Deshaun Watson's presentation as the Cleveland Browns' new quarterback was dominated by questions around allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits, although two grand juries have now concluded there was not enough evidence for criminal proceedings.

The allegations, which emerged last year, overshadowed the player's attempts to secure a trade away from the Houston Texans, instead sitting on the sideline for the entire 2021 NFL season.

Watson eventually got his move after a first grand jury did not indict him, landing on the Browns.

The 26-year-old, appearing alongside Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski on Friday, described the opportunity as "a fresh start".

However, he also recognises "there's going to be a stain that's probably going to stick with me for a while".

Indeed, despite Watson discussing a belief he could win Super Bowls in Cleveland, most news conference queries centred on matters away from the field.

Watson said he did not intend to settle the civil lawsuits, explaining: "That's not my intent. My intent is to clear my name as much as possible."

And the QB continues to strenuously deny the allegations made against him.

"I don't have any regrets," Watson said. "The things that are off the field right now that came up caught me by surprise, because I never did anything that these people are alleging.

"And I know a lot of people say that I took the year off and I used that to be able to clear my name, like the previous two weeks, and I just continue to fight that.

"I just continue to work and become a better person, a better player and just a better son, like my mom has always taught me."

Meanwhile, Berry would not speculate on whether he thought there was any wrongdoing by Watson, responding to such a question: "We feel very confident in Deshaun the person.

"We have a lot of faith in him and we believe that as he gets into the community and our organisation, he's going to make a positive impact."

Deshaun Watson was not charged by a second grand jury after it considered evidence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback faces 22 civil lawsuits.

However, earlier in March, Harris County jurors did not find enough evidence for criminal proceedings, and Watson was again not indicted on Thursday after a Brazoria County grand jury also assessed the case.

"After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, the grand jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes," Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck said in a statement.

"Accordingly, this matter is closed."

Watson has strenuously denied the accusations since they emerged last year, overshadowing his attempts to push for a trade away from the Houston Texans.

He got his move to Cleveland after the first grand jury did not charge him.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said last week: "Our organisation did a tremendous amount of background on Deshaun.

"We understand the concerns and questions that exist but are confident in the extensive work Andrew [Berry, executive vice-president of football operations and general manager] and his staff have done to feel confident about him joining our organisation."

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $36million contract as they seek to rebuild their offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill.

Six-time Pro Bowler Hill failed to agree terms on a new deal with the Chiefs and so was traded to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks on Wednesday.

That left the Chiefs without their number one wide receiver – and it remains to be seen how exactly they replace the game-breaking attributes of Patrick Mahomes' top target.

Their first move – according to ESPN and NFL Network – has been to sign a receiver familiar with elite quarterback play, bringing in Valdes-Scantling after four years with Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers.

However, Valdes-Scantling played second fiddle to Davante Adams – now with the Chiefs' AFC West rivals the Las Vegas Raiders – in Green Bay.

He last year ranked as low as third among Packers receivers for targets (55) and receiving yards (430) and fourth for catches (26) and receiving touchdowns (three), albeit he played only 11 games due to a hamstring injury.

Valdes-Scantling was used primarily by Rodgers as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020.

That approach was less effective last year, as Valdes-Scantling got open on just 54.7 per cent of his targets – the third-worst rate in the league.

By contrast, in 2021, Hill's average depth of target was only 10.3 yards, yet he got open 82.7 per cent of the time and tallied 824 receiving yards at the point of catch, ranking sixth among receivers.

Valdes-Scantling alone is highly unlikely to plug the hole he leaves, with the Chiefs set to turn to the draft with two first-round picks. They have also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Tyreek Hill hailed the start of a new beginning with the Miami Dolphins as he thanked the Kansas City Chiefs for believing in him following Wednesday's blockbuster trade.

The four-time All-Pro wide receiver and member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team was traded to Miami for five draft picks, Hill receiving a four-year, $120million contract, with $72.2m guaranteed, from the Dolphins.

Hill, who is one of the fastest players in the history of the league, has been the centrepiece of the NFL's most explosive offense since Patrick Mahomes took over as the Chiefs' starting quarterback in 2018.

