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  • Report: Ex-NFL LB Merriman sued for wrongful death
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 21, 2019

    The parents of a woman who died of a drug overdose in 2017 have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman, TMZ reported Saturday.

    • According to TMZ, the suit alleges Merriman drugged and possibly assaulted Kimberly Fattorini, who was a Playboy employee, on the night of a party at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles. Fattorini's death was ruled accidental and attributed to a combination of alcohol, cocaine and GHB -- commonly labeled a date-rape drug -- in her system.

      Per the report, the suit claims a text message from Fattorini indicates Merriman gave her GHB. The suit goes on to allege that Merriman was with Fattorini, and did not want it known that he was with her, when 911 was called from a friend's house, where Fattorini was found by first responders "half-naked with her jeans unzipped and unbuttoned."

      The suit also references two alleged text messages, with one of Fattorini's friends saying, "(sic) Shawn killed her ass, what a [expletive] idiot," and a promoter from the party replying, "That dumbass been drugging girls for years."

      A representative for Merriman denied the allegations to TMZ, saying neither Merriman nor his attorney "have any knowledge of him being named in any lawsuit."

      "This alleged lawsuit is baseless," the representative added. "Shawne attended an after party more than two years ago where a young woman unfortunately overdosed.

      "...The police thoroughly investigated and found no wrongdoing whatsoever by Shawne. The fact that they are raising this now, two years after the fact, demonstrates the baseless nature of these allegations."

      Merriman, 35, played eight years in the NFL, earning three Pro Bowl selections and one first-team All-Pro selection during six years with the San Diego Chargers. He played two years for the Buffalo Bills from 2011-12 before retiring.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Shanahan returns to Broncos -- as spectator
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 20, 2019

    Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was back at team headquarters on Saturday -- his first visit to a practice session there since his firing in 2008 by then-owner Pat Bowlen.

    • The winningest coach in franchise history, with a 146-91 record that included playoff competition capped by two Super Bowl titles in 14 seasons with Denver, checked out the Broncos' morning practice at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colo.

      "I was glad to have Mike here," Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. "I invited him. I'm glad he could come. I invited him for the spring work, and the schedules never matched up, but I was glad he was here. I think it was good he was here. Mike's got a big part in the rich history of this franchise. He's welcome to come here any time he wants."

      Shanahan also met during practice with his former quarterback John Elway, who is now the team's general manager and helped arrange the visit with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

      --The Broncos should be able to hear every whistle, every instruction, every hit during training camp.

      That's because Fangio has banned music during everything from the pre-practice stretch until the day's final whistle.

      "Anybody's who has been a position coach, or assistant coach, they don't like the music," said Fangio, a former defensive coordinator who turns 61 next month. "It makes it hard to talk to your guys. I don't see the benefit of having music out there. I was an assistant coach and I don't want to drum out the noise to talk to my players. And there's no music in games."

      --The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a contract with first-round linebacker Devin White, the day before the team's rookies report to training camp. The Bucs' veterans report to camp on Thursday.

      White was drafted fifth overall in April, slotting his contract value around $29 million over four years, all fully guaranteed, with a signing bonus around $19 million. Like all first-round picks, his deal included a fifth-year team option.

      Touted as one of the top off-ball linebacker prospects in recent years, the 21-year-old White is expected to start from Day 1 next to Lavonte David in the middle of new coordinator Todd Bowles' 3-4 defense. White was a consensus All-American while winning the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 2018 at LSU, totaling 123 tackles (12 for loss) three sacks and six pass breakups.

      --The Arizona Cardinals placed six players on the physically unable to perform list on Saturday.

      Tight end Charles Clay (knee), defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (knee), linebacker Brooks Reed (hip), offensive lineman Max Garcia (knee), cornerback Brandon Williams (back) and linebacker Dante Booker (knee) were moved to the list. The PUP players are eligible to come off the list at any time but cannot participate in any on-field team work until they are off the list.

      The team also signed defensive lineman Sterling Bailey, who has played for the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers since joining the league in 2016.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clay, Nkemdiche among 6 Cardinals put on PUP list
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 20, 2019

    The Arizona Cardinals placed six players on the physically unable to perform list on Saturday.

