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Jets owner Woody Johnson’s U.K. ambassadorship approved by U.S. Senate

Jets owner Woody Johnson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Johnson, a major contributor and fundraiser to the Republican party, switched his allegiance during the 2016 primaries from Jeb Bush to Donald Trump as Trump secured the GOP nomination, NJ.com notes. Johnson donated $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee, per the New York Daily News.

Christopher Johnson, Woody’s brother, will take over day-to-day ownership duties with the Jets. Christopher, along with Woody, attended the NFL owners meetings in March, as Trump promised to appoint Woody to the ambassadorship shortly after being sworn into office in January.

Woody Johnson becomes at the least the second NFL owner to serve as a U.S. ambassador, as late Steelers owner Dan Rooney was the ambassador to Ireland under President Barack Obama.

If that doesn’t happen, if Kirk doesn’t sign a long-term contract — which I hope he does — that tells if not, we gotta go to work, Williams said. We gotta search long and hard to find that guy. But at the same time, we got a capable backup here in Colt McCoy, who can hold the fort down for a while or even take it the long distance.

The team could also target a quarterback in the 2018 NFL draft, which is expected to be loaded at the position.

Cousins has been a reliable and consistent starter for Washington these past two years, and he won’t be easy to replace. If he plays at the same level this season and then walks away from Washington, the team may soon regret not working out a long-term deal with him.

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Scary video emerges of ex-NFL DT Brian Price running through glass door

Brian Price was a standout defensive lineman at UCLA, being named a First-Team All-American and winning the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, both in 2009. He left college to play in the NFL where he was drafted in the second round by the Buccaneers.

According to the Buffalo News, McDermott disclosed that his starters will go about a quarter, give or take, against Minnesota at New Era Field.

Watkins, who suffered a minor ankle injury during practice on Sunday, underwent a second surgery on his injured foot in January and has been rehabbing this offseason. The Bills are expected to use caution when sending their former fourth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft onto the field to avoid further injury.

Buffalo opted not to pick up Watkins’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract in May, given the former Clemosn star has battled a litany of injuries throughout his first three seasons in the NFL.

Watkins, 23, hauled in 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns in 2015 before injuries caused his production to drop the following year. He was limited to just eight games last season and finished with 28 receptions for 430 yards and two scores.

After the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Monday, Washington released a statement from team president Bruce Allen, airing out contract negotiations.

It felt like one of those moments when you’re younger and you try to tell on your sibling first, thinking your parents will take your side. Because Allen disclosed what the team offered Cousins, he and the franchise expected everybody to look at Cousins and say they tried, what’s your problem? and that’s not the case at all.

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Dolphins’ Jay Ajayi evaluated for concussion after leaving practice field

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi is being evaluated for a concussion after exiting the team’s Monday morning practice early, according to coach Adam Gase.

During the Dolphins’ first day in full pads, Ajayi was having a productive workout until he took a hard hit from his teammates. The third-year rusher was seen walking with team trainers to the locker room and did not return to the field.

I will know more this afternoon, Gase said in a press conference after practice, via USA Today. I didn’t go get a full debriefing on everything today so far. I usually give it a couple of hours.

Ajayi rushed for 1,272 yards, which ranked fourth in the NFL, and eight touchdowns in 15 games for Miami last season. The 24-year-old’s breakout performance earned him Pro Bowl honors for the first time since being selected out of Boise State in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 49ers are projected to have plenty of cap space to sign a quarterback next season. Plus, their quarterback depth chart isn’t very inspiring. They’re heading into the 2017 season with journeymen Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, as well as third-round pick C.J. Beathard.

If Cousins doesn’t end up in San Francisco, he will still be a hot commodity. He will need to have another strong season this year, but even if he doesn’t, he can blame any dip in his numbers on the departure of several familiar faces. This offseason, Washington lost another offensive coordinator (Sean McVay, now the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams), and its top two receivers (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Gar?on).

If Washington doesn’t tag Cousins a third time and that’s unlikely given the $34 million price tag that would go with it it can still try to extend him next offseason. But the team would have to shell out big money.

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Chris Johnson is back with the Cardinals on a 1-year deal

Chris Johnson’s claim to NFL Combine fame went down in flames this spring. His claim to NFL fame won’t be so easy to extinguish.

