Dec 8, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mark Barron (26) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos agree to terms with LB Barron

The Denver Broncos agreed to terms Sunday with veteran linebacker Mark Barron and claimed tackle Darrin Paulo off waivers.

Barron, an eight-year veteran, fills a need at inside linebacker after Todd Davis (calf) and fifth-round rookie Justin Strnad (wrist) went down with injuries during camp. Although coach Vic Fangio said he hopes Davis can return before the Sept. 14 season opener, Strnad is out for the season.

Barron has played in 119 NFL games, with 102 starts, after being selected seventh overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 draft. He has 710 career tackles, including 48 for loss and 12 sacks for the Bucs (2012-2014), Rams (2014-2018) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2019). The former University of Alabama standout started nine of his 15 games last season for Pittsburgh, making 82 tackles, with four for loss and a career-high-tying three sacks.

Barron has nine career interceptions.

Paulo signed with the Saints this offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Utah before being waived on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2019; Arlington, Texas, USA; Memphis Tigers running back Kenneth Gainwell (19) reacts to a first down in the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Memphis RB Gainwell to opt out of 2020 season

Memphis running back Kenny Gainwell will opt out of the 2020 season, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Gainwell finished fourth in the FBS with 2,069 yards from scrimmage.

“Instead of playing his sophomore season in the Bluff City, Gainwell will be preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft,” wrote reporter Christian Fowler of 247 Sports.

The Tigers are scheduled to open the season Saturday at home against Arkansas State.

Gainwell rushed 231 times for 1,459 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 51 receptions for 610 yards and three scores in 14 games last season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead (23) is defended by Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) in the second half during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium.  The Texans defeated the Jaguars 26-3. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans LB Cunningham agrees to 4-year extension

Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham agreed to terms on a four-year, $58 million contract extension with $23.5 million guaranteed, the Houston Chronicle reported on Sunday.

Cunningham, who was set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020 season, would now be locked up through the 2024 campaign.

The deal would make him the third-highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL behind Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks) and C.J. Mosley (New York Jets).

The 25-year-old Cunningham recorded 142 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in 16 starts last season.

Cunningham has collected 339 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries in his last three seasons since being selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Feb 25, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Texas Christian wide receiver Jalen Reagor (WO45) speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles WR Reagor injures shoulder; Wentz day-to-day

Philadelphia Eagles rookie receiver Jalen Reagor sustained an apparent shoulder injury during Sunday’s practice.

Reagor, the 21st overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, was injured after making a tackle on an interception.

Starting quarterback Carson Wentz was not responsible for the interception, as he sat out Sunday’s practice with a lower-body injury. The team said he is day-to-day.

Reagor underwent an MRI exam and reportedly won’t need surgery, but is expected to miss “about four weeks,” according to Geoff Mosher of

Reagor’s status, however, will be determined after he undergoes an MRI. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the “team doesn’t believe it is serious, but doesn’t know for sure.”

Reagor, 21, led TCU in receptions (43) and yards (611) and caught five touchdowns in 2019. In three seasons with the Horned Frogs, he recorded 148 catches for 2,248 yards and 22 receiving TDs.

–Field Level Media

Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) as Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) chases during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Report: DB Ryan hires new agent; several teams interested

Free-agent defensive back Logan Ryan has a new agent and is expected to sign a deal before the start of the NFL season, according to a report Sunday.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Ryan is now working with agent Joel Segal, whose clients include defensive stars Patrick Peterson and Khalil Mack. Rapoport said Ryan has “several suitors.”

Ryan had 113 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions, 18 passes defensed and four forced fumbles for the Tennessee Titans last season.

Entering his eighth NFL season, Ryan said farewell to the Titans organization and fans in an Instagram post in May and said he wants to continue his career elsewhere.

“My chapter in Tennessee has come to a close,” he began his post.

“To the @Titans fans: Thank you for all the love. The energy and support this past season is what led to an epic run.

