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  • Steelers promote Matt Canada to offensive coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada was promoted to offensive coordinator on Monday.

    • Canada, 49, replaces Randy Fichtner, whose contract was not renewed after the 2020 season.

      Canada has a deep background as a playcaller in the college ranks and was the Steelers' quarterbacks coach for one season. His stops at the college level include an interim head coach role at Maryland in 2018.

      He also worked at LSU, Indiana, NC State, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

      The Steelers also named Alfredo Roberts as tight ends coach on Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tom Brady’s parents had coronavirus; father was hospitalized
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    The father of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said both he and his wife contracted the coronavirus earlier this year, forcing Tom Brady Sr. to be hospitalized for three weeks.

    • Tom Brady Sr. told ESPN Radio on Monday that he and his wife, Galynn, were "sick as a dog." The couple, both 76, missed the first two games of the younger Brady's debut in Tampa, the first time they've ever missed a game.

      "We've never missed a game at Michigan or New England or wherever," Tom Brady Sr. told ESPN. "For the first two games when I was in the hospital, I didn't even care if they were playing -- much less missing the game. It was a matter of life and death, just like anybody who goes to the hospital. That's serious stuff."

      The elder Brady said their bout with the virus "stressed out" their son.

      "Tommy fought through it, and so now it's in the rearview mirror," he said. "We're healthy, we're happy and everything is good."

      --Field Level Media

  • Suspended WR Martavis Bryant signs with CFL
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who remains indefinitely suspended by the NFL, signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

    • The team announced his signing on social media but did not reveal contract length or financial terms.

      The NFL suspended Bryant on Dec. 14, 2018 -- his third suspension in four seasons -- for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

      Bryant, 29, played college football at Clemson and was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his first two seasons, he was a productive complement to All-Pro Antonio Brown, catching 76 passes for 1,314 yards with 14 touchdowns in 21 games.

      He first was suspended in August 2015 and missed four games. He subsequently was suspended for the entire 2016 season before the indefinite ban.

      Bryant most recently played in Oakland in 2018 with the Raiders while appealing the third suspension. In eight games that season, Bryant totaled 19 receptions for 266 yards. He has career totals of 145 catches for 2,183 yards and 17 touchdowns in 44 games (18 starts).

      He applied for reinstatement to the NFL in 2019, but it has not been granted.

      The CFL preseason is scheduled to begin in May. The league took 2020 off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bills WR Cole Beasley played on broken leg in playoffs
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley on Monday said he played the entire postseason on a partially broken fibula.

    • Beasley said the injury, which occurred in Week 16 against the New England Patriots, won't require offseason surgery. Beasley missed the Bills' Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins but played in all three playoff games.

      "It's not a full break. It was bad the first game I played but after that you take a few meds and suck it up," Beasley, 31, said Monday during the team's season-ending conference call with reporters.

      "I knew the (Week 17) game was probably out of the question, they kind of told me it was. That one hurt a little bit," he said. "But there was no way that I was gonna miss the playoff game, especially after watching in Week 17. I was gonna figure it out, one way or another."

      Beasley caught seven passes for 88 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. He had seven catches for 57 yards in the wild-card win over Indianapolis. He played 36 snaps against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoff game but didn't record a catch on two targets.

      During the regular season, Beasley had 82 catches for 967 yards and four TDs for the Bills.

      --Field Level Media

  • Colts elevate Marcus Brady to offensive coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    The Indianapolis Colts promoted from within to fill their offensive coordinator opening, elevating Marcus Brady to replace Nick Sirianni, the team announced Monday.

    • Brady has been an assistant on head coach Frank Reich's staff for three seasons, the past two as quarterbacks coach. Sirianni left to become the head coach in Philadelphia.

      Brady becomes the fourth Black offensive coordinator in the league, joining new Lions OC Anthony Lynn, the Buccaneers' Byron Leftwich and the Chiefs' Eric Bieniemy.

      Brady played (2002-08) and coached (2009-17) in the Canadian Football League, winning three Grey Cups as an assistant coach. He was the offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argonauts from 2013-17.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bruce Arians: Playing home Super Bowl 'huge advantage'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will become the first team in 55 years to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium on Feb. 7.

    • "It's a huge advantage," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Monday.

      It could prove an even bigger edge than normal in a season that continues to be impacted at every turn by the coronavirus pandemic.

