Patriots

Packers reportedly trying to collect portion of Martellus Bennett's signing bonus

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Packers reportedly trying to collect portion of Martellus Bennett's signing bonus

FOXBORO — We all remember what Martellus Bennett said about the Packers. 

“I am rubber and you are glue. Anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

The Packers are hoping that anything they pay bounces off Bennett and sticks to them. 

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The team has reportedly filed paperwork to collect a portion of the signing bonus paid to the veteran tight end, according to ESPN. Bennett, who returned to the Patriots after an unceremonious exit from Green Bay, received a $6.3 million signing bonus when he inked a three-year, $21 million contract with the team during the offseason. Bennett still has a prorated $4.2 million in signing bonuses coming after the next two seasons. 

The Packers released Bennett on Nov. 8 with the designation that he failed to disclose a medical condition. Bennett told the team he intended to have surgery prior to his release, but upon being claimed by New England, he returned to the field. 

Following his release and subsequent claim, Bennett was highly critical of the Packers and team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie, whom current and former Packers strongly defended. 

The Patriots placed Martellus Bennett on injured reserve this week, ending his season. He played two games for New England this season before missing last week's win over the Dolphins with shoulder and hamstring injuries. 
 

Ravens stay in playoff picture, down Browns, 27-10

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Ravens stay in playoff picture, down Browns, 27-10

CLEVELAND - When he looked up and saw hundreds of purple-and-black clad Baltimore fans ringing the tunnel entrance, coach John Harbaugh was moved to return the love.

He tossed his baseball cap into the stands and peeled off two sweat shirts that he handed out as souvenirs.

"Well worth it," Harbaugh said of his generosity.

The Ravens didn't give up anything else Sunday.

Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and beat Cleveland again as Baltimore stayed on track for a spot in the AFC playoffs with a 27-10 win over the Browns, now two losses from becoming the NFL's second 0-16 team.

Flacco scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 33-yard TD pass to tight end Benjamin Watson as the Ravens (8-6), coming off a heartbreaking loss to rival Pittsburgh, took control with two touchdowns in the final 3:01 of the first half.

Baltimore's opportunistic defense also contributed by forcing four more turnovers, with tackle Brandon Williams recovering a fumble and rolling into the end zone for a TD in third quarter to put the Ravens up 24-10.

"We've been doing some good things for a few weeks now and obviously it's getting our confidence rolling," said Flacco, who improved to 17-2 against the Browns. "Guys are starting to get some mojo and really starting to feel it."

The Browns (0-14) went 0-8 at home - 0-7 in Cleveland, 0-1 in London - for the second time and must win at either Chicago or Pittsburgh to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the notorious 0-16 club. Last season, the Browns avoided infamy by winning their final home game and finishing 1-15.

Cleveland is 1-29 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who is expected to be back despite his .033 winning percentage. Following the game, Jackson addressed speculation he might be interested in going Cincinnati, where Marvin Lewis is expected to leave at the end of the season.

"I'm not running from this," Jackson said. "I have never gone any place and left it worse than when I found it. I'm not going to run from this. I'm going to be here and I need to get this fixed as fast as I can because I think it is important."

Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer threw two more interceptions, the last into a group of defenders in the fourth quarter.

Harbaugh wasn't concerned about his team overlooking the Browns with so much on the line. Baltimore was coming off a punch-in-the-gut, last-second loss to the Steelers, and while the Ravens weren't at their best, they didn't do anything to help Cleveland's cause.

And as long as they take care of business at home against Indianapolis and Cincinnati in their last two games, the Ravens will return to the postseason after a two-year absence.

With the Ravens leading 17-10, Baltimore's defense put away the Browns.

Kizer was stripped in the end zone on his blindside by Za'Darius Smith and the loose ball was pounced on by Williams, who shimmied his 340-pound frame across the goal line.

"I had to do a little scooch, but it was good," Williams said, adding it was his first TD since high school. "I'm happy they didn't call it back. I would have been upset."

RAVENOUS RAVENS

Baltimore has scored five defensive touchdowns. It's also forced 33 takeaways - nine in two games against Cleveland.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Browns have lost 31 consecutive games on Sunday.

QB CLASS

Flacco's .895 winning percentage against the Browns is the third best by an active quarterback against any opponent. Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2 (.913) against Cleveland and Tom Brady is 27-3 (.900) against Buffalo.

PRISTINE PUNTER

Baltimore punter Sam Koch was given a game ball after pinning the Browns deep with perfectly placed kicks. Koch had four punts inside Cleveland's 20-yard line, giving him a league-high 37 this season.

"The dude is amazing," Williams said. "The way he pins them back, it's money every time. I see him in practice every day. It's automatic. We love him for it. The guy's a baller."

HUE'S FUTURE

Lewis' imminent departure in Cincinnati has added a new wrinkle to Cleveland's cloudy coaching situation.

