NFL News

Panthers hire former LB Dan Morgan as assistant GM

Panthers hire former LB Dan Morgan as assistant GM

The Carolina Panthers are reuniting with one of their own, hiring former linebacker and one-time first-round pick Dan Morgan as assistant general manager.

Morgan spent seven seasons, three of them injury-filled, with the Panthers after they made him the No. 11 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was a key member of the 2003 team, which lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to the New England Patriots, 32-29, and a Pro Bowl selection in 2004.

He retired in 2008 because of injuries and started to work in NFL front offices a few years later. Most recently, he was director of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills.

Morgan, 42, worked with Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer with the Seahawks for several years. Morgan began as an intern in Seattle in 2010, and he had been with the Bills since 2018.

The Panthers named Fitterer their general manager in January 2021. He spent 20 seasons with the Seahawks, most recently as vice president of football operations.

Eagles snatch Kerryon Johnson off waivers

Eagles snatch Kerryon Johnson off waivers

Former Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson didn't stay on the open market long, getting claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, the team announced.

Johnson was waived by the Lions on Thursday. The former second-round pick in 2018 from Auburn was seemingly expendable with Detroit selecting D'Andre Swift last year at No. 35 overall, picking up Jamaal Williams earlier this offseason and drafting Jermar Jefferson late in this year's draft.

Johnson may not get much of an opportunity in Philadelphia with a backfield that sports Miles Sanders, rookie Kenny Gainwell, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott. As was the case last season, Sanders will likely be the lead running back with the rest vying for time behind him.

Gainwell was taken in the fifth round last week, but is seen as a back that may be a solid NFL runner and pass-catcher.

Johnson had a solid rookie season in 2018, gaining 641 yards, but he played in only 10 games due to a knee injury. Another injury limited him to eight games in 2019 and he saw little playing time behind veteran Adrian Peterson and Swift in 2020, getting just 71 touches all season, 52 carries and 19 receptions.

Johnson, 23, ran for 1,225 yards on 283 carries and eight touchdowns in his three seasons with Detroit, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He had 61 receptions for 527 yards and three scores, averaging 8.6 yards a catch.

Former Rams Pro Bowl RB Jim Bertelsen dies at 71

Former Rams Pro Bowl RB Jim Bertelsen dies at 71

Former Los Angeles Rams running back and ex-Texas Longhorns great Jim Bertelsen has died at age 71, the university announced Friday.

The school revealed the news in a Twitter post that honored the two-time national champion who still ranks among the top 10 in rushing touchdowns in Longhorns history.

No details were given regarding the cause of death.

Originally from Saint Paul, Minn., Bertlesen attended Hudson High School in Wisconsin before enrolling at Texas, where he became a star ballcarrier.

In his college career, Bertelsen accumulated 2,510 rushing yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry while earning All-Southwest Conference honors two times. He helped carry Texas to national titles in 1969 (consensus) and 1970 (UPI) in the Longhorns' vaunted wishbone offense under head coach Darrell Royal.

Selected by the Rams in the second round (No. 30 overall) of the 1972 NFL Draft, Bertelsen played five years with the team. His career-best season was his second in the NFL in 1973, when he teamed with 1,000-yard rusher Lawrence McCutcheon in both making the Pro Bowl out of the Rams' backfield. Bertelsen posted career highs in carries (206), rushing yards (854) and yards from scrimmage (1,121) that season.

Los Angeles led the league in scoring (27.7 points per game) and carries that season while posting the NFL's second-ranked rushing offense in going 12-2. It marked the first of seven consecutive NFC West titles for the Rams, the first four of which came with Bertelsen.

In his five seasons, he finished his career with 2,466 yards and 16 rushing scores while adding 88 catches for 1,014 yards and two touchdown receptions.

Report: Texans to sign ex-Jets LB Neville Hewitt

Report: Texans to sign ex-Jets LB Neville Hewitt

The Houston Texans continue to remain the most active team in free agency this offseason, agreeing to a one-year contract Friday with linebacker Neville Hewitt, his agent told ESPN.

