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Texans tack on two years to Andre Johnson's never-ending deal

A. Johnson4.jpgAndre Johnson’s contract will outlast us all.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Johnson’s new deal will be a two-year extension worth $38.5 million through 2016.  Based on the league’s rotating schedule and other calculations, PFT can estimate that the final game of Johnson’s deal will take place against the London Towers in Week Eighteen, January 2017.

The new deal adds $13 million guaranteed in new money.  The total contract is worth $73.5 million over ten years.

Since we don’t know the exact structure of the contract, it’s not worth speculating whether it truly makes Johnson the highest paid receiver in the league.  We do know that Johnson likely received more upfront guaranteed money, which had Johnson smiling wide on Thursday.

“Words can’t describe it,” Johnson said.  “To be able to play for the Houston Texans for the rest of my career is a tremendous honor.”

Johnson shouldn’t be the only one smiling.  Other elite NFL players (and their agents) can use A.J. as an example of a player that got paid big extra bucks despite having many years left on his existing deal.

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L.A. survey focuses on how much people will pay for PSLs, tickets

Seats Getty Images

On Tuesday, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reported that the NFL has commissioned a survey of roughly 2,000 residents regarding the viability of the L.A. market for the relocation of a team.

Since then, PFT has obtained from a reader the screen shots of all questions asked.

Much of the survey focuses on whether folks want the NFL to return to L.A. and which teams they prefer (with the survey pointing out that “a number of NFL teams that have existing, long-term stadium leases and well-established fan bases, and are not candidates to relocate to the Los Angeles area”), many of the questions focus on the various permutations of PSLs and ticket prices.

The proposed PSLs are as high as $50,000, with payment options including 10 years at eight percent interest, or annual installments beginning three years before the stadium opens.

The survey also extends an invitation to participate in focus groups regarding seating options, pricing and potential amenities.

Perhaps most importantly, the survey asks, “Would you like to be contacted regarding various seating options you showed interest in?”

In other words, “Get your checkbook ready.”

Click the “continue reading” link to see all of the questions.

“Are you a fan of the National Football League?”

“Which NFL team is your favorite?”

“Do you attend NFL games on an annual basis?”

“How would you describe your (your company’s) attitude towards an NFL team in the Los Angeles area?”

“If a current NFL team relocated to the Los Angeles area, would the identity of the team change your attitude towards a NFL team in the Los Angeles area?”

“If a new stadium is constructed in the Los Angeles area to serve as the home of an NFL team, how would you describe your (your company’s) interest in attending the team’s home football games?”

“On a scale of 1 to 7, with ‘1’ being Not Important and ‘7’ being Very Important, please indicate the importance of the following stadium features in your (your company’s) decision to attend future NFL games in the Los Angeles area.”  (Categories are:  Stadium Location, Stadium Accessibility from Freeways, Availability of On-Site Parking, Stadium Proximity to Public Transit, Stadium Proximity to Entertainment District (i.e., restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.), and Ability to Tailgate.)

“Do you have general season tickets to any professional or collegiate sports team(s) in the Los Angeles area?”

“Do you have a luxury suite for any professional or collegiate sports team(s) in the Los Angeles area?”

“How would you characterize your (or your company’s) interest in purchasing tickets at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?”

“Should an existing NFL team relocate to the Los Angeles area, to what degree would the identity of the team impact your interest in purchasing tickets?”

“Please specify which existing NFL team you would most prefer to relocate to the Los Angeles area  (Please note that there are a number of NFL teams that have existing, long-term stadium leases and well-established fan bases, and are not candidates to relocate to the Los Angeles area.)”

“If the relocated NFL team was not your most preferred team, how would that impact your interest in purchasing tickets?”

“If the relocated team was not your most preferred, please specify which team you would want to relocate to the Los Angeles area.”

