National Football League
NFL News Wire
  • Rams' K Zuerlein listed on injury report
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, January 24, 2019

    Kicker Greg Zuerlein, whose booming 57-yard field goal on Sunday sent the Los Angeles Rams to the franchise's first Super Bowl since 2000, is listed with a foot injury on the first injury report ahead of Super Bowl LIII set for Feb. 3.

    • No other details were immediately available, although Rams coach Sean McVay has said the team did not have any serious injuries after Sunday's 26-23 win in overtime over the Saints in New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game.

      Zuerlein, who also drilled a 48-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime, was seen wearing a walking boot on Monday, according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.

      While the Rams had the day off from practice, the report showed a DNP, indicating he would not have practiced anyway. The Rams will take on the New England Patriots, who also won in overtime in the AFC Championship Game.

      The only other Rams player listed on the injury report was safety Blake Countess, also with a foot injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Romo deflects coaching talk
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Emphasizing that the game is the thing, CBS broadcaster Tony Romo said repeatedly on Wednesday that he is not pondering an NFL coaching job.

    • Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who last played in 2016, previously was the object of speculation that he might give up his TV analyst job to return as a player. He currently works with longtime play-by-play man Jim Nantz.

      On a conference call with reporters in the lead-up to Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, which CBS will broadcast, Romo didn't rule out coaching at some point, but he made it clear that it wasn't in his short-term plans.

      "I'm really happy where I'm at," said Romo, 38. "I'm sure, at some point, 25 years from now, you'll want to do something competitive in that regard ... but I like where I'm at. I don't think about that right now at all."

      Romo, who played in 156 games for the Cowboys, starting 127, and throwing for more than 34,000 yards, has won acclaim for his broadcasting. In the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, he displayed his knack for knowing what the teams were thinking in predicting plays.

      "The game is the story, and you're just going to call it," Romo said. "I'm really talking out loud. There's no real big planned thing. There's no plan of doing it. Once in a blue moon, you get lucky."

      Even if Romo wasn't boastful about his performance, it wasn't just coincidence, Nantz told reporters, and the former QB is no "fortuneteller."

      "When we have these key moments late in the game and we're all dazzled by what he's doing, it's a testament to his years of work and preparation," Nantz said. "He's not guessing, and he's not getting some sort of message from the gods. He's seeing what (New England Patriots quarterback Tom) Brady saw."

      --Field Level Media

  • 49ers part ways with DT Mitchell
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    The San Francisco 49ers have informed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell that they won't pick up his option for 2019, the team said.

    • San Francisco said the decision allows Mitchell to begin planning his search for a new team. The free agency period begins in March.

      "Earl has been a fantastic asset to this entire organization," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh told reporters. "... It's an opportunity for other guys to try to step up and it will not be easy to try to replace him, for sure."

      Mitchell signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the 49ers following the 2016 season. He was due a base of $2.85 million in 2019. Mitchell spent two seasons with the 49ers and had 61 tackles and one sack in 30 appearances (28 starts).

      Mitchell previously played for the Houston Texans (2010-13) and Miami Dolphins (2014-16).

      Third-year pro D.J. Jones replaced Mitchell in the starting lineup late last season. Jones had 17 tackles in 10 games (four starts) last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Jets hire Loggains as offensive coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Where Adam Gase goes, Dowell Loggains typically isn't far behind.

    • The two coaches were reunited Wednesday when the New York Jets hired Loggains as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Gase's staff.

      Loggains, 38, was Gase's offensive coordinator last season with the Miami Dolphins. In 2015, Loggains was the quarterbacks coach and Gase was the offensive coordinator on coach John Fox's staff with the Chicago Bears.

      The Jets hired Gase two weeks ago to replace Todd Bowles, who was fired after four seasons and zero playoff appearances.

      Loggains interviewed for the Dolphins' head coaching vacancy, which is expected to be filled by New England Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores after the Super Bowl.

      Loggains becomes the Jets' fourth offensive coordinator in as many years, following Chan Gailey, John Morton and Jeremy Bates.

      Loggains and Gase have had some success working together. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2015. In 11 games last season, Miami's Ryan Tannehill completed 64.2 percent of his passes with a 17-to-9 touchdown-to-INT ratio.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Fins have second interview with Pats' Flores
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    The Miami Dolphins have a second interview scheduled for Wednesday night with New England Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores, according to multiple reports.

    • NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Miami general manager Chris Grier plans to offer the 37-year-old Flores the head coaching position and discuss staffing issues.