Hewitt has played the last three seasons with the New York Jets, and comes off a career year when he started all 16 games for the first time and led the team with 134 tackles and tied for second with six tackles for loss.

The 28-year-old began his career as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall, signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. In three years in Miami, Hewitt started just seven out of his 38 games with the team from 2015-17.

He signed with the Jets before the 2018 season, and broke through in his second season with the team. After an early season injury to starter C.J. Mosley, Hewitt joined the starting lineup for the season's final 12 games, finishing with 75 tackles and a team-best two interceptions.

In six NFL seasons, Hewitt has posted 352 career tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and three interceptions in 82 games (39 starts).

Including re-signings, the Texans have now inked deals with an NFL-high 35 free agents this offseason, according to Over The Cap.

Jets cut former first-round WR Josh Doctson

Jets cut former first-round WR Josh Doctson

The New York Jets on Friday released wide receiver Josh Doctson, a former first-round draft pick who opted out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns.

Doctson, 28, was the 22nd overall pick by Washington in the 2016 NFL Draft.

He caught 81 passes for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in 33 games (26 starts) with Washington from 2016-18.

He signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 4, 2019, and appeared in one game. He recorded no catches and was cut on Nov. 27.

Doctson signed with the Jets on Feb. 24, 2020, and was placed on the injured reserve/opt-out list on Aug. 6.

New York also released cornerback Kyron Brown, tight end Connor Davis, offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi, kicker Chase McLaughlin and wide receiver Jaleel Scott.

Jets DT Quinnen Williams recovering after foot surgery

Jets DT Quinnen Williams recovering after foot surgery

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams underwent surgery Thursday to repair a broken bone in his foot, NFL Network reported Friday.

Dr. Robert Anderson performed the procedure and the expected recovery time is 10 to 12 weeks, per the report.

The timeline means Williams, 23, will miss OTAs and minicamp but should be healthy in time for training camp in late July.

The 2019 first-round pick (third overall) broke a small bone in his foot working out last week at the Jets' facility.

Williams made 13 starts last season and recorded 55 tackles and a team-high seven sacks. His career totals include 83 tackles, 9 1/2 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 26 games (22 starts).

NFLPA terms league's workout stance 'gutless'

NFLPA terms league's workout stance 'gutless'

The chasm between the NFL and the NFL Players Association grew deeper Thursday when the union blasted the league's response to the recent injury sustained by Denver Broncos right tackle Ja'Wuan James.

James will miss the 2021 season after tearing an Achilles tendon in a workout that wasn't at the team facility. The NFL subsequently informed teams that injuries incurred in such conditions could be given the "Non-Football Injury" (NFI) designation, getting teams off the hook from paying the player for missed time, according to multiple media reports.

The NFLPA viewed that stance as a mechanism to force players to join teams' involuntary workouts.

In an email to players that was seen Thursday by NFL.com and ESPN, the union wrote of the league's stance on James, "It was gutless to use a player's serious injury as a scare tactic to get you to come running back to these workouts.

"This memo is another sign of what they think of you and also affirms that they simply want to control you year-round in any and every way that they can.

"We have been in touch with Ja'Wuan James. Despite an open threat of an 'NFI' designation, Ja'Wuan was working out to stay in shape under a program recommended to him by his coach."

James, 28, played five seasons with the Miami Dolphins before joining Denver in March 2019 on a four-year, $51 million contract. He played just three games in 2019 due to knee injuries, then opted out of the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He is guaranteed $10 million for 2021, with the club holding an $11 million option for 2022, per Spotrac.com.

Reports: CB Jason McCourty joining Dolphins

Reports: CB Jason McCourty joining Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins and veteran cornerback Jason McCourty have agreed on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

McCourty, 33, is highly familiar with the methods of Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who was a defensive assistant in New England in 2018 in the first of McCourty's three seasons with the Patriots.

