Antonio Brown vowed to deliver "the best season" of his career after the wide receiver learned he would be banned for the first eight games of the 2020 NFL campaign.

The 32-year-old finally discovered his fate on Friday as the league suspended the seven-time Pro Bowler for half of the 2020 regular season due to "multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy".

Brown had been the subject of an NFL investigation following accusations of sexual misconduct and an incident in January where the receiver pleaded no contest to burglary and battery charges.

He has remained unsigned since last September, when he was cut by the New England Patriots after just one game having previously been released by the Oakland Raiders, for whom he never played a down before being let go amid a slew of off-field incidents.

Despite his troubles, Brown is expected to return to the field in 2020 now the NFL's suspension has been confirmed and he expects to sign with a new team soon.

"I look forward to new beginnings," he wrote on Instagram.

"I want to be the best version of myself on and off the field, and I will do my best to be a great team-mate. I appreciate the NFL giving me the opportunity to continue to work on myself and improve.

"I am thankful and grateful for this opportunity to play a game that I truly love and I look forward to joining a new team soon.

"Thank you to my family and all those that have supported me. I will show the fans my appreciation for this second chance by having the best season of my career."

Brown signed off the post with the hashtag "#AB2.0".

Having entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Brown has amassed 11,263 receiving yards and caught 75 touchdowns in his career.

Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson this week lobbied for Brown to return to the AFC North and join the quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens, where his cousin, Marquise Brown, currently plays.

Antonio Brown has been suspended for the first eight games of the NFL season, the league announced on Friday.

Brown is a free agent after being cut by the New England Patriots after just 11 days and one game in September.

Reports have claimed Brown will not contest the punishment, meaning should he sign for a team he would miss half of the regular season.

Wide receiver Brown was found to have breached the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The official NFL website said Brown's suspension stemmed "from his no contest plea to burglary and battery charges from a January incident in Florida" and accusations regarding allegedly intimidating text messages sent to a woman.

An NFL statement read: "Antonio Brown was notified today by NFL special counsel for conduct Todd Jones that he has been suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2020 season for multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"Brown, who played one game in the 2019 season for the New England Patriots before being released, is an unrestricted free agent and may sign with any team. If he is signed before the start of the 2020 season, Brown would be eligible to participate in all of his club's preseason activities. Brown's suspension would take effect as of the final roster reduction on September 5. He would be eligible to return after the team's eighth game.

"As part of the discipline, Brown was directed to continue his programme of counselling and treatment, and that he is expected fully to cooperate with his clinicians.

"Brown was advised that any future violation of the personal conduct policy will likely result in more significant discipline."

The NFL.com website said the league is looking into civil claims of sexual assault against the 32-year-old, accusations that Brown has strenuously denied.

Jamal Adams says his "plan is to retire" with the Seattle Seahawks after being traded by the New York Jets.

The All-Pro safety was last week shipped to the NFC West franchise by the Jets, who landed two first-round draft picks, a 2021 third-rounder and Bradley McDougald in exchange for Adams and a fourth-round selection in 2022.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas had previously expressed a wish to make Adams "a Jet for life", with the defensive back saying at the time "I want to be a Jet for life too".

However, the relationship between Adams and the Jets deteriorated in recent months after the 24-year-old became angry at hearing his name in trade rumours last season.

Adams' frustration at not getting a new contract led to him requesting a trade last month and he then took public shots at both head coach Adam Gase and Douglas shortly before the trade went down.

The Seahawks have inherited the final two years of Adams' rookie contract but his wish to become the highest-paid safety in the league has not gone away.

"The plan is to retire here," Adams told reporters.

"This is my plan. But obviously, those things handle themselves. When all you have to do is just go on the field and perform, do the right things on and off the field, and those things will take care of itself, man.

"So I'm very excited to be here. I know the rest of the guys are excited to have me, and the coaching staff, and everybody else. So again, man, we'll worry about that when the time comes."

Given the Jets had Adams had under contract through 2021, it seemed he had little leverage to try and force his way out of New York.

