Titans keep opposing QBs guessing with defensive changes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Figuring out where the Titans are coming from defensively requires a lot of film study, and that might not even be enough to solve the riddle.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees has consistently changed where players line up and seems to be constantly switching their responsibilities.

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard said it’s easy to see on game tape just how much Tennessee is confusing opponents.

“Some of the looks we give quarterbacks, you can clearly see once you watch film that they’re confused, don’t know where the blitz is coming from, don’t know which defensive system we’re in, so it’s cool man to keep that mixed-up look for the offense to keep them off balance,” Woodyard said.

Rookie coach Mike Vrabel talked about how the Titans would show multiple looks on defense after being hired in January. So did Pees.

Now the Titans (5-4) are putting all that talk into results on the field where they lead the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 16.8 points per game. They’re also first inside the red zone, allowing touchdowns on only 34.8 percent of opponents’ possessions.

The Titans also have not allowed more than 23 points in eight straight games, the longest streak in the NFL this season. It’s the longest such streak for this franchise since the first 10 games of the 2008 season and faces a stern test Sunday when the Titans visit Andrew Luck and the Colts (4-5).

Pees said Thursday he believes the Titans are getting better and getting more comfortable with how he changes up defenses from week to week, even if the changes aren’t much different.

“I think they understand now kind of the philosophy what Mike wants, what I want, what we want, and that’s being multiple in the front, being multiple in the back end, disguise things,” Pees said. “I think they’re starting to feel comfortable with that, comfortable with the philosophy of how we’re going to attack the teams.”

Linebacker Brian Orakpo said the Titans now see exactly what Vrabel was talking about when he talked about multiplicity for the defense.

“Rather than just talking about it and putting it on the whiteboard, we can actually play on Sundays and distribute what we learn, and it shows,” Orakpo said. “We turn on the film, and guys are flying around. Quarterbacks don’t know what to do with the ball. It’s just satisfying to see when things start working.”

Making all that work requires players buying in and doing the studying, especially when they need to slide over to spots they might not normally play.

“Sometimes I’m over the center, sometimes I’m on the edge,” Orakpo said. “We’re all over the place. (Defensive lineman Jurrell) Casey may be on the edge, inside we got a linebacker blitzing in the middle, outside we got people all over the place. We got nickel Logan (Ryan) coming all the time now in certain situations. You have to know multiple positions to kind of make this defense thrive, which we’re doing so far.”

The Titans finished last season 17th in points allowed in Dick LeBeau’s final season as defensive coordinator.

So far, the Titans also rank sixth in total yards, tied for 10th in rushing and sixth in passing yards allowed even with some key starters missing games to injuries. Linebacker Derrick Morgan has missed the last three games with an injured shoulder. Woodyard was out the first two games in October with an injured shoulder. Safety Kenny Vaccaro missed all three October games.

“It’s definitely fun,” Orakpo said. “It keeps the offense and quarterbacks on their toes, and we can just go out there and make plays.”

Notes: RT Jack Conklin (concussion protocol) practiced fully for the first time since being hurt in Dallas on Nov. 5. LG Quinton Spain (ankle) was limited.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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

Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round draft pick EJ Manuel has

Former first-round pick Manuel retires

Former first-round draft pick EJ Manuel has retired from the NFL.

The Buffalo Bills chose Manuel with the No. 16 overall selection in the 2013 draft out of Florida State, but he failed to keep the starting quarterback spot.

In four seasons with Buffalo, he appeared in 28 games (17 starts) and had a 6-11 record. He completed 319 passes for 3,502 yards, throwing 19 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

He appeared in two games with Oakland in 2017 and started one, a loss, and didn’t see game action in 2018.

In the offseason, the 29-year-old signed with Kansas City to compete for the backup quarterback spot to Patrick Mahomes.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Cowboys DL Crawford facing misdemeanor charge

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is facing a June 13 pretrial conference related to a misdemeanor count of unlawful assembly.

The charge stems from an incident that video shows took place on March 15 at Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, Fla.

TMZ published a video Tuesday that showed Crawford engaged with security staff at the bar as he attempted to keep a security officer from detaining a member of his party.

Crawford entered a not guilty plea in the case on April 12.

Crawford, 29, could be subject to punishment under the NFL personal conduct policy, even if not convicted.

Last season, Crawford started 15 games for the Cowboys and made a career-high 5.5 sacks. Dallas drafted Crawford, a Boise State product, in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the

Report: Browns WR Beckham plans to join OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first time since the Cleveland Browns acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver from the New York Giants.