    • Tight end Charles Clay (knee), defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (knee), linebacker Brooks Reed (hip), offensive lineman Max Garcia (knee), cornerback Brandon Williams (back) and linebacker Dante Booker (knee) were moved to the list. The PUP players are eligible to come off the list at any time but cannot participate in any on-field team work until they are off the list.

      Nkemdiche and Garcia are recovering from torn anterior cruciate ligament injuries, so they will continue to rehab when training camp opens.

      The Cardinals report to camp on July 24 and will hold their first practice July 25.

      Also Saturday, the team signed defensive lineman Sterling Bailey, who has played for the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers since joining the league in 2016.

  • Bucs agree to contract with 1st-round LB White
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 20, 2019

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a contract with first-round linebacker Devin White on Saturday, a day before the team's rookies report to training camp.

    • White was drafted fifth overall in April, slotting his contract value around $29 million over four years, all fully guaranteed, with a signing bonus around $19 million. Like all first-round picks, his deal included a fifth-year team option.

      The Bucs' veterans report to camp on Thursday.

      Touted as one of the top off-ball linebacker prospects in recent years, the 21-year-old White is expected to start from Day 1 next to Lavonte David in the middle of new coordinator Todd Bowles' 3-4 defense. White was a consensus All-American while winning the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 2018 at LSU, totaling 123 tackles (12 for loss) three sacks and six pass breakups.

      White's agreement leaves just seven draft picks unsigned across the league, including four first-rounders: defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers), defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3, New York Jets), quarterback Daniel Jones (No. 6, New York Giants) and defensive end Brian Burns (No. 16, Carolina Panthers).

      The other three are 49ers' second-round wide receiver Deebo Samuel, Giants' third-round outside linebacker Oshane Ximines and Minnesota Vikings' seventh-round long-snapper Austin Cutting.

      --Field Level Media

  • Shanahan at Broncos practice for 1st time since 2008
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 20, 2019

    Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was back at team headquarters on Saturday -- his first visit to a practice session there since his firing in 2008 by then-owner Pat Bowlen.

    • The winningest coach in franchise history, with a 146-91 record that included playoff competition capped by two Super Bowl titles in 14 seasons with Denver, checked out the Broncos' morning practice at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colo.

      "I was glad to have Mike here," Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. "I invited him. I'm glad he could come. I invited him for the spring work, and the schedules never matched up, but I was glad he was here. I think it was good he was here. Mike's got a big part in the rich history of this franchise. He's welcome to come here any time he wants."

      According to Fangio, he and Shanahan have been familiar with each other, but more "as competitors. ... We've gotten to know each other the last five, eight years."

      Shanahan also met during practice with his former quarterback John Elway, who is now the team's general manager and helped arrange the visit with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

      Scangarello had previously worked with Shanahan's son Kyle when they were with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.

      Afterward, he went inside the team's facility to reunite with staff members such as defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and assistant offensive line coach Chris Kuper (drafted by the Broncos in 2006), who were there during his coaching reign.

      The Denver connections have remained since Shanahan departed, and he has attended several functions and ceremonies honoring the team. Now 66, he also had NFL stints as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders (1988-89) and Washington Redskins (2010-13).

      Shanahan nearly had a chance to return to the Broncos as head coach when Elway considered firing head coach Vance Joseph in January 2018.

      However, Elway's idea to bring back Shanahan was not supported by Broncos CEO Joe Ellis, who wanted a full coaching search conducted if the team were to move on from Joseph, who was hired in January 2017. Elway considered that option before deciding to keep Joseph.

      Joseph remained one more season, finishing 6-10 in 2018, before he was fired and replaced on Jan. 10 by Fangio.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos coach Fangio bans music during practices
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 20, 2019

    The Denver Broncos should be able to hear every whistle, every instruction, every hit during training camp.

    • That's because new head coach Vic Fangio has banned music during everything from the pre-practice stretch until the day's final whistle.

