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Falcons announce Gurley deal; reportedly still needs physical

Falcons announce Gurley deal; reportedly still needs physical

The Atlanta Falcons officially announced Monday that they have agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.

The announcement comes two and a half weeks after Gurley was released by the Rams and reportedly agreed on a one-year, $6 million deal with the Falcons less than 24 hours later. The Falcons have yet to say whether Gurley has signed his contract or taken a physical.

ESPN reported Monday that Gurley, who is quarantining in Los Angeles during the coronavirus pandemic, has yet to take a physical. Neither players or teams are permitted to travel for physicals, but some players have had them taken by nearby doctors in order to complete deals.

Gurley, 25, was released by the Rams after a steep drop-off in production in 2019 and questions about the health of his left knee, in which he has an arthritic condition.

A former All-American at Georgia, Gurley rushed for a career-low 857 yards last season. In five seasons with the Rams, he rushed for 5,404 yards and 58 touchdowns while adding 218 receptions for 2,090 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Goodell orders NFL teams to draft from home

Goodell orders NFL teams to draft from home

A league-wide work-from-home order officially includes the 2020 NFL Draft.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday, later published by ESPN's Adam Schefter, outlining the parameters for the remote working protocol during the draft, which begins April 23 and runs through April 25. Teams were told to prepare to conduct the entirety of the draft "entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format."

"We want all NFL personnel to comply with government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices," Goodell wrote. "Our staff will carry out its responsibilities in the same way, operating in separate locations outside of our offices. And after consulting with medical advisors, we cannot identify an alternative that is preferable from a medical and public health perspective, given the varying needs of clubs, the need to properly screen participants and the unique risk factors that individual club employees may face."

The event, which will still be televised, is scheduled to include guest interviews and appearances from players, coaches and general managers connecting via video conference.

With coronavirus cases and deaths still on the rise, Goodell followed the instructions of state and federal officials in canceling the live event, which was booked for Las Vegas.

But team facilities are all closed and rather than a prospect and league party in the NFL's newest market, Las Vegas, players have been invited to participate virtually from their own homes.

"All clubs should dedicate their personnel and technology resources toward preparing for a fully virtual Draft, with personnel in separate locations," Goodell wrote Monday. "Our understanding is that many clubs are already well advanced in preparing for a virtual Draft and we are confident that all clubs can take the necessary steps to make the 2020 Draft a successful event."

The pre-draft routine has been muddled by the pandemic as well. Many top prospects were unable to hold pro day workouts and teams accustomed to hosting prospects at their headquarters instead were limited to video and voice calls.

There were recommendations to delay the draft as physical, intellectual and psychological testing of top college talent has been interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after finishing the 2019 season with a 2-14 record. Their selection will be followed by the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will draft last in the first round, 32nd overall.

Reports: Antonio Brown has new agent

Reports: Antonio Brown has new agent

Antonio Brown has a new agent as he attempts to revive his NFL career, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Ed Wasielewski works for Excel Management Group Sports -- often referred to as EMG Sports -- and will look to see if he can Brown back with a team after the 31-year-old missed all but one game of the 2019 season.

Drew Rosenhaus terminated his agent-player relationship with Brown in mid-January due to the receiver's outbursts against the league, NFL teams, various players and spats with police.

Brown played in just one game in 2019 as his off-the-field antics overshadowed his abilities.

The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver had a falling out with the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2018 season and was traded to the then-Oakland Raiders.

Brown never played in a game with Oakland after being a training-camp distraction -- including a flap over his helmet -- and was released. He later played in one game for the New England Patriots -- making four catches for 56 yards and one touchdown -- before being released after sexual assault allegations arose.

The NFL opened an investigation into Brown's action after former trainer Britney Taylor alleged she was assaulted by Brown on multiple occasions.

Brown recently was mentioned as a possible addition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after that club signed former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

But Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians immediately shot down that idea, saying "it's just not a fit here."

Brown's production has always been top notch and he was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team announced by the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday.