But the two first-round picks ultimately swayed Douglas and left Adams elated that he had a fresh start elsewhere for his fourth season in the league.

"When I got the call, honestly, I broke down in tears of joy," Adams added.

"A lot of mixed emotions. I'm gonna miss a lot of the guys over there. But at the end of the day, man, this was my calling. This was where I need to be."

LeSean McCoy will team up with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski after agreeing to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the veteran running back's agent revealed.

McCoy has been a free agent following his release from the Kansas City Chiefs, for whom the 11-year veteran was a healthy scratch for their Super Bowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

But the six-time Pro Bowler, who had previously talked up the chance to return to the Philadelphia Eagles, is set for the Buccaneers on a one-year deal in 2020.

"He's very excited to play with established vets like Brady and Gronk in trying to win another championship," Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN.

McCoy averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 2019 – his best return in three seasons – but amassed just 465 rushing yards and had four touchdowns, and his days as a feature back appear behind him.

The 32-year-old has six 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including four in six years with the Eagles, who drafted him in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said he is "excited" after star defensive end Joey Bosa agreed to a new contract.

Bosa is set to become the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL following his reported five-year extension with the Chargers on Tuesday.

The two-time Pro Bowler will reportedly earn $135million, $102m guaranteed, and Lynn is glad to have Bosa's future sorted following Melvin Gordon's holdout last year.

"Joey is tied down for a little while, and we're all excited about it. We have some other guys with contracts coming up, but time will tell," Lynn said on Wednesday.

"It's one less distraction you have to deal with."

Running back Gordon missed camp in 2019 and did not report back until the fourth week of the regular season, before eventually signing for the Denver Broncos in the offseason.

"It didn't work out with Melvin last year but glad it worked out now," Lynn added.

"It's my job to build these players up and make them feel like Superman. When they want to get paid like Superman I step back."

Bosa finished the 2019 campaign with 67 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks for the Chargers as he earned his second Pro-Bowl appearance in four seasons.

The 25-year-old – the third pick in the 2016 NFL Draft – posted the third double-digit sack season of his career, but the Chargers missed the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles star Lane Johnson has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after contracting coronavirus.

Johnson – a three-time NFL Pro Bowler – announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 amid the global pandemic.

In a social media post midweek, the Eagles right tackle wrote: "Over the past few months, I have tested negative after all travels including before and after the OL Masterminds Summit 18 days ago.

"I have been working hard in preparation for a long, gruelling season and have tried to take all necessary precautions to build a safe and healthy environment during the sessions. I have and will continue to take this seriously and encourage everyone else to do so as well.

"I will follow all protocols and I look forward to joining my team-mates and coaches on the field soon! #FlyEaglesFly."

Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry and tackle Jordan Mailata have also been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced.

"The Reserve/COVID-19 list was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with an infected person or persons," the Eagles said in a statement.

"Per NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on a player's medical status other than referring to roster status."

The Eagles will face the Washington Football Team in week one of the NFL season on September 13.

Kansas City Chiefs star and Super Bowl-winning running back Damien Williams has opted out of the NFL season due to coronavirus concerns.

The Chiefs announced Williams' decision on Wednesday, after starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif also opted to sit out the 2020 campaign.

Williams played a key role in Kansas City's Super Bowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers, rushing for 104 yards and scoring the game's final two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

"As an organisation, we certainly understand and respect Damien's choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family,'' general manager Brett Veach said on Wednesday.

"He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we're going to miss having him around this season.''

Williams – an undrafted free agent six years ago – joined the Chiefs from the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

Despite being limited to 11 regular-season games last season, Williams still led the Chiefs in rushing with 498 yards.

Williams scored six touchdowns in the Chiefs' three postseason games en route to glory.

The Chiefs begin their title defence against the Houston Texans on September 10.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said number one pick Joe Burrow will have every opportunity to start for the NFL team.

Burrow was selected with the top pick in April's NFL Draft and the 23-year-old has agreed to terms on a four-year, $36million contract.

All eyes are on Burrow, who will be tasked with trying to turn around Cincinnati's fortunes – the Bengals have not won a playoff game in three decades.

