Titans' pass rush busts cautionary tale for NFL free agency
(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, Pool, File)Shopping on the NFL free agent market can be so very tempting. Just ask the Tennessee Titans. Busting on free agents doesn't stop any NFL team from trying again. CORY LITTLETONThe Raiders thought they were getting a difference-maker when they signed linebacker Cory Littleton to a three-year, $35.25 million deal. STEPHEN WEATHERLYWeatherly was a major bust for the Carolina Panthers after the defensive end signed a two-year, $12 million deal last offseason.
Analysis: Wentz, Elliott provide little bang for buck
Wentz was paid more than $39 million in cash this season and had a cap hit of $18.6 million. The Eagles now have to decide what to do with Wentz, who has a cap hit of more than $34 million next season. RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT: The Cowboys gave Elliott a $90 million, six-year extension before reaching a deal with quarterback Dak Prescott. Elliott is coming off the least productive season of his career with 979 yards and six TDs while getting paid nearly $11 million for a team that finished 6-10. But Green had just 47 catches for 523 yards in 16 games, providing little value for his big salary.
Jaguars fire Marrone; owner Khan plans to be more involved
Now, after nine NFL seasons and little success on the field, the Jacksonville Jaguars owner is taking a more hands-on approach to fixing the franchise's most glaring problems. Khan is handling the search for his next coach and general manager mostly alone, with some help from Jaguars President Mark Lamping. “This time around, I think I have a much better sense myself,” Khan said Monday after firing coach Doug Marrone. “What's evaded the history of the Jags really has been a franchise quarterback,” Khan said. Khan kept Marrone in place after firing general manager Dave Caldwell in late November, but ultimately decided on a clean sweep.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
Broncos' A.J. Bouye suspended six games for PED violation
Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. “Yeah, I was disappointed for him,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said about an hour after the league suspended Bouye. Missing the final four games of 2020 will cost Bouye $2.34 million. The suspension would hang over Bouye into 2021 when he’d have to sit out the first two regular-season games. Given the injuries and suspension at cornerback, Parks said he was getting a crash course in the Broncos’ 2020 playbook.
'My Cause My Cleats' campaign has taken a foothold in NFL
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)DENVER – The “ My Cause My Cleats ” initiative has really established a foothold in the NFL. Five years ago, about 500 players participated in the inaugural campaign, marking the first time players could wear custom cleats during games without facing fines. Some players whose teams were on the road last week can wear their cleats at home this weekend. “You can just go out there and wear custom cleats on the field and really show off what you’ve been working so hard for in the offseason,” Chubb said. “Season after season I am inspired by the growing number of NFL players that participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ and the causes they represent,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
Ryan throws 3 TDs as Falcons stop comeback, beat Broncos
Matt Ryan took advantage of Denver's thin secondary to throw three touchdown passes and the Falcons turned back Drew Lock's bid for a second consecutive comeback to beat the Broncos 34-27 on Sunday. The Broncos' fourth-quarter comeback attempt gave Ryan and the Falcons a scary reminder of blown leads this season. Lock threw two touchdown passes and ran for a 10-yard score in the final quarter that made it 34-27. Lock answered with a 9-yard scoring pass to Tim Patrick with less than four minutes remaining. We'll get them next time.”CATCH THISZaccheaus beat Davontae Harris for a 51-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
Gostkowski finally delivers in Titans' 16-14 win at Denver
Denver Broncos inside linebacker Josey Jewell (47) celebrates his stop of Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)DENVER – New kicker Stephen Gostkowski avoided a disastrous debut with the Tennessee Titans in the nick of time. The Titans escaped Denver with a 16-14 victory Monday night on Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal with 17 seconds left after he’d missed four kicks, one in each quarter. Gostkowski missed three field goals: wide left, wide right and a block, and he missed an extra point. And Gostkowski became the first kicker to miss three field goals and a PAT in the same game since Mason Crosby missed four field goals and a PAT for the Packers against the Lions in 2018.
Tank for Trevor? Jaguars say no way despite roster purge
FOURNETTE WAIVEDWhy it looks bad: Jacksonville got nothing in return for Fournette, a 1,000-yard rusher in two of his first three years who scored 19 touchdowns and rarely fumbled. NGAKOUE TO MINNESOTAWhy is looks bad: The Jaguars wanted a first-rounder in return for Ngakoue, who has 37 sacks and 14 forced fumbles in four seasons. Why it makes sense: He started showing his age down the stretch last season, partly because he played close to 80% of the defensive snaps. BOUYE TO DENVERWhy it looks bad: Team whiffed on two potential replacements: Free agent Darqueze Dennard failed a physical and Rashaan Melvin opted out because of COVID-19 concerns. Why is makes sense: Bouye wasnt at his best in 2019, finishing with one interception for the second straight season, and was due nearly $13.5 million.
Jaguars open training camp with young, rebuilt roster
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (6-10)CAMP SITE: Jacksonville, FloridaLAST YEAR: Jaguars lost injury-prone QB Nick Foles on first series of opener and then benched him for good three games into return from broken collarbone. Rookie QB Gardner Minshew was pleasant surprise he went 6-6 in place of Foles and earned shot to show performance wasnt fluke. Growing locker room issues became public when NFLPA publicly bashed personnel chief Tom Coughlin in December, leading to his dismissal. PANDEMIC CHALLENGES: Florida ranks second in the nation in number of COVID-19 cases, increasing likelihood that issues will arise during Jacksonvilles training camp. CAMP NEEDS: With 12 draft picks and 16 second-year pros, Jaguars among NFLs youngest teams.