Randy Bullock signs two-year extension

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On his fifth team, kicker Randy Bullock finally seems to have found a home.

The Bengals signed Bullock to a two-year extension through the 2020 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Bullock was in the final year of a two-year deal, scheduled to make $790,000 this season.

He is 4-for-4 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goals this season after making 90 percent of his field goals last season in his first full season with the Bengals.

The Texans made Bullock a fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2012. The Texans cut him during the 2015 season, and Bullock played for the Jets, Giants and Steelers before the Bengals claimed him off waivers in December of 2016 to replace Mike Nugent.

Hue Jackson vows to use Duke Johnson more

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In the offseason, the Browns signed running back Duke Johnson to a three-year, $15.6 million contract extension that included $7.8 million guaranteed. They seemingly have forgotten about Johnson since the season started.

He has only 11 touches for 35 yards in two games.

“Obviously, he’s one of our better playmakers, and he’s got to touch the ball,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “Duke’s a tremendous player. We’re glad he’s here. We’ve got to put him in position so he can make an impact because he can, and we’ll continue to look at different ways of getting him involved. But we will. We’ll get Duke going.”

Johnson has played 64 of 151 offensive snaps or only 42 percent.

Carlos Hyde, whom the Browns signed to a three-year, $15.25 million contract in the offseason, has played 83 snaps and has 40 touches for 115 yards. Rookie Nick Chubb has played only seven snaps, with five carries for 35 yards.

Johnson said he has not talked to Jackson or Todd Haley about his role, though it could be that the offense is a work in progress with Haley in his first season as the team’s offensive coordinator.

“That ain’t my job,” Johnson said of talking to the coaches. “My job is to perform, play football, to be a player. It’s their job to figure everything else out.”

Johnson had 156 touches for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He doesn’t know if the Browns intend to use him more this week than they have thus far this season.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Johnson said. “I know I’m kind of part of the plan in a sense. Just pace your way, and you’ll figure out when we’ll start. So far, so good for me mentally.

“Just trying to push through and affect this team in different ways. If I don’t have the ball, make sure I’m pass protecting, blocking down the field, anything needed of me, special teams, whatever it is to try and help us win.”

Rams releasing quarterback Brandon Allen

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Things are going smoothly enough for the Rams right now that they’re willing to go with two quarterbacks.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Rams are waiving reserve quarterback Brandon Allen.

They still have Sean Mannion behind starter Jared Goff, and they might like to bring Allen back to their practice squad. But three teams put in a claim on Allen last year when the Jaguars let him go.

He spent the year on the roster but inactive, and the Rams put him on IR late in the year with a back problem.

Cardinals working out Kendall Wright

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Free agent receiver Kendall Wright continues to make the rounds.

The former first-round pick is working out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic reports.

He was among a group of veteran receivers who worked out for Washington on Monday. But Washington signed Breshad Perriman and Michael Floyd instead.

Wright, 28, spent his first five seasons in Tennessee after the Titans made him the 20th overall pick. He was with Chicago last season before signing with the Vikings in free agency this spring.

Minnesota made Wright one of its cuts out of the preseason.

He has 339 catches for 3,858 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career.

Kurt Warner says his name was “mistakenly” put on Hall of Famers’ letter

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Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner says he never agreed to have his name on a letter threatening to boycott future Hall of Fame ceremonies unless all Hall of Famers are given a salary and benefits.

Warner released a statement saying that he does support benefits for retired players, but he wants those benefits to go to all retired players, and not just Hall of Famers, as the letter released today said. Warner also said he would not be part of any boycott of the Hall of Fame.