      The traditional Super Bowl media day and all other interviews throughout the week, including postgame, will be done virtually. ESPN reported before Sunday's conference championship games that the winning teams would not arrive in Tampa until at least Feb. 5.

      Of course, Tampa Bay is not encumbered by those travel restrictions.

      "We stay in our own beds, sleep here and just do our normal routine," Arians said Monday after the Bucs returned from their 31-26 win at Green Bay in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. "Nothing is out of the ordinary until we hit the media sessions next week.

      "Just to be able to stay in your routine, sleep in your bed and all that stuff."

      However, Arians also sees an advantage for the Chiefs compared to typical Super Bowls.

      Kansas City will arrive to the host city without the normal distractions of media requirements and friends and family trying to come to town for the festivities.

      "I think it really helps them," Arians said. "Normally, when you get to town for Super Bowl, everybody's pulling and tugging you -- trying to get everything done the week before. Then, when you hit town, you've got all the media obligations and your practice and game plans are all put in.

      "I think it's a great advantage for them (because) it's just an away game. They get to do their normal prep just like we do. Nobody's going to get tied up in all that stuff."

      Super Bowl LV will be held on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, with some 22,000 in attendance.

      --Field Level Media

  • Matthew Stafford's next team? Colts lead deep pack
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    With Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions heading for a parting of the ways after 12 years, he becomes the first of what could be the deepest pool of available veteran quarterbacks in recent memory.

    • Detroit hasn't officially put the soon-to-be 33-year-old on the trade block, but the sides have reportedly agreed the time has come for Stafford to move on. He could soon be joined by Deshaun Watson, who reportedly wants out of Houston.

      There are at least two playoff teams who will be in the market for a veteran quarterback this offseason, and potentially more.

      The market for Stafford begins with Indianapolis, which lost to Buffalo in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Philip Rivers announced his retirement last week and backup Jacoby Brissett is a pending free agent.

      The Colts are being offered as the +300 favorite to land Stafford by SportsBetting.ag. Next is the San Francisco 49ers (+350), who may move on from oft-injured Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

      The Denver Broncos (+400) have not committed to Drew Lock, who regressed in areas in 2020 after showing intriguing potential as a rookie.

      The Washington Football Team won the woeful NFC East and has a talented young roster at many positions other than quarterback. With 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins released and the future of 36-year-old Alex Smith uncertain, the addition of Stafford could make the WFT (+450) a legitimate NFC contender next season.

      The list of potential destinations for Stafford doesn't stop there - New England, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints are just three more of several playoff-worthy rosters which could be a change at QB away from taking the "next step."

      SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on all 31 potential NFL destinations.

      Matthew Stafford next team odds:

      Indianapolis Colts (+300)

      San Francisco 49ers (+350)

      Denver Broncos (+400)

      Washington Football Team (+450)

      Carolina Panthers (+700)

      New England Patriots (+800)

      Las Vegas Raiders (+1000)

      Los Angeles Rams (+1100)

      Houston Texans (+1200)

      Dallas Cowboys (+1400)

      New Orleans Saints (+1400)

      Atlanta Falcons (+1600)

      New York Jets (+1800)

      Philadelphia Eagles (+1800)

      Green Bay Packers (+2000)

      Jacksonville Jaguars (+2000)

      Pittsburgh Steelers (+2000)

      Chicago Bears (+2200)

      Miami Dolphins (+2500)

      Minnesota Vikings (+3300)

      NewYork Giants (+3500)

      Tennessee Titans (+4000)

      TampaBay Buccaneers (+6600)

      Cleveland Browns (+7500)

      Arizona Cardinals (+10000)

      Cincinnati Bengals (+12500)

      Baltimore Ravens (+15000)

      Los Angeles Chargers (+15000)

      Buffalo Bills (+20000)

      Seattle Seahawks (+20000)

      Kansas City Chiefs (+25000)

      --Field Level Media

  • Lions add Duce Staley as assistant head coach
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Duce Staley is joining the Detroit Lions as assistant head coach and running backs coach, per multiple reports.

    • Staley held the same title with the Philadelphia Eagles under Doug Pederson, who was fired at the end of the 2020 season and replaced by Nick Sirianni. Staley interviewed for the position.

      In Detroit, Staley joins Dan Campbell's staff along with several other former NFL players. Campbell was a tight end and Aaron Glenn, the team's defensive coordinator, played cornerback. Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was a running back in the league and most recently head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

      Staley asked out of his contract with the Eagles, according to reports.

      Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said on Jan. 19 he received "quite a few" text messages from current and former players endorsing Staley to be the team's head coach.

      After a thorough interview process with nine known candidates, Lurie reportedly met with Staley to advise him of the team's choice of Sirianni.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ravens GM: Lamar Jackson deserves long-term contract
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Lamar Jackson remains a crucial component for the Baltimore Ravens, and the franchise intends to keep him around long-term.

    • Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Monday that he plans to begin negotiations toward a long-term deal with Jackson "in the next 10 days."

      "I will be talking to Lamar probably within the next 10 days or so. He's down in Florida," DeCosta said. "He certainly deserves a contract. He has played phenomenal football over the last couple of years. Our intention and my intention is to keep him in Baltimore for many, many years."

      DeCosta said credit for the Ravens' philosophy of "signing up more players" to long-term deals goes to the front office. DeCosta said it took more than a year to get the five-year extension done with left tackle Ronnie Stanley.

      "We have these players, we draft them, we like them, we know them, they really fit us," DeCosta said. "We want our fans to reap the enjoyment of these players. ... We will continue to engage in these talks with our young players. Sometimes you can't get a deal done. I learned this from Ozzie (Newsome), you can't sign everyone."

      DeCosta said the Ravens' objectives include having the "best offensive line" in the NFL, and he includes tight end Mark Andrews in that group. DeCosta said talks with Andrews, who is entering the final year of his contract, also will start soon.

      Last season, Jackson was 38th among quarterbacks in total salary according to OverTheCap.com, behind multiple backups, including Andy Dalton (Cowboys), Case Keenum (Browns), A.J. McCarron (Texans), Taysom Hill (Saints), Tyrod Taylor (Chargers), Marcus Mariota (Raiders) and Jacoby Brissett (Colts).

      Setting a price tag for Jackson, 24, could be an intriguing piece of contract talks. The 2019 league MVP might make an argument to be among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, but the Ravens' playoff failures loom over discussions.

      Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension worth up to $503 million in 2020 with the Kansas City Chiefs and has the team in a second Super Bowl. Dak Prescott of the Cowboys was franchised in 2020 and will be a free agent in March.

      Dallas was unable to complete a contract extension of Prescott's rookie deal last year and talks are expected to be renewed soon, but the uncertainty around the projected NFL salary cap is a major consideration in all long-term deals, DeCosta said Monday.

      If the Ravens and Jackson can't come to an agreement, he's still under contract next season for a relatively paltry figure.

      In 2021, Jackson is scheduled to carry a base salary of $1.77 million with a cap hit of $3.01 million. That's the final year of the four-year, $9.47 million rookie deal he signed after the Ravens selected him No. 32 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

      Jackson has appeared in 46 regular-season games with the Ravens and is 30-7 as a starter. He's thrown for 7,085 yards with 68 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He's also had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and has 19 touchdowns on the ground.

      In the playoffs, he is 1-3 as a starter, and his completion percentage is just 55.9 percent compared to 64 percent in the regular season. He has thrown three touchdown passes and five interceptions in the playoffs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Eagles to name Shane Steichen as offensive coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    The Philadelphia Eagles are hiring Shane Steichen, who coached rookie quarterback Justin Herbert to a record season with the Los Angeles Chargers, as their offensive coordinator, NFL Network reported Monday.

    • Steichen and new Eagles coach Nick Sirianni spent four seasons together as assistant coaches with the Chargers in the mid-2010s.

      In Philadelphia, the 35-year-old Steichen will continue his quick rise in the NFL coaching ranks. His first NFL job was in 2013 as a quality control coach with the Cleveland Browns. He spent the next two seasons with the Chargers in the same role, then was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2016. He spent last season as offensive coordinator.

      Steichen designed an offense that helped Herbert break numerous NFL rookie passing records in 2020, including yards (4,336), touchdowns (31) and completions (396).

      Philadelphia will be looking to rebuild an offense that finished 24th in yards per game (334.6), 26th in points (20.9) and 28th in passing yards (207.9) behind Carson Wentz and rookie Jalen Hurts.

      Former Eagles coach Doug Pederson did not employ an offensive coordinator last season.