In 10 NFL seasons (the first nine with Pittsburgh), Brown has 841 catches for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He is a four-time All-Pro.

Brown topped 1,200 receiving yards in six straight seasons prior to last year. He also had topped 100 receptions in six consecutive campaigns.

All-decade team: Brady, Rodgers headline Team of 2010s

All-decade team: Brady, Rodgers headline Team of 2010s

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the quarterbacks for the 2010s All-Decade Team announced by the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday.

Brady was one of eight unanimous selections -- Drew Brees was left off the list -- along with retired Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson and the Baltimore Ravens duo of kicker Justin Tucker and recently retired offensive guard Marshal Yanda.

Brady, 42, was also on the All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

The 55-member team is the result of votes cast by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-member selection committee. Only players who received at least one selection to a Pro Bowl, Associated Press All-Pro team or Pro Football Writers of America all-conference team during the 2010-19 seasons were eligible.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was named one of the all-decade team's coaches -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who was also on the 2000s all-decade team, is the other. Carroll posted a 100-59-1 record from 2010-2019.

"Is he the defensive coordinator, and I'm the head coach?" Carroll quipped when informed of the selection along with Belichick, who was hired to replace Carroll in New England after the Patriots went 8-8 in 1999.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was also left off the list. However, the Legion of Boom secondary of the Seahawks was represented by safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman. Linebacker Bobby Wagner and running back Marshawn Lynch also are part of the team of the 2010s.

2010s ALL-DECADE TEAM ROSTER

* -- unanimous selection

OFFENSE

QB Tom Brady*

QB Aaron Rodgers

RB Frank Gore

RB Marshawn Lynch

RB LeSean McCoy

RB Adrian Peterson*

WR Antonio Brown

WR Larry Fitzgerald

WR Calvin Johnson

WR Julio Jones

FLEX Darren Sproles

TE Rob Gronkowski

TE Travis Kelce

OT Jason Peters

OT Tyron Smith

OT Joe Staley

OT Joe Thomas*

OG Jahri Evans

OG Logan Mankins

OG Zack Martin

OG Marshal Yanda*

C Alex Mack

C Maurkice Pouncey

DEFENSE

DE Calais Campbell

DE Cameron Jordan

DE Julius Peppers

DE J.J. Watt*

DT Geno Atkins

DT Fletcher Cox

DT Aaron Donald*

DT Ndamukong Suh

LB Chandler Jones

LB Luke Kuechly

LB Khalil Mack

LB Von Miller*

LB Bobby Wagner

LB Patrick Willis

CB Patrick Peterson

CB Darrelle Revis

CB Richard Sherman

S Eric Berry

S Earl Thomas

S Eric Weddle

DB Chris Harris Jr.

DB Tyrann Mathieu

SPECIALISTS

P Johnny Hekker

P Shane Lechler

K Stephen Gostkowski

K Justin Tucker*

PR Tyreek Hill

PR Darren Sproles

KR Devin Hester

KR Cordarrelle Patterson

COACHES

Bill Belichick

Pete Carroll

Report: Competition committee plans May meeting; PI review likely punted

Report: Competition committee plans May meeting; PI review likely punted

NFL competition committee members are planning on their May meeting going on as scheduled May 19-20 in California.

The competition committee is a nine-person panel charged with reviewing and implementing on-field rules and proposals for changing the rule book. Owners, general managers and coaches are eligible to be on the committee.

NFL Network reported the committee intends to narrow the focus of the meeting to a series of discussion points to include the likely revocation of the pass interference replay rule.

The replay rule was enacted for the 2019 season following great debate among members and sparked by the NFC Championship Game non-call involving the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints.

The Rams benefited from the non-call and represented the NFC in the Super Bowl. Last offseason, 31 of 32 owners voted in favor of PI review.

