NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is expected to back up Mike Glennon next season.

The Bears announced the one-year contract Friday. Chicago is coming off a season in which it went 3-13 and finished last in the NFC North.

The Bears cut quarterback Jay Cutler this month after eight seasons and the next day signed Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a three-year deal.

Sanchez played in two games last season with the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 93 yards on 10 of 18 attempts. He spent five of his eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets before going to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Southern California star has appeared in six playoff games. He was selected fifth overall in the 2009 draft.

Redskins: WR Brian Quick signs
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins have signed former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick.

The team announced the deal Friday morning after agent Patrick Dye posted a photo of Quick signing his contract on SportsTrust Advisors' verified Twitter account.

The signing adds depth to the Redskins' receiving corps after they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency.

Quick, 27, is 6-foot-5 and gives Washington another tall option along with recently signed receiver Terrelle Pryor. Quick had 41 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Rams.

The 33rd pick in the 2012 draft, Quick has 105 catches for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns in 67 games over five seasons with the Rams. He missed part of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

Panthers: Jonathan Stewart signs extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers have signed veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed Friday.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says the 30-year-old Stewart "is still playing at a very high level."

Stewart played in 13 games last season for Carolina and ran for 824 yards with nine touchdowns. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Gettleman isn't worried about Stewart's durability, even though the team's former first-round draft pick has not played in a full 16-game season since 2011 and has missed 24 games the past five seasons with injuries.

Stewart, entering his 10th season, is Carolina's second all-time leading rusher with 6,638 yards and has scored 45 touchdowns rushing and six receivin

Colts: release veteran DT Arthur Jones
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Arthur Jones on Friday.

A six-year veteran, Jones was scheduled to cost the team $7.35 million next season. Indianapolis will save $5 million under the salary cap with the move.

Jones did his best work while with Baltimore from 2010-14. He then signed a five-year contract for a total value of $33 million with the Colts, but struggled in Indy. He appeared in 17 games and managed only 1 1-2 sacks and 53 tackles for the Colts.

He was plagued by a series of injuries and also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers.

Jones, 30, did not play in 2015 because of an ankle injury. He played in eight games last season, with 15 tackles.

NFL Notes: NFL looking to speed up games via officiating and breaks

NFL Notes: NFL looking to speed up games via officiating and breaks

NEW YORK -- The NFL is making plans to speed up the pace of games, including changing how video replays are handled and using a time clock for extra points.

The league also is discussing with the TV networks how to make commercial breaks less intrusive.

For officiating replays, the referee no longer would go under a hood to watch a play. Instead, a tablet will be brought to him on the field and he will consult with league headquarters in New York. The final call will be made in New York.

Support by 75 percent of the 32 team owners would be needed at next week's annual meetings for passage of the proposal.

In addition to a time clock for PATs when there is no TV break, the league is considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown.

Also, to improve the flow of games on the field and for television audiences, commercial breaks would be reduced from 21 per game to 16, although each would last 30 seconds longer.

Giants: RB Shaun Draughn signs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have signed veteran running back Shaun Draughn.

The Giants announced the signing Wednesday, a little more than a month after releasing veteran Rashad Jennings in a salary cap move.

Draughn has played for six teams in six years, most recently the San Francisco 49ers. He has played in 57 games with seven starts. His career totals include 225 carries for 723 yards and seven touchdowns, plus 80 receptions for 597 yards and two scores. He also has 17 special teams tackles.

Draughn says the Giants were interested in his versatility. He says: "I don't know exactly how they'll use me. I'm sure they'll use me to the strengths that I have."

Draughn played in all 16 games last season with one start for the 49ers. He scored a career-high four touchdowns while rushing for 194 yards on 74 carries. Draughn also had career-best totals of 29 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

He joins a backfield that includes second-year pro Paul Perkins, the team's top returning rusher, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen.

Bengals: 'Pacman' Jones faces misdemeanor charges
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones faces three misdemeanor charges, including assault, but no longer is charged with a felony.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters (DEE'-turs) announced Wednesday that a felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance was dismissed at the prosecuting attorney's request.

Deters said the misdemeanors also include disorderly conduct and obstructing official business.

The 33-year-old veteran whose career has been marked by off-the-field legal issues was jailed Jan. 3 after a confrontation with a hotel security employee was followed by a struggle with Cincinnati police and a sheriff's office report Jones spit on a nurse's hand.

Deters says the criminal charge won't be pursued, given that the nurse has been pursuing a possible civil remedy.

A Bengals spokesman said the team has no comment.

NFL Notes: Jets meet with McCown, Smith agrees to deal with Giants

NFL Notes: Jets meet with McCown, Smith agrees to deal with Giants

NEW YORK -- A person with direct knowledge of the situation says that free agent quarterback Josh McCown is meeting with the New York Jets.

The quarterback-needy Jets have just the inexperienced Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on their roster and McCown would provide a veteran presence who could potentially start and be a mentor to the youngsters.

McCown will meet with the Jets on Friday and Saturday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the visit.

NFL Network first reported McCown's visit with New York.

McCown, who'll turn 38 on July 4, played the last two seasons with Cleveland. He played in 13 games for the Browns, throwing for 3,209 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Giants: QB Geno Smith agrees to a deal
NEW YORK -- A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that quarterback Geno Smith has agreed to terms with the New York Giants.

Like receiver Brandon Marshall last week, Smith is leaving the Jets but remaining in the same stadium. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The 26-year-old Smith was a second-round draft choice by the Jets in 2013, but his stint with them was marred by injuries and inconsistency. He also lost his starting job in 2015 after a teammate broke Smith's jaw with a punch during training camp.

When Smith did get onto the field last season, it was brief. Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for poor play, but Smith tore his ACL in the second quarter against Baltimore and was done for the season.

The deal is pending Smith passing a physical.

Seahawks: Willson, Shead agree to deals
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks are bringing back two of their own free agents, agreeing to terms on new deals with tight end Luke Willson and cornerback DeShawn Shead.

The team confirmed the agreements Friday. KIRO-AM first reported the deals. Shead's deal is for one year and worth up to $1.5 million with $1 million guaranteed.

Willson and Shead have spent their entire careers with the Seahawks. Willson was a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 and has caught 74 passes and seven touchdowns in 56 career regular-season games.

Shead was an undrafted free agent who developed into a starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman last season. His value on the free agent market took a hit when he suffered a torn ACL in Seattle's playoff loss to Atlanta and he is not expected to be ready by the start of next season.

NFL: Second female official hired
NEW YORK -- A person with knowledge of the hiring tells The Associated Press that the NFL is adding a second female official, Terri Valenti, to work as an instant replay official next season.

Valenti will join Sarah Thomas, who has been a line judge since 2015. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced the hiring.

The instant replay official is the individual in charge of the replay crew at the stadium on game day.

Sporting News first reported Valenti's addition to the NFL's officiating ranks.

Valenti previously worked in college football, the Arena League and the UFL, which no longer is in business. She has also been a Navy engineer and economics professor.

She has experience as a replay communicator from 2012-16 and worked Super Bowl 50.