New York Jets

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott's attorney says ban upheld, but RB will play Week 1

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott's attorney says ban upheld, but RB will play Week 1

SHERMAN, Texas -- An arbitrator denied Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott's appeal of a six-game suspension in a domestic violence case Tuesday, but the 2016 NFL rushing champion will play in the opener because of the timing of the decision.

Elliott attorney Jeffrey Kessler told the judge near the end of a nearly 2 1/2-hour hearing in federal court that Elliott's suspension was sustained by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

At the start of the hearing, NFL attorney Daniel Nash told the judge it was "his understanding" that Elliott could play Sunday night against the New York Giants because the league didn't want to rush the judge.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said he would rule on Elliott's request for a temporary restraining order by Friday. If the request is denied and no further legal action taken, Elliott's suspension would start in Week 2 at Denver. He would be eligible to return Nov. 5 against Kansas City (see full story).

Redskins: Norman seeks return to All-Pro form
ASHBURN, Va. -- Through his tinted visor, Josh Norman says he sees offenses like they're on repeat. He feels like he anticipates what's next.

"You find a beat because you watched the film study early on in the week and then a certain situation is telling me what is going to come," Norman said. "I don't even think about it."

Norman's vision enables him be one of the top-flight cornerbacks in the league, and his pride keeps him on the field longer than any other Washington Redskins player after practice. With a "sour taste" in his mouth from last season when he didn't make the Pro Bowl and was the league's most penalized player, Norman has been working on his closing speed and even more anticipation skills because he senses a big year coming.

In new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky's scheme, Norman will have more freedom to sit off some of the game's top receivers and read plays. The result could be even more difference-making plays from the 29-year-old who loves nothing more than standing out when it matters.

"It's going to be a fun year," Norman said with a smile. "I get to get back and sit in that coverage where I see things, and I can go and attack much faster."

Jets: Kerley returns to New York on 1-year contract
NEW YORK -- The New York Jets have signed wide receiver Jeremy Kerley to a one-year deal, reuniting with a player who spent his first five NFL seasons with the franchise.

To make room on the roster Tuesday, the Jets waived fullback Julian Howsare.

Kerley adds a veteran presence and familiar face to a mostly inexperienced receiving group. With 246 catches, the 28-year-old Kerley has the most receptions among the team's receivers. Jermaine Kearse, acquired from Seattle last Friday for Sheldon Richardson, is next with 153. Kerley will also likely serve as the Jets' primary punt returner.

Kerley was a fifth-round pick of the Jets out of TCU in 2011. He was released in March 2016, signed with Detroit and traded before the season to San Francisco, where he had a career-high 64 catches. The 49ers released him last Saturday.

Panthers: Newton says it’s ‘unfair’ Kaepernick not on a roster
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton became the latest NFL player to voice his support of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying it's "unfair" that he's not on a roster.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback asked and answered a few of his own questions on Tuesday:

"Do I think Kaepernick is better than some of these starting quarterbacks in this league? Absolutely.

"Should he be on a roster ...? Absolutely.

"Is he good enough to be a starting quarterback? Absolutely."

Newton and the Panthers are preparing to play Kaepernick's former team, the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

There are players who believe Kaepernick, who had a better passer rating than roughly half the starting QBs in the league in 2016, has been blackballed by teams for choosing to kneel during the national anthem in protest to police violence and social injustice (see full story).

NFL Notes: Browns to reportedly cut Brock Osweiler, but will pay him $16M

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NFL Notes: Browns to reportedly cut Brock Osweiler, but will pay him $16M

CLEVELAND -- Brock Osweiler's days with the Browns were numbered when the quarterback arrived in a trade.

They're now over.

Osweiler is being released by Cleveland, which will have to pay his $16 million guaranteed contract not to have him on their roster, a person familiar with the team's moves told The Associated Press on Friday.

Osweiler will be officially cut on Saturday along with veteran guard John Greco, kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper when the team trims its roster to 53 on Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is still finalizing its roster decisions.

The 26-year-old Osweiler was acquired by the Browns on March 9 from Houston for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The team did not have any long-term plans for Osweiler, who went 8-6 as a starter for the Texans last season. However, because of his large contract, the Browns were unable to unload Osweiler and he competed for their starting job this summer.

Osweiler was beaten out by rookie DeShone Kizer, who will be the 27th starting quarterback for Cleveland since 1999 when the team opens against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 (see full story).

Saints: Wide receiver Snead suspended 3 games for DUI
METAIRIE, La. -- Saints officials say receiver Willie Snead has been suspended for the first three games this season because of an offseason traffic violation for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Coach Sean Payton says general manager Mickey Loomis spoke with league officials Friday about the suspension for Snead, who last season was among New Orleans' receiving leaders with 984 yards and three touchdowns.

A DUI represents a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Payton says that knowing Snead, he found the receiver's arrest "a bit surprising."

The Saints coach says he doesn't want to speculate how Snead's suspension will affect final roster cuts, but says it will factor into how the Saints plan for early season games.