Flores became coach of the Dolphins after that season.

McCourty had two interceptions in 44 games (33 starts) with the Patriots and has 18 picks in 166 games (137 starts) over 12 NFL seasons. He also has played for the Tennessee Titans (2009-16) and Cleveland Browns (2017).

McCourty has recorded 723 tackles, nine forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career.

Twin brother Devin McCourty has played his entire 11-year career with the Patriots.

NFL announces offseason program dates for all 32 teams

NFL announces offseason program dates for all 32 teams

The NFL announced the dates Thursday for the offseason workout programs for each of the 32 teams.

Still, it is unclear how many players will attend the voluntary portion of the program -- the OTAs. They players on about 20 teams have indicated they won't attend voluntary OTAs due to continuing concerns about safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases. Phase One (April 19-May 14) has been extended this year from two to four weeks, with activities limited to strength and conditioning, virtual meetings and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two (May 17-21) has been reduced from three weeks to one week. The phase allows for on-field workouts, including individual player instruction and drills, "perfect play" drills, and drills and plays conducted with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players. Players on one side of the ball may execute a play, but players on the opposite side of the ball may not make contact.

In Phase Three (May 24-June 18), teams can conduct in-person meetings and classroom instruction subject to COVID-19 testing and other protocols. Teams may hold a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity without live contact.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for one mandatory minicamp for veterans and a rookie football development program.

The dates for each team's offseason workout program are as follows. They are tentative and subject to change.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

ATLANTA FALCONS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17

Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BALTIMORE RAVENS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BUFFALO BILLS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CAROLINA PANTHERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CHICAGO BEARS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CINCINNATI BENGALS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14

CLEVELAND BROWNS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DALLAS COWBOYS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4

Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DENVER BRONCOS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DETROIT LIONS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17

Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

GREEN BAY PACKERS

offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

HOUSTON TEXANS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-16

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LOS ANGELES RAMS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8, June 10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 8-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK GIANTS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 14-15

Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK JETS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17

Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 14-17

Mandatory minicamp: June 7-9

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TENNESSEE TITANS

OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10

Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17

Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

Veteran QB trio expected to hold off rookies for Week 1

Veteran QB trio expected to hold off rookies for Week 1

Several quarterbacks know they're only keeping the seat warm until rookie counterparts are ready to take the reins, but a trio of veterans are expected to at least open the 2021 season as starters.

While Trevor Lawrence is expected to start from the outset in Jacksonville and the New York Jets may hand the keys to the offense to No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, three other quarterbacks drafted in the first round will likely be given more time to develop.

Jimmy Garoppolo's long-term future in San Francisco is in serious question after the 49ers used the third overall pick on Trey Lance. Lance arrives in the NFL with limited experience following his time at North Dakota State, and he is being offered at +220 by DraftKings to start Week 1.

Garoppolo is the odds-on favorite at -278 as he is expected to help groom Lance for at least a chunk of the 2021 season, if not all of it. Josh Rosen (+3300) and Nate Sudfeld (+4000) are the other two quarterbacks on the roster.

The 49ers also considered Ohio State's Justin Fields and Alabama's Mac Jones with the No. 3 pick. Fields ultimately slipped to the Chicago Bears at No. 11 and the New England Patriots grabbed Jones at No. 15.

Fields (+600) is behind only Lawrence (+300) in the offensive rookie of the year market at DraftKings, tied with Lance (+600) and ahead of Wilson (+700).

However, Fields is being offered at +160 to start Week 1 for Chicago. The Bears added Andy Dalton (-167) in free agency and still have fellow veteran Nick Foles (+900) on the roster.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Cam Newton is "our quarterback" after drafting Jones. How long that is the case remains to be seen, but Newton is the heavy favorite at -286 by DraftKings to open the season as New England's starting quarterback.

