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Ravens agree to terms with Michael Huff

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

One of the major stories in the opening days of free agency was the way the Ravens kept losing starters on defense. One of the major stories in the recent days of free agency is the way the Ravens keep adding starters on defense.

The latest addition is veteran safety Michael Huff, who agreed in principle with the Ravens on a three-year contract, the team announced today.

The 30-year-old Huff was cut by the Raiders just before the start of free agency and has drawn interest from several teams since then. Huff has been a starter since the Raiders took him with the seventh overall pick of the 2006 NFL draft, and he started all 16 games last season.

Safety was a position of need for the Ravens because of the loss of last year’s starters, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. Huff should step into the starting lineup immediately.

In addition to losing Reed and Pollard, the Ravens also lost cornerback Cary Williams and linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe in free agency, and they also lost linebacker Ray Lewis to retirement. But now the Ravens have added four solid players in Huff, Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. Throw in another solid addition or two in free agency or the draft, and it’s entirely possible that the Ravens will field a better defense in 2013 than they fielded last month, when they won the Super Bowl.

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Bengals place Eifert on PUP, Maualuga on NFI

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 13:  Tyler Eifert #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball after catching a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bengals made a host of pre-camp roster moves Tuesday, most notably placing Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert on the active/physically unable to perform list and placing veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga on the active/non-football injury list.

Eifert had offseason ankle surgery. He’s likely to miss all or most of training camp and the preseason.

The Bengals also placed wide receiver James Wright and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson on active/PUP. Thompson and Wright are both coming off knee injuries.

Players on active/PUP and active/NFI count against the team’s 90-man preseason roster and can be activated at anytime when they’re cleared to return.

The Bengals also officially signed rookie wide receiver Rashaun Simonise, who became a free agent after going unpicked in the supplemental draft, and cut two players, rookie wide receiver DyShawn Mobley and first-year defensive end Dezmond Johnson.

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Tyrann Mathieu among four Cardinals on PUP list

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27:  Free safety Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Arizona Cardinals smiles on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu isn’t ready to start practicing, but it isn’t because of any lingering contract issues.

The Cardinals announced today that Mathieu is among four players who will open camp on the active/physically unable to perform list because of offseason injuries and/or surgeries.

Also on the list are cornerback Justin Bethel, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and outside linebacker Zack Wagenmann.

The Cards are still hoping to find common ground on a contract with Mathieu, and the fact he’s coming back from a torn ACL doesn’t change that.

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Eric Berry doesn’t plan to show up for start of Chiefs camp

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates his first quarter interception against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs and franchise-tagged safety Eric Berry didn’t come to an agreement on a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline, which means Berry can only play this season on a one-year deal. But even that deal isn’t likely to be done before training camp opens.

Berry isn’t expected to report to the start of training camp with the rest of the Chiefs, Ian Rapoport of NFL network reports.

Even though negotiations on a long-term deal can no longer take place, Berry might want to negotiate something more than the $10.806 million guaranteed salary that comes with the franchise tag. For instance, Berry could be trying to negotiate an agreement from the Chiefs not to franchise him again next year.

Or Berry might just not want to go to training camp. Because he isn’t under contract, he can’t be fined for staying home. If things get ugly between the two sides, however, the Chiefs could also rescind the franchise tender and let Berry become a free agent.

Eventually, Berry is likely to sign the franchise tender and play this season for $10.806 million. If he waits until the season starts, he’d lose $635,647 each week that he misses, and that seems unlikely. But Berry only starts losing money if he remains unsigned when the regular season starts. Until then, he’s free to make the Chiefs sweat — and stay home while his teammates are sweating through practice.

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Dion Jordan reinstatement request lingers, curiously

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Defensive end Dion Jordan #95 of the Miami Dolphins sets on defense against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 11, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Nearly 15 months ago, the NFL suspended Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan for at least a year. Nearly two months ago, he applied for reinstatement. With training camp looming, no action has been taken on his request.

It’s a strange situation, mirroring the unexplained delay that clouded the initial reinstatement efforts of Browns receiver Josh Gordon. In Gordon’s case, the suspension later was extended; in Jordan’s case, a source with knowledge of the situation has expressed a high degree of confidence regarding the player’s compliance with all requirements of his treatment program and his successful completion of all drug tests. If there’s any reason why Jordan shouldn’t be reinstated, Jordan and those close to him aren’t aware of it.

