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Vikings release tight end Kyle Rudolph

Sports / Football /

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings released veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph on Tuesday by terminating his contract.

He was the team's longest-tenured player.

The announcement was timed to an article Rudolph wrote for The Players Tribune. He tweeted (@KyleRudolph82), "Thank you Minnesota!! Although my time as a Viking has come to a close, my time as a ...Read more

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jaguars could be among teams that pursue veteran QB Alex Smith

Sports / Football /

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars coach Urban Meyer will finally show his hand regarding retooling the roster when free agency begins in two weeks.

Some things are already evident, like having former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the top of his draft board to select with the No. 1 overall pick for the April 29 draft.

But some things are ...Read more

Lions GM Brad Holmes: Kenny Golladay 'has shown ability to be a No. 1 WR'

Sports / Football /

DETROIT — The clock is ticking on the Detroit Lions' ability to use the franchise tag, and new general manager Brad Holmes said Tuesday "there’s some decisions that still have to be made" on whether the team will use it on wide receiver Kenny Golladay.

"I don’t think there’s any debate that Kenny has shown the ability to be a No. 1 ...Read more

John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Kyle Van Noy 'surprised and disappointed' that Dolphins plan to cut him after just one season

Sports / Football /

Kyle Van Noy’s time with the Miami Dolphins is coming to an end after just one season.

The Dolphins will part ways with Van Noy one year into a four-year, $51 million deal they agreed to a year ago.

Van Noy has not officially been released as the Dolphins are hoping to trade him in the coming days to get something in return for the seven-...Read more

Jonathan Mailhes/CSM/Zuma Press/TNS

Armando Salguero: DeVonta Smith vs. Ja'Marr Chase debate is on for Dolphins. Both have outside supporters.

Sports / Football /

The Miami Dolphins spent a lot of time with their scouts at their practice facility recently to discuss 2021 draft prospects, and perhaps the most important topic of conversation centered on wide receivers.

The Dolphins need at least one, and perhaps more wide receivers from this draft.

The Dolphins understand the most NFL-ready receivers are ...Read more

Marcus Hayes: Eagles should pursue Alex Smith when Washington cuts him

Sports / Football /

The Eagles’ big advantage entering 2020, the Season of COVID, lay in their stability. The three other NFC East teams had hired new head coaches and overhauled their coaching staffs -- presumably, crippling developments when combined with the pandemic lockdown that torpedoed offseason workouts and preseason games.

Further, by Week 6, the ...Read more

Bob Condotta: Arizona's signing of J.J. Watt only increases the challenge of Seattle's offseason and protecting Russell Wilson

Sports / Football /

The first big shocker of NFL free agency — defensive end J.J. Watt signing with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that had not previously been rumored on his radar — also serves as that much more of a wake-up call for the Seattle Seahawks.

The NFC West is playing to win.

A division that might have been the best in the NFL in 2020 may only be ...Read more

Jeff Lange, Akron Beacon Journal/Akron Beacon Journal/Jeff Lange, Akron Beacon Journal

Ex-Texan J.J. Watt announces surprise signing with Arizona Cardinals

Sports / Football /

The NFC West continues to drive the 2021 NFL offseason’s drama: the Arizona Cardinals have landed free agent star defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt, 31, a five-time All-Pro and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, is signing a two-year, $31 million contract that includes $23 million guaranteed, per multiple reports.

Watt announced his new ...Read more

Ron Cook: Mike Tomlin struggling to stay optimistic about racial progress in NFL

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” last week and said the lack of minority coaches being hired for head jobs in the NFL remains “unacceptable.”

A follow-up call seemed to be in order.

Tomlin was eager to take it.

“I normally don’t talk publicly during the offseason, but this is a ...Read more

John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Mike Sielski: The Eagles' best option at QB may be to make some practical (Fitz)Magic with Jalen Hurts

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, the Eagles gave Nick Sirianni a second chance in a Zoom conference setting, this time limiting his interrogators to a party of one, and a kid-gloved one at that: team insider Dave Spadaro. Spadaro soft-tossed a succession of questions to Sirianni about his assistant coaches, and if you haven’t cued up the ...Read more

Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun

Mike Preston: Social media has changed the narrative for NFL players, and it is not good

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — National Football League head coaches are spending as much time monitoring their players on social media as they are drawing up and installing plays.

