Category Archives: NFL

Ravens’ Lamar Jackson working out with Antonio Brown

Last year, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson drew attention for his offseason work with teammates Willie Snead IV and Chris Moore.

On Wednesday, his company was a little more famous.

In an afternoon session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — county seat of his native Broward County — the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player worked out alongside Ravens wide receiver and close pal Marquise “Hollywood” Brown; Alabama wide receiver and future first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, another Broward County native; and, most notably, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, a cousin of the Ravens’ Brown.

Responding to a tweet Wednesday showing Antonio Brown catching passes from Jackson, the Ravens star tagged the six-time All-Pro wide receiver and stated that they would do it again.

Brown, 31, a free agent, missed most of last campaign after two ugly departures.

The Oakland Raiders, who voided the guaranteed money in his contract after Brown missed nearly all of training camp, cut him in early September when he requested to be released.

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After quickly signing with the New England Patriots, Brown was named in a lawsuit by his former trainer, who alleged that he had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. Less than a week later, another woman accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Patriots cut Brown after just one game, and the NFL started an investigation into the allegations against him.

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Brown and Jackson have been active this week. On Tuesday, Brown appeared in social media posts alongside former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson and Antonio Brown at his cousin’s Florida gym. On Wednesday, both Brown cousins and Jackson worked out on a football field in what Jeudy told “The Rich Eisen Show” was Fort Lauderdale.

It could be their last public workout for a while. On Wednesday afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The order will go into effect at midnight Thursday and last for at least 30 days.

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Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin gives No. 12 to Tom Brady

Chris Godwin wore No. 12 in high school, college and his first campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His social media accounts, and ones owned by his girlfriend, reference the No. 12.

But, Tom Brady wears No. 12. And he will again.

According to the Buccaneers’ site, Godwin offered No. 12 to his new teammate Brady, who “gratefully accepted.” Godwin will wear No. 14.

Let the Brady jersey sales start, at least whenever the Bucs unveil their new uniforms.

Brady wore No. 10 in college at Michigan, but became well known for No. 12 while winning six Super Bowls with the Patriots. His nutrition company is called TB12. It’s a big deal for him.

It’s also a big deal for Godwin. Most players do get attached to their numbers. Godwin let it be known in an interview with “Bucs Beat” on the team’s Twitter page earlier this month that he wanted the number but would defer to Brady.

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“Obviously if he doesn’t want it, if he doesn’t make a big deal about it, I’m definitely going to keep it,” Godwin said. “We’ll see how that goes. Out of respect for what he’s done, what he’s accomplished and just the career he’s built for himself, you have to lean into that respect. We’ll see how that goes.”

In the end, Godwin wants the ball, and he endeared himself to his new quarterback.

There was no word if Brady gave Godwin anything for the number change, though that’s typical when a veteran asks for a younger player to change numbers.

In the story on the Buccaneers’ site, it says Godwin told team reporter Casey Phillips “there was no transaction between him and Brady as part of the switch,” though it’s unclear if that information was from the Godwin interview weeks ago before the two players had talked about the number.

Either way, Godwin wasn’t going to battle his new quarterback over a jersey number. Brady gets No. 12 and if Godwin gets plenty of catches, everyone will be happy.

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Buccaneers bring back veteran DL Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh will sign a one-year, $8 million deal to stay with the Buccaneers. The veteran defensive lineman’s desire to remain in Tampa Bay was partly due to his desire to continue playing for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. 

The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, Suh, who turned 33 in January, tallied 41 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, and a league-high two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns in 2019, his first campaign with the Buccaneers. A model of durability, Suh played in all 16 games last season for the ninth time in his 10-year career. 

A five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, Suh spent his first five NFL seasons with the Lions before spending three seasons with the Dolphins, helping Miami clinch a playoff berth in 2016.

He spent one season alongside Aaron Donald in Los Angeles, helping the Rams capture the NFC title during 2018. Suh showed no signs of slowing down last season, as he played a major role in Tampa Bay boasting the league’s best run defense last season.