      The Dolphins can't hire Flores officially until after the Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

      Flores first met with the Dolphins on Jan. 4. He was one of the first candidates to interview for the vacancy after the team fired Adam Gase following a 7-9 season.

      Flores joined the Patriots in 2004 as a scouting assistant and has been with the franchise since. The 2018 season was his third as New England's linebackers coach and his first as the defensive play-caller. He assumed those duties after defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left to be the head coach in Detroit last offseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Schiano expected to join Patriots' staff
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, most recently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, likely will wind up on the coaching staff of the New England Patriots, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

    • Rapoport said Schiano would take the spot of Brian Flores, the acting defensive coordinator who reportedly will become head coach of the Miami Dolphins after the Super Bowl.

      Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Schiano never have worked together, but the two are believed to have a close relationship. Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano when he was the head coach at Rutgers, and Belichick drafted several players from his program.

      Last year, when Schiano was set to become the head coach at Tennessee, he came under fire for his time on Joe Paterno's staff at Penn State during the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Belichick vouched for Schiano.

      "I have great respect and I think he's a great football coach," Belichick said. "I'm not really involved in any other situations, but speaking about him as a coach and a person, the utmost respect and zero reservations. Zero."

      Schiano, 52, coached at Rutgers from 2001-11 and led the team to a 68-67 record and a 5-1 record in bowl games. He won three national Coach of the Year awards in 2006 when Rutgers finished 11-2. In his two seasons with the Buccaneers (2012-13), the team was 11-21.

      He joined Ohio State in 2016 and left earlier this month after Ryan Day took over as head coach.

      --Field Level Media

  • Saints CB Williams charged with drunk driving
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams was arrested early Wednesday and charged with drunk driving, according to multiple reports.

    • Police said Williams was driving on the Crescent City Connection bridge in the city when officers clocked him traveling 80 mph in a 50-mph zone. They pulled Williams over, and he refused to take a breath test, police said.

      He was booked on charges of driving while intoxicated, improper lane usage, speeding and failing to use a turn signal. He was released a few hours later on his own recognizance.

      This is not the first drunk-driving arrest for Williams, 25.

      In 2015, he was charged with DUI shortly before the NFL draft. The charges were dropped when prosecutors said there wasn't enough video evidence to proceed.

      The Saints took Williams, a Florida State product, in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

      While at Florida State, he also received two traffic tickets when he hit an oncoming car, demolishing both vehicles. He was not charged criminally in that case.

      Williams is set to be a free agent in March, and in an interview with The Times-Picayune on Monday, he said he showed his value with his play this season, his most productive in the league.

      He finished with 53 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles, and he played 693 defensive snaps. He earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 31.

      "It was huge for me, especially it being the last year on my contract," Williams said. "I proved to the league and proved to myself that I can play at a high level in this league."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Chiefs eye Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is the leading candidate to replace Bob Sutton as the Kansas City Chiefs' defensive coordinator, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday.

    • The Chiefs fired Sutton on Tuesday, two days after their overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

      Spagnuolo was out of the NFL in 2018 after serving as interim head coach of the New York Giants for the last four games of the 2017 season, posting a 1-3 record after Ben McAdoo was fired. He compiled a 10-38 record in three seasons as head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2009-11).

      Spagnuolo, 59, served on Kansas City head coach Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia from 1999-2006. He climbed the ladder from defensive assistant to defensive backs coach to linebackers coach with the Eagles.

      According to Schefter, Spagnuolo and Reid have the same agent and "a mutual respect for each other's work."

      Spagnuolo has been a defensive coordinator with the Giants (2007-08, 2015-17) and New Orleans Saints (2012). He also spent two years as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Ravens (2013-14).

      --Field Level Media

  • Cardinals WR Fitzgerald to return in 2019
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald plans to play in 2019.

    • Fitzgerald signed a one-year deal with the team, ending speculation about his status under his third head coach in as many seasons.

      "No player has meant more to this franchise or this community than Larry Fitzgerald," team president Michael Bidwill said. "In my discussions with him, it was clear that he is as driven and passionate as ever. We are thrilled he'll be back for 2019."

      Fitzgerald committed to playing the 2018 season last February, but it turned out to be a tough year in Arizona. The Cardinals finished the season with an NFL-worst 3-13 record, and head coach Steve Wilks was fired.

      New head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he hoped Fitzgerald, 35, would return.

