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J.J Watt has put together a Hall of Fame resume and been the face of the Houston Texans franchise for the last decade.

The star defensive end, however, is not about to ask the Texans to restructure his contract, despite having two years and no guaranteed money left on his deal. 

"I'm going out there to prove what I'm worth," Watt said during a conference call on Wednesday. "And I believe that's the right situation for everybody.

"I think if I went back and asked for an extension, more money, anything right now, I think that would be the wrong move."

The 31-year-old Watt is signed for the next two seasons, with non-guaranteed base salaries of $15.5million in 2020 and $17.5million in 2021.

He is a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year award winner, but Watt realises he does not have much leverage for trying to negotiate a new deal given his health the past few seasons. 

After playing all 16 games his first five NFL seasons, he appeared in more than eight games just once in the last four. He missed eight games last season with a torn pectoral muscle but was able to return in time for the playoffs. 

“I think that I fully understand and respect the situation that I’m in at the moment and what's happened in the past few years," he said. "So I’m not going to sit here and demand anything.”"

That could change, however, if Watt stays healthy in 2020 and returns to his Pro Bowl form. 

"I'm just going out there and trying to prove my worth, help this team win games, and doing everything I can to earn and make sure that these people know that I’m worth it," he said. 

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey is still seeking a long-term contract extension, but he says he will not hold out and will attend training camp.

Ramsey earned his third straight Pro Bowl selection last season and is widely considered among the best in the league at his position.

Acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in October for two first-round picks, Ramsey totaled 33 tackles, four passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception in nine games for the Rams this past season.

Ramsey will make $13.703million this upcoming season in the fifth year of his rookie deal and the Rams have already said they realise he deserves to be one of the NFL's highest-paid cornerbacks.

"It will get handled," Ramsey said on Tuesday in a video conference call.

"The Rams know where I stand, and that's all that matters. They've been in contact with my agent. They're on the same page. They know what's up … Everybody knew what type of situation it was going to be once they traded for me. I think it doesn't need to be talked about that much. It'll get handled."

Ramsey's contract could end up exceeding the five-year, $82.5m deal that the Miami Dolphins gave Byron Jones in March that made him the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

"There's a lot of dialogue," Rams coach Sean McVay said on a video conference with reporters. "The anticipation in acquiring him is that he is a Ram for a long time. We went and got this guy with the hope that it's not a short-term thing."

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is certain there will be a 2020 NFL season - and he remains hopeful of fans being able to watch from the stands.

The NFL season is set to kick off on September 10, and the league is hopeful it will begin on time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some NFL teams were able to open their facilities for key staff, medical personnel and rehabbing players last week, but there is still no word on when all players and coaches will be cleared to attend their team's complexes.

"I think there definitely will be a football season this year," Ross said on Tuesday during an interview on CNBC. "Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium?

"Right now - today - we're planning to have fans in the stadium.

"But I think the NFL is very flexible so that we will be able to start on time and bring that entertainment that is really so needed to all of us in this country."

Currently in the United States, there is no scheduled start date for games in MLB, NBA, NHL or MLS, as some cities have still not yet loosened their social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

"We all miss our sports," Ross said. "The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we're all looking forward to it. I know I am."

Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning earned bragging rights against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in "The Match", but charity was the real winner.

It was an all-star cast for The Match: Champions for Charity – arranged to raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts – as 15-time major champion Woods teamed up with two-time Super Bowl winner Manning.

Woods and Manning secured a 1up victory over Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl champion Brady in Hobe Sound, Florida on Sunday.

Mickelson and Brady made a late surge on the back nine, but Woods and Manning held on at Medalist Golf Club, where social distancing was front and centre.

More importantly, over $20million was raised to help with COVID-19 relief amid the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally.

Bad weather delayed the charity contest by 45 minutes but there was plenty of fun and entertainment once the players teed off, with PGA Tour star Justin Thomas and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley headlining the broadcast.

The star quartet exchanged banter, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brady struggled early.