The veteran tailback will continue his professional career after re-signing with the Arizona Cardinals on a one-year deal. On Thursday, the team announced the signing, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Johnson burst onto the NFL’s radar in the spring of 2008 by setting a combine record with a 4.24 second 40-yard dash. That speed was enough to assuage concerns about his ability to be a full-time tailback in the pros, leading the Titans to select him with the 24th pick of that year’s draft.

Danny Morrison, who had served as the Panthers’ president since 2009, also resigned in February.

There has been conflict between Richardson and Gettleman dating back to the team’s decision to rescind Josh Norman’s franchise tag, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It wasn’t Gettleman’s first controversial move. That was the decision to trade linebacker Jon Beason to the New York Giants back in 2013. The team also cut wide receiver Steve Smith prior to the 2014 season and moved on from running back DeAngelo Williams in 2015.

The team has decisions looming on extensions for tight end Greg Olsen and linebacker Thomas Davis.

Before coming to Carolina, Gettleman spent almost three decades in NFL scouting departments. Gettleman was hired by the Panthers in 2013, and Carolina made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons.

The Panthers begin training camp in eight days.

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NFL reinstates Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant

Martavis Bryant is finally getting back on the field.

The Steelers announced Wednesday that the former Clemson wide receiver has been reinstated by the NFL after he was suspended for the entire 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Everybody that’s able to play in the game will play in the game, O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. Obviously, we’ll talk about it as a staff, how much everybody plays. You have injuries, so, 80-plus guys you have to get into the game [and] you need to evaluate.

Watt missed the majority of last season after he reinjured his back in Week 3 and underwent surgery on a herniated disc. The four-time All-Pro and three-time Defensive Player of the Year played most of the 2015-16 season with torn torso and groin muscles and the herniated disk.

During his last full season in 2015, Watt started all 16 games for Houston and recorded 76 tackles, an NFL-leading 17.5 sacks, eight passes defended, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

Cutler’s recklessness is well known and has become his unfortunate brand as a quarterback. But in 2015, especially, Cutler proved to be in control and quite effective in pressure situations. He completed nearly 50 percent of third down opportunities in the air, generating 4.6 first downs with his arm per game (among the highest in the NFL that season).

Both numbers are stark upgrades from those of Tannehill, whose 2016 season was his best in both categories over his five-year NFL career.

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Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry under investigation for battery, per report

Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry is reportedly under investigation for battery, according to a report from Andy Slater of 940 WINZ.

The incident allegedly occurred in a Ft. Lauderdale earlier this year and involves Landry’s girlfriend, who is reportedly not cooperating with the investigation. Landry has not yet been faced with charges from the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Those charges could be levied against him as early as next week if at all.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase addressed the investigation Monday morning, saying the team was aware of it.

Landry is entering the final year of his four-year, $3.74 million contract. He has 3,051 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons at Miami, including consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and ’16.

Drew Bledsoe’s last meaningful appearance with the Patriots was a fitting end to his tenure in New England. With Brady injured in the first half at Heinz Field, he turned a 7-3 game into a 24-17 AFC title win that would set up his only NFL championship. Bledsoe’s third pass of the game was an 11-yard touchdown strike to David Patten his last as a Patriot.

Another fan favorite, Troy Brown, returned a punt for a 55-yard touchdown and scooped up a blocked field-goal attempt that was returned for another score, making it a great day for local heroes.

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Mitch Trubisky off to shaky start at Bears camp

While he showed flashes of solid quarterbacking talent, Mitch Trubisky got off to an inauspicious start with the Chicago Bears on Saturday.

Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, fumbled three of six snaps during one sequence in a drill at the first padded practice of training camp, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

After his first successful exchange with the center, Trubisky was given a patronizing round of applause from the Bears fans at Olivet Nazarene University.

Cutler, who came out of retirement Monday to sign a one-year contract worth $10 million, previously worked with Gase during the 2015 season with the Bears and immediately was rumored to be heading to Miami after news broke of Ryan Tannehill’s left knee injury. Although Cutler underwent surgery in December to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder suffered last season, Gase doesn’t think his playing abilities will be affected.

After watching him last year, I saw the same stuff, Gase said. He got injured and decided to move on they decided to move on from him. He stepped away for a minute, but I feel good about where he was at the last couple of years and feel good about how he fits with us.

Cutler posted a career-high 92.3 passer rating as he threw for 3,659 yards and 21 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in 2015 while Gase served as the Bears offensive coordinator. Although Matt Moore will run the offense in the team’s first preseason game Thursday against the Falcons, Cutler likely will take over once he feels up to speed with his new team.