ESPN reported Tuesday that Beckham plans to participate in most of the 10 voluntary organized team activity workouts, as well as the Browns’ mandatory minicamp, as the franchise takes its next step in a rebuild guided by general manager John Dorsey.

Beckham was recovering from ankle surgery last offseason and didn’t take part in most of the on-field workouts during the Giants’ offseason program while also angling for a new contract.

The Browns traded a first-round pick to the Giants and will pair him with his LSU teammate Jarvis Landry — acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2018 — as Mayfield’s likely top targets.

In five seasons with the Giants, Beckham had 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. He had 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six scores in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first

Browns WR Beckham takes field at OTAs

Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield are teaming up on the field Tuesday for the first time since the Cleveland Browns acquired the Pro Bowl wide receiver from the New York Giants.

Beckham was on the field Tuesday and plans to participate in most of the 10 voluntary organized team activity workouts, as well as the Browns’ mandatory minicamp, as the franchise takes its next step in a rebuild guided by general manager John Dorsey.

Beckham was recovering from ankle surgery last offseason and didn’t take part in most of the on-field workouts during the Giants’ offseason program while also angling for a new contract.

The Browns traded a first-round pick to the Giants and will pair him with his LSU teammate Jarvis Landry — acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2018 — as Mayfield’s likely top targets.

In five seasons with the Giants, Beckham had 390 receptions for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns. He had 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six scores in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Former Atlanta Falcons guard Andy Levitre announced

Longtime NFL guard Levitre announces retirement

Former Atlanta Falcons guard Andy Levitre announced his retirement on social media after 10 seasons and 143 starts with three NFL teams.

“Unfortunately, due to injury my body won’t allow me to continue any longer,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, one day before his 33rd birthday. “Thank you to my wife and children, my family, friends, coaches, teammates and all of the fans who supported me on this journey.”

Levitre ranked among the most durable players in the league for most of his career, starting all 16 games in each of his first eight seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2009-12), Tennessee Titans (2013-14) and Falcons.

His streak of 140 consecutive regular season starts ended after he suffered a torn triceps in Week 13 of 2017.

The same injury limited the former second-round pick (51st overall in 2009) to just two games for Atlanta in 2018.

His contract expired with the Falcons following the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

The Minnesota Vikings signed center Garrett

Vikings sign first-round pick C Bradbury

The Minnesota Vikings signed center Garrett Bradbury, the 18th overall pick in the April draft, to a four-year rookie deal worth a reported $12.88 million on Tuesday.

“It’s awesome to get it done,” Bradbury told the team’s official website. “It’s done. … I’m a Viking. It’s good that I can put this to rest and get back to football.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the value of the contract, which includes a $7.39 million signing bonus and the standard fifth-year option.

Bradbury’s deal also carries a $2.34 million salary cap hit for the Vikings, who entered Tuesday with just $664,266 in cap space, per the NFL Players Association’s public salary cap report.

The 23-year-old won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center last season at North Carolina State and earned consensus All-America and first-team All-ACC honors.

–Field Level Media

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Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Tiger Woods said Tuesday

Woods, Koepka embrace attention as PGA superpowers

Tiger Woods said Tuesday he wakes up feeling older than his age more often than not.

But he arrived at the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black knowing his best is enough to win golf’s grandest events.

“In order to win this one, driving is going to be at the forefront with the rough as lush as it is,” Woods said Tuesday in Farmingdale, N.Y., where he shoots for his fourth consecutive top-10 finish in a major. “The fairways are plenty wide because it’s wet. You’ve got to hit it not only straight but hit it far.

“As the week goes on and the greens dry out, the majority of the greens are elevated. Trying to get an upspin to the ball to get it elevated, you’ve got to be in the fairway to do that.”

Woods, 43, has finished in the top 30 in each of his six starts in 2019, including winning his 15th career major at the Masters last month. If the ball rolls his way again at Bethpage — as it did when he won the U.S. Open in 2002 — Woods could leave this course on Sunday ranked No. 1 in the world. He’ll start the event at No. 6 and, in his words, “relevant again” alongside defending champion Brooks Koepka.

“The players that’ve had the most success on Tour — NFL football player, you’re in the Hall of Fame after nine years. If you play out here only nine years, you haven’t really done that well. Out here, you’re measured in decades,” Woods said. “Arnold Palmer played in 50 straight Masters. Because of the nature of the sport, you’re able to hang on a lot longer and still be relevant.

