Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has heard plenty of criticism from NFL pundits and fans about his arm strength and his deep throws.

One person not questioning his arm is new team-mate Tyreek Hill.

Speaking on his new podcast, 'It Needed To Be Said', Hill was asked by co-host Julius Collins who has the stronger arm, Tagovailoa or Hill's former quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes.

"Obviously, I'm going to go with 15 as the strongest arm, but as far as accuracy-wise, I'm going with Tua all day," Hill said.

Acquired in a trade with the Chiefs in March, Hill defended his new quarterback, saying he has plenty of arm strength and is adept at running an offense.

"I've had a chance to see Tua throw the ball, to myself, but he's that dude, bro," Hill said.

"What a lot of people don't know – I'm not just sitting just saying this because he's my quarterback now, I'm not trying to get more targets right now – what I'm trying to say is Tua is that deal, bro.

"Bro, he has a heck of an arm. He's accurate. He can throw the deep ball, and he actually goes through his reads, where people are on Twitter saying, 'Oh, he doesn't go through his reads'. Man, this dude is that dude."

Tagovailoa has come under fire for having nominal success on deep balls despite this being considered the golden age of passing with all the rules that give offenses an edge in the wide-open NFL.

Among the 30 quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts last season, only the New York Giants' Daniel Jones had fewer pass plays of 25-plus yards than Tagovailoa's 16, with 15.

Tagovailoa attempted just 11 passes of more than 20 yards in 2021, completing three of them for 112 yards with an interception. Meanwhile, Mahomes went 27 for 63 (42.9 per cent) for 1,098 yards with seven TD passes and two picks on throws of at least 20 yards.

However, Tagovailoa did throw more catchable balls on all throws last season, ranking fifth in well-thrown percentage at 81.0 per cent, while Mahomes ranked 12th at 79.5 per cent.

Hill threw more shade in Mahomes' direction, saying he did not need the 2018 NFL MVP to excel, pointing to a game against the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, when Matt Moore started for an injured Mahomes and the three-time All-Pro wide receiver finished with six catches for 140 yards.

"I just want people to understand I went for 150 with Matt Moore as my quarterback," Hill said. "I love you, Matt Moore.

"Versus the Minnesota Vikings. If you don't remember that game, 150 and one touchdown with Matt Moore as my quarterback. And Tua T is 10 Matt Moores. I love Matt Moore, but Tua T is 10 Matt Moores."

It is not surprising for a player to throw so much support behind a new team-mate the way Hill is embracing Tagovailoa, but it is still quite startling to see Hill give so much love to Moore while spurning Mahomes.

This will be Mahomes' first season without the six-time Pro Bowler Hill, so time will tell how the Kansas City offense operates without the dynamic playmaker.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was shocked when his top wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins.

In his six seasons in Kansas City, Hill caught 479 passes for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns, emerging as arguably the most dangerous receiver in the entire NFL with his unique speed and explosiveness.

Hill signed a three-year, $54million extension with the Chiefs in 2019, but after recent extensions and signings – including a 10-year, $450m contract for Mahomes, and a four-year, $80m deal for defensive lineman Chris Jones – it appeared unrealistic that Kansas City would be able to afford his demands while adhering to the salary cap.

In March, the Las Vegas Raiders made Davante Adams the highest-paid receiver in league history with a five-year, $140m deal and six days later, Hill reset the market after being traded to the Dolphins for five draft picks, including a first and second round pick this year.

Hill's four-year deal has him earning an average of $30m per year, which is a number usually reserved for quarterbacks.

Speaking to the media on Monday as the Chiefs began their offseason program, Mahomes said that while he knew it was a possibility, he was still shocked to see Hill leave.

"My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,'' he said.

"Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something [where] you didn't want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff.

"But you're happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract, he's back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family. I wish the best for him."

As for the problems Hill's departure creates for the Chiefs, Mahomes conceded they will have to do things a little differently.

"We've just got to keep rolling," he said. "That's just how it is in this league. 

"It's a business as much as it is about friendships. We know in order to have success in this league we have to keep evolving and keep getting better. 