But pass interference calls -- and non-calls -- reviewed were rarely overturned. One of the most egregious examples drew flammable criticism from players and fans alike in Week 6, when Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey was draped over then-Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Humphrey was defending a pass into the end zone. He had both hands on Hopkins -- one on each shoulder -- with his full weight behind a lunge into Hopkins with the ball in the air. The incompletion did not draw a flag, and the requested review of the play resulted in what Hopkins and coach Bill O'Brien called a baffling no-call.

"As a leader in the NFL, we need someone new in New York deciding calls," Hopkins tweeted after the game.

According to NFL Network, one solution on the table next month is the "Sky Judge" concept introduced by the XFL. The committee unanimously objected to the sky judge in 2019.

New proposals from the Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers would bring an administrator into the equation to point out officiating mistakes.

Proposals require approval from at least 24 of 32 teams.

The competition committee is chaired by Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons president), who said last week he was focused only on the draft and information technology involved in making the event work remotely.

"I'm not going to get caught up in the speculation about what happens after the draft," he told The Athletic.

Report: NFL delays offseason phase 1

Report: NFL delays offseason phase 1

Teams are being advised the first phase of the offseason program, which includes rookie minicamps after the NFL draft, will be delayed by at least one week, NFL Network reported.

Team facilities remain closed for all non-essential -- primarily healthcare -- employees. Coaches, general managers and scouts are meeting via video conference and will conduct their entire draft not from the typical team facility "war room" but remote locations that follow national social distancing guidelines prohibiting more than 10 people from being assembled.

Monday was the scheduled start date of offseason programs for teams with new coaches, such as Mike McCarthy with the Dallas Cowboys and Matt Rhule with the Carolina Panthers. The New York Giants (Joe Judge), Cleveland Browns (Kevin Stefanski) and Washington Redskins (Ron Rivera) are the other coaches impacted by the first-year rule.

Per NFL Network, the NFL Players Association is discussing parameters of the reshaped program with the NFL with a heavy emphasis on virtual learning using team-issued playbooks and film study.

President Donald Trump told the commissioners of sports leagues on a weekend conference call that he expects the NFL season to start on time.

The NFL hasn't released a regular season schedule, but reports indicate it will be released before May 9.

Week 1 of the regular season would typically start with the Kansas City Chiefs, by virtue of winning the Super Bowl last season, playing host to a game on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Hall of Fame RB/WR Bobby Mitchell dead at 84

Hall of Fame RB/WR Bobby Mitchell dead at 84

Bobby Mitchell, the Hall of Fame running back and receiver whose trade to Washington enabled the Redskins to become the last NFL team to integrate, died Sunday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced. He was 84 years old.

A cause of death was not announced.

"I was extremely saddened to hear the news about the passing of the great Bobby Mitchell," Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "Bobby was a Hall of Fame player and executive and represented the Washington Redskins organization with integrity for over 50 years. His passion for the game of football was unmatched by anyone I have ever met. Not only was he one of the most influential individuals in franchise history, but he was also one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was a true class act and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Gwen and the entire Mitchell family during this time."

Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1935, Mitchell played at Illinois before the Cleveland Browns drafted him in the seventh round in 1958 -- a year after the Browns drafted Jim Brown.

In four seasons with Cleveland, Mitchell teamed with Brown to form perhaps the NFL's strongest offense at the time. Mitchell ran for 2,297 yards and had 1,462 yards receiving in Cleveland, scoring 38 total touchdowns with the Browns.

He still ranks fifth in Redskins history in receiving yards (6,492), sixth in receiving touchdowns (49) and eighth in receptions (393). He made four Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in 1962.

Mitchell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Colts owner Irsay donates 10,000-plus masks

Colts owner Irsay donates 10,000-plus masks

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Sunday he secured more than 10,000 N95 masks and is donating them to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Healthcare workers across the nation are in dire need of the masks and other personal protective equipment to keep them safe as they fight the coronavirus pandemic on the front lines.

Irsay tweeted Sunday that the health department would distribute them "as most urgently needed."

Last month, Irsay donated $1 million to the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to help feed children who are out of school and those who have lost income during the pandemic.