      NJ.com reported Monday afternoon that the Eagles will not retain Press Taylor, who served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2020. He had been with the Eagles since 2013, first as an offensive quality control coach, then assistant quarterbacks coach before being named quarterbacks coach in 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • Chiefs LT Eric Fisher done with torn Achilles
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher left the AFC Championship Game with a torn Achilles and is facing an extended rehab, according to NFL Network.

    • "It doesn't look too good with the Achilles," head coach Andy Reid said Sunday night.

      Mike Remmers moved from right tackle to left tackle in the Chiefs' 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills. Andrew Wylie moved from right guard to right tackle.

      Fisher, 30, appeared in 117 games (113 starts) since the Chiefs selected him No. 1 overall out of Central Michigan in 2013. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who started 15 games this season while protecting the blind side of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

      The loss of Fisher could create major problems for the Chiefs, who already are without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz because of a back injury. Remmers has moved into a starting role to replace Schwartz, and Martinas Rankin is likely to start in place of Fisher against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7.

      --Field Level Media

  • Super man at Super Bowl? Can Brady do it again?
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 25, 2021

    Tom Brady will be trying to earn more than just his seventh Lombardi Trophy when he leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium: He'll be trying to become his own dynasty.

    • At 43, Brady is one victory away from proving his ability to win titles isn't tied to a single franchise or a sure-fire Hall of Fame coach. He's a win from proving he's strong enough to go anywhere and emerge triumphant.

      After all, he has already proven he can lead fourth-quarter comebacks on the game's grandest stage, and showed that being down by 25 points late in the third quarter of a Super Bowl means next to nothing.

      Brady has turned Tampa -- a professional football wasteland for decades -- into the undisputed sports capital of the U.S. today. The city in western Florida is home to the reigning Stanley Cup champion Lightning and the American League champion Rays, and is a win away from filling the streets of Ybor City with confetti.

      Tampa Bay is hosting the Super Bowl, the first one where a team will be playing for the Lombardi Trophy on its own home field.

      Brady turned New England, which had never won a Super Bowl, from a mediocre franchise when he arrived in 2000 into a six-time champion worth $4.4 billion, second in the NFL behind the Cowboys, when he left, according to Forbes.

      Now, he has taken a Buccaneers franchise that had gone 267-424-1 for a .387 winning percentage -- the worst among North American pro sports teams -- in the 44 seasons before he arrived to just their second Super Bowl and first since winning it in 2003. Since then, the Buccaneers didn't win a playoff game -- until their savior arrived.

      Speaking after Sunday's NFC title game, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians referred to the "belief (Brady) gave everybody in this organization that it could be done. It only took one man."

      But standing in Tampa Bay's way is a quarterback who has won a Super Bowl more recently than Brady -- Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes. He's looking to become the first quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back Super Bowl titles since you-know-who did it with the Patriots in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX in 2004 and 2005.

      "We just have to be ourselves," Mahomes said after beating Buffalo. "I trust my guys over everybody."

      The Super Bowl odds opened with Kansas City as a 3.5-point favorite and an over/under of 57.5 points at FanDuel, which has set money lines for Kansas City at -186 and Tampa at +145.

      Between now and kickoff, expect a blitz of storylines and statistics to sift through before deciding where to focus your wagers.

      Here are two things you need to know.

      Any list of potential history-makers at Super Bowl LV must have Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill near the top, so take a close look at his over/under for receptions and yards for prop bets.

      Hill will take the field at Raymond James Stadium seeking to become just the ninth receiver in league history to be named to The Associated Press' All-Pro First Team and win the Super Bowl in the same season. It's a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison in 2006.

      Of the eight players who have done it, five -- Jerry Rice (1988, 1989, 1994), John Stallworth (1979), Lynn Swann (1978), Paul Warfield (1973) and Harrison -- are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Gary Clark (1987), Drew Pearson (1977) and Cliff Branch (1976) had very, very good careers.

      Tampa Bay gave up 346 passing yards to Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in its win in the NFC title game.

      Hill torched Tampa Bay for 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns on 15 targets in the teams' regular-season meeting less than two months ago.

      Hill made seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, joining Qadry Ismail (210 in the third quarter on Dec. 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in the first quarter on Nov. 19, 2006) as the only NFL receivers since 1980 to have 200 receiving yards in a quarter.

      What does Kansas City's 27-24 win at Tampa Bay in late November really mean as it relates to Super Bowl LV? Everything? Or nothing?

      On four occasions, the eventual AFC and NFC champions met during the regular season.