"So I got with those new receivers as quickly as possible and tried to build that [chemistry] so we could have success when we get going this year.

"We'll have to find production in different ways than we did last year, because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense.

"I think you've seen in games when we haven't had Tyreek, or we haven't had certain people, other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.''

Xavien Howard leads the NFL in interceptions since 2017 and believes the addition of Tyreek Hill by the Miami Dolphins will allow him to make further strides after the cornerback signed a five-year extension.

Howard last week signed a $90million extension with the Dolphins, reflecting his status as one of the NFL's top corners.

He has amassed 27 interceptions over the past five seasons and is in no doubt that the Dolphins expect him to add to that tally under new head coach Mike McDaniel after coming to terms on a lucrative deal.

"To get the ball. That's what I've been doing since I've been here. I wouldn't say nothing different," Howard replied when asked at a media conference what the Dolphins want from him. 

"Continue being a leader in the locker room, help the younger guys out, help the new guys that come into the Miami Dolphins and just continue attacking the ball and making turnovers."

One such new guy is three-time All-Pro wide receiver Hill, who arrived in a blockbuster trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last month.

And Howard anticipates practicing against Hill will help him and the six-time Pro Bowler improve their respective games.

"I think we'll get each other better," Howard added of Hill. 

"I played against him in college and also in the league. I just want to focus on getting each other better. That's really it."

 

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker is reportedly on his way to New England Patriots.

Sources have informed ESPN's Adam Schefter that Parker will be traded to the Patriots along with a 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick.

New England are set to receive a compensatory third-round pick next year after losing J.C. Jackson in free agency.

The Patriots are well stocked with wide receivers, as Parker would join Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, N'Keal Harry, Ty Montgomery, Kristian Wilkerson and Malcolm Perry in New England.

Parker finished last season with 40 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns from 10 appearances.

Miami last month pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Andy Reid insists there is no rift between him and Tyreek Hill after the Kansas City Chiefs traded their star wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins.

In the latest blockbuster move of an incredible offseason in the NFL, Hill was traded to Miami for five draft picks last week.

The Dolphins then handed Hill, a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a four-year, $120million contract extension with $72.2m guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player at his position.

Hill was a pivotal part of a Chiefs team that has reached the AFC Championship Game for four straight years and won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2019 season.

Chiefs coach Reid stressed that his departure was directly related to contract negotiations and the Chiefs' situation with the salary cap.

"I love Tyreek Hill," said Reid, per ESPN. "There's no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. 

"I thought he deserved an opportunity if that's where he wanted to go. 

"He's a family man that has a few kids and he's got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that. 

"At the same time, it gives us great compensation."

Speaking publicly for the first time since the trade, Reid made it clear the Chiefs' initial intention was to find a way to keep Hill.

He added: "We came in aggressive [with a contract offer], and after we got to a point, we just said, 'Listen, in this day and age you have issues you have to deal with, with the cap'. 

"So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. You can go different routes with a player. You can play hardball or you can go about it the way I did, or we did.

"You've got to be able to manage that the right way.

"If you're paying all of your money to a quarterback and you can't surround him with players, that can be a problem. 

"So you have to find a way with a Tyreek Hill maybe that you have to get rid of so you can replenish. That's offense and defense. I'm not just talking about the offensive side."

The departure of Hill is a huge blow for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, though Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster are two free agent pass-catchers who have been brought in so far.

"You want to surround him with great players," added Reid when he was asked about Mahomes.

"We did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we're doing here with the players we brought in and we feel they're very good football players.

"[General manager Brett Veach] is building this thing to where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays."

The Chiefs have won the AFC West division for six straight seasons but face fierce competition this year.

Seattle Seahawks great Russell Wilson has been signed by the Denver Broncos to play QB, while the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have also strengthened with big moves.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin feels lucky to add an asset as valuable as new senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Flores was fired from his role as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in January following the franchise's first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003, finishing 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021.

During the fallout of his stint in Miami, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants.

