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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Betting

Panthers' odds shift with Baker Mayfield - in both directions

July 6, 2022, 9:59 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield is finally heading to the Carolina Panthers, and sportsbooks moved swiftly to update various futures markets following Wednesday's news.

The Panthers moved from +12500 to +10000 to win the Super Bowl and from +1200 to +1000 to win the NFC South at PointsBet. Their division title odds also shortened from +1200 to +1000 at DraftKings.

Carolina's Super Bowl odds also shifted from 150-1 to 125-1 at BetMGM while the Panthers remained unchanged at 125-1 at BetRivers.

FanDuel told Field Level Media that while the Panthers' Super Bowl odds shortened from +13000 to +10000 after the news broke, "no real significant number of bets" nor any "sizeable bets" had come in by Wednesday evening.

The long-rumored deal finally coming to fruition actually had a negative impact on Carolina's futures with at least one sportsbook. SportsBetting.ag told Field Level Media that the Panthers' futures were adjusted across the board: from 125-1 to win the Super Bowl pre-trade to 130-1 after acquiring Mayfield; from 50-1 to 60-1 to win the NFC; and from 10-1 to 11-1 to win the NFC South.

Mayfield will join a quarterback room in Carolina that includes veteran Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral. Mayfield was selected No. 1 overall in 2018 - two spots ahead of Darnold, who went to the New York Jets.

"Baker Mayfield doesn't move the needle in our eyes," said Robert Cooper, head of NFL trading at the sportsbook. "They have different styles, and I could begrudgingly argue Mayfield is a tiny bit better than Darnold, but at the end of the day they are both below-average NFL players."

SportsBetting.ag is offering Mayfield at -300 to be the Panthers' starting quarterback in Week 1 compared to Darnold at +200. Mayfield is the -1200 favorite at DraftKings followed by Darnold (+500), Corral (+5000) and current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (+10000).

"I expect (coach Matt) Rhule to make this an open quarterback competition in camp," Cooper said. "They didn't give up much, and they're basically being paid the same salary. Rhule could initially end up going with the QB he coached for a season... a guy he and his receivers are comfortable with.

"Either way, adding Mayfield only creates more headache and drama off the field. He certainly doesn't make this a better team."

The Browns, who are awaiting word on a potential suspension for Deshaun Watson by the NFL, saw their Super Bowl odds lengthen from +2500 to +2800 at PointsBet on Wednesday. They also moved from +1200 to +1400 to win the AFC.

The Browns saw no change in their odds at DraftKings, but the sportsbook is offering Cleveland as a 1.0-point favorite in their Week 1 game at Carolina. The sportsbook also created several prop bets for Mayfield ahead of the 2022 season.

--Passing Touchdowns (22.5): Over -120, Under +100

--Passing Yards (3800.5): Over -110, Under -110

--Interceptions (13.5): Over -110, Under -110

The Browns will receive a fifth-round draft pick in exchange for Mayfield, although it could convert to a fourth-rounder depending on his playing time with the Panthers.

Mayfield, 27, was 29-30 as the starter with the Browns and completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
News

Report: Chicago poised to examine dome for Soldier Field

July 6, 2022, 4:13 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

A city committee is likely to convene in Chicago soon to explore the possibility of putting a dome on Soldier Field, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

A dome could make the nearly century-old stadium more desirable for the Chicago Bears and other potential users, if it is economically and architecturally viable. The Bears signed a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, Ill., and could build a stadium complex there.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in February that adding a dome could be considered as part of the work done by her Lakefront Museum Campus Working Group, which is reimaging the area around Soldier Field.

Crain's said a draft of a soon-to-be-released report prepared by the group said a dome could cost anywhere from $400 million to $1.5 billion and likely would require public financial assistance.

In addition to a dome, the city could consider a variety of structural changes to Soldier Field, including "substantially rebuilding" parts of the stadium, per Crain's. Selling naming rights also could be under consideration.