He has four 1,000-yard seasons in a six-year career, which has included 56 receiving touchdowns.

Hill will hope to have a transformative impact for the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who threw for just nine touchdowns with five interceptions across Miami's 8-1 run to end last season.

In a post on social media, Hill expressed his excitement at joining the Dolphins, before turning his attention to a Chiefs franchise that selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

"Today starts a new beginning. I'm very excited to be joining the Miami Dolphins and get to work," Hill, who lives in Miami during the offseason, wrote.

"However, it's hard thinking about the memories, people, and fans that made my time in Kansas City so great. To my family and especially my kids, thank you for being my biggest supporters. Daddy loves you! 

"I'm grateful to those who joined me in giving back to the Kansas City community through the Tyreek Hill Family Foundation. From college scholarships, youth football camps, funding the first youth mental health navigator at Marillac, donating supplies to the homeless, and visiting with kids in the hospital, we couldn't have made the impact without all of you. 

"Thank you to the Chiefs organisation for believing in me. I'll never forget getting the call in 2016 that my dream to play in the NFL was coming true. I worked hard every day to show my appreciation for you taking a chance on me. To coach [Andy] Reid, coach [Eric] Bieniemy, and coach [Greg] Lewis, thank you for what you have taught me not only about football but about life. 

"Thank you Pat, [Travis] Kelce, Demarcus [Robinson], and [Gehirg] Dieter along with all my team-mates. I'm proud to have taken the field with each of you.

"You are what made each day worth it. We are brothers for life! To the fans, thank you for your support. Playing for you has been one of the greatest things I have done in my life. Your energy, passion and loyalty for the team is indescribable. It was an honour to play in front of you. 

"Kansas City will always hold a special place in my heart. Cheetah out!"

Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler is returning to the New England Patriots on a two-year deal worth up to $9million.

Butler, 32, famously intercepted would-be go-ahead touchdown pass at the goal-line to give the Patriots a 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Two years after his Super Bowl heroics, Butler signed a big-money, five-year deal with the Tennessee Titans, who released the cornerback after three seasons.

His unsuccessful stint with the Titans was followed by a brief stay on the Arizona Cardinals' roster, with Butler retiring in August citing "personal reasons" before playing a regular-season game.

He was released by the Cardinals in February, and will now attempt to revive his career under the stewardship of Bill Belichick once again.

Tyreek Hill is leaving the Kansas City Chiefs in the latest blockbuster trade of this NFL offseason, landing at the Miami Dolphins.

Reports from ESPN and NFL Network revealed on Wednesday a breakdown in contract negotiations between six-time Pro Bowler Hill and the Chiefs.

The wide receiver market was rocked by Davante Adams' huge move from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders elsewhere in the AFC West.

Kansas City expected Hill to leave and earn a huge deal elsewhere after they could not come to terms, with the Dolphins and the New York Jets said to be the two finalists for his signing.

After a short period in which Hill appeared to consider his options, as players from both teams made Twitter pleas to the wide receiver, he decided on Miami.

The Dolphins have sent the Chiefs five draft-picks, including a first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft and a second-rounder.

While Hill gets a new four-year, $120million contract, with $72.2m guaranteed, according to reports, the Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa are boosted by one of the signings of the offseason.

Tagovailoa is yet to convince since he was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, although his starting spot does at least now appear secure following months of speculation around a trade for Deshaun Watson, who has joined the Cleveland Browns.

The Dolphins ended last season on an 8-1 run, but Tagovailoa, who started seven of the nine games, threw for just nine touchdowns and five interceptions in that time.

However, across the 2021 season, the Dolphins QB was throwing to an open target just 73.8 per cent of the time, down on the league average of 78.4 per cent and well below Patrick Mahomes' league-leading 85.5 per cent.

Of course, Mahomes could look to Hill, whose open percentage of 82.7 allowed him to tally 824 yards at the point of catch (seventh in the NFL).

That contributed to his fourth 1,000-yard season in a six year career, which has included 56 receiving TDs.

As their top pass-catching option headed out the door, the Chiefs reportedly had Marquez Valdes-Scantling visit. They have signed JuJu Smith-Schuster, too, but Hill's departure from an increasingly competitive division represents a big blow.

