Trent Williams, Crowder active for Redskins against Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Left tackle Trent Williams and receiver Jamison Crowder are active for Washington on Thanksgiving against Dallas after missing multiple games with injuries.

Williams missed three straight games with a dislocated right thumb, while Crowder has been sidelined six games with an ankle injury and didn’t practice all week.

Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury. Defensive tackle Daniel Ross is available after two games with a calf injury. Ross was active for the first game at Philadelphia but didn’t play when the injury came up before the game.

Redskins running back Chris Thompson had already been declared out for the sixth time in seven games because of a rib injury.

Dallas had already ruled out five players: tight end Geoff Swaim (broken wrist), linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), guard Adam Redmond (concussion), defensive lineman David Irving (ankle) and receiver Tavon Austin (groin).

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Chiefs add ex-Raiders, Bills QB Manuel

Chiefs add ex-Raiders, Bills QB Manuel

Chiefs add ex-Raiders, Bills QB Manuel

The Kansas City Chiefs announced the signings of former first-round quarterback EJ Manuel and three other free agents on Friday.

The team also added two wide receivers, Sammie Coates and Davon Grayson, as well as defensive back Dontae Johnson.

Manuel, who turns 29 next month, last was active in the league in 2017, when he played in two games, with one start, for the Oakland Raiders. The team released the veteran during the 2018 preseason. Manuel joins Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne and Chase Litton as quarterbacks on the Chiefs’ roster.

Originally chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the first round (No. 16 overall pick) in the 2013 NFL Draft, Manuel went 6-11 as a starter in four seasons with Buffalo.

For his career, Manuel has completed 58.1 percent of his passes with 20 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions for a 77.1 passer rating.

Coates, who turns 26 in March, has played four NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2015-16), Cleveland Browns (2017) and Houston Texans (2018). The one-time third-round pick has caught 29 passes for 528 yards and two touchdowns in 45 career games (six starts).

Grayson, 23, was signed by Kansas City as an undrafted free agent last May out of East Carolina, but he didn’t make the final roster.

The 27-year-old Johnson was a fourth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2014 who saw action for the Bills in one game last season. With the 49ers, Johnson played in all but one game in four seasons from 2014-17 and started every game in 2017. He has 145 career tackles and two interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Johnson shoots 2nd bogey-free round, leads WGC by 2

Johnson shoots 2nd bogey-free round, leads WGC by 2

Johnson shoots 2nd bogey-free round, leads WGC by 2

Dustin Johnson shot his second consecutive bogey-free round to build a two-shot lead at 11-under-par 131 after two rounds of the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

Trailing Rory McIlroy by one shot entering the second round, Johnson found himself four shots back after the Northern Irishman birdied three of his first four holes. But Johnson continued his steady play while McIlroy ran into mid-round trouble, finishing Friday in a tie for second at 9-under with Matt Kuchar (67).

Since McIlroy got into the clubhouse first with his 1-under 70 on Friday, he will be paired with Johnson in the final group on Saturday. Kuchar will be paired with Spain’s Sergio Garcia (66), who is tied for fourth place with England’s Tommy Fleetwood at 7-under. Fleetwood tied for the low round of the day with his 7-under 65 despite missing a short putt on No. 17.

Fellow Englishman Ian Poulter (68) and Australia’s Cameron Smith (67) are another shot off the pace at 6-under. Tiger Woods was one shot off the low round of the day with his 66, which vaulted him 17 spots and into a five-tie for eighth place at 5-under.

No one had a bigger bounce-back Friday than Phil Mickelson, who is tied for 39th place. The defending champion moved up 31 spots by matching Fleetwood’s 65, and Mickelson’s 14-stroke improvement from the previous day was the largest single-round bounce-back in his 600 career PGA Tour events.

Johnson hasn’t experienced any such turbulence through the first two days. While acknowledging Chapultepec has narrow fairways, he said the tree-lined holes keep him focused and Johnson carded four birdies in posting a 4-under 67 on Friday.

He only hit half of the fairways in the second round, but hit 17 of 18 greens in posting bogey-free rounds during the first two rounds of an event for the first time in his career.

“I think I have a very good game plan,” Johnson told reporters. “I don’t really play too aggressive here, but when you can I try to be aggressive. And try to get myself some good looks at birdie, but off the tee I can’t be too aggressive.”

Johnson has now been in the Top 10 after nine of his past 10 rounds at the event, which is contested more than 7,000 feet above sea level and features many players hitting their long irons more than 300 yards.

