Antonio Brown

NFL Notes: Cam Newton expresses regret after response to female reporter

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NFL Notes: Cam Newton expresses regret after response to female reporter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton has "expressed regret" for his response to a female reporter's question at a news conference Wednesday, a team spokesman said.

When Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked Newton about wide receiver Devin Funchess' route running, the former league MVP smiled and said, "it's funny to hear a female talk about routes. It's funny."

After Newton's comments, the quarterback proceeded to answer Rodrigue's question.

Carolina spokesman Steven Drummond said in a statement to The Associated Press that Newton had a conversation with Rodrigue after the news conference ended and expressed regret for his remarks.

Rodrigue released a statement through The Charlotte Observer via email saying that Newton did not apologize when they spoke after the news conference.

She said she "was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologize for his comments" (see full story).

Steelers: Brown apologizes for ‘all the noise’
PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown is nearly getting as much practice at saying "I'm sorry" as he is at catching touchdowns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver apologized via Twitter on Wednesday for his sideline outburst early in his team's victory in Baltimore last Sunday. Brown broke free on Pittsburgh's second possession and was wide open down the left sideline.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't see Brown and instead threw the ball short. Brown briefly lost his cool afterward, taking out his frustration on a Gatorade cooler in the process.

"Apologize for all the noise and the distractions Steeler nation let's stay focus," the All-Pro posted.

Roethlisberger described Brown's actions as a "temper tantrum" during the quarterback's weekly radio show and coach Mike Tomlin encouraged Brown to be "professional," though it hardly seemed to create any sort of rift in the team's locker room (see full story).

Titans: Mariota’s status still unclear for game vs. Miami
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey says quarterback Marcus Mariota's status is still unclear for their upcoming matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

The Titans coach remains hopeful that Mariota will play despite a strained hamstring .

Mariota, who was hurt in last week's loss to Houston, was limited in practice, stretching and throwing passes during the open portion of the workouts on Wednesday. The quarterback did not speak with the media after practice.

"We didn't ask him to do very much, we were smart with him," Mularkey said. "We did what we thought he could do, and that wasn't very much, but enough. We're going to be smart with him; positive for what he had to do."

Mularkey says he would be comfortable playing the quarterback Sunday even without a full practice (see full story).

Colts: Luck faces limitations after returning to practice
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck put on his familiar red No. 12 jersey, trotted onto the practice field and got back into his normal Wednesday routine.

A little stretching, a little footwork, even a little throwing.

Even he figured it's about time.

After missing all of the Indianapolis Colts' offseason workouts, all of training camp, all of the preseason and Indy's first four regular-season games, the Colts' quarterback made his long-awaited appearance on the practice field.

"It was fun to be back on the field and put on a jersey and a helmet and get to go out there and throw a couple passes with the guys," Luck said in his first comments since July 29 (see full story).

Packers: Adams back at practice after taking bit hit
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Receiver Davante Adams was back on his feet, in uniform, bouncing around the practice field and joking with teammates.

It was a welcome sight for the Green Bay Packers.

Adams returned to practice Wednesday after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan that led to the receiver being carted off the field on a stretcher.

Adams was taken to a hospital for evaluation after being knocked out of the game on Sept. 28 and was released the next day. Adams is in the concussion protocol, though his return to practice on a limited basis is a good sign.

"I'm just glad to see him walking again, more importantly," receiver Randall Cobb said. "When I went to the hospital and saw him the other night he was back to his normal self, joking around, trying to break out of the hospital. I'm just glad to see him in good health" (see full story).

NFL Notes: Raiders counting on E.J. Manuel with Derek Carr out

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NFL Notes: Raiders counting on E.J. Manuel with Derek Carr out

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' season was derailed last year as soon as star quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

The Raiders' ability to survive with E.J. Manuel under center instead of Carr this year will determine whether they will still be in playoff contention after he returns from a back injury that could sideline him between two and six weeks.

One big difference is the Raiders have a more capable backup in Manuel this season after Matt McGloin and Connor Cook were unable to get anything going in a regular-season loss last year at Denver that cost Oakland the division title and then a playoff loss in Houston.

Manuel, a first-round pick by Buffalo in 2013, comes in with more talent and experience than those two and showed signs in the second half of last week's 16-10 loss at Denver that he might be able to move the offense when the Raiders (2-2) host Baltimore on Sunday in the first of three straight home games.

"E.J. is a star in this league," receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said Tuesday. "He's played for a long time and got drafted high in the first round for a reason. We all know what E.J. can do. We're not impressed with the things he did on Sunday. We've seen that each and every day in practice. When the time comes, we know he's ready with all the work he's put in and the extra time. That's what quarterbacks do" (see full story).

