Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre would be shocked if star receiver Davante Adams has the same production with the Las Vegas Raiders as he had playing alongside quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Adams signed a five-year, $141.25million contract extension with the Raiders after a blockbuster offseason trade from the Packers, turning down an offer of more money to remain in Green Bay.

The pass-catcher left four-time MVP and 38-year-old Rodgers to reunite with Derek Carr, who was his QB in college at Fresno State.

Favre is in no doubt the presence of Adams will improve Carr and the Raiders but would be surprised if the wideout was able to match his career-best totals of 123 receptions for 1,553 yards last season.

Adams also caught 11 touchdowns in 2021, which was his second straight All-Pro season, having grabbed an incredible 18 the year before. 

"Derek Carr is a very good quarterback, but he's not in Aaron's league yet," Favre said to TMZ Sports.

"He may never be, and that's no disrespect either, but I do think that Davante owes a great deal of gratitude to Aaron and the Packers drafting him.

"That's not to say he's not a great player because he is a tremendous player and we'll see that with Las Vegas. 

"But it's just hard to shift gears, especially from a player as prolific as Aaron Rodgers. 

"I'd be shocked if he had the same year he's had this year. That's not to say he can't do it, but I would be shocked."

Favre added: "No disrespect to Davante at all - zero disrespect. I do think that Davante will make Derek Carr better and, in time, they will be a dynamic duo. 

"Now will it be the duo that Aaron and Davante had? Time will tell."

Adams and Carr will be part of a star-studded AFC West in 2022.

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the division for six straight years and made four straight AFC Championship Games, but all three of their rivals go into the year with postseason aspirations.

Las Vegas have added Adams as one of many high-profile moves and the Denver Broncos traded for star QB Russell Wilson.

The Los Angeles Chargers, meanwhile, have high expectations as they surround Justin Herbert with one of the NFL's strongest all-round rosters.

Adrian Peterson and Le'Veon Bell will swap the pads and helmets for gloves and shorts after agreeing to meet in an exhibition boxing match later this month.

The veteran running backs are due to face off in the squared circle at Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on July 30.

Bell, a three-time Pro Bowler, made the announcement on social media.

"[And] it's official nothing else needs to be said, let's gooo," Bell, 30, posted on Twitter, accompanied with a poster promoting the bout.

Peterson is not officially retired from the NFL but made just four appearances for the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in the 2021 season.

The 37-year-old became a star name during a 10-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings and was named MVP in 2012 - a campaign where he became the seventh player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.

Peterson ranks fifth on the NFL's career rushing yards list with 14,918 and is a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Like Peterson, Bell has not officially hung up the cleats but has struggled to find a permanent home since leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. Last season, he made eight appearances for the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN reported the fight will take place on the undercard of Social Gloves 2, an event promoted by YouTube star Austin McBroom.

USC and UCLA could be joining the Big Ten Conference as soon as 2024 after league officials voted Thursday to approve the schools’ application for membership.  

The move is just the latest in a wave of realignment among college football powers, moving away from the strictly regional model that had organized the sport for more than a century.  

In two years, the Big Ten will stretch from coast to coast with campuses from California to New Jersey.  

USC athletic director Mike Bohn called the conference "the best home for USC" in a statement on Thursday night. 

"Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports," he said. "We also will benefit from the stability and strength of the conference." 

UCLA chancellor Gene D. Block and AD Martin Jarmond also released a combined statement Thursday, announcing the move.  

"Each school faces its own unique challenges and circumstances, and we believe this is the best move for UCLA at this time," they said. "For us, this move offers greater certainty in rapidly changing times and ensures that we remain a leader in college athletics for generations to come."  

With Oklahoma and Texas scheduled to join the SEC and both L.A. rivals headed to the Big Ten, many pundits have predicted continued movement until two giant leagues contain all the sport’s traditional powers.  

According to multiple reports, USC and UCLA initiated conversations with the Big Ten. The sides first met on Wednesday, with the unanimous membership vote coming just 24 hours later.  

The Pac-12 loses two charter members while negotiating a new media rights deal and leaving the conference scrambling to keep up in the realignment arms race.  