      "Anybody's who has been a position coach, or assistant coach, they don't like the music," said Fangio, who turns 61 next month. "It makes it hard to talk to your guys. I don't see the benefit of having music out there. I was an assistant coach and I don't want to drum out the noise to talk to my players.

      "And," he said, "there's no music in games."

      The longtime NFL assistant coach is in his first head coaching role. He was hired in January to replace Vance Joseph, who was fired after two losing seasons.

      "When it goes to the point where we need to simulate crowd noise in practice, which we will do, it will be noise," Fangio said Friday. "It won't be music. It will be noise. That's what it is in the game. Noise by definition sounds annoying. Music sounds nice so if we have to deal with noise let's deal with noise."

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Chiefs WR Hill avoids discipline
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will not be punished under the personal conduct policy as the NFL closed its formal investigation into multiple alleged physical altercations.

    • Hill pleaded guilty to an assault and battery charge in 2015 but a full version of an audio recording aired recently revealed Hill denying assaulting his fiancée.

      "Based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy," the statement reads.

      The Chiefs released a statement on Friday welcoming Hill back to the team for the start of training camp next week. The team's fifth-round draft choice out of West Alabama in 2016 has amassed 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns.

      --The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 36-year-old running back Darren Sproles, the team announced.

      "My heart is in Philly. That's where I want to end my career," Sproles said on the team's website. "That team, the city is like a family."

      Sproles, who ranks sixth all-time in the NFL in all-purpose yards (19,520), needs 163 yards to pass Tim Brown for fifth place. The three-time Pro Bowler will begin his sixth season with the Eagles after spending the first six years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and then playing three years with the New Orleans Saints.

      --Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock found out what the school of hard knocks will be like under new head coach Vic Fangio.

      "He's not a quarterback yet," Fangio told reporters on the second day of training camp. "He's a hard-throwing pitcher that doesn't know how to pitch yet. The faster he gets that, the better off he'll be and we'll be."

      Lock, who failed to get selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft before the Broncos grabbed him the 42nd overall pick, isn't expected to unseat new addition Joe Flacco as the starter in 2019.

      --The Buffalo Bills signed journeyman safety Kurt Coleman to replace Rafael Bush, who is retiring after nine seasons.

      Coleman, 31, is entering his 10th season and received a one-year contract that is reportedly worth just over $1 million.

      He played all 16 regular-season games last season for the New Orleans Saints, making nine starts. Coleman finished with 32 tackles.

      --Running back David Williams, who was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2018, rejoined the team.

      Williams wound up playing last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed him off the Broncos' practice squad.

      He rushed eight times for 36 yards in six games with the Jaguars. Williams was released May 10.

      --The high stakes for building an NFL stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas continues to rise with the latest cost estimate now coming in at $1.9 billion, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

      A report indicated $40 million was being added to the cost in order to give the venue 20 more additional suites and a new club area near the north end zone.

      The Raiders are expected to move into the stadium for the 2020 season, playing on a natural grass field under a translucent roof. Stadium plans call for it to have sliding doors that will open to give a view of the nearby Las Vegas Strip. The UNLV football program is also expected to use the facility.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sproles returns to Eagles with 1-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    The Philadelphia Eagles on Friday agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 36-year-old running back Darren Sproles, the team announced.

    • "My heart is in Philly. That's where I want to end my career," Sproles said on the team's website. "That team, the city is like a family."

      Sproles, who ranks sixth all-time in the NFL in all-purpose yards (19,520), needs 163 yards to pass Tim Brown for fifth place. The three-time Pro Bowler will begin his sixth season with the Eagles after spending the first six years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and then playing three years with the New Orleans Saints.

      "We are excited to bring Darren back," the Eagles said in a statement. "It isn't very often that you have the opportunity to add a player who has the sixth-most (all-purpose) yards in NFL history. He is the ultimate professional, and a leader on and off the field. He will add another proven talent to our running back room. His dynamic punt return skills are second to none. We can't wait to get started next week."

      Sproles had discussed retiring after the 2017 season, the year he sustained a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and broken right arm in Week 3. He returned for last season but missed 10 games due to a hamstring injury.

