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NFL News Wire
  • NFL notebook: Steelers' Conner reflects on cancer diagnosis
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

    • Speaking recently on the "Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?" podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander -- better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud -- Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

      "I'm rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends," Conner, 24, said. "And then I'm rehabbing and (stuff and I get) night sweats, bro. I'm getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who (doesn't) love sleep? That's the worst (stuff) in the world. ... And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart ... I got tumors growing all around it, and it's pressing."

      Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

      "The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you (don't) get this treated, you (have) about a week at the rate it's growing.'"

      --A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

      The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a "quarterback premium" and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

      9News.com's Mike Klis reported that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses. Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.

      --Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

      "We're going to take our time," Sanders told reporters. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."

      Sanders did not say if he'll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a "realistic" timeline earlier this month.

      --Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

      Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro careers.

      Ayers finishes his NFL career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts), including a career-high nine sacks in 2015 with the New York Giants.

      --The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games for violating its policy on substance abuse.

      Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge -- a felony -- in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

      Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4's game at Chicago.

      --Former Philadelphia Eagles safety and special teams ace Chris Maragos announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons, as he underwent his third knee surgery since 2017.

      The 32-year-old tore his ACL during the 2017 season and hasn't played since, spending all of last season on the PUP list before being released by the Eagles in February. He announced on Twitter he was having his third surgery on the knee Tuesday.

      An undrafted product out of Wisconsin, Maragos played in 99 games (three starts) for San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia, spending his last four seasons with the Eagles. Over his last six seasons, 80.9 percent of his snaps came on special teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: 'Pawn Stars' helped May recover Super Bowl rings
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Former NFL offensive lineman Mark May will recover his two Super Bowl rings after a hotel employee was arrested trying to sell them at the shop featured on cable's "Pawn Stars."

    • May last wore the rings at a charity event in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February, when he stayed at a Phoenix hotel. After they were reported to be missing, the hotel's lead engineer, 43-year-old Marcel Behnert, later took the rings to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, according to a story from ABC15 in Phoenix.

      The shop, which uses a sports memorabilia collector named Diamond Don, called May about the potential transaction on May 2, and the shop alerted Mesa police a day later.

      Mesa police said Behnert was asking to sell the rings -- engraved with May's name and his jersey number from title teams with the Washington Redskins in the 1982 and 1987 seasons -- for a combined $12,000.

      "When someone comes in like that, they smell a rat if you don't have a receipt or if you don't have a story or proof of ownership," May told ABC15. "Once (the pawn shop owners) smelled a rat, they turned it over to Diamond Don, and he's like, 'No, I know Mark May. I know that he's not pawning his rings to give them to some guy.'

      "The bottom line of the story is the integrity of the guys on Pawn Stars for what they do and their due diligence. When you watch their show, they say, 'If you don't have proof, we don't want it.'"

      Authorities in Mesa and Las Vegas worked with the shop to get Behnert to return to the store, where he was arrested by undercover officers, charged with theft and trafficking in stolen property. Police said watches belonging to May were also found in a safe in Behnert's home, according to ABC15.

      May, a former ESPN analyst who lives in the Phoenix area, told the TV station that he will reclaim his rings from the Las Vegas police next week.

      "I thought they were gone forever," May said. "I attribute (their recovery) to probably four or five things. One is luck. I'm lucky to get them back. Two, good police work by the Las Vegas Police Department. Three, the integrity of the Pawn Star guys and Diamond Don.

      "And four, probably greed and stupidity by the guy who was trying to sell them -- one, to a pawn shop, because nationwide, they're all connected when something like that comes up. And two, to do it on television when they tell you point blank: If you don't have a receipt or you don't have a proof of ownership, and it's something that's high-priced, we're not interested."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Bucs DE Ayers announces retirement
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

    • Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro career.

      A first-round pick (18th overall) out of Tennessee by the Denver Broncos in 2009, Ayers underwhelmed in Denver with 12 sacks and 37 QB hits over five seasons, starting 27 of 72 games.

