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  • Missouri man fined $500 for aiming laser at Pats' Brady
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    A 64-year-old Missouri man who aimed a laser pointer at New England quarterback Tom Brady's face during the AFC Championship game pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and must pay a $500 fine.

    • Dwyan Morgan of Lee's Summit faced up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in April.

      The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 37-31 overtime win against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 20.

      A photographer for KMBC in Kansas City recorded evidence of a green laser shining in Brady's face. Prosecutors did not say how investigators were able to determine that Morgan was allegedly involved.

      Morgan has been banned for life from the stadium. He admitted in May in an interview with "Inside Edition" that, from his seat in the end zone, he aimed the laser at Brady in an effort to distract him.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos sign WR Dunbar
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 18, 2019

    The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. on Thursday, filling out their 90-man roster.

    • Contract terms were not announced.

      He takes the spot of Aaron Burbridge, who unexpectedly retired Wednesday at age 25 and was waived.

      Dunbar, a 23-year-old Houston product who went undrafted in 2018, spent most of last year on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, appearing in just one game.

      In college, he caught 180 passes for 2,430 yards, adding 11 touchdowns for the Cougars.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Falcons sign LB Jones to hefty extension
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

    • Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed for injury. According to The MMQB, the deal includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

      The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets' C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position.

      Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017. He was limited to six games in 2018 due to a foot injury.

      --Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock will not hold out of any training camp practices after he agreed to terms on his rookie contract, multiple outlets reported.

      A report Tuesday from 9News.com said negotiations between the sides had stalled, as Lock sought a "quarterback premium" -- with additional guarantees or workout bonuses -- to be paid more than fellow second-round rookie Dalton Risner, a guard taken by Denver one pick before Lock in April's draft.

      Risner, picked 41st, signed his rookie deal later Tuesday, worth $7.14 million over four years with a $3.2 million signing bonus. Based on the No. 42 draft slot, Lock's deal is worth just over $7 million over four years with a $3.1 million signing bonus. Both players had portions of future salaries turned into workout bonuses, but Lock was not given a premium, per multiple reports.

      --Running back Phillip Lindsay and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will practice with the Broncos when on-field work at training camp opens Thursday.

      Head coach Vic Fangio said Lindsay is "ready to go" following offseason wrist surgery. General manager John Elway said Sanders will be eased into action after tearing his Achilles last season, but he will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

      Meanwhile, the Broncos waived wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, whom ESPN reported opted to retire rather than report to training camp.

      --A scheduled three-day bargaining session between the NFL and the NFL Players Association ended after one day, according to multiple reports.

      The sides released a joint statement, saying, "(Wednesday's) meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA's Executive Committee and the NFL's Management Council Executive Committee will continue."

      Multiple media outlets reported the sides will reconvene on July 29. ESPN reported the scheduled sessions ended early because information emerged that needed to be discussed further with other owners, quoting a source saying, "big topics are tabled (for now). There is definitely a lot of work to be done."

      --Police in North Carolina issued a felony arrest warrant for Arizona Cardinals tackle Desmond Harrison on charges of assault by strangulation and assault on a female, multiple outlets reported.

      Greensboro police said a report was filed Tuesday against the 25-year-old offensive lineman, who was signed off waivers by Arizona last month after being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

      The Cardinals immediately released Harrison after the allegations were reported by Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

      --The NFL suspended free agent cornerback Rashard Robinson for 10 games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy with several missed drug tests.

      "I would like to take this opportunity to apologize and take full responsibility," Robinson said in a statement to NFL Network. "I have no one to blame for my actions. I would like to apologize to my family and supporters."

      Robinson, who turns 24 next week, was suspended four games last year for a substance-abuse violation. He was waived by the New York Jets in May after playing in 10 games (one start) in 2018. A 2016 fourth-round pick of San Francisco, he started 14 of 28 games through his first two seasons with the 49ers and Jets, breaking up 15 passes.

      --Field Level Media

  • Falcons sign LB Jones to four-year, $57M extension
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

    • Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed. According to The MMQB, it includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years. The $34 million in guarantees includes injury, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

      The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets' C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position.

      Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017.

      Last season, Jones was limited to six games after sustaining a foot injury in Week 1, going on injured reserve before returning late in the season. He finished with 53 tackles (one for loss), two picks and six pass breakups.