Although owner Jimmy Haslam has said Jackson will return in 2018, new general manager John Dorsey has left open the possibility of a coaching change. Dorsey ripped fired vice president of football operations Sashi Brown earlier this week, but sidestepped a question about Jackson's future.

"I am not coping with this very well," Jackson said. "I haven't for two years. We have to fix this."

INJURIES:

Ravens: Harbaugh said WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) and DT Carl Davis (lower leg) will undergo MRIs on Monday, but he doesn't think either injury is serious. ... S Chuck Clark sustained a head injury in the first quarter but returned after clearing concussion protocol.

Browns: CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) missed his second straight game. ... DT Danny Shelton sustained a lower right leg injury in the second half but returned.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host Indianapolis on Sunday.

Browns: Visit Chicago on Sunday.

McCoy breaks 10,000, leads Bills to 24-16 win over Dolphins

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McCoy breaks 10,000, leads Bills to 24-16 win over Dolphins

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - With his personal chase for 10,000 career yards rushing out of the way, LeSean McCoy can turn his focus on reaching an even better destination: the playoffs.

McCoy scored twice and became the 30th player to hit 10,000, while keeping the Buffalo Bills firmly in the AFC playoff picture following a 24-16 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

"I'm happy it's done," McCoy said of his personal accomplishment. "Now I look forward to trying to get in these playoffs. We took care of business today."

Tyrod Taylor showed no signs of a bruised left knee that sidelined him for one game. The quarterback went 17 of 29 for 224 yards passing and a touchdown. He added 42 yards rushing and scored on a 9-yard scamper in a game Buffalo never trailed.

On defense, Buffalo intercepted Jay Cutler to end Miami's first two possessions of the second half. Then, rookie Tre'Davious White sealed the win with an interception with 28 seconds remaining - and a play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami's 37.

The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention; they ended a seven-year drought last season.

Buffalo improved to 8-6 to match the team's best record through 14 games during the team's 17-year playoff drought - the longest active streak in North America's four major professional sports. The Bills were 8-6 in both 2004 and 2014 but missed the playoffs with 9-7 finishes.

Buffalo 6-2 home record was its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.

The Bills now hit the road to continue their playoff pursuit in closing the season at New England next week and then at Miami on Dec. 31.

Frustration began to settle in for the Dolphins. They were undone by familiar inconsistencies at quarterback and on defense, while looking nothing like the team that stunned New England 27-20 on Monday night.

"We just made too many mistakes," Ndamukong Suh said of a defense that allowed the Bills to convert 7 of 15 third-down opportunities after limiting its past two opponents to convert 1 of 24.

"A loss is a loss no matter when it is," receiver Jarvis Landry added of an offense that needed five snaps from inside the Bills 5 to finally score its first touchdown on Kenyan Drake's 1-yard run with 7:03 remaining. "Obviously, we knew everything that was at stake and we didn't make it happen."

McCoy opened the scoring with a 4-yard run to cap Buffalo's opening drive. Then, he put Buffalo up 14-6 with a 16-yard catch with 6:05 left in the second quarter on a drive during which McCoy became the 30th player to break the 10,000-yard rushing milestone.

The ninth-year player reached the plateau with a 14-yard burst off right guard . McCoy said he got the wind knocked out of him while being tackled by Kiko Alonso.

After missing just one snap, McCoy returned and scored two plays later.

McCoy finished with 50 yards rushing, upping his career total to 10,011, and had four catches for 46 yards.

Richie Incognito not only enjoyed a front-row seat in watching McCoy burst past him on his way to his 10,000th yard, the veteran right guard was impressed by the resolve the Bills have shown in exceeding low preseason expectations.

"If I would've told you guys we're going to be 6-2 at home back in August, I think you guys would have laughed at us," he said.

"No one's laughing now," Incognito added. "We're cruising, man. All eyes on the prize."

THURMAN ON SHADY

Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas had no difficulty putting McCoy's value to Buffalo into perspective.

"We're not talking about being in the playoff race right now and we're not leading the league the past years," Thomas said. "We're not doing that if we don't have him with the Buffalo Bills."

LAST HURRAH?

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams wasn't prepared to say if he might have played his final game at New Era Field. The 12-year veteran contemplated retiring after last season and is in the final year of his contract.

Williams did take issue with teammate Adolphus Washington drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for attempting to punch the ball out of Drake's hands while the running back was on the sideline after being stopped at the 1.

"That's dumb football no matter what happened or what that penalty was," Williams said. "I don't care if they talk ugly about your mother. Handle it after the game."

DOLPHINS IN DECEMBER

Miami dropped to 4-9 in games played at Orchard Park, New York, in December or later.

INJURIES

Dolphins: CB T.J. McDonald left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

Bills: CB E.J. Gaines was carted off in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: At Kansas City on Dec. 24.

Bills: At New England on Dec. 24.