Matt Ryan never expected to leave the Atlanta Falcons and says his trade to the Indianapolis Colts is "bittersweet".

The Falcons confirmed Ryan's departure to the Colts on Monday, with the 36-year-old traded for a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ryan spent 14 seasons with Atlanta after arriving in 2008, with no player in the NFL throwing for more passing yards than the quarterback's 59,735 over that period.

He completed 67 per cent of his passes in 2021, his highest completion rate since 2018, for 3,968 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Prior to 2021, Ryan threw for 4,000 yards in 10 consecutive seasons, the high point coming in 2016 when he led the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

But with his time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium now over, the 2016 MVP is excited to begin a new journey with the Colts, who parted with Carson Wentz after just one season.

As part of a full page advert in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published on Wednesday, Ryan said: "Thank you, Atlanta.

"From the moment I landed here, late at night just hours after having been drafted, I felt at home. 

"The team welcomed me, balancing the typical indoctrinations of a rookie with the generous acceptance of wise and experienced veterans. 

"The city supported me, bringing enthusiasm to games but also to the more casual interactions we had day-to-day, I knew how lucky I was.

"When my first NFL pass ended with a touchdown, I admit that I felt like this was all meant to be. 

"I was immediately determined to do as right by Atlanta as Atlanta was doing by me. I carried that determination with me through every season that followed.

"Sports are sports, and there is a reason why we play the game every week. Winners are not preordained, and every drive does not end in a touchdown. 

"Success become all the sweeter, not only because I knew it was not guaranteed, but because I was enjoying it with teammates and fans who worked hard to earn it.

"There were of course disappointments, large and small. That did not shake my faith in this team, or in my determination to deliver. This disappointments became motivations."

Across his 14 years in Atlanta, Ryan was a four-time pro bowler, won the MVP award and set multiple franchise records, including the most career touchdowns.

"I have long thought and often said I would retire as a Falcon. But the changes and growth continue," he added.

"As excited as I am about the this next step in my career, this is a bittersweet moment. I have spent more than a decade playing for you, the fans of Atlanta. 

"You have made all of this worth it, and all of this means something more than what could ever be reflected in a statistic. 

"I appreciate each and every one of you, and I thank you, so sincerely, for the life you have given me all of these seasons.

"I am also very grateful to the coaches and teammates I have played with over the years. 

"There are too many to list here, but I hope each of you know how much you have shaped me as a player and as a person. I look forward to crossing paths, on the field and off.

"It seems impossible to sum up 14 years, and to adequately express my feelings about them. 

"As much as I have learned about change, though, I know this: Nothing can change what this time has meant to me. So, again. Thank you, Atlanta."

Davante Adams says he is like a "kid in a candy store" after making a dream move to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Superstar wide receiver Adams left the Green Bay Packers to join the Raiders in a blockbuster trade last week.

Adams is a lifelong Raiders fan and will be reunited with his former Fresno State Bulldogs team-mate Derek Carr.

The 29-year-old signed a five-year deal worth up to $141million, making him the highest-paid receiver in league history, but stressed it is not all about the money.

He said: "Everybody's saying, 'Congrats on being on the Raiders'. It hasn't been, 'Congrats on 140 million dollars.' It's been, 'Congrats, you get to play for a team you grew up loving.'

"Obviously, I've already made a lot of money. But to have this type of security, get to a place that is almost like leaving high school and going to college again, you're a kid in a candy store.

"To be in a place where they're happy to have you and give you all that money? It's just a bonus. But money doesn't buy you happiness; it can buy you a nice house. It's pretty cool."

He added: "It is a dream to be a Raider, man. It's a dream come true. In a third-grade yearbook, I said I wanted to be a, you know, an NFL star or an NBA star.

"And I was wearing a Charles Woodson jersey at the time. So, it's been documented forever, so I guess you can say it was meant to be."

Leading the league in receiving touchdowns in 2020 (18), Adams has posted combined numbers of 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons while attracting intense game-planning from opposition defenses.

Derek Carr has spent his entire career trying to convince the Raiders, and indeed the wider NFL universe that he is good enough.