The delay takes on even greater importance because Jordan is due to receive a $1.7 million roster bonus on the fifth day of training camp, which is Monday. Despite a report that the bonus no longer is owed, the truth is that the bonus is no longer guaranteed. If he’s on the roster on the fifth day of camp, the team owes him the money. If he’s not, he doesn’t get it.

And so the inaction regarding the consideration of Jordan’s reinstatement request has triggered suspicion that the delay isn’t accidental or inadvertent. If it is, the league should in all fairness rule on the request sooner than later — especially since the training-camp roster bonus was developed as a compromise to the offset debate, giving the player a large chunk of his compensation for the current year without credit for the team if he’s cut more than five days after camp opens.

Even without the roster bonus hinging on the decision, Jordan deserves to know whether he’ll be playing. If he won’t be, he deserves to know why.

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Colts add four to PUP/NFL lists

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 22: Jeremy Langford #36 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball near the goal line against Clayton Geathers #42 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 22, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts will hold their first practice of training camp on Wednesday and they announced the names of four players who haven’t been medically cleared on Tuesday.

Safety Clayton Geathers and tight end Mike Miller have been placed on the non-football injury list while defensive end Henry Anderson and tight end Darion Griswold are on the physically unable to perform list. All four will be ineligible to practice while on the list, but can be activated at any time before the start of the regular season.

Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports that Geathers, who is a contender for a starting spot, was wearing a boot on his foot and was told by a source that it is not a serious injury. Any extended absence would give 2016 second-round pick T.J. Green more of a chance to show what he can do.

Anderson tore his ACL last year in Week Nine, ending a rookie season that saw him start nine games while recording 31 tackles and one sack. Both tight ends signed with the team as undrafted free agents in May.

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Cowboys weren’t at fault in fatal bus-van collision

Cowboys Football AP

The Cowboys have been cleared in the bus wreck that claimed the lives of four motorists.

According to the Associated Press, investigators from the Arizona Department of Public Safety have concluded the van which hit the iconic bus failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign.

Four passengers in the van died. They were identified as Chinese nationals who were visiting the country. A 53-year-old male was driving, and was accompanied by two 52-year-old females and a 19-year-old female. All four were wearing their seat belts.

“We as an organization are deeply saddened, and our thoughts, prayers and concerns at this time are with the family members and loved ones of all who were lost,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement from the team.

The accident happened on U.S. Highway 93, a main thoroughfare from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The bus was carrying staffers to an event in Las Vegas.

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Rosenhaus: Anthony Davis and 49ers have “patched things up”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Guard Alex Boone #75 and tackle Anthony Davis #76 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter on December 8, 2013 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 19-17.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

49ers tackle Anthony Davis, after a one-year retirement, has decided to return. His official effort to be reinstated (which typically entails simply sending a reinstatement letter) has commenced, but it comes after a period of time during which Davis seemed to be agitating for his release. So I asked his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, whether Davis truly wants to be a 49ers.

“That’s a fair comment, Mike, but I do think since some of his comments I do believe that he has patched things up with the organization,” Rosenhaus said on Tuesday’s PFT Live. “He has been in contact with the organization and I also believe with the coaching staff and they’ve rebuilt that relationship. So whatever damage took place in my estimation has been repaired.”

Unless something else is happening that has never been reported or disclosed, the reinstatement process should go smoothly and quickly.

“I’m confident that Anthony is ready to go to work with the 49ers and resume his career with them, and I believe the 49ers will welcome him back,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s hard for me to speak for them but the impression I have is that, from all my discussions with them, that they would be excited to get Anthony back and that Anthony would be happy to work with them again. So hopefully he can pick up where he left off and continue his outstanding career before he retired last year.”

Davis was aggressive in April about trying to get out of San Francisco, possibly (and I’m speculating) because the 49ers declined to pay back to Davis the signing bonus allocation from 2015 that he refunded when he retired. The CBA does not require the repaid bonus money to be refunded, which may have prompted frustration for Davis.