"We're going to continue to do everything we can to keep the Bears in Chicago," Lightfoot said in an interview on WSCR-AM 670 in February. "We're working on some plans to present to them that I think will make a very, very compelling financial case as to why it makes an abundance of sense for them to stay in Chicago."

Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District. With 61,500 fans, it has the lowest capacity in the NFL.

It opened in 1924. The next-oldest stadium in the league is Lambeau Field in Green Bay, which dates to 1957.

--Field Level Media

News: Light Ohio Blue
News

Vacant RFK Stadium catches fire

July 5, 2022, 10:38 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

RFK Stadium, which has sat vacant in Washington, D.C. since its last tenant moved out in 2017, caught fire Tuesday afternoon.

D.C. Fire and EMS reported on social media Tuesday that it had "located several fires in below grade levels" of the structure after black smoke was seen rising out of the stadium.

"In the process of extinguishing," the department tweeted. "No injuries reported. Investigators en route."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Working Fire RFK Stadium. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DCsBravest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DCsBravest</a> have located several fires in below grade levels in the stadium. In the process of extinguishing same. No injuries reported. Investigators enroute. <a href="https://t.co/RguAa8KPeM">pic.twitter.com/RguAa8KPeM</a></p>&mdash; DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) <a href="https://twitter.com/dcfireems/status/1544440743116574720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 5, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Once home to franchises in the NFL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, RFK Stadium lost its last tenant when D.C. United moved out following the 2017 season. In 2019 plans were announced to demolish the stadium in 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to multiple delays.

Washington mayor Muriel Bowser has presented a plan to turn the site into an indoor sports complex available for public use. It has also been suggested as a site for a new stadium for the Washington Commanders, though that isn't seen as a likely solution.

RFK Stadium opened in 1961 and has been home to the Washington NFL franchise, the Washington Senators and Nationals of MLB, D.C. United and several minor-league and collegiate sports.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
News

Jody Allen: Neither Seahawks nor Blazers are for sale -- yet

July 5, 2022, 7:19 PM

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Jody Allen, chairwoman of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, issued a statement Tuesday saying neither franchise is for sale and that there are no sale discussions happening at this time.

However, she acknowledged that a "time will come when that changes."

Allen is the sister of the late Paul Allen and trustee of his trust, worth billions. Speculation has swirled the past month that both franchises are poised to be sold, including the Blazers in the next 6 to 18 months, due to the wishes of the co-founder of Microsoft.

Paul Allen, who passed away in October 2018 at age 65, stipulated he wanted both franchises -- among other assets -- sold and the proceeds used for his passion projects.

"As we've stated before, neither of the teams is for sale and there are no sales discussions happening," Jody Allen said in the statement. "A time will come when that changes given Paul's plans to dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy, but estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down.

"There is no pre-ordained timeline by which the teams must be sold."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Statement from Jody Allen <a href="https://t.co/oAezfb398o">pic.twitter.com/oAezfb398o</a></p>&mdash; Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) <a href="https://twitter.com/trailblazers/status/1544388998340087809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 5, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Paul Allen passed away due to complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He purchased the Trail Blazers for $70 million in 1988 and the Seahawks nine years later for $194 million. He was one of the founders of the Seattle Sounders in 2007.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys
News

WR Terry McLaurin officially signs extension with Commanders

July 5, 2022, 4:09 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commarnders signed wide receiver Terry McLaurin to a three-year contract extension on Tuesday.

The team didn't announce the financial terms, put multiple reports pegged it at up to $70 million.

McLaurin, 26, is entering the final season of his four-year rookie deal. He will earn a $2.79 million base salary in 2022.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Terry McLaurin is here to stay ?? <br><br>?? <a href="https://t.co/0hGq86Au3Z">https://t.co/0hGq86Au3Z</a> <a href="https://t.co/VUvplLqMNm">pic.twitter.com/VUvplLqMNm</a></p>&mdash; Washington Commanders (@Commanders) <a href="https://twitter.com/Commanders/status/1544342384107851777?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 5, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

A third-round pick from Ohio State in 2019, McLaurin caught 77 passes for 1,053 yards with five TDs last season. He had 87 receptions for 1,118 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, production that looks even more impressive when the revolving door at quarterback in Washington is taken into consideration.