“I just enjoy playing this kind of golf,” Johnson told the Golf Channel. “It makes you focus, you’ve got to think. You’re doing a lot of calculations with the numbers and trying to figure out how far the ball actually is going to go. I enjoy it.”

It looked early on like McIlroy might run away and hide. He was 11-under when he took a rip at the green on the par-5 sixth hole with his second shot. But McIlroy’s ball found the water and he wound up with a bogey.

He still held a one-shot lead when he stood over a birdie putt on the ninth hole. Having been perfect on all 24 putts inside 10 feet for the week to the point, McIlroy’s attempt lipped-out. He also missed the come-back putt for bogey and suddenly found himself looking up at Johnson on the scoreboard.

McIlroy did rebound to birdie the 14th hole to get into that powerhouse final group on Saturday.

“We’ve still got 36 holes to go,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m in a good position going into the weekend, but a two-shot lead is not very much. Especially not around here.”

Woods fared much better in just his second career professional round in Mexico, improving by five shots over his first-round score. That included a shot from a fairway bunker that sliced around a tree and came within a foot or two of holing out.

“I realized that, ‘geez I really gotta slice this thing,'” he told reporters. “So I opened up and gave it as much of a cut motion as I could and it worked out.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

NFL notebook: Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

NFL notebook: Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces two counts of solicitation of prostitution in Florida as one of 25 individuals facing similar charges in connection with an investigation into a Florida spa allegedly tied to an international human trafficking ring.

Kraft, 77, is alleged to have paid for sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., one of 10 shut down in the region after a long investigation showed the women in the spas were sex servants, according to authorities. Kraft allegedly visited the spa on two occasions, according to law enforcement.

He has not been arrested on the charges, both classified as misdemeanors. NFL Network reported that an arrest warrant will be issued on Monday with possibility of Kraft facing 60 days in jail.

Kraft, who also owns the New England Revolution MLS franchise, denied the accusations on Friday afternoon. The NFL also released a statement, saying it “is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”

–After a difficult season culminated by a crucial missed attempt on a potential game-winning field goal in the NFC playoffs, kicker Cody Parkey will be released by the Chicago Bears when the new league year begins in March.

According to multiple reports, the team intends to cut ties with Parkey once the NFL free agency period begins on March 13.

Parkey, who turned 27 on Tuesday, endured an inconsistent season in Chicago after inking a four-year, $15 million contract last winter following the team’s release of Robbie Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer who moved on to the San Francisco 49ers.

–The Philadelphia Eagles announced the release of defensive back Chris Maragos after five seasons with the franchise, missing all of last season with a knee injury he suffered during the 2017 campaign.

Maragos was one of the Eagles’ top special-teams players. The Eagles said he made 49 special teams’ tackles in 53 games with the club and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2014.

Philadelphia also re-signed kicker Jake Elliott and long snapper Rick Lovato to one-year deals. Elliott has made 52 of 62 field goals in two seasons with the Eagles. Lovato served as long snapper for the past two seasons and has spent parts of the last three campaigns with the Eagles.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles release Maragos, re-sign two others

Eagles release Maragos, re-sign two others

The Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles release Maragos, re-sign two others

The Philadelphia Eagles announced the release of defensive back Chris Maragos on Friday after five seasons with the franchise.

Maragos missed all of last season with a knee injury he suffered during the 2017 campaign in Week 6 against Carolina.

Maragos was one of the Eagles’ top special-teams players. The team said he made 49 special teams’ tackles in 53 games with the club and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2014.

“We are grateful for Chris Maragos’ contributions to the Philadelphia Eagles over the last five seasons,” the team said in a statement. “A captain on our Super Bowl LII-winning team, Chris’ leadership on and off the field and his ability to connect with teammates, coaches and fans made him a valuable member of this organization and the community.

“Chris solidified himself as one of the best special teams performers in the NFL and played a crucial role in the success of our team. We wish Chris and his family all the best.”

Before joining the Eagles, Maragos also played for San Francisco (2010) and Seattle (2011-13), winning a Super Bowl in his final season with the Seahawks. He has played in 99 career games (three starts).

Philadelphia also signed kicker Jake Elliott and long snapper Rick Lovato to one-year deals.

Elliott has made 52 of 62 field goals in two seasons with the Eagles. He had 111 points last season when he made 26 of 31 field-goal attempts.

Lovato served as long snapper for the past two seasons and has spent parts of the last three campaigns with the Eagles. He also spent time with the Green Bay Packers (two games in 2015) and Washington Redskins (two games in 2016).