Since receiving news that Oklahoma and Texas were leaving, the Big 12 has arranged for new members in Cincinnati, UCF, Houston and BYU.  

The Pac-12 will now likely look for new members of its own in order to keep up.  

"While we are extremely surprised and disappointed by the news coming out of UCLA and USC today, we have a long and storied history in athletics, academics and leadership in supporting student-athletes that we're confident will continue to thrive and grow into the future," the Pac-12 said in a statement. 

The Big Ten is currently negotiating its own media rights deal that is expected to exceed $1 billion annually.

Terry McLaurin has become the latest receiver to be paid, as the NFL's trend of wideouts earning huge sums shows no signs of slowing.

And McLaurin's new three-year contract with the Washington Commanders is a record-breaking pact.

The deal, worth up to $71million in new money, makes the fourth-year star one of the five best-paid receivers in the NFL and notably has more than three-quarters of the value guaranteed.

Indeed, McLaurin's reported signing bonus of $28m is the largest ever given to a receiver.

The player has got the deal he wanted after skipping three weeks of voluntary OTAs and then the Commanders' mandatory three-day minicamp.

Washington bowed to McLaurin's demands, as several rival teams have with their own standout pass catchers this offseason, although others – the Green Bay Packers with Davante Adams and the Kansas City Chiefs with Tyreek Hill – have seen big names depart to earn massive contracts elsewhere.

The Commanders were determined McLaurin would not be traded, however, meaning he returns for the 2022 season, which had been set to be the last of his rookie contract.

It is uncertain who will line up at quarterback when the Cleveland Browns open their 2022 season, but Baker Mayfield is pretty sure it will not be him. 

Appearing at his youth football camp in Norman, Oklahoma on Tuesday, Mayfield was asked if there was any chance of a reconciliation with the Browns. 

“I think it’s been pretty obvious, the mutual decision on both sides is to move on,” he said. 

Mayfield’s comments came the same day Deshaun Watson’s hearing began to determine whether he violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy. 

The Browns appeared content to move on from Mayfield when they traded for Watson and gave him a massive five-year, $230million guaranteed contract in March despite the fact he was being sued by two dozen women for sexual misconduct. 

Watson has long maintained he is innocent of any wrongdoing, but he is likely facing a lengthy suspension from the NFL. 

Mayfield is still under contract with the Browns – due to make $18.8million this season – but said for him to suit up again for the franchise, the team has a relationship to mend.  

“I think for that to happen, there would have to be some reaching out,'' he said. ''But we're ready to move on, I think, on both sides.'' 

Part of Mayfield’s frustration with the Browns is after they acquired Watson they were unable to trade him prior to the NFL draft like he expected. Training camps begin in less than a month, and teams are set with their quarterback situations so a trade at this point is unlikely. 

''I think I got frustrated with it not happening before minicamp and all those things, but it's just the stuff that's out of my control,'' he said. ''And so, you know, let those things happen and fall in place.'' 

Mayfield helped lead Cleveland to the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2002 two seasons ago, but struggled last year while dealing with a shoulder injury and the Browns finished at 8-9. 

Other than Mayfield and Watson, the only other quarterbacks on Cleveland’s roster are Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs, so one of those two are the leading candidates to start the opener against the Carolina Panthers on September 11, if Mayfield is done with the team and Watson is banned. 

And Mayfield certainly sounds like his days with the Browns are over. 

''I'm thankful for my four years in Cleveland, and had a lot of ups and downs and a ton of learning experiences that I will forever keep with me,'' he said. 

A retired federal judge will make a decision on Deshaun Watson's immediate NFL future, with a hearing set to begin on Tuesday determining whether he violated the league's personal conduct policy.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback was sued by 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions in 2020 and 2021, when he was with the Houston Texans.

Twenty of those civil lawsuits recently ended with confidential settlements and Watson, who will attend the hearing in person, denies any wrongdoing. 

Two grand juries in Texas have already looked at complaints against Watson and declined to indict him on criminal charges, though the NFL conduct policy does not require criminal charges in order to bring discipline.

Following an NFL investigation, it is widely reported they will seek an indefinite suspension of at least a year.