This season, he is set to work with quarterback Carson Wentz, acquired in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

With the Commanders, McLaurin has appeared in 46 career regular-season games, all starts, and has 222 catches for 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He is one of three NFC wide receivers, joining Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson, to have at least 75 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
News

Researchers: Late WR Demaryius Thomas had CTE

July 5, 2022, 3:16 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Late NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, Boston University researchers revealed Tuesday.

Thomas was found dead at his home in Georgia on Dec. 9 at age 33, but the Fulton County coroner has not released a cause of death. His family suspected seizures resulting from a 2019 car accident might have caused his death.

The former Denver Broncos star began displaying erratic behavior, including mood changes and isolation, in 2020, according to his family.

"His mood would change, and he would also isolate himself sometimes," said Katina Stuckey Smith, Thomas' mother, in an interview with ABC. "He was, like, ‘Mom, I don't know what's going on with my body. You know, I gotta get myself together,' and he said, ‘I don't feel like myself anymore.'"

Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, part of the Boston University brain research team, told ABC that Thomas most likely died after having a seizure. The condition isn't commonly associated with CTE.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas played eight-plus seasons with the Broncos, who drafted him in the first round in 2010 and traded him to Houston in October 2018.

He won Super Bowl 50 with Denver and recorded 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns in 143 career games with the Broncos, Texans (2018) and New York Jets (2019). He signed with New England in 2019 but never appeared in a game for the Patriots.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Super Bowl LVII -Super Bowl LVII Handoff Ceremony
News

‘Hammering’ Hank Goldberg dies at 82

July 4, 2022, 7:19 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Sports handicapping expert Hank Goldberg died Monday on his 82nd birthday after a lengthy battle with kidney disease.

Goldberg's family confirmed his death.

Known affectionately as "Hammering" Hank, Goldberg worked for two decades at ESPN predicting NFL games as well as thoroughbred horse racing.

Goldberg was also a longtime personality in Miami, where he worked as a radio and TV host for more than 25 years, including as an analyst for Miami Dolphins games.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
News

Odell Beckham Jr. says torn ACL didn't occur during Super Bowl

July 3, 2022, 2:37 PM

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Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was believed to have torn his left anterior cruciate ligament during Super Bowl LVI.

Only the free agent doesn't believe it.

Beckham, who joined the world champion Los Angeles Rams from the Cleveland Browns midway through the 2021 season, tweeted Saturday night that the injury occurred before the big game.

"Krazy thought ... really played the whole back half of the season without an acl, and won a super bowl! God doesn't misss, i swea," he wrote.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Krazy thought ... really played the whole back half of the season without an acl, and won a super bowl! God doesn't misss, i swea</p>&mdash; Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) <a href="https://twitter.com/obj/status/1543400103423184896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 3, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Beckham tore the ACL in the same knee in October 2020 with the Browns, had surgery and returned for the 2021 season. On Nov. 12, the Rams signed him to a one-year deal, a week after he was released by Cleveland amid a deteriorating relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield.

He left the Rams' 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13 with what was believed to be a new injury.

During the second quarter, Beckham went to catch a pass but dropped it after jamming his left knee awkwardly. He grabbed at his knee and went down to the turf, with the Rams' training staff quickly attending to him on the field.

He caught a touchdown in the first quarter for the first score of the game and finished with two catches for 52 yards.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection had 305 receiving yards and five touchdowns for the Rams in eight regular-season games.

He has 531 receptions for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns in 96 games (91 starts) with the New York Giants (2014-18), Browns (2019-21) and Rams.

Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told The Athletic last month that the Rams and Beckham, 29, would like to work out a deal for him to return in 2022.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Player Headshots 2020
News

Fentanyl, cocaine cited in death of Ravens' Jaylon Ferguson

July 1, 2022, 5:41 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died last month at the age of 26 from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, medical examiners said Friday.