After moving on from veteran QB Andy Dalton, Taylor insisted the Bengals have faith in Burrow.

"We're going to put a lot on Joe right out of the gate," Taylor told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Obviously we have weeks to sort out who's starting and all that good stuff, but Joe's going to walk in and take the first snaps at quarterback. He's prepared for that."

Taylor added: "We took him because we've got high expectations for Joe. And from everything I know about him and have seen of him, he's got high expectations for himself.

"And so he's going to do everything he can to put himself in a position to be successful. I trust that."

The Bengals will open their season against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 13.

Burrow won the Heisman Trophy last season having led LSU to a national title, breaking numerous records along the way, including throwing 60 touchdowns – an all-time leading mark in the NCAA.

Lamar Jackson is still hoping the Baltimore Ravens sign star wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Brown, 32, was released by the New England Patriots in September last year amid sexual assault allegations he has denied.

Jackson worked out with Brown in April, and remains hopeful the Ravens will sign the seven-time Pro Bowler.

"I was hoping we would get him. I'm still hoping – a little bit," the Ravens quarterback told reporters on Wednesday.

"Around us, he was a great guy. You don't really see anything going on at all. He's a cool, down-to-earth guy and he's passionate about the sport of football.

"When he was working, you could tell, this man, he's going to go 24/7. And after the workout, he still went and lifted. He already – prior to the workout – he lifted.

"We go out there and go to throwing routes, after that, guys went and lifted some more. I'm like, 'Man, this guy, there's no quitting with him.' That's the type of guy we need in our locker room. And I feel like the locker room here is different from any other locker room. It's like a brotherhood going on. It's none of that outside noise; it's strictly inside.

"We worry about each other; we worry about what we have going on. We want to win, and I can just tell in him that he wants to win. He wants to play ball."

The Ravens are scheduled to begin their NFL season against the Cleveland Browns on September 13.

Lamar Jackson's focus is on winning the Super Bowl before he considers negotiating for a contract to rival that given to Patrick Mahomes.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Jackson followed Mahomes in winning the MVP award in his second season in the NFL in 2019.

But it was the Kansas City Chiefs superstar who was celebrating come the end of the year after leading his team to a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Miami.

Mahomes was subsequently rewarded with a record 10-year extension worth $503million, the largest in North American professional sports history.

Jackson would appear likely to be set for similarly lucrative improved terms, but he insists he first must prove himself and deliver a ring.

"My reaction is that I've just got to win a Super Bowl," Jackson told reporters. "I don't really focus on what he has going on, because I've still got to prove myself.

"When that time comes, we can negotiate after a Super Bowl. But until then, I'm focused on winning right now."

The Ravens fell to a surprise loss to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, having been beaten by the Los Angeles Chargers the previous year, leaving Jackson still waiting on a first postseason win.

There is certainly no complacency heading into the new season, however, as the 23-year-old refuses to look beyond Baltimore's season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

"I've just to go out there and do my job, go out there and win games, and make it to the playoffs," he said. "Our job is to focus on the Cleveland Browns right now.

"I can't really dwell on the playoffs, because those games were my rookie season, where people didn't even expect us to go to the playoffs at all, and last year, where none of us expected to lose.

"They [the Titans] came out and played well. We didn't.

"But now we've just got to focus on the Cleveland Browns. When we get back to the playoffs, we'll go from there."

Tua Tagovailoa will be ready to join his new Miami Dolphins team-mates when practice begins in two weeks after passing his physical.

The former Alabama quarterback was selected fifth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, sliding down the board somewhat after dislocating his hip against Mississippi State in November.

Tagovailoa underwent successful surgery following that injury and has been building towards a return to fitness ahead of the new season.

And Dolphins coach Brian Flores confirmed on Wednesday that the 22-year-old was not on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

"He's not on PUP," Flores told reporters. "There's an acclimation period here for the next two weeks. There's strength and conditioning and some walkthroughs.

"There will be [strenuous activity] from a strength and conditioning standpoint, but from a football, practice, drills standpoint, there won't be much.