The league's personal conduct policy aims to hold players and personnel to a "higher standard" and make sure they conduct themselves appropriately.

Retired federal judge Sue Robinson is the disciplinary officer appointed for the case and will issue a verdict on whether any violation occurred.

A verdict is expected next week before training camp but that may not bring the end to the matter.

Watson's representatives and the NFL Players Association would have the ability to appeal against any punishment, such as a suspension, while the NFL could also appeal for an increased sanction if they do not agree with the verdict.

But there will be no appeals if he is cleared of the charges.

Watson is hoping to avoid being sidelined for the second season in a row. He was not suspended in the 2021 campaign but did not play for the Texans amid his legal issues, having also requested a trade.

One of the game's leading QBs, Watson was ultimately traded in March this year. The Browns gave him a record guaranteed contract of $230million over five years.

Former NFL defensive tackle and TV analyst Tony Siragusa has died at 55 years old.  

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay confirmed the death on Wednesday. 

A member of the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl championship team from the 2000 season, Siragusa was a fan favourite during his 12 professional seasons due to his jovial, larger-than-life personality that matched his massive frame.

Undrafted out of Pittsburgh, Siragusa signed with the Colts in 1990 and spent his first seven seasons in Indianapolis before joining the Ravens in 1997. He finished his career with 564 total tackles, 22 sacks and nine fumble recoveries in 169 games.

Following his retirement after the 2001 season, Siragusa spent more than a decade as a sideline reporter and analyst for NFL games on Fox. He was known for providing his commentary from the sidelines during game broadcasts as opposed to the traditional analyst role in a TV booth.  

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement: "Renee and I are stunned and heartbroken to learn about the sudden passing of Tony Siragusa.

"He was a special person and clearly one of the most popular players in Ravens history.

"Tony's larger-than-life personality made an enormous impact on our organisation and throughout the Baltimore community.

"On the football field, Goose was a difference-maker who contributed immeasurably to the success of many great Ravens defenses, including the record-setting 2000 Super Bowl team.

"Our deepest prayers and sympathies go out to Kathy, their three children and the rest of the Siragusa family."

A native of New Jersey, Siragusa also dabbled in acting following his NFL career, playing a recurring character on the TV series 'The Sopranos'.

The announcement of Siragusa's passing comes on the same day the Ravens confirmed the death of linebacker Jaylon Ferguson at the age of 26.

"This is a tremendously sad day for the Baltimore Ravens," Bisciotti added. "We appreciate everyone who has expressed an outpouring of support for our players, coaches and staff."

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at the age of 26, the team announced on Wednesday. 

"We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson," the Ravens said in a statement.

"He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon's family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon."

Ferguson’s agent, Safarrah Lawson, said the former Louisiana Tech star died in Baltimore. A cause of death is still being determined. 

"It's with great sadness that we announce the passing of Baltimore Ravens LB Jaylon Ferguson," Lawson said in a statement. "The family asks for your prayers and privacy during this trying time."

Ferguson played at Louisiana Tech from 2015-18, racking up 45 sacks to set the NCAA career record and earn the nickname of 'Sack Daddy'. 

The Ravens selected Ferguson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he went on to appear in 38 games (including 10 starts) with Baltimore. Ferguson totalled 4.5 sacks in his NFL career. 

Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will continue his tour of the AFC North by signing a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Ogunjobi spent his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before recording a career-high seven sacks, a team-high 12 tackles for loss and 49 total tackles last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.  

This is the second time this offseason that Ogunjobi has agreed to a free-agent contract, signing a reported three-year, $40.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears in March before that deal fell through when he failed his physical.  

Ogunjobi started 16 games last season for the Bengals but suffered a season-ending right foot injury during a Wild Card round victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Ogunjobi will replace the retired Stephon Tuitt as the third starter on the Steelers' defensive line, along with Cameron Heyward and Tyson Alualu.

He should help Pittsburgh improve a run defense that finished 32nd in the NFL last season in rushing yards allowed and 32nd in rushing yards per attempt. 

Rob Gronkowski is retiring from the NFL – again. 