Brady did not look like the NFL's G.O.A.T with a golf club in hand, until holing out for birdie from the fairway at the par-four fifth hole in South Florida.

Team Brady and Mickelson rallied, however, the Woods-Manning pairing were not to be denied.

"It's great, the fact that we all came together and we were able to raise $20million for those that have been so severely affected," said Woods, with the PGA Tour planning to return next month after golf was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 crisis. "This is our arena. This is what we do. We couldn't imagine going out onto the field and doing what they do."

Former NFL quarterback Manning said: "I know Tom and I were kind of comparing notes and feelings to each other. To go behind the ropes in these guys' world and kind of be in the arena with them, it was a really special experience. I was not comfortable the entire time, from the first tee all the way down here."

Mickelson – a five-time major winner – added: "We fought hard. I was a little nervous, a little tight on the front nine. My man kept us in there, and the back nine he really shined. We made a run and came really close."

Is there anything Tom Brady cannot do?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar and six-time NFL Super Bowl champion holed out from the fairway in "The Match" on Sunday.

Featuring in the all-star charity contest – arranged to raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts – alongside Phil Mickelson, Brady had struggled with the golf club against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.

Brady, who swapped the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers via free agency in the offseason, is regarded as the greatest NFL player of all time but he looked human at Medalist Golf Club.

That was until Brady produced an unforgettable moment of magic – holing out for birdie from 100 yards at the par-four fifth hole in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Reigning Super Bowl MVP and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, like many others, was left stunned.

"You got to be kidding!!!!! #TheMatch2," Mahomes wrote on Twitter.

Peyton Manning went one up on Tom Brady with quick-witted jibes before the first tee shot was struck ahead of "The Match".

The start of the all-star charity contest – arranged to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts – in which Manning has teamed up with Tiger Woods to face Brady and Phil Mickelson was delayed due to the wet weather in South Florida on Sunday.

When the quartet took to the range it was Manning who fired an early blow when asked who his caddie might have been if the quartet had someone to carry their bags at Medalist Golf Club.

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers new boy Brady in earshot lining up a practice shot, Manning replied to a reporter: "Do you bring Eli [Manning, his brother]? Could do that.

"Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe."

Brady turned out and replied: "That's a cheap shot."

Manning was not finished yet, adding: "I was thinking maybe Bill Belichick ... just to see how that kind of would have worked."

Woods, wearing his famous Sunday red, and Mickelson ensured the first hole was halved after their legendary quarterback team-mates were wayward from the tee in the rain with concerns that a storm may be on the way.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has said all professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps in the state starting Sunday.

Teams must follow all appropriate health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

With the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS all working on plans to play, Cuomo encouraged sports that can be held without fans in attendance to do so if the economics can be worked out. 

"Do it! Do it!" Cuomo said. "We want you up.

"We want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It's a return to normalcy. 

"So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible. And we'll work with them to make sure that can happen.'' 

New York has been the hardest-hit state in the U.S. with roughly 355,000 reported cases and 29,000 deaths due to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested on Friday in Palm Desert, California – about 110 miles southeast of Los Angeles – and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

Leaf, 44, was taken to Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility and was released after posting his $5,000 bond, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department’s online records.

His next court date is set for September 25.  

Leaf was third in Heisman Trophy voting in 1997 after throwing 34 touchdown passes for Washington State and leading the Cougars to a Rose Bowl appearance.

Leaf was selected second overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, one pick after the Indianapolis Colts picked Peyton Manning.  

Leaf’s rookie season with the Chargers was a disaster, with the Great Falls, Montana native throwing just two touchdowns to 15 interceptions in nine starts.

In 1999, Leaf underwent shoulder surgery and was suspended four games after a profanity-laced tirade directed at then-general manager Bobby Beathard.  

He played just 21 games for San Diego before bounding between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks.  

Leaf’s career ended with just 25 NFL games played, throwing 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

He went to prison in 2012 for violating his Texas probation by breaking into a home in Montana to steal prescription drugs.  

