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Adam Gase is hopeful a lighter workload for Le'Veon Bell and an increased threat from the wide receivers can help the running back enjoy a successful second season with the New York Jets.

Having held out in 2018 in search of a new contract from the Pittsburgh Steelers that never came, Bell signed with the Jets last offseason.

However, the three-time Pro Bowler’s maiden campaign with the Jets proved a disappointment.

Bell averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, the lowest mark of his career, as the Jets finished 7-9 in Gase's first season as head coach, missing the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year.

The Jets selected Lamical Perine out of Florida in the fourth round of the draft and also have Josh Adams and Kenneth Dixon as viable reserve options at running back.

Indicating he may make greater use of that depth to aid Bell, Gase told ESPN's Flight Deck podcast: "I do think we have some guys that can help maybe lessen the load on [Bell] to where it's not all on him.

"Hopefully, we can get some of the younger backs to where we can make a good one-two punch to where we can really excel instead of feeling like it's just all on him all the time."

Jets general manager Joe Douglas made moves to improve the offensive line and Gase believes those additions, plus the acquisitions of two talented downfield receivers in Breshad Perriman and second-round rookie Denzel Mims, can also make Bell's life easier.

"If you have the vertical threats like I think we're going to have with the wide receivers now, hey, maybe we'll start seeing two-high zone [coverage] instead of them just focusing on one guy in the receiving corps," Gase added.

"You've got [tight end] Chris Herndon back. You've got [tight end] Ryan Griffin. You've got some guys who can do some different things there and stretch the field vertically.

"That was something Chris was really good at. Now, all of a sudden, Le'Veon is seeing lighter boxes, which he didn't see a lot last year. We saw loaded boxes for the most part. We didn't do a good enough job winning in the passing game to open some of that stuff up.

"When you're a running back and you're constantly seeing seven, eight-man boxes, that can be frustrating."

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to terms with undrafted Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. 

The deal was announced by Patterson’s agent, Bryan Ehrlich. 

Patterson began his collegiate career at Mississippi before transferring to Michigan following his sophomore season in 2017 when Ole Miss were hit by NCAA sanctions. 

He was able to play at Michigan immediately without needing to sit out a year, and started all 26 games for the Wolverines over the past two seasons, throwing for 5,661 yards with 45 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. 

Patterson fell off most teams draft boards, however, due to some inconsistent play in 2019 and a pedestrian performance in this year’s Senior Bowl, passing for 130 yards with a touchdown and an interception. 

With Patrick Mahomes and backup Chad Henne set at QB for the reigning Super Bowl champions, Patterson will likely be competing with former XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu for the No. 3 job. 

The Dallas Cowboys have signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, the NFL franchise confirmed on Saturday.

Following reports, the Cowboys announced an agreement with Dalton on a one-year deal following his departure from the Bengals.

The deal for Dalton is reportedly worth a guaranteed $3million and could be worth up to $7m.  

Dalton spent nine seasons with the Bengals and helped lead them to the playoffs five times before he was released on Thursday after Cincinnati selected Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Dalton posted a 70-61-2 regular-season record as Cincinnati's starting quarterback, but the Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.  

In Dallas, Dalton will serve as backup to Dak Prescott – who was given the franchise tag by the Cowboys earlier this offseason. 

Dallas are still trying to come to a long-term contract agreement with Prescott.  

Dalton – the Bengals' career leader in touchdown passes and a three-time Pro Bowler – already has a home in Dallas and played in college at nearby TCU.  

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, NFL franchise the Cowboys signed Dalton to a one-year deal after his Cincinnati exit.

The deal is reportedly worth a guaranteed $3million and could be worth up to $7m.  

Dalton spent nine seasons with the Bengals and helped lead them to the playoffs five times before he was released on Thursday after Cincinnati drafted quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in last month's draft.  

Dalton posted a 70-61-2 regular-season record as Cincinnati's starting QB, but the Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1990.  

In Dallas, Dalton will serve as backup to Dak Prescott – who was given the franchise tag by the Cowboys earlier this offseason. 

Dallas are still trying to come to a long-term contract agreement with Prescott.  

Dalton – the Bengals' career leader in touchdown passes and a three-time Pro Bowler – already has a home in Dallas and played in college at nearby TCU.  

Former Chicago Bears tight end Ryan Wetnight died on Friday after a battle with cancer, aged 49.

Wetnight played for the Bears from 1993-99 as an undrafted NFL free agent out of Stanford.

He totaled 172 receptions for 1,522 yards with nine touchdowns in seven seasons with Chicago.  

His best campaign came in 1997, when he had 46 catches for 464 yards and a touchdown. 

Wetnight also appeared in 10 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2000.  

Wetnight underwent treatment for stomach cancer in 2018 and was declared cancer free in January 2019. But doctors discovered an inoperable tumour in his stomach last September. 

He is survived by his wife, Stacey, and sons, Scott and Zach.  

The Chicago Bears have declined the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Saturday.

Trubisky’s deal is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season, and in that campaign he will have to compete with Nick Foles – acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March – for practice repetitions and the starting job.

