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NFL News Wire
  • Ex-Bills GM Whaley lands job with NFLPA
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Doug Whaley, who was out of football for the past year after a stint as the Buffalo Bills' general manager, was hired Wednesday as the NFL Players Association's director of college scouting.

    • The job primarily will focus on the evaluation and selection of pro prospects for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

      "I'm grateful to the NFLPA for entrusting me with this opportunity to work with a marquee collegiate showcase," Whaley said in a press release. "We are an organization that will be with the players for their entire careers both on and off the field. I'm thrilled to serve in this capacity of introducing them to the union, our partners and the many great programs available to help them make the most of their experience."

      Tony Softli resigned from the position to become the scouting director for the Alliance of American Football.

      Whaley, 45, had been working for tech firm Impellia since his dismissal from Buffalo in April 2017.

      During the last four of his seven seasons with the Bills, Whaley held the GM title. The club went 6-10, 9-7, 8-8 and 7-9 before he was succeeded by Brandon Beane.

      Whaley was the Pittsburgh Steelers' pro scouting coordinator from 1999-2009.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texans claim OT Johnson off waivers from Browns
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    A day after he was waived by the Cleveland Browns, offensive tackle Roderick Johnson was claimed by Houston, the Texans announced on Wednesday.

    • A fifth-round pick out of Florida State in 2017, Johnson didn't see the field in the regular season with Cleveland, spending his entire rookie campaign on injured reserve with a sprained medial collateral ligament and meniscus damage in his knee.

      Johnson, 22, did play in all four preseason games last year, starting two.

      The Browns waived him on Tuesday to make room for Greg Robinson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2014 who flamed out with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and was waived midseason last year by the Detroit Lions.

      Houston has one of the league's least proven tackle situations. After starting four games as a rookie, 2017 fourth-round pick Julien Davenport is penciled in at left tackle, and free agent signee Seantrel Henderson -- who has started one game since 2015 -- is expected to man the right side. The Texans also drafted Martinas Rankin in the third round of April's draft, but some have projected him to move to guard or center.

      To make room for Johnson on the 90-man roster, the Texans waived tackle Kendall Calhoun, an undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL to hold Pro Bowl in Orlando for third straight year
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    The NFL announced this week that it will hold the Pro Bowl in Orlando for a third straight season.

    • The league held a third-year option for its annual all-star event.

      The Jan. 27, 2019 game will be held at Camping World Stadium on Jan. 27 and televised on ESPN. The same stadium has averaged 56,000 attendees for the past two Pro Bowls.

      --Field Level Media

  • Colts' Vinatieri has no plans to quit kicking
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has 559 career field goals and needs just seven more to become the NFL's career leader, but if he has his way, he'll be around long enough to put a lot of distance between his mark and Morten Andersen's 565.

    • Vinatieri, 45, is beginning his 13th season in Indianapolis, a career in itself for some players, though he spent 10 seasons before that kicking for the New England Patriots. He has been in five Super Bowls, winning four.

      So why stop now?

      "I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago," Vinatieri told the Colts' website. "I'm not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way.

      "I guess I'll take these one year at a time and see where it ends up."

      Vinatieri rejoined the Colts on a one-year, $3,625,000 contract in February. He hit 27 of his 35 field goals attempted last season.

      Vinatieri has 808 extra points to go with his 559 field goals. His 2,487 career points are good for second all time, also behind Andersen, who finished with 2,544.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Ravens sign first-rounder Hurst, completing 12-man class
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms with first-round tight end Hayden Hurst on a four-year contract, according to multiple reports, putting all 12 of the team's 2018 draft picks under contract.

    • The deal, like those for all first-round picks, comes with a fifth-year team option for 2022. Terms have not been reported, but the deal should be worth around $10.4 million over the first four years, with a signing bonus around $5.7 million, based on his draft slot.

      The Ravens took Hurst with the 25th overall pick in April's draft after trading down twice, first from No. 16 to No. 22 and then to No. 25. They later traded back into the first round at No. 32 to draft quarterback Lamar Jackson.

      Hurst, who turns 25 in August, spent two years as a minor league baseball player in the Pittsburgh Pirates' system, having joined them on a $400,000 signing bonus after being drafted in the 17th round in 2012.

      He then played football for three years at South Carolina and garnered first-team All-SEC honors in 2017 before declaring for the 2018 draft.

      Hurst was the first tight end off the board in April. The Ravens later took Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews, the fourth off the board at the position, in Round 3.

      --Field Level Media

  • Browns sign former No. 2 overall pick Robinson
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    Former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson signed with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday.

    • Adding Robinson gives Cleveland some insurance following the suspension of right tackle Donald Stephenson.

