world in order,” Smith wrote. “I must give this time back to myself, my family, & my health. I appreciate all the support I will & will not get. I just ask y’all respect my decision to not play football this season.”

He also affirmed he doesn’t plan to play for any team other than the Jaguars, despite rumors of a possible trade.

Smith, 28, was set to earn a base salary of $9.75 million this season. He signed a four-year, $45 million extension in October 2017.

A fifth-round pick by Jacksonville in 2014, Smith posted a career-high 134 tackles in 2018. He also has 26 pass breakups and nine interceptions in his five-year career.

Smith and Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey opted to sit out the Jaguars’ voluntary workouts last month, prompting public criticism from team executive vice president Tom Coughlin.

Smith made his first public comments about that controversy Monday during an Instagram live session.

“Understand this, I never left Duval. I’m never leaving Duval; it’s Duval ’til we die,” he said, referring to Jacksonville’s location in Duval County. “You understand me? Y’all seen trade rumors and stuff. Y’all seen me go anywhere? Exactly. Y’all seen the rumors go somewhere, but y’all ain’t seen me go nowhere cause I ain’t going nowhere. You understand me?”

Smith promised his followers Monday that they would learn more “this week” about what’s going on.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: TE Watson visiting Patriots

Reports: TE Watson visiting Patriots

Reports: TE Watson visiting Patriots

Tight end Benjamin Watson could end his short-lived retirement and is spending Thursday meeting with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports.

Watson is no stranger to the organization, which made him the No. 32 overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played six seasons in New England, followed by three seasons in Cleveland.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Watson also is considering the Chiefs, Bills and 49ers.

Watson, 38, played four of his previous five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, including last season’s run to the NFC Championship Game.

He announced his retirement in December.

“It’s time. It’s time to be done,” he said then. “I’m going to finish strong.”

In his career, Watson has played in 195 games, with 530 receptions for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns. In 12 postseason games, he has 22 catches for 234 yards and three scores.

The Patriots are looking for depth at tight end following the retirement of All-Pro Rob Gronkowski.

On Wednesday, the Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Bruce Ellington. He signed with New England as a free agent on March 15.

–Field Level Media

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