"But he's through the physical. And when we do get to practice, you'll see him out there."

But Flores moved swiftly to calm excitement around Tagovailoa, suggesting new measures amid the coronavirus pandemic will make this season tricky for any player, let alone a rookie.

"People want to talk about Tua. I understand it," Flores said. "At the same time, he's a young player, this is his first NFL training camp.

"I think he's got to take it one day at a time and not think about what's realistic for the season. I think we just need to take a one-day-at-a-time approach.

"That would be my message to him - but it's not just him, it's really every player on this team. This is a different year, a different type of training camp.

"No-one's gone through a training camp like this, where a lot of meetings are virtual and there was no spring, there are no preseason games. No-one's done this.

"So, instead of looking into the future, I'd rather just take the one-day-at-a-time approach. That's the message I'm going to give to the team, as well."

Tagovailoa signed a four-year contract with Miami in May and will receive $30.275million guaranteed. The deal contains a signing bonus of nearly $19.6m and contains a fifth-year option for 2024.

Colin Kaepernick is not scheduled to visit with the Los Angeles Chargers but remains a possibility in a "constantly changing world", according to general manager Tom Telesco. 

Speaking last month, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Kaepernick fits the team's style of play and, while the franchise are happy with their options of Justin Herbert, Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick, the former San Francisco 49er is on a workout list. 

Kaepernick has been out of the league since the end of the 2016 season, during which he opted to kneel for the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality. 

He was involved in a workout for teams in November last year and his cause received renewed attention amid nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25. 

Telesco, speaking on a Zoom call with reporters, said the Chargers have no need to look for a new quarterback – as it stands right now. 

"No update, we're very comfortable with the quarterbacks we have right now," Telesco said.  

"If something changes at some point down the road, yeah, we would look at him and treat him no differently than any other free agent quarterback that's available.  

"But workouts for us are needs based, the need is not there right now. As you can see, this is a constantly changing world right now, so you always leave everything open.  

"Right now, we're happy with the three guys we have." 

Telesco added he is confident about the NFL season going ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic despite complications other team sports in the United States have faced. 

"The protocols we're following, the distancing, I felt really good. People holding each other accountable, it's a lot of change for us but we felt really good about it," he told the media.

"Then you wake up in the morning and I saw that the Miami Marlins had a lot of players test positive and a couple of coaches. 

"The head trainer for the Minnesota Vikings, he tested positive, the Rockets CEO, I know how well they do things there. We're all under the same protocol. That's reality.  

"The reality hits hard that you just cannot let your guard down at any point, any time, it's going to be 24/7 that we're fighting this.  

"I will say that Anthony and I, we feel a real responsibility to keep everybody here safe. Players, coaches and a very large support staff of people.  

"What we've done so far, all the planning that's gone into this so far for us has been very efficient and we're going to keep working through it every day." 

Tom Brady is "way ahead of the curve" in getting to grips with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense, according to head coach Bruce Arians. 

The veteran quarterback is in the peculiar position of learning a new playbook and adapting to fresh surroundings, all during a global health pandemic. 

Still, Arians revealed Brady has wasted little time in becoming accustomed to the team's system ahead of the 2020 NFL season. 

"I think he's way ahead of the curve. I mean he's really a bright guy and terminology was the big thing," Arians told reporters via Zoom.  

"As we now get together, we'll start to collaborate a little bit more. So yeah, I think he's in a great spot as far as that goes." 

Brady, 42, is embarking on a new challenge after 20 golden years with the New England Patriots which included winning six Super Bowls. 

In teaming up with Arians in Tampa Bay, Brady is playing for a coach whose "no risk it, no biscuit" aggressive offense is at odds with Bill Belichick's more calculating style at the Pats. 

Arians concedes there is work to be done, but insists it is not a case of ripping up plans and starting again simply to accommodate Brady.

"I think that's the big thing. Again, it's a dual thing, him learning what we do and me learning what he likes," Arians added.  