“On a scale of ‘1’ to ‘7’ with ‘1’ being ‘Not Important’ and ‘7’ being ‘Very Important,’ how would you rate the importance of the following amenities at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?” (Categories are:  In-seat food/beverage service, All-inclusive food & non-alcoholic beverages, High quality food/beverage options, Close proximity parking, Premium seating options (club seats, loge boxes, luxury suites, etc.), Special ticket holder events (team meet & greet, watch practice), Option to purchase tickets to other events at the stadium.)

“Seat Location Preference” (including a seating chart with general and club seating at three levels, and a request to identify the top three preferred locations, “understanding the most prime locations would be more expensive”).

“Over the past decade, most new NFL stadiums have utilized the sale of Personal Seat Licenses (‘PSL’) to help fund construction.  Do you know what a PSL is and how it works?”

“Upper Level Sideline” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $6,500 and annual cost of $1,500 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Upper Level Sideline” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $6,500 and annual cost of $1,250 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Upper Level Sideline” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $3,250 and annual cost of $1,250 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Upper Level Sideline” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $6,500 and annual cost of $1,000 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Upper Level Sideline” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $3,250 and annual cost of $1,250 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“If you made the decision to purchase season tickets located along the sidelines of the upper level of a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area, how many would you purchase?”

“Multiple payment options could be available for Personal Seat Licenses associated with the purchase of tickers in a new stadium located in the Los Angeles area, including interest-free payment in installments for the three-year period prior to the stadium opening or financing the cost for up to 10 years with interest.  Which would you (your company) be most likely to choose?”

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $50,000 and annual cost of $4,500 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $4,500 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $50,000 and annual cost of $3,750 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $3,750 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $50,000 and annual cost of $3,000 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Lower Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $3,000 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $4,500 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $12,500 and annual cost of $4,500 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $3,750 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $12,500 and annual cost of $3,750 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $25,000 and annual cost of $3,000 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Mezzanine Level Club Seat” season-ticket interest with a suggested seat license of $12,500 and annual cost of $3,000 for season tickets and PSL financing options including three interest-free installments and 10-year financing at 8 percent interest.

“Loge Boxes” season-ticket interest, with each box holding four to eight people.

“Among all of the seating options that may be available in a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area, please choose the single option you would most likely purchase.”

“A new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area could host a variety of other events, including concerts, motorsports, other sporting events, etc.  Would you have interest in attending other events at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?”

“Please indicate which other events you would be interested in attending at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?” (Choices are NCAA Football, International Soccer, Concerts, Motorsports, other sporting events, religious events, and “other”.)

“What zip code is your primary residence?”

“What is your gender?”

“What is your age?”

“What is your annual household income?”

“CSL in planning to conduct a series of focus group sessions in order to gain additional insights regarding seating options, pricing and potential amenities offered in a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles.  Would you be interested in attending a focus group session?”

“Would you like to be contacted regarding various seating options you showed interest in?”

“Your input is important to us.  Please include any thoughts or suggestions that you may have about the proposed NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area, or the survey, in the space provided below.”

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Saints bring Eric Olsen back to the team

New Orleans Saints v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

The Saints haven’t updated the condition of center Jonathan Goodwin since he was carted off with a leg injury during last Sunday’s loss to the Lions, but they made a transaction Tuesday that may signal their doubts about Goodwin making it back for this week’s game against the Packers.

New Orleans signed interior offensive lineman Eric Olsen to the active roster, giving them a player with experience at guard and center in their offense. Olsen, a sixth-round pick in Denver in 2010, signed with the Saints in 2011 and played all 16 games for them in 2012 while making four starts.

Olsen wound up on injured reserve at the end of the preseason in 2013 and the Saints eventually released him from that list, leaving Tim Lelito to become the primary backup up front. Lelito would likely start if Goodwin does miss time in the coming weeks and Olsen, who failed to make the Titans this summer, will provide some depth.

Goodwin has played all six games for the Saints this year, but his injury last weekend marked the second time this season that he’s been forced out of a game.