      He then joined the New York Giants in 2014 and impressed with 14 sacks and 36 QB hits in 24 games over two seasons, including career highs of nine and 22, respectively, in 2015. With the Bucs, he had 6.5 sacks and 19 hits in 2016 before slipping to two and 16, respectively, in his final season.

      Ayers finishes his career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts).

      --Field Level Media

  • Vikings RB Thomas suspended three games
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games on Tuesday for violating its policy on substance abuse.

    • Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge -- a felony -- in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

      Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4's game at Chicago.

      The 23-year-old played in five games as an undrafted rookie in 2018, rushing for 30 yards on eight carries and catching two passes for 21 yards. Of his 88 snaps, 59 came on special teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos WR Sanders limited to start camp
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Tuesday he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

    • "We're going to take our time," Sanders told reporters. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."

      Sanders did not say if he'll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a "realistic" timeline earlier this month.

      Players report to camp on Wednesday, with practices beginning Thursday.

      Sanders, 32, tore his Achilles in practice after 12 games last season, finishing with 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores. He has 118 catches for 1,423 yards and six scores over the last two seasons, after topping 75 catches, 1,000 yards and five scores in each of the previous three seasons and earning two Pro Bowl nods.

      The 10th-year veteran is entering his sixth season in Denver and the final year of his contract, in which he's due $10.25 million.

      --Field Level Media

  • Steelers RB Conner: Doctors gave me 'about a week' to live in '15
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

    • Speaking recently on the "Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?" podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander - better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud - Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

      "I'm rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends," Conner, 24, said. "And then I'm rehabbing and [stuff and I get] night sweats, bro. I'm getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who [doesn't] love sleep? That's the worst [stuff] in the world ... And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart ... I got tumors growing all around it, and it's pressing."

      Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

      "The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you [don't] get this treated, you [have] about a week at the rate it's growing.'"

      After sending cancer into remission and rehabbing his knee, Conner returned to the Panthers in 2016, gaining 1,394 all-purpose yards and scoring 20 touchdowns.

      The Steelers selected Conner in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After carrying the ball just 32 times as a rookie, he enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, taking over for holdout Le'Veon Bell.

      In 2018, Conner had 973 rushing yards and added 497 receiving yards and 13 scores. He was selected to the Pro Bowl.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Broncos in stalemate with second-round QB Lock
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

    • The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a "quarterback premium" and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

      9News.com's Mike Klis reported Tuesday that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses.

      Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, according to The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.

      Both are due to report Wednesday with the first on-field workout scheduled for Thursday.

      The NFL slotting system dictates the outlay of money for all players in any slot in the draft. Based on that system, Risner would get a four-year contract worth $7.1 million, including a signing bonus of $3.214 million.

      Lock would get a four-year deal worth $7 million and a $3.119 million bonus.

      --Field Level Media

  • Free agent RB Collins undergoes leg surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Free agent running back Alex Collns is recovering from surgery for a broken leg, delaying his opportunity to catch on with a team before the start of the NFL season.

    • NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said the injury took place about two weeks ago but it's unknown how the injury occurred. In an Instagram post on Monday night, Collins said he isn't giving up on resuming his NFL career.

      "I refuse to be discouraged," wrote Collins, who most recently played for the Baltimore Ravens. "Instead, I have faith and am optimistic about the process. I believe that all that has happened is making me physically and emotionally stronger, and is necessary for me to succeed in life."

      Seattle drafted Collins in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he appeared in 11 games for the Seahawks that year, carrying the ball 31 times.

      He joined the Ravens a year later, leading the team in rushing yards (973) and yards from scrimmage (1,160). He shared the duties with Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon in 2018, and scored eight touchdowns and gained 411 rushing yards before ending the season on injured reserve with a foot injury.

      The Ravens waived Collins in March after he was arrested following a car accident near the team's headquarters. He was charged with possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a handgun in a vehicle.

      Rapoport reported that with Collins' legal case close to settled, teams had expressed interest and he was expected to play in 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: NFLPA filing grievance vs. Texans on Clowney's behalf
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Jadeveon Clowney is a defensive end based on snap counts from the 2018 season, but the Houston Texans used the franchise tag designation for an outside linebacker -- a savings to the team of about $1.7 million in 2019 salary.