      Jones' rookie contract was worth $4.5 million over four years. He was set to make $1.1 million in 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Broncos QB Lock agrees to terms
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock will not hold out of any training camp practices after he agreed to terms on his rookie contract Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported.

    • A report Tuesday from 9News.com said negotiations between the sides had stalled, as Lock sought a "quarterback premium" -- with additional guarantees or workout bonuses -- to be paid more than fellow second-round rookie Dalton Risner, a guard taken by Denver one pick before Lock in April's draft.

      Risner, picked 41st, signed his rookie deal later Tuesday, worth $7.14 million over four years with a $3.2 million signing bonus. Based on the No. 42 draft slot, Lock's deal is expected to be around $7 million over four years with a $3.1 million signing bonus.

      Lock missed initial medical meetings as the team reported to camp on Wednesday, but the Missouri product agreed in time to practice when on-field work begins Thursday.

      Once considered a possible top-10 pick, Lock will begin camp competing with Kevin Hogan for the backup job behind Joe Flacco.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: NFL-NFLPA meetings cut short two days
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    A scheduled three-day bargaining session between the NFL and the NFLPA ended after one day, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

    • The sides released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying, "Today's meeting was productive, constructive and beneficial for both sides, and the meetings between the NFLPA's Executive Committee and the NFL's Management Council Executive Committee will continue."

      Multiple media outlets reported the sides will reconvene on July 29, rather than continuing with scheduled meetings Thursday and Friday.

      ESPN reported the sessions ended early because information emerged that needed to be discussed further with other owners, quoting a source saying, "big topics are tabled (for now). There is definitely a lot of work to be done."

      The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020 season, but sentiment around the league is that the NFL would like to reach agreement on an extension before the 2019 regular season begins in September.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sanders, Lindsay ready for start of Broncos camp
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Running back Phillip Lindsay and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will practice with the Denver Broncos when training camp opens Thursday.

    • Head coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that Lindsay is "ready to go" following offseason wrist surgery.

      General manager John Elway said Sanders will be eased into action after tearing his Achilles last season, but he will not be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

      Lindsay, who turns 25 next week, made the Pro Bowl and rushed for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2018.

      Sanders, 32, had 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores in 12 games before suffering the season-ending injury in practice in early December.

      The two-time Pro Bowl wideout has posted three 1,000-yard seasons and has 535 receptions for 7,024 yards and 37 touchdowns in 127 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-13) and Broncos.

      Meanwhile, the Broncos waived wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, who ESPN reported Wednesday opted to retire rather than report to training camp.

      Burbridge, 25, was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan State by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. He caught seven passes for 88 yards as a rookie but has not played since due to various injuries.

      --Field Level Media

  • Atlanta Falcons training camp primer
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    New faces: G James Carpenter, G Jamon Brown, G Chris Lindstrom, DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Kaleb McGary, TE Luke Stocker, S J.J. Wilcox

    • They're gone: RB Tevin Coleman, OT Ryan Schraeder, CB Robert Alford, K Matt Bryant, DE Bruce Irvin, CB Brian Poole, LB Brooks Reed, DT Terrell McClain, CB Justin Bethel

      2019 snapshot: The Falcons went into the offseason with plans to overhaul two key areas: the coaching staff and the offensive line. They fired coordinators Steve Sarkisian (offense), Marquand Manuel (defense) and Keith Armstrong (special teams), bringing back former O-coordinator Dirk Koetter, turning the defense over to head coach Dan Quinn and hiring Ben Kotwica to run special teams. Koetter's success with QB Matt Ryan from 2012-14 is encouraging, and Quinn could whip the defense into shape, but that's a lot of turnover to manage.

      Atlanta then threw major resources up front, signing Brown and Carpenter to multi-year deals and adding Lindstrom in the first round to provide three possible starting options at guard. At right tackle, the Falcons released Schraeder, extended Ty Sambrailo (three years, $14.3 million) and traded back into the first round for McGary. Altogether, the rash of moves felt too aggressive, and now the pressure is on for the unit to perform.