      Terms of the deal were not immediately known. Robinson replaced offensive lineman Rod Johnson, who was waived, on the 90-man training camp roster.

      Robinson, 25, has played guard and tackle since he was selected second in the 2014 draft by the Rams. He has 48 career starts in 52 games.

      Cleveland released Johnson without getting him on the field.

      A fifth-round pick in 2017, he missed the entirety of his rookie season with a knee injury.

      Robinson ended last season on injured reserve following six starts in six games with the Detroit Lions, who acquired the 330-pounder via trade from the Rams prior to the season.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Vikings to honor late coach Green
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 18, 2018

    Late Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green, who died of a heart attack at age 67 in July of 2016, will be inducted into the team's ring of honor in September.

    • Green, head coach of the Vikings from 1992-2001, was 101-70 (including playoffs) and won Sports Illustrated and Maxwell Club NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1998 as the conductor of one of the best offenses in league history. The Vikings established an NFL record that season with 556 points -- 34.8 per game. The 2013 Denver Broncos now hold the record for points in a season (606), after eclipsing the 2007 New England Patriots.

      "Dennis Green's impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day," Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement Monday. "In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL's top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We're extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor and we're looking forward to the induction in September."

      Mark, Zygi and Lenny Wilf, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, notified Green's wife Marie of the upcoming honor at team headquarters. The ceremony will be held at halftime of the Vikings' game against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 23.

      --Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore signed a four-year contract, including the standard fifth-year team option that comes with all first-round draft choices.

      Moore was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after setting a Maryland single-season record with 80 receptions, to go with 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

      Financial terms were not immediately available. Based on last year's 24th overall pick, Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, Moore's four-year pact is worth at least $10.5 million with a signing bonus of about $6 million.

      --Cincinnati Bengals rookie center and first-round pick Billy Price tweeted that he has received full medical clearance for training camp.

      Price was limited in mandatory minicamp last week after suffering a torn pectoral muscle during the bench press drill at the scouting combine on March 1.

      Despite the injury, Price was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 draft and landed a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option covering the 2022 season. The four-year deal is worth nearly $12 million.

      --Field Level Media

  • Panthers sign first-round WR Moore
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 18, 2018

    Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore signed a four-year contract on Monday, including the standard fifth-year team option granted all first-round draft choices.

    • Moore was the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft after setting a Maryland single-season record with 80 receptions.

      Financial terms were not immediately available.

      Based on the previous year's 24th overall pick, Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, Moore's four-year pact is worth at least $10.5 million with a signing bonus of about $6 million.

      Moore had 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

      The Panthers traded their previous No. 1 wide receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, to the Buffalo Bills last October. Moore adds a speed and playmaking option to the depth chart. Devin Funchess, a tall receiver with average speed, became the top outside option for the Panthers last season.

      While tight end Greg Olsen is still in the mix for quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers expect to be better at the receiver position. They acquired veteran vertical threat Torrey Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles and believe 2017 second-round pick Curtis Samuel is ready to contribute.

      --Field Level Media

  • Colts plan training camp off days for QB Luck
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 18, 2018

    Rolling back comments from owner Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is scheduled for numerous days off during training camp next month.

    • Irsay told reporters at the conclusion of minicamp last week that Luck will not have any limitations when training camp begins in late July.

      "It makes me excited, makes me happy," an exuberant Luck told the media at the time. "It was really fun to come out and throw."

      Sports Illustrated reported Monday that Luck would take regular days of rest during training camp with the goal of building toward complete health entering Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.

      At minicamp, Luck threw a Wilson TDS 1205, a standard high school football that is lighter than NFL footballs. But he also said he started throwing an NFL ball -- "The Duke" -- a few weeks ago and it "felt great," despite a bit of a mental block building back up to it. He is currently "bridging" the gap between the lighter footballs and a regulation ball right now, also working in overhead tennis serves and throws with round balls to make the same motion with less stress on the shoulder. Luck threw "The Duke," Wilson's regulation NFL football, on Friday.

      In an attempt to simulate a typical week during the regular season, Luck has been throwing four days a week: Three days in a row to simulate a typical practice week, and then an off day before a fourth day to approximate games.

      Luck had not been on the field for the portions of Colts' practices open to the media during organized team activities in recent weeks, but head coach Frank Reich told reporters he had been participating in individual drills. The signal-caller spent much of the offseason with throwing gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, using weighted balls as part of his rehab.

      The team has taken a very conservative approach in getting Luck healthy after the QB suffered pain in his throwing shoulder in his return to practice last October, nine months removed from shoulder surgery to correct an injury he originally suffered during the 2015 season. After the setback, he was shut down and missed the rest of the season. He spent a month in the Netherlands getting therapy on the shoulder.