    • That's why the NFLPA plans to file a grievance on Clowney's behalf, according to multiple reports.

      Clowney, 26, was given the franchise tag to keep him from free agency before the March deadline. The team entered an outside linebacker designation, which carries a one-year tender value of $15.43 million. Clowney will play at a rate of $15.9 million for next season based on the required increase over his 2018 salary.

      A franchised defensive end carries a $17.128 million tag.

      According to ESPN Stats & Information, Clowney played 729 snaps at defensive end in 2018. He played more at defensive tackle (101) than outside linebacker (33).

      The Baltimore Ravens and Terrell Suggs, listed as a defensive end and outside linebacker, encountered a similar situation in 2008 over a difference of about $800,000.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Falcons reach deal with DT Jarrett
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday's franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

    • Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

      That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox.

      Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

      --Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal, beating the deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

      Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family -- which maintained residence in Chicago -- was a top priority.

      Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

      --Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans did not reach an agreement on a contract at the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

      Clowney, by rule, will earn the $15.97 million one-year tender value for linebackers. However, he is expected to file a grievance to seek to be listed as a defensive end, which would bump his franchise-tag value to $17.13 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

      Houston's front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans had shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

      --The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

      Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman's neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

      The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with "bruising, swelling and abrasions," according to NJ.com.

      --Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

      Norton's agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old's final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

      Norton, who played for the University of Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident. Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report.

      --Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury he sustained last November.

      His wife, Elizabeth, announced the news on her Instagram account, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

      Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula, but then he experienced an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16. The 35-year-old veteran said he hasn't given up hope of playing again.

      --Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement.

      Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010. He played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

      He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

      --The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

      Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

      Cooper's career has been injury-plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

      --Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

      The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011. Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

      Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raiders sign former first-round pick Cooper
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

    • Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

      Cooper's career has been injury plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

      He played two seasons with Arizona (2014-15), followed by single seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

      The Raiders will be without guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

      In a corresponding move, the Raiders waived wide receiver Montay Crockett. The team signed the 25-year-old in June.

      He has never appeared in an NFL game, despite spending time in the Cardinals, Redskins, Jacksonville and Green Bay organizations.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Falcons reach $68M deal with DT Jarrett
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday's franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

    • Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

      That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox.

      Jarrett was ranked as the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades. He had 52 tackles and a career-high six sacks in 14 games.

      Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

      --Field Level Media

  • Redskins QB Smith walking without brace
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing the brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury suffered last November.

    • His wife, Elizabeth, announced the achievement on her Instagram account on Monday, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

      "The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy," she wrote. "Although it's not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It's one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched."

      Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula and then suffered from an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16.

      The 35-year-old veteran told a Washington, D.C., reporter last month that he hasn't given up hope of playing again.

      "That's the plan," Smith told Angie Goff on her Oh My Goff podcast. "There are steps I've got to conquer before I get there. ... Learning to run again. That's a big one. I'm already throwing. Throwing isn't a problem, but dropping, moving around, change of direction."

      He said then that everyday events for most were milestones for him.

      "The steps I'm at now are lifestyle steps," he said. "I'm still working on playing basketball with my kids and running around after my daughter. Those are things I have to conquer anyway until I get to the point where I'm walking on the field. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that's a real possibility."

      The Redskins acquired Smith from Kansas City before the 2018 season. He signed a four-year contract extension that put him under contract for five years and $111 million. It included $71 million in injury guarantees.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giants suspend S Moore following alleged assault
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore on Monday pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

    • Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman's neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

      The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with "bruising, swelling and abrasions," according to NJ.com.

      Police were not called to the scene. The woman, who had been dating Moore since January, filed a complaint with the authorities on Saturday, per NJ.com.

      New Orleans drafted Moore in the sixth round out of Boston College in 2018. After being waived by the Saints on Sept. 1, he was claimed by the Giants and played 10 snaps in two games as a rookie.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bengals G Boling retires after eight seasons
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired Monday after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

    • The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011.

