Teddy Bridgewater

NFL Notes: Jerry Jones reportedly threatens to sue NFL

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NFL Notes: Jerry Jones reportedly threatens to sue NFL

NEW YORK -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the NFL over a proposed contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, a dispute apparently sparked by star running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Jones told the six owners on the compensation committee he had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and was prepared to sue if the group voted to extend Goodell's deal, the person told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one has been authorized to reveal details.

Jones also has expressed disapproval with the structure and compensation in the contract extension, another person familiar with the proposed lawsuit says. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

The actions of Jones were first reported by The New York Times.

All 32 owners voted in May to extend Goodell's contract and authorized the compensation committee to work out the details. Goodell suspended Elliott in August after a yearlong NFL investigation. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the domestic violence case.

Jones, who is not on the compensation committee but is one of the most powerful owners in the league, has expressed frustration over the NFL's pursuit of criminal matters with its own investigators.

Asked on his radio show last week if he wanted Goodell to remain commissioner, Jones avoided a direct answer and said Elliott was a "victim of an overcorrection" because of the NFL's mishandling of former Baltimore running back Ray Rice's domestic case involving his then-fiancee (see full story).

Cowboys: Elliott mum amid more legal limbo
FRISCO, Texas -- Ezekiel Elliott skipped his weekly media session Wednesday because of more legal limbo in the star Dallas Cowboys running back's fight over the NFL's six-game suspension on alleged domestic violence.

The difference this week is that Elliott, the NFL's second-leading rusher, was with his teammates. That wasn't the case early last week when the 22-year-old was suspended until Friday after a judge rejected his request for a second injunction.

The third legal reprieve came in an emergency stay two days before the Cowboys beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Now Elliott seeks a longer-lasting injunction from a three-judge panel that will hear his case Thursday in New York.

A ruling could come before Sunday, when Dallas (5-3), on a three-game winning streak with significant contributions from Elliott, visits defending NFC champion Atlanta (4-4).

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on his radio show Wednesday he believed Elliott was planning to attend the hearing. If so, it will be with the blessing of coach Jason Garrett (see full story).

Giants: McAdoo trying to stay positive amid criticism 
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With many calling for wholesale changes on the New York Giants in the wake of a dismal half a season, a relaxed coach Ben McAdoo took a very positive approach with his team heading into this week, telling the players he still believes in them.

McAdoo, who has been curt with the media in recent weeks as his team slipped to 1-7. He opened up a little and showed some personality in discussing this weekend's game against the winless 49ers in San Francisco.

That was surprising with the Giants coming off a 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the team's worst margin of defeat at home since a 37-3 defeat to Green Bay in 1998. It led many to label the players as quitters; others called for the firing of general manager Jerry Reese and McAdoo, who last year led the Giants to the playoffs in his first season.

"Talked about let's begin again," McAdoo said after practice Wednesday. "That was really the message for them. Don't buy into the lies, the lies that your feelings are telling you. This thing is not about feelings. It's a decision and let's make the decision to begin again. We talked about, you know, you may think I'm a little bit out there, but I believe we have a run in us. I believe to the core we have a run in us."

Vikings: Bridgewater activated, Bradford put on IR
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Vikings' seemingly constant search for long-term success and stability at quarterback took another turn on Wednesday.

Sam Bradford's future was cast in further doubt because of another knee surgery.

And Teddy Bridgewater finally made his way back to the active roster from his devastating knee injury.

Meanwhile, coach Mike Zimmer announced Case Keenum will make his seventh start of the season for the game at Washington on Sunday.

"Case has done great," Zimmer said. "So we just keep going from there and see how this thing plays out."

The Vikings (6-2) activated Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list, adding him to the active roster for the first time in more than 14 months since his left knee was dislocated during practice. The freak injury resulted in ligament tears and an ambulance ride to the emergency room to save his leg.

The Vikings faced a deadline on Wednesday at the end of the three-week window that opened when Bridgewater resumed practice with the team.