      He said he came back for 2018 because "I couldn't let my career end like that."

      Sproles had topped 1,100 all-purpose yards in all 11 of his full seasons, peaking with an NFL-best 2,696 in 2011 with the Saints.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos’ Fangio says Lock ‘doesn’t know how to pitch yet’
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock found out what the school of hard knocks will be like under new head coach Vic Fangio.

    • On only his second day of training camp, Lock, who reportedly was in a contract stalemate earlier this week, got verbally hit below the belt Friday by the old-school coach of the Broncos.

      "He's not a quarterback yet," Fangio told reporters. "He's a hard-throwing pitcher that doesn't know how to pitch yet. The faster he gets that, the better off he'll be and we'll be."

      Four years of experience as a starter at Missouri isn't enough to make Lock an NFL quarterback according to Fangio, the former defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.

      "His college offense had no carryover to pro offenses," Fangio said. "He was under duress a lot in college, so a lot of his plays he was running around. I don't think he's as far along being an NFL-ready QB as he could have been."

      Lock, who failed to get selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft before the Broncos grabbed him the 42nd overall pick, isn't expected to unseat new addition Joe Flacco as the starter in 2019.

      "Drew will come in and compete for the backup job," general manager John Elway told ESPN.com in April.

      Fangio sounds like the tough-talking team player Elway needs in dealing with his young gun.

      "I think a quarterback that can change his arm angles is a position when it's needed," Fangio said. "You don't want to do it when you don't have to do it. Obviously if someone's in my face and I have to do it, that's good to have that talent. But if I'm strong in the pocket and there's nothing, I want to throw over the top, nice and strong. I don't want to rely on side-arms.

      "It's good that (Lock) can do that, but he needs to use that when he needs to and not when he doesn't need to."

      --Field Level Media

  • Raiders' stadium cost in Vegas soars to $1.9 billion
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    The high stakes for building an NFL stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas continues to rise with the latest cost estimate now coming in at $1.9 billion, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    • A report indicated that $40 million was being added to the cost in order to give the venue 20 more additional suites and a new club area near the north end zone.

      The Raiders are expected to move into the stadium for the 2020 season, playing on a natural grass field under a translucent roof. Stadium plans call for it to have sliding doors that will open to give a view of the nearby Las Vegas Strip. The UNLV football program is also expected to use the facility.

      Nearly $1 billion already has been spent on the 65,000-seat stadium, with the final three of 26 steel trusses expected to be installed in the next few weeks.

      A 0.88-percent tax on Clark County hotel rooms is expected to pick up $750 million of the price tag.

      A total of at least 46 annual events are expected to be held in the stadium, including concerts, MMA-style events and monster truck shows. The NCAA men's basketball committee reportedly toured the facility this month with a future Final Four possible.

      -Field Level Media

  • Bills sign S Coleman to replace retiring Bush
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    The Buffalo Bills signed journeyman safety Kurt Coleman on Friday to replace Rafael Bush, who is retiring after nine seasons.

    • Coleman, 31, is entering his 10th season and received a one-year contract that is reportedly worth just over $1 million.

      He played all 16 regular-season games last season for the New Orleans Saints, making nine starts. Coleman finished with 32 tackles.

      Coleman has played for Bills coach Sean McDermott during previous stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.

      Bush made seven starts for the Bills last season, finishing the season with 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Giants OL Petrus dies of heat stroke
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    Former offensive lineman Mitch Petrus, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 2011, died Thursday night of an apparent heat stroke.

    • Petrus, who was 32, had spent the day working outside of his family's business near Little Rock, Ark. The area has been under a heat advisory, with temperatures into the 90s.

      The former University of Arkansas walk-on was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round in 2010 and was part of the team that won the title after the 2011 season. He was cut after the season and spent time with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots the following season before leaving the NFL.

      The official Razorbacks twitter account posted a tribute to Petrus on Friday morning.

      "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus," it reads. "He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch."

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos bring back RB Williams, waive OL Jacobson
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    Running back David Williams, who was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2018, rejoined the team on Friday.

    • Williams wound up playing last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed him off the Broncos practice squad.