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Along with the signing of Suh and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the Buccaneers have also franchise tagged edge rusher Shaquil Barrett.

Tampa Bay has also signed pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year deal. The team has also signed former Colts offensive tackle Joe Haeg, whose main mission in Tampa Bay will be providing sterling protection for Brady, who will turn 43 before the start of the 2020 season.

While Suh had drawn significant criticism for penalties earlier in his career, he was flagged just five times in 2019.

In 2015, Suh signed a six-year, $114 million contract, with $60 million guaranteed, with the Miami Dolphins to become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history at that time.

In three seasons with the Dolphins, Suh recorded 15.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. He then played one season with the Rams before joining the Buccaneers.

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Chiefs resigning DT Mike Pennel, FB Anthony Sherman

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly bringing back two members of their Super Bowl-winning team.

Defensive tackle Mike Pennel is returning to Kansas City on a one-year deal, NFL Network reported Tuesday. The Chiefs also are bringing back fullback Anthony Sherman on a one-year deal.

Pennel, who turns 29 on May 9, was a pleasant surprise for the Chiefs after they signed him as a free agent in the middle of the 2019 season. The team’s run defense improved significantly after he became part of the playing rotation for the final eight matches.

Pennel started in the Chiefs’ first two playoff games and was a backup in Super Bowl LIV, where he contributed to an interception with his hit on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second quarter.

Before joining the Chiefs, Pennel played three campaigns with the Green Bay Packers and two with the New York Jets.

He started 15 of the 69 games in which he played, and he has 126 career tackles with two sacks and a forced fumble.

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Sherman saw his role with the Chiefs decline again last campaign, when he was in the lineup on just 9% of the snaps and got the ball just six times. The Chiefs, however, continued to see value in Sherman, who was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals shortly after Andy Reid was hired as head coach in 2013.

Sherman, who turned 31 in December, threw the key block on Damien Williams’ 38-yard touchdown run that clinched Super Bowl LIV for the Chiefs.

He was a special-teams regular who finished tied for second on that unit with eight tackles last season.

Over nine NFL seasons, Sherman has rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown, which came during the 2017 campaign. He also has 65 career receptions for 547 yards and three touchdowns.

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Redskins get QB Kyle Allen in trade with Panthers

The Redskins have been talking about trades when it comes to Trent Williams and Quinton Dunbar, but on Monday, the team in fact completed a deal.

Washington acquired quarterback Kyle Allen from Carolina and sent a fifth-round pick to the Panthers in return for the passer, according to NFL Network reports. 

After some rumors about Cam Newton, the Burgundy and Gold landed a far less famous signal caller from Ron Rivera’s former franchise, but one that makes a lot of sense for his new one.

Allen, who just turned 24 years old, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018 out of the University of Houston after initially starting his college career at Texas A&M.

Allen started the 2018 campaign finale for the Panthers and started 12 more contests in 2019 in place of an injured Newton, before ceding the job to Will Grier for the final few weeks.

He concluded last year with a 5-7 record and a passer rating of 80. He threw 17 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and completed 62-percent of his passes.

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This trade gives the Redskins someone who’ll be very familiar with Rivera and Scott Turner’s plan on offense, something that could be even more valuable than normal thanks to the unusual offseason that may be ahead for the NFL. 

The trade also should put to rest any question of Dwayne Haskins’ status on the depth chart.

While Allen definitely flourished at times in Carolina — his best pro games top Haskins’ best — and he should be able to give some level of heat on Washington’s first-rounder, it’s hard to imagine him beating Haskins out as of now.

Some will take issue with the Redskins swapping a fifth-rounder for Allen — the Panthers had a surplus of signal callers after adding XFL star PJ Walker earlier Monday — but it’s a move that they clearly felt like they had to make before a possible release.