“When Jack (Nicklaus) played his final PGA in 2000, I played with him. He said he played with Gene Sarazen in his final PGA. The fact that golf can span nearly 60-70 years in playing careers, that’s what makes it so special. Now, Brooksy look like a young me? I was never that big. I was 130 pounds. We’re both able to generate speed. I did it through whip and timing. Brooksy is just pure power. He’s an athlete.”

Koepka, 29, tees off with Woods and Francesco Molinari at 8:24 a.m. ET on Thursday. He’ll be attempting to become the first player since Woods to repeat the PGA Championship. Woods did it in 2006 and 2007.

Woods and Koepka have finished 1-2 in the past two majors — Woods’ win at Augusta in April and last year’s PGA at Bellerive. Koepka enters with the longest streak of subpar rounds in majors at nine, followed by Jon Rahm (eight) and Woods (seven)

“There’s a big age difference there,” Koepka said of starting his seventh PGA Championship start. “He’s a little bit older. I don’t see it as a rivalry. It’s just golf. It’s just really been the last couple of years, I don’t see it as a rivalry. Although it is fun to play with him. Best player to ever play the game. It’s exciting more to me. I’m really looking forward to playing with him.

“It’s good to have Tiger back winning majors. That atmosphere, when he was done, was pretty special.”

Koepka said he doesn’t “fear” Woods, because they aren’t planning to fight.

“He’s not going to knock my teeth in. What’s there to be afraid of?”

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Ex-Cowboys QB Romo fails to qualify for U.S. Open

Tony Romo failed Monday in his quest to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Three days after the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback missed the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, his third PGA Tour event, Romo failed to move on at a local U.S. Open qualifier at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

He shot a 3-over-par 74 on Monday — four strokes higher than the cut line to advance.

Romo has played three PGA events via sponsor exemptions, something the U.S. Open does not hand out. The 39-year-old retired NFL star has tried many times to qualify, advancing to sectional qualifying in 2010, when he withdrew while still an active player in the NFL offseason.

The current CBS NFL analyst told ESPN that he will try to play next in the Mid-Amateur and Northeast Amateur over the summer. He also hopes to play the American Century Championship at Stateline, Nev., in July, a tournament he won last year.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski re-signed

Eagles re-sign OL Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

NFL Network reported Wisniewski signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract, with $500,000 in additional incentives.

A guard and center, Wisniewski has been a capable and valuable fill-in up front, starting at least six games each of the past three seasons. Guard Brandon Brooks is recovering from a torn Achilles, and Wisniewski could open training camp with the first unit.

The Eagles declined a $3.7 million option in Wisniewski’s contract in March. The 30-year-old tested free agency but opted to return to Philadelphia.

Originally a second-round pick by Oakland in 2011, he started 61 games with the Raiders (2011-14) and 16 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2015) before joining Philadelphia.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Woods sued over bartender’s drunk-driving death

Reports: Woods sued over bartender's drunk-driving death

Reports: Woods sued over bartender’s drunk-driving death

Tiger Woods is facing a lawsuit from the family of a bartender who worked at one of his restaurants following the staffer’s death in a drunk-driving accident, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The parents of Nicholas Immesberger allege that their son, whom they allege had a “habitual problem” with alcohol, had been overserved after he stayed and had drinks following a work shift at The Woods, a restaurant in Jupiter, Fla., owned by the 15-time major champion and run by Woods’ girlfriend, Erica Harmon.

After ending his shift on Dec. 10, 2018, Immesberger allegedly stuck around and drank to the point of intoxication before the 24-year-old was allowed to drive home. He later died after losing control of his car and swerved across three lanes of highway traffic before going airborne and landing in a grassy patch, according to Florida Highway Patrol, per the Palm Beach Post.

At the time of the crash, Immesberger’s reported blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at .256.

The lawsuit alleges that Woods “was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management … were not over serving its employees/customers.”

Woods, 43, has not publicly commented about the incident or the suit filed in Palm Beach County. Woods is scheduled to play this weekend in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, his first tournament since winning his fifth Masters title in April.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Judge suppresses video in Kraft’s solicitation case

NFL notebook: Judge suppresses video in Kraft's solicitation case

NFL notebook: Judge suppresses video in Kraft’s solicitation case

A judge on Monday granted Robert Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence, delivering the New England Patriots owner a huge victory — and potentially derailing the prosecution’s case — as he combats charges of soliciting a prostitute at a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor.

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.