      "I'll leave it to these guys who write the checks," Kingsbury told reporters during his introductory press conference. "Like I said, what a great role model, what a great leader to have on your team, and I would be honored and love to work with him. He's a guy that I've admired from afar for a long time, and I think we all hope that he'll be back."

      The Cardinals took Fitzgerald with the No. 3 overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft, and he's put together a Hall of Fame career. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection, he is first among active players in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

      On the career list, he ranks second behind Jerry Rice for yards and is third, trailing Rice and Tony Gonzalez, in receptions. He needs 23 catches to pass Gonzalez on the list.

      In 2018, he appeared in all 16 games and caught 69 passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns.

      Fitzgerald turns 36 in August.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Chiefs fire DC Sutton
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The Kansas City Chiefs fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on Tuesday, two days after the team's loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

    • The Chiefs' defense allowed 524 yards and 36 first downs and was on the field for 94 plays during the 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots.

      "Bob is a good football coach and a great person," Kansas City coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "He played an integral role in the success of our team over the last six seasons. I've said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob."

      Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan could be a candidate for the job, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

      --The NFL is "looking into" a report by a Kansas City television station that a laser pointer was aimed at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during Sunday's game.

      KMBC shot video that showed a green dot flickering around Brady's shoulder and face. ESPN reported an NFL spokesman confirmed the incident was being investigated.

      According to the television station report, the laser was visible around Brady's face and shoulder before he threw a fourth-quarter interception.

      --The Cincinnati Bengals will hire Oakland quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan as offensive coordinator, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

      The Bengals are expected to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their new head coach, after Super Bowl LIII. Taylor played quarterback at Nebraska from 2004-07 under Bill Callahan, Brian Callahan's father and a reported candidate to coach the Bengals' offensive line.

      Brian Callahan has spent four years as an NFL quarterbacks coach. This will be his first coordinator job, although Taylor is expected to call plays and run his own offense.

      --Gruden said he hopes to re-sign free agent tight end Jared Cook but acknowledged that there will be a competitive market for the tight end.

      Cook had a career year and was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.

      Meanwhile, Gruden isn't sure whether free agent running back Marshawn Lynch intends to play another season, but said he "would love to have him back" if the running back does not retire.

      --Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said he is optimistic that quarterback Alex Smith will be able to return from his gruesome leg injury.

      "He's moving around and well on his way to a recovery," Allen said from the Senior Bowl. "...We'll see how it goes. We're optimistic. If anyone can come back, it's Alex."

      --The Miami Dolphins granted offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains permission to talk to other teams, essentially paving the way for him to reunite with Adam Gase with the New York Jets, NFL Network reported.

      The Dolphins reportedly interviewed Loggains for their head coaching vacancy before deciding on New England defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

      --Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley suggested on Twitter that his role has been restricted by the front office having a different agenda.

      "Honestly, the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to," wrote Beasley, who will be a free agent in March. "I haven't been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I'm not sure. More balls come my way in 2 minute drill where nothing is planned."

      --Cowboys teammates Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper were named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas.

      Other replacements announced were: Saints running back Alvin Kamara (for Todd Gurley), Saints guards Larry Warford (Zack Martin) and Andrus Peat (Brandon Brooks) and Bears' offensive linemen Charles Leno (Terron Armstead) and Cody Whitehair (Max Unger).

      --The Carolina Panthers are considering transitioning to a predominantly 3-4 scheme this offseason, according to The Athletic.

      Per the report, the Panthers could shift to more looks with three down linemen and four linebackers while seeking more pressure against opposing quarterbacks, and they'll use part of the offseason to gauge how their personnel would fit.

      --Houston Texans safety Justin Reid will have wrist surgery, he announced on Twitter.

      Reid, who started 12 games as a rookie, said on social media the surgery will address injuries sustained throughout the season.

      --John Bonamego will return to his previous role as the special teams coordinator for the Detroit Lions.

      He held the position in 2013-14 before leaving to become the head coach at Central Michigan in 2015.

      --The Broncos signed former Packers offensive lineman Don Barclay to a reserve/futures deal and added former lineman Chris Kuper as assistant offensive line coach.

      Barclay sat out the 2018 season after the Saints waived him at final cuts. He has 65 career games (25 starts) in six seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cowboys' Beasley blames limited role on front office
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley suggested Tuesday on Twitter that his role in the team's offense has been restricted by the front office having a different agenda.

    • Responding to a fan wondering if Beasley -- who will be an unrestricted free agent in March -- will re-sign with the Cowboys, the wideout tweeted, "Utilization is more important than money." After a fan's reply alluded to fired offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, Beasley continued tweeting.