      In 1990, the Bills beat the Giants, 17-13, in Week 15, but then Scott Norwood happened in Super Bowl XXV.

      In 1993, the Bills went to Dallas and won, 13-10, in Week 2, only to see the Cowboys crush Buffalo in the Super Bowl for the second straight season, 30-13.

      And then there's the Brady factor, of course.

      In 2007, his undefeated Patriots beat the Giants, 38-35, in Week 17. A few weeks later, David Tyree's catch happened and the Giants won Super Bowl XLII.

      In 2011, Brady's Patriots lost at home to the Giants, 24-20, in the regular season and fell to New York again, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.

      --Jon Gallo, Field Level Media

  • Chiefs installed as 3.5-point favorites in Super Bowl LV
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    The Kansas City Chiefs were installed as 3.5-point favorites to win Super Bowl LV shortly after beating the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

    • DraftKings and PointsBet were among the sportsbooks to set the early line at Kansas City -3.5 points despite the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team in the 55-year history of the Super Bowl to play in their home stadium.

      The Buccaneers upset the Green Bay Packers, 31-26, earlier in the day in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Tampa Bay has won three consecutive road games in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl.

      DraftKings is offering Chiefs with a -165 moneyline and the Bucs at +135. Kansas City's early moneyline at PointsBet was -180 with Tampa Bay at +150.

      PointsBet has set the early Over/Under at 57.0 points while DraftKings was a tick higher at 57.5 points.

      Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has the shortest odds to win game MVP honors at +110 by DraftKings, followed by counterpart Tom Brady at +250.

      Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce have the third-shortest MVP odds at +900 apiece.

      --Field Level Media

  • Chiefs lose OT Eric Fisher to Achilles injury
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher sustained an Achilles injury during Sunday's 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills AFC Championship Game and did not return.

    • Fisher, 30, has appeared in 117 games (113 starts) since the Chiefs selected him No. 1 overall out of Central Michigan in 2013. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who started 15 games this season while protecting the blind side of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

      The loss of Fisher could create major problems for the Chiefs, who already are without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz because of a back injury. Mike Remmers has moved into a starting role to replace Schwartz, and Martinas Rankin is likely to start in place of Fisher if needed.

      Rankin, 26, started one game during the regular season in his second campaign with the Chiefs. Overall, he has appeared in 23 games, starting 10, in three seasons since the Houston Texans selected him in the third round out of Mississippi State in 2018.

      The Chiefs also lost safety L'Jarius Sneed, who was placed in concussion protocol and ruled out for the rest of the game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey hinting at retirement
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is expected to retire after 11 seasons in the NFL, according to a report Sunday night from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    • Pouncey has appeared in 134 games, all starts, since the Steelers drafted him in the first round (No. 18 overall) out of Florida. The 31-year-old was selected to nine Pro Bowls and twice was named as a first-team All-Pro.

      The veteran "has told teammates he is likely retiring after 11 seasons," the Post-Gazette reported. "Barring a change of heart, could be making a decision soon, per sources."

      --Field Level Media

  • Packers' Aaron Rodgers ponders 'uncertain' future after loss to Bucs
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Could Sunday's NFC Championship Game turn out to be Aaron Rodgers' final appearance in a Green Bay Packers' uniform?

    • It seems like a crazy notion after the superb season the 37-year-old Rodgers turned in. He is the favorite to win NFL Most Valuable Player honors for the third time after passing for 4,299 yards and a franchise-record 48 touchdowns.

      But there was Rodgers creating the speculation himself after the 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

      "There's a lot of guys' futures that are uncertain, myself included," Rodgers said during his postgame press conference. "That's what's sad about it most, getting this far."

      Rodgers fielded another question in which he was asked, "Where do you go from here?" He again sounded unsure of his future with the franchise.

      "I don't know, I really don't. A lot of unknowns going into this offseason now," Rodgers said. "I am going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and see what is going on with everything, but it is pretty tough right now."

      This marked the second straight season in which the Packers lost in the NFC Championship Game.

      After last season's loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay selected quarterback Jordan Love of Utah State with the 26th pick of the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft.

      Rodgers was highly perturbed at the time but later maneuvered his focus toward displaying he was still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

      Packers coach Matt LaFleur was told of Rodgers' sentiments and made it clear he expected to see the 16-year veteran in a Green Bay uniform again next season.