"We'll meet in the middle and also do lots of different things. But I'm not going to ask the other 21 players to learn something new when they've already had a good year and good experiences in the offense.  

"I would have liked to add a couple of pre-season games, but it didn't work out that way." 

Arians believes the addition of Brady will see confidence filter throughout the team. 

"When he walks into a huddle, it's different. This guy has got six rings. He knows what he's doing," Arians said.  

"There's going to be a ton of confidence in him, not only on offense. Our defense is going to feel the same way." 

Arians is a cancer survivor - he once quit coaching on health grounds - and is considered among the vulnerable category in the United States due to the threat of coronavirus. 

But the 67-year-old is happy with the measures put in place by the NFL during these unprecedented times. 

"There was never a doubt I was going to coach, especially once I'd seen the protocols in place," he added. 

"Whether it was Tom or whoever the quarterback would be, I'm going to get excited.  

"I really like our club and hope - knock on wood - we can stay healthy and do the things we want to do. Having Tom adds to the excitement, obviously, but I would have been all in either way." 

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch is really hopeful the NFL franchise can figure out an extension for star tight end George Kittle despite salary-cap complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kittle is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of 2020 season and is seeking to reset the market at the tight end position.

The 2017 fifth-round pick has done more than enough to earn a lucrative extension. A 2019 first-team All-Pro, Kittle has posted successive 1,000-yard campaigns, setting the record for receiving yards in a single season by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377.

An agreement between the NFL and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) saw the salary cap floor for 2021 set at $175million – around $40m lower than what had been expected prior to the pandemic – as the league prepares for the financial hit it will likely take as a result of teams having to play games without fans.

Lynch acknowledged that change had made Kittle's extension more difficult, telling KNBR: "That's a big adjustment. But we were waiting for some of that [information] to guide us in how we structure a deal.

"Now we have the information. It continues to come in. So we've traded ideas and we're really hopeful.

"I knew it might be tricky because of the position he plays and things of that nature, finding the right number.

"I think people should be encouraged. We have had tremendous talks — I don't want to say progress — but talks with [Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta]. And we work real well together.

"We've traded ideas and things and we're really hopeful. We're going to work extremely hard. George is such a great fit for what we do. He’s a tremendous player.

"I'm sitting here looking at the vision statement for what we want in a player, and George checks every box.

"He's tremendous. He's what we want to be. I think it would be silly not to figure that out. And we're going to do just that."

Adam Gase cited Jamal Adams' reluctance to remain a part of the New York Jets as one of the reasons behind his blockbuster trade to the Seattle Seahawks.

All-Pro safety Adams was shipped to the Seahawks on Saturday in a move which cost Seattle two first-round picks and defensive back Bradley McDougald.

While the haul the Jets recouped was significant, they gave away their best player of the past decade, and one who was under contract for at least the next two seasons.

However, Adams' relationship with the Jets had been strained ever since his name did the rounds in trade rumours midway through the 2019 campaign, and he publicly took shots at both Gase and general manager Joe Douglas just a day before the move was announced.

Upon learning he had been dealt, Adams - who had requested a trade from the Jets this offseason having been frustrated at a lack of progress on contract talks - filmed himself smoking a cigar and Gase suggested his desire to leave was a motivating factor behind his departure.

"Every situation is different with every player. For us, we look at it as we want guys who want to be here," Gase told reporters on a conference call.

"Obviously he didn't want to be here anymore so the decision was made to move on.

"It's a team game. We've got a bunch of guys that are excited to get going and those are the guys that I'm going to focus on. I'm extremely fired up to get this roster that Joe D and our personnel guys did a great job of assembling this offseason.

"From the conversations I've had with a lot of guys, they're extremely excited to get this thing rolling."

Adams had suggested Gase, who led the Jets to a 7-9 record in his first year as head coach in 2019, was not "the right leader" for a franchise with a recent history of repeated woe.

Yet the Jets head coach elected not to bite back at Adams on Tuesday.

"We wish him nothing but the best," Gase added.

"He was an incredible talent that I feel lucky enough to be around for that year. The whole situation ends up being a win-win for both sides."

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