      He rushed eight times for 36 yards in six games with the Jaguars, who released Williams on May 10.

      The Broncos also announced that offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson had been waived. Jacobson had joined the Broncos in May as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL declines to punish Chiefs WR Hill
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 19, 2019

    Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will not be punished under the personal conduct policy as the NFL closed its formal investigation into multiple alleged physical altercations.

    • Hill pleaded guilty to an assault and battery charge in 2015 but a full version of an audio recording aired recently revealed Hill denying assaulting his fiancée.

      "Based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy," the statement reads.

      "Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City's training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner [Roger] Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention."

      The Chiefs announced in late April that Hill has been barred from team activities. In three seasons with the Chiefs after he was a fifth-round draft choice out of West Alabama in 2016, Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 touchdowns.

      The Chiefs released a statement on Friday welcoming Hill back to the team for the start of training camp next week.

      "We have been informed of the decision by the National Football League that, based on the available evidence, the league has not found that Tyreek Hill violated the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. Based on the information provided to us by the league, we have decided it is appropriate for Tyreek to return to the team at the start of training camp. The club fully supports the conditions for return laid out by the league and will continue to monitor any new developments in the case. We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week."

      Hill released a lengthy statement on Friday.

      "The last few months have been very difficult for me, especially as a father. The false allegations reported in March were highly publicized and involved the care of my son. I am grateful for so many things and grateful for so many people who have supported me through this challenging time. I fully respect and accept the NFL's decision," Hill's statement begins.

      He goes on to thank fans, the Chiefs, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, also praising the league for "conducting a thorough investigation."

      In the recently released recording, played by 610 KCSP radio, Hill is heard telling Crystal Espinal that he "didn't touch you in 2014."

      "You f---ing ruined my life and you lied on me in 2014," Hill told Espinal. "I'm still not over that. I didn't touch you in 2014.

      "You lied on me in 2014. If you want to rewind that night, we can rewind that night, too. You was in my house. And did I pick you up and slam you? Hell no. I picked you up and put you out my door and after that you left."

      In August 2015, eight months after his arrest, Hill entered a guilty plea to domestic assault and battery by strangulation for allegedly punching and choking Espinal, who was pregnant at the time.

      While entering his plea, Hill told a judge that he "did something I shouldn't have done" and that "I let my feelings take control of me," according to ESPN's reporting.

      Kansas City television station KCTV aired another audio recording, believed to have been made as Hill and Espinal were in Dubai's international airport, that spurred the Johnson County District Attorney's Office to take a second look at a possible criminal case involving injuries to the couple's 3-year-old son.

      The television station said it received the audio from "someone who is concerned about the welfare of the couple's child."

      When police responded to their home previously, there were signs that a crime had been committed against the child, but the District Attorney's Office said it would not have been able to prove who did it.

      In the 11-minute audio file released in April, Espinal is heard telling Hill that the boy said "Daddy did it,'' referring to an injury to the child's arm.

      The league left the door open for potential discipline down the line, saying "If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time."

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos LB Davis carted off at 1st camp practice
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    The Denver Broncos saw one of their defensive starters get carted off the field on the opening practice of training camp, but the team may have dodged a serious injury.

    • Inside linebacker Todd Davis, the Broncos' leading tackler last season, went down to injury Thursday in Englewood, Colo., but he is expected to miss only three to four weeks, according to multiple media outlets.

      NFL Network's Tom Pelissero later reported that an MRI showed a partially torn calf muscle, but the timetable should allow Davis to return to action before the start of the regular season.

      "It was the very last one rep (with starters on the field) I had of the whole day. The very last play," Davis said, per 9News in Denver. "I went to plant and run towards the ball. The ball was thrown, and I just felt something kind of pull in my calf. Nothing major happened."

      The 27-year-old, a full-time starter for the past three seasons in Denver, enjoyed a career year in 2018, recording personal bests in tackles, passes defensed (seven), tackles for loss (six) and quarterback hits (five).

      Originally a rookie waiver pickup by the Broncos after the New Orleans Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State in 2014, Davis has played in all 16 games in three of the past four seasons. For his career, Davis has 338 tackles, two sacks and one interception in 71 games (49 starts).