–Field Level Media

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Trio tied for lead at Puerto Rico Open

Trio tied for lead at Puerto Rico Open

Trio tied for lead at Puerto Rico Open

D.J. Trahan, Nate Lashley and Mexico’s Roberto Diaz all share the lead at 8-under-par 136 after two rounds of the Puerto Rico Open at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Trahan shot a 5-under 67 in Friday’s second round while Lashley and Diaz carded 68s. Trahan had seven birdies and two bogeys, Lashley shot six birdies and two bogeys while Diaz had four birdies during a bogey-free round.

Defending champion D.A. Points is tied for 38th at 1 under. He shot 72 on Friday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

After a

Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

After a difficult season culminated by a crucial missed field goal on a potential game-winning field goal in the NFC playoffs, kicker Cody Parkey will be released by the Chicago Bears when the new league year begins in March.

According to multiple reports on Friday, the team intends to cut ties with Parkey once the NFL free agency period begins on March 13.

Parkey, who turned 27 on Tuesday, endured an inconsistent season in Chicago after inking a four-year, $15 million contract last winter following the team’s release of Robbie Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer who moved on to the San Francisco 49ers.

Parkey, a five-year veteran, not only missed a career-high seven field-goal attempts and three extra points during the regular season, but his 43-yard attempt in the final seconds of the NFC wild-card round against the Philadelphia Eagles first hit the upright then the crossbar before bouncing back on the field.

Despite the NFL later ruling that the kick was partially blocked, Parkey took much of the public blame for the Bears’ season ending.

Parkey began his career with the Eagles in 2014 when he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, scoring a franchise-record 150 points while making 32 of 36 field-goal tries. In two seasons with the Eagles, Parkey never missed an extra point.

Parkey later kicked for the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and Miami Dolphins in 2017.

In January, the Bears signed Tulsa product Redford Jones after conducting a workout that reportedly included multiple hopefuls. Jones made 50 of his 67 field-goal attempts at Tulsa from 2015-17, and he does have a kick on his resume where he hit both uprights. Unlike Parkey’s double-doink, though, that 2016 attempt against Cincinnati ended up going over the crossbar for three points.

“We need more production out of that position,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said last month after signing Jones. “We know we need to get better there, and it will be an area of focus.”

–Field Level Media

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Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

New

Patriots owner Kraft faces solicitation charges

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with two counts of solicitation of prostitution in Florida.

Kraft is one of 25 individuals facing similar charges in connection with an investigation into a Florida spa allegedly tied to an international human trafficking ring.

Kraft, 77, is alleged to have paid for sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., one of 10 shut down in the region after a long investigation showed the women in the spas were sex servants, according to authorities. Kraft allegedly visited the spa on two occasions, according to law enforcement.

He has not been arrested on the charges, both classified as misdemeanors. An arrest warrant will be issued.

Kraft, who also owns the New England Revolution MLS franchise, denied the accusations on Friday afternoon.

“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity,” a spokesman for Kraft said in a statement. “Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

Authorities at a news conference on Friday said much of their evidence in the investigation comes from cameras worn on officers’ uniforms and from surveillance that was conducted via hidden cameras inside the day spa. The cameras captured the alleged sexual acts being committed inside the spa, including those involving Kraft.

“We’re as deeply stunned as anyone else,” Jupiter, Fla., Police Chief Daniel Kerr said of Kraft’s alleged involvement.

–Field Level Media

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McIlroy shoots 63 to lead WGC-Mexico

McIlroy shoots 63 to lead WGC-Mexico

McIlroy shoots 63 to lead WGC-Mexico

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy continued his strong form with an 8-under-par 63 at the WGC-Mexico Championship on Thursday to build a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson after the first round in Mexico City.

Johnson is in solo second place, with Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar tied for third at 5 under. Charles Howell III, South Africa’s George Coetzee and England’s Tyrrell Hatton are another shot off the pace at 4 under.

Playing in Mexico for the first time as a professional, Tiger Woods recovered from a double bogey after hitting his drive out of bounds on his first hole to birdie three consecutive holes from Nos. 4-6. He finished the day tied for 25th at even par.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson fared far worse, struggling to an 8-over 79. He is tied for 70th in the 72-player, no-cut event after playing in weather-affected tournaments in California each of the past two weeks.

Starting on the back nine of the Club de Golf Chapultepec, McIlroy birdied four of his first eight holes. He made the turn and promptly eagled No. 1 after nearly holing out from 307 yards. He carded three birdies against a lone bogey on his way in to the clubhouse.