      "I had pain last year," Luck said last Tuesday. "Pain, and I wasn't being honest with myself about it. ... There's not that right now.

      "...It's gone. That pain is gone, and it's going to stay that way."

      Reich, Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have each said they expect Luck ready for Week 1 of 2018, and Luck was adamant Tuesday that he'll be good to go when the Colts host the Bengals on Sept. 9.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bengals first-rounder Price tweets he has green light for camp
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 18, 2018

    Cincinnati Bengals rookie center Billy Price has received full medical clearance for training camp, according to a tweet he sent out Monday morning.

    • Price was limited in mandatory minicamp last week after suffering a torn pectoral muscle at the scouting combine on March 1.

      Despite the injury, Price was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 draft and landed a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option covering the 2022 season. The four-year deal is worth around $10 million.

      Price sustained a partially torn pectoral during bench press drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but following surgery, Price's surgeon sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams with a projection for a full recovery in no more than two months.

      Price said he felt a pop on the left side of his chest during his third rep on the 225-pound bench. He immediately set the bar on the rack and walked off the stage. Price was evaluated by the Indianapolis Colts' medical staff and he said MRI results reviewed the following morning showed that it was not a complete tear.

      A four-year starter and two-time All-American for the Buckeyes, Price played left guard, right guard and center.

      --Field Level Media

  • Vikings to honor late coach Green
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 18, 2018

    Late Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green will be inducted into the team's ring of honor in September.

    • Green, head coach of the Vikings from 1992-2001, was 101-70 (including playoffs) and won Sports Illustrated and Maxwell Club NFL Coach of the Year honors in 1998 as the conductor of one of the best offenses in league history. The Vikings established an NFL record that season with 556 points -- 34.8 per game (New England broke the record in 2007).

      "Dennis Green's impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day," Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement Monday. "In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL's top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We're extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor and we're looking forward to the induction in September."

      Mark, Zygi and Lenny Wilf, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, notified Green's wife Marie of the upcoming honor at team headquarters. The ceremony will be held at halftime of the Vikings' game against the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 23.

      Green, who also served as head coach in Arizona for three seasons, died of a heart attack at age 67 in July 2016.

      Green, who began his coaching career as an assistant to Bill Walsh with the San Francisco 49ers, has his own impressive coaching tree. It includes Hall of Famer Tony Dungy and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers. Dungy, Green's defensive coordinator in Minnesota for four seasons, became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl in 2007, and Tomlin -- a Dungy assistant in Tampa Bay -- became the second two years later.

      --Field Level Media

  • Roethlisberger: Focused on winning, not contract
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 17, 2018

    As other signal-callers around the league take turns signing record-setting extensions, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he is far more concerned with winning than being next in line to break the bank.

    • "I care about record-breaking Super Bowl wins and things like that," Roethlisberger, who has been to three Super Bowls and won two, told ESPN on Sunday. "That's more important to me."

      At age 36 and with two years remaining on his deal, Roethlisberger's extension might not be a pressing concern yet for the Steelers, who rarely address any contracts more than a year before they are set to expire. His current contract -- which, when signed in 2015, made him the second-highest paid quarterback in the league at $21.85 million annually, behind only Aaron Rodgers ($22 million) -- was signed as he was entering the final year of his previous deal.

      Likewise, Roethlisberger doesn't see his next deal as an urgent issue.

      "I have two years on my contract. I'm not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract," he said, per ESPN. "That's not my job. My job is to play football. I'll let my representation, the Steelers worry about all that stuff. To me, it's all about going out and playing now.

      "I think there are a lot more, maybe a lot more important people who need to get their deals done now. For me to do it two years out, if it doesn't make sense for the team, I'm not going to sit here and worry about it."

      Roethlisberger added that he is cognizant of the benefits of being paid less than top-of-the-market value, particularly in how that money can go to teammates and yield a stronger team. He specifically named a pair of his offensive linemen, both of whom have two years remaining on their deals.

      "It's important, too, to understand as quarterback of this team, sometimes you almost have to leave a little bit of money behind for other guys," Roethlisberger said. "...I know in two years, [Maurkice] Pouncey, [Marcus] Gilbert, there are other very important guys up that I hope get taken care of. Because if they aren't here, I'm not here. That's the way it is -- they are that good."

      Roethlisberger's annual salary now ranks 12th among quarterbacks, while his cap hit of $23.2 million ranks ninth. He will make $17 million between base salary and roster bonus this season, with the same figures (and same cap hit) on the books for 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Brady: 'End coming, sooner rather than later'
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, June 17, 2018

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he intends to play football "as long as I'm still loving it," but added he sees his retirement getting closer, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday.