On Thursday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arranged for the team plane to transport 1.2 million masks from China to Massachusetts, where one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus has been met with a shortfall of personal protective equipment.

More than 300,000 of the masks were delivered to the hard-hit state of New York.

Report: QB Newton willing to wait for right fit

Report: QB Newton willing to wait for right fit

Former league MVP Cam Newton continues to be without a team, but he apparently is willing to wait to move to his next NFL city.

Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, is a free agent. The Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater last month to fill the quarterback position.

ESPN's Chris Fowler said Sunday on "SportsCenter" that Newton is letting the next several weeks play out.

"I spoke to a source close to Cam Newton and he's willing to wait right now if he has to," Fowler said. "He's going to be patient. He wants to get his spot back as a high-level starter. He's highly motivated to do so. There simply aren't a lot of starting jobs available. So if he has to wait until after the draft, or maybe somebody gets injured, he is willing to do that. He knows the Patriots or maybe one of those teams could be looking. He doesn't know what they're going to do, obviously, just yet. They haven't played their hand."

New England enters the season without a returning starting quarterback since 1993, when rookie Drew Bledsoe entered the league. When Bledsoe was injured in 2001, Tom Brady took over and held the job through the 2019 season.

Brady signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month.

The Los Angeles Chargers also have been mentioned as a fit for Newton. After not re-signing veteran Philip Rivers in free agency, the Chargers have Tyrod Taylor as their presumptive starter.

The Panthers released Newton on March 24, saving $19.1 million in salary-cap space.

Newton, who turns 31 in May, is coming off of Lisfranc surgery and had a shoulder operation prior to the 2019 season.

In limited action in 2019, Newton passed for 572 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Overall, he has thrown for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions in 125 games (124 starts). He also has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 scores.

Newton was the NFL MVP in 2015 when he passed for 3,837 yards and a career-best 35 touchdowns while leading Carolina to the Super Bowl. He was intercepted 10 times and also rushed for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Former Oilers coach Biles dies

Former Oilers coach Biles dies

Former Oilers head coach Ed Biles has died at 88, the Houston Chronicle reported on Sunday.

Per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Biles had been battling leukemia for some time prior to his death.

Biles served as a freshman coach (1956-61) and later head coach (1962-68) at Xavier University before becoming an assistant coach with the New Orleans Saints in 1969. He later worked for the New York Jets before being hired by Houston as the team's defensive backs coach in 1974.

Biles worked as a defensive coordinator under Bum Phillips the following year and helped the Oilers advance to the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers both times.

Biles took over for the fired Phillips following the 1980 season. The Oilers posted a 7-9 mark in the first season under Biles before recording a 1-8 mark in the strike-shortened 1982 campaign.

An 0-6 start to the 1983 season led to the firing of Biles, who did not coach again in the NFL.

Former Saints K Dempsey dies after battle with COVID-19

Former Saints K Dempsey dies after battle with COVID-19

Record-setting New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey has died due to complications of the coronavirus, his family told NOLA.com. He was 73.

The outlet reported Dempsey tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25. He also had been battling Alzheimer's disease and dementia at a senior living facility in New Orleans.

"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to (wife) Carlene and the entire Dempsey family on the passing of their dear Tom," Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement on Sunday morning. "The New Orleans Saints family is deeply saddened and heartbroken at this most difficult time."

Dempsey, who was born without fingers on his right hand and without toes on his right kicking foot, set a then-NFL record with a 63-yard field goal on Nov. 8, 1970. The kick at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans lifted the Saints to a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions.

The record was first matched by the Denver Broncos' Jason Elam in 1998 and later broken by Denver's Matt Prater with a 64-yarder in 2013.

"Tom's life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations," Benson said in a statement. "He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor. He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family."

Dempsey was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1989. The modified shoe he kicked with is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dempsey played 11 NFL seasons with the Saints (1969-70), Philadelphia Eagles (1971-74), Los Angeles Rams (1975-76), Houston Oilers (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978-79).