Washington now has a young, ideal backup in place who should be able to fill in for Haskins if need be, but overall, can move forward with Haskins as their No. 1 QB. Rivera may not come out and declare that, but his actions definitely indicate it.

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CB Pierre Desir joins Jets a day after Colts cut him

It didn’t take Pierre Desir long to find a new home. A day after the Colts made the somewhat shocking decision to release him, the veteran cornerback agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Jets, according to several reports.

Desir’s landing with the Jets should come as little surprise, given their need for corners and his familiarity with assistant general manager — and former Colts vice president of player personnel — Rex Hogan. In New York, Desir joins a handful of ex-Colts, including Henry Anderson, Tarell Basham, Nate Hariston, Matthias Farley, Jonotthan Harrison and the recently signed Josh Andrews.

Releasing Desir saved the Colts $6.85 million against the salary cap this campaign and leaves no dead money. The move was jarring given that it came only a year after Desir signed a three-year, $22.5 million extension to remain with the Colts. Though he suffered through a rough, injury-plagued 2019 season, he enjoyed a breakout campaign during the Colts’ playoff run in 2018.

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Desir was the Colts’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2019. 

A league source told IndyStar Colts Insider Joel A. Erickson that Desir was caught off guard by the Colts’ decision to release him. 

Without Desir, the Colts are both young and thin at cornerback. They have seven corners on the roster, but only Kenny Moore, Quincy Wilson, Rock Ya-Sin and Marvell Tell suited up for the Colts in a game last season. 

Desir played in 12 games, starting 11, and allowed five touchdown passes and a 95.6 passer rating, according to Pro Football Focus.

He broke into the league as a fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014. He played briefly for the Chargers before landing with the Colts in 2017.

Desir has five career interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

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Todd Gurley agrees to contract with Falcons after being cut by Rams

Todd Gurley is headed back to the Peach State.

The former Georgia Bulldog has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, one day after he was released from the Los Angeles Rams. The full details of the contract are unknown at this time.

“WE GOT HIM,” wrote the Falcons’ twitter account on Friday, accompanied by a short slideshow.

The Falcons cut ties with their feature running back Devonta Freeman last week.

Gurley, 25, was cut on Thursday shortly after rumors surfaced that the Rams planned to cut or trade their star running back. In response, he tweeted jocularly, “Damn I got fired on my day off #QuarantineAndChill.”

A Baltimore native, Gurley rejoins former Rams teammate Dante Fowler Jr., who signed a three-year, $48 million deal with the Falcons earlier this week.

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Gurley, the 10th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, inked a blockbuster four-year, $60 million contract extension with $45 million guaranteed in 2018, a deal that made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL at the time. His contract with the Rams carried a 2020 cap hit of $17.25 million with a dead-cap hit of $12.6 million, according to Spotrac.

The Rams will spread the dead-cap charges over two seasons and will free up $5.5 million in additional cap space as of June 2.

Gurley’s NFL career started with a 1,106 yard-season, winning him the 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He won the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2017, but has failed to replicate that success due in large part to injuries.

The three-time Pro Bowler tore his ACL in his junior year at Georgia and was held out of the end of the 2018 season with knee inflammation.

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Tom Brady says goodbye to Patriots on social media

In a move that sent shockwaves around the NFL on Tuesday morning, longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced across social media that he is “continuing elsewhere,” signaling an exit from the Patriots in 2020 free agency.

Brady entered the league as a sixth round pick, No. 199 overall, in the 2000 NFL Draft. Since receiving a starting opportunity in place of the injured Drew Bledsoe, he has gone on to conquer six Super Bowls and was named MVP in four of those appearances.

He has completed 6,377 of 9,988 passes for 74,571 yards, 541 touchdowns and 179 interceptions. The 42-year-old has been named an NFL MVP three times and was selected to 14 Pro Bowls. His claim as the NFL’s best ever quarterback is strong.

It will be weird to see Brady wearing a new uniform after 20 campaigns. It will be interesting to see how the legacies of head coach Bill Belichick and Brady divert, and potentially grow, in the coming years.

