Bengals place rookie Gaelin Elmore on reserve/retired list

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The Bengals placed rookie defensive end Gaelin Elmore on the reserve/retired list Tuesday.

Elmore signed with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of East Carolina. He signed a three-year, $1.71 million contract.

He began his career at the University of Minnesota before transferring to East Carolina.

In his four-year college career, Elmore made 53 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, four sacks and five pass breakups in 36 games.

Cardinals G.M. suspended five weeks, fined $200,000

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The Cardinals suspended General Manager Steve Keim five weeks and fined him $200,000 after he pleaded guilty to extreme DUI on Tuesday.

Keim will face no further discipline from the NFL, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, as the Cardinals were in communication with the league before taking action.

The team will donate the fine money to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Keim is allowed no contact with the team and cannot enter team facilities during his suspension. He also is required to undergo counseling and evaluation, in addition to a DUI education course, before returning to work.

Keim also will participate in DUI awareness and education programs within the community.

“As stated at the time of the incident, this behavior is indefensible and completely unacceptable,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “While Steve has accepted full accountability and responsibility for his actions, that does not diminish their gravity nor the severity of the consequences that result from them.

“Those who work within the National Football League – particularly those in leadership positions – bear a greater responsibility and are held to a higher standard than simply a legal one and we feel that these measures are reflective of that.”

Keim was arrested in the early hours of July 4, and a blood draw determined he had a blood alcohol content of .19.

Keim, who signed a contract extension in February that runs through the 2022 season, released a statement apologizing.

“Once again, I apologize to everyone who has been negatively impacted by my actions and incredibly poor judgment, in particular the Cardinals, our fans and my family,” Keim said. “I fully deserve and accept the punishment that has been issued. My goal is to do everything I can to grow from this personally and help others learn from my inexcusable behavior.”

Multiple members of the personnel department will handle Keim’s duties during his absence.

Steve Keim pleads guilty to extreme DUI

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Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim pleaded guilty to an extreme DUI charge in Chandler, Arizona on Tuesday.

Chandler Municipal Court records show that Keim, who was arrested on July 4, entered the guilty plea for a charge reserved for people arrested with a blood alcohol content above .15. While many aspects of Keim’s arrest came to light in the days after it was announced, his BAC was not known.

KTAR reports that Keim’s BAC was .19, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08. Extreme DUI carries a possible sentence of 30 days in jail, although former Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd was sentenced to 24 days in jail after his 2017 conviction on the same charge.

The Cardinals released Floyd, who had a previous DUI arrest, after that arrest and the team has said there will be “consequences” for Keim, who also had a previous DUI arrest, as a result. Floyd was also suspended for four games by the NFL and discipline for team executives has varied after past incidents, although the revelation of his BAC will likely lead to a stiffer sentence.

UPDATE 5:34 p.m. ET: The Cardinals announced a five-week suspension and $200,000 fine for Keim after Tuesday’s guilty plea.

Report: Final Le’Veon Bell offer had $10M fully guaranteed

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When a report of a Steelers offer of five years and $70 million to running back Le'Veon Bell surfaced on Monday, there was no word of how much of that money was fully guaranteed.

Bell’s agent Adisa Barkari didn’t say in a Tuesday radio interview, but said the total value didn’t matter nearly as much as how much of the contract was fully guaranteed. According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, there wasn’t a lot of it guaranteed in the Steelers’ final offer.

Rapoport reports that a $10 million signing bonus was the only fully guaranteed portion of the contract. He adds that Bell stood to make $33 million over the first two years in a “rolling guaranteed structure” and $45 million over the first three years of the deal.

As long as the Steelers don’t rescind the franchise tag, Bell is guaranteed $14.5 million this year by reporting to the team before the first game of the regular season so it’s not hard to understand why he’d be looking for a bigger upfront commitment than the one the Steelers were reportedly ready to make this offseason.

Report: Brent Musburger will take over as Raiders radio announcer

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The Raiders are reportedly bringing in a famous voice to call their games on radio in Oakland this year and in Las Vegas down the road.

Gilbert Manzano of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Brent Musburger has agreed to a three-year deal to be the radio play-by-play announcer for the team’s games. Musburger has been working in Vegas as a columnist for that paper and as a broadcaster for the Vegas Sports and Information Network since leaving his job with ABC/ESPN in January 2017.

Musburger would begin working on Raiders games this fall and Manzano reports that current play-by-play announcer Greg Papa may not be aware of the change.

Musburger worked at ABC/ESPN for 27 years and first gained fame while working for CBS from 1973-1990. Musburger was the host of the network’s NFL Today pregame show for more than decade.