McIlroy, who has tied for fourth twice and fifth once over his past three tournaments, hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation in tying his lowest round of the season.

He is also trying to enjoy playing at more than 7,000 feet above sea level this week. He said he’s hitting his 3-iron around 300 yards and can carry his driver upwards of 370 if he gets it up in the right air.

“Literally it’s a 100-yard difference between some shots,” McIlroy told the Golf Channel of the comparison to playing the Genesis Open in Los Angeles last week. “It’s fun. I’m glad we don’t have to do it every week, but while we’re here, we might as well make the most of it.”

As hot as McIlroy was, he couldn’t put much distance between himself and Johnson, who posted his eighth consecutive round in the 60s at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. The lowest elevation is 7,603 feet above sea level, with the highest point being at 7,835 feet.

“It’s tough,” Johnson admitted to the Golf Channel when asked about the elevation. “It’s an adjustment, but we figure out our numbers on the range and we go with them the best that we can.”

Johnson, who is known for his even-keeled temperament on the course, also said he didn’t concern himself with trying to keep pace with McIlroy on a Thursday.

“There’s way too much going on to worry about what anyone else is doing,” said Johnson, who turned in the only bogey-free card Thursday. “I’m very pleased with the round.”

NOTES: Woods, who holds the record with 18 World Golf Championships victories, is two wins shy of Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour record of 82. He said he will skip next week’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. … Thomas drove the 415-yard, par-4 12th hole but three-putted for par. … England’s Justin Rose is not in the field and could lose his No. 1 ranking this week depending upon who wins.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: League seeks info on Gurley’s injury

NFL notebook: League seeks info on Gurley's injury

NFL notebook: League seeks info on Gurley’s injury

A revelation from running back C.J. Anderson that Todd Gurley’s knee injury was more severe than the Los Angeles Rams thought — and disclosed — triggered an NFL request for more information from the team, a league source told Field Level Media.

Gurley was not on the Super Bowl injury report. He largely gave way to Anderson in the postseason, but the company line from the Rams centered around head coach Sean McVay taking the blame for not getting Gurley more involved.

Gurley missed the final two regular-season games, dealing with an undisclosed knee problem, then played on a limited basis in the first two playoff games. After the Rams went through their final on-field workout Friday, two days before the Super Bowl, McVay labeled Gurley “100 percent.”

A league source told FLM that the NFL office routinely seeks more information from teams in situations such as Gurley’s. Rams spokesman Artis Tyman did not confirm or deny a request for information was made regarding Gurley’s injury since Anderson’s comments, instead directing queries on the matter to the NFL.

–The Cincinnati Bengals hired New York Giants secondary coach Lou Anarumo as their defensive coordinator.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor worked with Anarumo when both were with the Miami Dolphins.

Anarumo, 52, spent last season coaching the Giants and was in Miami from 2012-17. Anarumo and Taylor were made interim coordinators after the dismissal of head coach Joe Philbin with 12 games to go in the 2015 season.

–Put Denver quarterback Case Keenum atop the list of people surprised by the Broncos’ trade for Joe Flacco earlier this month.

Keenum, who signed a two-year, $36 million deal with Denver in March 2018, appeared on The Sports Spectrum podcast with his wife, Kimberly.

“(GM John) Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do, and I appreciated that,” Keenum said. “It was definitely a shock. It was a surprise for us. … For us, we’re definitely disappointed. It’s not something we wanted to happen. I know everybody is doing their job and John feels like it was a chance to help the Broncos out.”

–The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a three-year contract extension with cornerback Tavon Young, multiple outlets reported.

Young, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick, turns 25 next month. He had one year remaining on his four-year rookie contract.

ESPN reported the extension is a three-year, $25.8 million deal with a max value of $29 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid nickel back. NFL Network valued the extension at three years and $27 million.

–The New Orleans Saints are planning to release safety Kurt Coleman and clear more than $4 million in cap space, NFL Network reported.

Coleman signed a three-year, $16.3 million deal with the Saints last offseason and was due $5.5 million in total compensation in 2019.

A source told NFL Network that New Orleans was open to bringing the nine-year veteran back at a reduced rate.

–Former Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson Jr. was granted preliminary licensing approval to launch a medical marijuana business in Michigan, according to mlive.com.

Johnson plans to open a chain of provisioning centers in the state under the brand name “Primitive,” according to his attorney, Michael D. Stein.