Trubisky will be playing for his next contract – whether it is in Chicago or elsewhere.

The Bears traded up from the third pick to number two overall in the 2017 draft to select Trubisky out of North Carolina, but he has failed to live up to his draft status.

The success of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, who were drafted later in the first round, has added to the pain felt by Chicago supporters.

Trubisky started 14 games in 2018 with a 95.4 passer rating, helped lead the Bears to a playoff berth and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

He regressed last year, posting an 83.0 passer rating and seeing a drop-off in his completion percentage, yards and touchdowns, prompting Chicago to trade a fourth-round draft pick for Foles.

Trubisky was the first draft pick made by general manager Ryan Pace and was hailed as the foundation of a rebuild in the mould of the New Orleans Saints, for whom Pace had worked previously.

With the deadline to decide on fifth-year options for the 2017 draft class coming on Monday, that crop of players has come under the microscope in recent days.

While Mahomes, drafted number 12 overall, has been the crown jewel of the class, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is the only top-five pick to have his fifth-year option picked up.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco 49ers declined their option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, as did the Jaguars with running back Leonard Fournette and the Tennessee Titans with wide receiver Corey Davis.

Andy Dalton is confident over his future despite being released by the Cincinnati Bengals.

After selecting Joe Burrow with the top pick in the NFL Draft, the Bengals released Dalton on Thursday, ending his nine seasons in Cincinnati.

Dalton has been linked with the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars and the 32-year-old is upbeat about his future.

"I'm going to check out all my options and make the best decision for me and my family," he told the Bengals' website.

"It's going to work out."

The Bengals unsurprisingly took Burrow with the top pick in the draft last month after his stellar season with LSU.

Dalton said he always planned to congratulate Burrow, who threw 60 touchdown passes for LSU last season.

"I knew they were going to take Joe. Regardless whether I was on the team or not, I would have reached out," he said.

"He had a great college career and he went number one and I just wanted to give him my congratulations on him getting drafted where he did. And tell him he's going to a good team."

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wants a long-term contract with the Super Bowl champions.

The Chiefs reportedly exercised their fifth-year option for 2018 NFL MVP Mahomes, 24, on Thursday.

But Mahomes is eager to sign a new deal with the Chiefs after leading the team to their second Super Bowl title earlier this year.

"I want to be a Chief for a long time. I want to have a contract that says that and then I can go out there and know I have that security and everything like that," he told reporters on Friday, via ESPN.

"I understand and trust the Chiefs' organisation and everybody in it will handle it the right way.

"I trust my representation that they're going to ease my mind and let me go out there and just love the game that I've loved playing.

"Whenever it happens, it happens."

Mahomes threw for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns during last regular season, with another 10 TDs in the postseason.

In the latest indication that Leonard Fournette's time with the Jacksonville Jaguars is nearing an end, the team reportedly declined to pick up the fifth-year option in the running back's rookie contract.

Fournette, the fourth overall selection in the 2017 draft, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is due to make $4.17million in 2020.

With his option declined, as per NFL Network, Fournette will become an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of the 2020-21 league year.

The Jaguars reportedly attempted to trade Fournette over the past month and the organisation had discussions with Tampa Bay and Miami, but were unable to complete a deal.

After a disappointing 2018 during which he played in only eight games and ran for 439 yards, Fournette rebounded with a career season in 2019.

He rushed for 1,152 yards and had a team-best 76 receptions in 15 games while totaling 1,674 yards from scrimmage to rank sixth in the NFL.

Will Ferrell crashed the Seattle Seahawks' virtual team meeting in hilarious fashion on Thursday.

The Seahawks held a video call amid the coronavirus pandemic, and they took the chance to introduce one of their new recruits, Greg Olsen.

The introduction crossed to American actor and comedian Ferrell, who played his role as the former Carolina Panthers tight end.

"Coach, thanks so much, so excited to be here," he said.

"I'm so excited to be a Seahawk and excited to play with you Russ [Wilson]. Russ, I love you, I mean I love you, I love the way you play.

"I love the way you handle yourself as a human being, I mean I love you, let's make a baby, you know."

Ferrell later pulled up his Seahawks jersey after saying he had been working out, denying he needed to work on his core.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller revealed he has been cleared of coronavirus, two weeks after contracting COVID-19.

Miller – an NFL Super Bowl MVP and eight-time Pro Bowler – was among the highest profile American athletes to test positive for coronavirus on April 16.

However, the Broncos star used Twitter to announce he is coronavirus-free on Thursday.

Miller tweeted, "Got my results back. I'm 'negative' for COVID-19".

The 31-year-old told KUSA-TV in Denver last month that he began coughing about six days before making the announcement and went for a test after consulting with the Broncos medical team.  

Recently a unanimous pick to the NFL's All-Decade team of the 2010s, Miller was the second active player to acknowledge testing positive.

Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen was the first player after New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed in March that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Brisbane Broncos head coach Anthony Seibold said he is adopting Tom Brady's approach to training ahead of the NRL's proposed return.

The NRL is set to resume the 2020 season on May 28 after the competition was suspended through just two rounds on March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Brisbane, pending negotiations between the NRL and Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA), are scheduled to return to training on Tuesday.