Few quarterbacks to have been as consistent as Carr have inspired such little confidence, his name rarely mentioned among the top players at the NFL's most important position despite him compiling some impressive numbers since arriving in the league.

Drafted in the second round in 2014, Carr has thrown for 31,700 yards in his career, the fourth-most in the league in that span. His 247 passing plays of 25 yards or more is a tally bettered by only four quarterbacks over the same timeframe.

Yet there are plenty of quarterbacks who excel at compiling stats and, for as tedious as the debate around whether wins should be considered a quarterback stat (they shouldn't) is, part of the reason for Carr's lack of recognition comparative to his contemporaries is that he has not been able to elevate the Raiders, either in Oakland or now Las Vegas, to a playoff win.

In efforts to end that wait, there have been reported dalliances with other quarterbacks by the Raiders, most notably with Tom Brady before he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Las Vegas has also previously been seen as a destination for Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson but, while the Raiders will get to see new Denver Broncos quarterback Wilson up close twice a season, they are firmly tied to Carr, and have this offseason done an excellent job of setting him up for success.

In Josh McDaniels, they have paired him with one of the league's premier offensive minds and, by spectacularly acquiring college team-mate Davante Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers last week, the Raiders have given Carr the wide receiver many consider to be the class of the league.

With Adams added to an already exciting cast of offensive weapons, Carr has all the tools to definitively prove that, for the Raiders, he has always been the best man for the job.

Carr reaching peak performance

The timing of Carr's reunion with his former Fresno State team-mate Adams could hardly be better, as he is coming off arguably the finest season of his career.

Among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts, Carr finished third in well-thrown percentage. Trailing only Joe Burrow and Ryan Tannehill, he delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 81.6 per cent of his passes.

None of the eight quarterbacks to average more air yards per attempt than Carr's 8.29 had a superior well-thrown percentage, his ability to blend ball placement and downfield upside further illustrated by his 67 completions of 20 yards or more in 2021. Brady (75) was the sole quarterback to end the season with more.

Carr achieved those feats despite tight end Darren Waller missing six games of the season and the Raiders losing wide receiver Henry Ruggs III after his November arrest.

He deserves great credit for continuing to thrive in a campaign that saw head coach Jon Gruden resign in disgrace, the Raiders playing the majority of the season under the interim leadership of Rich Bisaccia.

Now with McDaniels at the helm, Carr has a head coach to maximise his skill set and, with Adams joining Waller and Co. on offense, undoubtedly the most talented supporting cast of his career. 

A stacked receiver room

It is extremely difficult to overstate the importance of Adams' acquisition.

Over the past three seasons, only one player has racked up more receiving yards than Adams' 3,924. The man who represents his competition for the title of best receiver in the NFL, Cooper Kupp (4,082).

Adams' 34 receiving touchdowns in that span are second to Mike Evans (35), while no player has averaged more receiving yards per game than his 93.4 since 2019.

Producing a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, on 65.6 per cent of his targets, Adams was comfortably above the league average for receivers with at least 100 targets of 62. While his position as the NFL's top wideout may be up for debate, his status as one of its elite separators is not in question.

Only four receivers (min. 100 targets), one of which was Kupp (4), averaged more burn yards per route than Adams (3.5) in 2021.

Second (3.4) and first (3.9) in the same metric in 2019 and 2020, Adams' consistency in creating separation from coverage is unmatched, and he should benefit from playing in an offense stacked with bonafide weapons worthy of defensive attention.

Despite missing time, Waller still ended the 2021 season fifth among tight ends (min. 50 targets) in burn yards per target (11.91) and fourth in burn yards per route (3), his size, athleticism and ability to line up at every receiving position on the field making him a mismatch nightmare for defenses when at his best. Only two tight ends, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, have more receiving plays of 20 yards or more since 2019 than Waller (43).

Carr also has an excellent rapport with Hunter Renfrow. They combined for nine touchdowns in 2021, with three of those scores for the diminutive wideout coming on third down.

Yet the nickname 'Third and Renfrow' may have been inappropriately applied. Not because Renfrow isn't great on third down (18 of his 33 third-down targets last year went for first downs), but because team-mate Bryan Edwards might be even better.

