Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Kellen Winslow Jr. faces a new charge and is accused of raping an unconscious 17-year-old girl in 2003, according to Josh Peter of USA Today.

The former NFL tight end was arraigned on the additional charge Thursday. He was 19 at the time of the alleged incident that took place in San Diego and has recently come to light.

“California law allows for certain specified sexual offenses to be charged regardless of the time of their commission under certain circumstances,” deputy district attorney Dan Owens said on Thursday. “Those circumstances are met in this case.

“… When there is a rape that occurs and the victim is under the age of 18 years old, there is no statutory time (limit) to when that can be charged. That’s exactly what we have here.”

Winslow is already facing multiple rape and kidnapping charges after a judge ruled there’s sufficient evidence for a trial. He plead not guilty to all charges at a preliminary hearing, but could face life in prison if convicted.

The district attorney declined to provide additional information on the third victim, now 32, who recently came forward.

Winslow’s next court hearing is scheduled for August 17.

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It appears the Chicago Bears coaching staff are prepared to let quarterback Mitchell Trubisky loose in his sophomore season.

After beginning his rookie campaign on the bench, Trubisky continues to impress his teammates and coaches as he displays his skills as the team’s starter.

“My little boy is becoming a man. Mitch (Trubisky) – they’ve taken the training wheels off of Mitch’s little bike,” Bears guard Kyle Long told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney Thursday. “So he’s going to be able to do some things creatively and get to showcase his skills.”

The veteran lineman’s comments are notable as he’s the second offensive player to commend the maturity of their signal-caller. Last week, running back Jordan Howard praised Trubisky’s leadership heading into his second training camp. Long has followed suit.

“He’s a tremendous leader and some of the guys look up to in the locker room,” Long said. “And he’s probably one of the coolest guys on the team, to be honest, not just because he’s the quarterback. He’s a really cool kid and we’re lucky to have him.”

Former head coach John Fox came under scrutiny in 2017 after utilizing a slower-paced offense en route to a last-place NFC North finish with the 29th-ranked scoring unit. New coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich plan to implement a more simplistic, up-tempo scheme to help Trubisky make a sophomore leap.

Free-agent running back DeMarco Murray, most recently of the Tennessee Titans, announced Friday that he’s retiring from football.

Murray turned 30 years old this past February.

The Oklahoma product was originally drafted in the third round in 2011 by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent four seasons with the ‘Boys, leading the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2014 en route to being named an All-Pro and the Offensive Player of the Year. He then joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2015 campaign, where he totaled just 702 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 15 games.

He joined the Titans in 2016, making his third career Pro Bowl in his first year with the team. But he rushed for just 659 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, with 39 receptions for 266 yards and one touchdown, while ceding work to sophomore running back Derrick Henry.

Murray was absent from the Titans’ two playoff games in 2017 due to injury.

The team then opted to sign 27-year-old Dion Lewis to a four-year, $19.8-million free-agent deal, according to Over The Cap, while letting the seven-year veteran walk.

Murray said earlier this week that he’d spoken to teams and hoped to sign before the beginning of training camps later this month.

The Detroit LionsMiami DolphinsNew Orleans Saints, and Seattle Seahawkshad all shown at least some level of interest in the running back, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Murray finishes with totals of 7,174 rushing yards, 2,165 receiving yards, and 55 combined touchdowns in 99 games over seven seasons.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS broadcaster Tony Romo says people shouldn’t read too much into reports of tension between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Appearing on NFL Network, Romo compared the Belichick-Brady relationship to that of a married couple.

“I just think when you work together for 15, 20 years, whatever it is, I think that, invariably, when you have the success they have, people have to come up with stuff,” he said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.

“… I don’t really think there’s a whole lot to it. I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years and then they also love each other.”

Romo was also asked if he could see Brady playing for another team besides the New England Patriots.

“My rough guess is that he’s going to finish his career in New England, no question,” Romo said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars return with much of the same roster from the 2017 season, but quarterback Blake Bortles thinks the team may have lost one of its greatest strengths after its shocking appearance in last year’s AFC Championship Game.

“I think last year we kind of caught some teams by surprise …” Bortles said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access,” according to Kevin Patra. “I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen this year. The way we play, as good as our defense was, I think we’re definitely a bit on people’s radar now as far as a team that’s headed in the right direction and a team to be taken seriously.”

The Jaguars defense ranked second in the NFL – and first in the AFC – in both yards and points allowed last season. Only the Baltimore Ravens recorded more takeaways.

Bortles, for his part, was rewarded for his most successful season to date with a three-year, $54-million extension in February. General manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone were also signed through 2021 after the season.

After last season’s success, the 26-year-old quarterback is expecting a more difficult path this year, as the team goes for its second consecutive division title with a target on its back.

“I think we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” said Bortles. “And the AFC South is going to be tough … it’s our goal every year to win that.”

The Kansas City Chiefs seem intent to get everything they can out of wide receiver Sammy Watkins in the first season of the three-year, $48-million contract he signed as a free agent this offseason.

Watkins was asked during offseason practices to move around the field and run a wide variety of routes. The usage provided a challenge he’s enjoying.

“This offense is the broadest offense I’ve ever been in,” Watkins said, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN. “It’s definitely a mental challenge. But I think that’s what kind of gets me up every day to study the plays and come out here encouraged. Anybody can get the ball and I’ve got to learn all the positions. I can’t just learn one position.”

Watkins, who spent the 2017 season with the Los Angeles Rams and Coach of the Year Sean McVay, spoke highly of new head coach Andy Reid.

“I’ve never been in an offense like this, around a coach that just feels like he’s obsessed with the game and makes you want to be obsessed with it, too, to know more about the offense,” Watkins said.

The 25-year-old caught just 39 of 70 targets for 593 yards last season, but he posted eight touchdowns for the second-highest single-season total of his four-year career.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell have made some progress in extension talks, but it’s uncertain whether they’re close enough to cross the finish line before the buzzer sounds, Ian Rapoport of NFL Networkreports.

The two sides have until Monday – the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign new contracts – to strike an agreement. If they fall short, Bell won’t be able to play the 2018 campaign on anything other than the one-year tag for a second straight season.

Bell previously expressed optimism that they’d be able to agree on a new contract, avoiding a repeat of last year, when Bell waited until the beginning of September to sign the tag and report to the team.

The 26-year-old rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns last season while again providing excellent value in the passing game. He’s ranked among the top five in NFL rushing yards in three of the past four seasons.

During negotiations last offseason, Bell rejected an offer worth $42 million over the first three years of a long-term deal.