Capitals

Bills sign RG Urbik to 4-year contract extension

Bills sign RG Urbik to 4-year contract extension

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills took the first step in securing their offensive line's long-term future by signing starting right guard Kraig Urbik to a four-year contract extension on Tuesday.

The deal locks up Urbik through 2016 and is worth $13.3 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus for this season, a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal the length or monetary terms of the contract.

It's a significant raise for a fourth-year player, who had signed a $1.26 million contract tender in April. Urbik is set to make a base salary of $2.05 million next year and $2.9 million in 2016, the person said. He's also eligible to make additional money through roster and workout bonuses, and playing-time incentives.

Urbik is completing his third year with the Bills, who claimed him off waivers in September 2010 after he was released by Pittsburgh. The Steelers had selected Urbik in the third round out of Wisconsin in the 2009 draft.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, Urbik has provided a steadying and versatile presence since moving into a starting role last season. He's played both guard and center, and has 26 starts - including 11 this season - in 34 games with Buffalo.

The signing came with Buffalo (5-9) set to close out its season with two meaningless games after being eliminated from playoff contention for a 13th straight year. The Bills play at Miami (6-8) on Sunday, and then host New York Jets (6-8) on Dec. 30.

Later in the day, the Bills made a number of roster moves, including placing starting receiver Donald Jones on the reserve/non-football illness list. The Bills did not reveal the nature of the illness.

Jones' agent, Cliff LaBoy, said the illness is not serious, and is related to a calf injury that forced his client to miss two of the past three games. Jones first began experiencing tightness in his calf last month, and was held out of a 34-18 win over Jacksonville on Dec. 2.

Jones is third on the team with 41 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns.

His injury further depletes the Bills at receiver. Coach Chan Gailey has already ruled out reserve Marcus Easley from playing this weekend after he hurt a hamstring in a 50-17 loss to Seattle on Sunday.

The Bills also placed reserve linebacker Arthur Moats on season-ending injured reserve after he hurt his ankle last weekend.

Buffalo filled the two open roster spots by promoting receiver Chris Hogan and linebacker Greg Lloyd from its practice squad.

With Urbik locked up, the Bills can now turn their attention on securing two more starting linemen.

Left guard Andy Levitre, who has been the line's most consistent player, is completing the final year of his contract. Center Eric Wood has one year left on his deal.

Though open to re-signing with the Bills, Levitre said last week that he was unaware of any contract talks taking place.

The Bills have spent the past three seasons revamping their line, which also includes left tackle, Cordy Glenn, a rookie second-round pick.

The line allowed an AFC-low 23 sacks last season and helped the Bills finish with 1,921 yards rushing - the team's highest total since 2000. This season, the Bills are tied for seventh in the AFC with 28 sacks, and feature the NFL's sixth best rushing attack.

The Bills have also been in negotiations to re-sign starting safety Jairus Byrd, who is in the final year of his contract. With five interceptions, Byrd is tied for the AFC lead and is tied for seventh in the NFL. He's also forced three fumbles and recovered two.

Buffalo filled its two practice squad openings by signing receiver Kevin Elliott and linebacker Brian Smith. Elliott had 10 catches for 108 yards in 13 games with Jacksonville before being released last weekend. Smith played two games with Cleveland last season.

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Capitals vs. Hurricanes preseason Game 4: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Capitals vs. Hurricanes preseason Game 4: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The preseason continues after the Capitals' loss in Montreal last night. They are hoping to gain some momentum and dominate at tonight's game.

Even without the home advantage, they hope to take home a win as they face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes are one of the four teams the Capitals will face in preseason play, along with the Bruins, Canadiens and Blues.

The Capitals and Hurricanes will meet once again, next Friday at Capital One Arena. But first, it's time to get back on the ice for Game 4 of the seven-game preseason schedule.

 

CAPITALS-HURRICANES PRESEASON GAME 4: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

When: Friday, September, 21, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Hurricanes preseason game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Hurricanes preseason on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7

CAPITALS-HURRICANES PRESEASON TV SCHEDULE:

7:00 PM: Washington Capitals: My Day with the Cup (R)
7:30 PM: NHL Preseason: Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes 
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live (LIVE)

 

MORE CAPS NEWS:

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Need to Know: Smith says Redskins just need to execute vs. Rodgers and the Packers

Need to Know: Smith says Redskins just need to execute vs. Rodgers and the Packers

Here is what you need to know on Friday, September 21, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers  

Talking points

Here are a few things heard around Redskins Park this week along with my comments. 

Alex Smith on if the offense would feel any additional pressure because they are facing Aaron Rodgers: "I think that you can get sucked into that. In the end, of course, we want to dominate regardless the offense we’re playing, of course, we want to go out there and execute, move the chains . . . It just comes through execution, though . . . The way to do that is just play good offense."

Comment: The Redskins probably will need to score at least 30 points to win this game. Since 2016, the Packers have lost one game that Rodgers started and finish where the opponent scored fewer than 30 points. But Jay Gruden can’t come up with a special “we have to score 35 points” game plan. What he can do, however, is remember what happened to the Bears in Week 1 and remain aggressive if they do build a lead.

D.J. Swearinger on defending the back-shoulder pass against Rodgers: "You’ve got to defend the receiver. The receiver will tell you if he’s going back shoulder or if he’s going [deep] based on body language."

Comment: This is a great detail here. Defensive back can get so scared to get beaten deep that they just keep running while the receiver slows down to catch an intentionally underthrown Rodgers pass. The key is watching the receiver’s eyes as that will give away where the ball is going. It’s easier said than done but the discipline to do so is critical when playing against a QB like Rodgers. 

Trent Williams on the shuffling that the offensive line likely will have to do with LG Shawn Lauvao out: "It’s a challenge any time you have anybody who has to move positions or any guy who’s new to the lineup. It’s definitely a learning curve to get caught up to speed on how we like to do things. With Tony being a veteran and knowing the offense inside and out, Chase kicking over to guard, those are two of the smarter guys in the offensive line room."

Comment: He doesn’t appear to be too worried that Tony Bergstrom will move in at center and starting center Chase Roullier will slide over to left guard. I don’t think that there should be too much concern about Bergstrom knowing what he needs to do. But his performance in the preseason was spotty at best. We will see how the revamped interior line performs against the Packers’ quality group on the interior defensive line.

Injuries of note

Practice report

Out: S Troy Apke (hamstring), G Shawn Lauvao (calf)
Limited: WR Paul Richardson (shoulder), LB Zach Brown (oblique), G Brandon Scherff (knee), OT Trent Williams (knee)

Changes from Wednesday: Richardson and Brown from out to limited

The agenda

Today: Practice 12:15 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice approx. 2 p.m.

Upcoming: Packers @ Redskins (Sept. 23) 2; Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 17; Cowboys @ Redskins 30

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler is locked into the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler