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  • Colts sign four draft picks
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Indianapolis Colts reached contract agreements Thursday with four members of their draft class -- defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, offensive tackle Joe Haeg, linebacker Trevor Bates and center Austin Blythe.

    • A day earlier, the Colts agreed to terms with center Ryan Kelly, their first-round pick in last week's draft.

      Ridgeway, a fourth-round selection, had 92 career tackles, 9.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown, in 36 games at Texas. Last season, he finished with 36 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

      Haeg, a fifth-round choice, started 60 games in four years for FCS champion North Dakota State. The former walk-on was named first-team All-American his final two seasons.

      Bates, one of Indianapolis' two seventh-round picks, played in 46 games at Maine and compiled 207 tackles, 19 sacks, 10 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions. As a senior, he totaled 57 tackles, 7.5 sacks and one fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown in 11 games for the Black Bears.

      Blythe, also taken in the seventh round, started 51 games in four years at Iowa. In 2015, he was a finalist for the Rimington Award and a third-team All-American while helping the Hawkeyes go undefeated during the regular season and reach the Big Ten championship game and Rose Bowl.

  • Falcons first to get all draft picks signed
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Atlanta Falcons signed the rest of their 2016 draft picks on Thursday.

    • Linebacker Deion Jones (second round -- 52nd overall), tight end Austin Hooper (third round -- 81st overall), linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (fourth round -- 115th overall), guard Wes Schweitzer (sixth round -- 195th overall) and wide receiver Devin Fuller (seventh round -- 238th overall) were the last remaining players.

      Atlanta is the first team to sign all of its draft picks, and it marks the first time in team history that every draft selection has been signed before the start of rookie minicamp.

      Jones played in 51 games with 12 starts, 11 of those last season during his senior year for LSU.

      Hooper played in 27 games in his two years with Stanford. He was a freshman All-American and second-team All-Pac 12 in 2014 after posting 40 catches for 499 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

      Campbell played in 39 games with 27 starts during his three years with Minnesota. He finished his college career with 208 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

      Schweitzer played in 38 games for Michigan State, 37 of them consecutively since the 2013 season. Last season, he blocked for a team that averaged 27.9 points per game, 182.9 rushing yards per game and 221.7 passing yards per game.

      Fuller saw action in 44 games during his four years with UCLA. He piled up 146 catches for 1,322 yards and 10 touchdowns.

  • NFL notebook: Manziel appears in Dallas County courtroom
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Johnny Manziel appeared in Dallas County court to face a charge of misdemeanor assault related to family violence.

    • The former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback reported voluntarily and was booked and released.

      He faces maximum penalties of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine for alleged hitting and dragging his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, to get her into a car against her will on Jan. 30. In a signed affidavit, Crowley said one open-handed blow to her head caused her to lose hearing from a ruptured eardrum. Manziel was ordered to stay at least 500 feet from Crowley's residence.

      Judge Robert Canas on Thursday demanded Manziel sign another affidavit swearing he doesn't own firearms and there are no other weapons present at his current residence.

      Canas told Manziel he is prohibited from "any form" of contact with Crowley, including letters, texts, pictures and emails.

      --Jordan Reed signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Washington Redskins.

      Only Seattle Seahawks Jimmy Graham is higher paid among NFL tight ends. Reed set franchise records for receptions and yards in 2015 but was not selected to the Pro Bowl.

      His contract includes $22 million guaranteed and locks in the 25-year-old, who became quarterback Kirk Cousins' favorite target in 2015.

      Reed had 87 receptions for 952 yards with a team-high 11 receiving touchdowns in 2015. He was entering the final year of his rookie contract.

      --Keenan Reynolds cleared one hurdle to the NFL when he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2016 draft last weekend. The next step, a waiver from the Naval Academy, might not be far behind.

      "I thought it was terrific," Ray Mabus, secretary of the United States Navy, told the Dan Patrick Show. "He's a sterling individual. If I'm an NFL coach or GM, that's the type of person I want. I can't think of a better ambassador."

      Reynolds will try to convert to wide receiver after having a prolific career as a quarterback in Navy's triple-option. Reynolds scored 88 touchdowns in four years, the most rushing touchdowns in Division I history and the most total touchdowns in the history of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

      Mabus said Reynolds' proximity to the Naval Academy with the Ravens –- whose headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., is 40 miles from Annapolis and the United States Naval Academy –- could work in favor of Reynolds.

      --The Seattle Seahawks put running back Marshawn Lynch on the reserve/retired list, signaling the official end of his nine-year NFL career.

      Lynch had previously announced his intentions to retire after battling injuries last season. The move reduces the Seahawks' roster to 90 players.

      Lynch joined the Seahawks after a 2010 trade with the Buffalo Bills. He started 77 of 82 games for Seattle and ranks fourth on the franchise list in rushing yards (6,347) and rushing attempts (1,457), second in rushing touchdowns (57) and third in touchdowns (65).

      With the Bills and Seahawks, he totaled 9,112 rushing yards and 74 touchdowns on 2,144 carries.

      --The Detroit Lions added veteran wide receiver Andre Caldwell to the roster, signing the unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract.

      The Lions also released center Darren Keyton and waived tight end Jordan Thompson.