    • "I think about it more now than I used to," Brady said. "I think I'm seeing that there's definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later."

      After Winfrey asked if that would mean age 43 or age 45, Brady, who turns 41 in August, said, "As long as I'm still loving it."

      "As long as I'm loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment," he continued. "But it's also -- I think what I've alluded to a lot in the ["Tom vs. Time"] docuseries was there's other things happening in my life too.

      "I do have kids that I love, and I don't want to be a dad that's not there driving my kids to their games. I think my kids have brought a great perspective in my life, because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them, or else they're going to look back on their life and go, 'Dad didn't really care that much.'"

      Brady has an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter with his wife, Gisele Bundchen, as well as a 10-year-old son with actress Bridget Moynihan.

      Among other topics covered in the interview was Brady's relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, which has been the subject of reports over the last six months suggesting there is friction between the two.

      When asked if there is "something going on" between he and Belichick, Brady replied, "Umm, no."

      "I mean, I love him," he continued. "I love that he's an incredible coach, mentor for me. And he's pushed me in a lot of ways. Like everything, we don't agree on absolutely everything. But that's relationships."

      One of the points of tension, according to reports, has been Brady's alternative approach to maintaining his health, including his preference to work out with personal trainer Alex Guerrero. Brady -- along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, who also has trained extensively with Guerrero in recent years -- was absent for the entirety of the Patriots' offseason program except for mandatory minicamp earlier this week.

      Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is appealing a four-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, also trains with Guererro.

      Brady was asked if he trains separately from the rest of the team.

      "No, I wouldn't say that, but I probably do some of my own techniques differently from the rest of the team," Brady said. "The team, I would say, like most teams are very systematic in their approach. And what I learned, I guess, is different from some of the things that are systematic but that work for me.

      "It's nothing that I don't talk about with my coach and owner [about]. 'This is what I want to do; this is what I need to be the best player I can be and hopefully you can support that.'"

      --Field Level Media

  • Beckham tells reporters he'll be at Giants' camp
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 16, 2018

    Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Saturday told reporters he'll be in attendance when the New York Giants open training camp on July 25.

    • "Yes sir. Yes you will," Beckham told reporters who asked if they'll see him at the Giants camp as he left a camp he's hosting for some 550 first- through eighth-graders in Metuchen, N.J., on Saturday.

      He also said "No holdout," when asked if he's planning such a move as he seeks a new contract.

      Beckham looked pretty well recovered at camp, showing off his trademark one-handed catches.

      Seeking a contract extension as he enters the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, Beckham showed for the start of organized team activities -- which are voluntary -- in May but had been absent for two weeks before showing up for mandatory minicamp last week.

      The 25-year-old's appearance for the start of OTAs was seen as a show of good faith with the organization, after his name was a popular one in trade rumors as a new coaching staff and general manager (Dave Gettleman) took over this offseason. Owner John Mara told reporters in May that there isn't a "sense of urgency" to extend Beckham, adding, "The contract will get done when it's supposed to get done."

      Beckham is set to make close to $8.5 million in 2018 and has made no secret of his desire for a new deal, suggesting last year he wanted to become the league's highest-paid player.

      While that won't happen, Beckham is likely angling to top the wideout market, which is led by Antonio Brown at $17 million per season. Three of Beckham's classmates from the 2014 draft, Mike Evans ($16.5 million annually), Sammy Watkins ($16 million) and Jarvis Landry ($15.1 million), received lucrative contracts this offseason to move them into the top five among receivers.

      Though he played in just four games last season due to injury, Beckham has averaged 107 catches, 1,506 yards and 13 touchdowns per 16 games in his four-year career.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Winslow Jr. accused of repeated sex crimes
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. is accused of two kidnappings and rapes of women in their 50s and two burglaries with intent to rape elderly women among five separate offenses since March, according to a criminal complaint obtained Friday by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    • Winslow, 34, pleaded not guilty in Vista, Calif., on Friday to eight felony charges and one misdemeanor. He remains jailed with no bail.

      On Thursday, Winslow was arrested and charged with two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit rape, two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy, one count of forcible oral copulation, two counts of residential burglary and one count of indecent exposure.

      According to the Union-Tribune, the complaint alleges the crimes were committed in five separate incidents: kidnapping, rape and forced oral copulation of a 54-year-old woman in March; kidnapping, rape and forced sodomy of a 59-year-old woman in May; indecent exposure in May; burglary with the intent to rape a 71-year-old woman in June; and burglary with the intent to rape an 86-year-old woman in June. Winslow faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

      --Martavis Bryant is facing a potential one-year suspension just six weeks into his fresh start with the Oakland Raiders. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the team fears Bryant could receive a third suspension for substance-abuse violations.

      The Raiders "are awaiting final word on the situation," which is believed to pertain to the substance-abuse policy, per the report.

      A fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Bryant showed talent in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, scoring 15 touchdowns in his first 21 career games despite being a secondary option on a team loaded with offensive talent. The Raiders acquired him for a third-round pick during the 2018 NFL Draft.

      --Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on substances of abuse, the NFL announced.

      It marks the second straight season in which Irving will miss the first four games due to a suspension. Last year, he was penalized for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.

      The 24-year-old Irving had seven sacks in just eight games last season. He also missed the final four games due to a concussion. Irving was a restricted free agent in the offseason, and the Cowboys tendered him for $2.91 million. He will lose just under $685,000 in salary.

      --The NFL announced it has suspended Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Donald Stephenson two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

      Stephenson, 29, will be eligible for reinstatement on Sept. 17 ahead of the Browns' Week 3 home game against the New York Jets. He is allowed to take part in offseason practices and play in preseason games.

      The six-year NFL veteran has missed all of Cleveland's offseason activities. His absence from this week's mandatory minicamp carries a fine of $84,435, per NFL.com.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cowboys DE Irving suspended four games
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on substances of abuse, the NFL announced on Friday.

    • It marks the second straight season in which Irving will miss the first four games due to a suspension. Last year, he was penalized for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.

      The 24-year-old Irving had seven sacks in just eight games last season. He also missed the final four games due to a concussion.

      Irving was a restricted free agent in the offseason and the Cowboys tendered him for $2.91 million. He will lose just under $685,000 in salary.

      Irving will be eligible to return to the Cowboys on Oct. 1 ahead of the team's Week 5 road game against the Houston Texans.

      Irving also was accused of domestic violence by a former girlfriend in April. The woman later recanted the story and no charges were filed after police in Frisco, Texas investigated the allegation.

      Irving spoke to reporters on Thursday and insisted he was a changed person.

      "There's more to my life than just football," Irving said. "I'm actually a real person. I have family issues, a lot of issues I've been dealing with. I can't go into much detail. Just know it's behind me. By the time the season starts, I won't be dealing with any of this BS anymore."

      --Field Level Media

  • Browns OL Stephenson suspended two games for substance abuse
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    The NFL announced on Friday that it has suspended Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Donald Stephenson two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

    • Stephenson, 29, will be eligible for reinstatement on Sept. 17 ahead of the Browns' Week 3 home game against the New York Jets. He is allowed to take part in offseason practices and play in preseason games.

      The six-year NFL veteran has missed all of Cleveland's offseason activities. His absence from this week's mandatory minicamp carries a fine of $84,435, per NFL.com.

      Stephenson was expected to compete for playing time vacated by retired 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas.

      After spending the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos, Stephenson joined the Browns on a one-year, $2.5 million contract in March. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Raiders WR Bryant could face another suspension
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Martavis Bryant is facing a potential one-year suspension just six weeks into his fresh start with the Oakland Raiders.

    • According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bryant could be facing a third suspension for substance-abuse violations.

      Acquired by the Raiders for a third-round pick during the 2018 NFL Draft, Bryant is in all too familiar territory with the NFL office awaiting his fate, per the report.

      A fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Bryant showed talent in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, scoring 15 touchdowns in his first 21 career games despite being a secondary option on a team loaded with offensive talent.

      Bryant was suspended for all of 2016 for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, and in 2017 was benched and temporarily demoted to the scout team in favor of 2017 second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster. Bryant finished the season 603 yards on 50 catches with three touchdowns.

      The 26-year-old has yet to play all 16 games in a season, and he has never started more than eight in a campaign.

      For his career, Bryant has 17 TDs and 1,917 yards receiving on 126 receptions.

      Bryant was acquired to join Jordy Nelson as new additions to the Raiders' wide receiving corps, helping to replace the released Michael Crabtree.

      --Field Level Media

  • Quinn: Falcons began 'conversations' with Jones
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Wide receiver Julio Jones skipped the Atlanta Falcons' minicamp this week, but head coach Dan Quinn says he's confident the sides are headed toward a resolution.

    • "The good news is that there are conversations that have begun," Quinn said as minicamp concluded Thursday.

      "We'll keep those private. I have a lot of faith in the organization and also in Julio that things will get resolved with good communications. I'm sure that'll be a part of it as well."

