The Philadelphia Eagles locked up wide receiver DeVonta Smith through the 2028 season on Monday.

Philadelphia exercised its fifth-year option on Smith for the 2025 season and agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension that runs through 2028.

Smith’s extension is reportedly worth $75million, including $51million in guaranteed money.

Philadelphia selected Smith with the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after he won the Heisman Trophy with Alabama in 2020.

Smith was the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991 and first non-quarterback or running back to capture the honour since cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997.

Smith has caught 240 passes for 3,178 yards and 19 touchdowns in 50 regular-season games while adding 27 receptions for 405 yards and a TD catch in five postseason contests.

From cherished American superstar to villain whose murder trial captivated a global audience, OJ Simpson’s fall from grace was startling.

Simpson, nicknamed ‘The Juice’, has died at the age of 76 after losing his battle with prostate cancer, leaving behind four children.

Before the low-speed car chase by police and ‘Trial of the Century’ that began the unravelling of his reputation, Simpson was a darling of American sport who had also carved out a successful acting career.

He was raised in a low income neighbourhood in San Francisco and joined a local gang but his athleticism offered a route out and he found his purpose in gridiron.

A prolific running back, he starred for USC and in 1968 won the Heisman Trophy awarded to the outstanding player in college football. Inevitably, he was first overall draught pick the following year.

Progress in his first couple of seasons at the Buffalo Bills was slow but his impact grew and he went on to become one of the most successful operators in his position, winning the NFL’s most valuable player in 1973 and being inducted into the hall of fame in 1985.

He became the game’s highest paid player and lucrative commercial deals also followed as companies looked to leverage his charisma and popularity, while his acting career included parts in blockbusters ‘Towering Inferno’ and ‘The Naked Gun’.

For all his film presence he was little known outside the United States but that changed for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested in 1994 for the murder of his former wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Brown and Goldman had been found stabbed to death in LA and once police had filed charges, Simpson refused to turn himself in and was pursued in an extraordinary car chase that was at low speed because he had a gun pointed to his head.

The event was televised live to millions and projected his notoriety worldwide, with the broadcasting of his subsequent murder trial only intensifying interest in this fallen star.

He was acquitted the following year but a civil lawsuit found him liable for the deaths, resulting in an order to pay £26.7million pounds to the victims of the families. Only a fraction of that amount was actually paid.

Arrests followed for a variety of offences in the early 2000s and his lowest point eventually came in 2007 when he was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping.

He served nine of a 33-year jail sentence and upon his release he continued to live in Las Vegas, looking increasingly frail when in public but active on social media. Simpson always maintained his innocence of the murders.

OJ Simpson has died of cancer at the age of 76.

Simpson was a running back for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers from 1969 to 1979, before being acquitted of murder in a trial in the mid-1990s.

News of Simpson’s death was announced by his children on his X account.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” read a statement.

“He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace. -The Simpson Family”

Louis Rees-Zammit is determined to make the Kansas City Chiefs’ playing roster after admitting his NFL dream could be over in a heartbeat.

The former Wales rugby star returns to the United States on Wednesday to begin pre-season training after signing a three-year contract with the back-to-back Super Bowl champions.

However, Rees-Zammit is only guaranteed to be paid for the first year and has revealed that if he fails to impress, he can be jettisoned immediately.

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As NFL salaries are made public, it has emerged he will be paid £634,000 if he is picked in the 53-man roster for the upcoming season but only £199,500 if he remains in the practice squad. The total contract could be worth as much as £2.27million.

“As a rookie you sign a three-year deal and you get guaranteed money. So if you get injured or you get cut, you’re still guaranteed that money,” Rees-Zammit told The Rugby Pod.

“But you can get cut at any point so it’s bit of a cut-throat sport. I could go to pre-season now, not do well and just get cut straight away.

“You’re not guaranteed the three years at all – and no one is. I just need to make the 53-man squad now. I’m ready to show everyone what I can do.”

Rees-Zammit has been busy studying the Chiefs’ playbook on his iPad, revealing that they will have 1,000 plays for a season with 80 of them used in any one game.

The 23-year-old’s most likely path to actually playing in the NFL is as a kick-returner – a role set to increase in influence next season following a change to the rules – but he will also be tried at running back and wide receiver.

“The new kick off rules this year are absolutely massive. That’s where my main position will be and I’ve got to fight to start in that position this year,” he said.

“And then within the offence it’s about how quick I can learn the playbook. We’ve got a plan to put me in various positions, play out the backfield at running back, be a slot receiver. Just being able to use me as much as possible and be creative with me.

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“It’s all about me learning the playbook and getting the chemistry with the players on the offence so they can use me.

“It’s going to take a lot and a bit of time to do that and all the coaches know that, so there’s no pressure.”

Rees-Zammit has already had contact from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ biggest stars.