      On defense, the pressure is on key pieces Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen to get and stay healthy, as few players were added other than Clayborn. Alford and Reed were released, and it was surprising to see Poole -- an undrafted rookie who ascended to a starting role -- untendered as a restricted free agent. With DT Grady Jarrett secured on a long-term deal at the franchise deadline, Quinn can focus his attention on answering questions at other positions.

      Worth the investment?

      --At 8.5, the over/under win total for the Falcons is enticing. Matt Ryan is 34 but he's surrounded by great weapons. If Atlanta avoids the injury epidemic that hit last season, the Falcons are capable of getting to 10 wins.

      --Ryan is 10th in MVP odds at FanDuel, and his prolific passing numbers give supporters all the reason they need to go that route. But the +2600 is not a pure value when you consider some of the potential for quarterbacks behind Ryan to climb these ranks in-season.

      Bottom line: The O-line should be fixed, but the coaching changes might not solve everything. More depth on defense would have helped.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Cardinals' Harrison facing assault charges
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    Police in North Carolina issued a felony arrest warrant Wednesday for Arizona Cardinals tackle Desmond Harrison on charges of assault by strangulation and assault on a female, multiple outlets reported.

    • Greensboro police said a report was filed Tuesday against the 25-year-old offensive lineman, who was signed off waivers by Arizona last month after being cut by the Cleveland Browns.

      The Cardinals immediately released Harrison after the allegations were reported by Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

      Harrison, who played high school football in North Carolina, started eight games as a Cleveland rookie in 2018 after going undrafted.

      Harrison finished his collegiate career at West Georgia after reportedly being suspended three times in one year at the University of Texas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Denver Broncos training camp primer
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 17, 2019

    The Denver Broncos are the first team to report to training camp in 2019, with an abundance of newcomers checking in at the team's Englewood headquarters Wednesday.

    • New faces: QB Joe Flacco, OT Ja'Wuan James, DB Kareem Jackson, CB Bryce Callahan, TE Noah Fant, G Dalton Risner, QB Drew Lock, DT Dre'Mont Jones, OLB Dekoda Watson

      They're gone: C Matt Paradis, CB Bradley Roby, OL Billy Turner, OLB Shaquil Barrett, OLB Shane Ray, LB Brandon Marshall, S Darian Stewart, OT Jared Veldheer, DT Domata Peko, TE Matt LaCosse, G Max Garcia, CB Tramaine Brock

      2019 snapshot: Firing Vance Joseph meant admitting an error from two years ago, but the Broncos appear to have upgraded the staff. Not only did they get defensive whiz Vic Fangio -- whom players raved about during offseason practices -- but Fangio nabbed Kyle Shanahan pupil Rich Scangarello to run the offense and pried decorated O-line coach Mike Munchak from the Steelers. Still, GM John Elway's approach felt a bit too aggressive in other areas.

      He traded a fourth-round pick for Joe Flacco, whom the Ravens might have otherwise cut, and spent wildly on James (four years, $51 million) and Jackson (three years, $33 million), who might mostly play safety.

      Jackson's contract fueled a contract dispute with CB Chris Harris Jr. that required a $3 million raise to resolve. Callahan's (three years, $21 million) was a more palatable deal, and Fangio should have what he needs in the secondary, but would the money have been better spent on Paradis and the O-line?

      Elway used a few trades to assemble a strong draft class, getting early-impact players in Fant and Risner and still landing a possible answer at QB in Lock, but he might have been better off trading for Josh Rosen or drafting Dwayne Haskins. The third QB taken by Elway in the top two rounds, Lock must perform if Flacco struggles.

      Worth the investment?

      --Denver has an over/under win line of seven. In this AFC West, even getting to .500 is not a sure thing for this crew.

      --More than 50 players have better odds than quarterback Joe Flacco (+15000) to win the 2019 NFL MVP award. Take those odds only if you are looking for a lotto ticket's chance in the MVP field.

      Bottom Line: Denver could be improved on the coaching staff, at QB and in the secondary, but Elway might have to accept a rebuild at some point.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Steelers' Conner reflects on cancer diagnosis
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

    • Speaking recently on the "Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?" podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander -- better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud -- Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

      "I'm rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends," Conner, 24, said. "And then I'm rehabbing and (stuff and I get) night sweats, bro. I'm getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who (doesn't) love sleep? That's the worst (stuff) in the world. ... And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart ... I got tumors growing all around it, and it's pressing."

      Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

      "The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you (don't) get this treated, you (have) about a week at the rate it's growing.'"

      --A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

      The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a "quarterback premium" and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

      9News.com's Mike Klis reported that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses. Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.

      --Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

      "We're going to take our time," Sanders told reporters. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."

      Sanders did not say if he'll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a "realistic" timeline earlier this month.

      --Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

      Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro careers.

      Ayers finishes his NFL career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts), including a career-high nine sacks in 2015 with the New York Giants.

      --The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games for violating its policy on substance abuse.

      Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge -- a felony -- in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

      Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4's game at Chicago.

      --Former Philadelphia Eagles safety and special teams ace Chris Maragos announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons, as he underwent his third knee surgery since 2017.

      The 32-year-old tore his ACL during the 2017 season and hasn't played since, spending all of last season on the PUP list before being released by the Eagles in February. He announced on Twitter he was having his third surgery on the knee Tuesday.

      An undrafted product out of Wisconsin, Maragos played in 99 games (three starts) for San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia, spending his last four seasons with the Eagles. Over his last six seasons, 80.9 percent of his snaps came on special teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: 'Pawn Stars' helped May recover Super Bowl rings
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Former NFL offensive lineman Mark May will recover his two Super Bowl rings after a hotel employee was arrested trying to sell them at the shop featured on cable's "Pawn Stars."

    • May last wore the rings at a charity event in Scottsdale, Ariz., in February, when he stayed at a Phoenix hotel. After they were reported to be missing, the hotel's lead engineer, 43-year-old Marcel Behnert, later took the rings to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, according to a story from ABC15 in Phoenix.

      The shop, which uses a sports memorabilia collector named Diamond Don, called May about the potential transaction on May 2, and the shop alerted Mesa police a day later.

      Mesa police said Behnert was asking to sell the rings -- engraved with May's name and his jersey number from title teams with the Washington Redskins in the 1982 and 1987 seasons -- for a combined $12,000.

      "When someone comes in like that, they smell a rat if you don't have a receipt or if you don't have a story or proof of ownership," May told ABC15. "Once (the pawn shop owners) smelled a rat, they turned it over to Diamond Don, and he's like, 'No, I know Mark May. I know that he's not pawning his rings to give them to some guy.'

      "The bottom line of the story is the integrity of the guys on Pawn Stars for what they do and their due diligence. When you watch their show, they say, 'If you don't have proof, we don't want it.'"

      Authorities in Mesa and Las Vegas worked with the shop to get Behnert to return to the store, where he was arrested by undercover officers, charged with theft and trafficking in stolen property. Police said watches belonging to May were also found in a safe in Behnert's home, according to ABC15.

      May, a former ESPN analyst who lives in the Phoenix area, told the TV station that he will reclaim his rings from the Las Vegas police next week.

      "I thought they were gone forever," May said. "I attribute (their recovery) to probably four or five things. One is luck. I'm lucky to get them back. Two, good police work by the Las Vegas Police Department. Three, the integrity of the Pawn Star guys and Diamond Don.

      "And four, probably greed and stupidity by the guy who was trying to sell them -- one, to a pawn shop, because nationwide, they're all connected when something like that comes up. And two, to do it on television when they tell you point blank: If you don't have a receipt or you don't have a proof of ownership, and it's something that's high-priced, we're not interested."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Bucs DE Ayers announces retirement
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Veteran defensive end Robert Ayers announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a nine-year NFL career.

    • Ayers, a 33-year-old who last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, announced the decision on Facebook, also posting a highlight video from his college and pro career.

      A first-round pick (18th overall) out of Tennessee by the Denver Broncos in 2009, Ayers underwhelmed in Denver with 12 sacks and 37 QB hits over five seasons, starting 27 of 72 games.

      He then joined the New York Giants in 2014 and impressed with 14 sacks and 36 QB hits in 24 games over two seasons, including career highs of nine and 22, respectively, in 2015. With the Bucs, he had 6.5 sacks and 19 hits in 2016 before slipping to two and 16, respectively, in his final season.

      Ayers finishes his career with 34.5 sacks in 120 career games (59 starts).

      --Field Level Media

  • Vikings RB Thomas suspended three games
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Roc Thomas for three games on Tuesday for violating its policy on substance abuse.