      "After eight years in the NFL, it is time for me to step away from the game due to medical reasons," Boling said in a statement. "This is not an easy decision, but it is the right one for me, my wife Kelly and our two young girls. I want to thank the Brown family for giving me the opportunity to play my entire career with the Bengals. I also want to thank my teammates, coaches, fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career."

      Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

      "Clint is a first-rate person, someone we all counted on and looked up to," said Bengals president Mike Brown in a statement. "As a lineman, he never got the credit he deserved. That is often the case with good players who do their jobs well, but around the team, he was highly respected and appreciated beyond his playing abilities."

      Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

      --Field Level Media

  • 49ers, PK Gould agree to deal, beat franchise deadline
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal on Monday, beating the 4 p.m. deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

    • Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family -- which maintained residence in Chicago -- was a top priority.

      Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

      But according to multiple reports, the 49ers found the salve over the weekend in a fully guaranteed $10.5 million contract that can become a $19 million, four-year deal.

      The 49ers have the option to trigger the final two years of the contract at $4.5 million (2021) and $4.1 million (2022), per reports.

      Gould has made 72 of his 75 field goal attempts in two seasons with the team and led the NFL in field goal percentage (97.1) last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • LB Morgan announces retirement at age 30
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement on Monday.

    • Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010.

      "It's been real," Morgan wrote in an Instagram post. "I've been playing this game since I was 9 years old. Over the years it's brought a lot of struggle, triumph, adversity and joy to my life. It's help shape me into the man I am today. But for the longest the game was 'who I was'..it was my IDENTITY. I didn't know who Derrick Morgan was outside of this game. I tried to shake this reality in a business that tells you your value IS your performance. However the one thing that helped me evolve as a man over the years was knowing that I couldn't play this game forever..that there was life after football. I realized early on the importance of this platform and my goal has been to use it for good."

      Morgan played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

      "I wanted to leave the game on my OWN terms. And over 9 years, 5 head coaches, 9 surgeries, and seeing a locker room turn over multiple times I am thankful to say that I accomplished both of these goals," Morgan wrote on Instagram.

      He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dolphins' Norton to undergo sixth surgery
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery Monday since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

    • Norton's agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old's final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

      Norton, who played collegiately at Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident.

      Dolphins general manager Chris Grier visited Norton the next day and head coach Brian Flores cut his vacation short and has stopped by every day. Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz has also been a regular visitor, according to Rapoport.

      Norton spent the 2018 season on the Panthers' practice squad after Carolina selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Dolphins signed him in December.

      NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

      Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report. He suddenly pulled his F-250 truck in front of a Maserati and clipped it, sending his car into a concrete barrier. The other driver was not injured and the report said drugs or alcohol were not believed to be a factor.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: No deadline deal for Texans, franchised Clowney
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans are not expected to reach agreement on a contract Monday, the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

    • According to multiple reports, the two sides are not engaged in negotiations at this time.

      Clowney, by rule, would earn the $15.967 million one-year tender value for 2019 if he doesn't sign a new deal by 4 p.m. ET Monday.

      Houston's front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans have shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

      Without a deal in place, Clowney is not expected to participate in training camp and could opt to stay away from the team until September, returning in time to avoid fines and prepare for Week 1 of the regular season.

      The 26-year-old pass rusher was named to each of the past three Pro Bowls, tallying 53 tackles for loss over that period. He has 29 sacks since the Texans made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2014.

      Prior to the draft, there were rumblings Clowney could be available via trade, but Clowney's camp has said he did not request a trade out of Houston.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Security guard presses charges against Elliott
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

    • The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Saturday, Elliott's camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

      "Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion," Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. "Kyle Johnson's filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations."

      TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released. The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident.

      --Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues.

      "I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention," Caldwell said in a statement. "I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family."

      Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season. The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores' staff in February.

      --Running back Melvin Gordon said he doesn't want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will "do what I need to do" to get paid.