In it, he accused the Broncos and Giants of flawed hiring processes, alleging the two franchises only offered interviews to comply with the league's 'Rooney Rule', which requires teams to interview candidates of colour for head coaching and senior operation vacancies.

The class action brought by Flores alleged the NFL "remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of black head coaches, coordinators and general managers".

Flores also alleged he was offered $100,000 per loss by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in 2019 in an effort to secure a better draft position.

All parties have strenuously denied Flores' allegations.

Flores was confirmed as the Steelers' new defensive assistant and linebackers coach last month, and Tomlin acknowledged that his decision to offer him a role was partly influenced by a desire to ensure he was not exiled from the league.

"I just didn't want him to feel like he was on an island," he told reporters on Sunday. 

"From a coaching fraternity standpoint, I owed him that. I was in position to provide that. I think that started our interactions and conversations.

"Over the course of those discussions, particularly when it became evident he was not going to get a head job, then I think the natural discussion began. 

"It really ran its course rather quickly, to be quite honest with you, because it doesn't require a lot of time to come to the realisation that you can use a Brian Flores on your staff."

Tomlin believes Flores will bring a level of experience that will help shape decision-making on every level.

"Senior defensive assistant and linebacker coach is his title, but there's help that he's going to help us and help me, in particular," he added. 

"I love sharpening my sword on his and gaining a perspective that his experiences provide, that wise counsel.

"We're talking about a myriad of things. Whether it's calendar, whether it's taking care of players, whether it's the acquisition or evaluation of talent, it's been fun to have him. His contributions are going to be significant."

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!"

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.

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.

 

The Miami Dolphins have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, likely adding an experienced backup behind 2020 fifth overall draft pick Tua Tagovailoa.

The sides can finalise the deal on Wednesday when the NFL's free agency period begins. Monday marked the beginning of the league's legal negotiating period.

Bridgewater, 29, is a South Florida native who had a decorated career at Miami Northwestern Senior High School and has returned to his alma mater frequently to watch Friday night games.

While Tagovailoa is expected to remain the Dolphins' starter, he has dealt with several injuries in his first two pro seasons, making the acquisition of a reliable quarterback a priority for Miami.

The 32nd overall pick in 2014 out of Louisville, Bridgewater will once again be relegated to a backup role after starting 29 games over the last two seasons for the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

In 14 games last season, he threw for a career-high 18 touchdown passes for the 7-10 Broncos, who revamped the position last week by agreeing to a blockbuster deal with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire Russell Wilson.

With Bridgewater set to be signed and Mitchell Trubisky agreeing to a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the offseason quarterback carousel is beginning to settle, with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota remaining the top two available free agents.

The elephant in the room for teams acquiring quarterbacks remains the status of Deshaun Watson, who has requested a trade from the Houston Texans despite having 22 civil lawsuits against him for allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, which he denies. A grand jury deemed there insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings last week.

The Dolphins and Texans were deep into conversations about sending Watson to Miami before last year's trade deadline, but no deal was made.

Mike Gesicki looks set to have a role in the Miami Dolphins' offense in 2022 after he was franchise tagged.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins had elected to keep Gesicki around for a fifth season by opting to place a one-year franchise tender on the tight end.

Miami can still sign Gesicki to a long-term deal, but the Dolphins must do so before July 15. Otherwise, Gesicki will play on the tender, which for tight ends is worth $10.9million.

Last season, Gesicki recorded career highs in receptions (73) and receiving yards (780), though he caught only two passing touchdowns.

He will hope to have a greater impact under new head coach Mike McDaniel, who replaced Brian Flores after he was fired despite a second successive winning season, the Dolphins going 9-8 in 2021.

McDaniel arrived in Miami having served as Kyle Shanahan's offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers in 2021 and spent the vast majority of his career working with Shanahan.

The coaching switch would therefore appear to bode well for Gesicki. Since Shanahan took charge of the Niners in 2017, only Travis Kelce (78.8) has averaged more receiving yards per game among tight ends than San Francisco's George Kittle (67), giving Gesicki cause for optimism he can enjoy a significant bump in production playing under one of the newest members of that ever-expanding coaching tree to land a top job.

