Let's Talk: NFL free agents and traded players speak up
FILE - Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, in this Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, file photo. Now that the muzzles have been removed for NFL team executives and the players they either re-signed or added in free agency, Thursday was a time for explanations and reflections. New England bringing back LB Kyle Van Noy, Buffalo grabbing QB Mitchell Trubisky, and Tennessee getting All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox. Green), players staying put (Leonard Williams, Derek Wolfe) and even a player coming out of retirement (Kyle Long). He played 14 games with eight starts for Baltimore after signing a $3 million contract to join the team from Denver.
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.
Ravens clinch playoff spot with 38-3 rout of Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens defense celebrates with cornerback Marcus Peters (24) after he intercepted a pass in the end zone intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green during during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cincinnati. After a Dec. 2 loss to Pittsburgh with Jackson on the COVID-19 list, the Ravens rebounded and won the next four. UP NEXTThe Ravens advance to the playoffs for the third straight year, will travel to either Tennessee or Indianapolis next weekend. The Bengals end another disappointing year and extend their playoff drought to five seasons.
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.
Dalton returns to Cincy, leads Cowboys over Bengals 30-7
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates a touchdown throw with wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)CINCINNATI – Andy Dalton was good enough in his return to Cincinnati, tossing two touchdown passes and helping lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 30-7 win over the Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals fumbled the ball away on their first three drives, one fumble returned for a touchdown, and leading to 17 first-half points by the Cowboys (4-9). Dalton was serviceable, going 16 for 23 for 185 yards, as the Cowboys stayed in contention in the weak NFC East. Dalton signed with the Cowboys as a backup, and stepped in when Dak Prescott went down.
Rivers throw 3 TD passes as Colts rally past Bengals 31-27
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)INDIANAPOLIS – Philip Rivers never flinched with the Indianapolis Colts facing a 21-0 first-half deficit Sunday. He went back to work and joined MVP quarterbacks Bert Jones and Peyton Manning in the Indianapolis Colts' record book. ... Mixon left in the first half with a right foot injury but returned at the start of the second half. ... DT Christian Covington and CB William Jackson III both got hurt in the second half and returned later. ... CB Xavier Rhodes and WR Marcus Johnson also were shaken up in the second half but returned.
Mixon's 3 TDs pace Bengals in 33-25 win over Jaguars
Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Jordan Evans (50) celebrates late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. The Bengals defeated the Jaguars 33-25. After linebacker Jordan Evans intercepted a tipped Minshew pass, the Bengals started on Jacksonville’s 40 and got nowhere, Burrow overthrowing an open A.J. The Jags added a field goal with 8 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful. He missed a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter but converted on four others, including a 50-yarder in the second half.
Burrow, Bengals hit road vs Browns on NFL's 100th birthday
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reacts after running for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Cincinnati. Outside, Burrow got lessons on Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bernie Kosar, The Ickey Shuffle and Dawg Pound. “In my eyes I played terrible through 3 1/2 quarters and then played up to my standards in the last drive and almost won the game,” Burrow said. RUN OVERThe Bengals significantly overhauled the NFL’s worst run defense of last season — 149 yards allowed per game —- and had a tough start against the Chargers, who ran for 155. Bengals coach Zac Taylor expects Bullock, who fully practiced on Tuesday, to handle kicking duties against the Browns.
You can't say the crowds influenced rusty NFL officials
“For one, he was clamping me the whole time,” Green complained afterward, saying the officials should call it both ways. “Honestly, it reminded me of the times I was back at the College of San Mateo, my junior college,” Edelman said. It brought me back at least to high school, junior college, college. In some ways, it brings the game back to why you started playing, just to love playing the game. ___With contributions from AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Larry Lage and Kyle Hightower.
Joe Cool: Burrow confident in adapting to Bengals offense
CINCINNATI Back in pads for the first time since he won a national championship at LSU, Joe Burrow got a baptism in NFL red-zone defense. The new Bengals quarterback fumbled a snap a steady rain contributed and had trouble completing passes in tight quarters. Asked if he's nervous in adapting to the NFL, Burrow responded:Absolutely not," he said. Burrow got to run the offense in short-field situations for the first time with the scheduled season opener less than a month away. It wasn't what you'd like to see on a red-zone day, but it was the first one, Burrow said.
Bengals receiver A.J. Green signs 1-year franchise deal
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2019, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. The Bengals used their franchise tag on A.J. Green signed his one-year, $17.9 million contract Friday after the deadline passed for agreeing to a long-term deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. The club used its franchise tag on Green, who missed all last season with an ankle injury. After nine years of Green teaming with quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals made a clean break following a 2-14 finish.
Prescott set for franchise tag without long-term Dallas deal
Dak Prescott will play whatever becomes of the 2020 season under the one-year franchise tag after the Dallas Cowboys and their star quarterback couldn't agree on a long-term contract. Clubs had until Wednesday afternoon to reach multiyear deals with players given the franchise tag. Green and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue of Jacksonville haven't signed the one-year contract that goes with the tag. If so, his fate will be different than the other two QBs who have played under the franchise tag. Anthony Harris of Minnesota and Denver's Justin Simmons are set to play under the $11.4 million tag for a safety.