Snead has 141 catches for 1,879 yards and seven TDs in his two NFL seasons out of Ball State. He is due to be a restricted free agent after this season.

Seahawks: Team reportedly acquires Richardson from Jets
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks have made a big splash for their top-notch defense just before the start of the regular season.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the Seahawks acquired defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets on Friday in exchange for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round draft pick. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced by the teams.

Seattle will also send a 2018 second-round pick to the Jets and the clubs will swap seventh-round picks in 2018 as part of the deal.

Landing Richardson solidifies the interior of Seattle's defensive line and quells some of the concerns raised by the uncertainty surrounding rookie second-round draft pick Malik McDowell, who was injured in a July ATV accident. Richardson has spent his entire career with the Jets after being picked in the first-round pick in 2013 and was a Pro Bowl selection after the 2014 season, when he recorded a career-high eight sacks (see full story).

Steelers: Bryant, Bell back in fold with high-powered offense
PITTSBURGH -- Martavis Bryant's long journey back to the NFL is over. So is Le'Veon Bell's extended vacation.

Two of the most dynamic components of the Pittsburgh Steelers' high-powered offense are good to go as the season opener approaches.

The NFL on Friday granted Bryant permission to play when the Steelers travel to Cleveland on Sept. 10, nearly 18 months after he was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Bryant was conditionally reinstated in April, though his return hit a snag at the start of training camp when he was forced to sit for the first two weeks of practice due to procedural issues. Bryant caught seven passes for 43 yards during the preseason and is expected to start opposite Antonio Brown for the defending AFC North champions.

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell in February. The two-time Pro Bowler responded by skipping Pittsburgh's offseason program and stayed away during training camp after failing to reach agreement on a long-term deal. Bell tweeted last week that he planned on returning on Sept. 1, and he appeared at the team's facility on Friday, just hours after the Steelers wrapped up the preseason with a victory in Carolina (see full story).

Eagles coach Doug Pederson comfortable with Patrick Robinson, ready to decide tight battles

Eagles coach Doug Pederson comfortable with Patrick Robinson, ready to decide tight battles

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — About two and a half hours before the game, a group of 30 Eagles went through a lengthy workout on the field at MetLife Stadium. The group included starters and veterans pretty much guaranteed to make the roster. 

And Patrick Robinson was one of them. 

After a disastrous start to his training camp, the 29-year-old free-agent pickup moved into the slot after the Ronald Darby trade and it seems like he's found a home. Coming in as the Eagles' nickel corner will be his role in 2017. 

"Yeah, Patrick's been doing a nice job," head coach Doug Pederson said. "We feel real comfortable with him in the slot and the addition of (Dexter) McDougle. So we feel real comfortable there."

McDougle, who came to the Eagles in a trade with the Jets on Sunday, played a decent amount in Thursday night's 16-10 loss (see breakdown). The Eagles will have just a few days of film to watch of McDougle in an Eagles uniform, but it is sounding like the newcomer is going to make the team. 

At least that's the way Pederson was talking on Thursday night after the game. 

"We gotta keep doing our research on him and keep studying not only the tape this week but in the past for him," Pederson said. "And he'll continue to grow in our system, grow with (Jim) Schwartz's defense. As we move forward, as we begin to really game plan and finalize some things, I think things will simplify just a little bit and feel comfortable with where he's at and where he's going."

Of course the big position battle most fans were paying attention to on Thursday night was at running back (see 10 observations). Three of the Eagles’ backs didn't even play on Thursday and likely have their roster spots sealed: Darren Sproles, LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood. 

That leaves Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement battling it out for the last spot. Unless the Eagles keep five running backs, which would be rare.  

"I don't know," Pederson said when asked about keeping five. "That's something we'll evaluate. It could be based on other positions. It's not out of the question."

Clement, the local product who was undrafted out of Wisconsin, clearly outplayed Pumphrey during this preseason. But Pumphrey was a fourth-round draft pick the Eagles traded up to get. 

On Thursday night, Pederson made sure to stress a few times the importance of using the entire body of work, dating back to the spring, in the evaluation process. Pederson specifically mentioned they had to go back to see how they used Pumphrey in their offense in the spring. 

"It's a matter of just going back and under calmer situations in the office, looking at the tape, having conversations with position coaches and the staff and making the final decision," he said. "These guys did a lot of nice things, so the evaluation here in the next couple hours, next couple of days will be very important." 

The Eagles’ roster was at 86 players to start Thursday's game against the Jets. They'll have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to cut that down to 53. That means a lot of players are going to be let go in the next couple days and the Eagles will probably start that process on Friday.

"The message here in the locker room tonight was I appreciate all their efforts throughout camp and really through OTAs," Pederson said. "There were some great efforts. The effort tonight was there. And really, I wanted them to make decisions tough on us and these battles that you guys are talking about, we wanted to make it tough. Make these decisions hard. These next two days will be very important for our football team and the lives of some young men we're eventually going to have to let go."