He made 159 of 258 field goals and 252 of 282 extra points in 127 games, and earned a Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro honors as a rookie in 1969.

Report: Browns interested in DE Clowney

Report: Browns interested in DE Clowney

The Cleveland Browns have shown interest in free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, ESPN reported on Saturday.

Per the report, some around the league believe the Browns had been closer to a deal than other suitors for Clowney, who has not gotten the offers he has hoped for from other teams or the Seattle Seahawks, who he played for in 2019.

Clowney, 27, was reportedly seeking more than $20 million annually when he hit free agency in mid-March, but his market has developed slowly. One factor could be his injury history -- which includes microfracture surgery on his knee and core muscle surgery after the 2019 season -- and the inability for teams to give players a physical in person during the coronavirus outbreak.

An ESPN report earlier this week said Clowney has dropped his asking price to $17-18 million annually, with the Tennessee Titans showing interest and the Seahawks still hoping to re-sign him.

While not all salaries for free agent signings have been reported, the Browns have the most cap space in the NFL currently, per Spotrac's projections, at $43.6 million.

They added defensive end Adrian Clayborn on a two-year, $5.8 million deal, and they also have Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon at the position. Vernon, however, could be released for a $15.5 million cap savings at any time.

Clowney tallied 31 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in 13 games (11 starts) in his first season with Seattle in 2019. The Seahawks acquired Clowney prior to last season in a trade with the Houston Texans.

The top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Clowney has 236 tackles, 32 sacks and nine forced fumbles in 75 career games (66 starts) with the Texans (2014-18) and Seahawks.

Report: NFL teams to conduct draft from homes

Report: NFL teams to conduct draft from homes

The 2020 NFL Draft now will be a stay-at-home affair as top team officials will participate in the April 23-25 event from their individual residences, ESPN reported Saturday.

With coronavirus cases and deaths still on the rise, the NFL will set an example for extreme social distancing during the most popular weekend of the offseason as the living room becomes the war room.

Team facilities have closed, and the league called off plans to hold a splashy draft in its newest market, Las Vegas. Players will participate virtually from their own homes instead.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the draft would take place on its regularly scheduled dates. The initial plan, before Saturday's report, was to conduct the event with as few people on hand as possible.

There were recommendations to delay the draft as physical, intellectual and psychological testing of top college talent reportedly has been interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after finishing the 2019 season with a 2-14 record. Their selection will be followed by the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will draft last in the first round, 32nd overall.

Browns sign veteran CB Johnson

Browns sign veteran CB Johnson

The Cleveland Browns officially signed free agent cornerback Kevin Johnson on Saturday.

Terms were not disclosed, but multiple outlets reported last month that the two sides had agreed on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

A first-round pick (16th overall) by Houston in 2015, Johnson played four seasons with the Texans before spending the 2019 campaign with the Buffalo Bills.

Johnson, 27, has appeared in 51 career games (19 starts) and has 164 tackles, 19 passes defensed, one sack and one interception.

Antonio Brown reportedly charged in alleged assault of driver

Antonio Brown reportedly charged in alleged assault of driver

Free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is facing three criminal charges related to an alleged assault of a moving truck driver in January.

A Broward County (Fla.) court document obtained by ESPN revealed that Brown is charged with felony burglary conveyance, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges.

Brown allegedly was involved in a dispute with a moving-truck driver outside his Hollywood, Fla., home on Jan. 21. The driver was attempting to deliver Brown's household items from California, per the criminal complaint.

The NFL likely will review the charges against Brown, who is also being investigated by the league over a lawsuit filed by a former trainer that alleges the wide receiver sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions.

Brown, 31, played in just one game during the 2019 season, getting cut by both the then-Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots.

A four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Brown has recorded 841 receptions for 11,263 yards with 75 touchdowns in 131 career games with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-18) and the Patriots (2019).