Six-time NFL Super Bowl champion and Tampa Bay Buccaneers recruit Brady is being used as inspiration by the Broncos.

"I've had a really good look at the NFL. Over there, a team's reserves don't suit up, they train and don't play," Seibold told NRL.com.

"And they've got a job to do, many of them are on the scout team and prepare as the opposition team each week.

"There's a fantastic documentary called Year of the Quarterback where Tom Brady is mentioned in it.

"He talks about when he first started at the New England Patriots and he was the third-string quarterback.

"But he prepared every single week as if he was going to play that Sunday and he did that for a long time.

"And at one stage the first and second-string quarterbacks got injured and he got his chance and because he had prepared every single week to play top-line NFL, he never looked back, he played his entire career from there on.

"I reckon that's a great tale to tell our players. 'Your game every week isn't on Saturday in the Queensland Cup or NSW Cup, the way you impress the coaches is how you turn up every single day at training. Your job for the team is to prepare like the opposition team and prepare our 17 like they do in the NFL'."

Defensive end Taco Charlton has been waived by the Miami Dolphins.

The 25-year-old led the Dolphins in sacks last season with five in 10 games, but Miami have decided to move on just a year after picking up Charlton.

A first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Charlton spent just two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, recording only four sacks.

The Dolphins, who went 5-11 in 2019, had the fewest sacks of any team in the NFL last season.

In fact, their collective total of 23 sacks was five fewer than the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons.

In order to remedy that lack of a pass rush, Miami went out in free agency and picked up defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah, both of whom had more sacks than Charlton in 2019.

New San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams claimed there is no lingering resentment towards Richard Sherman from their on-field bust-up in 2013.

Williams was traded to the 49ers from the Washington Redskins last week and will be a key veteran presence on a team that was beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in February.

In moving to the Bay Area, he has become team-mates with cornerback Sherman, who Williams punched in the face after the Redskins' playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January 2013.

Any fears that bad blood could still exist between the pair appeared to be assuaged when the two made light of their spat on Twitter, and Williams has revealed the matter was quickly put to bed at the time.

"Well, a lot of people don't know this, but me and Sherm, we talked that night after that incident, and we kind of buried the hatchet then," Williams explained on a conference call.

"So we've, since then, built a good relationship over the past seven years.

"You know he's one of the guys I talk to a lot in the offseason, seen him a few times, so we've been good friends for a minute.

"I'm kind of happy to be on a team with him."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was on Washington's coaching staff when Williams was drafted by the Redskins in 2010.

Williams, who did not play for Washington last season due to a dispute, explained San Francisco was his ideal landing spot, and reiterated he had not refused to be traded to the Minnesota Vikings, as one report claimed.

"This was a preferred destination of mine just because of the familiarity I have with Kyle and the offense," he added.

"Obviously, it being an ascending team, I feel like I'll fit right in.

"The Vikings, long term, and what I looked at long term, it didn't synch up.

"They just really dropped out. It wasn't me refusing to go."

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown said Andy Dalton will always have a "special place" in the franchise's history after he was released on Thursday.

The Bengals have moved in a different direction at quarterback after taking Joe Burrow with the first overall pick of last week's NFL Draft.

Attempts to trade Dalton did not come to fruition, so the team have opted to make him a free agent rather than play out the last year of his contract. The 32-year-old, who spent nine years with the Bengals, was slated to earn $17.7 million this season.

"Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise, and I know that he holds a special place in my heart," Brown said in a statement.

"This is a hard day for our club because we know and appreciate what a consummate professional Andy has always been. We respect and appreciate Andy, and we thank him."

The move almost certainly means Burrow will start Week 1 and ends suggestions the team could retain Dalton in a backup role.

Speculation has connected Dalton with the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars, as he joins former NFL MVP Cam Newton among the top signal callers available on the open market.

"I'm really happy for Andy. I think [the Bengals] did the right thing for him and he's got a chance to continue his career," former Bengals QB Ken Anderson added.

"I think it's the best thing for everybody. It's the Joe Burrow era now."

Dalton had a winning record as the Bengals' QB, going 70-61-2 in the regular season while throwing 204 touchdowns to 118 interceptions.

He holds Cincinnati's franchise record for passing touchdowns and his 87.5 passer rating is the highest by a Bengals quarterback with at least 25 starts with the team.

The 2011 second-round pick led the Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons but was unable to end the franchise's long wait for a playoff win, their last having come in 1990.

"If you had told me there was this quarterback in the second round from TCU that's going to the playoffs the first five years, I'd say sign me up. No Bengals quarterback ever did that," Anderson said.

Dalton's career peaked in 2015, when he led the AFC with a 106.3 passer rating and helped Cincinnati to a 12-4 record and an AFC North title. Both he and the Bengals began to decline thereafter, however.

Cincinnati have recorded four straight losing seasons, while Dalton was benched in favour of rookie Ryan Finley for three games during the Bengals' 2-14 campaign in 2019, a record which put them in position to select Burrow with the first overall pick.

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