      Jones' decision to skip minicamp reportedly stems from an unsatisfactory response to a contract proposal in recent weeks. He can be fined just under $85,000 for missing camp.

      Jones has missed the Falcons' offseason conditioning program and organized team activities -- all of which is voluntary -- while training on his own in Alabama. The minicamp, the team's final practice before training camp starts in late July, is the only mandatory portion of the offseason, with players who don't attend subject to fines.

      NFL Network reported in May that Jones would like "some sort of correction or update" to his contract -- which still has two years remaining -- adding that the Falcons are "amenable" to working something out, in part because of how good of a player and teammate Jones is.

      Jones refuted the report a few weeks later, telling TMZ, "It's not even about (his contract)."

      "Everyone wants a story right now," Jones said. "There's no story. There's no bad blood with the team or anything like that. ... I'm not going anywhere."

      Team owner Arthur Blank said at the league's meetings in May that Jones is "going to be a Falcon forever," adding that any discussions about a new contract are "between us and him."

      The 29-year-old's annual average of $14.3 million currently ranks eighth among NFL wideouts, trailing four players (Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry and Davante Adams) who have signed new extensions since late December. He is set to make $12.5 million and count $14.9 million against the cap in 2019, with both figures also ranking eighth among wideouts.

      Antonio Brown is the league's highest-paid wide receiver at $17 million per year.

      Jones, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, has 585 receptions for 9,054 yards and 43 touchdowns during his seven NFL seasons.

      His absence has opened up additional reps at offseason practices for rookie Calvin Ridley, who the Falcons took 26th overall in April's draft out of Alabama, Jones' alma mater.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former 49ers T Fahnhorst dies at 66
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Keith Fahnhorst, who played offensive tackle for two Super Bowl championship teams with the San Francisco 49ers, died Tuesday at age 66, the team announced Thursday night.

    • Fahnhorst played all 14 of his NFL seasons in San Francisco after the 49ers made him a second-round draft pick (35th overall) in 1974 draft. He received All-Pro honors for the 1983 and 1984 seasons, then made the Pro Bowl after the 1985 season.

      He helped guide the 49ers to league titles after the 1981 and 1984 seasons.

      Fahnhorst's total of 193 games, including 160 starts, ranks second most among 49ers offensive linemen, trailing only Len Rohde's 208 appearances. In all, only seven San Francisco players have appeared in more games than Fahnhorst, who was a starter in all 10 of his playoff appearances.

      Fahnhorst twice was the recipient of the 49ers' Bobb McKittrick Award, which is given annually to the offensive lineman who best exemplifies the courage, intensity and sacrifice shown by the club's longtime offensive line coach.

      A native of Saint Cloud, Minn., Fahnhorst received a psychology degree from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He was an All-Big Ten tight end for the Golden Gophers in 1973, when he had 10 receptions for 102 yards. In three years at Minnesota, Fahnhorst compiled 29 catches for 392 yards and one touchdown.

      Fahnhorst is the second member of the 49ers' 1980s dynasty to die this month. Wide receiver Dwight Clark lost his extended battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on June 4. He was 61.

      --Field Level Media

  • Eagles receive 'blingy' rings
    By Field Level Media / Friday, June 15, 2018

    Philadelphia Eagles players told Jeffrey Lurie they wanted their championship rings to be "blingy," and the team owner delivered.

    • The players, coaches and organization employed received their Super Bowl rings Thursday night in Philadelphia.

      Each ring includes 219 diamonds, 17 green sapphires -- and a dog mask inscribed on the inside.

      The dog mask became a de facto team symbol as the underdog Eagles marched through the NFC playoffs and then upset the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at Minneapolis.

      "It was a fun process and it took waaaayyy more hours than I thought previously," Lurie said of designing the rings, according to the team's website. "For the people putting the ring on, I want them to feel a sense of pride and a love for the process. Pride in that they are a World Champion and an acknowledgment that this process, the entire season, was so much hard work, resilience, love for each other, and a sense of passion for the game. Nothing got in the way of this team."

      According to PhiladelphiaEagles.com, the pure 10-karat white gold rings feature:

      --The Eagles head logo with 52 pave-set diamonds, representing Super Bowl LII.

      --The Lombardi Trophy with 16 diamonds, representing the team's regular-season and postseason victory total.

      --Three diamonds above the trophy symbolizing the three postseason wins.

      --The bezel contains 127 diamonds, the total of the jersey numbers of the players who handled the ball after the snap on the "Philly Special" trick play that resulted in a Super Bowl touchdown. No. 30, running back Corey Clement, got the snap, then flipped the ball to No. 88, tight end Trey Burton, who passed the ball to No. 9, quarterback Nick Foles, on a fourth-and-goal play at the New England 1-yard line late in the first half.