    • Thomas pled guilty to a fifth-degree marijuana charge -- a felony -- in May, stemming from a January arrest after police found more than 143 grams of marijuana at his apartment. He received three years of probation as part of the plea deal.

      Thomas will miss games vs. Atlanta, at Green Bay and vs. Oakland before being eligible to rejoin the team ahead of Week 4's game at Chicago.

      The 23-year-old played in five games as an undrafted rookie in 2018, rushing for 30 yards on eight carries and catching two passes for 21 yards. Of his 88 snaps, 59 came on special teams.

      --Field Level Media

  • Broncos WR Sanders limited to start camp
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Tuesday he will be limited when the team opens training camp later this week, as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles sustained last December.

    • "We're going to take our time," Sanders told reporters. "I don't even know if I'll do the conditioning test (Wednesday). As far as practice, I'm definitely not going to be going full-go from the jump."

      Sanders did not say if he'll open camp on the physically unable to perform list, but his goal remains to be healthy for Week 1, which he deemed a "realistic" timeline earlier this month.

      Players report to camp on Wednesday, with practices beginning Thursday.

      Sanders, 32, tore his Achilles in practice after 12 games last season, finishing with 71 catches for 868 yards and four scores. He has 118 catches for 1,423 yards and six scores over the last two seasons, after topping 75 catches, 1,000 yards and five scores in each of the previous three seasons and earning two Pro Bowl nods.

      The 10th-year veteran is entering his sixth season in Denver and the final year of his contract, in which he's due $10.25 million.

      --Field Level Media

  • Steelers RB Conner: Doctors gave me 'about a week' to live in '15
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner revealed he was told he was close to death when diagnosed with cancer as a student at Pitt in 2015.

    • Speaking recently on the "Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?" podcast hosted by former Duke pitcher Mike Seander - better known as hip-hop artist Mike Stud - Conner said he sought medical attention when he was having trouble sleeping as he recovered from a torn MCL in his junior season.

      "I'm rehabbing for that, trying to make a comeback before the season ends," Conner, 24, said. "And then I'm rehabbing and [stuff and I get] night sweats, bro. I'm getting like 15 minutes of sleep at night, going through it. Sleep, who [doesn't] love sleep? That's the worst [stuff] in the world ... And so I get some tests done, and I got tumors surrounding my heart ... I got tumors growing all around it, and it's pressing."

      Doctors diagnosed Conner with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma and found tumors in his neck and chest.

      "The doctor told me I had a week left," Conner said. "He said, 'You got about a week. If you [don't] get this treated, you [have] about a week at the rate it's growing.'"

      After sending cancer into remission and rehabbing his knee, Conner returned to the Panthers in 2016, gaining 1,394 all-purpose yards and scoring 20 touchdowns.

      The Steelers selected Conner in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After carrying the ball just 32 times as a rookie, he enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, taking over for holdout Le'Veon Bell.

      In 2018, Conner had 973 rushing yards and added 497 receiving yards and 13 scores. He was selected to the Pro Bowl.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Broncos in stalemate with second-round QB Lock
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    A contract staredown could become a stalemate between the Denver Broncos and second-round quarterback Drew Lock.

    • The Missouri product reportedly insisted through his agent on being paid a "quarterback premium" and getting a higher-value contract than left guard Dalton Risner, who was the 41st pick by Denver, one slot ahead of Lock.

      9News.com's Mike Klis reported Tuesday that negotiations had stalled, and a holdout from one or both second-rounders could be in the offing. Klis added that Lock is pushing for additional guarantees or larger workout bonuses.

      Later Tuesday, Risner agreed to terms on his contract, according to The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala, leaving Lock as the only possible holdout.

      Both are due to report Wednesday with the first on-field workout scheduled for Thursday.

      The NFL slotting system dictates the outlay of money for all players in any slot in the draft. Based on that system, Risner would get a four-year contract worth $7.1 million, including a signing bonus of $3.214 million.

      Lock would get a four-year deal worth $7 million and a $3.119 million bonus.

      --Field Level Media

  • Free agent RB Collins undergoes leg surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Free agent running back Alex Collns is recovering from surgery for a broken leg, delaying his opportunity to catch on with a team before the start of the NFL season.

    • NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said the injury took place about two weeks ago but it's unknown how the injury occurred. In an Instagram post on Monday night, Collins said he isn't giving up on resuming his NFL career.

      "I refuse to be discouraged," wrote Collins, who most recently played for the Baltimore Ravens. "Instead, I have faith and am optimistic about the process. I believe that all that has happened is making me physically and emotionally stronger, and is necessary for me to succeed in life."

      Seattle drafted Collins in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and he appeared in 11 games for the Seahawks that year, carrying the ball 31 times.

      He joined the Ravens a year later, leading the team in rushing yards (973) and yards from scrimmage (1,160). He shared the duties with Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon in 2018, and scored eight touchdowns and gained 411 rushing yards before ending the season on injured reserve with a foot injury.

      The Ravens waived Collins in March after he was arrested following a car accident near the team's headquarters. He was charged with possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a handgun in a vehicle.

      Rapoport reported that with Collins' legal case close to settled, teams had expressed interest and he was expected to play in 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: NFLPA filing grievance vs. Texans on Clowney's behalf
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Jadeveon Clowney is a defensive end based on snap counts from the 2018 season, but the Houston Texans used the franchise tag designation for an outside linebacker -- a savings to the team of about $1.7 million in 2019 salary.

    • That's why the NFLPA plans to file a grievance on Clowney's behalf, according to multiple reports.

      Clowney, 26, was given the franchise tag to keep him from free agency before the March deadline. The team entered an outside linebacker designation, which carries a one-year tender value of $15.43 million. Clowney will play at a rate of $15.9 million for next season based on the required increase over his 2018 salary.

      A franchised defensive end carries a $17.128 million tag.

      According to ESPN Stats & Information, Clowney played 729 snaps at defensive end in 2018. He played more at defensive tackle (101) than outside linebacker (33).

      The Baltimore Ravens and Terrell Suggs, listed as a defensive end and outside linebacker, encountered a similar situation in 2008 over a difference of about $800,000.

      --Field Level Media

  • NFL notebook: Falcons reach deal with DT Jarrett
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday's franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

    • Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

      That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox.

      Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

      --Robbie Gould and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal, beating the deadline for franchise players to receive a new contract.

      Animosity between Gould and the 49ers seemed to be a roadblock after he was given the prohibitive franchise tag in March, limiting his ability to sign elsewhere. Gould stated at the time that moving closer to his family -- which maintained residence in Chicago -- was a top priority.

      Gould, 36, requested a trade and was miffed when the 49ers showed heavy interest in Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who re-signed with New England.

      --Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans did not reach an agreement on a contract at the deadline for franchise players to sign a new deal.

      Clowney, by rule, will earn the $15.97 million one-year tender value for linebackers. However, he is expected to file a grievance to seek to be listed as a defensive end, which would bump his franchise-tag value to $17.13 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

      Houston's front office is operating without a general manager, but the Texans had shown no signs of progress in negotiations with Clowney for months.

      --The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

      Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman's neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

      The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with "bruising, swelling and abrasions," according to NJ.com.

      --Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton will have his sixth surgery since losing his left arm in a car crash earlier this month, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

      Norton's agent, Malki Kawa, told Rapoport that doctors believe this will be the 22-year-old's final operation and he could be released from the hospital next week.

      Norton, who played for the University of Miami, has been hospitalized since suffering career-ending injuries in the July 4 accident. Norton was cited with making an improper lane change, per a Florida Highway Patrol report.

      --Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury he sustained last November.

      His wife, Elizabeth, announced the news on her Instagram account, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

      Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula, but then he experienced an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16. The 35-year-old veteran said he hasn't given up hope of playing again.

      --Linebacker Derrick Morgan, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement.

      Morgan, 30, posted 44.5 career sacks with the Titans. He was drafted 16th overall out of Georgia Tech in 2010. He played the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract in 2018 and was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries.

      He logged 106 career starts and 54 tackles for loss.

      --The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

      Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

      Cooper's career has been injury-plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

      --Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

      The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011. Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

      Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raiders sign former first-round pick Cooper
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Oakland Raiders signed free agent guard Jonathan Cooper, who could provide valuable depth at the position.