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NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said that the Buccaneers and Chargers had already extended an offer worth upwards of $30 million. According to Tom Curran of NBC Boston, an announcement on where Brady will be playing next is not awaited to come Tuesday. The Colts are not expected to get involved, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. They are satisfied in their pursuit of Philip Rivers. The Las Vegas Raiders might also be enticed.

New England is left with Cody Kessler and Jarrett Stidham on the roster at quarterback. Stidham, a fourth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, would be the most viable option to start in Brady’s absence. However, he only attempted four passes last season and one ended in an interception.

The Patriots hold the No. 23 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and could choose to pursue an alternative with that choice.

The other possibility is that the franchise pursues another veteran quarterback either in free agency or via trade. Jameis Winston, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater and Andy Dalton are some of the players expected to be available through those forms. 

Despite his absence on the roster, the Patriots will carry over $13.5 million in dead salary cap space due to a non-extension extension that he signed in August of 2019, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

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Kirk Cousins, Vikings agree on 2 year extension

The Vikings have decided to extend the quarterback’s contract by two years, according to his agent, Mike McCartney (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the contract extension is worth $66 million, making the total arrangement worth $96 million over three years with $61 million guaranteed.

Cousins, 31, signed a three-year, $84 million deal with Minnesota in 2018 after six campaigns in Washington. When he joined the Vikings, the team was coming off a 13-3 season in which it won the NFC North but lost in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2018, the Vikings took a step back, finishing second in the division and missing the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record. The setback didn’t last long, though. Cousins guided the Vikings to a 10-6 season and a wild-card berth in 2019, beating the New Orleans Saints in the postseason before falling to the San Francisco 49ers.

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He concluded his second season in Minnesota with 3,603 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 107.4 QB rating—the highest mark in his career.

Minnesota’s roster remains competitive in the NFC North, even as the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers remain in lockstep with their rival.

Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook and wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen form an electric group of offensive weapons. While the Vikings finished the year with just the 16th-best offense in the league, there is room to grow.

With the offense locked in behind Cousins, the team can focus on building around it as the Vikings search for their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Cousins was entering the final season of the fully guaranteed, three-year, $84 million contract he signed as a free agent in 2018. He was scheduled to carry a $31 million charge to Minnesota’s salary cap in 2020, so the impetus for doing a new deal now was to give the team with some immediate relief while giving Cousins some additional security.

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Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph will enter free agency

The Houston Texans and Johnathan Joseph have reciprocally agreed that the veteran cornerback will enter free agency, the team informed Wednesday.

Joseph, 35, has spent the past nine campaigns with the Texans. He had 51 tackles, 13 pass breakups and one interception in 14 matches last season.

“Johnathan has been a consummate professional, team captain and one of the leaders of our defense for the past nine years. It is rare for a player to sustain such a high level of play for over a decade and that says so much about him and his dedication to the game,” the Texans said in a statement.

“He is an exceptional teammate, mentor, husband and father. His impact on and off the field makes him quite possibly the most celebrated free agent signing in franchise history. The entire Houston Texans organization thanks Johnathan for the contributions he made to our team and the Houston community. We wish him and his family all the best as he pursues free agency.”

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In 2019, Joseph played fewer than 60% of Houston’s snaps — the lowest percentage of his career — because starting Week 13, he did not play regularly. In 2018, he played more than 75% of the team’s snaps.

After the Texans lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs, Joseph said he’s not thinking about retirement.

Joseph has been selected to two Pro Bowls in 14 NFL seasons and has 31 interceptions, 195 passes defensed, 7 forced fumbles and 754 tackles in his career.

Joseph has proven he can still start for a NFL team, but will likely have to wait until the second wave of free agency to get that chance. 

The Texans have just Andre Johnson and Bob McNair in their “Ring of Honor.” There’s an excellent chance Joseph will join them someday.

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