      The 31-year-old Caldwell spent the past four seasons with the Denver Broncos after four years with the Cincinnati Bengals. His best year came in 2011 with the Bengals when he had 37 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns.

      --The Pittsburgh Steelers released offensive tackle Mike Adams with the designation of failed physical, the team announced.

      Adams spent the entire 2015 campaign on the reserve-physically unable to perform list. He played the previous three seasons for the club.

      Pittsburgh also released running back Abou Toure and kicker Ty Long.

      --The New York Giants released tight end Jerome Cunningham and safety G.J. Kinne, the team announced.

      Cunningham played nine games for the Giants last season and had eight receptions for 59 yards.

      Kinne, a former quarterback at Tulsa, didn't play in any games for New York. He served two stints on the practice squad.

      --The Philadelphia Eagles have signed five draft choices to four-year contracts, the team announced.

      Running back Wendell Smallwood, a fifth-round pick from West Virginia, was the highest drafted of Thursday's signees. Also agreeing to terms are safety Blake Countess (sixth round, Auburn) and three seventh-round selections -- safety Jalen Mills (LSU), defensive end Alex McCalister (Florida) and linebacker Joe Walker (Oregon).

      The Eagles also released two players -- running back Kevin Monangai and defensive tackle Travis Raciti.

      --The Atlanta Falcons announced they have agreed to terms with 22 undrafted free agent rookies.

      Most notable among them is South Carolina running back Brandon Wilds, who was rated as the No. 29 running back in the draft and No. 400 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

      The highest-rated among Thursday's signings was North Dakota's Will Ratelle, who was the No. 10-rated fullback and 386th prospect overall.

      --The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms with 11 undrafted rookies, including a pair of projected mid- to late-round picks in former Oklahoma inside linebacker Dominique Alexander and former Florida State defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample.

      Alexander, a 6-foot, 232-pound junior, went undrafted despite being rated as the No. 8 inside linebacker and No. 195 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com, and projected as a fifth- to sixth-round pick.

      Lawrence-Stample (6-1, 320) was projected as a potential sixth-round pick, rated as the No. 21 defensive tackle and No. 220 prospect overall.

      --The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed rookie defensive back Ryan Smith and reached a contract agreement with rookie offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch.

      Smith was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft last weekend and Benenoch was a fifth-round pick. Smith started 42 of 45 career games at North Carolina Central, where he finished his college career with 263 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 31 passes defensed, eight fumble recoveries, seven interceptions, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.

      Benenoch played guard and tackle at UCLA, starting the final 35 games of his college career.

  • Buccaneers strike deals with two draft picks
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed rookie defensive back Ryan Smith and reached a contract agreement with rookie offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch on Thursday.

    • Smith was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft last weekend and Benenoch was a fifth-round pick.

      Smith started 42 of 45 career games at North Carolina Central, where he finished his college career with 263 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 31 passes defensed, eight fumble recoveries, seven interceptions, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. He also returned 14 kickoffs for 394 yards and one touchdown. Smith holds school records for solo tackles (168) and kickoff return average (28.1).

      Benenoch played guard and tackle at UCLA, starting the final 35 games of his college career.

  • WR Caldwell catches on with Lions
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Detroit Lions added veteran wide receiver Andre Caldwell to the roster on Thursday, signing the unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract.

    • The Lions also released center Darren Keyton and waived tight end Jordan Thompson.

      The 31-year-old Caldwell spent the past four seasons with the Denver Broncos after four years with the Cincinnati Bengals. His best year came in 2011 with the Bengals when he had 37 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns.

      Last season for the Super Bowl-winning Broncos, Caldwell caught 10 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one catch for 22 yards against the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl.

      The Broncos used Caldwell minimally on offense the past two years. During that time, he had just 15 catches, but he contributed on special teams as a returner.

      Caldwell joins Marvin Jones and undrafted free agents Jay Lee, Quinshad Davis and Jace Billingsley as offseason additions to the wide receiving corps. Jones, who left Cincinnati in free agency to sign with the Lions, is expected to start along with veteran Golden Tate this season.

  • Seahawks place RB Lynch on reserve/retired list
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Seattle Seahawks put running back Marshawn Lynch on the reserve/retired list Thursday, signaling the official end of his nine-year NFL career.

    • Lynch had previously announced his intentions to retire after battling injuries last season. The move reduces the Seahawks' roster to 90 players.

      Lynch joined the Seahawks after a 2010 trade with the Buffalo Bills. He started 77 of 82 games for Seattle and ranks fourth on the franchise list in rushing yards (6,347) and rushing attempts (1,457), second in rushing touchdowns (57) and third in touchdowns (65).

      With the Bills and Seahawks, he totaled 9,112 rushing yards and 74 touchdowns on 2,144 carries.

      If Lynch changes his mind about retirement, the Seahawks retain his rights. But the team appeared to be looking toward the future during last week's draft while selecting three running backs.

  • NFL team offseason workout schedules
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The first of three phases of the NFL offseason workout program began in April with on-field workouts permitted without contact this month.

    • The NFL scaled back contact and streamlined practice schedules and lessen demands on players, who are no longer permitted to conduct contact drills until mandatory minicamp. That camp is no longer than three days. This camp must be held in the third phase of offseason workouts.