Hanser added that the police’s stop of Kraft’s car on Jan. 19 constituted an unlawful search and thus all information obtained from that search is also suppressed. While the state could appeal the ruling, the suppression could effectively end the state’s case against the 77-year-old Kraft.

–The Patriots officially signed free agents Dontrelle Inman (WR) and Jared Veldheer (OL). Terms were not announced. To make room on the roster, the Patriots released undrafted rookies Calvin Anderson (OL) and Xavier Ubosi (WR).

Inman, 30, caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for Indianapolis last season. Veldheer, 31, started 12 games at right tackle for Denver last season after being acquired via trade, allowing just one sack but committing seven penalties.

–Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller said he wants the team to give cornerback Chris Harris Jr. the money he wants, but acknowledged, “both sides kind of take it personally, honestly.”

Harris, a four-time Pro Bowl pick in the last year of a five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed in 2015, reportedly wants a contract extension worth $15 million a year and is not participating in the Broncos’ voluntary offseason program. He would be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season.

–Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph told a reporter he is hoping to find a way to stay with the team despite trade rumors and reported contraction negotiation breakdowns. Rudolph, 29, has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019.

–Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Gunther Cunningham has passed away after a brief illness. He was 72. Cunningham compiled a 16-16 record in two seasons at the helm of the Chiefs from 1999-2000. He also served as defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Raiders (1992-93), Chiefs (1995-98, 2004-08) and Detroit Lions (2009-13).

–The Seattle Seahawks will reportedly meet with free agent quarterback Geno Smith on Wednesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported. Other reports said a signing is imminent. Smith, 28, was 12-18 as a starter in four seasons with the Jets, lost his only start with the New York Giants in 2017, and attempted just four passes with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.

–Buffalo is bringing back tight end Lee Smith on a reported three-year, $9 million deal. Smith, 31, played the last four seasons with the Raiders, catching 36 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns. He spent his first four NFL campaigns with the Bills, tallying 20 receptions for 144 yards and three scores from 2011-14.

–Stefen Wisniewski reportedly re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, with $500,000 in additional incentives. A guard and center, Wisniewski has started at least six games each of the past three seasons. Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks is recovering from a torn Achilles, and Wisniewski could open training camp with the first unit.

–The Chargers re-signed defensive lineman Damion Square to a one-year contract after his 31-tackles, three-sack season in which he started a career-high 11 times.

–New York Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine was with fellow rookies, in meetings and the classroom, two weeks after the cornerback was shot 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. He is still rehabbing his injuries.

–Jury selection was set to begin in San Diego County in the trial of former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who faces possible life imprisonment on multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and indecent exposure. The allegations against Winslow, 35, include the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 2003; the rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in 2018; and the rape of a 59-year-old homeless woman, also in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos’ Miller sides with Harris in contract battle

Broncos' Miller sides with Harris in contract battle

Broncos’ Miller sides with Harris in contract battle

All-Pro linebacker Von Miller wants the Denver Broncos to show veteran cornerback Chris Harris Jr. the money.

Harris, a four-time Pro Bowl pick who has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, hasn’t had much luck in trying to convince the Broncos to give him a new, improved contract.

Miller, who has played alongside Harris on a formidable Denver defense for years, went through a similar contract impasse with the Broncos before they eventually agreed to a six-year, $114.5 million deal in 2016.

“I talked to Chris all the time … this is our ninth year playing football together,” Miller said Monday in an article on espn.com. “… We kind of go through the process together, it takes a while, you’ve just got to stay level-headed. With a guy like Chris he’s done every single thing right on and off the football field, he’s checked every single box. … Chris definitely has to get what’s right for him, he’s done everything right.”

In the last year of a five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed in 2015, Harris reportedly wants a contract extension worth $15 million a year and is not participating in the Broncos’ voluntary offseason program. He would be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season.

In April, Harris told 9News Denver, “I want to be here, so we can salvage it.” And in a separate interview with The Athletic, he added, “I’ve been patient. I’m still open to coming back. I’m never closing that door until they close it.”

On Thursday, multiple outlets reported that the Miami Dolphins were making Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history, after they agreed to a five-year, $76.5 million extension.

In the ESPN story, Miller indicated that it’s difficult for either side to get involved in a contract battle without getting their feelings hurt.

“I think both sides kind of take it personally, honestly,” Miller said. “I think both sides kind of take it personally, I think when you talk about money and contracts, both sides, not just the player, but the guys in the front office take it personally, too, they want to get a great deal done, too. … If you really focus on business and it’s all about business, it’s easy to get it done, you look at what’s been done, you look at what you want to do going forward, whether you want to pay the guy, or you don’t want to pay the guy and you just go from there.”