“Pat and Travis both messaged me. Pat’s my best mate now! They said welcome to KC and if I ever need anything then let me know. I’m so excited to meet everyone and get training,” he said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and star pass rusher Josh Allen have agreed to a five-year contract worth $150million, including $88million in guaranteed money.

Jacksonville placed the NFL's non-exclusive franchise tag on Allen in March, meaning he would have earned $24million in 2024 if he signed the tender.

Allen has instead been rewarded following the best season of his career since the Jaguars selected him seventh overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The two-time Pro Bowler set personal highs with 17.5 sacks, 33 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for loss while also forcing two fumbles and recording the second interception of his career.

Allen’s 17.5 sacks were a franchise record and tied for the second most in the NFL last season.

The Houston Texans have added another prominent player to an already-talented roster by agreeing to acquire four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Houston will send a 2025 second-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for Diggs, one of only two players with over 100 receptions in each of the past four seasons. According to NFL.com, the Texans will also receive a 2024 sixth-round selection and a 2025 fifth-round choice from the Bills.

Diggs joins 2023 breakout performer Nico Collins and impressive 2023 rookie Tank Dell to form potentially one of the league's strongest collection of wide receivers for quarterback C.J. Stroud, last season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The reigning AFC South champion Texans have already made a few splash moves this offseason by signing elite pass rusher Danielle Hunter in free agency and landing four-time 1,000-yard rusher Joe Mixon in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Buffalo, on the other hand, appears to be going through a bit of a reset after losing in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs in each of the past three seasons. The Bills released three key starters - cornerback Tre'Davious White, safety Jordan Poyer and center Mitch Morse - earlier this offseason in order to clear salary cap space.

Diggs' departure also continues an offseason shuffling at the wide receiver position for Buffalo. The Bills lost deep threat Gabe Davis to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency while signing veteran Curtis Samuel.

Acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 in another blockbuster trade, Diggs put together a highly productive four-year tenure in Buffalo while helping the Bills reach the playoffs in each of those seasons. The 30-year-old's 445 receptions since 2020 are the most in the NFL, and only Diggs and Las Vegas Raiders star Davante Adams have surpassed 100 catches in each of the last four seasons.

Diggs amassed 107 catches for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns in 2023, his sixth consecutive season with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

The Texans will have Diggs under contract until 2027, as he'll be entering the first season of a four-year, $96 million extension he signed with Buffalo in April 2022. The nine-year veteran will have a cap hit of around $19 million this season, while the Bills will incur a cap charge of just over $31 million with the move. 

 

Vontae Davis, the former Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts cornerback, has died suddenly at the age of 35.

His former teams and team-mates came together to play tribute to Davis, a two-time Pro Bowl player in 2014 and 2015, after he was found unresponsive in a Fort Lauderdale residence.

No cause of death has been announced, with the investigating Davie Police Department reportedly suggesting no foul play is suspected.

The Colts, where Davis played between 2012-17, said on X: “We are devastated to hear of Vontae Davis’s passing. He will be deeply missed, and we send our prayers to his family and loved ones.

“He was a standout player in his six seasons with the Horseshoe, but he was an even better team-mate who carried a smile and positive energy every day.”

The Dolphins, who gave him his NFL break after his college football success with Illinois, posted: “We are heartbroken by the sudden passing of former Dolphins CB Vontae Davis and extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Those who shared the field with Davis also took to social media with their own marks of respect, with Kenny Moore II declaring: “It hurts to see the news OG. You a legend VD.”

Reggie Wayne, the retired wide receiver and former colleague at Indianapolis, wrote: “Sad Day. It was a pleasure wearing the horseshoe with you homie. Rest easy Champ.”

Davis, brother of Super Bowl winner Vernon, ended his professional career in 2018 by retiring midway through a game for the Bulls.

Former Wales rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit has signed for Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

Rees-Zammit, who announced his decision to leave rugby union in January, impressed the Chiefs during his time on the NFL’s international player pathway, with running back and wide receiver his designated positions.

The Chiefs said on their official website: “The Kansas City Chiefs made an international splash on Friday with the addition of former European rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit to the roster.”

The 23-year-old, who visited several NFL franchises, including the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, said in a video posted by the Chiefs on X that he had “just signed and can’t wait to go”.

Rees-Zammit’s next goal is to win a place on the Chiefs’ final roster for the new season, joining their star players like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in targeting a third successive Super Bowl.

The former Gloucester, Wales and British and Irish Lions wing stunned the world of rugby in January by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024.

That dream moved a step closer when he impressed during last week’s pro day that forms part of the international player pathway.

The Chiefs added: “Rees-Zammit participated in the international player pathway program workout earlier this month, which provided the former rugby star with an opportunity to show NFL scouts what he could do.

“His workout included a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, which would have ranked fifth among tailbacks at the 2024 NFL scouting combine.”