      First-year head coaches are entitled to one additional minicamp on a voluntary basis.

      Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

      Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

      Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

      --Full offseason workout schedule

      ARIZONA

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-3

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      ATLANTA

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 1, June 3, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      BALTIMORE

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-7

      BUFFALO

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 1, June 3, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      CAROLINA

      First Day: April 25

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-14

      CHICAGO

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      CINCINNATI

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      CLEVELAND

      First Day: April 4

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 19-22

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      DALLAS

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-8

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      DENVER

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 13-16

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      DETROIT

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      GREEN BAY

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, June 1-3, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-7

      HOUSTON

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-7, June 9-10

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      INDIANAPOLIS

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-3

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      JACKSONVILLE

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 2-3, June 6-7, June 9-10

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-7

      KANSAS CITY

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 7-10

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 7-9

      LOS ANGELES

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 31, June 1, June 3, June 7-8, June 10

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      MIAMI

      First Day: April 11

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 26-28

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      MINNESOTA

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      NEW ENGLAND

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, June 1-2, June 13-14, June 16

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      NEW ORLEANS

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      NEW YORK GIANTS

      First Day: April 11

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, June 1-3, June 6-7, June 9-10

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 26-28

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      NEW YORK JETS

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      OAKLAND

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      PHILADELPHIA

      First Day: April 4

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-3

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 19-21

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      PITTSBURGH

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      SAN DIEGO

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-25, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      SAN FRANCISCO

      First Day: April 4

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 26-28

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      SEATTLE

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 1, June 3, June 6-7, June 9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      TAMPA BAY

      First Day: April 11

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Voluntary Minicamp: April 26-28

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 6-8

      TENNESSEE

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

      WASHINGTON

      First Day: April 18

      OTA Offseason Workouts: May 24-26, May 31, June 1-2, June 6-9

      Mandatory Minicamp: June 14-16

      Rookie Minicamp: May 13-15

  • Browns add former Sooners LB Alexander among 11 rookies
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms with 11 undrafted rookies, including a pair of projected mid- to late-round picks in former Oklahoma inside linebacker Dominique Alexander and former Florida State defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample.

    • Alexander, a 6-foot, 232-pound junior, went undrafted despite being rated as the No. 8 inside linebacker and No. 195 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com, and projected as a fifth- to sixth-round pick.

      "As his size would indicate, Alexander isn't a classic 'thumper inside linebacker and may ultimately be moved outside in a 4-3," wrote NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Rob Rang. "He possesses the athleticism to handle this switch, evading blockers and remaining on the field to cover slot receivers during obvious passing situations for the Sooners."

      Lawrence-Stample (6-1, 320) was projected as a potential sixth-round pick, rated as the No. 21 defensive tackle and No. 220 prospect overall by NDS. He finished with career highs in tackles (33), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5) as a senior.

      "Lawrence-Stample is very good against the run, especially in the middle where he can anchor the front," wrote NFLDraftScout.com analyst Jamie Newberg. "He can surprise you with some pass rush ability, but for the most part he's a run stuffer in the middle. Plays with some technique and has violent hands at times."

      The only other signee Thursday with a draftable grade was former Texas A&M offensive lineman Mike Matthews, a 6-2, 297-pounder who was rated as the No. 11 center and No. 343 prospect overall with a seventh-round/priority free agent projection.

      A list of all 11 signings, along with their overall and positional rating by NFLDraftScout.com.

      ILB Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma (195/8)

      K Brad Craddock, Maryland (442/6)

      CB Kenya Dennis, Missouri (523/54)

      DB Mikell Everette, Sam Houston State (NR)

      TE J.P. Holtz, Pittsburgh (719/33)

      CB Tracy Howard, Miami (749/75)

      DT Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State (220/21)

      C Mike Matthews, Texas A&M (332/15) 7/FA

      DL Kyle Rose, West Virginia (NR)

      FB Patrick Skov, Georgia Tech (504/14)

      FS A.J. Stamps, Kentucky (303/19)

  • RB Wilds among Falcons' 22 rookie signings
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Atlanta Falcons announced they have agreed to terms with 22 undrafted free agent rookies.

    • Most notable among them is South Carolina running back Brandon Wilds, who was rated as the No. 29 running back in the draft and No. 400 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com. Wilds burst onto the scene in 2011, rushing for 486 yards with three 100-yard games after Marcus Lattimore suffered a season-ending knee injury.

      However, the 6-foot-2 Wilds ended up redshirting the following season due to an ankle injury, returning to rush for 570 yards and four touchdowns in 2014 along with 143 receiving yards. He closed his career with a team-high 581 yards on 4.6 yards per carry as a senior.

      NFLDraftScout.com Analyst Spencer Hall compared Wilds' skill-set to that of the New York Jets' Matt Forte.

      "Wilds has a very similar build to Forte with above average height and a toned athletic build," Hall wrote. "Though Forte might have a little more athletic ability, Wilds has a little more strength to his game while both excel in the passing game. Wilds does have a likeness to Forte with his pass catching ability, vision and patience. He likely will not ever reach Forte's level, but could come close if drafted by a team who runs an inside zone running scheme and utilizes his receiving skills out of the backfield."