Steelers: Team wants Brown to quiet sideline antics
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin understands Antonio Brown's competitiveness is what helps make Brown one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers coach just wishes his star would do a better job of channeling it properly when things don't go Brown's way.

Tomlin mildly chastised Brown for a brief sideline eruption during last Sunday's 26-9 victory over Baltimore.

Brown took his frustrations out on a water cooler after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger failed to see Brown running free down the sideline in the second quarter. Roethlisberger instead threw an incomplete pass intended for Le'Veon Bell.

Tomlin didn't see Brown's initial outburst and while he gets Brown's anger, he'd prefer Brown find more productive ways to work through it.

"AB is a competitor," Tomlin said Tuesday. "He has to control it. If he doesn't it can work against him and it can work against us. .. It doesn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen" (see full story).

Bears: Trevathan suspension reduced to 1 game
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The NFL has reduced Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan's suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams from two games to one.

The league announced the change on Tuesday.

Adams was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter Thursday night after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Trevathan. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to Adams. He tweeted Friday that he was at home and "feeling great."

Trevathan was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty following Adams' 8-yard catch but was not ejected. He is eligible to return following Chicago's game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Titans: Weeden signed with Mariota ailing
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans are adding Brandon Weeden to the roster as a third quarterback with Marcus Mariota recovering from a strained hamstring.

The Titans announced the move Tuesday. Coach Mike Mularkey says Mariota is day to day after hurting his hamstring in a 57-14 loss to the Texans.

Matt Cassel is Mariota's backup, and now the Titans (2-2) have someone in Weeden who has started 25 of his 34 NFL games. The 22nd pick overall in 2012, Weeden has started for Cleveland, Dallas and Houston; the Texans released him Sept. 2 in their final cuts. The 6-foot-3 Weeden has thrown for 6,452 yards with 31 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

The Titans, who visit Miami (1-2) on Sunday, also waived linebacker Josh Carraway and swapped wide receiver C.J. Board onto the practice squad with cornerback Kenneth Durden released.

NFL Notes: Steelers sign Antonio Brown, franchise tag Le'Veon Bell

NFL Notes: Steelers sign Antonio Brown, franchise tag Le'Veon Bell

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers have signed Antonio Brown to a five-year deal that will reportedly make him the highest paid wide receiver in the league.

The Steelers did not release terms of the contract, but multiple media outlets reported that it is technically a four-year extension worth $68 million.

The contract takes Brown, who earned first-team All-Pro honors for the third consecutive year in 2016, through the 2021 season.

Steelers place franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell
The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed an exclusive rights franchise tag on Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell, ensuring he'll remain with the team in 2017.

The tag gives the Steelers time to work out a long-term deal with Bell, who could have become a free agent next month. The 25-year-old led the NFL in average yards from scrimmage last season and became the first player in NFL history to average at least 100 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving per game.

Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said earlier this month the Steelers want to keep Bell with the organization "for life." The team has until July 15 to reach an agreement with Bell on a new contract. If not, he will make the average salary of the top five running backs in the league in 2017 (see full story).

Browns release veteran WR Andrew Hawkins
The Cleveland Browns have released wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after three seasons.

The team terminated Hawkins' contract on Monday, cutting ties with one of its most respected players.

Hawkins had 33 catches for 324 yards and three touchdowns last season for the 1-15 Browns. But his contributions went beyond the field, as Hawkins helped mentor Cleveland's young receiving corps. He was also heavily involved in community activities.

Browns coach Hue Jackson says it's "tough to say goodbye to men like Hawk, that have done everything you've asked of them and gone above and beyond when it comes to leadership." Jackson says Hawkins "was a rock for us last season."

Hawkins signed with the Browns as a free agent in 2014 after three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 30-year-old, who played college ball at Toledo, played in 39 games with Cleveland, recording 123 catches for 1,424 yards and five TDs.

Cardinals: Chandler Jones receives franchise tag
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with the player.

The "non-exclusive" tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.

Under the franchise tag, Jones would receive about $15 million for the coming season.

Acquired in a trade with New England a year ago, Jones had 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 tackles for loss last season

Jones has 25 1-2 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the NFL over that span.

Panthers: Horton re-signed
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers are trying their best to keep their defensive line intact, re-signing defensive end Wes Horton to a two-year contract.

Financial terms were not released Monday.

The move comes less than 24 hours after the Panthers re-signed defensive end Mario Addison to a three-year contract on Sunday night. Addison was set to become an unrestricted free agent, while Horton would have been a restricted free agent.

Carolina is likely to use the franchise tag to keep Kawann Short if they can't reach a long-term deal with the defensive tackle before Wednesday's deadline.

The 27-year-old Horton started 10 games last season and had 11 tackles with 2 sacks. Horton has started 27 games since joining the Panthers in 2013 as an undrafted rookie and has 8 career sacks.