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Watch: Texans D’Onta Foreman pulls off flawless hurdle against Panthers

Human beings should not be able to move like Texans running back D’Onta Foreman.

The 6-foot, 233-pounder moves like a much smaller man as he demonstrated Wednesday night by hurdling poor Panthers defensive back Cole Luke.

Foreman ran for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns last season at Texas and was a third-round pick of the Texans in April’s NFL Draft.

If Wednesday’s match-up with the Panthers is any indication, Foreman is looking to prove he should have been drafted much higher.

It’s not to say that I knew going in that I was going to love what we were doing (with a quarterbacks coach) or what we were trying. It was just a trial-and-error kind of thing. I ended up liking a lot of the stuff that I was learning and doing.

As far as training and th the rest of my body, it’s not so much different. Training the way my arm is now? Yeah, for sure it’s different and I think it’s helping me. I feel really good throwing the ball.

Do you throw as much in the offseason now as you did three or four years ago when you were younger?

Honestly, that’s kind of part of this. A little bit part of the program that is intensive is throwing in the offseason. That’s something I didn’t have as much of a set thought process or plan on maybe then as I do now. I used to throw maybe just a couple times a week, two or three. Now, it’s probably a little bit more than that. It’s a change-up but something that I think helped me kind of step right into (training) camp and feel no arm soreness, the general stuff that every quarterback feels. I feel like I’ve gotten ahead of the curve on that.

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Panthers’ Cam Newton kept out of practice with sore shoulder

Cam Newton isn’t out of the woods with his shoulder injury just yet.

The Panthers quarterback is dealing with soreness in his throwing shoulder and was held out of Tuesday’s practice as a result, the team announced.

Coach Bruce Arians told reporters Tuesday that he won’t play any of his starters in the preseason opener against the Cowboys in Canton, Ohio. And when it comes to his quarterbacks, he won’t even let his backup play.

So it’ll be Blaine Gabbert running the show in the first half and Trevor Knight in the second as Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton save themselves for the Cards’ four remaining exhibitions leading up to the Sept. 10 season opener.

While fans likely won’t be thrilled about the lack of star power as the NFL finally returns, Arians and his staff will at least get a longer look at the players who figure to be on the fringes of the 53-man roster when final cuts arrive.

Beckham is by far the biggest star the NFL has to offer today. By the time his NFL career is over, he’s going to be the player with the longest lasting influence from his generation.

He’s the most recognizable player in the league. Part of it is because of his curly blonde hair. Part of it is his catches that make you starve for an instant replay. Part of it is because of his style on and off the field. It also helps that he plays on the biggest stage in New York.

Fans can relate to him outside of football as well. He gives fans a sense of how they imagine themselves living life as an NFL superstar. Nobody’s done that as well as he has since his arrival, and he’s just getting started.

Beckham produces numbers on the field that have made him one of the best receivers in the NFL since his arrival in 2014. But he’s already had a signature career play that put him on the map.

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Jets WR Quincy Enunwa out for season with bulging disk

The Jets were dealt a tough blow right before the preseason starts.

Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is out for the season after he injured his neck during practice on Saturday, coach Todd Bowles said after practice Monday.

The injury isn’t career-ending, but Enunwa will be sidelined for six to nine months. The Jets are looking for a second opinion, but it’s most likely that Enunwa will need surgery.

Enunwa sustained the injury during a non-contact drill when he dropped a pass from quarterback Christian Hackenberg and fell to the turf face-first.

Bowles earlier said that the team will readjust if they lose Enunwa, who was expected to be the top wide receiver for the team after the Jets cut Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall during the offseason.

Enunwa, who was selected by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, has recorded 1,172 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 28 games for the Jets.

The two most iconic athletes in history — Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali — had a number of these during their respective careers. The two best examples would be Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1960, and Jordan crossing Byron Russell into history for the series-winner in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.

Beckham’s (first) iconic moment was his catch against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in 2014.

The catch was the final introduction anybody needed that hadn’t heard of him up until that point. The catch was so damn good, you would be mad if it happened against you in a game of Madden.

That moment was the first building block he needed to become bigger than just another NFL star. Since then, he’s taken advantage of it.

The old-head sports fan in your life’s biggest gripe against Beckham is how he’s always dancing on the field and celebrating. Gone are the days where the football is placed on the ground or given to the referee after a score. Week to week, fans aren’t sure what they’re going to see out of Beckham, and that’s just another reason to tune in.

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