After coming out of his 2019 retirement to spend the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – with whom he won the Super Bowl in the 2020 campaign – the future Hall of Fame tight end took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal he is once again calling it a career. 

"I want to thank the whole entire first-class Buccaneers organisation for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team," he wrote. "I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field."

A four-time Super Bowl champion who won his first three titles during nine seasons with the New England Patriots, four-time first-team All-Pro Gronkowski entered this offseason as a free agent but implied if he was going to continue to play it would be with Tom Brady. 

When Brady announced in mid-March he would play again for the Buccaneers in 2022 after briefly retiring, many expected Gronkowski would also return seeing as Brady had already lured Gronk out of retirement once. 

The oft-injured 33-year-old, however, decided it was time to step away. 

"The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my team-mates and coaches for giving everything they had as well," he wrote. "From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all."

Gronkowski retires as one of the most decorated and dangerous players at his position in NFL history. With soft hands coupled with the power to plow over would-be tacklers, Gronkowski ranks third among all tight ends with 92 career touchdown receptions, while his 9,286 receiving yards rank fifth. 

As one of Brady's most reliable and trusted targets across their time together in New England and Tampa, Gronkowski amassed 15 receiving touchdowns in the playoffs – trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice's 22 for the most in NFL history. 

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has settled all but four of the 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct brought against him, according to attorney Tony Buzbee. 

Buzbee represents the women suing Watson, who has been accused of committing sexual misconduct during massage sessions by two dozen women.

"Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled," Buzbee said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won't comment further on the settlements or those cases."

One of the four women who did not settle is Ashley Solis – the first woman to accuse Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct. 

"Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story," Buzbee said. "Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to trying these cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court's schedule."

Watson has not commented on Buzbee's statement.

Until all 24 cases are settled, Watson's NFL future is still uncertain. The NFL is conducting its own investigation into whether he violated the league's code of conduct.

The New York Times recently reported the embattled quarterback hired at least 66 different women for private massages over the course of 17 months. Watson has long maintained he is innocent of any wrongdoing. 

 

 

Free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh admits his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is all but over. 

Continuing his NFL career with the Las Vegas Raiders, however, "could be fun." 

Appearing on ESPN’s 'NFL Live', Suh acknowledged that signing another one-year contract to stay with Tampa Bay is unlikely to happen. 

"[I'm] excited to really just understand where I can potentially be," he said. 

"It looks like the Bucs are out of the picture, but excited to look at the other options." 

Suh spent the past three seasons with the Buccaneers on three one-year deals, and helped the franchise win the Super Bowl during the 2020 season. 

The writing was on the wall that a return to Tampa was unlikely, however, after the Bucs signed defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on May 31. 

During Monday's broadcast, Suh was asked about potentially joining the Raiders, and the five-time Pro Bowler did not hesitate to say he was interested. 

"I like it to be honest with you," he said. "Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby, I was exchanging messages with them the other day. 

"It's an interesting opportunity for sure. We'll see where it kind of ends up.

"But that AFC West is very, very tough - which would be fun. You get out of that, you're almost destined to get to the Super Bowl."

Suh doubled down on those comments a day later, tweeting out Tuesday morning, "Raiders could be fun."

Despite being 35 years old, Suh, who has only missed two games in his entire 12-year career, believes he still has plenty to offer between his contributions on the field as well as being a veteran presence in the locker room. 

In 17 games last season, he amassed six sacks, seven tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hurries. His 70.5 career sacks ranks 10th among active players. 

"I think I have a lot of great talent in my engine," he said, "and people have felt that before."

For the second straight year, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was fined by the NFL for having practices that were deemed too physical, with the team being stripped of an organized team activity for 2023. 

After he was fined $50,000 last season, McCarthy was hit with a $100,000 charge this year for violating OTA rules that restrict too much contact during the offseason sessions. Dallas will also lose an OTA practice in 2023 as a result. OTAs with live contact are barred by the collective bargaining agreement. 

Last season, Dallas’ practice was flagged for "live contact violations" after the NFL obtained footage showing ramped-up contact from Cowboys players during 11-on-11 drills.  