“It has come to my attention today that a letter was sent out addressing HOFers benefits and profit sharing,” Warner wrote. “While I appreciate the efforts of those spearheading this movement and I fully support the fight to gain better benefits for past, current and future NFL players, I was not made aware of this letter and my name was mistakenly attached to it. I understand what ALL retired NFL players have given to advance our league and I believe it is extremely important to fight for lifetime benefits for each and every one of them. I feel we can make a great case to the NFL for their support of these efforts, however, I do not believe boycotting is the means to the end in this instance. I am hopeful that all sides will come together and have serious conversations about what needs to be accomplished to continue to make our league the greatest in the world, both for those currently involved and for the pioneers on which it was built.”

Who made the “mistake” to attach Warner’s name to the letter? Warner didn’t name any names, but Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson has spearheaded the effort. Dickerson should explain exactly how Warner’s name got on a letter without Warner’s permission.

Raiders cutting defensive tackle Brian Price

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Brian Price started for the Raiders Sunday, but now he’s out of work.

According to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are waiving Price.

He was claimed off waivers from the Cowboys after final cuts. The Cowboys wanted to bring him back, and now they’ll have their chance.

The Raiders signed defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Clinton McDonald last week to cover for injuries.

 

NFL, NFLPA reviewing whether Patrick Chung played with a concussion

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Patriots safety Patrick Chung left Sunday’s game after taking a hit in the second quarter, then returned to the game, only to come out of the game for good at halftime. The Patriots announced that Chung had a concussion.

But did he suffer the concussion before he left the game the first time? If so, he should have been pulled from the game immediately, and his return to the game violated league policies. The league and the players’ union are looking into the matter.

“A joint review by the NFL and NFLPA of the application of the Concussion Protocol regarding New England safety Patrick Chung during the Patriots-Jaguars game is underway,” the league said in a statement.

Asked why the medical personnel didn’t check Chung for a concussion the first time he left the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that’s not his department.

“Look, I don’t know whether they did or didn’t,” Belichick said. “I’m trying to coach the game. I don’t have time for a conversation with those guys. If the player is cleared, he’s cleared. If he’s not cleared then he’s not cleared.”

This is the second time Chung has appeared to keep playing after suffering a concussion. Seven months ago, when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, Chung was on the field for a few plays after suffering a concussion. That it can happen repeatedly shows that the league still has some work to do on figuring out how to get players out of the game immediately when they’ve suffered a concussion.

Matt Nagy on Mitchell Trubisky: “Growing pains are going to occur”

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Bears coach Matt Nagy was still working in Kansas City in the spring of 2017, when the Bears took Mitchell Trubisky eight spots higher than the Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes in the first round.

And in case you haven’t noticed, Mahomes is playing OK right now, dare we say it, better than Trubisky.

But Nagy said that the extra year in the Chiefs offense is a benefit for Mahomes — without needing to say out loud that Mahomes benefits from a better cast of offensive talent.

“Well, what’s fair to compare is you have one, in Patrick, who has had a full year in this offense to understand it,” Nagy said, via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “Now, regardless of playing it in, he’s had a full year, more than a year to sit behind it and learn and understand and watch tape with those quarterbacks last year and get to see all the talk, all the discussions of where you go on this play and that play.

“Whereas Mitchell hasn’t had that. He’s being forced into this thing right away, and so that’s where these growing pains are going to occur. That’s where, I just want to make it clear to him and to everybody, if you’re realistic about it, it does take a little bit of time. And in the meantime, as you saw last night, we have a defense that can help us out during this process, and so the sooner we get it and it starts clicking, then the better. But that’s the difference between the two, and it’s obviously near to see Patrick doing so well right now.”

Of course, Trubisky was playing last year while Mahomes was watching Alex Smith, but the experiences aren’t otherwise comparable. Mahomes is running a system designed by Andy Reid, while Trubisky was playing under the aegis of John Fox and Dowell Loggains, and that just isn’t the same.

And while his coach’s words aren’t as harsh as Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark‘s, the recognition that the bar isn’t set nearly as high for Trubisky will make it easier for him to clear it, even if that’s eventually.

Bills working through who will make defensive play calls

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The Bills defense put forth its best work of the young season in the second half of Sunday’s loss as they gave up 65 total yards to the Chargers after giving up 825 yards over the first six quarters of the season.