      "I sure as hell hope so," LaFleur said. "I mean, the guy is the MVP of this league. He's the heart and soul of our football team. So, hell yeah. He better be back here. He's our leader."

      Perhaps part of Rodgers' frustration stemmed with LaFleur's highly questionable decision to opt to kick a field goal with the Packers trailing by eight and stationed at the Buccaneers' 8-yard line. Mason Crosby kicked a 26-yard field with 2:05 left and Green Bay never possessed the ball again.

      "I didn't have a decision on that one," Rodgers said. "It wasn't my decision, but I understand the thinking."

      The sequence began with the Packers having first-and-goal from the 8-yard line and Rodgers said, "I was thinking we were going to have four chances (of scoring)."

      Rodgers has two seasons left on a four-year, $134 million so he won't be an easy player to move via trade.

      Rodgers is a Northern California native -- his hometown is Chico -- and played college football at Cal. Perhaps he wouldn't mind finishing his career with the San Francisco 49ers, who might be interested in upgrading the position after Jimmy Garoppolo experienced an injury-ravaged 2020 campaign.

      Either way, Rodgers has played in only one Super Bowl with Green Bay and Sunday's loss dropped him to 1-4 in NFC title games.

      He completed 33 of 48 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Buccaneers in what was his 218th appearance (counting postseason) for the Packers.

      The question now looms: Was it his last?

      --Field Level Media

  • Bucs S Jordan Whitehead leaves with shoulder injury
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead exited Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter due to a left shoulder injury but is adamant he will recover in time to play in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

    • Whitehead made that declaration even though he doesn't yet know the severity of the injury.

      "Most definitely," Whitehead said after Tampa Bay's 31-26 victory. "The Super Bowl is once in a lifetime, whatever it takes to be back."

      Whitehead said he will learn more about his injury over the next few days.

      Whitehead had five tackles and two forced fumbles before leaving after making a tackle on Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams in the third quarter.

      Earlier in the quarter, he forced Packers running back Aaron Jones to fumble and Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White recovered to set up a touchdown that gave the Buccaneers a 28-10 lead.

      Jones suffered a chest injury on the play in which he fumbled and didn't return. Jones has 27 yards on six rushes and four catches for 7 yards.

      Green Bay defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster (ankle) also was injured in the third quarter.

      As for Whitehead, the third-year pro has forced just one fumble in 45 regular-season games (41 starts). He had 74 tackles and two interceptions in the 2020 regular season.

      Watching wasn't easy for the 23-year-old.

      "It was hard to be on the sidelines but I knew my brothers would step up and have my back," Whitehead said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Greg Olsen announces retirement after 14 seasons
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Tight end Greg Olsen picked a fine time to announce his retirement as an NFL player.

    • Olsen, 35, publicly revealed his decision during FOX's pregame show ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and host Green Bay Packers.

      "After 14 years of playing in this league, proud of what I was able to accomplish and proud of the relationships everything that the game has given me," Olsen said. "Sometimes when it's time it's time. My time in the NFL has come to an end. I'm excited for the next chapter."

      Olsen won't have to go far to look for work. He is joining the network as an analyst.

      Olsen recorded 24 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown in 11 games this season with the Seattle Seahawks.

      "Congratulations on retirement. We wish you nothing but the best," the Seahawks wrote on their official Twitter account.

      Olsen was a Pro Bowl selection for the Carolina Panthers on three occasions (2014-16), gaining 1,000-plus yards each season. He has 742 career catches for 8,683 yards and 60 touchdowns.

      "Greg gave the game everything. And we loved him for it," the Panthers wrote on their official Twitter account.

      The Panthers released Olsen in February, and the Seahawks signed him to a one-year, $7 million deal.

      --Field Level Media

  • Packers CB Tramon Williams active for NFC title game
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams is in line to become the first player in NFL history to play in the same postseason with two different teams.

    • Williams was listed as active prior to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

      Williams, who turns 38 in March, was signed by Green Bay and placed on its practice squad after he was waived by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday. He had two separate stints with the Packers over his 14-year career, winning the Super Bowl with Green Bay after the 2010 season when he also was named to the Pro Bowl.

      Williams played in six games for the Ravens this season, and then also in Sunday's playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. He made 17 tackles in those seven games.

      Green Bay cornerback Kevin King is active for the game after tweaking his back during practice.