Targeted just eight times on third down, six of those throws from Edwards to Carr were completed for a first down. Overall, Edwards had 76.5 per cent of his catches result in a first down last season, the second-best ratio in the NFL.

At 6ft 3in and 215 pounds, Edwards is a still under-utilised physically imposing ball-winner. Between Adams, Waller, Renfrow and Edwards, Carr now has a receiving corps to stack up with any other in the NFL.

Throw in a running back in Josh Jacobs who displayed his ability to overcome substandard blocking by averaging 3.38 yards per carry on runs where there was a disruption by a defender, the sixth-most in the NFL, in 2021, and Carr appears to have everything at his disposal to helm an explosive and dominant offense in 2022. That is presuming, of course, that Carr can re-establish his college connection with Adams.

But there is a risk any potential offensive surge could be cancelled out by the improvements made by the Raiders' rivals in what now looks a hellish AFC West.

Carr’s 'prove-it' year

The trade for Adams was just the latest move in a series of blockbusters from AFC West teams. In respective offseason efforts to end the divisional superiority of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers each made significant additions to their rosters.

Denver hugely upgraded the quarterback position with a stunning trade for nine-time Pro Bowler Wilson, and the Chargers bolstered their defense with a deal to acquire edge rusher Khalil Mack while also signing cornerback J.C. Jackson and run-stuffing defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day. 

In essence, the Raiders now have to compete with three elite quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes, Wilson, and Justin Herbert, all of whom have seen their teams stack the deck around them.

Carr has previously gone blow for blow with both Mahomes and Herbert and won, most famously in Week 18 last season in the epic overtime game that almost ended in a tie that would have sent both the Raiders and Chargers to the playoffs.

However, with the Chargers pairing Mack with another fearsome pass rusher, Joey Bosa, and the Chiefs retaining Frank Clark on a defensive line that also features Chris Jones, Carr's hopes of getting the best of each of those signal-callers could be compromised by the play of his offensive line.

The Raiders' O-Line ranked 21st in pass block win rate last year, with Carr pressured 285 times, the third-most in the league behind Matt Ryan (319) and Josh Allen (312), and yet that area of the team has gone largely neglected in the offseason.

Great quarterbacks can overcome shortcomings at other positions and Carr did so last year in leading the Raiders to the playoffs. Though he may have improved help from a defense that looks better prepared to deal with the threat of opposing offenses after the hire of Patrick Graham as coordinator and the additions of veteran edge rusher Chandler Jones and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, the reality is Carr will likely have to raise his game again if the Raiders are to enjoy postseason success.

The Raiders may look to use what draft capital they have left to improve on the offensive side of the trenches yet, regardless of any further moves to come, the onus is firmly on Carr. His is a career that has been spent trying to prove he belongs in the conversation as a top-tier quarterback. He built a compelling case last season but, flanked by offensive talent ready-made to help him keep pace with Mahomes, Herbert and Wilson, 2022 is the year in which he must definitively win the argument.

The Miami Dolphins have signed Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead to a five-year contract.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins are giving Armstead a contract worth up to $87.5million, including $43.37m guaranteed.

Former New Orleans Saints star Armstead was considered by many to be among the top free agents on the market and fills a huge hole for a Dolphins offensive line that struggled significantly last season.

The Dolphins ranked last in the NFL in pass block win rate in 2021, per Stats Perform data.

Armstead should significantly improve their performance in that regard.

The three-time Pro Bowler missed nine games through injury last season but was one of the premier pass-blocking tackles in the league when healthy.

Among tackles with at least 100 pass-block matchups, Armstead ranked third with a stunt-adjusted pass-block win rate of 91.93 per cent.

His addition figures to be a pivotal one to the Dolphins' revamped offense under new head coach Mike McDaniel.

Free agency has also seen the Dolphins add left guard Connor Williams, wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert and fullback Alec Ingold. 

The Dolphins ended last season 29th in yards per play on offense (4.76) as they finished with a 9-8 record that was not enough to prevent Brian Flores from being fired as head coach.

 

Za'Darius Smith has agreed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, according to reports.

The 29-year-old became a free agent after being released by the Green Bay Packers, and has now signed on with their NFC North rivals.