“To my Titans Teammates: I love all y’all. Being a leader and earning y’all respect is what meant most to me. Win or lose we stuck together and backed down from no one. “

He added he was “looking forward to continue to play at an elite level for a organization that’s a great fit for my family and me.”

The following week, Ryan reportedly was on the verge of a deal with the New York Jets, but that didn’t materialize.

Ryan spent the first four seasons of his career (2013-16) with the New England Patriots before signing a three-year, $30 million deal with Titans in March 2017. In 109 career games (85 starts), he has 494 tackles, 11 sacks and 17 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) in action against the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: LSU WR Chase to skip season, enter draft

Preseason All-American wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase won’t play for LSU, opting out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, according to multiple reports Sunday.

Chase is giving up his final two years of eligibility. He was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2018 from Archbishop Rummel in Metairie, La.

He had a stellar season in 2019, a reliable target for quarterback Joe Burrow en route to the Tigers’ national championship. Chase caught 84 passes and set the Southeastern Conference record for receiving touchdowns (20) and receiving yards (1,780) in a season. He also led the nation in the latter two categories.

A consensus first-team All-American, Chase won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver.

He was set to wear No. 7 for the Tigers this season, an honor reserved for the cream of the crop at LSU.

“Ja’Marr is a tremendous football player from the great state of Louisiana that represents our football program with great character and integrity,” coach Ed Orgeron said in March, when he announced the number switch. “(His parents) Jimmy and Toleah have done a great job of raising him and he has worked extremely hard on and off the field to develop as a player, while also becoming an outstanding leader for our team. He’s very deserving of having the opportunity to be the next LSU player to wear number 7. I know he will do a great job of representing that number and all of those who have worn the number 7 before him.”

Previous wearers of the jersey include Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Leonard Fournette, DJ Chark and, most recently, Grant Delpit.

–Field Level Media

Aug 31, 2017; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Mike Majette (24) rushes the ball and is tackled by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Haskell Garrett (92) and defensive lineman Jerron Cage (98) in the first quarter of the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State DT Garrett injured in shooting

Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett was shot early Sunday morning and hospitalized in stable condition, police in Columbus said.

The department said police responded at 12:28 a.m. to reports of a shooting on Chittenden Avenue in the city. They followed a trail of blood to an apartment on East 11th Avenue, where they located an injured Garrett.

The 22-year-old had a “through and through gunshot wound to the cheeks on his face,” the police report said. He was transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and is expected to recover.

Neither Ohio State nor coach Ryan Day immediately issued a statement. Police were asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the department.

A 6-foot-2 senior from Las Vegas, Garrett has played in 33 games for the Buckeyes. In 11 games in 2019, he had 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

He was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2017.

–Field Level Media

Dec 1, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) looks on prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings acquire Ngakoue from Jaguars

Franchise-tagged defensive end Yannick Ngakoue received his wish on Sunday — a one-way ticket out of Jacksonville.

The Jaguars agreed to trade Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022. The 2022 pick can become a third-round pick if Ngakoue is named to the Pro Bowl and the Vikings win the Super Bowl.

Ngakoue had 37.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, and two interceptions in 63 games with the Jaguars.

The window to reach a long-term deal has passed for Ngakoue, but he will receive a revised one-year tender to cover the 2020 season until the extension can be made official, per multiple reports.

Ngakoue began his holdout shortly after he was given the franchise tag in March. He vowed not to return to the team.

Ngakoue said he wanted to be traded, and now follows standout yet emerging defensive players Jalen Ramsey (Rams) and A.J. Bouye (Broncos) out of Jacksonville via trade.

In Minnesota, he’ll join a top defense run by head coach Mike Zimmer and line up opposite Danielle Hunter, another 25-year-old pass rusher. Hunter established a record as the fastest to reach 50 career sacks last season.

Ngakoue, a third-round draft pick from Maryland in 2016, held out last summer as he sought a contract extension in the range of $20 million a year. He ended his holdout after 11 days and played on the final season of his four-year, $3.28 million rookie deal, banking on catapulting a successful 2019 season into a big 2020 payday.