A Maryland Department of Health spokesman said Ferguson's sudden death on June 21 was ruled accidental.

His funeral will be held Saturday in Bains, La.

"Our priority is focused on the man Jaylon was and the positive impact he made on so many as a father, son, fiance, friend and teammate," the Ravens said in a statement issued Friday. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while we continue to support his family and teammates, who are mourning the tragic loss of a loved one and will celebrate his life [Saturday]."

Baltimore Police found Ferguson unresponsive and being treated by medics. There were no signs of trauma or foul play at the scene.

Known at Louisiana Tech as "Sack Daddy," Ferguson set an NCAA record with 45 career sacks and was drafted in the third round in 2019 by Baltimore. He totaled 67 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 38 games over three seasons with the Ravens.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
News

Reports: Hearing for Browns QB Deshaun Watson concludes

July 1, 2022, 2:42 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The disciplinary hearing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson concluded Thursday, multiple media outlets reported.

Sue L. Robinson, the hearing officer, asked for post-hearing briefs by the week of July 11, ESPN reported.

Robinson, a former U.S. District Court judge who was jointly selected to oversee the case by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, is expected to "take her time" in ruling, ESPN reported. All parties reportedly expect a ruling before the Browns report to training camp on July 26.

Watson, 26, has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage sessions that occurred during his time with his former team, the Houston Texans. Twenty-six women have accused him of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior.

Watson, who has denied wrongdoing, has settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits related to the massage sessions. The Texans' organization is also being sued for "enabling" his actions, in part by allegedly providing him with non-disclosure agreements to give to massage therapists.

Per numerous reports, the NFL is pushing to have him suspended indefinitely, with the minimum length of the punishment one year before he would be eligible to apply for reinstatement.

The Texans held Watson out of action for the entire 2021 season as he was under investigation for criminal wrongdoing. However, he was never indicted, and the Browns acquired him in a March trade, giving up three first-round draft picks.

Cleveland also signed Watson to a five-year contract that will pay him a guaranteed $230 million. However, his salary for 2022 reportedly is just $1 million to protect against the possibility that he could be facing a lengthy suspension.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
News

Falcons sign P Bradley Pinion

June 30, 2022, 6:23 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons signed Bradley Pinion to a contract on Thursday, just over one week after the punter was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Falcons.

Pinion, 28, is expected to battle Dom Maggio and Seth Vernon for the job in Atlanta.

Pinion averaged a career-low 42.5 yards per kick last season with the Buccaneers.

Pinion spent his first four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers after the team selected him with a fifth-round pick during the 2015 NFL Draft.

He signed with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent in 2019 before being released on June 22, nearly two months after Tampa Bay selected Georgia punter Jake Camarda in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

--Field Level Media

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
News

Miles Sanders: Eagles 'feel like we're on an All-Star team'

June 30, 2022, 3:52 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Running back Miles Sanders has high hopes for the Philadelphia Eagles this season.

How high? Well, the 25-year-old set the bar when discussing his team's offense which includes quarterback Jalen Hurts, offseason acquisition A.J. Brown and fellow wideout DeVonta Smith, tight end Dallas Goedert and others.

"Oh man, we all feel like we're on an All-Star team, so we feel great," Sanders told CBS Sports when asked about the addition of Brown to the offense.

"We feel unstoppable, I'm not gonna lie. The vibes are great, always have been. (Head coach) Nick Sirianni is doing a great job just keeping the vibes right, the chemistry good."

It should be noted that the Eagles finished 9-8 last season and were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC wild-card round.

Sanders averaged a career-high 5.5 yards per carry but was limited to a career-low 754 rushing yards and zero rushing touchdowns in 12 games last season.

Now, if Sanders' over-the-top statement prior to the season sounds vaguely familiar, well that refrain has been heard before in Philadelphia.

Backup quarterback Vince Young labeled the Eagles as a "Dream Team" prior to the 2011 season. That team finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
News

Reports: Deshaun Watson's hearing will continue Wednesday

June 29, 2022, 2:07 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The disciplinary hearing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson began Tuesday and is expected to resume Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported.