–Field Level Media

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Thomas (wrist) withdraws from PGA Championship

Thomas (wrist) withdraws from PGA Championship

Justin Thomas,

Thomas (wrist) withdraws from PGA Championship

Justin Thomas, the No. 5 player in the World Golf Rankings, has withdrawn from this week’s PGA Championship because of a wrist injury.

Thomas, 26, won the PGA Championship in 2017 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., and tied for sixth last season at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

The season’s second major begins Thursday at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

“Obviously, as a past Champion, this tournament is extra special to me,” Thomas wrote on social media. “It consistently has the strongest field in golf and I’m disappointed to not be among those competing this year but I’m optimistic about a return in the near future.”

Kelly Kraft, a 30-year-old from Dallas who has two top 10 finishes this season, will replace Thomas in the field.

Thomas, who has nine career victories on the PGA Tour, has five top 10 finishes this season in 11 events. He last played at the Masters last month, tying for 12th at 8 under. He has been bothered by the nagging wrist injury that prevented him from playing at Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship that began May 2.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots officially sign WR Inman, OL Veldheer

Patriots officially sign WR Inman, OL Veldheer

Patriots officially sign WR Inman, OL Veldheer

The New England Patriots on Monday officially signed a couple of free agent acquisitions — wide receiver Dontrelle Inman and offensive lineman Jared Veldheer. Terms were not announced.

Deals with both players were reportedly in the works last week.

To make room for the two veterans, the Patriots on Monday released two undrafted rookies in offensive lineman Calvin Anderson and wide receiver Xavier Ubosi. Both players practiced during the team’s rookie minicamp over the weekend.

Inman, 30, caught 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for the Indianapolis Colts last season. His best season was in 2016, when he established career highs of 58 receptions, 810 yards and four touchdowns for the then-San Diego Chargers. Signed as a rookie free agent by Jacksonville Jaguars out of Virginia in 2011, he was released at the end of training camp.

Then the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Inman moved on the Canadian Football League, playing two seasons (2012-13) with the Toronto Argonauts. The Argonauts won the Grey Cup in 2012.

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).

Multiple media outlets reported last week that Veldheer had agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $6.5 million. According to SiriusXM NFL, the minimum value will be $3.5 million, with up to $3 million in additional escalators.

Veldheer, who turns 32 in June, started 12 games at right tackle for the Denver Broncos last season after being acquired via trade, allowing just one sack but committing seven penalties.

He spent the previous four years with the Arizona Cardinals, playing primarily left tackle before moving to the right side in 2017. A third-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2010 out of Hillsdale College, Veldheer has 113 starts in 118 games through nine seasons, with the majority at left tackle. He projects as New England’s swing tackle and likely will battle 2018 first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn for the starting spot at left tackle.

–Field Level Media

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Judge suppresses video in Kraft’s solicitation case

Judge suppresses video in Kraft's solicitation case

Judge suppresses video in Kraft’s solicitation case

A judge on Monday granted Robert Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence, delivering the New England Patriots owner a huge victory — and potential derailing the prosecution’s case — as he combats charges of soliciting a prostitute at a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor.

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.

“The Court finds that the search warrant does not contain required minimization guidelines, and the minimization techniques employed in this case did not satisfy constitutional requirements … (thus) all evidence against the Defendant obtained through and connection with the search warrant is suppressed,” Hanser wrote in his ruling.

Hanser added that the police’s stop of Kraft’s car on Jan. 19 constituted an unlawful search and thus all information obtained from that search is also suppressed.

While the state could appeal the ruling, the suppression could effectively end the state’s case. Last week, Hanser set a May 21 date for a mandatory appearance for Kraft and his attorneys, at which time a trial would be scheduled. According to reports, however, it is highly unlikely that hearing will happen.

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.

A different judge in April judge issued a temporary protective order to prevent the public release of the videos, with Kraft’s attorneys arguing release of the videos would result in “catastrophic” harm for Kraft and that “the public’s interest in seeing this video is all about prurient interest.”

When Kraft was first charged with first-degree solicitation of a prostitute in February, the NFL released a statement that Kraft would be subject to the league’s personal-conduct policy, and that the NFL would monitor the investigation and let the legal process play out before taking any potential action.

–Field Level Media

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TE Rudolph hoping to stay with Vikings

TE Rudolph hoping to stay with Vikings

TE Rudolph hoping to stay with Vikings

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle 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.