Reports suggest Smith's contract in Minnesota will have a base value of $42million, and potentially be worth up to $47m with incentives.

He had been expected to return to the Baltimore Ravens last week – whom he left for Green Bay in 2019 – supposedly agreeing to a four-year, $35m deal, but later pulled out.

In the days following Smith's apparent signing, both Von Miller and Chandler Jones – who are several years older than Smith – signed contracts with the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders respectively, worth nearly double the annual salary of the deal offered by the Ravens.

The versatile edge rusher recorded 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Baltimore after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2015.

He then racked up 26 sacks across his first two years in Green Bay, helping them to back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances.

However, a back injury limited him to just one regular-season appearance in 2021. Smith returned for the Packers' Divisional Round matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, but could not prevent a 13-10 defeat.

The Buffalo Bills have brought in running back Duke Johnson and wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

AFC East winners the Bills, who have been rated as the early Super Bowl favourites for 2022, continue to be active in free agency.

Having previously brought in star pass-rusher Von Miller, they added Johnson after missing out on the signing of J.D. McKissic to the Washington Commanders.

Pass-catching RB Johnson signed a one-year deal which has now been confirmed by his agents.

He has spent time with the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins in recent seasons but is best known for a four-year stint with the Cleveland Browns to start his NFL career.

Crowder, meanwhile, has been productive when healthy over recent seasons despite playing for the struggling New York Jets in the same division as the Bills.

The wideout has reportedly signed a one-year deal worth up to $4million, helping to fill the void left by Cole Beasley's recent release.

Crowder racked up 188 catches over the last three seasons despite missing nine games through injury.

Elsewhere, Buffalo's rivals for AFC supremacy the Kansas City Chiefs have signed wide receiver Corey Coleman.

A former first-round pick with the Browns, Coleman has not caught a pass since 2018, but the Chiefs have opted to take a flyer on the Baylor product, who was not on an active roster last season.

Fresh from their dramatic moves at the quarterback position, the Atlanta Falcons have remained active.

As well as confirming their previously reported re-signing of offensive weapon Cordarrelle Patterson, they added free agent pass rusher Lorenzo Carter, formerly of the New York Giants, on a one-year contract.

Drew Lock is relishing the chance of a "fresh start" with the Seattle Seahawks and is aware of the size of the task that awaits him after replacing Russell Wilson.

The 25-year-old has been acquired by the Seahawks as part of a deal that saw Wilson head the opposite way to the Denver Broncos.

Lock appeared in just six games for the Broncos last season, starting only half of those, but he is hopeful of getting his career back on track in a new chapter in his career.

"I was ready for something to happen, and then when I found out that this is what happened, I was really, really excited," he said.

"I'm excited for a fresh start, excited to come in and compete for a starting job and do everything I can to show this organisation and show this league what I'm capable of doing.

"I've got new team-mates, new coaching staff, new energy, new this, new that, new feel, whatever it may be, a new practice field, it's just the true definition of a fresh start.

"You get to make a new identity for everything, you get to come in and show these people how hard you want to work, how bad you want it, how bad you want to win games. 

"There's just a lot of good that can come from a new chair in a meeting room. There's a lot that goes into all this, and a fresh start for me is really, really exciting."

Lock is competing for a starting spot with Jacob Eason, the only other QB on the Seahawks' roster, and is confident of adapting to Shane Waldron's offensive system.

"I obviously know a little bit about coach Waldron's system, which is similar to the one I ran my rookie year when I first got in the league," Lock said.

"We won four of the five games, and I played efficient football, took care of the ball, scored in the red zone, hit the deep shots when they were there.

"When we start talking and getting into the deep details of his offense, we'll put it all together and end up being able to put a good offense together that makes my skill set shine. 

"I can throw the deep ball, I can move around in the pocket, I can play-action. Whatever you might need me to do, I'll be able to do it."

Lock will wear the number two jersey with the Hawks as a sign of respect for the departing Wilson, who spent nine years with Seattle.

Wilson threw for 37,059 passing yards, 292 touchdowns and 87 interceptions during his Seahawks career and he averaged 7.83 pass yards per attempt.