They were one of three teams to be fined in 2021 and have an OTA rescinded for practice violations. San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was fined $50,000 and the organization was fined $100,000, while the Jacksonville Jaguars were fined $200,000 and former coach Urban Meyer was docked $100,000. 

Earlier this month, the Chicago Bears had to cancel an offseason workout because they violated NFL rules by having live contact during a session in May. New coach Matt Eberflus said the contact that occurred was because of overzealous players and not the team's practice structure. He said neither he nor the organization was fined. 

Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid took the high road when responding to criticism from former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, opting not to start a war of words through the media.

Mahomes did, however, say he did not expect to hear critical comments from Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins earlier this offseason.

Hill said on the first episode of his 'It Needed To Be Said' podcast that the Chiefs and Mahomes may struggle without him and argued he should have received the ball more last season.

"I'm surprised a little just because I feel like we love Tyreek here," Mahomes said at the conclusion of the Chiefs' offseason program Thursday. "We've always loved him. We still love him.”

Reid's comments were brief but echoed a similar sentiment.

"I love Tyreek," Reid said. "He's a good kid. We think the world of him."

Hill made a career-high 111 catches in 2021 and carried the ball nine times, totalling 1335 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns.

He also said his new quarterback, Miami's Tua Tagovailoa, is a more accurate passer than Mahomes.

"It doesn't get to me at all," said Mahomes, a former league MVP, on being compared to Tagovailoa.

"As long as we're winning football games and we're putting up points, I think I'm doing my job the right way. It doesn't have to be the best accuracy and completion percentage in the world. So long as we're scoring touchdowns and winning Super Bowls, I'll take it."

Mahomes said he has not spoken to Hill since the release of the podcast but mentioned there was no tension between them when they attended a Formula One race together in Miami last month.

"It's something where I'm sure he's trying to show he loves where he's at in Miami - he loves his teammates," Mahomes said. "But at the end of the day, it's just going out there and playing football. You kind of let other people talk about who is the best and other type of stuff. You just want to go out there and win football games."

Hill has hinted on social media that his comments were made strategically in an attempt to boost the confidence of his teammates, chiefly Tagovailoa.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III said on Twitter, "Tyreek knows Tua isn't Mahomes. Two different styles of play and Mahomes has certified greatness. Tua is accurate but [Hill] is just tired of people going in on his QB and I respect his support."

Hill replied: "Finally someone gets the message."

Lamar Jackson has said he wants to be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of his career, but the 2019 NFL MVP was less definitive when asked if he will be present for the start of training camp in July.

As expected, Jackson's contract status was a main topic of conversation when he met with reporters following Thursday's final day of mandatory minicamp.

The dynamic quarterback is entering the final season of the five-year, $32.5million deal he signed as a rookie in 2018.

Jackson, who is representing himself in negotiations, said he and the Ravens have had discussions about an extension, but stopped short of saying for certain if he will attend training camp or play Week 1 without a new deal.

"We're having a conversation about it," he said. "I don’t know."

Jackson still remained optimistic he will remain a Raven past this season and beyond, though, adding when asked: "I expect so. Yes, I do."

Jackson did attend mandatory minicamp after skipping Baltimore's voluntary offseason training activities last month, though said his absence was not contract-related.

"I just wanted to stay away and just grind. I just wanted to come back and just see how it felt. [And] I feel good," he added.

Extension talks between Jackson and the Ravens have moved slowly, with general manager Eric DeCosta saying in March negotiations had gone on "at Lamar's urgency."

With a league MVP to his credit and being the only quarterback in NFL history with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, the 25-year-old is in position for a big second contract – perhaps one that could exceed the record $230m in guaranteed money the Cleveland Browns gave quarterback Deshaun Watson on a five-year deal agreed to in March.

Jackson insisted the Watson contract would have no bearing on his situation, saying: "I'm a man of my own. I don't worry about what those guys get."

Jackson also responded to comments made by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti earlier this offseason, which suggested the star signal-caller may not think he was worthy of such a lucrative long-term contract until he wins a Super Bowl.

"I still want my Super Bowl, though, but I think I'm worthy," Jackson stated. "Yes, sir, I do."

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