      Davis is expected to be a key ingredient in new head coach Vic Fangio's defense this season as the Broncos come off a 6-10 campaign, one in which they ended the season by dropping their final four games.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Amputated Norton out of hospital after losing arm
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Two weeks after a car accident led to him losing his left arm, Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton walked out of a Miami hospital Thursday afternoon after being discharged, offering his gratitude after his life-changing amputation.

    • The 22-year-old Norton, who underwent six surgeries since his July 4 wreck, spoke on camera briefly from the parking lot at Jackson Memorial Hospital and thanked his numerous supporters through the ordeal.

      "I just want to give a big thank you first of all to God for me still being here," Norton said. "Second of all to Jackson Medical Center. They did a great job. They took great care of me while I was in here.

      Norton, who played at the University of Miami, said that several Dolphins teammates and coaches saw him in the hospital often, and cited first-year head coach Brian Flores as a daily guest to his room since the career-ending accident. NFL officials have said league and team insurance will cover his medical bills.

      --A 64-year-old Missouri man who aimed a laser pointer at New England quarterback Tom Brady's face during the AFC Championship pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and must pay a $500 fine.

      Dwyan Morgan of Lee's Summit faced up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in April. The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 37-31 overtime win against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 20.

      A photographer for KMBC in Kansas City recorded evidence of a green laser shining in Brady's face. Prosecutors did not say how investigators were able to determine that Morgan was allegedly involved. Morgan has been banned for life from the stadium.

      --The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr., filling out their 90-man roster.

      Contract terms were not announced. He takes the spot of Aaron Burbridge, who unexpectedly retired Wednesday at age 25 and was waived.

      Dunbar, a 23-year-old Houston product who went undrafted in 2018, spent most of last year on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, appearing in just one game. In college, he caught 180 passes for 2,430 yards, adding 11 touchdowns for the Cougars.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dolphins' Norton discharged from hospital after losing arm
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    Two weeks after a car accident led to him losing his left arm, Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton walked out of a Miami hospital Thursday afternoon after being discharged, offering his gratitude after his life-changing amputation.

    • The 22-year-old Norton, who underwent six surgeries since his July 4 wreck, spoke on camera briefly from the parking lot at Jackson Memorial Hospital and thanked his numerous supporters through the ordeal.

      "I just want to give a big thank you first of all to God for me still being here," Norton said. "Second of all to Jackson Medical Center. They did a great job. They took great care of me while I was in here.

      "Next, I want to thank the Miami Dolphins family. They've been crazy with how much help they've been willing to give and, you know, they really didn't have to. ... Everyone's been showing so much support and so much love. I really appreciate it. ... They've been a big part of me being able to even be out this early."

      Norton, who played at the University of Miami, said that several Dolphins teammates and coaches came to see him in the hospital often, and cited first-year head coach Brian Flores as a daily guest to his hospital room since the career-ending accident.

      Norton spent most of the 2018 season on the Panthers' practice squad after Carolina selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 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

  • Missouri man fined $500 for aiming laser at Pats' Brady
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    A 64-year-old Missouri man who aimed a laser pointer at New England quarterback Tom Brady's face during the AFC Championship game pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and must pay a $500 fine.

    • Dwyan Morgan of Lee's Summit faced up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in April.

      The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 37-31 overtime win against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 20.

      A photographer for KMBC in Kansas City recorded evidence of a green laser shining in Brady's face. Prosecutors did not say how investigators were able to determine that Morgan was allegedly involved.

      Morgan has been banned for life from the stadium. He admitted in May in an interview with "Inside Edition" that, from his seat in the end zone, he aimed the laser at Brady in an effort to distract him.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos sign WR Dunbar
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. on Thursday, filling out their 90-man roster.

    • Contract terms were not announced.

      He takes the spot of Aaron Burbridge, who unexpectedly retired Wednesday at age 25 and was waived.

      Dunbar, a 23-year-old Houston product who went undrafted in 2018, spent most of last year on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, appearing in just one game.

