NFL Notes: Bengals give suspended LB Vontaze Burfict 3-year extension

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NFL Notes: Bengals give suspended LB Vontaze Burfict 3-year extension

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals have signed linebacker Vontaze Burfict to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season.

The move Thursday comes despite Burfict being suspended by the NFL for the first three games this season for his egregious hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in a preseason game.

Burfict has been a key playmaker on Marvin Lewis' defense with 582 tackles, seven sacks, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his first five seasons. But he has also been one of the league's most-frequently fined -- eight times -- players and been suspended twice for questionable hits during his career.

Lewis says in a statement that Burfict, signed in 2012 as a rookie free agent out of Arizona State, "is still one of the young, emerging talents within the league."

Browns: Top pick Garrett out with ankle injury
CLEVELAND -- Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett will be sidelined for weeks because of a sprained right ankle.

The top overall pick in this year's draft was injured Wednesday during Cleveland's first full practice leading to Sunday's opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's not known how Garrett was hurt.

The team said Thursday he has a high ankle sprain and his status will be updated in a "couple" of weeks.

Garrett's loss is another blow for the Browns, who went 1-15 last season and have had their share of costly injuries in recent years.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Garrett was limited by a left ankle sprain last year at Texas A&M. He sprained a foot with the Browns this spring (see full story).

Saints: Peterson says assuming he’s not still elite is ‘crazy’
METAIRIE, La. -- Adrian Peterson suggests it is "crazy" to assume he isn't still one of the best running backs in the NFL just because he's 32 years old and has had two knee surgeries.

In a few days, the new Saints running back gets his chance to demonstrate his point against the team that let him go in the city where he became arguably the best ball carrier of his generation.

"I'm pretty excited about it -- just trying to keep myself calm until Monday night comes around," said Peterson, who spent all of his previous 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. "I'm looking for amazing things to happen for me and our team."

Peterson's logic is "just based on the work that I put in and just honestly the God-given ability I've been blessed with."

Patriots: Fans cheer 5th banner, boo Goodell
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are celebrating their fifth Super Bowl title.

The Patriots planned a ceremony to unveil the NFL championship banner before the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team had to do some minor renovations of their home stadium to make room for the latest banner.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was on the field before the game, which was also the opener for the NFL season. With New England fans still angry about Goodell's "Deflategate" investigation, he received a chilly welcome.

Fans booed him and wore shirts featuring his face adorned with a red clown nose. A website handed out thousands of towels with the image, too.

The Patriots won their fifth championship in February, rallying from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

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Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

One day after being released from the Eagles, Vinny Curry has reportedly already found a new home.

The defensive end is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth up to $27 million, with an $11.5 million injury guarantee, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

After signing him to a five-year, $47.25 million extension in 2016, the Eagles moved on from Curry and his scheduled $11 million cap hit on Friday. The transaction saved the Eagles $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money.

While Curry, 29, had the best season of his career in 2017, his production still didn't match his high cap number and he became more expendable after the Eagles acquired Pro Bowler Michael Bennett from the Seahawks.

Curry will join former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen in Tampa Bay. Allen signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Buccaneers earlier in the week. 

As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

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As Bradham re-signs, he lauds former teammate

After getting the opportunity to stay with the Super Bowl champions, Nigel Bradham spoke at length and quite passionately about someone who didn’t get the same opportunity.
Brent Celek.
Bradham, the veteran linebacker, spent the last two years with Celek, who the Eagles released earlier this week after 11 seasons.
“That’s obviously devastating, man,” Bradham said. “Taking about a guy who was here his whole career and the way he came every day and his character every day.
“He really … me and a lot of guys on our team what it takes to win a Super Bowl, and he let us know it doesn’t come easy, it takes work, and he came in and worked every day. Like no other.”
Celek was due to earn $5 million in 2018 but is counting only $1 million in dead money against the 2018 cap, so the Eagles gained $4 million under the cap by releasing him.
That cap space certainly helped them find room to re-sign Bradham, who enjoyed a career-best season in 2017 for the Super Bowl champs.
But Bradham was effusive in his praise for the veteran tight end, who has played the fourth-most games in Eagles history.
“You would never know he was (11) years in because of the way he worked,” Bradham said. “So when you lose a guy like that it obviously takes a toll on your team.
“You hate to lose guys like that that meant so much and impacted this team so much. His leadership was on another level. He went over and beyond the things he could have done as a leader. Obviously, wish he could be here still.”