This was the second time Johnson had sought approval for a provisioning center license. The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board denied his request with former Lions teammate Robert Sims two months ago, citing Johnson’s traffic violations.

–The Broncos have informed free agent nose tackle Domata Peko they don’t intend to re-sign him, 9News Denver reported.

Per the report, the Broncos would like to seek a younger option at the position, though they won’t rule out Peko if he remains on the market in the later stages of free agency.

Peko, 34, spent the past two years with the Broncos on a two-year, $7 million deal, excelling in a run-stopping role. The 13-year veteran, who spent his first 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, has missed just six games in his career, and only two since 2009.

–The Chicago Bears officially released veteran tight end Dion Sims, clearing $6 million in cap space.

Sims, who turned 28 on Monday, will count only $333,334 in dead money for 2019.

Sims signed a three-year, $18 million deal with Chicago as a free agent in 2017.

–The NFL conditionally reinstated former Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams after a lengthy suspension for substance abuse, according to multiple reports.

Williams, 25, hasn’t played in the league since his rookie season in 2015.

The fifth-round draft pick from Florida State showed promise when he appeared in 11 games for Buffalo, rushing for 517 yards and seven touchdowns and adding 11 catches for 96 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Brown, Steelers decide to part ways

NFL notebook: Brown, Steelers decide to part ways

NFL notebook: Brown, Steelers decide to part ways

After meeting with team president Art Rooney II on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown announced on Twitter that both sides have decided to part ways.

“Had a great meeting with Mr. Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I’ll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin,” Brown tweeted.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and vice president Omar Kahn joined the meeting.

“Everyone agreed the trade will be for the best,” a source told Schefter.

–All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski is still mulling over whether to retire or return to the New England Patriots for a 10th NFL season, Rosenhaus said.

“He’s thinking it through, he’s giving it a lot of thought,” the agent said on ESPN’s “NFL Live,” adding, “I imagine a decision will happen in the next couple of weeks.”

NFL Network’s Mike Giardi tweeted Tuesday afternoon that “Gronkowski told multiple teammates/associates that he wanted to win another ring in the first few days following the Super Bowl.”

–The Kansas City Chiefs are likely to apply the franchise tag to linebacker Dee Ford, according to multiple reports.

The franchise tag period opened and will run until March 5. The linebacker tag for 2019 is expected to be $15.78 million, according to ProFootballTalk.

In the 2018 regular season, Ford played in 16 games and recorded career highs in sacks (13), tackles (55), tackles for loss (13) and QB hits (29). The 27-year-old told WFNZ in Charlotte on Monday that he wouldn’t object to playing under the franchise tag while a longer deal is worked out between the sides.

–The New York Jets are not picking up the options on three defensive players, the team officially announced.

Defensive tackle Mike Pennel, safety Terrence Brooks and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis will become free agents.

The Jets had a deadline of Tuesday to pay a $1 million bonus to Pennel, 27, who signed a three-year contract last March. Had the team paid the bonus, the final two years of the contract would have been activated.

–New York Giants defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo will interview Thursday for the Cincinnati Bengals’ vacant defensive coordinator position, according to multiple reports.

New Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and Anarumo, 52, worked together on the Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff from 2012-15. Anarumo was interim defensive coordinator with the Dolphins in 2015 but otherwise he only has coached defensive backs during his seven seasons in the NFL.

He spent more than 20 years in college coaching prior to moving to the NFL.

–Tight end Scott Simonson re-signed with the Giants, the team announced.

The 26-year-old played in 16 games (four starts) in 2018 and caught nine passes for 86 yards and one touchdown in his first season with the Giants.

Simonson, who attended Assumption College, signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He then spent two seasons with Carolina before spending the 2017 season on injured reserve with a back injury.

–The Arizona Cardinals signed former Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay to a one-year contract.

The Bills released Clay last week, with the eight-year veteran heading into the final year of a five-year $38 million contract. His deal with Arizona is worth up to $3.25 million, including a $350,000 signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

–The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a three-year extension with offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo, the team announced.

Sambrailo, 26, started the last four games of the 2018 season for Atlanta, playing both left guard and right tackle. His contract was set to expire next month. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars hired 31-year NFL coaching veteran Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant, the team announced.

Capers, who was the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator from 1999-2000, most recently served as the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator from 2009-17.

Capers, 68, has been the head coach of two NFL expansion teams — the Carolina Panthers (1995-98) and Houston Texans (2002-05). He was named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 1996.