Jones is +300, well ahead of third-year veteran Jarrett Stidham (+800), who failed to win the job away from Newton last year despite New England's offensive struggles in 2020.

Steelers CB Justin Layne takes plea deal in Ohio case

Steelers CB Justin Layne takes plea deal in Ohio case

A felony gun charge was dropped against Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne following his arrest last month in a traffic stop in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

He took a plea deal in the case on Wednesday, pleading guilty to misdemeanor possessing criminal tools in Willoughby Municipal Court, ESPN reported. He received six months of probation, 32 hours of community service, a $500 fine and an order to pay court costs.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony transportation of a firearm inside a vehicle, according to the police report issued at the time of his arrest on April 23. He also was charged with misdemeanor driving with a suspended license and speeding.

Police said Layne was pulled over about 1:20 a.m. that day as he headed east on Interstate 90, driving his Dodge Charger at 89 mph in a 60-mph zone.

Layne identified himself as a member of the Steelers, and when police did a records check, they found he was driving on a suspended license and had an outstanding arrest warrant in another jurisdiction for failure to appear on a traffic violation.

Officers conducted a probable cause search of the Charger when they smelled marijuana, according to the report. At that time, police found a loaded Glock 9mm pistol and said he isn't licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio.

He also was ordered to surrender the gun.

The Steelers selected Layne, a Cleveland native who played at Michigan State, in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In two seasons, he's appeared in 26 games (no starts) and made 25 tackles.

Layne, 23, played 57 percent of the team's snaps on special teams and 11 percent on defense in 2020.

Football HOF starts mental health program for players

Football HOF starts mental health program for players

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has created an avenue to help current and former players and their families with mental and behavioral health issues.

Called Hall of Fame Behavioral Health, the program's mission will be "to make mental health and the treatment of issues surrounding athletes and those who care for them destigmatized, accessible and widespread," the Canton, Ohio-based Hall of Fame said in a news release issued Thursday.

Ambassadors to the program include Hall of Fame members Ronnie Lott, Brian Dawkins, Steve Atwater, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, along with current players Adrian Peterson and Calais Campbell.

"We have to end the stigma surrounding mental health, and that includes athletes," Dawkins said. "It's OK to ask for help and to reach out if you are having issues. It's OK not to be OK. But it's not OK to stay that way -- because our silence is killing us and damaging our families."

The program can be accessed through a call center and a crisis line that will pair the athletes with accredited treatment and counseling services across the country. Issues they can address will include addiction, performance anxiety and post-career transition. It has partnered with a dozen health and wellness centers around the country that will provide services.

"The Pro Football Hall of Fame has always been about protecting the most important part of the game of football: the players," said David Baker, the Hall's president and CEO. "With Hall of Fame Behavioral Health, our mission is to make mental and behavioral health services that meet the Hall of Fame's standards of excellence easily accessible and available not only to Hall of Famers but to every player of this game, the people who support them and the kids dreaming about one day playing in the League."

Wes Cain, the president and CEO of Hall of Fame Behavioral Health, said taking the first step to getting help is most important.

"Whether it's affordability, access or simply saying the words 'I need help' to a trusted friend, current and retired athletes have faced an uphill battle in seeking and receiving mental health services. Our goal is to let everyone know that if you are a first-ballot Hall of Famer or a practice squad player, we hear you and we are here to support you. No one should be left behind on their journey to live a healthy life."

Report: Packers explore QB options as Aaron Rodgers 'conflicted'

Report: Packers explore QB options as Aaron Rodgers 'conflicted'

The Green Bay Packers are looking into bringing in additional quarterbacks for OTAs and training camp as they remain at an apparent standoff with reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers, ESPN reported Thursday.

Jordan Love, in his second season, is the only other quarterback on the roster.

Rodgers reportedly has told some members of the organization that he doesn't want to play for the Packers anymore, and his predecessor, Brett Favre, said recently that he thinks Rodgers' days in Green Bay are done.