“My family, myself, we want to be here and we’re going to do everything we can to be there,” he said Monday, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “If the alternative happens and we do get traded, change happens. … Obviously, that’s not what we’re hoping for. …

“We’re in a tough situation as a team. You can’t keep everybody, you can’t pay everybody. Those guys I know are working really hard to try to figure out something.”

Rudolph has one year left on his contact and is due $7.5 million in 2019. The Vikings have about $1 million left in cap space.

Minnesota drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith in the second round as a potential replacement.

“I’ve had conversations with Kyle and quite honestly I really love all my players,” said coach Mike Zimmer. “We expect Kyle to be here but sometimes business gets in the way.”

Rudolph, 29, has spent his eight-year NFL career in Minnesota, catching 386 passes for 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns. He had 64 receptions for 634 yards and four scores last season.

“Obviously, it’s a difficult situation, so there’s a lot of complex things that go into it,” Rudolph said. “That takes time. It’s not an easy, ‘They like me, I like them. We want to stay here.’ That’s not the way it works.”

–Field Level Media

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Chargers bring back DL Square on 1-year deal

Chargers bring back DL Square on 1-year deal

The Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers bring back DL Square on 1-year deal

The Los Angeles Chargers re-signed defensive lineman Damion Square to a one-year contract on Monday.

Square, 30, is coming off his most productive season, making 31 tackles, including three sacks, while appearing in all 16 games, with a career-high 11 starts. He started games at nose tackle and defensive end.

Square has made 74 tackles, including nine for loss and 5.5 sacks, in six seasons after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama in 2013. He joined the Chargers in 2014.

Square likely figures into the defensive tackle rotation in 2019 for Los Angeles, which drafted defensive tackle Jerry Tillery in the first round.

–Field Level Media

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Jury selection to begin in ex-TE Winslow’s rape trial

Jury selection to begin in ex-TE Winslow's rape trial

Jury selection was set

Jury selection to begin in ex-TE Winslow’s rape trial

Jury selection was set to begin Monday in San Diego County in the trial of former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who faces possible life imprisonment on multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and indecent exposure.

The allegations against Winslow include the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 2003; the rape of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in 2018; and the rape of a 59-year-old homeless woman, also in 2018.

Winslow had been out of jail on $2 million bail, but it was revoked after another alleged incident in a fitness center hot tub in February. He was charged with lewd conduct, elder abuse and battery of an elder in that case.

Jury selection at the Vista, Calif., courthouse was expected to take up most of the week, with opening statements possibly starting Friday.

Winslow, 35, played nine seasons with four NFL teams from 2004-13. He is the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow of the San Diego Chargers.

The younger Winslow was a first-round pick (sixth overall) by Cleveland in 2004 and played in 44 games with the Browns, including a Pro Bowl campaign in 2007 with 82 catches for 1,106 yards.

He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-11), New England Patriots (2012) and New York Jets (2013).

–Field Level Media

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Gunshot victim Ballentine joins Giants rookies

Gunshot victim Ballentine joins Giants rookies

New York Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine joined his fellow

Gunshot victim Ballentine joins Giants rookies

New York Giants sixth-round pick Corey Ballentine joined his fellow rookies on Monday, two weeks after the cornerback was shot on the night he was drafted.

Ballentine is participating in meetings and classroom work with the other rookies while he continues his rehabilitation from his injuries.

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 had 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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Former Chiefs head coach Cunningham dies at 72

Former Chiefs head coach Cunningham dies at 72

Former Chiefs head coach Cunningham dies at 72

Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Gunther Cunningham died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 72.

Cunningham compiled a 16-16 record in two seasons at the helm of the Chiefs from 1999-2000.

He also served as defensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Raiders (1992-93), Chiefs (1995-98, 2004-08) and Detroit Lions (2009-13).

Cunningham’s coaching career spanned six decades, starting as a defensive line coach at his alma mater Oregon in 1969 and ending with his role as a senior coaching assistant for the Lions from 2014-16.

“Gunther Cunningham will forever be remembered as one of the great men of our game,” the Lions wrote in a statement. “He left a lasting impact on every person who was fortunate enough to work alongside him during his more than 47 years as a coach — including 34 years in the National Football League.”

Cunningham retired from coaching after the 2016 season and took a position with the analytics website Pro Football Focus as its director of football oversight.

He is survived by his wife, Rene, and their two children.

–Field Level Media

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