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Bill O’Brien: We’ll work both guys in practice, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is our quarterback

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Brooks AP

The Texans have lost three straight games and four of their last five, which isn’t helping their chances of making the playoffs.

It also isn’t hurting Ryan Fitzpatrick’s chances of remaining the team’s starting quarterback. Texans coach Bill O’Brien was asked at his Wednesday press conference about the circumstances that would lead to Ryan Mallett overtaking the veteran on the depth chart. O’Brien didn’t spell them out, but suggested that no move is on the horizon in Houston.

“I think that Ryan [Mallett] has improved every week. He’s getting a better grasp of what we’re doing here. I think the things that he’s trying to work on — accuracy, just consistent accuracy, things like that,” O’Brien said, via the team. “I think he’s working hard to get those to a level where they need to be to be able to play a lot of football in this league. Fitzy is our quarterback and when you look at our tape, again, you cannot just point to one position and say that’s the position that is at fault. There are a lot of positions that need to play better; we need to coach better, all those different things. It all goes into why sometimes we stall offensively. It’s not one guy. So we’re going to continue to work with both of these guys in practice and we’ll see how it improves and hopefully it will get better and better and that will help our offense get better.”

Fitzpatrick is what he is as a quarterback at this point in his career and the Texans can’t be too unhappy with his solid completion percentage, net yards per attempt or overall play on an offense. Still, 3-4 is 3-4 and a failure to improve that record though the next stretch will leave them with little reason not to see what Mallett can do after trading for him this offseason.

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Brandon Marshall on Jay Cutler: We’re great

Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall AP

Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s locker room outburst last Sunday garnered a lot of attention, particularly part of it that many thought was directed toward quarterback Jay Cutler.

Marshall pointed out the talent on the offense without mentioning Cutler and said the “same mistakes” regarding protecting the football are holding the team back. Coach Marc Trestman said this week that Marshall’s words were directed more generally than that and Marshall dismissed any talk of issues with Cutler during his weekly appearance on Inside the NFL.

“I have a really nice condo. And guess what? Jay Cutler built that condo,” Marshall said. “We’re great. We’re great. You know, we’re like brothers. I think Coach Trestman said it the best. But if I have a problem with Jay Cutler, I’m going to go to Jay Cutler. If Jay Cutler has a problem with me, he’s going to come to me. We have that type of relationship.”

Marshall also said that he doesn’t regret anything he said Sunday, though he does regret saying it for those outside the team to hear. The Bears will get back to work on Wednesday and there are sure to be more questions about the temperature in the locker room, but the best answer anyone can give will come with a focused and winning performance against the Patriots in New England.

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Texans won’t hand Jadeveon Clowney’s starting job back immediately

Jadeveon Clowney AP

The Texans took No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney to Pittsburgh with them Monday, but didn’t rush him back onto the field.

Likewise, his place in the starting lineup isn’t a given when he does return, according to Texans coach Bill O’Brien.

With a long layoff after sports hernia surgery and his replacement Whitney Mercilus playing well (two sacks against the Steelers), O’Brien said they will ease Clowney back into the rotation.

“He played a tough football game,” O’Brien said of Mercilus, via Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s one of the more improved guys on our team from when we got here last winter.

When J.D. comes back, he’ll have to work back into the mix. That’s not just something that’s going to be handed to him, that’s for sure. Whitney’s played well enough to deserve playing time, that’s for sure, and that’ll be a competition. …

“You don’t just hand it to a guy coming off of six weeks being out, especially when the other guy has played pretty well.”

Of course, the Texans didn’t bypass other needs to take a player such as Clowney for him to be a part-timer, so that adjustment period likely won’t be long. But having multiple pass-rush threats will help.

O’Brien said Clowney’s cutting ability wasn’t quite where he had hoped in pre-game warmups, so the decision to deactivate him was easy. That means this week in practice will likely determine whether and how much Clowney will play against the Titans Sunday.