That’s because we are in the “Me Generation” of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Hey, look at my new car, new house or new cellphone. That’s me with my dog Butkus, ...Read more

Josh Gordon returning to the field — in the new Fan Controlled Football league

Sports / Football /

SEATTLE — Receiver Josh Gordon, who last saw NFL action with the Seahawks in 2019, is returning to football — in the Fan Controlled Football league.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Saturday that Gordon has signed to play for the Zappers, whose roster includes former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, in the four-team league.

The league ...Read more

Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dave Hyde: A Dolphins trade for Russell Wilson? In a heartbeat.

Sports / Football /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — No, Russell Wilson isn’t asking for a trade. He’s publicly angry. He’s repeatedly called out the Seattle Seahawks management. His agent listed four teams — Dallas, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Chicago — he’d waive a no-trade clause to play for.

But, no, he’s not yet asking for a trade.

If I’m the ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Dylan Hernandez: After trading Jared Goff, Sean McVay has nowhere to run if Rams fail

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — The videoconference started with a warning from a Rams spokesman: Coach Sean McVay was prohibited by league rules from discussing any trades to which the team has agreed.

Didn't matter.

Three questions in, McVay was talking about the importance of being more explosive on offense, of throwing downfield more.

"I think when you ...Read more

96 convey dejection after the Colts tied the score in the fourth quarter during the teams' Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 6, 2003. Tampa Bay blew a 21-point lead in the last four minutes of regulation and lost 38-35 in overtime./Tampa Bay Times/Tampa Bay Times (2003)

As Bears, Bucs and Brett Favre can attest, repeating is a rarity in NFL

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — If Tom Brady’s social media dispatches are any indication, the partying has concluded and the plyometrics have commenced.

Which is to say, pre-production has begun on the sequel to the Bucs’ 2020 championship season.

Thing is, sequels rarely stand up to the original. In the Super Bowl era, only eight teams have repeated as ...Read more

Larry Stone: There are three ways to resolve Russell Wilson's grievances, and two of them are bad for the Seahawks

Sports / Football /

SEATTLE — The Russell Wilson Dissatisfaction Tour keeps careening down the highway, with new revelations at every turn.

But as the depth and scope of the Seahawks quarterback's grievances continue to emerge, the giant, overarching questions remains: What is the end game here?

There are three possible answers to where this all leads. And to ...Read more

Rashard Higgins seeks contract offer from Browns: 'I'm signing wherever I've got to sign'

Sports / Football /

Rashard Higgins reiterated Friday he hopes to continue walking the red carpet in Cleveland, where the Browns wide receiver nicknamed "Hollywood" is a fan favorite and trusted target of quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Higgins is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 17.

Asked about his contract situation Dec. 10 in a Zoom session ...Read more

Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jonathan M. Alexander: The case for and against Panthers picking Mac Jones at No. 8 in NFL draft

Sports / Football /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — ESPN's Mel Kiper caused quite the stir among Panthers fans when he released his latest mock draft on Thursday.

Kiper, a highly respected NFL draft expert, has the Panthers picking Mac Jones at No. 8. Jones is regarded by many draft experts as one of the top-five best quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL draft.

He helped lead ...Read more

Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS

Brad Biggs: Russell Wilson reportedly has Bears on his short list. But would Seahawks actually trade their franchise QB — and at what cost?

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — The best news for Ryan Pace in his quest to find a quarterback is that Russell Wilson, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract with the Seattle Seahawks, reportedly would consider playing for the Chicago Bears.

Turning fantasy — bringing Bronko Nagurski’s retired No. 3 jersey out of retirement to give to Wilson — into ...Read more

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images North America/TNS

Scott Fowler: Point: Panthers have to do everything to trade for Deshaun Watson, no matter the cost

Sports / Football /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Give Houston the house.

This column about why the Carolina Panthers should do practically anything to pry quarterback Deshaun Watson away from the Houston Texans is about 500 words long, but you can boil it down to just those four.

Trade Christian McCaffrey to make it happen? Yes.

Multiple first-round draft picks, too? Yes...Read more