To make room on the 53-man roster, Bradford was placed on injured reserve after having arthroscopic surgery the day before on his left knee, which had ACL tears in 2013 and 2014 (see full story).

Packers: Tight end Martellus Bennett waived
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have waived Martellus Bennett, bringing the tight end's short tenure at Lambeau Field to a surprising end.

General manager Ted Thompson announced the move on Wednesday after practice.

The Packers cited a "failure to disclose a physical condition" for making the move. Bennett practiced on Tuesday after the bye last week before going on the injury report with a shoulder injury.

He did not play in the 30-17 loss on Monday to the Detroit Lions after being listed as doubtful for the game.

Bennett also posted on Instagram during the bye week a message that indicated he was thinking about retirement.

"After conversations with my family I'm pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career," he wrote. "To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you" (see full story).

NFL Notes: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict has suspension reduced to 3 games

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NFL Notes: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict has suspension reduced to 3 games

CINCINNATI -- Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict had his NFL suspension reduced from five to three games for his egregious hit on a Chiefs running back during a preseason game.

During the second preseason game, Burfict leveled running back Anthony Sherman on a pass play when he wasn't the intended target.

Burfict appealed and had two games shaved off the punishment. He'll miss home games against the Ravens and Texans and a road game with the Packers. He'll be eligible to return for a game in Cleveland on Oct. 1.

It's the second straight season he's suspended for the first three games. He was suspended last season for his hit to Antonio Brown's head during a 2015 playoff loss to the Steelers.

Browns: Two-time Pro Bowl CB Haden released
CLEVELAND -- Too expensive and too-often injured, Joe Haden is no longer part of Cleveland's long-term plans.

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who had gone from being one of the city's most popular players to polarizing, was released Wednesday after the team couldn't trade him or persuade him to take a pay cut.

"We want to thank Joe for all he has done for this organization both on and off the field," said Sashi Brown, executive vice president of football operations. "He has been a great teammate and a true asset to the Cleveland community. These are very difficult decisions, we have the utmost respect for Joe and in my eyes, he will always be a Cleveland Brown."

A first-round pick in 2010, Haden has been slowed by injuries the past two seasons and the Browns felt he was no longer one of their top defensive backs.

Cleveland, which is in need of a wide receiver, had shopped Haden but couldn't find a partner, mostly because he'll make $11.1 million this season and has two more seasons left on a five-year, $67.5 million extension -- $45 million guaranteed -- he signed in 2014 (see full story).

Chiefs: Former 1st-round OL Erving acquired from Browns
CLEVELAND -- The Browns have traded offensive lineman Cam Erving, a former first-round pick, to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cleveland is getting a fifth-round pick for Erving, the No. 19 overall selection in 2015 who was a disappointment for the Browns. They tried him at center, guard and tackle, but the 6-foot-5, 313-pounder struggled at each spot.

Erving has been sidelined with a calf injury in recent weeks and limited in practice.

He started 13 games last season, 12 at center and one at right tackle. Cleveland's offensive line was ravaged by injuries last year, but the Browns still managed to finish second in the NFL by averaging 4.9 yards per attempt.

Erving made 42 consecutive starts at Florida State, where he started as a defensive lineman before moving to offensive tackle. Later, he was switched to center and played well for the Seminoles (see full story).

Texans: Team ready to head home after game cancelled
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texans were planning to head home to flood-ravaged Houston after their final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys was canceled Wednesday.

The game had been moved from Houston to the home of the Cowboys because of widespread flooding in the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The decision to cancel Thursday night's game altogether was announced when the Texans said local authorities had found a safe route for the team to drive the 250 miles home.

"At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered," the Texans said in a statement. "The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey."

After the Texans played their preseason game in New Orleans last weekend, they went to North Texas instead of home after the storm. The Texans worked out Monday and Tuesday at the Cowboys' practice facility (see full story).