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Aaron Rodgers meets Packers owner (sort of) Eddie Vedder

San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

When Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers met President Barack Obama, he was surprised to hear the Commander in Chief wanted to trade him to the Bears.

But upon meeting Bears fan Eddie Vedder earlier this week at a Pearl Jam concert, he was surprised to find out Vedder was one of his bosses.

During his weekly show on ESPNWisconsin (link to full interview here), Rodgers said it was interesting to learn that Vedder actually owned a share of his team’s stock.

“He did say that he was an [Packers] owner,” Rodgers said. “A buddy had gotten him stock certificate a few years back. As opposed to when we met the President and he made a joke about trading me to Chicago, there wasn’t any conversation about that. We actually talked about some other things.”

Having met the most powerful man on Earth, meeting a rock singer was a big deal, but not enough to make him nervous.

I didn’t geek out in that situation,” Rodgers said. “I was proud of myself. I didn’t really need a pep talk. I’d seen him perform before, and obviously was a big fan for a while, but I didn’t feel those pre-meeting nerves.”

At one point in the show, Vedder took the stage in a Packers No. 10 jersey, though Rodgers insisted it was in honor of one of their early album titles and not Matt Flynn.

“Flynn obviously played along, or maybe in his mind believed that it was a Flynn jersey that he was wearing,” Rodgers said. “I’m pretty sure it said ‘Vedder’ on the back, and obviously the Ten was for the CD title.”

The two icons swapped souvenirs (a jersey for a guitar), but it’s unclear if that’s enough for Vedder to disavow the Bears, or at least wait until Obama gets that trade pushed through.

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Stephen Tulloch: We aren’t the same old Lions

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Getty Images

The Lions were in position to win the NFC North last season after they won six of their first nine games, but things fell apart down the stretch and Detroit watched the playoffs from home.

That memory may be keeping some people from buying into the Lions’ chances this season despite their 5-2 record. Linebacker Stephen Tulloch is out with a torn ACL, but he’s remained around the team and explained Tuesday why this year’s team won’t repeat the failure from 2013. It starts with the change of head coaches named Jim from Schwartz to Caldwell.

“It starts with the head man; it starts with coach Caldwell,” Tulloch said on 105.1 in Detroit, via the Detroit Free Press. “The person that he is, the coach that he is, I’ve never been around a man like that before in my life. He’s like a father figure. We don’t want to let him down. He treats us like men, all of us, from day one. He’s just an accountable person. He’s going to make sure every guy’s accountable, that we’re going to do what we have to do. We’re not going to cause any problems in the locker room. There’s no drama. Everybody believes in what’s going on and I think it’s translating to wins. And people can kind of move away from the ‘same ol’ Lions.’ The new Lions now because this is definitely a guy that believes in change and he’s done a good job doing that.”

The change from Schwartz to Caldwell is obviously impactful, but they addition of defensive coordinator Teryl Austin also seems pretty significant. The Lions have allowed the fewest yards and second-fewest points in the league this season after being in the middle of the pack in 2013. That’s definitely not the same old Lions and definitely a reason for optimism about the second half of the season this time around.

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Joe Philbin “excited” about Dion Jordan’s return

Dion Jordan AP

Defensive end Dion Jordan was back at practice for the Dolphins on Tuesday, the first time he’s been able to take part in work with his teammates since the start of the regular season.

Jordan spent the first six games of the season serving a pair of suspensions for violations of the league’s drug policy, which added off-field questions to any on-field ones raised by a quiet rookie season for the third overall pick of the 2013 draft. Jordan said he “bettered” himself during his time away from the team and that people should feel confident that he’ll remain drug-free, two things he likely shared with coach Joe Philbin in recent conversations.

“We’ve talked numerous times,” Philbin said, via the Miami Herald. “It’s about looking forward and moving forward in all aspects, professionally, personally. I’m excited about having him back.”

Philbin said that no decision will be made on activating him for Week Eight until later in the week. If Jordan can be a factor defensively upon his return, it should allow Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon to play fewer snaps and remain fresher come the second half of games.