      The Packers listed the following players as inactive: quarterback Jordan Love, cornerbacks Josh Jackson and Ka'dar Hollman, safety Vernon Scott, linebacker Jonathan Garvin, tight end Jace Sternberger and defensive lineman Kingsley Keke.

      The Buccaneers listed Antoine Winfield Jr. as inactive after the safety injured his ankle on Thursday. Mike Edwards is expected to start in his place.

      Tampa Bay listed the following players as inactive: wide receiver Antonio Brown, quarterback Ryan Griffin, running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, tight end Antony Auclair, defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter and defensive lineman Khalil Davis.

      --Field Level Media

  • Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire active vs. Bills
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is active for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

    • However, running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Sammy Watkins will not play against the Bills, as they are inactive, along with offensive lineman Yasir Durant, linebacker Willie Gay, cornerback BoPete Keyes, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and defensive end Tim Ward.

      Edwards-Helaire is dealing with an injured ankle that forced him to miss the final two games of the regular season as well as Kansas City's 22-17 divisional round victory over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

      Darrel Williams led the Chiefs by rushing 13 times for 78 yards against the Browns.

      Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score. He rushed for 161 yards on 26 carries in a 26-17 win over the Bills in Week 6.

      Bell rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns in nine games with the Chiefs.

      Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman likely will see more snaps in place of Watkins, who had 37 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns this season. Hardman had four catches for 58 yards versus Cleveland while Robinson had one reception for 14 yards.

      Meanwhile for the Bills, wide receiver Gabriel Davis and defensive tackle Vernon Butler are both active.

      The Bills' inactive include: receiver Kenny Stills, quarterback Jake Fromm, tight end Tyler Kroft, offensive lineman Jordan Devey, defensive end Trent Murphy, cornerback Dane Jackson and linebacker Tyrel Dodson.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Lions to hire Anthony Lynn as OC
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    The Detroit Lions are hiring former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn as their offensive coordinator, multiple media outlets reported.

    • The Lions' staff has undergone significant change of late. Former New Orleans assistant head coach Dan Campbell, 44, was named as Detroit's head coach and Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn, 48, was tabbed as the Lions' defensive coordinator.

      In addition, multiple reports had veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions likely parting ways during the offseason.

      Lynn, 52, was fired by the Chargers earlier this month after four seasons at helm. He posted a 33-31 overall record with the team, which went 7-9 in 2020.

      Lynn had his best season with the Chargers in 2018, when Los Angeles went 12-4 and defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC wild card round. But the Chargers lost the next week to New England, ending their only playoff run of Lynn's tenure.

      Lynn served as the offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills prior to his stint with the Chargers.

      The Lions were 5-11 in 2020 and last won the division championship in 1993.

      --Field Level Media

  • Eagles hire Nick Sirianni as head coach
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    The Philadelphia Eagles officially named former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni as their new head coach, the team announced Sunday.

    • Sirianni, 39, has served as the offensive coordinator with the Colts for the last three seasons. He spent five seasons as an assistant with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2013-17) and four with the Kansas City Chiefs (2009-12).

      Sirianni apparently isn't coming alone, as the NFL Network reported that former Colts defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon and Indianapolis assistant Kevin Patullo will head to Philadelphia. Gannon will serve as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles while Patullo will be their offensive pass game coordinator.

      Gannon reportedly interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears for the defensive coordinator position with those teams.

      While the Eagles' coaching staff sorts itself out, multiple media outlets reported that longtime assistant Duce Staley asked to be released from his contract. Staley, who is the team's running backs coach, had interviewed for the Eagles' head coaching position and reportedly is interested in positions available with other teams.

      Staley, who has been on the Eagles' coaching staff for over a decade, is expected to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie.

      Indianapolis went 11-5 during the 2020 regular season and lost 27-24 to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round. Sirianni's offense ranked ninth in the NFL in scoring and 10th in total offense (11th in passing, 11th in rushing).

      The Eagles fired head coach Doug Pederson earlier this month after a five-year run that included a 42-37-1 record and Philadelphia's first Super Bowl championship. Since the win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, however, the Eagles are 22-25-1.

      Philadelphia's offense ranked 24th in the NFL in yards per game (334.6), 26th in scoring (20.9 points) and 28th in passing yards (207.9). Pederson removed Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback after 12 games and replaced him with rookie Jalen Hurts.

      The Eagles are looking for a coach who can help Wentz bounce back from a disappointing season.