      In college, he caught 180 passes for 2,430 yards, adding 11 touchdowns for the Cougars.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Falcons sign LB Jones to hefty extension
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

    • Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed for injury. According to The MMQB, the deal includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

      The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets' C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position.

      Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017. He was limited to six games in 2018 due to a foot injury.

      --Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock will not hold out of any training camp practices after he agreed to terms on his rookie contract, multiple outlets reported.

      A report Tuesday from 9News.com said negotiations between the sides had stalled, as Lock sought a "quarterback premium" -- with additional guarantees or workout bonuses -- to be paid more than fellow second-round rookie Dalton Risner, a guard taken by Denver one pick before Lock in April's draft.

      Risner, picked 41st, signed his rookie deal later Tuesday, worth $7.14 million over four years with a $3.2 million signing bonus. Based on the No. 42 draft slot, Lock's deal is worth just over $7 million over four years with a $3.1 million signing bonus. Both players had portions of future salaries turned into workout bonuses, but Lock was not given a premium, per multiple reports.

      --Running back Phillip Lindsay and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will practice with the Broncos when on-field work at training camp opens Thursday.

      Head coach Vic Fangio said Lindsay is "ready to go" following offseason wrist surgery. General manager John Elway said Sanders will be eased into action after tearing his Achilles last season, but he will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

      Meanwhile, the Broncos waived wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, whom ESPN reported opted to retire rather than report to training camp.

      --A scheduled three-day bargaining session between the NFL and the NFL Players Association ended after one day, according to multiple reports.

      The sides released a joint statement, saying, "(Wednesday's) meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA's Executive Committee and the NFL's Management Council Executive Committee will continue."

      Multiple media outlets reported the sides will reconvene on July 29. ESPN reported the scheduled sessions ended early because information emerged that needed to be discussed further with other owners, quoting a source saying, "big topics are tabled (for now). There is definitely a lot of work to be done."

      --Police in North Carolina issued a felony arrest warrant for Arizona Cardinals tackle Desmond Harrison on charges of assault by strangulation and assault on a female, multiple outlets reported.

      Greensboro police said a report was filed Tuesday against the 25-year-old offensive lineman, who was signed off waivers by Arizona last month after being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

      The Cardinals immediately released Harrison after the allegations were reported by Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

      --The NFL suspended free agent cornerback Rashard Robinson for 10 games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy with several missed drug tests.

      "I would like to take this opportunity to apologize and take full responsibility," Robinson said in a statement to NFL Network. "I have no one to blame for my actions. I would like to apologize to my family and supporters."

      Robinson, who turns 24 next week, was suspended four games last year for a substance-abuse violation. He was waived by the New York Jets in May after playing in 10 games (one start) in 2018. A 2016 fourth-round pick of San Francisco, he started 14 of 28 games through his first two seasons with the 49ers and Jets, breaking up 15 passes.

      --Field Level Media

  • Falcons sign LB Jones to four-year, $57M extension
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

    • Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed. According to The MMQB, it includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years. The $34 million in guarantees includes injury, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

      The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets' C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position.

      Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017.

      Last season, Jones was limited to six games after sustaining a foot injury in Week 1, going on injured reserve before returning late in the season. He finished with 53 tackles (one for loss), two picks and six pass breakups.

      Jones' rookie contract was worth $4.5 million over four years. He was set to make $1.1 million in 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Broncos QB Lock agrees to terms
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock will not hold out of any training camp practices after he agreed to terms on his rookie contract Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported.

    • A report Tuesday from 9News.com said negotiations between the sides had stalled, as Lock sought a "quarterback premium" -- with additional guarantees or workout bonuses -- to be paid more than fellow second-round rookie Dalton Risner, a guard taken by Denver one pick before Lock in April's draft.

      Risner, picked 41st, signed his rookie deal later Tuesday, worth $7.14 million over four years with a $3.2 million signing bonus. Based on the No. 42 draft slot, Lock's deal is expected to be around $7 million over four years with a $3.1 million signing bonus.

      Lock missed initial medical meetings as the team reported to camp on Wednesday, but the Missouri product agreed in time to practice when on-field work begins Thursday.