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Wednesday morning one-liners

Robert Mathis AP

When given enough time to pass, QB Kyle Orton has looked good for the Bills.

Dolphins DE Dion Jordan said fans “should be confident I’m drug-free. I’m very confident.”

For the Patriots’ defensive backs, covering Bears WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will be a tall order.

With 2014 looking like a lost season the Jets will have big decisions in 2015.

The Ravens are playing well in all three phases of the game.

Bengals players are trying to make a difference in their community.

Your reminder that the 1964 Browns were the last Cleveland team to win a championship.

Monday night’s win was nice, but the Steelers still have issues.

Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t appear to be close to getting benched.

Despite losing Robert Mathis, the Colts’ pass rush is holding up well.

Jaguars LB Telvin Smith is showing a knack for making big plays.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt says he’s noticed “a sense of pessimism” in Tennessee. (Maybe his team should give the locals something to be optimistic about.)

The Broncos are focusing on stopping Chargers TE Antonio Gates.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid will reunite this week with Donovan McNabb, his old quarterback who will call Sunday’s game on FOX.

The Raiders’ defense is struggling on third down.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen hasn’t scored a touchdown this season, but he has made a difference to San Diego’s offense.

The Dallas defense may have a tough time with Washington WR DeSean Jackson on Monday night.

With Victor Cruz out of the season, the Giants can’t afford to have Odell Beckham play like a rookie.

Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos had dinner with Mel Gibson during the bye week.

Washington QB Colt McCoy got in some target practice at the team facility.

Mike Ditka thinks one of the problems in the Bears’ locker room is that the team needs permanent captains.

The Lions were pleased to find a big fan in England.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has gone 192 passes without an interception.

The Vikings had enough injuries on the offensive line Sunday that if they’d suffered one more, TE Rhett Ellison would have had to play on the line: “It’s never really discussed, but I would have gone in and played tackle,” Ellison said. “I’m sure we would have slid our protection to my side to help me out. At least that’s my guess.”

The Falcons keep on shuffling their injury-riddled offensive line.

Carolina is the prettiest team in the ugly NFC South.

The Saints got off to a strong start, but their terrible finish ruined a good game on Sunday.

Tampa Bay hasn’t had much of a home-field advantage this season.

The Cardinals would like to extend QB Carson Palmer, but that’s not their only contract priority.

Former Rams WR Isaac Bruce says that if St. Louis fans want to keep the team, they need to show up. (And if the Rams want the support of their fans, they need to keep playing like they did on Sunday.)

Will former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. get a bust in Canton?

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin has benefited from lining up in the slot.

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Demarcus Lawrence has Jerry Jones “frothing at the mouth”

DeMarcus Lawrence AP

Even though their defense is better than it used to be (not that that’s hard), the Cowboys still have just six sacks on the season.

They’re hoping help for that is just around the corner.

With Demarcus Lawrence practicing well after breaking his foot, the Cowboys hope he’s ready to play when he can be brought back from IR/designated for return on Nov. 2.

Lawrence had everybody frothing at the mouth a little bit out there last week,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on KRLD-FM. “He has really improved his body during this time off. He’s used it to really have a lot of strength work. It’s something that he didn’t do as much [in college] as he’s doing now. He’s had quite a physical improvement.”

The second-round pick could make an immediate impact once he’s well, as there’s no real pass-ruhser on the roster, with defensive tackle Henry Melton leading the team with 1.5 sacks.

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Decision on Jon Beason’s toe surgery coming today

New York Giants v Detroit Lions Getty Images

Giants linebacker Jon Beason should know today what his plans for the season are, but admitted yesterday that shutting himself down for the season was an option because of a problematic toe injury.

Right now I’d say it’s 50-50 if the smart thing is to get it fixed and get ready for next season,” Beason said on WFAN, via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News.

Beason said he was “frustrated” with his condition, but pointed out he wasn’t medically whole.