–Field Level Media

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Bears clear cap space by releasing TE Sims

Bears clear cap space by releasing TE Sims

The Chicago Bears released veteran tight end Dion Sims

Bears clear cap space by releasing TE Sims

The Chicago Bears released veteran tight end Dion Sims on Thursday, clearing $6 million in cap space.

Sims, who turned 28 on Monday, will count only $333,334 in dead money for 2019, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk.

Sims signed a three-year, $18 million deal with Chicago as a free agent in 2017.

Regarded more as a blocking tight end, he played in 22 games (18 starts) with the Bears in the past two seasons, catching 17 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown. His 2018 season was cut short because of concussion issues.

Sims, a fourth-round pick by Miami in 2013, caught 74 passes for 699 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with the Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger to skip Honda Classic next week

Tiger to skip Honda Classic next week

Tiger to skip Honda Classic next week

Tiger Woods, looking for a break in his spring schedule, said Thursday he will skip next week’s hometown Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Woods on Thursday committed to playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., on March 7-10, followed a week later by The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Woods teed off Thursday at the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City, his second consecutive tournament. His choice for a week off came down to the Honda Classic or Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won eight times at Bay Hill.

“Unfortunately, due to the schedule this year, I cannot play all the events I want to,” he wrote in a tweet on Thursday morning.

The 14-time major winner, whose last grand slam tournament victory came at the 2008 U.S. Open, tied for 15th at last weekend’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He also finished tied for 20th at the Jan. 23-26 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

Woods, 43, underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.

“From here on out, it’s very complicated,” Woods said in a press conference Wednesday, talking about his schedule leading up to the April 11-14 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. “That’s what I’m trying to figure out; how much to play, how much is too much, how much is not enough.”

–Field Level Media

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Bengals hire Anarumo as new defensive coordinator

Bengals hire Anarumo as new defensive coordinator

The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday

Bengals hire Anarumo as new defensive coordinator

The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday named New York Giants secondary coach Lou Anarumo their new defensive coordinator.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor worked with Anarumo when both coached in Miami.

“I’ve always had great respect for Lou, and I know he is a tremendous defensive coach,” Taylor said in a statement. “He’s a great fit for what we want to build here in Cincinnati. Lou is an excellent communicator who the players will have great respect for, and he will get the best out of them.”

Anarumo, 52, spent last season coaching the Giants and was in Miami from 2012-17. Anarumo and Taylor were made interim coordinators after the dismissal of head coach Joe Philbin with 12 games to go in the 2015 season.

Prior to his stint in Miami, Anarumo was a college coach for 20 seasons, kicking off his coaching career as defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy from 1992-94.

It was an exhaustive search for the Bengals.

College defensive coordinators Jeff Hafley (Ohio State) and Todd Grantham (Florida) both turned down the opportunity. The New Orleans Saints wouldn’t allow their defensive backs coach, Aaron Glenn, to interview.

Veteran NFL head coaches and coordinators Dom Capers, Jack Del Rio and Vance Joseph were considered but weren’t believed to be a good fit for the job.

The Bengals also interviewed former Falcons coordinator Marquand Manuel and Rams assistant Aubrey Pleasant.

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Lions WR Johnson to open medical marijuana business

Ex-Lions WR Johnson to open medical marijuana business

Ex-Lions WR Johnson to open medical marijuana business

Former Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson Jr. was granted preliminary licensing approval Thursday to launch a medical marijuana business in Michigan, according to mlive.com.

Johnson plans to open a chain of provisioning centers in the state under the brand name “Primitive,” according to his attorney Michael D. Stein.

This was the second time Johnson had sought approval for a provisioning center license. The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board denied his request with former Lions teammate Robert Sims two months ago, citing Johnson’s traffic violations.

This time, the six-time Pro Bowl selection applied with his wife, Brittney Johnson. They plan to have a fully integrated business, controlling all aspects from growing to processing to distribution, Stein said.

Johnson, 33, retired from the NFL following his ninth season with Detroit in 2015. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619) and touchdown catches (83).

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Ravens sign CB Young to extension

Reports: Ravens sign CB Young to extension

Reports: Ravens sign CB Young to extension

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a three-year contract extension with cornerback Tavon Young, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The team announced it would hold a press conference Friday with head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta.

Young, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick, turns 25 next month. He had one year remaining on his four-year rookie contract.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the extension is a three-year, $25.8 million deal with a max value of $29 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid nickel back. NFL Network valued the extension at three years and $27 million.