      "Honestly, the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to," he wrote. "I haven't been a huge priority in that regard. Maybe that will change but I'm not sure. More balls come my way in 2 minute drill where nothing is planned."

      Beasley went on to add that his comments don't necessarily mean he will leave the Cowboys in free agency.

      "I'll play anywhere where I can make more of an impact," he wrote. "I would love for that to be Dallas or anywhere else that will give me more [opportunities] to make an impact. I just wanna ball. It's hard with 3 to 4 opps a game."

      The wideout also indicated he has no issue with quarterback Dak Prescott, saying, "I love my QB and I am one of his favorites."

      Beasley, 29, finished 2018 with 65 catches on 87 targets (5.4 per game) for 672 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games (four starts). The targets, receptions and yards were each the second-highest totals of his career, trailing his 2016 numbers (75 catches on 98 targets, 833 yards) and well outpacing his 2017 stat line (36 catches on 63 targets, 314 yards).

      Beasley has spent all seven years of his NFL career with the Cowboys after joining them as an undrafted free agent out of SMU in 2012. He just finished the final year of a four-year, $13.6 million contract.

      The Cowboys' offense is expected to change in 2019 because of Linehan's firing, which came after head coach Jason Garrett initially indicated Linehan would return. Per multiple reports, the team plans to promote someone already on staff to offensive coordinator, with quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore a top contender for the position. Former quarterback Jon Kitna could be brought on the staff to help coach quarterbacks.

      This marks the second time in less than a year that Beasley has been critical of the Cowboys' approach. Last June, he appeared to take a shot at departed receivers coach Derek Dooley in praising new coach Sanjay Lal.

      "It feels like the first time we're actually being taught how to run routes instead of just naturally doing," Beasley said at the time.

      --Field Level Media

  • Redskins hopeful QB Smith will return from gruesome injury
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen said he is optimistic that quarterback Alex Smith -- whose season ended in mid-November when he suffered a gruesome leg injury and subsequent infection -- will be able to return from the injury.

    • Allen didn't project when that could be, however, when he spoke with reporters Tuesday at practice for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

      "He's moving around and well on his way to a recovery," Allen said. "It's a tough thing for him and his family. All the love and care has helped him quite a bit.

      "We'll see how it goes. We're optimistic. If anyone can come back, it's Alex."

      Smith was spotted Monday watching the Washington Wizards defeat the visiting Detroit Pistons. He had a cast on his right leg, below the knee, and what appeared to be a metal brace around his lower leg.

      "I'm sure he wanted to shoot hoops at the game yesterday, but we'll see," Allen said.

      Allen did not say whether Washington would seek to add a quarterback either through free agency or the draft. He also would not confirm if Smith was done having medical procedures performed on his right leg, which suffered a compound fracture that required multiple surgeries and resulted in an infection, keeping Smith in the hospital for four weeks.

      Colt McCoy, who broke his leg in early December, is the only other quarterback currently on the roster. The Redskins signed Josh Johnson and Mark Sanchez to complete the season at QB, but both will be free agents in March.

      The Redskins acquired Smith, now 34, a year ago from Kansas City before the 2018 season. He signed a four-year contract extension that put him under contract for five years and $111 million. It included $71 million in injury guarantees.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lions rehire Bonamego as special teams coordinator
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    John Bonamego will return to his previous role as the special teams coordinator for the Detroit Lions, the team announced Tuesday.

    • He held the position in 2013-14 before leaving to become the head coach at Central Michigan in 2015. The Chippewas appeared in bowl games in his first three seasons, but when the team finished 1-11 in 2018, Bonamego was fired.

      He has 16 years of coaching experience in the NFL, also working with special teams in Jacksonville, Green Bay, New Orleans and Miami.

      Bonamego, 55, replaces Joe Marciano, who was fired in November.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Panthers mulling change to 3-4 defense
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The Carolina Panthers are considering transitioning to a predominantly 3-4 scheme this offseason, according to a report from The Athletic on Tuesday.

    • Per the report, the team could shift to more looks with three down linemen and four linebackers while seeking more pressure against opposing quarterbacks.

      The Panthers will use part of the offseason to gauge how their personnel would fit the change, but the expectation is they'll at least be more multiple in 2018, with both 3-4 and 4-3 formations.

      Carolina has run a classic 4-3 scheme since head coach Ron Rivera arrived in 2011, but he ran a 3-4 defense as defensive coordinator of the then-San Diego Chargers from 2008-2010 after running a 4-3 scheme with the Chicago Bears from 2004-06.