Tua Tagovailoa will be the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins going forward and there will be no trade for Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson, according to general manager Chris Grier.

As Tagovailoa has been inconsistent since the Dolphins selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft, there had been talk Miami would be interested in bringing in a different quarterback. 

Miami did take the first steps towards acquiring Watson last year, with owner Stephen Ross being granted permission to talk to the Texans quarterback.

However, no trade was finalised for Watson, who is facing 22 civil lawsuits that remain unresolved as the NFL conducts its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

Mike McDaniel was hired as Miami's new coach early last month after five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, serving last season as the team's offensive coordinator. 

"I think the door is shut on Deshaun," Grier said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"At the end of the day, Mike and the staff have come to do a lot of work and studied Tua and they feel good about his developmental upside, what he can be and then the fit in the offense. I think we're good with Tua."

There are questions about exactly how high a ceiling Tagovailoa has, and Grier was asked whether he thinks he can be an elite quarterback.

"I can't say he can't be," Grier said. "It's a situation now where this will be built around his skill set and what the offense can be and Mike's vision of how he fits.

"So, I wouldn't say he can't be. It's too early. He's played 20 games maybe. The first year was in and out and missing games this year, but I know he's won games even this last year, and it's hard to win games in this league.

"I know people want to say he doesn't throw the ball downfield, but he's incredibly accurate, and that's the real exciting part for Mike and the coaching staff, his accuracy."

Tagovailoa completed 67.8 per cent of his passes last season and threw 16 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. 

"I will say Mike and the offensive staff watched every game, every throw and put together this tape of the roster, and it was pretty cool," Grier said.

"Mike's vision for how Tua fits into this scheme and what he can do, they're all every excited about it.

"So, I think at the end of the day, probably Tua is going to have to come in and work with him and do it on the field, but right now there's a very good comfort level with how they feel he fits into what Mike wants to do with our offense."

The Miami Dolphins have confirmed the appointment of San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their new head coach.

McDaniel has joined the Dolphins on a four-year contract according to ESPN, taking over from Brian Flores who was sacked in January.

The Dolphins had been searching for a new head coach for a month, with McDaniel edging out Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

The Miami job is 38-year-old McDaniel's first head coaching role at any level, having spent 15 seasons in the NFL and two in the UFL.

He was also previously an assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.

McDaniel replaces Flores who had a 24-25 record after three seasons, including the Dolphins finishing third in the AFC East with a 9-8 record in the 2021-22 season.

Brian Flores believes the NFL is at a "fork in the road" with its hiring practices after the former Miami Dolphins head coach filed a class action lawsuit against the league.

Flores alleged in the suit that the NFL is rife with racism and has a "disingenuous commitment to social equity".

He is suing the league along with teams at whose hands he claims he experienced racism, naming the Dolphins along with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos as defendants, together with "John Doe Teams 1 through 29".

Amid the allegations made by Flores is that he inadvertently learned he had failed to get the Giants head coach job last week before his interview, which the lawsuit claims was "a sham" that "humiliated" him. 

The NFL has a 'Rooney Rule' in place. It requires all teams seeking a new head coach "to interview at least one or more diverse candidates".

The suit also alleged that Flores "was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule" by the Broncos in 2019 and was never intended to be "a legitimate candidate".

In addition, it claims Flores was offered $100,000 for every Dolphins loss in 2019 by owner Stephen Ross, who was said to be angered by the team's competitiveness compromising their draft position. Miami fired Flores at the end of the 2021 season despite the team finishing with a winning record in successive seasons.

The NFL said Flores' claims "are without merit", saying it would put up a defence. The three teams named by Flores also rejected his allegations.

Speaking alongside his attorneys on CBS Mornings, Flores said: "I love coaching, I'm gifted to coach and I want to coach. This is bigger than coaching, this is much bigger than coaching.

"We filed the lawsuit so that we could create some change. I think we're at a fork in the road right now, we're either going to keep it the way it is, or we're going to go in another direction and actually make some real change where we're actually changing the hearts and minds of those who make decisions to hire head coaches, executives, et cetera."