      The highest-rated among Thursday's signings was North Dakota's Will Ratelle, who was the No. 10-rated fullback and 386th prospect overall. The only other prospect rated inside the top 500 was Florida's Brian Poole, the 48th-rated defensive back.

      Below is the full list of free agent signings, along with their overall and positional ratings in the 2016 class by NFLDraftScout.com:

      Georgia defensive end Josh Dawson (549/43)

      South Carolina defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr. (645/51)

      Lamar offensive lineman Cody Elenz, (NR)

      Fresno State offensive lineman Alex Fifita (872/50)

      Utah State linebacker Torrey Green (961/74)

      Kentucky defensive tackle Cory Johnson, (566/47)

      Texas wide receiver Daje Johnson (720/95)

      Weber State cornerback Devonte Johnson (997/99)

      Appalachian State wide receiver Malachi Jones, (656/83)

      Georgia nose tackle Chris Mayes (658/52)

      Arkansas State wide receiver J.D. McKissic (718/94)

      Washington State linebacker Ivan McLennan (NR)

      Texas State cornerback David Mims II (856/84)

      Florida Atlantic defensive back Sharrod Neasman (767/32)

      Washington tight end Joshua Perkins (752/34)

      Florida defensive back Brian Poole (449/48)

      North Dakota fullback Will Ratelle (386/10)

      Indiana offensive lineman Jake Reed (NR)

      Arizona wide receiver David Richards (803/112)

      Texas kicker Nick Rose (NR)

      St. Cloud State cornerback Jordan Sefon (NR)

      South Carolina running back Brandon Wilds (400/29)

  • Eagles sign five draft selections
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Philadelphia Eagles have signed five draft choices to four-year contracts, the team announced.

    • Running back Wendell Smallwood, a fifth-round pick from West Virginia, was the highest drafted of Thursday's signees.

      Also agreeing to terms are safety Blake Countess (sixth round, Auburn) and three seventh-round selections -- safety Jalen Mills (LSU), defensive end Alex McCalister (Florida) and linebacker Joe Walker (Oregon).

      The Eagles also released two players -- running back Kevin Monangai and defensive tackle Travis Raciti.

  • Giants waive TE Cunningham, S Kinne
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The New York Giants released tight end Jerome Cunningham and safety G.J. Kinne, the team announced on Thursday.

    • Cunningham played nine games for the Giants last season and had eight receptions for 59 yards.

      Kinne, a former quarterback at Tulsa, didn't play in any games for New York. He served two stints on the practice squad.

  • Steelers release Adams, two others
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Pittsburgh Steelers released offensive tackle Mike Adams with the designation of failed physical, the team announced on Thursday.

    • Adams spent the entire 2015 campaign on the reserve-physically unable to perform list. He played the previous three seasons for the club.

      Pittsburgh also released running back Abou Toure and kicker Ty Long.

  • Seahawks, DT Reed agree to terms
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Jarran Reed agreed to contract terms with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

    • The second-round pick out of Alabama was selected 49th by the Seahawks, who anticipate the Alabama product competing for the vacant nose tackle job at the heart of the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense for three years running.

      Seattle moved up seven spots in the second round to get the player general manager John Schneider called the best run defender in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Seahawks are trying to replace Brandon Mebane, who signed with the San Diego Chargers in free agency.

      "Clearly the best run defender in this draft," Schneider said.

      Reed, 6-3, 307, started 28 games for Alabama after transferring from East Mississippi Community College.

      "Right before it happened I told my mom, I said, 'Mom, I'm going to go to the Seahawks.' I've been talking about the Seahawks ever since the Senior Bowl. I'm just really excited and happy that it happened," Reed said of his draft night wait after being projected as a likely first-round pick.

      Reed said he met with Seahawks defensive line coach Travis Jones and head coach Pete Carroll and felt a connection. He also knew he'd feel a need, and told Schnieder on April 29 after being drafted he was fired up to be the last player sitting in the Auditorium Theater green room in Chicago.

      Schneider said the first-round pick used Thursday night came down to two players – Texas A&M offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, who was the final pick of the first round, and Reed.

      "He's a great competitor, he's tough as nails, and we're thrilled to get him," Carroll said. "He's got a big role. He'll fill the role our tackles have been playing the last few years. He keeps us the same in that regard, that we've got good inside tough guys that can stop the run game."

  • Navy secretary: 'Confident' Reynolds can play in NFL
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Keenan Reynolds cleared one hurdle to the NFL when he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2016 draft last weekend. The next step, a waiver from the Naval Academy, might not be far behind.

    • "I thought it was terrific," Ray Mabus, secretary of the United States Navy, told the Dan Patrick Show. "He's a sterling individual. If I'm an NFL coach or GM, that's the type of person I want. I can't think of a better ambassador."

      Reynolds will try to convert to wide receiver after having a prolific career as a quarterback in Navy's triple-option. Reynolds scored 88 touchdowns in four years, the most rushing touchdowns in Division I history and the most total touchdowns in the history of the Football Bowl Subdivision. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting last year and was named a Third-Team All-American.

      Mabus said Reynolds' proximity to the Naval Academy with the Ravens – whose headquarters in Owings Mills, Md., is 40 miles from Annapolis and the United States Naval Academy – could work in favor of Reynolds.