      Once considered a possible top-10 pick, Lock will begin camp competing with Kevin Hogan for the backup job behind Joe Flacco.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: NFL-NFLPA meetings cut short two days
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    A scheduled three-day bargaining session between the NFL and the NFLPA ended after one day, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

    • The sides released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying, "Today's meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA's Executive Committee and the NFL's Management Council Executive Committee will continue."

      Multiple media outlets reported the sides will reconvene on July 29, rather than continuing with scheduled meetings Thursday and Friday.

      ESPN reported the sessions ended early because information emerged that needed to be discussed further with other owners, quoting a source saying, "big topics are tabled (for now). There is definitely a lot of work to be done."

      The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020 season, but sentiment around the league is that the NFL would like to reach agreement on an extension before the 2019 regular season begins in September.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sanders, Lindsay ready for start of Broncos camp
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Running back Phillip Lindsay and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will practice with the Denver Broncos when training camp opens Thursday.

    • Head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that Lindsay is "ready to go" following offseason wrist surgery.

      General manager John Elway said Sanders will be eased into action after tearing his Achilles last season, but he will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

      Lindsay, who turns 25 next week, made the Pro Bowl and rushed for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2018.

      Sanders, 32, had 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores in 12 games before suffering the season-ending injury in practice in early December.

      The two-time Pro Bowl wideout has posted three 1,000-yard seasons and has 535 receptions for 7,024 yards and 37 touchdowns in 127 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-13) and Broncos.

      Meanwhile, the Broncos waived wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, who ESPN reported Wednesday opted to retire rather than report to training camp.

      Burbridge, 25, was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan State by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. He caught seven passes for 88 yards as a rookie but has not played since due to various injuries.

      --Field Level Media

  • Atlanta Falcons training camp primer
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    New faces: G James Carpenter, G Jamon Brown, G Chris Lindstrom, DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Kaleb McGary, TE Luke Stocker, S J.J. Wilcox

    • They're gone: RB Tevin Coleman, OT Ryan Schraeder, CB Robert Alford, K Matt Bryant, DE Bruce Irvin, CB Brian Poole, LB Brooks Reed, DT Terrell McClain, CB Justin Bethel

      2019 snapshot: The Falcons went into the offseason with plans to overhaul two key areas: the coaching staff and the offensive line. They fired coordinators Steve Sarkisian (offense), Marquand Manuel (defense) and Keith Armstrong (special teams), bringing back former O-coordinator Dirk Koetter, turning the defense over to head coach Dan Quinn and hiring Ben Kotwica to run special teams. Koetter's success with QB Matt Ryan from 2012-14 is encouraging, and Quinn could whip the defense into shape, but that's a lot of turnover to manage.

      Atlanta then threw major resources up front, signing Brown and Carpenter to multi-year deals and adding Lindstrom in the first round to provide three possible starting options at guard. At right tackle, the Falcons released Schraeder, extended Ty Sambrailo (three years, $14.3 million) and traded back into the first round for McGary. Altogether, the rash of moves felt too aggressive, and now the pressure is on for the unit to perform.

      On defense, the pressure is on key pieces Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen to get and stay healthy, as few players were added other than Clayborn. Alford and Reed were released, and it was surprising to see Poole -- an undrafted rookie who ascended to a starting role -- untendered as a restricted free agent. With DT Grady Jarrett secured on a long-term deal at the franchise deadline, Quinn can focus his attention on answering questions at other positions.

      Worth the investment?

      --At 8.5, the over/under win total for the Falcons is enticing. Matt Ryan is 34 but he's surrounded by great weapons. If Atlanta avoids the injury epidemic that hit last season, the Falcons are capable of getting to 10 wins.

      --Ryan is 10th in MVP odds at FanDuel, and his prolific passing numbers give supporters all the reason they need to go that route. But the +2600 is not a pure value when you consider some of the potential for quarterbacks behind Ryan to climb these ranks in-season.

      Bottom line: The O-line should be fixed, but the coaching changes might not solve everything. More depth on defense would have helped.

      --Field Level Media