Vikings: Bridgewater still working his way back
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Exactly one year ago, Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a routine drill and tumbled to the ground with a devastating injury to his left knee.

The unflappable Bridgewater has made a remarkable recovery, but he still has a long way to go before he can return to action with the Minnesota Vikings.

"He's got to be able to protect himself on the field and be able to do the movements that are required by his position," coach Mike Zimmer said. "When he's there, he'll practice."

Bridgewater has taken questions from reporters only once since the fateful afternoon of Aug. 30, 2016, when teammates were jolted by the sight of their popular quarterback writhing in pain and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman had to lead a hasty effort to save his leg.

Each day during training camp this summer, with the rest of the Vikings working on strategy and technique, Bridgewater has been off to the side simply working on rebuilding strength in and around the knee that suffered a dislocation and multiple ligament tears (see full story).

NFL Notes: Ravens OL John Urschel, 26, retires after 3 seasons

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NFL Notes: Ravens OL John Urschel, 26, retires after 3 seasons

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  -- Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel has retired from the NFL after just three seasons.

Urschel, a former fifth round pick from Penn State in 2014, received notoriety for pursuing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the offseason. He started 13 games over the past three seasons and was expected to compete for a starting role at center or guard. Instead, he will pursue other interests outside of football.

"This morning, John Urschel informed me of his decision to retire from football," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement Thursday. "We respect John and respect his decision. We appreciate his efforts over the past three years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Vikings: Bridgewater knows return will happen
MANKATO, Minn. -- Minutes after Teddy Bridgewater's left knee dislocated beneath him, the result of one bad step on a routine drop-back during practice nearly a year ago, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback was hustled into an ambulance.

Head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman went with him. Bridgewater's promising NFL career was hanging in the balance. The fate of his leg was, too.

"I'm pretty sure both of us were pretty nervous about that conversation," Bridgewater said in his first media address since the massive injury shook the organization 331 days ago.

"I'm glad everyone reacted in a timely manner and we were able to save my leg, if that's what you want to call it" (see full story).

Steelers: Team hands former Eagle Villanueva 4-year extension
LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva have agreed to a four-year contract that will keep the former Army Ranger protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's blindside for the rest of the decade.

Financial terms of the deal, reached just as the team was reporting to training camp at Saint Vincent College on Thursday, were not disclosed.

Villanueva, an Army graduate who served in Afghanistan, started every game for the defending AFC North champions last season. The 28-year-old joined the team's practice squad in 2014 and made the 53-man roster in 2015.

The contract means Pittsburgh's entire starting offensive line is signed through the 2018 season.

Broncos: RB Booker expected to miss 6 weeks with wrist injury
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos coach Vance Joseph's first training camp got off to a rough start with word that Devontae Booker will undergo wrist surgery Friday and is expected to miss six weeks.

Booker was pushing to unseat C.J. Anderson as Denver's starting running back. He suffered a hairline fracture during organized team activities in June, marring a solid spring for the second-year pro as he bounced back from a rough rookie season that followed two knee surgeries.

The Broncos had been planning to split first-team snaps at training camp between Booker and Anderson, who is returning from a torn meniscus that sidelined him over the last half of last season.

If Booker's recovery goes well, he will be back in time for the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 11 (see full story).

Bengals: Tearful ‘Pacman’ accepts suspension
CINCINNATI -- Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones accepted his one-game suspension for an offseason misdemeanor conviction, and he got emotional Thursday over the unwavering support he's received from Bengals owner Mike Brown.

Jones is suspended by the NFL for the season opener as a result of his confrontation with a hotel security employee and an obscenity-filled tirade against arresting police officers. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge as part of an agreement, and other charges were dropped.

In his first public comments since the suspension, Jones accepted responsibility.

"I take all accountability for what I did and my actions and my words," Jones said. "So I accept it, the one-game suspension. I'm ready to move on, man" (see full story).