      Sirianni was the Chargers' quarterbacks coach from 2014-15 and the Chiefs' assistant QBs coach in 2010.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Super Bowl teams can't arrive until Friday
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 24, 2021

    This unprecedented NFL season will also have a unique ending.

    • Rather than a full week of fanfare featuring the two teams playing in Super Bowl LV, the two participants will not be allowed to travel to Tampa until Friday, Feb. 5 at the earliest, according to ESPN.

      The Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers are expected to arrive on Feb. 5 if they win on Sunday, while the Kansas City Chiefs plan to arrive the day before the title game.

      The Buccaneers could become the first team to play for the Super Bowl in its home stadium and would be unburdened by travel restrictions.

      The traditional media day and all other interviews throughout the week, including postgame, will be done virtually, the league announced earlier in the week.

      Super Bowl LV will be held on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, with some 22,000 in attendance.

      --Field Level Media

  • Packers activate DB Tramon Williams
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    The Green Bay Packers promoted recent defensive back signee Tramon Williams to their active roster ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, positioning the veteran to make NFL history.

    • Williams, whom Green Bay signed and placed on its practice squad after he was waived by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, could become the first player in NFL history to play for two teams in the same postseason.

      Williams, who turns 38 in March, played in six games for the Ravens this season, and then also in Sunday's playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. He made 17 tackles in those seven games.

      Williams played for the Packers most recently during the 2018-19 seasons before being let go in 2020.

      Williams, who was used by the Packers to defend slot receivers last year, was a member of Green Bay's Super Bowl champion squad in 2010. He has played in 15 playoff games with the Packers during his 10 seasons between 2007-2014 and 2018-2019.

      "It's special," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said when asked of the team's signing of Williams this week. "He's one of those teammates you just love playing with over the years. He's such a professional. The way he takes care of himself, he looks amazing."

      Williams bolsters the team's secondary and could return punts if needed against Tampa Bay.

      Packers starting cornerback Kevin King is listed as questionable on the injury report after missing Friday's practice due to "a little back issue," according to coach Matt LaFleur.

      "[Tramon] looks like he could go out and play 70 plays for us," Rodgers said. "I'm not sure if he's going to or not, I hope he does, because he's still so talented. But he's one of those special guys, special personalities."

      Williams' signing marked the second time Green Bay has added a player who lost in the previous week of the playoffs this season. After the wild-card round, the Packers signed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer off the Colts' practice squad. Indianapolis opened the playoffs with a loss to Buffalo.

      Veldheer didn't play against the Rams last week because he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list where he remains, meaning he won't play on Sunday, according to the Packers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Lions seeking to trade QB Matthew Stafford
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 23, 2021

    Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are likely to part ways during the offseason, with the team actively shopping their franchise quarterback on the trade market, according to numerous reports.

    • The Lions recently hired a new general manager in Brad Holmes and new coach Dan Campbell, so the time appears right to move on from Stafford, who has not led the team to an NFC North division title or a playoff victory in 12 seasons under center.

      Stafford is expected to bring the Lions plenty of talent, which would include at least a first-round pick in return, ESPN and NFL Network reported.

      Stafford, who turns 33 in February, has two years remaining on a team-friendly deal that is due to pay him a combined $43 million -- $20 million this year and $23 million next year.

      Stafford started all 16 games and threw for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season, despite playing through rib, right thumb, ankle and neck injuries. None of the injuries are expected to require surgery.

      If Stafford is traded, it likely would occur before the fifth day of the 2021 league year in March, when he's due a $10 million roster bonus. Detroit would carry $19 million in dead money on their salary cap in 2021, but a trade would yield a savings of $14 million in cap space and $20 million in cash at a time the NFL's salary cap is expected to decrease, NFL Network reported.

      The teams that may be in the market for a quarterback include the Washington Football Team, Broncos, Colts, Panthers, Patriots and Saints.

      Stafford has started 165 games -- going 74-90-1 -- for the Lions since being taken No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft. He's completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 45,109 yards, 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions. His 38 game-winning drives rank eighth all time and his 31 fourth-quarter comebacks are seventh-best in league history.

      He led the Lions to the postseason three times, most recently in 2016, when Detroit went 9-7 before losing to Seattle in the wild-card round.

      With Stafford reportedly on the trading block and the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson in Houston and Carson Wentz in Philadelphia, the quarterback market could be robust this offseason. The free-agent class could include Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jacoby Brissett, Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld.

      --Field Level Media