After missing the 2017 season with a torn ACL, Young returned to play in 15 games (six starts) in 2018. He registered 37 tackles and one interception and recovered three fumbles, returning two of those recoveries for touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16.

He missed the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Chargers with a sports hernia and had surgery in January, but is expected to be healthy in time for Baltimore’s offseason program.

Young had 50 tackles and two picks as a 2016 rookie.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos QB Keenum ‘shocked’ by Flacco trade

Broncos QB Keenum 'shocked' by Flacco trade

Broncos QB Keenum ‘shocked’ by Flacco trade

Put Denver quarterback Case Keenum atop the list of people surprised by the Broncos’ trade for Joe Flacco earlier this month.

Keenum, who signed a two-year, $36 million deal with Denver in March 2018, appeared this week on The Sports Spectrum podcast with his wife, Kimberly.

“[GM John] Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do, and I appreciated that,” Keenum said. “It was definitely a shock. It was a surprise for us. … For us, we’re definitely disappointed. It’s not something we wanted to happen. I know everybody is doing their job and John feels like it was a chance to help the Broncos out.”

The Broncos traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Flacco on Feb. 13.

Flacco, 34, played 11 seasons with the Ravens and led them to a win in Super Bowl XLVII. He has compiled a 96-67 regular-season record, passing for 38,245 yards and 212 touchdowns.

Keenum, 31, went 6-10 in his first season with the Broncos, passing for 3,890 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Keenum, who played for the Houston Texans, St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings before signing with Denver, said he doesn’t know what his future holds. He is reportedly guaranteed $7 million in 2019.

“It’s really open-ended right now,” Keenum said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. This is still very fresh. A lot of these emotions we’re talking about are still going on and still happening. Who knows what’s going to be in store? I don’t, for sure.”

–Field Level Media

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Report: NFL reinstates former Bills RB Williams

Report: NFL reinstates former Bills RB Williams

Report: NFL reinstates former Bills RB Williams

The NFL conditionally reinstated former Buffalo Bills running back Karlos Williams after a lengthy suspension for substance abuse, according to multiple reports.

Williams, 25, hasn’t played in the league since his rookie season in 2015.

The fifth-round draft pick from Florida State showed promise when he appeared in 11 games for Buffalo, rushing for 517 yards and seven touchdowns and adding 11 catches for 96 yards and two scores.

After the Bills cut him during training camp the following year, Williams signed with the Steelers’ practice squad but never got on the field due to multiple substance abuse violations.

He received a four-game suspension in July 2016, a 10-game ban in November 2016, and a minimum one-year suspension in June 2017.

A conditional reinstatement means Williams is free to sign with a team and play next season, as long as he meets certain treatment conditions.

–Field Level Media

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Source: NFL wants Rams’ info on Gurley’s injury

Source: NFL wants Rams' info on Gurley's injury

Source: NFL wants Rams’ info on Gurley’s injury

A revelation from running back C.J. Anderson that Todd Gurley’s knee injury was more severe than the Los Angeles Rams thought — and disclosed — triggered an NFL request for more information from the team, a league source told Field Level Media.

Gurley was not on the Super Bowl injury report. He largely gave way to Anderson in the postseason, but the company line from the Rams centered around head coach Sean McVay taking the blame for not getting Gurley more involved.

Gurley missed the final two regular-season games, dealing with an undisclosed knee problem, after rushing for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 games. He also caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four scores.

After the Rams went through their final on-field workout Friday, two days before the Super Bowl, McVay labeled Gurley “100 percent.”

A league source told FLM that the NFL office routinely seeks more information from teams in situations such as Gurley’s.

In 2017, the NFL ruled the Seattle Seahawks misinterpreted the rules when failing to disclose cornerback Richard Sherman’s sprained knee. Seattle was let off with only a warning, but reportedly faced potential discipline including a fine or loss of a draft pick.

Gurley returned for the playoffs — with 16 carries for 115 yards against Dallas — but had only a combined 14 carries and two receptions in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII.

But Gurley rushed just 10 times for 35 yards in the 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

“The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself,” Anderson said Tuesday on FS1’s “Undisputed.”

Anderson said he would call the injury a sprained knee. Gurley suffered a torn left ACL in 2014.

“Obviously, it’s the same knee injury he’s had before in his career,” Anderson said.

“I had surgery on my meniscus and once you have a knee, you always have a knee. So it aggravates, and if he was getting a lot of touches earlier in the year — obviously him being one of the best running backs, that probably was the case.”