Asked about the claims he made against the Dolphins and owner Ross, Flores replied: "This game's done a lot for me. I didn't grow up with a lot, this game changed my life.

"To attack the integrity of the game, that's what I felt was happening in that instance and I wouldn't stand for it.

"I think it hurt my standing within the organisation and ultimately was why I was let go."

The suit contains screen grabs of an alleged text message conversation between New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Flores, in which Belichick congratulates Flores on what he believes is an impending appointment, only to realise he was messaging the wrong person, having intended to contact Brian Daboll, who got the Giants job.

During the text exchange, Flores questioned whether Belichick had messaged the correct person, with the Patriots coach having indicated he had inside knowledge on who would land the job. According to the lawsuit's contents, Belichick at this point realised his error and apologised to Flores, who worked for him for 10 years with the Patriots.

"It was a range of emotions, humiliation, disbelief, anger," Flores said of that episode. 

"I have worked so hard to get where I am in football to become a head coach. Put 18 years in this league, and it was, to go on what was going to be a, what felt like and was a sham interview, I was hurt.

"The Rooney Rule is intended to give minorities an opportunity to sit down in front of ownership, but I think what it's turned into is an instance where guys are checking the box.

"I've been on some interviews in the past where I've had that feeling. There's always no way to know for sure, but you know. I know I'm not alone."

The NFL on Wednesday published its response to the suit, which read: ​"The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organisations.

"Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit."

A spokesman for the Giants, Pat Hanlon, was quoted by the New York Times on Tuesday as saying the team was "confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll", adding that Flores was "in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour".

The Broncos have described the various claims against the franchise as "blatantly false" and "baseless and disparaging claims".

Several allegations are made in the suit about Flores' time with the Dolphins, which came to an end only last month.

The Dolphins responded by saying they "vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organisation".

Tom Brady deserves to be considered among sporting greats such as Michael Jordan, Rafael Nadal and LeBron James, according to his former New England Patriots team-mate Eric Rowe.

The quarterback announced his retirement on Tuesday after a 22-year career that saw him win an unprecedented seven Super Bowl titles, six with the Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rowe played alongside Brady at Gillette Stadium for three seasons between 2016 and 2019, and said the 44-year-old belongs in the conversation with the great sporting icons.

"Oh, man, he's right there," Rowe said in an exclusive interview with Stats Perform.

"You say Serena [Williams], Nadal, you could say Michael Jordan, you could say LeBron [James] you could say Kobe [Bryant], you're definitely saying Tom Brady. He's definitely in that little name bucket."

Rowe, now at the Miami Dolphins, was also asked what words come to mind when it comes to Brady, with the first unsurprisingly being "championships", with the safety clarifying: "because he's won so many in our era, at least in my era.

"Then I think just 'leadership'. One of the greatest players, he had a lot of, I wouldn't say heat, but people kind of question, 'he has been at the Patriots for some 20 odd years, and then he can't do it anywhere else'.

"He went to another team and brought them a championship. So that just shows how much leadership he has within himself."

Rowe also outlined what set Brady apart from the rest and what his legacy will mean for the NFL.

"Yeah, his legacy. Obviously, his name is going to live on forever. Just as players, you know who way back then, how their name still comes around today.

"And people, even kids [who] obviously didn't grow up watching them know who they are, so his name, 20, 30 years from now [people will say] 'oh, yeah, Tom Brady'.

"You know, still one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, so his legacy's gonna live on."

Brady retires with 243 QB wins, meaning an incredible margin to second-placed pair Peyton Manning and Brett Favre on 186.

In fact, Brady has 69 wins in the month of December alone. In terms of a single month, Favre is next, with 52 wins also in December.

Brady has the best record among QBs with at least 100 starts, his .769 again comfortably ahead of the next-best performance, Roger Staubach's .746.

The 2021 season was Brady's 19th different campaign with 3,000 passing yards – clear of Favre's 18 – and his fifth 4,000-yard season just since he turned 40.

Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Staubach and Steve Young combined for three seasons with 4,000 passing yards for their careers.

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