“I know my value, I know my worth,” he said last summer. “That’s all I can say. Doesn’t matter about anybody else knowing my value. I showed each and every year.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 25, 2020; Lake Forest, IL, USA;   Chicago Bears quarterbacks Nick Foles (9) and Mitch Trubisky (10) and coach Dave Ragone during training camp Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brian Cassella/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Nagy won’t reveal starting QB before opener

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy promised Saturday to keep his starting quarterback a secret prior to the Sept. 13 opener against the host Detroit Lions.

Nagy indicated on a Zoom call with reporters that the identity of the starter — either Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles — will be highly guarded information.

“That won’t be happening before that game,” Nagy said of declaring a starting signal caller.

Trubisky and Foles have been locked in a competitive battle for the job throughout training camp.

The lack of preseason games means it isn’t easy for outsiders to determine which quarterback holds an edge.

“For us, we like where they are at, but that’s an internal question for our coaches,” Nagy said of the battle. “That’s more gamesmanship than anything. But we know there can definitely be improvement for both of them. They are making good decisions. There are times they are making good throws. There are times they are making throws they’d like to have back.

“I’ll put it this way: Intentionally, I’m not going to give you any direction right now.”

Foles was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March to push Trubisky, who was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft.

The 31-year-old Foles owns a Super Bowl ring as he took over for injured Carson Wentz late in the 2017 season and guided the Philadelphia Eagles to the title. He was named Super Bowl MVP.

Foles threw for just 736 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in four games (all starts) for the Jaguars last season. He broke his left collarbone in the season opener and then-rookie Gardner Minshew took over as the main quarterback and started 12 of Jacksonville’s 16 games.

Overall, Foles has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 11,901 yards, 71 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in 58 games (48 starts) during eight NFL seasons with the Eagles (2012-14, 2017-18), the then-St. Louis Rams (2015), Chiefs (2016), and Jaguars.

Quizzed about the competition on Saturday, Foles said he hasn’t asked the coaches where it stands.

“I’m not even thinking about it,” Foles told reporters. “I’m just thinking about being the best player I can be for this team. With that, that’s where the coaches know I stand. That’s how I’ve been throughout my career. And so why would I change right now and all of a sudden let this thing overtake me?”

Trubisky gave similar responses and said he is in the dark concerning the battle.

“I’m not exactly sure,” Trubisky said. “I think that’d be a good conversation to have with coach probably Sunday, see how we did after the scrimmage, go back and watch some film and then have one more big week of practice before I would say they probably make a decision. But they really haven’t told us where we’re at or when the deadline is.”

Trubisky, who turned 26 on Aug. 20, finished last season with a tenuous hold on the starting gig. He completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Trubisky, entering his fourth NFL season, has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 8,554 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in 41 games (all starts).

Earlier this year, Chicago declined his fifth-year option worth $24.84 million for 2021.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton (80) warms up before colts training camp at the Farm Bureau Football Complex. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Colts TE Burton injures calf in practice

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton is expected to miss an undisclosed amount of time after sustaining a left calf injury during Saturday’s practice, coach Frank Reich said.

Burton was unable to put weight on his left leg as he was helped to the sideline, according to multiple reports.

The 28-year-old Burton was released by the Chicago Bears in April before signing a one-year deal with the Colts later that month. He is expected to provide depth behind starter Jack Doyle in Indianapolis.

Burton is best known for throwing the touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles on the “Philly Special” trick play that helped the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Burton spent his first four seasons (2014-17) with the Eagles, with Reich serving as offensive coordinator for his last two campaigns.

He left as a free agent to join the Bears on a four-year, $32 million contract, and he established career highs of 54 receptions, 569 yards and six touchdowns while starting all 16 games in 2018.

Burton underwent hernia surgery following the 2018 season and was limited to eight games (five starts) in 2019. He caught just 14 passes for 84 yards before sustaining a season-ending calf injury in November. He also underwent hip surgery in December.

Overall, Burton has 131 receptions for 1,282 yards and 12 touchdown catches in 85 career games (26 starts) with Philadelphia and Chicago.

–Field Level Media