Last summer, Leaf began working for ESPN as a college football analyst and has also worked for the Pac-12 Network.

The Cleveland Browns are offering two lucky fans the opportunity to help script plays in an NFL preseason game.

As part of the 'All In Challenge' – a digital fundraiser helping to feed those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic – the Browns are auctioning off the chance for two people to team up with head coach Kevin Stefanski to design the first 15 offensive plays of a preseason fixture.

One winner will be determined in an auction, with the other chosen via a raffle – the deal also including a team dinner, team meeting, leading the Browns out of the tunnel and tossing the coin on the field.

"Giving back is a core component of who we are as an organisation," Stefanski said in a statement. "With the global pandemic, it's really important we step up when there are others in need.

"Just look around at the frontline workers, the health care workers. They're stepping up right now, they're working tirelessly, they're working courageously and it's really inspired our organisation to join the All In Challenge."

On Thursday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft auctioned off his personal Super Bowl Li ring for $1.025million.

The 'All In Challenge' has raised more than $45.8m, according to its website.

 

The New York Jets have agreed a one-year contract with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco, who will likely become the back-up to Sam Darnold.  

The deal, first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, has a base value of $1.5million but also includes up to $3m in incentives.  

The Jets spent a fourth-round pick in last month's draft on Florida International quarterback James Morgan, with journeyman David Fales and youngster Mike White still on the roster.  

Flacco is still recovering from surgery to repair a neck injury that limited him to eight games last season, his only one with the Denver Broncos.  

Flacco missed the last seven games of 2018 with the Baltimore Ravens after suffering torn ligaments in his left knee.  

The 18th overall pick out of Delaware in 2008, Flacco did not make a Pro Bowl in his 11 seasons with the Ravens but made 15 postseason starts, guiding Baltimore to the 2012 title with one of the best playoff runs in league history.  

Flacco threw multiple touchdown passes in each of the Ravens' four playoff games that season. He finished the postseason with a record-tying 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a 117.2 passer rating.  

Flacco threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVII and was named the game's MVP as the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.  

The Audubon, New Jersey native has 218 touchdowns and 141 interceptions in his career but has just 70 touchdown passes to 51 interceptions since 2015.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht says the humility of Tom Brady means the star quarterback is endearing himself to his new team-mates.

Licht also paid tribute to the influence of head coach Bruce Arians in the Bucs' ability to sign Brady after the 42-year-old left the New England Patriots in free agency.

The GM insisted he has no concerns over the win-now mindset for the Bucs having a negative impact on a roster with limited postseason experience, the team's last playoff win having come in the 2002 season.

"He didn't want to come in here and be the almighty, " Licht said about Brady in an interview with ESPN.

"He just wants to make sure that his team-mates respect him. And he's got something to prove.

"I don't have a lot of concerns on that [the urgency to win affecting the roster] right now."

Arians is eyeing a first Super Bowl title as head coach and while Brady has six with the Patriots, no team has ever won the Lombardi Trophy at homefield, an opportunity the Bucs have in the upcoming season.

Licht is confident the partnership of Arians, 67, and Brady represents "a perfect marriage" for the franchise.

"Getting Tom here, quite frankly, started with hiring Bruce last year," added Licht. "I don't know if we would be in this situation right now without Bruce Arians as our head coach. 

"And they're kind of living parallel lives right now; they've got something to prove, and they want to do it now.

"We have a head coach that, to be quite frank, isn't gonna be here for the next 15, 20 years coaching the Buccaneers.

"So I think it was actually a perfect marriage: you've got two guys that have got something to prove, they want to win, they want to win now, they've got the same mindset."

Patrick Mahomes is not due to hit the free agent market until 2022, but Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt does not have any intention of allowing that to happen.

The Chiefs exercised Mahomes' fifth-year option in April so he will not be eligible to become a free agent until 2022.