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Bills hire son of offensive line coach Aaron Kromer

WESTON-SUPER-MARE, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 05:  A man sits in a deckchair as he enjoys the September weather on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare on September 5, 2012 in Somerset, England. Many seaside resorts are reporting a dismal season after the wettest summer on record and will hope the forecast for fine weather for the next few weeks will reverse their fortunes.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills are going to need another deck chair for the S.S. Nepotism.

According to Mike Rodak of, the Bills have hired Zak Kromer as an entry-level coaching assistant.

His father, Aaron, is the team’s offensive line coach. Zak spent the last four seasons as a student assistant at the University of Oklahoma.

The pair of Kromers were involved in a dispute over some beach chairs with their neighbors last July, with both charged with misdemeanor battery. Aaron was accused of punching a boy in the face and threatening to kill his family, while Zak was accused of putting his hands on one of the accusers.

Charges were eventually dropped against both of them, and the father was suspended six games by the team.

Now, he’ll have an opportunity to keep a close eye on his son.

If nothing else, being able to keep an eye on wayward family members is a sign the Bills want to make a better place — after coach Rex Ryan hired brother Rob as his assistant head coach/defense.

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Broncos add a linebacker, go with one long snapper

broncos helmet getty Getty Images

The Broncos made a roster move Tuesday, signing undrafted rookie linebacker Darnell Sankey and waiving rookie long snapper Nathan Theus.

Sankey was a four-year contributor at Sacramento State and was a first-team All-Big Sky pick last fall. Theus was a four-year long snapper at Georgia and signed with the Broncos after this year’s draft.

The release of Theus leaves first-year player Casey Kreiter as the lone long snapper on the Broncos’ roster. The team cut long snapper Aaron Brewer in March after he performed well for four seasons.

The Broncos start training camp Thursday.

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Report: Randy Gregory in treatment facility, facing longer suspension

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 13:   Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys on the sidelines before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on August 13, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Defensive end Randy Gregory will miss the first four games of the 2016 season while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but the terms of the ban allowed him to practice and play for the Cowboys in the preseason.

It appears that won’t be happening, however. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that Gregory has checked into a treatment facility and will not be reporting to Cowboys camp, which opens later this week.

There are no specific details about what led Gregory to check into the facility, but Werder’s colleague Adam Schefter reports that Gregory has violated the substance-abuse policy again and now faces an extended suspension. Whatever the term of that suspension, Gregory’s history of problems in this area will make it hard to count on getting anything from him in 2016 or beyond.

That’s not great news for a Cowboys defense that’s also without defensive end Demarcus Lawrence for four games and linebacker Rolando McClain for 10 games as they serve suspensions of their own.

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Rosenhaus believes Browns are committed to Josh Gordon

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 23:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns walks with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

With a lukewarm-at-best statement from executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown and an unusual reinstatement coupled with a four-game suspension, some wonder whether the Browns will welcome receiver Josh Gordon back with open arms.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus believes they will. Appearing on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Rosenhaus addressed the basic question of whether the Browns still want Gordon.

“I do believe the Browns are a big part of Josh getting reinstated,” Rosenhaus said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I do believe that Sashi Brown . . . had a lot to do with this. I believe that Hue Jackson is very committed to working with Josh Gordon. I believe that Jim Brown, who’s an integral part of this process who got to know Josh and has served as a mentor in some respects had a lot to do with this. I really do think that the Browns are committed to Josh and want to see him succeed.”

Rosenhaus believes that the earlier-than-expected reinstatement of Gordon arose directly from a meeting that occurred last week with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I believe that Commissioner Goodell really got to know Josh,” Rosenhaus said. “I’m convinced that he believed it would be in Josh’s best interests to go to training camp on time this week as opposed to waiting any longer. Being with his teammates, being with his coaches, and the Browns organization is going to put in a very good supporting system in place for Josh with counseling. They’ve got professionals that are going to work with him to support him moving forward so that he can be a successful football player and work within the system. I really believe the Commissioner wanted to give Josh this opportunity at the outset and see if Josh is able to grow from his experiences and make this transition.”

As to the conditional reinstatement combined with a four-game suspension, Rosenhaus recognizes that Goodell opted to depart from the strict language of the substance-abuse policy, which contemplates full excommunication of a player banished with the chance to apply for reinstatement.