      "There are a lot of paths to play and to serve. I'm confident we can work something out for Keenan to do both – to serve his country and play football," said Mabus, who was involved in revising the Naval Academy waiver process. "It's not just the NFL, it's any professional sports. If you have a unique skill – a great cello player and you get drafted by the New York Philharmonic, you'll probably get a waiver, too."

      The Ravens were giddy about the pick, so much so that coach John Harbaugh said there were many tears in the room when the franchise dialed Reynolds to announce the selection as a group. Typically, general manager Ozzie Newsome makes a direct call to prospects to inform them of the selection on draft day.

      "It was a special moment," Newsome said.

      Reynolds said Sunday that being in the area is going to be work in his favor.

      Before he hung up with Ravens officials huddled in their draft room Saturday, Reynolds said "You won't regret this pick."

      Converted to wide receiver from quarterback in the NFL is not unheard of, and most recent success stories include Patriots top receiver Julian Edelman, a quarterback at Kent State. Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle-El was a run-first quarterback at Indiana in college. Reynolds was told he could also be auditioned returning punts, an area in which Randle-El and Edelman excelled.

      "That's what I've been working on," Reynolds said. "I just think my best area is being in (open) space with the football."

  • Manziel appears in Dallas County courtroom
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Johnny Manziel appeared in Dallas County court to face a charge of misdemeanor assault related to family violence.

    • The former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback reported voluntarily and was booked and released Wednesday afternoon.

      He faces maximum penalties of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine for alleged hitting and dragging his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, to get her into a car against her will on Jan. 30. In a signed affidavit, Crowley said one open-handed blow to her head caused her to lose hearing from a ruptured eardrum. Manziel was ordered to stay at least 500 feet from Crowley's residence.

      Judge Robert Canas on Thursday demanded Manziel sign another affidavit swearing he doesn't own firearms and there are no other weapons present at his current residence.

      Canas told Manziel he is prohibited from "any form" of contact with Crowley, including letters, texts, pictures and emails.

      Manziel was a first-round draft pick of the Browns in 2013 after winning the Heisman Trophy as a true freshman at Texas A&M. Many teams questioned Manziel's commitment to being a professional before the draft because of social media and acquaintances providing details of his party lifestyle.

      In January 2015, Manziel entered a treatment facility for 73 days and teammates and coaches declared he seemed to be a different person during offseason minicamps last summer.

      But during the team's bye week ahead of his highly anticipated chance to start for the Browns at Baltimore on "Monday Night Football," a video was posted of Manziel that prompted yet another downward spiral. Manziel attempted to mislead the Browns about when the video was shot – he claimed it was more than a year old – only to have the team's security department verify if was recent because of the new-release music playing in the background.

      Manziel did not show up for the Week 17 season finale in Cleveland, when photos reached social media indicating he was instead in Las Vegas. Manziel was due at the team's Berea, Ohio, headquarters for concussion treatment, the team said.

      Manziel's family said publicly it has been unsuccessful convincing Manziel to return to rehab.

      Prominent sports agent Drew Rosenhaus dropped Manziel as a client when he refused to comply with Rosenhaus' proposal to enter rehab.

      Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said Monday that he and other coaches attempted to contact Manziel – via cell phone call and text message -- but have not been able to reach him. Sumlin said he last saw Manziel at Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans' wedding in February. Evans and Manziel were teammates at A&M.

      "What we want is for him to be at peace and be safe. That has nothing to do with football and has everything to do with his life. That was my message to him (at the wedding). That's the only thing we really care about right now. Where he is as a person is more important than football or anything like that," Sumlin said.

  • Redskins TE Reed signs $50M contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Jordan Reed signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Washington Redskins on Thursday morning.

    • Only Seattle Seahawks Jimmy Graham is higher paid among NFL tight ends. Reed set franchise records for receptions and yards in 2015 but was not selected to the Pro Bowl.

      His contract includes $22 million guaranteed and locks in the 25-year-old, who became quarterback Kirk Cousins' favorite target in 2015.

      Like Graham, a college basketball player Miami, Reed is still learning the ropes of the position.

      Reed had 87 receptions for 952 yards with a team-high 11 receiving touchdowns. He was entering the final year of his rookie contract.

      The Redskins drafted Reed in the third round (85th) out of Florida in 2013. The converted high school quarterback has wide receiver skills at 6-3, 237, creating matchup issues for the majority of defenses.

      After fighting head injuries in 2013 as a rookie, Reed was placed on injured reserve in December. He played only nine games. He was dogged by nicks and bruises in 2014 and played in 11 games, but head coach Jay Gruden said he wasn't healthy.

      That changed last season.

      "He's always been very gifted, athletic human. He can cut on a dime. He's got very strong hands. He gets in and out of his breaks in a hurry. But now I think he's doing a better job of recognizing coverage and how to get on people's toes and work on leverage, use leverage to his advantage and set people up," Gruden said in December. “A lot of times when you're a good athlete and you're young, you're too quick with everything. Now he's being a lot more patient in his routes and getting up on people and doing a great job of separating and getting his head around, becoming a really friendly target for the quarterback. That goes a long way with a young quarterback."