      The differences between the two styles have become less significant in an era when nickel and dime packages -- mostly featuring four-man fronts -- have become the norm.

      Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly has been featured as the centerpiece of the Panthers' 4-3 defense since he was drafted in 2012, and he would become one of two inside linebackers in a 3-4.

      Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson have also been key pieces, but a 3-4 scheme would require only two off-the-ball linebackers -- the other two play on the edges, usually on the line of scrimmage. Davis announced earlier this month the team told him it won't re-sign him when he becomes a free agent in March.

      A switch to a 3-4 would also likely move defensive ends Mario Addison, Wes Horton and -- if he returns for an 18th NFL season at age 39 -- Julius Peppers to outside linebacker. Defensive tackle Kawann Short would likely play more defensive end, while Dontari Poe would likely be the starter at nose tackle.

      --Field Level Media

  • Chiefs fire defensive coordinator Sutton
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The Kansas City Chiefs fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on Tuesday, two days after the team's loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

    • The Chiefs' defense allowed 524 yards and 36 first downs and was on the field for 94 plays during the 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots.

      "Bob is a good football coach and a great person," Kansas City coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "He played an integral role in the success of our team over the last six seasons. I've said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob.

      "This was not an easy decision, but one I feel is in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward."

      Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan could be a candidate for the job, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

      Sutton's ouster apparently is partially related to his inability to adjust on the fly through games. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the lack of adjustments were a "non-stop frustration."

      Sutton, who turns 68 on Monday, spent six seasons as Kansas City's defensive coordinator.

      The unit struggled much of this season's despite the Chiefs going 12-4 and claiming the AFC's No. 1 seed for the postseason.

      Kansas City ranked 31st in total defense at 405.5 yards per game and 24th in scoring defense at 26.3 points per game. The Chiefs were 31st at defending the pass (273.4) and 27th versus the run (132.1).

      The Chiefs did rack up 52 sacks, with more than half of them coming from defensive end Chris Jones (15.5) and linebacker Dee Ford (13).

      However, it was Ford who lined up offside on a pivotal play and the penalty wiped out an interception by Kansas City cornerback Charvarius Ward with 54 seconds left on Sunday. The Chiefs led 28-24 at the time.

      The mistake kept New England in the contest, and the Patriots drove for a touchdown before Kansas City later forced overtime with a field goal.

      The Patriots easily drove 75 yards on 13 plays for the decisive score on the first possession of overtime.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raiders' Gruden hopes to re-sign Cook; unsure on Lynch
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden addressed the status of two of the team's most prominent free agents on Tuesday, indicating he would be open to bringing back tight end Jared Cook and running back Marshawn Lynch.

    • Speaking from the Senior Bowl, where his staff is coaching the North team, Gruden said he hopes Oakland can re-sign Cook but acknowledged that there will be a competitive market for him.

      Cook, who turns 32 in April, was named to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement Monday, after having a career year in 2018. He hit career highs across the board with 68 catches, 896 yards and six touchdowns while playing all 16 games for the fifth time in six years.

      Meanwhile, Gruden said he isn't sure about the status of RB Lynch, who will hit free agency after coming out of a one-year retirement to play two seasons for the Raiders.

      "I don't know that yet," Gruden said of whether Lynch will return. "I think, when we get back after the Super Bowl, we'll have a lot better indication on his health and his desire, on what he wants to do. I'm sure if he wants to play, somebody like me would love to have him back."

      Lynch, who turns 33 in April, missed the final 10 games of the season due to a groin/core muscle injury, finishing with 376 yards on 90 carries (4.2 average) with three touchdowns in six games. In 2017, the Oakland native had 891 yards on 207 carries (4.3 average) with seven touchdowns after sitting out the 2016 season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Agent expects Manning back with Giants in 2019
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Eli Manning's agent, Tom Condon, expects his client to be back with the New York Giants for a 16th season in 2019.

    • "Shoot, yeah, I think so," Condon told the New York Post on Monday evening from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

      "I think he'd love to come back," Condon added. "Guys love to play their whole careers with one team, if they have a good experience with that team."

      The Giants are expected to pursue a long-term answer at quarterback this offseason, but that doesn't necessarily mean Manning, who turned 38 earlier this month, won't return. The team is believed to want a veteran quarterback who can help bridge the gap to a rookie.