“I’m playing without a crucial ligament in my big toe,” he said.

Surgery could fix that, but would knock him out for the year. He opted to not have surgery to get ready for the opener, but wasn’t able to finish the next game. He missed the next three games, but came back against the Eagles before aggravating it last week against the Cowboys.
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Antonio Brown still mad at refs, but apologizes for swearing at them

Antonio Brown, A.J. Bouye AP

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s no less happy at the officials he believes cost him a touchdown.

But he at least deleted the swearing at them.

Brown posted “F—ing refs,” next to a picture of his feet apparently in bounds on his Twitter page, has since deleted it, and come back with an even better reply.

Apologies for cursing the refs but dang,” the latest message reads, while Kermit the Frog looks at a picture of Browns feet, clearly in bounds.

When you’re passionate about something, you speak your mind,” Brown said on his radio show on 970 ESPN, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dean Blandino, the league’s head of officials, maintained the call was correct.

“Touchdowns are hard to come by in the NFL,” Brown said. “That would have given us a two-touchdown lead and made it harder for [the Texans].”

What might be even harder is the realization that swearing at the refs isn’t going to make him any richer, and might make it harder to get a call next time.

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Rams promote linebacker Marshall McFadden from practice squad

New York Giants v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

With a roster spot still open following the released of wide receiver Austin Pettis on Monday, the St. Louis Rams promoted linebacker Marshall McFadden to the team’s 53-man roster from their practice squad.

McFadden appeared in one game for Pittsburgh in 2012 and four games for Oakland in 2013 before signing to the Rams practice squad in October. He has recorded three tackles in those five games.

The Rams also signed receivers Kadron Boone and Devon Wylie, and linebacker Korey Toomer to their practice squad to fill the spots vacated by the promotion of McFadden and the release of receiver Emory Blake and linebacker Denicos Allen.

Pettis cleared waivers and is now a free agent.

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Agent: Report of Marshawn Lynch not boarding bus following Harvin trade is “absurd”

Seattle Seahawks v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

The trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets on Friday caught many members of the Seattle Seahawks by surprise.

Harvin’s teammates were finding out about the trade as the Seahawks were preparing to board buses to head to the airport for their flight to St. Louis Friday afternoon.

One player that appeared to take the news heavily was running back Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch expressed his surprise at the move on Twitter and reportedly nearly refused to board the team bus upon finding out about the news. However, Lynch’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, vehemently refuted that notion Tuesday night.

“These reports of (Lynch) going off and not wanting to get on bus are absurd. Please report accurate stories and not bogus ones,” Hendrickson wrote via his Twitter account.

A league source said over the weekend that Lynch had boarded the bus and was ready to depart long before several Seahawks staff members and players. The source added that they were not aware of any incident regarding Lynch threatening to not make the trip in the trade aftermath.

Lynch appeared to be his normal self on the field against the Rams on Sunday in carrying 18 times for 53 yards.

If anything, the trade of Harvin should allow the Seahawks to turn back to Lynch as their primary option on offense without needing to find a way to get Harvin involved in the game. After having just six carries against San Diego and 10 against Dallas, Lynch should once again become the focal point for Seattle’s attack.

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Jeremy Lane returns to practice from injured reserve for Seahawks

Jeremy Lane AP

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was designated Tuesday as having returned to practice after spending the last six weeks on the injured reserve/designated to return list.

Lane nursed a groin injury into Seattle’s season opener against the Green Bay Packers. He further aggravated the injury in the game and was placed on injured reserve following the game.

Head coach Pete Carroll said Lane is on track to return to the lineup for Seattle’s Week 10 game against the New York Giants when he is eligible to come off injured reserve. With the Seahawks having Tuesday off, Lane will practice for the first time since his injury on Wednesday.

Lane’s injury has forced Marcus Burley into the majority of duty as Seattle’s nickel cornerback this season. Lane has appeared in 19 games with four starts over the last three seasons. He has 44 tackles and four passes defended in his career.

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