It is unclear how long the proceeding will last or when a ruling will be rendered by Sue L. Robinson, a former U.S. District Court judge who was jointly selected to oversee the case by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

Watson, 26, has been accused of sexual misconduct during massage sessions that occurred during his time with his former team, the Houston Texans. Twenty-five women have accused him of actions ranging from sexual assault to inappropriate behavior.

Watson, who has denied wrongdoing, has settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits related to the massage sessions. The Texans organization is also being sued for "enabling" his actions, in part by allegedly providing him with non-disclosure agreements to give to massage therapists.

Per numerous media reports, the NFL is pushing to have him suspended indefinitely, with the minimum length of the punishment one year before he would be eligible to apply for reinstatement.

The Texans held Watson out of action for the entire 2021 season as he was under investigation for criminal wrongdoing. However, he was never indicted, and the Browns acquired him in a March trade, giving up three first-round draft picks.

Cleveland also signed Watson to a five-year contract that will pay him a guaranteed $230 million. However, his salary for 2022 reportedly is just $1 million to protect against the possibility that he could be facing a lengthy suspension.

--Field Level Media

NFL: Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys
News

WR Terry McLaurin signs $70M extension with Commanders

June 28, 2022, 8:00 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin and the Washington Commanders agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth up to $70 million, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

McLaurin, whose agents said he will receive a signing bonus of $28 million, was entering the final year of his rookie contract and planned to steer clear of workouts while seeking a new deal.

The agreement hushes any holdout talk from McLaurin, who becomes one of the seven highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL while jumping off the list of disgruntled young wideouts.

McLaurin skipped mandatory minicamp and was working out on his own, a plan that head coach Ron Rivera wasn't pleased with given the arrival of new quarterback Carson Wentz.

But the deal through 2025 carries an average annual salary of $23.3 million.

NFL Network put the max value of the deal at $70 million, while ESPN reported it could reach $71 million.

A third-round pick in 2019, McLaurin caught 77 passes for 1,053 yards with five TDs last season. He had 87 receptions for 1,118 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, production that looks even more impressive when the revolving door at quarterback in Washington is taken into consideration.

Deebo Samuel (49ers) and DK Metcalf (Seahawks) remain candidates for a trade among McLaurin's peer group of talented receivers digging in for a big payday.

Multiple wide receivers in their position were traded this offseason, including Davante Adams (Packers to Raiders), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs to Dolphins) and Amari Cooper (Cowboys to Browns) as the market for No. 1 wideouts exploded.

Adams left the Packers and is the league's highest-paid wide receiver with an average salary of $30 million. He's just ahead of Hill ($28 million), both of whom overtook DeAndre Hopkins ($27.3 million) with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams signed All-Pro Cooper Kupp to a new deal that bumps his pay to $26.7 million per season and the Eagles acquired A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans, signing him to a contract that averages $25 million per season.

Buffalo's Stefon Diggs ($24 million) is also just ahead of McLaurin in terms of average annual salary.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: The Oklahoman
News

Browns QB Baker Mayfield: Both sides 'ready to move on'

June 28, 2022, 5:18 PM

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Baker Mayfield says that he and the Cleveland Browns are both "ready to move on."

The 27-year-old quarterback spoke with reporters Tuesday at his youth football camp in Norman, Okla.

Mayfield didn't completely rule out a reconciliation if the NFL suspends his replacement, Deshaun Watson.

"I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out," Mayfield said. "But we're ready to move on, I think -- on both sides."

Watson, 26, is scheduled to have a hearing with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Tuesday.

The hearing will center on the 26 women who accused Watson of unwanted advances and inappropriate sexual conduct during massage appointments during his time with the Houston Texas.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal.

Mayfield has been excused from the Browns' offseason activities while the team attempts to find a trade partner.

He is due a fully guaranteed salary of $18.86 million in 2022, the final season of his rookie contract.

Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter since the Browns made him the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

--Field Level Media