      "I want to end up with the Chargers. That's my home," Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, via NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk. "I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'Man, I don't want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.' Like that's the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. ... I can't forget them for that. But it's an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid."

      Gordon's agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand. In April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019. "I'm prepared to do what I need to do," Gordon said. "That's just what it's going to be."

      --An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

      Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney's office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

      Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Simmons, 23, did not survive, while Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

      --Field Level Media

  • Security guard presses charges against Elliott for Vegas incident
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Security guard Kyle Johnson has pressed charges against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a May 19 incident in Las Vegas, Fox 5 Las Vegas reported.

    • The report said Las Vegas police will investigate to determine if official charges against Elliott should be filed. The incident occurred during the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

      On Saturday, Elliott's camp accused Johnson of extortion in a statement released to the NFL Network.

      "Over the course of the past several weeks, Mr. Elliott has been the target of extortion," Elliott lawyers Scott Rosenblum and Jason Lampert said in the statement. "Kyle Johnson's filing of a criminal complaint against Mr. Elliott in connection with the Las Vegas incident is the latest attempt to do so. Mr. Elliott and his team are in contact with all of the proper authorities and are fully cooperating with them in their investigations."

      TMZ has aired video footage of the incident in which Elliott is seen leaning against a security guard, who fell to the ground when the metal railing behind him toppled over. Elliott was handcuffed and briefly detained by Las Vegas police around 3 a.m. before being released.

      The NFL announced on July 3 that Elliott will not be disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell determined there wasn't a violation of the personal conduct policy, the league said.

      Johnson was displeased with the NFL's decision so he filed charges on Friday.

      "To just not have anything happen to him, the NFL is basically saying, 'Hey, it's OK for you to go to Vegas, get obliterated, then go shove people over fences,'" Johnson told Fox 5.

      After Elliott met with Goodell earlier this month, the Dallas star posted a note on his Twitter account afterward, saying he needs to make better decisions. He also said he apologized to Johnson at the time of the incident.

      "I've worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me," Elliott wrote. "I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision.

      "I need to work harder to ensure I do not put myself in compromised situations in the future. I am rededicating myself to use all of the resources that the league has made available. But in the end, it is up to me and I am determined not to be in this position again."

      Elliott has had personal conduct issues in the past, most notably receiving a six-game suspension in 2017 due to allegations of abuse made by a former girlfriend.

      Elliott, who turns 24 on July 22, rushed for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games last season. He also caught three touchdown passes.

      --Field Level Media

  • RB Gordon: 'Hopefully I end up a Charger'
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Running back Melvin Gordon said Saturday he doesn't want to leave the Los Angeles Chargers, but he will "do what I need to do" to get paid.

    • "I want to end up with the Chargers. That's my home," Gordon said at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, per NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk. "I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'Man, I don't want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.' Like that's the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. They changed my life. Of all 32 teams, that was the team that called me. I can't forget them for that.

      "But it's an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That's just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger. That's the goal. I want to end up with the Chargers."

      Gordon's agent, Fletcher Smith, said earlier this week that his client will not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand.

      "I'm prepared to do what I need to do," Gordon said. "That's just what it's going to be."

      Gordon signed a four-year, $10.67 million deal as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and in April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for $5.61 million for 2019.

      The 26-year-old has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, the two-time Pro Bowl selection has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.

      Gordon did not attend voluntary workouts with the Chargers but did report to minicamp in June. The team is scheduled to open training camp July 25.

      Gordon said he was not sure where talks stand.

      "My guess is as good as yours right now," he said. "We're going to give them some time and see where it heads. We've still got some time out before training camp. But hopefully things get figured out."

      --Field Level Media

  • Teen arrested in shooting of Giants' Ballentine
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    An 18-year-old Kansas man has been charged in the April shooting that injured New York Giants rookie Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.

    • Francisco Alejandro Mendez faces seven felony counts, including murder in the first degree, according to the Shawnee County (Kansas) District Attorney's office. He is being held on $1 million bond.