Panthers make Richard Rodgers their secondary coach

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The Panthers had an unexpected job opening on Ron Rivera’s coaching staff this offseason when secondary coach Curtis Fuller resigned from the team in May after an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The team announced Fuller’s replacement on Tuesday. Richard Rodgers will take over as the head defensive backs coach after spending the last three years as an assistant secondary coach. Rodgers, whose son Richard II plays tight end for the Eagles, also had a stint as the Panthers’ special teams coach during his seven years with the club.

Rodgers and Jeff Imamura had been filling in for Fuller since his resignation. Imamura will be the assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach this season.

The Panthers also announced that longtime NFL receiver Mark Carrier will be senior advisor to General Manager Marty Hurney. He had previously been the team’s director of player engagement.

Report: Brandin Cooks deal totals $80 million over five years

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The Rams announced that wide receiver Brandin Cooks signed a five-year contract extension on Tuesday, but, as per usual in the NFL, made no mention of the financial terms of the deal.

The first report about the compensation came a short time later. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the five-year extension has a total value of $80 million. Cooks is set to make $8 million this season in the fifth and final year of his rookie deal.

There’s no word on how much of that money is guaranteed and the overall structure of the contract also remains unknown at the moment. With Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Jared Goff and others in line for new deals now or in the coming years, that structure will be significant as the Rams try to keep their best players together.

Players outside the Rams will also likely have their eye on Cooks’ deal. The new money averages $16 million a year, which ties former Ram and current Chief Sammy Watkins for the fourth-biggest per-year average among wideouts. That’s more than Julio Jones is making under his current deal and probably won’t lessen his desire to rework it with three years still to run. Odell Beckham is also in the market for a new deal as he enters the final year of his current contract.

Brandin Cooks signs five-year extension with Rams


Brandin Cooks has spent time with three teams over the last two years, but he won’t be moving on to a fourth anytime soon.

The Rams announced Tuesday that they and Cooks have agreed to a five-year contract extension. The Rams acquired Cooks and a fourth-round pick in exchange for first- and sixth-round picks in a trade with the Patriots this offseason.

No financial terms of the deal have been announced.

“Brandin Cooks has shown himself to be a class act on and off the field since the first day he joined our team,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said in a statement. “He’s a proven professional in this league and signing him to a long-term contract was always our goal. We’re excited to keep Brandin in a Rams uniform through 2023.”

The Rams were clear about their desire to extend Cooks ever since acquiring him. Now that they have come to an agreement, they can turn their attention back toward talks with defensive tackle Aaron Donald about the deal he’s been trying to land for most of the last two years.

Jarran Reed: No one should be worried about the Seahawks defensive line

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The Seahawks have a different look in several areas this season, including along a defensive line that no longer features Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett or Sheldon Richardson.

That leaves Seattle with a much younger look up front and it has some predicting a drop in production from the group this season. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who started 15 games last year in his second NFL season, downplayed those concerns.

“You lose those guys, but you pick up the younger guys that’s in their steps, such as myself, Frank Clark, Naz Jones, Branden Jackson, Dion Jordan,” Reed said on ESPN 710 in Seattle. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Those guys left us in great hands; we learned from the best. So everybody’s got to trust us and trust that we’re going to go out and do our job. I don’t think [anybody] should be worried because we’re all hungry, especially to show the world.”

Reed and Clark, who had nine sacks last year, are the only members of the group who played more than a quarter of the defensive snaps during the 2017 season, so there are going to be a lot of chances for players to step into bigger roles this season. Despite Reed’s comments, any worries about how they’ll handle that will likely endure until the regular season.

Randy Gregory reinstated by league

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Randy Gregory is back.

The Cowboys defensive end has been reinstated by the league, after missing last year following a substance-abuse policy violation.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Gregory’s lawyer said the league did not oppose his petition to be reinstated.

I’ve never been more proud of any individual in my life,” lawyer Daniel Moskowitz said. “I’m very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.”

Gregory hasn’t played since the 2016 regular season finale. The former second-round pick has one sack in the 14 games he’s played in, but the Cowboys will take him, especially with David Irving suspended the first four games of the season for his own substance abuse violation.

Sean Payton: Drew Brees’ work ethic, talent make him special at 39

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In 2014, at the tender age of 35, Drew Brees first broached the idea of playing until he’s 45. Now 39, the Saints quarterback said earlier this year that he’s “taking it one year at a time, honestly.”

Father Time has not caught Brees or Tom Brady yet.