      --Four green sapphires, representing the club's four championship years: 1948, 1949, 1960 and 2017-18.

      --A silhouette of Lincoln Financial Field, the words "Fly, Eagles Fly," the title of the team fight song, "We All We Got, We All We Need" and "Family" are also included.

      --The bottom of the inside has each player's signature engraved -- a first for a championship ring, per the team website.

      "It was an incredible season, and I wanted this ring to represent all the love and the dedication, the trust and the resilience of this football team and this organization and the fans," Lurie said, according to the team website. "Wherever we were, the fans were right there with us. Our home atmosphere was unbelievable. Eagles fans took over the stadium in Dallas, in Los Angeles, and at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. This ring is for all of us and I'm very proud of what we've accomplished."

      Eagles guard Brandon Brooks tweeted three photos of his ring with the caption, "New ice"

      --Field Level Media

  • Winslow Jr. arrested, charged with six felony sex crimes
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 14, 2018

    Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on Thursday and charged with kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy and oral copulation, residential burglary and indecent exposure, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's department.

    • Police issued a warrant Thursday morning and arrested Winslow at his Encinitas, Calif., home shortly after 1 p.m. PT, before conducting a search of his house.

      Winslow, 34, is charged with two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit rape, two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy, one count of forcible oral copulation, two counts of residential burglary and one count of indecent exposure. No information was revealed about when the alleged crimes occurred.

      Police lieutenant Michael Blevins told NBC San Diego that multiple victims are associated with the charges but declined to say how many. He added, per NBC San Diego, that the alleged incidents happened in the Encinitas area, but not in the mobile-home neighborhood where Winslow was arrested last week on suspicion of burglary.

      Winslow was arrested on the afternoon of June 7 after police were called for a suspected break-in at Park Encinitas, a mobile-home park. A neighbor had reported a suspicious person entering a residence that wasn't his, then leaving in a black SUV after being confronted. Winslow, who was a local prep star growing up in the area, was charged with one count of first-degree burglary and posted $50,000 bond that evening.

      Denise White, Winslow's publicist, said Saturday that his June 7 arrest "came down to a neighbor overreacting" and that her client "emphatically denies" any burglary attempt. She said Winslow was house-shopping for his wife's mother, adding that his wife goes to church with the couple that lives in the mobile home near which he was seen.

      A spokesperson for the sheriff's department said earlier this week the circumstances of the June 7 arrest were being investigated and that Winslow had given inconsistent and varied statements for why he was in the neighborhood.

      Winslow's arraignment for last week's arrest was scheduled for Thursday. After the most recent arrest, it has been moved to Friday.

      Winslow last played in the NFL in 2013 for the New York Jets, missing four games that season after being suspended under the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. He was arrested later that year for possession of synthetic marijuana.

      The Cleveland Browns drafted Winslow sixth overall out of Miami in the 2004 NFL Draft. He started 40 games in four seasons with the Browns before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He also briefly played for the New England Patriots.

      In 105 career games, Winslow finished with 469 catches for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns.

      Winslow is the son of Hall of Fame Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texans give McKinney lucrative five-year extension
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 14, 2018

    The Houston Texans signed linebacker Benardrick McKinney to a five-year extension on Thursday, the team announced.

    • "(McKinney) plays a key role in our defense and has been highly productive, but more importantly he is a core player who has developed into a team leader within our program," general manager Brian Gaine said in a statement. "We are excited to have him a part of our long term future here at the Texans."

      McKinney, who was entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract, will make $50 million over five years with $21 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

      The $10 million annual average ties Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks -- who signed a five-year, $50 million deal with $25 million guaranteed in April -- for fourth in the NFL among inside linebackers, per Spotrac. The guaranteed money ranks sixth.

      McKinney, 25, has led the Texans in tackles in each of the last two seasons, totaling 95 last year after racking up 129 in 2016, one shy of doubling the next-highest total on the team (65, Brian Cushing). He has 18 tackles for loss in that span -- second on the team behind Jadeveon Clowney -- while chipping in eight sacks and 19 quarterback hits.

      A second-round pick in 2015, McKinney has played in 46 of 48 possible games over his first three seasons, starting 43.

      Houston released Cushing, who spent the past nine years with the team, earlier this offseason. Zach Cunningham, a second-round pick in 2017 who started 13 games as a rookie in Cushing's absence, is expected to take over full-time next to McKinney inside the Texans' 3-4 defense.