      Manning is on the books for an unguaranteed $17 million for 2019, and he is set to cost $23.2 million against the cap. The Giants would save $17 million against the cap -- with a $6.2 million dead-money charge -- by releasing him, but they could potentially pursue a restructured contract.

      "It's just too early," Condon said about the possibility of a restructure, adding the team hasn't approached him about the subject. Asked if he expects the Giants to do so at some point, he replied, "I have no idea."

      General manager Dave Gettleman said at his end-of-season press conference that all options were on the table, adding that he and Manning had an "extensive, no-holds-barred" conversation about the quarterback's situation.

      After the Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15, head coach Pat Shurmur said the team isn't in a hurry to move on from Manning, whom he still believes has "years" left as an NFL starter.

      Asked if he wants Manning back on the roster in 2019, Shurmur replied, "Yeah. I want all our players to be back. I believe experience matters."

      Manning finished the season with 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and completed a career-best 66 percent of his passes, though the Giants finished 5-11.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bengals to hire Raiders QB coach Callahan as OC
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The Cincinnati Bengals will hire Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan as their offensive coordinator, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden told reporters at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday.

    • The Bengals are expected to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their new head coach, but they cannot do so until the Rams' season is over, which will be after Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

      Taylor played quarterback at Nebraska from 2004-07 under Bill Callahan, Brian Callahan's father. Bill Callahan -- who is under contract as the Washington Redskins' offensive line coach -- reportedly also wants to join the Bengals' staff, although it's unclear if Washington will allow the move.

      Brian Callahan just finished his first year as quarterbacks coach with the Raiders, after holding the same position for two years with the Detroit Lions and one year with the Denver Broncos. He also spent five years as an offensive assistant in Denver. This will be his first coordinator job, although Taylor is expected to call plays and run his own offense.

      Previous reports have indicated Taylor is targeting an experienced defensive coordinator, with Jack Del Rio and John Fox among the top candidates.

      Del Rio spent 2018 out of coaching after getting fired as the Raiders' head coach, and he is still getting paid by the team under an extension he signed after the 2016 season. He last served as a defensive coordinator from 2012-14 with the Broncos, working on the same staff as Brian Callahan.

      Fox, coincidentally, was the head coach of those Broncos before parting ways with the team after the 2014 season. He is currently an ESPN analyst after getting fired as the head coach of the Chicago Bears last January.

      Fox has not been a defensive coordinator since he led the New York Giants' defense from 1997-2001. He had spent 16 straight seasons as a head coach for three different teams before joining ESPN last year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Saints superfan expresses ire on Atlanta billboards
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    One Saints' superfan is so angered by the referees' missed call in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, which likely cost New Orleans a trip to the Super Bowl, that he bought billboards all over downtown Atlanta to tell everyone how he really feels.

    • Matt Bowers, who owns several car dealerships in the New Orleans area, had some choice words for the league, including "SAINTS GOT ROBBED" and "NFL BLEAUX IT!" plastered on billboards along I-85 in Atlanta, the site of the 2019 Super Bowl. Another one of the billboards is located right outside of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Los Angeles Rams -- not the Saints -- and the New England Patriots will square off in two weeks.

      Bowers wrote several social media posts on Monday hinting that he would take action in the wake of his ire, writing in one Twitter post, "I'm going to do something about this. #Saints #NFLBLEAUXIT," and in another, "I won't ever get over it but, I am going to make the NFL miserable. Watch me."

      The wave of billboards, reported to be seven in all with 16 placements, went live across downtown Atlanta on Monday evening, and fans and news outlets were quick to take notice. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that Bowers stated, "I'm not done yet."

      Bowers, whose most recent billboard message targets the NFL commissioner ("Roger Goodell knew dat!"), has also made sure that folks will see the billboards for weeks to come: He announced on Twitter they will remain "All over ... Downtown Atlanta through the Fake Super Bowl."

      --Field Level Media

  • Cowboys' Prescott, Cooper to Pro Bowl; Saints' Brees, Thomas out
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Cowboys teammates Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper were named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday, replacing New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas.

    • Prescott and Cooper guided Dallas to the NFC East title and posted a regular-season win over the Saints in Dallas.

      Cooper, acquired from the Oakland Raiders in October, is in the Pro Bowl for the third time. He had 53 receptions for 725 yards and six scores in nine games with the Cowboys.

      Prescott passed for 3,885 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions to reach the Pro Bowl for the second time in three NFL seasons.

      Brees and Thomas reported injuries as the reason for missing the game. Saints running back Alvin Kamara will be part of the all-star game. He was named Tuesday as a replacement for Rams running back Todd Gurley (Super Bowl).