Report: TE Seals-Jones agrees to deal with Chiefs

Report: TE Seals-Jones agrees to deal with Chiefs

Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, Yahoo Sports reported Friday night.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Seals-Jones, who likely will provide depth behind five-time Pro Bowl selection Travis Kelce.

Seals-Jones, 25, recorded 14 receptions for 229 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in 14 games (three starts) with the Cleveland Browns last season.

Seals-Jones has 60 catches for 773 yards and eight touchdowns in 39 career games (nine starts) with the Arizona Cardinals (2017-18) and Browns.

The reported addition of Seals-Jones comes after the Chiefs saw fellow tight end Blake Bell head to the Dallas Cowboys in free agency.

Deon Yelder and Nick Keizer are the lone remaining tight ends on Kansas City's roster behind the 30-year-old Kelce, who had 97 receptions for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Texans' O'Brien defends trade of WR Hopkins

Texans' O'Brien defends trade of WR Hopkins

In his first public comments since the trade, Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien defended the decision to send All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals last month.

"I would say the deal with Arizona was a deal that we felt was in the best interest of our team," O'Brien told season-ticket holders on a conference call Friday, according to the Houston Chronicle. "We love DeAndre Hopkins, but he had three years left on his deal, and he wanted a raise. We weren't going to be able to go in that direction."

O'Brien also touted the package the Texans received in return. Houston acquired the Cardinals' 2020 second-round pick and running back David Johnson while also swapping their own 2020 fourth-round pick for Arizona's fourth-rounder in 2021.

"We felt like we had a great offer from Arizona that involved picks," O'Brien said. "It involved an excellent three-down running back who's hungry and humble and can't wait to get started. David Johnson is going to be a great addition to our football team."

The trade was widely panned and has brought heavy criticism upon O'Brien, who has served as the Texans' de facto general manager since GM Brian Gaine was fired last June, less than 18 months after Gaine was hired. O'Brien officially added the GM role to his title on Jan. 28.

In a story published by The Athletic on Wednesday, an anonymous executive from another team called the trade "a joke," adding, "How the David Johnson contract was included in the deal just astounds me."

Johnson is due $11.2 million guaranteed this season, the third-highest salary of any running back in the NFL. The 28-year-old has totaled 2,191 scrimmage yards (averaging 4.8 yards per touch) and 16 touchdowns over the past three seasons after posting 2,118 scrimmage yards (5.7 average) and 20 touchdowns during his All-Pro season of 2016.

Hopkins, who turns 28 in June, is coming off three consecutive first-team All-Pro selections, tallying 315 catches for 4,115 yards and 31 touchdowns in 46 games over that span. He has three years and $39.9 million -- none guaranteed -- remaining on his contract.

Multiple reports since the trade have described friction between O'Brien and Hopkins, including the team's concerns about Hopkins' tendency to miss practices and sometimes pre-game warmups before playing through injuries in games.

O'Brien was clear that his focus is on his group of players, rather than an individual.

"Whatever decisions we make will be made in the best interest of the team," O'Brien said. "Capital T. Capital E. Capital A. Capital M."

Team chairman and chief operating officer Cal McNair said he remains confident in O'Brien and executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby leading the personnel department.

"It's important that the focus is the team," McNair said, according to the Chronicle. "I would think as a fan, I would be really excited that your leadership can make bold moves and can go make the moves that make the team better. It's an exciting time for us."

NFL could move 2024 Super Bowl due to Mardi Gras

NFL could move 2024 Super Bowl due to Mardi Gras

The NFL is considering moving the 2024 Super Bowl out of New Orleans due to potential conflicts with Mardis Gras that emerged with the pending expansion to a 17-game season.

New Orleans, which was awarded Super Bowl LVIII during a meeting in 2018, would not lose the game entirely, but rather have it pushed back a year or two. No decision has been made.

The game is scheduled for Feb. 4, but that date was set with a 16-game NFL schedule. If a week were to be added to the schedule, the game would be played on Feb. 11 -- presenting a conflict with Mardi Gras beginning on Feb. 13.