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions wing Louis Rees-Zammit is reportedly set to join reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 23-year-old stunned the world of rugby in January by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024, and his dream could soon come true.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some other multi-talented sports stars.

Denis Compton (cricket and football)

Compton played 75 Test matches for England, making his debut in 1937 aged 19 and scoring his first century the following year against Don Bradman’s touring Australian side.

He had made his Arsenal debut in 1936 and went on to win the league title in 1948 and FA Cup in 1950 with the Gunners, the same year in which he helped Middlesex win the County Championship.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias (athletics, golf)

Zaharias also excelled at basketball and baseball, but initially made her name in track and field, winning two gold medals and one silver in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Zaharias won the javelin comfortably, took the 80 metres hurdles in a world-record time and finished equal first in the high jump before losing the title when her technique was deemed illegal.

A latecomer to golf, she won more than 50 titles, including the US Women’s Open three times, and co-founded the LPGA.

Lottie Dod (tennis, golf, archery)

Lottie Dod remains Wimbledon’s youngest women’s singles champion, winning the first of her five titles at just 15 years and 285 days old in 1887.

Later turning her attention to golf, she won the 1904 British Ladies Amateur title and four years later won a silver medal in archery at the Olympic Games in London, where her brother Willy claimed gold in the men’s event.

Jim Thorpe (athletics, American football, baseball, basketball)

The first Native American to win gold for the United States in the Olympics, Thorpe won both the pentathlon and decathlon in Stockholm in 1912.

He lost his titles after it emerged he had previously been paid for playing semi-professional baseball, but they were eventually reinstated by the International Olympic Committee.

Thorpe played six seasons in Major League Baseball and for six NFL teams, as well as enjoying a less-well documented spell in professional basketball.

Victoria Pendleton (cycling and horse racing)

Two-time Olympic champion track cyclist Victoria Pendleton announced in March 2015 that she had set her sights on riding in the following year’s Cheltenham Festival.

She made her competitive debut in August 2015 and won her first race, on March 2, 2016, on 5-4 favourite Pacha Du Polder at Wincanton.

Pendleton then achieved her stated aim of riding in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham and finished fifth, describing the result as “probably the greatest achievement of my life”.

Former Wales rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit has signed for Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a report in the United States.

Rees-Zammit is set to join the Chiefs’ practice squad, having impressed during his time on the NFL’s international player pathway.

The 23-year-old’s signing is expected to be confirmed on Friday, with running back and wide receiver his designated positions.

The move comes after he visited several NFL franchises, including the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.

Rees-Zammit’s next goal is to win a place on the Chiefs’ final roster for the new season, joining their star players Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in targeting a third-successive Super Bowl.

The Gloucester, Wales and Lions wing stunned the world of rugby in January by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024.

That dream moved a step closer when he impressed during last week’s pro day that forms part of the international player pathway.

Rees-Zammit clocked 4.43 seconds in his 40-yard dash, a 9ft 7in broad jump and 29-inch vertical jump.

After tallying the fewest sacks in the NFL in 2023, the Carolina Panthers have upgraded their pass rush.

The Panthers signed Jadeveon Clowney to a two-year, $20million deal with a max value of $24million on Wednesday.

The top overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft, Clowney has bounced around from team to team the past few seasons as it looked like his best years were behind him.

The 31-year-old, however, is coming off a resurgent 2023.

Playing in all 17 games last season for the Baltimore Ravens, Clowney racked up 9 1/2 sacks - matching his career high from 2017.

He also registered 19 quarterback hits and 79 QB pressures - tied for seventh most in the NFL.

He joins a Carolina team that had a league-low 27 sacks last season and had the NFL's worst record at 2-15.

Clowney, who grew up about 20 minutes from the Panthers' home stadium, spent his first five pro seasons with the Houston Texans before spending the last five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Ravens.

From 2019-2022 in his first four seasons since leaving Houston, he totaled just 14 sacks.

In 126 career games, he has 52 1/2 sacks, 128 QB hits and 15 forced fumbles.

 

The Tennessee Titans are finalising a deal to acquire cornerback L’Jarius Sneed from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a pair of draft picks, according to multiple sources.

The Chiefs are expected to receive a third-round pick in next year's draft and swap picks with the Titans in next month's draft. The two sides are working on a new contract to make Sneed one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in NHL history.

After the Chiefs placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Sneed earlier this month, he was allowed to talk to other teams, who could then work out a deal with Kansas City.

The 27-year-old Sneed has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the league since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2020. He was a key part of a defence that helped Kansas City win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Sneed allowed a passer rating of just 55.9 on throws when he was in coverage in the regular season, ranking fifth best among cornerbacks.

Often tasked with following the opponents’ top receiver all over the field, Sneed didn’t allow a single touchdown pass until the playoffs against Buffalo and only Davante Adams of the Raiders had more than two catches in a game when Sneed was in coverage.