      Saints guards Larry Warford and Andrus Peat were also added to the Pro Bowl roster, replacing the Eagles' Brandon Brooks and the Cowboys' Zack Martin, respectively.

      Brees, 40, is a 12-time Pro Bowl selection. He set an NFL record with a 74.4 percent completion percentage in 2018, and had 32 touchdown passes with five interceptions.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Dolphins won’t block OC Loggains from leaving
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The Miami Dolphins granted permission to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to talk to other teams, essentially paving the way for the assistant to reunite with Adam Gase in New York, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

    • The Dolphins reportedly interviewed Loggains for their head coaching vacancy before deciding on New England defensive coordinator Brian Flores, a move that can't be made official until after the Super Bowl. The Dolphins fired Gase after the season.

      Loggains spent one year with the Dolphins as offensive coordinator under Gase, and the pair also worked together in Chicago. Loggains was named offensive coordinator in Chicago after Gase took the head coaching job in Miami.

      The Dolphins finished 31st in total offense last season, averaging 289.9 yards per game. The Dolphins averaged 19.9 points per game, 26th in the NFL, but Gase called the plays, as he will do with the Jets.

      The Jets last week named Gregg Williams defensive coordinator.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bears LT Leno, C Whitehair added to Pro Bowl roster
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Eight members of the Chicago Bears are ticketed to the Pro Bowl after left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Cody Whitehair were named to the NFC roster on Tuesday.

    • Practice is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.

      Leno Jr. is replacing New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead while Whitehair was named as the alternate to Saints center Max Unger.

      Leno Jr. and Whitehair are on the NFC roster to which quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was added on Monday.

      Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, defensive backs Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson, return specialist Tarik Cohen and Trubisky will be in Orlando.

      Linebacker Khalil Mack, who was named a starter in December, will not participate due to a knee injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL to investigate report of laser on Brady at Kansas City
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    The NFL is "looking into" a report by a Kansas City television station that a laser pointer was aimed at New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the AFC Championship game on Sunday.

    • KMBC shot video that showed a green dot flickering around Brady's shoulder and face. ESPN reported an NFL spokesman confirmed the incident was being investigated.

      According to the television station report, the laser was visible around Brady's face and shoulder before he threw an interception in the fourth quarter.

      The Patriots declined to comment on the report and the Chiefs said they were not aware of the incident during the game, won by New England, 37-31 in overtime.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: NFL head of officiating could lose job
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 21, 2019

    The job status of the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, Alberto Riveron, could be in question after a blown call Sunday in the NFC Championship Game likely cost the New Orleans Saints a Super Bowl appearance.

    • NBC's Peter King quoted a source Monday who said, "Al Riveron (EVP of Officiating) is gone. He can't survive this."

      King added that another source said the league would have to pay a lot of money to get Dean Blandino or Mike Pereira (the latter "a less likely candidate," per King) to return to the position. Both men once held the VP of officiating title before moving into television as rules analysts.

      Riveron was promoted to the position before the 2017 season to fill the vacancy created by Blandino's departure for Fox Sports. Last January, multiple outlets reported Riveron would remain in the position for the 2018 season despite several high-profile officiating controversies, including one that led to the competition committee overhauling the catch rule last offseason.

      Riveron was senior director of officiating before being promoted to replace Blandino. He became the first Hispanic NFL referee in 2008.

      Blandino suggested in December 2017, not long after leaving the league, that he could be persuaded to return to his old post if the position were valued more within the league office.

      On Sunday, Saints head coach Sean Payton said he spoke with Riveron via phone shortly after New Orleans' loss to the Los Angeles Rams, saying Riveron admitted to a blown non-call on a play that should have been ruled pass interference in the final two minutes of regulation.

      "The explanation ... it was simple," Payton said of his discussion with Riveron. "They blew the call. Not only was it (pass) interference, but it was helmet-to-helmet (contact). That was the first thing Al said. ...

      "I don't know if there was ever a more obvious pass interference call. That's a tough one to swallow."

      Had the call been made, with the score 20-20, the Saints would have been able to run the clock down and attempt a short field goal as time expired. Instead, they were forced to kick with 1:41 remaining, leaving time for the Rams to tie the game and force overtime, where the Saints went on to lose 26-23.

      Referee Bill Vinovich briefly addressed the play during a postgame interview with a pool reporter.

      "It was a judgment call by the covering official," Vinovich said. "I personally have not seen the play. ... It is not a reviewable play."