That shift in performance came after a shift in playcalling. Head coach Sean McDermott took over those duties from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and said on Monday that the team is “working through” how they’ll make the calls in the future.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to win,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News. “Sometimes you’re able to get into a flow. Sometimes somebody else, you feel like, can get into a flow. That was really where it came from. I had a pretty good feel for what they were trying to do offensively, I wanted to come out and take the series and see how it went. I was able to get in a flow, and Leslie was helping me the whole time. Like I said before, whatever direction we go, we’re going to work on it together. I have a lot of confidence in Leslie Frazier in terms of being a good defensive football coach.”

It seems unlikely that the team is going to keep flipping back and forth between the two coaches on a regular basis and McDermott rose through the ranks as a defensive coach, so keeping things the way they were down the stretch in Week Two might be the likeliest outcome as the Bills move forward in what’s been a difficult season thus far.

Some Hall of Famers named in boycott letter reportedly didn’t know about it

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That letter from Eric Dickerson and other Pro Football Hall of Famers threatening a boycott of future Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies carries one potentially important flaw: Not all of the Hall of Famers listed on the letter knew about it before it was sent.

Jim Trotter of NFL Network reports that some of the players listed in the letter “did not see the letter beforehand, nor did they know of the threat to boycott” the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. If this is true, the Hall of Famers who didn’t authorize the letter should say so; indeed, they should want to say so. Otherwise, their names have been misappropriated by someone hoping to create the impression that there will be a mass boycott of Gold Jackets on the weekend when men wearing Gold Jackets are important aspects of the overall pomp and circumstance.

The letter has Eric Dickerson’s name under “sincerely,” identifying Dickerson as the “Chairman” of the “Hall of Fame Board.” Listed below Dickerson’s name are various “Board Members.”

MDS raised the possibility that the letter wasn’t expressly endorsed by each name on it due to the fact that Carl Eller’s name was misspelled. Also, the fact that Deion Sanders and Kurt Warner still collect sizable checks from the NFL for broadcasting services would tend to make them far less likely to undermine one of NFL Network’s most important broadcasting weekends. If anything, any employee of NFL Network has a clear bias in favor of propping up Hall of Fame weekend and, in turn, neutralizing any threats to it.

Dickerson, who clearly supports the effort, would seem to be the key to understanding the context and the procedures used to develop the letter. Maybe some of the “Board Members” simply didn’t attend the meeting at which the decision to send the letter was discussed.

Regardless, it appears that at least one Hall of Famer has realized the value of as many Hall of Famers showing up for Hall of Fame weekend as possible. It’s a point that may have been crystallized by the Hall of Fame’s unreasonable reaction to the decision of new Hall of Famer Terrell Owens to not attend this year’s ceremonies.

Brett Favre calls Clay Matthews’ penalty on Kirk Cousins a “textbook hit”

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Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on the roughing penalty Clay Matthews received Sunday for his hit on Kirk Cousins. Nearly everyone agrees it was a questionable call aside from NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron, who insists it was correctly officiated and will use the hit as a “teaching tool” for teams this week.

Former Packers and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre still wonders why it was a 15-yard penalty on Matthews, even after hearing the NFL’s explanation.

“I saw a textbook hit,” Favre said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “It wasn’t late. I saw nothing that, you know, and Clay’s had a history of those type of plays. This one was textbook, and if you’re going to use it as a teaching video, you teach that this is the way we expect you to tackle, and that’s the way I saw it. And that’s neither being a Clay Matthews or Packer fan, or a Minnesota Viking fan or hater, you know, that was a bad call. And to me, why not be able to review that?”

It wouldn’t have mattered if the Packers could have reviewed it since Riveron believes it was an illegal hit.

Report: Tom Johnson back to Vikings

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When the Seahawks released defensive tackle Tom Johnson over the weekend, word was that they needed a roster spot for another position and planned to re-sign him this week.