He had two interceptions and 14 passes defended in 16 games last season, giving him 10 picks and 40 passes defended in his four-year career.

Mike Williams is going from the west coast of the United States to the country's east coast.

Williams is signing a one-year contract with the New York Jets worth up to $15million.

The deal was reported Tuesday by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

The Los Angeles Chargers released Williams last Wednesday to free up $20million in salary cap space.

Going into the final year of a 2022 contract extension that included $40million in guaranteed money, Williams missed most of last season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 3.

He'll now be teaming up with a quarterback who missed essentially all of 2023 after Aaron Rodgers ruptured his left Achilles tendon on the Jets' fourth offensive snap of the season.

Rodgers' injury derailed what was hoping to be a promising season for the Jets, as they ended up rotating through three more starting quarterbacks and finished 7-10 to miss the play-offs.

New York has the NFL's longest active streak of missing the play-offs at 13 seasons.

Williams had spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Chargers after being selected seventh overall in the 2017 draft.

His best season came in 2021, when he had career highs of 76 receptions for 1,146 yards, along with nine touchdowns.

In 88 career games, Williams has 309 catches for 4,806 yards with 31 TDs.

 

Aaron Rodgers' impact upon the New York Jets transcends his contribution on the field, says team-mate Quincy Williams, who has lauded the quarterback's "huge" influence.

The Jets are still awaiting an on-field impact from Rodgers, who was expected to lead the team into title contention after arriving from the Green Bay Packers but saw his 2023 season end in Week 1. 

Rodgers, a 10-time Pro Bowler, tore his Achilles tendon on just his fourth snap in Jets colours, finishing his only game of 2023 0-for-1 passing in a 22-16 defeat to the Buffalo Bills.  

Replacement QB Zach Wilson struggled through the remainder of the season as the Jets finished 7-10, but Williams says Rodgers still exerted a big influence in the dressing room.

"It's been a huge impact," Williams said of his veteran team-mate. "Let's be honest, he wanted those gold jacket guys soon, that's the most important thing.

"Anything he tells you, [you take] as constructive criticism. You write it down thinking about it because he'll come up to you in the middle of practice like: 'Hey this is what I'm looking at, what do you think about this?' 

"He's one of those open people where you can also go to him and say, 'I've got a question about the game plan', even if it's offense or defense.

"The most important thing is he advises about being a pro off the field, nutrition wise, on training and things like mental health, things you want to focus on so you can be better during the season."

Though Rodgers was unable to make an impact for the Jets on the field, Williams left his own mark and was rewarded with the first All-Pro selection of his career. 

That achievement capped a remarkable turnaround for the linebacker, who put his injury struggles behind him to appear in all 17 Jets games in 2023.

"I would describe it as a rollercoaster," Williams said. "The change from this year to last year was just me buying in.

"I came from a small school at Murray State and got drafted third round, then I ran into a lot of injuries in Jacksonville.

"I got cut from the Jaguars but got a great opportunity from the Jets to come and play with them, and also to play with my brother [Quinnen Williams].

"The season didn't go [to plan] but, most importantly, we faced the adversity. Everyone was on the same page.

"I wouldn't change the rollercoaster I was on because of the people I was with; those are my team-mates, my brother, and also my coaching staff."

This International Women's Day, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears announced the expansion of the Jets and Bears NFL Girls Flag League, the first UK all-girls competition of its kind. To learn more about the initiative, please visit www.chicagobears.com and https://nyjetsinuk.com/girls-flag.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are acquiring quarterback Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears for a sixth-round draft pick that could turn into a fourth-round selection based on playing time, according to multiple reports on Saturday.

Pittsburgh recently acquired veteran quarterback Russell Wilson from the Denver Broncos on Wednesday and traded 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday. Pickett expressed a desire to be traded after Wilson agreed to a one-year deal with the team.

With Wilson expected to be the starter, Fields will be relegated to a backup role where he can learn from the nine-time Pro Bowler.

Schefter reports that the pick could turn into a fourth rounder if Fields plays 51 percent of the snaps.

Fields had been the subject of trade rumours throughout the offseason, with the Bears holding the No. 1 overall pick in next month's draft. With USC QB Caleb Williams the expected selection, Fields figured to be on the move at some point.

Fields has made 38 starts and appeared in 40 games for Chicago since he was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft. He completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 40 touchdowns and 30 interceptions and added 14 rushing scores.

Fields ran for 1,143 yards in 2022 while averaging 7.1 yards per carry.

Inconsistency was an issue for Fields during his time with the Bears, but he and the team ended last season on a high note with four wins in their final six games to finish 7-10. During that span, he completed 60 percent of his throws with four passing TDs, three interceptions and three rushing touchdowns.

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