    • Cooper, 29, a North Carolina product, was the No. 7 overall selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

      Cooper's career has been injury plagued, limiting him to just 46 career games (31 starts) in six seasons. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg, and injuries limited him to a combined nine games in 2016 and 2018.

      He played two seasons with Arizona (2014-15), followed by single seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

      The Raiders will be without guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

      In a corresponding move, the Raiders waived wide receiver Montay Crockett. The team signed the 25-year-old in June.

      He has never appeared in an NFL game, despite spending time in the Cardinals, Redskins, Jacksonville and Green Bay organizations.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Falcons reach $68M deal with DT Jarrett
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The Atlanta Falcons and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ahead of Monday's franchise tag deadline, multiple outlets reported.

    • Jarrett, who would have earned $15.2 million playing under the tag in 2019, will earn $17 million per season through 2022.

      That makes the 26-year-old the third-highest paid interior defensive lineman in the league after the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and the Philadelphia Eagles' Fletcher Cox.

      Jarrett was ranked as the No. 5 defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in its 2018 postseason grades. He had 52 tackles and a career-high six sacks in 14 games.

      Jarrett has 14 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 61 games (46 starts) since Atlanta drafted him in the fifth round in 2015 out of Clemson.

      --Field Level Media

  • Redskins QB Smith walking without brace
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith no longer is wearing the brace on his surgically repaired right leg, the next step in his comeback from a devastating injury suffered last November.

    • His wife, Elizabeth, announced the achievement on her Instagram account on Monday, saying he no longer was wearing the external fixator that was designed to keep his leg in place during his recovery from a compound fracture.

      "The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy," she wrote. "Although it's not over, today is a big milestone. We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It's one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched."

      Following the injury in the Nov. 18 loss to the Houston Texans, Smith underwent several surgeries to repair his broken tibia and fibula and then suffered from an infection and was hospitalized until Dec. 16.

      The 35-year-old veteran told a Washington, D.C., reporter last month that he hasn't given up hope of playing again.

      "That's the plan," Smith told Angie Goff on her Oh My Goff podcast. "There are steps I've got to conquer before I get there. ... Learning to run again. That's a big one. I'm already throwing. Throwing isn't a problem, but dropping, moving around, change of direction."

      He said then that everyday events for most were milestones for him.

      "The steps I'm at now are lifestyle steps," he said. "I'm still working on playing basketball with my kids and running around after my daughter. Those are things I have to conquer anyway until I get to the point where I'm walking on the field. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that's a real possibility."

      The Redskins acquired Smith 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

  • Giants suspend S Moore following alleged assault
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    The New York Giants suspended second-year safety Kamrin Moore on Monday pending further investigation into his weekend arrest in an alleged domestic violence incident.

    • Moore, 22, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly stepping on a woman's neck before punching her and knocking her unconscious in a confrontation outside of his home in Linden, N.J., on Thursday night, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

      The woman was taken to a hospital by a friend and suffered injuries to her neck and face with "bruising, swelling and abrasions," according to NJ.com.

      Police were not called to the scene. The woman, who had been dating Moore since January, filed a complaint with the authorities on Saturday, per NJ.com.

      New Orleans drafted Moore in the sixth round out of Boston College in 2018. After being waived by the Saints on Sept. 1, he was claimed by the Giants and played 10 snaps in two games as a rookie.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bengals G Boling retires after eight seasons
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 15, 2019

    Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling retired Monday after eight seasons, citing medical concerns.

    • The 30-year-old lineman started 109 of his 111 games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Georgia in 2011.

      "After eight years in the NFL, it is time for me to step away from the game due to medical reasons," Boling said in a statement. "This is not an easy decision, but it is the right one for me, my wife Kelly and our two young girls. I want to thank the Brown family for giving me the opportunity to play my entire career with the Bengals. I also want to thank my teammates, coaches, fans and everyone who has supported me throughout my career."

      Boling started all 16 games in five of his seasons, including 2018.

      "Clint is a first-rate person, someone we all counted on and looked up to," said Bengals president Mike Brown in a statement. "As a lineman, he never got the credit he deserved. That is often the case with good players who do their jobs well, but around the team, he was highly respected and appreciated beyond his playing abilities."

      Boling blocked for four 1,000-yard rushers and helped the Bengals earn five straight playoff berths (2011-15), including two AFC North titles.

      --Field Level Media