Anderson, signed with the Rams for the final two regular-season games, had 46 postseason carries. Gurley had 30.

Gurley led the NFL with 21 touchdowns and 17 rushing scores during the regular season. He notched his third 1,000-yard rushing season in four years since the Rams took him with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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Report: Saints to release veteran S Coleman

Report: Saints to release veteran S Coleman

The New Orleans Saints

Report: Saints to release veteran S Coleman

The New Orleans Saints are planning to release safety Kurt Coleman and clear more than $4 million in cap space, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Thursday.

Coleman signed a three-year, $16.3 million deal with the Saints last offseason and was due $5.5 million in total compensation in 2019.

A source told Garafolo that New Orleans was open to bringing the nine-year NFL veteran back at a reduced rate.

Coleman, 30, played in all 16 regular-season games for the NFC South champions in 2018, registering 32 tackles and one forced fumble in nine starts.

A seventh-round pick by Philadelphia in 2010, Coleman played for the Eagles (2010-13), Kansas City Chiefs (2014) and Carolina Panthers (2015-17) before joining the Saints.

In 132 career games, Coleman has returned 21 interceptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

NFL notebook: Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

NFL notebook: Steelers clear way for RB Bell to be free agent

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell will be an unrestricted free agent as the team will not use a transition or franchise tag on the three-time Pro Bowler who sat out the entire 2018 season in a contract standoff, general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Wednesday.

“Le’Veon is still a great player. We can’t afford to use any other type of tags,” Colbert said. “Le’Veon will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year.” Bell later tweeted: “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I am free at last”

Bell, who turned 27 on Monday, has posted three 1,000-yard seasons since entering the league in 2013. He sat last season rather than collect $14.5 million under the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, when a long-term deal with the Steelers could not be reached.

In Bell’s absence, second-year back James Conner emerged as a reliable starter. He finished the 2018 season with 973 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

–The Steelers will attempt to trade disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown this offseason, but Colbert told reporters Wednesday that they will not give away the All-Pro.

After meeting with team president Art Rooney II on Tuesday, Brown announced on Twitter that both sides had decided to part ways. Brown, 30, is due a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17 and has three years remaining on a five-year, $72.7 million contract extension he signed before the 2017 season.

Colbert told reporters that the Steelers weren’t yet engaged in trade talks, but he expected they would pick up. Still, he said Brown conceivably could return to Pittsburgh if there is “no trade that does not benefit the team.” The GM also said Brown will not be allowed to select the team to which he is traded.

–Landon Collins, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, might soon be moving on from the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN. Or not, according to other reports.

Reporter Josina Anderson wrote on Twitter that “Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers,” presumably not expecting to stay with the team. Collins, a four-year pro, can become an unrestricted free agent when the new NFL year begins March 13.

Later Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network chimed in, writing that Collins took “personal items” from his locker. According to Garafolo, “He doesn’t expect to be at the facility for a while. Why? The franchise tag he publicly said he doesn’t want. But the smart money remains on Collins with NYG this year.”

–The Seattle Seahawks could use the franchise tag option for the first time since 2010 if they can’t agree on a contract with defensive end Frank Clark before the March 5 tag deadline.

Clark, 25, will become a free agent on March 13 if no agreement is reached and likely would be pursued by many teams. He led the Seahawks with 13 sacks in the regular season, and head coach Pete Carroll said he wants him back.

Clark told The News Tribune in January that he expects to remain with the Seahawks in the upcoming season, if not beyond. Based on the defensive end market, the Seahawks likely would be paying Clark – their second-round draft pick in 2015 – at least $15 million a year in a new contract.

–The Oakland Raiders could wind up staying in the city for two more seasons, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Despite a contentious history between the two sides, the Raiders and the Oakland Coliseum Authority resumed negotiations earlier this month, and the Chronicle reported that an announcement about a new, short-term lease could be made in the next two weeks.

The Raiders announced plans to move into a new stadium in Las Vegas before the 2020 season, but their lease to play their home games in Oakland expired at the end of the 2019 season.

–The Chicago Bears are expected to release tight end Dion Sims, who made just four starts in 2018 during a season that was cut short because of concussion issues, the NFL Network reported.

Sims was scheduled to make $6 million in the final season of his three-year, $18 million contract with the Bears.

Sims, 28, had just two catches for 9 yards in 2018. Regarded more as a blocking tight end, he played in eight games last season and did not see action again after starting in a 41-9 victory on Nov. 4 over the Buffalo Bills.

–Field Level Media

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