      The next order of business for general manager Scot McCloughan is a deal for Cousins. The deadline for a contract with the Redskins' franchise-designated starter is July 15. If not contract extension is done, Cousins would be paid $19.95 million in 2016.

      "It takes two sides to come together and it is a big contract and it's gonna be a long-term contract," McCloughan told NBC Sports last week. "The years, the money and the incentives, all that stuff comes into play. But it's ongoing. I really believe, talking with Kirk and of course myself and our organization, we want to get a long-term deal done. He wants to be here, he sees what's going on, the positive energy, and it's a business. It takes time these long term deals, big deals like this."

  • Dollars and sense driving Raiders to Vegas
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    You might have missed this little item in the fog of news from the draft last week, but potentially it was even more significant because it's not something that happens every year:

    • The Raiders are serious about moving to Las Vegas.

      Look, sooner or later a team in one of the major professional leagues is going to settle there, and who makes more sense than this most vagabond, against-the-grain franchise?

      As a significant codicil to the news of the potential move, which still is a couple years down the road, Raiders owner Mark Davis said he was willing to invest $500 million toward the stadium project in Vegas. That's really big news if you remember his late father, Al Davis, who would never put a penny of his own fortune toward a stadium, in fact perhaps best known in those circles for extorting $10 million from Irwindale, a Los Angeles suburb, toward a project that never was more than a pipe dream.

      Predictably, of course, the news that the Raiders would seriously consider a move to Sin City was met with skepticism that it could never happen, that the NFL and other owners would block it, blah, blah, blah, blah.

      In fact, the more likely route to blocking the move runs through San Diego, not the NFL. If the folks in that city manage to build a new stadium for the Chargers, then the Raiders would have the option of moving to LA instead of Vegas, and sharing the Rams' new stadium. Al Davis never would have agreed to share another team's stadium, but Mark might. Might. But if the Vegas gambit moves further along while the Chargers still are dithering about their future prospects, the Raiders just might commit to Las

      Vegas without waiting to see what happens in Los Angeles.

      The long-held arguments against a pro franchise in Las Vegas are so outdated as to be beyond ridiculous.

      Gambling? Just about every state has some form of gambling, be it lotteries or casinos or both or more. And none of them regulate gambling any stronger than they do in Nevada. Further, powerful NFL owners like Dallas' Jerry Jones and New England's Robert Kraft have been big figures in the daily fantasy sports game world, and if that isn't gambling, what is?

      And those games have been hit by scandals that have states scurrying to close them down. Yet, you couldn't watch an NFL game on TV for more than five minutes last season without seeing an ad for a fantasy sports site.

      The NFL for several years now has been playing regular-season games in London, where there are casinos and legal betting shops everywhere, particularly in the high end parts of the city where teams stay. It would be the height of hypocrisy (although that is not unknown among NFL owners) for the league to say it's okay to be in a city like London with its gambling shops, but not in Las Vegas. Same goes for Mexico City, where the NFL returns for a game this season.

      Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, conceded recently that the league had “evolved” in its position on gambling, but at the same time made the foolish comment that daily fantasy sports did not involve gambling. You have to wonder if he'd feel that way if powerful owners like Jones and Kraft were not involved. Does he really think we believe that fantasy games are not gambling that can easily be manipulated by, say, keeping someone out of the lineup, or throwing fewer passes or calling fewer runs for a particular back?

      Just get real here.

      The Raiders, despite their sellout status, are pretty much done in Oakland. Their stadium is a dump and they can't attract the corporate support or well-heeled clientele to replace it. The NBA champion Warriors already have plans in place to abandon Oakland and move across the Bay to San Francisco. And the NFL is a league that always has chased after every dollar, never leaving any loose change on the table.

      There are few places where more dollars are to be found than Las Vegas.

      --Ira Miller is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered the National Football League for more than four decades and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a national columnist for The Sports Xchange.

  • Colts lock up first-round pick Kelly
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Locking up the man charged with getting the ball to their franchise quarterback, the Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Ryan Kelly on Wednesday.

    • The former Alabama center was the 18th overall selection in last week's draft. Fox 59 TV in Indianapolis reported that Kelly received a four-year deal, though the team did not announce the contract terms.

      Kelly figures to be an immediate starter for the Colts, who have had multiple centers snapping the ball to quarterback Andrew Luck since the start of the 2012 season.

      During his time with the Crimson Tide, Kelly was a three-year starter, and he was a first-team All-America selection last season.

      "Ryan Kelly was our targeted player for quite a while," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said last week. "Dependability is the thing. He's one of those guys. He's someone that you can count on. You're talking about someone who has great size (for his position).

      "We feel like we have guys who can handle things on the edge for us. But we've had so much musical chairs (at center). We want to protect our franchise quarterback."

      Grigson attended Alabama's Pro Day last month with Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano.

      "(We) got a guy that will solidify the interior (of the offensive line). Had our eyes on this guy for a long, long time," Pagano said, adding that he's hoping a Luck-Kelly pairing could mirror another recent Indianapolis quarterback-center combination.

      "Lord willing, if the creek don't rise, the same thing can happen (as former Colts Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday)."

  • Manziel booked on domestic-violence charge
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Free agent quarterback Johnny Manziel posted bond and was released from a Highland Park, Texas, jail Wednesday after being booked on a domestic-violence charge.