It’s different now. I mean, it’s different than it used to be,” Saints coach Sean Payton said on Going Deep with Dan Schwartzman on NBC Sports Radio. “When you see Tom Brady and these guys, they’re eating; they’re lifting; they’re sleeping differently. I mean, 25 years ago, Len Dawson was having cigarettes at halftime. It’s changed a lot. It really has. Then, when you take that and the work ethic and the talent and put it all together you get the Drew Brees and you get someone special.”

Brees completed a career-high 72 percent of his passes last season and led the league in completions (386) and yards per attempt (8.1) while throwing for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns. Brees and Brady are in a race to Peyton Manning’s career touchdowns record, and Manning recently said he’s prepared for Brees to break all of his records.

Brees should become the league’s all-time leader in passing yards this season, needing only 1,496 to pass Manning.

Agent: Reported offer to Le’Veon Bell not accurate, but it’s about guarantee anyway

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Shortly after Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year deals passed without the Steelers and running back Le'Veon Bell agreeing to a deal, there was a report that the Steelers offered Bell a five-year deal worth $70 million.

The report also said Bell stood to make $30 million over the first two years of the deal — he stands to make $14.5 million under the terms of the tag — but there was no word on how much of the money was fully guaranteed. Bell’s agent Adisa Bakari didn’t reveal that amount during a Tuesday appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, but did say the report wasn’t accurate before getting to the matter of the guaranteed money.

“No matter what that final number was and I am certainly not saying that what has been reported is accurate because it’s not, quite frankly — the most important element of it is the guarantee,” Bakari said. “You couple that with the traditional way in which Pittsburgh does it’s deals, which, at the end of the day, nothing’s guaranteed after the first year.”

Several players have talked about their desire for more guaranteed money in contracts and Bakari called it a “CBA issue” that extends well beyond Bell’s own negotiations with the Steelers.

Terrell Owens “absolutely 100 percent” committed to a comeback

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Terrell Owens is “absolutely 100 percent” committed to a return to the football field, his agent told Dave Naylor of TSN.

Owens activated a 10-day clause Saturday that forces the Edmonton Eskimos — the Canadian Football League that owns his rights — to either offer him a contract or release him.

“He still feels like he has some football years left in him,” Canadian-based agent Jason Staroszik told Naylor. “He just loves the game and wants to get back to playing, whether it’s the CFL or NFL.”

Owens, 44, recently posted video showing a hand-held time of 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, while training with Julio Jones. But he hasn’t played since 2012 when he suited up for eight games with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, and his last NFL snap came in 2010 as a member of the Bengals.

Owens enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, though, as everyone now knows, he is not attending the induction ceremony and instead holding his own event in Tennessee.

Former Boston Patriots player Tom Stephens dies at 82

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Tom Stephens, one of the original members of the Boston Patriots, died last week at his home in Naples, Florida, the team announced Tuesday. Stephens was 82.

The Baltimore Colts drafted the defensive back and tight end in the 11th round of the 1959 draft. He signed with the Boston Patriots in 1960.

In four seasons in Boston, he appeared in 49 games playing both ways and finished with 41 catches for 506 yards and five touchdowns. He also handled punt and kickoff return duties his final three seasons.

Stephens wore the famed No. 44 at Syracuse, donning it between the college tenures of Jim Brown and Ernie Davis. Stephens was a member of Syracuse’s 1958 Orange Bowl team.

He became a coach after his playing times, spending time at Harvard and Curry College. Stephens then served as the athletic director for 23 years.

Stephens is survived by his wife, Lonnie, and his two children, Lynda and Thomas. Visitation is Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at Solimine Funeral Home in Lynne, Massachusetts. The funeral service is Friday at 11 a.m. in the Nahant Village Church in Nahant, Massachusetts.

Agent: Le’Veon Bell plans to miss camp, report before first game

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Running back Le'Veon Bell didn’t sign a long-term contract with the Steelers after getting the franchise tag in 2017 and stayed away from the team during training camp and the preseason before reporting ahead of Week One.

Bell got another franchise tag this year and again failed to agree on a long-term deal in Pittsburgh, which led to the expectation that he’d play things the same way this summer. During an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday, Bell’s agent Adisa Bakari confirmed that’s his client’s plan.

“Barring something exceptional … that is correct,” Bakari said.

Outside of the Steelers doing something to sweeten the pot for Bell during the 2018 season — he’s set to make $14.54 million — it’s hard to see what would change Bell’s plans at this point.

Bell struggled in the early weeks of the 2017 season, but went on to start the first 15 games before missing the regular season finale as the Steelers rested several players ahead of the playoffs. Bell led the league with 321 carries and finished the year with 1,291 rushing yards, 85 catches, 655 receiving yards and 11 overall touchdowns.