As the old saying doesn’t go, man plans and Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman laughs. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the Vikings stepped in with an offer to bring Johnson back to Minnesota that the veteran could not refuse.

Pelissero reports the deal is worth up to $1.5 million. His $900,000 base salary in Seattle was guaranteed when he made the Week One roster, but it’s not clear if there are offsets in that deal.

Johnson spent the last four seasons with the Vikings before leaving as a free agent this offseason. He started 25 games over that span, including 15 last season, and recorded 16 sacks during his first run in Minnesota.

Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson are currently installed as the starting defensive tackles in Minnesota with 2017 fourth-round pick Jaleel Johnson, 2018 fourth-round pick Jalyn Holmes and David Parry providing depth behind them.

Agent: Antonio Brown doesn’t want trade, just wants to win

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Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown didn’t show up to work on Monday and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he looks forward to “discussing that and other things” with the receiver.

The other things may include a tweet that Brown sent to a former Steelers employee saying “trade me let’s find out” in reference to a tweet suggesting Brown would not be as successful if he played with a quarterback other than Ben Roethlisberger. Tomlin said Tuesday that Brown has not requested a trade and Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said the same while also addressing his client’s absence on Monday.

“The tweet yesterday was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows,” Rosenhaus said, via Adam Schefter of ESPN. “It was not directed towards a trade, or wanting to be trading. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate. Antonio had a personal matter. I talked to the team about it. His issue was unrelated to the tweet or his relationship with the team. Third, AB has an incredible drive to win. He just wants to win. That’s all that that is. That’s not anything more than him encouraging his coaches and teammates to win. And that’s what his entire focus is on. Any notion, any speculation otherwise, can be put to bed. This is a non-story that has been blown out of proportion. We can end this right here and now.”

This isn’t the first time drama’s surrounded Brown’s use of social media and it isn’t the first drama of a Steelers season that’s been long on it through two weeks of the regular season. A win on Monday against the Buccaneers would be the best way to ensure that things really do die down, but it will be almost a week before we know if that’s how things are going to play out.

Bill Belichick on Josh Gordon: We’ll just have to see how it goes

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The Patriots announced their trade for wide receiver Josh Gordon on Monday and quarterback Tom Brady said that he hopes Gordon “can work hard, put the team first and end up helping us in any role he can find for himself on the team” in an interview later in the day.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t use quite as many words, but he delivered a similar message during a Tuesday conference call when it came to discussing the expectations for Gordon in New England.

“We’re at the same place with him that we were yesterday, so we’re in the process of working through it,” Belichick said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Belichick was also asked about the challenges of acquiring a player who has had the kind of off-field trouble that has been a constant in Gordon’s NFL career. Belichick said there’s no formula for such situations because they are all different and we’ll begin to see how this one works out once the Patriots start practicing for this week’s game against the Lions.

Brice Butler says he’s back with the Cowboys

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A report before Sunday night’s victory over the Giants indicated that the Cowboys would be bringing wide receiver Brice Butler back to the team this week and it looks like the deal is done.

Butler tweeted “I’m backkkkk!!” along with a picture of himself in a Cowboys uniform on Tuesday morning. The team has not announced a corresponding move, but head coach Jason Garrett did discuss the prospect of a Butler return when he spoke to the media on Monday.

“We wanted to keep him last year when he signed in Arizona. But now he’s available and you’re always trying to look for ways to improve your team,” Garrett said.

Butler was released by the Cardinals at the end of the summer. He had 43 catches for 794 yards and six touchdowns over the last three seasons.

It’s not clear what the corresponding move will be to get Butler back on the roster. The team has six other wideouts on the 53-man roster and all of them were active against the Giants in Week Two.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m. ET: Per multiple reports, the Cowboys are cutting safety Tyree Robinson in a corresponding move. That may bode well for their chances of getting safety Xavier Woods in the lineup for the first time this season.