"The New Orleans Host Committee, led by the New Orleans Saints and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, has remained in close communication with league officials about the change to a 17-game regular season, as it relates to the city hosting Super Bowl LVIII in 2024," Saints vice president of communications Greg Bensel said in a statement on Friday. "During the bid process in 2018, it was contemplated and discussed of the possibility of an extended schedule based on a new CBA. The Bid Committee, the New Orleans Saints and NFL worked together to build in contingencies if a potential conflict with Mardi Gras should affect the Super Bowl date.

"Mutually agreed upon terms during the bid process granted assurances that the NFL and Host Committee would explore all options for still hosting the game in 2024, or, agreeing to host the Super Bowl in a future year when the citywide calendar permits."

The 17-game schedule, per terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, will be installed as the norm sometime between 2021 and 2023.

The NFL has yet to award the 2025 Super Bowl. The other upcoming host cities are Tampa, Fla. (2020 season), Inglewood, Calif. (2021) and Glendale, Ariz (2022).

New Orleans has hosted the big game 10 times, trailing only Miami (11) for the most in Super Bowl history. The city most recently hosted Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season, when the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers after a mid-game power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Rams officially re-sign DT Brockers

Rams officially re-sign DT Brockers

The Los Angeles Rams officially re-signed defensive tackle Michael Brockers on Friday, ensuring he'll return for a ninth season despite a previous verbal agreement with Baltimore.

In their announcement, the Rams did not reference a physical, but multiple outlets reported Brockers passed his physical.

Last Friday, Brockers' deal with the Ravens -- reported to be worth $30 million over three years, with $21 million guaranteed -- fell through due to concerns about a high ankle sprain he sustained late last season. With players and teams unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the situation proved unresolvable, leading the Ravens to move on and Brockers to return to the Rams.

His contract with Los Angeles reportedly is a three-year pact worth $24 million, with an additional $7.5 million available via incentives.

Earlier this week, Brockers discussed his scuttled agreement with Baltimore on the Green Light podcast, a show hosted by former Rams defensive end Chris Long.

"It was a done deal," said Brockers, who has been at his home in Houston during the offseason. "But going through physicals, you know how that works. Being a little bit older in the league, they see a couple things.

"... I did my physical here in Houston. I go to the doctor, they take X-rays and I did an MRI," he continued. "... Baltimore's doctor gets to look at it, and he says, ‘You know, I'm not a specialist, but I'm going to send it to a guy that I truly trust, and he's a third-party doctor.' ... I guess that doctor told him I might need something like a surgery, and they were like, ‘Oh.'"

Brockers, 29, said the ankle hasn't bothered him as he has worked out this offseason.

A first-round pick of the Rams in 2012, he has played in 123 of a possible 128 games, including 121 starts, over eight seasons, collecting 23 sacks. He had three sacks and nine QB hits last year.

Rex Ryan: 'Turd' Amari Cooper didn't deserve $100M

Rex Ryan: 'Turd' Amari Cooper didn't deserve $100M

Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan ripped Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper and said the Pro Bowl free agent was a "turd" undeserving of his recently signed $100 million deal in Dallas.

The blustery Ryan, never one to hold his tongue, said Cooper didn't deserve a big payday on ESPN's "Get Up" program.

"To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League," Ryan said. "He doesn't show up on the road ... when he's against the top corners, that guy disappears."

Cooper and Dak Prescott were both unrestricted free agents entering the offseason. The Cowboys used the exclusive franchise tag at a cost of more than $30 million to keep Prescott.

Cooper's deal makes him the second-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL behind Julio Jones, who will make $22 million with the Atlanta Falcons.

"I wouldn't have paid this turd," Ryan said of Cooper.

Cooper, 25, was the fourth overall pick in 2015 and was traded to the Cowboys from the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018.

Cooper appeared on the injury list most of the final eight games last season with leg and ankle injuries. In the final three games of 2019 and with the Cowboys fighting for a playoff spot, Cooper was limited and caught a total of nine passes for 135 yards and zero touchdowns.

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