      The team also announced the signing of third-round offensive lineman Martinas Rankin on Thursday, meaning all eight of Houston's 2018 draft picks are now under contract.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Haley says Taylor is far ahead of Mayfield
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 14, 2018

    Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley sees no controversy at quarterback in Cleveland. Tyrod Taylor is the clear starter over No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield.

    • "He has a long way to go," Haley, the first-year offensive coordinator, told reporters when asked about Mayfield as minicamp ended Thursday. "I'd say it's clear that Tyrod is the leader of this team. That is a big component of that position, also."

      Mayfield did not object to Haley's comments, telling reporters that Taylor "sets the bar high" and offers "a great situation for me to come into." The 23-year-old Mayfield threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns at Oklahoma last season and hopes to learn behind Taylor.

      Cleveland acquired Taylor, 28, from the Buffalo Bills this March in exchange for a third-round pick. He has started 43 games over the past three seasons, and he has passed for 9,056 yards, 51 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 58 career contests.

      --New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder tweaked his right knee after being rolled up on during a minicamp scuffle.

      Solder said the knee "hurts a little bit" when he met with reporters after the workout, while Giants first-year coach Pat Shurmur said Solder was "fine." The Giants' marquee offseason signing appeared to suffer the only injury in the scuffle that saw defensive tackle Damon Harrison swing the helmet of rookie guard Will Hernandez at Hernandez's head.

      The 30-year-old Solder signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in April to become the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. He spent the previous seven seasons with the New England Patriots.

      --As the 2018 season nears, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is backing off his assertion that it will be his last in the NFL.

      The 35-year-old told NFL Media in January "this will definitely be my last year coming up." At Panthers minicamp this week, however, Davis said he is "very open" to the idea of playing in 2019. He will begin this season serving a four-game PED suspension.

      Davis has started 146 regular-season games (out of 164 played) since breaking into the NFL in 2005 and has career totals of 1,015 tackles, 28 sacks, 18 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions. He has posted more than 100 tackles in six different seasons.

      --The Arizona Cardinals signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year contract extension.

      Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lee, who was entering the final year of a two-year, $3.9 million deal, is now under contract through 2020. The 35-year-old set a franchise record with a gross average of 47.3 yards in 2017.

      Arizona also signed wide receiver Greg Little and released wideout Cobi Hamilton.

      --The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Ronald Jones II to complete the signing of their eight-player draft class.

      Jones was one of three second-round picks by the team. He was the 38th overall draft pick, which carries a slot value of just over $7 million over four years.

      Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns for USC last season and was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's top running back. Overall, Jones rushed for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 301 yards and three scores in three seasons with the Trojans.

      --The New England Patriots agreed to extensions with fullback James Develin and long snapper Joe Cardona, according to multiple reports.

      Both players were entering the final year of their respective contracts. Develin's deal is reportedly for two years and $3.8 million with a $600,000 signing bonus, putting his annual average sixth in the league among fullbacks. Cardona's deal is for four years, per ESPN.

      Develin, who turns 30 next month, earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last season, his sixth year in New England since going undrafted out of Brown in 2012. He finished the year with six catches for 38 yards on 346 offensive snaps (30.3 percent), more than every other fullback in the league except the San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Juszczyk (397, 36.1 percent).

      --The New York Jets signed defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw and waived fellow defensive lineman Chris Jones.

      Upshaw, 28, has seven career sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 90 games (56 starts) during six NFL seasons. He spent his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before playing his last two for the Atlanta Falcons.

      Jones signed with the Jets on June 5. The soon-to-be-28-year-old entered the NFL in 2013 and has played in 41 games (28 starts) over four seasons with the Patriots, Miami Dolphins and 49ers, last playing in 2016.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cardinals extend P Lee through 2020, add WR Little
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 14, 2018

    The Arizona Cardinals signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lee, who was entering the final year of a two-year, $3.9 million deal, is now under contract through 2020.

      The 35-year-old set a franchise record with a gross average of 47.3 yards in 2017, his first season with the Cardinals. That figure ranked seventh in the NFL on the year, but Lee's 39.7 net average was 25th in the league and just a tenth better than his worst mark since 2010 (39.6 in 2014).

      The Cardinals signed Lee as a free agent last September after short stints with the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers. Lee spent the first 11 years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and three first-team All-Pro nods.

      Arizona also signed wide receiver Greg Little and released wideout Cobi Hamilton.

      A second-round pick of the Browns in 2011, Little hasn't appeared in a regular-season game since 2014. The 29-year-old has spent time on various teams' roster in the offseason since then, most recently playing in the 2016 preseason with the Buffalo Bills.

      Hamilton caught one pass for 8 yards in three games with the Houston Texans last year after hauling in 17 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns in 2016 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

      --Field Level Media