      Simmons and Ballentine, teammates at Washburn University, were shot while walking home from a party in Topeka on April 28, just hours after the Giants selected Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

      Simmons, 23, did not survive. Ballentine was shot in the backside and spent several days in the hospital.

      Ballentine, also 23, began practicing with the Giants in late May and is expected to make a full recovery.

      Police made the arrest after connecting the shooting to two aggravated robberies that occurred in the area on April 27 and 30, ESPN reported.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dolphins assistant Caldwell takes leave of absence
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Miami Dolphins assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is taking a leave of absence due to health issues..

    • "I will be stepping back due to some medical complications that require my full attention," Caldwell said in a statement Saturday. "I want to thank (owner) Stephen Ross, (general manager) Chris Grier, Coach (Brian) Flores and the rest of the organization for the support they have given me and my family."

      Caldwell, 64, will serve as a consultant for the team during the 2019 season.

      The former Colts and Lions head coach joined first-year head coach Flores' staff in February.

      "Our focus is on Jim's health and supporting him in every way that we can," Flores said. "With his knowledge and experience, Jim has been an invaluable member to our coaching staff and will continue to serve as a sounding board for me throughout the season."

      Caldwell had a 62-50 record as a head coach with Indianapolis (2009-11) and Detroit (2014-17). He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: 18-game sked under discussion
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 12, 2019

    While the concept of a future 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal reported a potential compromise Friday.

    • In early negotiations regarding the league's current collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.

      Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.

      NFL Players' Association executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players don't have any incentive to support it.

      "I don't see an 18-game schedule -- under any circumstance -- being in the best interest of our players," Smith told ESPN. "If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we'll look at it. I haven't seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players."

      The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams. The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by $2.5 billion league-wide.

      --New Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito will have to wait a few weeks to make his debut with his new team after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2019 season.

      The discipline, for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, comes three months after he pleaded guilty in Arizona to three misdemeanors, two of which involved his 90-year-old grandmother.

      Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty to a pair of Class 1 misdemeanors after he punched a hole in the wall of his grandmother's Arizona home in August of last year and damaged the control box of a security system. Incognito was reportedly upset after the death of his father and blamed his grandmother.

      Also in Arizona, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, stemming from an arrest in August of 2018, two days after the incident at his grandmother's home.

      Incognito is eligible to return to the Raiders on Sept. 16, the day following a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

      --New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL announced.

      The league stated that Herndon can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Oct. 7, after their Oct. 6 game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

      Herndon pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to a charge of driving while intoxicated, stemming from a multi-car accident in June 2018 in Rockaway Township, N.J.

      According to a Rockaway Township court spokesperson, he paid a $639 fine and his license was revoked for 90 days in New Jersey.

      Herndon was arrested June 2, 2018, after his SUV allegedly hit another car at 4:45 a.m. on Interstate 80 about 20 minutes from the Jets' facility in Florham Park, N.J. Herndon's vehicle flipped and slid about 700 feet, and the vehicle he hit -- which was transporting a vintage car -- was totaled, according to police.

      --New England Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts, who says he was harassed by police in the driveway of his Fort Bend County home in Texas during a traffic stop in March, wants a further investigation into the incident.

      Jennine Hovell-Cox, Roberts' attorney, told USA Today Sports that she made a request to the district attorney of Fort Bend County to further investigate the sheriff's department over the March 10 incident, when the player was pulled over for speeding.

      Roberts, who is heading into his fourth season with the Patriots after they made him a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Houston, was stopped in Richmond, a Houston suburb, allegedly for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also received a citation for not providing proof of insurance.

      The dashcam video of the incident obtained by USA Today shows Roberts, 25, getting out of his sports car with his hands in the air after arriving at the driveway of his home.

      "Get back in the car," Fort Bend County Sheriff deputy Adam Watkins tells Roberts.

      "This is my house," says Roberts, who does get back in his car.

      Watkins, calling for backup about "the big black man," also says, "I told him to get back in. He wouldn't comply. I had to yell at him pretty hard."

      Watkins also told Roberts' wife to return to their home after she checked to see what was happening. Charges were not officially filed.

      --Field Level Media