Among Rodgers' reported beefs with the team are the Packers' selection of Love with their first-round pick in 2020 instead of a player who could make an instant contribution and their failure to come to terms on a contract extension with him.

Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst is looking at several veteran quarterbacks as options for the roster, ESPN reported. Among those available are Matt Barkley, Blake Bortles, Robert Griffin III and Brian Hoyer.

Rodgers has been mum about whether he intends to take part in voluntary OTAs.

Another of his former teammates, retired fullback John Kuhn, said he has spoken to Rodgers and that the 37-year-old QB is "conflicted" about his future.

"This man loves to play the game of football, this man loves to be a Green Bay Packer and this man truly sees careers," Kuhn said during an interview with CBS Radio. "He's watched friends leave, he watched Brett Favre's career toward the end. He's watched all these things play out in front of his eyes; he's taken notes throughout his career. He's seen some situations that didn't feel were done or finished the way that they could or should have.

"He's just trying to take his earned destiny within his own hands. To that effect, I actually admire him because not many players in the NFL have that opportunity. I sure as heck didn't. I played until everybody told me 'you can't play anymore,' and it's a humbling feeling. Aaron Rodgers has an opportunity to take a little bit of that power."

Report: Dolphins releasing veteran S Bobby McCain

Report: Dolphins releasing veteran S Bobby McCain

The Miami Dolphins are releasing veteran safety Bobby McCain, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Parting ways with the 27-year-old captain clears $5.66 million in cap space, per the reports.

McCain played in all 16 games (15 starts) for the Dolphins in 2020 and posted 46 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2015, McCain registered 254 tackles, seven interceptions and four sacks in 87 games (55 starts) with Miami.

The Dolphins drafted Oregon safety Jevon Holland in the second round (36th overall) last week.

Report: Lions make Frank Ragnow highest-paid center

Report: Lions make Frank Ragnow highest-paid center

The Detroit Lions and Frank Ragnow are in agreement on a four-year contract extension that makes him the NFL's highest-paid center, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

NFL Network said the extension is worth just under $70 million and his average annual salary will be $13.5 million.

Ragnow, who turns 25 on May 17, already was under contract for the next two seasons after the Lions picked up his fifth-year option last week.

A first-round pick (20th overall) in 2018 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2020, Ragnow has started a possible 45 of 48 games in his first three seasons. He missed two games last December with a fractured throat.

Ragnow did not allow any sacks and drew only two penalties while playing 928 offensive snaps in 2020.

Los Angeles Chargers center Corey Linsley previously was the highest-paid player at his position. He signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal in March for an average annual salary of $12.5 million.

Report: Lions to waive RB Kerryon Johnson

Report: Lions to waive RB Kerryon Johnson

The Detroit Lions are set to waive running back Kerryon Johnson after three seasons, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The Lions took Johnson with a second-round pick in the 2018 draft but a crowded backfield made him expendable behind D'Andre Swift and Jamal Williams. The Lions also took Jermar Jefferson in the 7th round of last week's draft.

Johnson was limited to 18 games by injuries his first two seasons. He played in all 16 last season, including two starts.

He finishes his tenure in Detroit with 1,225 rushing yards and eight touchdowns to go with 61 catches for 527 yards and three more TDs.

Brett Favre doesn't expect Aaron Rodgers to play for Packers again

Brett Favre doesn't expect Aaron Rodgers to play for Packers again

Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre believes the reported schism between Aaron Rodgers and the franchise is real, and big enough that it is a long shot Rodgers will ever suit up for the legendary franchise again.

Reports leaked on the first day of the NFL Draft that Rodgers was miffed with the Packers, specifically their front office, and told some within the organization he'd never play for them again. In a radio interview with ESPN Wisconsin, Favre said he wasn't optimistic Rodgers would return.