That is a tally only Deshaun Watson (8.32), Patrick Mahomes (8.10) and Peyton Manning (7.89) bettered among quarterbacks across that period.

He also ranked fourth in touchdown percentage (6.2) and third in passing plays of 25 yards or more (323), leaving a massive void to be filled in the 2022 season.

But while Lock is full of respect for what Wilson achieved with the Seahawks, he is out to write his own chapter at Lumen Field.

"As long as football goes on, Russell Wilson will be very special to this place, very special to Seattle," he said. 

"I know what it takes to, kind of build a legacy. You wouldn't go wear 18 in Indianapolis, you wouldn't go wear 12 in Green Bay. It's a sign of respect for him from me.

"But also at the same time, I want to write my own story here. I want to see what two does for us. I want to make that me. 

"I don't want to fight against Russell, he's done so many great things for this place and so many great things for the city of Seattle and the state of Washington. 

"I want two to be Drew, and that's just kind of been my mindset on it. 

"I have the utmost respect for him and that was a move in showing that."

Leonard Fournette has become the latest player to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to reports.

After Tom Brady made a sensational U-turn on his decision to retire, Chris Godwin also agreed to a three-year deal worth $60million with the Bucs after being franchise tagged by the team who won Super Bowl LV at the end of the 2020 season.

Fournette is understood to be signing a new three-year deal in Tampa Bay worth $21million, potentially rising to $24m.

The 27-year-old running back reportedly visited the New England Patriots, who had also shown interest in him when he left the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, on Monday.

However, like then, Fournette looks to have decided on the Bucs, where he enjoyed a productive 2021 season.

His 1,266 total yards from scrimmage ranked sixth in the NFL, as he rushed for 812 yards, caught 69 passes for 454 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Fournette's 4.5 yards per carry average last season was a career-high.

His best game of the season came in the 38-31 win at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12, scoring four TDs, making eight first downs and racking up a total of 131 yards from 24 touches.

Fournette was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring issue following Week 15, but returned for the divisional round defeat to eventual Super Bowl LVI winners, the Los Angeles Rams.

The man nicknamed "Lombardi Lenny", or "Playoff Lenny", had previously put in a 135-yard performance as the Bucs won Super Bowl LV, beating the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chris Godwin has revealed his uncertainty over his Tampa Bay Buccaneers future before a message from Tom Brady helped him decide to re-commit to the side.

Godwin recently agreed to a three-year deal worth $60million with the Bucs after being franchise tagged with the Super Bowl LV champions.

Had the Buccaneers failed to agree a long-term deal with the wide receiver before the July 15 deadline, he would have played under a one-year, $19.18m franchise tender.

Godwin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury in Week 15 of the 2021-22 season, agreed to the deal after superstar quarterback Brady confirmed he would come out of retirement to keep playing with the Bucs.

"It was a definitely a whirlwind of emotions," Godwin told reporters. "It was a lot of uncertainty at different points and sometimes it leaves you questioning just like why things happen.

"But you can't control what happens to you. You can just control your personal response to it and how you choose to go about it."

He added: "This last week has been a whirlwind for a lot of people. I think it just restores faith in the Bucs' fan base. 'We're back, man, and we're not laying down for nobody. We're coming back to try to make it to the top of the mountain, and you need great players and great people to do that, and obviously Tom coming back was a huge piece."

The 26-year-old wide receiver admitted his decision on his future was crystallised once Brady declared his intentions to come out of retirement and revealed their text exchange in a group chat with the QB and teammate Mike Evans.

Brady wrote: "Yo...just letting y'all know...I'm coming back and I'm excited for another year."

Godwin said: "Me and Mike were so gassed up, like, 'Yo, what are you talking about? You just retired?! It's hard to walk away from the game when you're as dedicated as Tom is."

Though his 2021 campaign was ended prematurely by his ACL injury, Godwin still finished the year with 98 receptions for 1,103 yards - both career highs - and five touchdowns.

According to Stats Perform data, Godwin registered a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, on 70.4 per cent of his targets.

That ratio was third-best in the NFL among wideouts with at least 100 targets behind team-mate Mike Evans (72.7) and Tyreek Hill (70.8). 

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