“Commissioner Goodell made a major change in my opinion with this decision in that Josh, now during the four games that he is suspended, he can still work with the team,” Rosenhaus said. “That is a huge change from the past. . . . Commissioner Goodell is making a modification here for Josh that I think could benefit not only Josh but other players down the road because it’s very difficult when you’re on suspension as a young player. You need help and you’re basically on your own once you’re suspended. Now Josh can continue to be around his teammates, his coaches, administrators, people in the front office, and counselors from the Browns. That’s huge. They can still work with him, he can stay very close to everything that’s going on and not be on an island and I think that is a huge development and I thank Commissioner Goodell for that. I think this hopefully is a change that can be modified for certain young players going forward.”

Rosenhaus said Monday that Goodell explained the move was also aimed at building bridges with the NFL Players Association at a time when most bridges have been obliterated by a fundamental lack of trust.

For more from Rosenhaus, check out the podcast at iTunes or audioBoom.

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Lions adding wide receiver Anquan Boldin

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Wide receiver Anquan Boldin #81 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi's Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

This is the time for last-minute roster-tweaking, and for veterans, a last chance to find a chair before training camps begin.

For veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, that means another trip to Detroit, after his visit in June.

According to Adam Schefter of, the Lions are finalizing a one-year deal with the veteran wideout today.

Boldin has some familiarity with Lions coach Jim Caldwell from their days together with the Ravens, and he gives the Lions the kind of physical receiver they may have lacked after the retirement of Calvin Johnson this offseason.

They signed free agent Marvin Jones early in free agency to go with Golden Tate, but Boldin’s a known commodity.

His numbers were down last year in San Francisco, but so were everyone else’s, and he’s been a consistently productive player over the course of his 13-year career.

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Report: Jake Long signing with Ravens

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 5: Offensive tackle Jake Long #77 of the St. Louis Rams blocks linebacker Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter on October 5, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens parted ways with a veteran tackle when they released Eugene Monroe recently and it looks like they’ll be adding another one to the roster.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Jake Long is flying to Baltimore on Tuesday to sign with the Ravens. Per Schefter, it will be a one-year deal.

Long was the first overall pick of the 2008 draft by the Dolphins and spent five years as a starter in Miami before moving on to two years in the Rams lineup. Injuries slowed him down over the years, however, and he appeared in just four games without making a start while with the Falcons in 2015.

With first-round pick Ronnie Stanley pencilled in at left tackle and Ricky Wagner at right tackle, Long will likely be vying for a backup role in Baltimore.

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Rick Spielman: Cordarrelle Patterson has made “tremendous strides”

Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson AP

Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said recently that he didn’t always work as hard as he could have or should have during his first three years in the NFL, but the guy who made Patterson a first-round pick in 2013 seems to think that wasn’t an issue this offseason.

General Manager Rick Spielman called Patterson “probably the premier kickoff returner in the league” and a “big play waiting to happen” before suggesting that the work Patterson put in will open up the possibility of Patterson making some of those big plays on offense.

“Where Cordarrelle has made tremendous strides this year is on his route running ability and becoming a better receiver,” Spielman said, via the team’s website. “He is very tuned in and very focused trying to prove to everybody, including himself, that he’s going to be not just a great athlete with the football in his hands, but a true receiver in the NFL.”

Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell will have big roles on offense for the Vikings this season with Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson and Adam Thielen also back from last season. Patterson’s ability to break a big play is attractive, but he will likely need to show a consistent ability to make all kinds of plays to have a spot in the offensive mix.

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Jordy Nelson says ACL is fine: “No one needs to freak out”

Jordy Nelson AP

Recuperating wide receiver Jordy Nelson told fans to not panic, by giving them something else to panic out about.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Packers wideout said the reason he was placed on the physically unable to perform list yesterday had nothing to do with the torn ACL which cost him last season.

“It’s not the ACL. No one needs to freak out,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he tweaked the other knee while working out this offseason, which of course is something different to worry about. According to Rob Demovsky of, Nelson described it has a “hiccup” in the other knee, and said he wasn’t worried about the regular season opener.

I’m sure the Packers faithful will remain calm. All is well.

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