"I think I know Aaron fairly well," Favre said, "and honestly I just don't see him coming back and just saying, ‘All right, let's just bury the hatchet, whatever caused the rift, and I'm just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans' -- I assume he does -- but his rift isn't with the fans or the players. It's with the front office. Will he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don't see that happening."

Favre even envisioned how the situation will unfold.

"If there's not a trade, my gut tells me that he'd rather sit out than play. That's just my gut," Favre said. "There's no reason for me to say that other than that's what my gut's telling me, and I think you guys know Aaron fairly well enough to sort of feel the same way."

Publicly, the Packers have committed to Rodgers being their quarterback in 2021 and beyond. The reigning league MVP led the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory in February 2011, but they haven't been back to the title game since.

Among Rodgers' reported grievances are that the Packers selected a quarterback, Jordan Love, in the first round of the 2020 draft rather than a wide receiver, and that he felt slighted that the team released receiver Jake Kumerow one day after he praised Kumerow in an interview.

Favre was in a similar situation with Rodgers waiting to take over behind him. Green Bay now has Love waiting in the wings. Three years after Rodgers was drafted, Favre was pushed out in a trade to the New York Jets as the Rodgers era began.

Favre said he hopes Rodgers can deliver another Super Bowl to Green Bay before the end of his time there.

"But the thing is, life's too short," he added. "I want him to be happy. He's been there as long as I was there, and I know what that means, and he's put up unbelievable numbers. Win another Super Bowl and then do what you want to do, whether it's keep playing, play somewhere else, whatever. But win one more in Green Bay and go out the way you want to go out."

Favre said he sent a text to Rodgers on Thursday when the news of him wanting out first broke.

Rodgers told Favre, "‘Thanks for checking on me. I'll touch base with you after all this is over.'"

"And that was it," Favre added. "We haven't talked since."

Buccaneers sign S Raven Greene, LB Joseph Jones

Buccaneers sign S Raven Greene, LB Joseph Jones

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed two veteran free agents on Wednesday, adding former Green Bay Packers safety Raven Greene and former Denver Broncos linebacker Joseph Jones.

Greene, 26, signed with the Packers after going undrafted in 2018 and played in 20 games (one start) for Green Bay over the last three seasons. He's recorded 56 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

Jones, 27, first entered the league in 2017 as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys but ended up in Denver following two months on the practice squad in Seattle. He has appeared in 49 games over the last four seasons with the Broncos, with most of his playing time coming on special teams. He has 31 career tackles.

Report: Chiefs add S Will Parks on one-year deal

Report: Chiefs add S Will Parks on one-year deal

The Kansas City Chiefs signed safety Will Parks to a one-year contract, ESPN reported Wednesday.

The deal is worth up to $1.13 million, according to the report.

Parks has played five NFL seasons between the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles. Denver selected Parks out of Arizona in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft.

After four seasons with the Broncos, Parks signed with his hometown Eagles in 2020 but started the regular season on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury. He returned to play six games for Philadelphia, but he was waived and claimed by Denver in December.

In 72 career games (18 starts), Parks has amassed 180 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four interceptions and two sacks.

Parks figures to serve as depth at the safety position for Kansas City behind ingrained starters Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen.

Reports: Lions to sign TE Darren Fells

Reports: Lions to sign TE Darren Fells

Free-agent tight end Darren Fells is signing a contract with the Detroit Lions, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

The Houston Texans released the veteran in March.

Fells caught 11 touchdown passes in two seasons with Houston but was due to earn $2.5 million in 2021 and became a salary-cap victim.

Fells, 35, caught 21 passes for 312 yards and four scores in 16 games (14 starts) in 2020.

He has 123 receptions for 1,483 yards and 21 touchdowns in 102 games (76 starts) with the Arizona Cardinals (2014-16), Lions (2017), Cleveland Browns (2018) and Houston.

Fells visited the Lions on Tuesday, the same day the team learned veteran tight end Josh Hill decided to retire. Hill signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Lions after eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints in March but apparently changed his mind.

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