    • Manziel turned himself in voluntarily and was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from an alleged incident involving his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, on Jan. 30.

      He posted a $1,500 bond and was freed. Manziel, 23, is due to appear in Dallas County Criminal Court at 9 a.m. Thursday.

      Manziel was formally indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on April 26. The misdemeanor domestic-violence charge carries a maximum of one year incarceration and a $4,000 fine.

      Jim Darnell, the lead attorney for Manziel, said in a statement last week, "Johnny will certainly plead 'not guilty,' and we believe the evidence will support that plea. Out of respect for Ms. Crowley, we will not try the case in the press. We do, however, believe that Johnny will be acquitted at the conclusion of the case."

      The former Cleveland Browns quarterback allegedly threatened to kill Crowley and himself after the two left a Dallas bar on Jan. 30, Crowley told Dallas police in her protection order application. A protective order was granted in Tarrant County on Feb. 3. Manziel agreed to the no-contact order, which prevents him from coming within 500 feet of her residence.

      Crowley said the two had a separate fight in the Cleveland area late last year.

      In two pro seasons after Cleveland made him the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Manziel appeared in 15 games and posted a 2-6 record as a starter. He completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,675 yards and seven touchdown passes while throwing seven interceptions.

      Manziel spent 73 days in a treatment facility in Pennsylvania last year. Since then, two agents stopped representing him, with prominent player rep Drew Rosenhaus saying he could no longer work with Manziel because of the quarterback's refusal to re-enter a treatment program.

      In 2012, Manziel, then playing for Texas A&M, became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.

  • NFL notebook: Falcons sign first-round S Neal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    The Atlanta Falcons and first-round safety Keanu Neal agreed to terms on a contract Wednesday.

    • Neal, the 17th overall selection out of Florida, is the only first-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft class so far to agree to terms on his contract.

      Neal, who turns 21 in July, will sign the slotted four-year deal, with a fifth-year option to be exercised by May 3, 2019.

      The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Neal started 19 of the 34 games he played in during his three years at Florida. During his first year as a starter in 2014, he racked up 45 total tackles and three interceptions, which was the second-highest total on the team. During his junior year, Neal finished third on the team with 96 total tackles.

      --Cornerback Mackensie Alexander, the Minnesota Vikings' second-round draft pick, left Clemson after his redshirt sophomore season for financial reasons, and he took the first step toward reaping that reward when he struck a deal with the team.

      Alexander, who was the 54th overall draft pick, will sign his contract on Thursday, multiple media outlets reported. He reportedly agreed to sign a four-year, $4.3 million contract with a $1.34 million signing bonus.

      Alexander grew up in the small agricultural town of Immokalee, Fla. Most of the town's residents are immigrants from Mexico or Haiti, and Alexander's parents were from Haiti. Almost half the people in Immokelee live below the poverty line.

      The Vikings were the first team to sign a draft pick -- sixth-round German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer. He needed to get deal done to begin his application for a work visa.

      --The San Francisco 49ers re-signed linebacker Michael Wilhoite to a one-year deal.

      The 6-0, 240-pound Wilhoite started all 12 games in which he appeared in 2015 and registered 86 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed. Throughout his four-year career, he has appeared in 49 games (30 starts) and recorded 231 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble and eight passes defensed.

      --New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association received a 14-day court extension on Tuesday to petition for a rehearing in the latest chapter of the Deflategate saga.

      The extension gives Brady and the NFLPA until May 23 rather than May 9 to file with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The NFL's request to deny the NFLPA's motion was refused.

      Brady's four-game suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was restored last month after a three-judge panel declared that the punishment was within Goodell's power.

      --The NFL Players Association is warning players about eating meat from China and Mexico that might be contaminated.

      In a letter to players and shared on social media by at least two players -- Arizona's Patrick Peterson and Baltimore's Steve Smith -- the NFLPA reminds players they are ultimately responsible for what they put in their bodies.

      "There is some evidence that some meat produced in China and Mexico may be contaminated with clenbuterol, an anabolic agent which is banned by the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances," the letter reads. "Consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries may result in a positive test for clenbuterol in violation of the Policy.

      "Players are warned to be aware of this issue when traveling to Mexico and China. Please take caution if you decide to consume meat, and understand that you do so at your own risk."

      --Defensive end Justin Tuck plans to sign a one-day contract with the New York Giants and officially retire as a member of the team.

      According to ESPN, Tuck will sign the one-day contract with the Giants on Friday.

      The 33-year-old Tuck announced in February that he was retiring after 11 NFL seasons. Tuck spent the last two years with the Oakland Raiders after playing for the Giants from 2005 to 2013. He won two Super Bowl rings with the Giants.

      Tuck, who played just five games for the Raiders in 2015 due to a torn pectoral muscle, recorded 66.5 career sacks and had 10 or more in a season on four occasions. Tuck added 5.5 postseason sacks.

      --The Arizona Cardinals released center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, cornerbacks Kevin White and Joel Wilkinson and safety Tyrequek Zimmerman.

      White was a member of the Cardinals' practice squad last season. Ume-Ezeoke and Zimmerman signed with Arizona on Jan. 5 and Wilkinson on Feb. 16. Wilkerson is a former Australian Rules Football player who was trying to make the team.

