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Broncos cut ties with secondary coach Ron Milus

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Broncos cut ties with secondary coach Ron Milus

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos have promoted Cory Undlin to secondary coach, replacing Ron Milus, who had coached defensive backs under John Fox for the last four seasons.

However, Milus isn't being made the scapegoat for the Broncos' stunning surrender of that 70-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left that led to their 38-35 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in double-overtime last weekend, a person with the team told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club doesn't speak publicly about coaches' contracts.

Milus' contract wasn't renewed. He was in his second stint with the Broncos, who hadn't allowed a 300-yard passer all season before giving up 331 to Joe Flacco last weekend. Flacco also threw TD passes of 59 and 32 yards to Torrey Smith, who repeatedly got behind 12-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey.

The Ravens faced a third-and-3 from their own 30 in the final minute when Jacoby Jones raced past cornerback Tony Carter and hauled in Flacco's heave that safety Rahim Moore badly misjudged.

After the game, Moore put the loss squarely on his shoulders, saying, ``When it's all said and done, the safeties can't let nothing get behind them and I did. ... I misjudged it. It actually floated a little farther than I thought it was.''

Fox said, ``I've never believed in it's one guy, one play. It obviously was a big play.''

Fox said the players were so stunned by the gaffe that he decided to play for overtime and had Peyton Manning take a knee instead of trying to move into field goal range with two timeouts and 31 seconds to work with.

Fox has taken a lot of heat for that decision but said this week he stands by it and ``I'd do it again 10 times.'' His boss, John Elway, concurred with the call to play for overtime, where Manning's interception led to the game-deciding field goal in the 77th minute of the longest game in the NFL in 26 years.

Undlin, 41, spent last season as the quality control coach for Denver's defense, which finished third in the league against both the run and the pass. He also coached DBs in Jacksonville under Jack Del Rio when Denver's defensive coordinator was the Jaguars' head coach.

``I am confident he will be a great fit and get the most out of our secondary,'' Fox said, adding, ``I appreciate all of Ron Milus' hard work and wish him the best.''

Undlin coached linebackers in 2009 in Jacksonville and DBs there in 2010-11. He's also worked with the secondary in both Cleveland and New England.

Earlier in the day, the Broncos lost versatile offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was hired as head coach of the San Diego Chargers, marking the second straight season a top Denver assistant was hired away by an AFC West rival. The Raiders grabbed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen a year ago.

On Monday, Fox said he was prepared for McCoy's expected departure.

``No different than when Dennis left a year ago. I think that worked out all right,'' he said. ``And I don't have any reasons to think any different.''

Possible candidates to replace McCoy include Broncos quarterbacks coach Adam Gase and Tom Moore, Manning's old coordinator in Indianapolis.

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Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

The Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after he spent three years in Baltimore, the team confirmed Friday.

The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first with the news.

“This is the worst part of this business,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement released by the team. “Tony is the consummate teammate and someone who is respected by everyone for his leadership, determination, humility and toughness. He’s a friend to all and a true Raven.

"We know he’s going to beat this injury, and we will be cheering for him all along the way. We wish the very best to Tony and his family.”

 

 

The safety suffered a knee injury against the Steelers in Week 5 and was out for the remainder of the season. He was replaced by Chuck Clark, who shined in his new role and received a three-year contract extension on Monday as a result. 

The Ravens will save $7 million by releasing the 28-year-old safety. He originally had a cap hit of $11.65 million for the 2020 season and will have a dead cap hit of $4.65 million. 

Jefferson started each of the 35 games he played in Baltimore and registered a total of 174 tackles and two interceptions across his three seasons. He played nearly every defensive snap before his injury, only coming off the field during the blowout over the Dolphins in Week 1. 

He spent the first four seasons of his career in Arizona before he left for Baltimore and a four-year, 34 million dollar contract. 

According to overthecap.com, the Ravens will be left with a touch over $31 million in cap space after Jefferson’s release. In an offseason with Matthew Judon as a free agent, Jefferson’s release gives them a little bit more flexibility with their offseason plans. 

The Ravens now have Earl Thomas and Clark as the team’s two top safeties, but there are still questions that persist for the depth at that position with Jordan Richards, who recently signed a one-year contract extension, and DeShon Elliott as the team’s backups currently under contract. Brandon Carr, who played safety down the stretch for the team, has a team option for 2020. 

While the safety position certainly isn’t a need for the Ravens at this juncture, there will almost assuredly need to be some younger talent added to the position. 

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Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

The Ravens will be without one of their backup offensive linemen to start the 2020 season, as James Hurst was suspended by the NFL for four games without pay after he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Hurst made two starts and appeared in all 16 games for the Ravens last season. He played a total of 194 offensive snaps as a utility offensive lineman, predominantly used as a swing tackle and offensive guard.

Hurst, 28, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Ravens in 2018, is owed $8 million in base salary over the next two seasons, both of which carry a cap hit of $5.25 million.

He also has a dead cap hit of $2.5 million in 2020 and 1.25 in 2021, should the team decide to move on from the former North Carolina Tar Heel. The team would save 2.75 million dollars in 2020 should they release him.

Hurst has played 90 total games in his career in six years in the NFL, all of which were with the Ravens. 

The offensive line is slowly becoming more of a need for the Ravens with Hurst’s suspension. That’s in addition to Matt Skura’s recovery from a knee injury and the potential of Marshal Yanda’s retirement.

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