      Multiple outlets reported Monday that the league will look closely this offseason at potentially changing that matter, perhaps making pass interference reviewable along with other "judgment" calls that have not been reviewable previously.

      Saints owner Gayle Benson released a statement Monday saying she was "thoroughly disappointed" with the lack of "fair and equitable" decision-making from the referees, adding she has been in touch with the league and will "aggressively pursue changes" to prevent future errors from happening.

      The officials on the field closest to the play in question were side judge Gary Cavaletto and down judge Patrick Turner. It's unclear whether either will face discipline, although the league let go of down judge Hugo Cruz in October, less than two weeks after he missed a false start on a play that resulted in a Los Angeles Chargers touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: PI to be considered for review
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 21, 2019

    Pass interference soon could be a reviewable play in the NFL, according to sources cited by The Washington Post on Monday.

    • That's not soon enough from the perspective of the New Orleans Saints, who would have been in position to put the NFC Championship Game on ice late in the fourth quarter Sunday had a collision prior to the ball arriving -- textbook pass interference in the NFL rulebook -- been flagged.

      Saints head coach Sean Payton erupted on the sideline and appeared to scold game officials for blowing "a Super Bowl call." Payton said after the game the missed call is something New Orleans will "probably never get over." The league admitted to Payton that an error was made.

      "(Pass interference) will be discussed at length along with additional fouls that coaches feel should be subject to review," a person familiar with the NFL's inner workings told the Post.

      --A day after the controversial defeat, Saints owner Gayle Benson issued a strong statement of disapproval.

      "No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field," Benson said, in part. "As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday.

      "I have been in touch with the NFL regarding yesterday's events and will aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies to ensure no team and fan base is ever put in a similar position again."

      --Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford didn't mince words or offer up an excuse, a day after he lined up offside on a pivotal fourth quarter play and likely cost the team a trip to the Super Bowl.

      "Sloppy football on my end at the end of the day," Ford told reporters one day after the Chiefs lost 37-31 in overtime to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. "Whether it was six inches or however many inches, I was offside."

      The penalty on Ford wiped out an interception by Kansas City cornerback Charvarius Ward with 54 seconds left. The Chiefs led 28-24 at the time.

      --Philadelphia players rallied to Carson Wentz's defense after unnamed teammates reportedly called the Eagles quarterback "selfish" and "egotistical."

      A report criticizing Wentz by PhillyVoice.com cited "more than a half dozen" players who requested to remain anonymous, "fearing repercussions."

      Among the claims in the report were that Wentz "bullied" offensive coordinator Mike Groh, played "favorites" by over-targeting Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, and generally acted "like he's won 10 Super Bowls."

      --With Jared Goff and Tom Brady heading to Super Bowl LIII, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson will take their place in the Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando.

      One teammate Watson won't reunite with this week is defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who was replaced by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. Other newly announced replacements include Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook (for the Chiefs' Travis Kelce) and Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson (for the Dallas Cowboys' Tyron Smith).

      --The NFL announced all five international series games for the 2019 season:

      Panthers at Buccaneers in London

      Bears at Raiders in London

      Bengals at Rams in London

      Texans at Jaguars in London

      Chiefs at Chargers in Mexico City

      --The Miami Dolphins are expected to name Green Bay assistant coach Patrick Graham as their new defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

      The Packers' defensive run-game coordinator and inside linebackers coach reportedly will join the staff of future Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

      Miami has to wait until after Super Bowl LIII to officially hire Flores, the New England defensive coordinator whose Patriots will face the Rams in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

      --The Tennessee Titans promoted tight ends coach Arthur Smith to offensive coordinator.

      Smith joined the Titans' staff in 2011 and has coached the tight ends since midway through the 2015 campaign. He replaces Matt LaFleur, who was named head coach of the Packers earlier this month.

      --The fan-friendly menu prices at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium will remain intact for the Super Bowl.

      The Atlanta Falcons instituted "Fan First Menu Pricing" when they moved into the new stadium in 2017, and team president and CEO Rich McKay told ESPN the prices of the 12 items on the menu will stay as is for the game, just as they have for other big events there.

      --Former NFL running back Darren McFadden was arrested early Monday in Texas on charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

      TMZ reported that McFadden, 31, fell asleep in his SUV outside the drive-thru window of a Whataburger fast-food restaurant in suburban Dallas.

      According to TMZ, McFadden resisted officers and that the driver's side and passenger windows in his vehicle were both smashed.

      --Field Level Media