  • Cardinals cut four players
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    The Arizona Cardinals released center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, cornerbacks Kevin White and Joel Wilkinson and safety Tyrequek Zimmerman on Wednesday.

    • White was a member of the Cardinals' practice squad last season. Ume-Ezeoke and Zimmerman signed with Arizona on Jan. 5 and Wilkinson on Feb. 16. Wilkerson is a former Australian Rules Football player who was trying to make the team.

      The cuts came as the Cardinals trimmed their roster ahead of their rookie minicamp this weekend.

  • Vikings, rookie CB Alexander agree on four-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Cornerback Mackensie Alexander, the Minnesota Vikings' second-round draft pick, left Clemson after his redshirt sophomore season for financial reasons, and he took the first step toward reaping that reward when he struck a deal with the team on Wednesday.

    • Alexander, who was the 54th overall draft pick, will sign his contract on Thursday, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday. He reportedly agreed to sign a four-year, $4.3 million contract with a $1.34 million signing bonus.

      Alexander grew up in the small agricultural town of Immokalee, Fla. Most of the town's residents are immigrants from Mexico or Haiti, and Alexander's parents were from Haiti. Almost half the people in Immokelee live below the poverty line.

      Twenty years ago, the migrant workers there staged a hunger strike to get higher wages, and they held rallied to change laws on workers' rights.

      As a boy, Alexander worked in the fields picking tomatoes and watermelons and packing boxes for shipment.

      Alexander played football in high school under coach Kyle Mason, whose wife, Jori, a teacher at the school, helped Alexander in any way she could.

      Eventually, Alexander got to Clemson and established himself as an NFL-caliber player. This week, he agreed to his first pro contract.

      This is the third time in four years the Vikings drafted a cornerback in the first two round, after taking Xavier Rhodes in 2013 and Trae Waynes in 2015.

      "We see (Alexander) as a potential (nickel back), and also with the ability to flex and play outside as well," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said on the team's website. "Love the way he played the game. He plays with smarts and savvy we're looking for, and is a highly competitive kid. As (coach Mike Zimmer) says, you can never have enough corners."

      The Vikings were the first team to sign a draft pick -- sixth-round German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer. He needed to get deal done to begin his application for a work visa.

      Defensive end Stephen Weatherly, a seventh-round pick, is also expected to sign a contract with the Vikings on Thursday.

      With those two signings, the Vikings will have only three unsigned draft picks, including first-round selection Laquon Treadwell, a wide receiver from Mississippi.

  • Falcons sign first-round S Neal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    The Atlanta Falcons and first-round safety Keanu Neal agreed to terms on a contract Wednesday.

    • Neal, the 17th overall selection out of Florida, is the only first-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft class so far to agree to terms on his contract.

      Neal, who turns 21 in July, will sign the slotted four-year deal, with a fifth-year option to be exercised by May 3, 2019.

      The 17th pick in the 2015 draft (defensive end Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers) signed a four-year, $9,842,630 contract, including a $5,418,276 signing bonus.

      The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Neal started 19 of the 34 games he played in during his three years at Florida. During his first year as a starter in 2014, he racked up 45 total tackles and three interceptions, which was the second-highest total on the team. During his junior year, Neal finished third on the team with 96 total tackles.

      "We had targeted our first-round pick, Keanu Neal, from the beginning," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said after the selection. "He was guy that we really believe was the top safety for our system."

      Neal believes he can fit into the Falcons' defense quickly.

      "They want guys who are interchangeable," said Neal, who bypassed his senior season to enter the draft. "'Who can do more than just one thing?' and I fit that."

  • 49ers re-sign LB Wilhoite
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    The San Francisco 49ers re-signed linebacker Michael Wilhoite to a one-year deal on Wednesday.

    • The 6-foot, 240-pound Wilhoite started all 12 games in which he appeared in 2015 and registered 86 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed. Throughout his four-year career, he has appeared in 49 games (30 starts) and recorded 231 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble and eight passes defensed.

      Wilhoite, 29, began his professional career with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL in 2011 before being signed to the 49ers' practice squad later that year. He spent 12 weeks on the practice squad in 2012 and was later promoted to the active roster for the final five games of the regular season.

      In 2013, Wilhoite appeared in all 16 games (two starts) and tallied 24 tackles. Wilhoite started all 16 games in 2014 and notched career highs in tackles (121) and interceptions (two).

  • DE Tuck to sign one-day deal to retire with Giants
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Defensive end Justin Tuck plans to sign a one-day contract with the New York Giants and officially retire as a member of the team.

    • According to ESPN, Tuck will sign the one-day contract with the Giants on Friday.

      The 33-year-old Tuck announced in February that he was retiring after 11 NFL seasons. Tuck spent the last two years with the Oakland Raiders after playing for the Giants from 2005 to 2013.

      Tuck won two Super Bowl rings with the Giants.

      "After months of praying and careful consideration, I have decided to retire from the game of football," Tuck wrote in his Facebook post at the time. "I've had 11 great years and honestly I leave with very few regrets."

      Tuck, who played just five games for the Raiders in 2015 due to a torn pectoral muscle, recorded 66.5 career sacks and had 10 or more in a season on four occasions. Tuck added 5.5 postseason sacks.