The 24-year-old is scheduled to make $2.7million this upcoming season as he enters the final original year of his four-year, $16.4m rookie contract.  

"The negotiations are something that we'll be getting into this summer," Hunt said on Thursday while participating in a Facebook Live event with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan.  

"But what he has said and what we've said, both sides is, he wants to be a Kansas City Chief for life, and that's our mentality as well. We want him to play his entire career in Kansas City, and that's what we're going to be shooting for."

Mahomes is the first quarterback in league history to win league and Super Bowl MVP honours before his 25th birthday.

He won the 2018 MVP in his first season as a starter and joined Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards in a single season.

Mahomes helped rally the Chiefs from double-digit deficits in each of their three playoff wins this past season, including a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in February.

Robert Kraft's personal Super Bowl LI ring fetched more than $1million as the New England Patriots owner auctioned off one of his prized possessions for charity.

Kraft joined the 'All In Challenge' earlier this month – a digital fundraiser helping to feed those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bidding for the ring from New England's stunning 34-28 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 ended on Thursday.

The winner – after 35 bids – forked out $1.025m for the piece after the Patriots created history by overturning a 28-3 third-quarter deficit against the Falcons three years ago.

As part of the deal, the winner will be flown on Kraft's private plane to Gillette Stadium, where they will receive the ring from the 78-year-old in New England's trophy room.

According to the All In Challenge website, more than $45.6m has been raised.

Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald said playing NFL games without fans "wouldn't be fun" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rams are scheduled to open their 2020 NFL campaign against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium on September 13.

It remains to be seen if supporters will be allowed to attend games due to the COVID-19 crisis which has wreaked havoc globally, with teams starting to return to their facilities this week.

Rams defensive tackle and six-time Pro Bowler Donald is not a fan of playing behind closed doors.

"You need fans to play a game," Donald told reporters via a videoconference on Thursday. "I don't see how you could play a game without no fans, I feel like that takes out the excitement and the fun out of the game.

"I feel like the fans is what pick you up. The fans is what makes the game exciting. The fans will give you that extra juice when you're tired and fatigued, when you make that big play and you hear 80,000 fans going crazy. That just pumps you up."

Donald added: "You practice, and practice is practice. And then you prepare to play a game and be on a big stage and play in front of a crowd.

"Just no excitement [without fans]. It wouldn't be fun to me. I don't think it would be fun to play a football game without fans."

New York Jets running back Frank Gore believes the NFL's AFC East is "wide open" following Tom Brady's move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady swapped the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers in the NFC South via free agency after a glorious 20-year run and six Super Bowl rings in Foxborough.

The Patriots have won 11 consecutive division titles – and three Super Bowl championships during that period – thanks to superstar quarterback Brady.

But Gore feels the balance of power has shifted in the AFC East, where the Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are looking to dethrone the Patriots.

"It's wide open," the 37-year-old said via a videoconference call with reporters on Thursday. "Brady's gone, and it's wide open.

"You've got young quarterbacks, Sam Darnold and Josh [Allen]. I don't know what Miami is doing or whatever. I think it's wide open."

Gore is preparing for his first year with the Jets after brief spells with the Bills and Dolphins.

The five-time Pro Bowler has reunited with head coach Adam Gase following the pair's time together in Miami, while the latter's relationship with star Le'Veon Bell has dominated headlines.

Bell struggled during his first season in New York and Gase is looking to lighten the workload for the three-time Pro Bowler.

On Bell, Gore said: "I told him I need a jersey to put on my wall just because I respect his game. I respect the way he prepares himself to get ready for the season. ... He always respected me; I respected him.

"It will be fun. I've been around a bunch of talented running backs my whole career -- college, the NFL. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help him, to help the other guys and also help the team be successful."

"I'm cool," Gore added. "I'm happy to be playing this game at my age. I'm happy that this organisation is giving me an opportunity. I'm just coming in to work and help all the young guys, and show them young guys I still can play. Whenever I get my number called, I'll just try to go out and make a play for our team to be successful. I'm very excited."

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