Dec 26, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) before the game between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

WR Terry McLaurin signs $70M extension with Commanders

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin and the Washington Commanders agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth up to $70 million, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

McLaurin, whose agents said he will receive a signing bonus of $28 million, was entering the final year of his rookie contract and planned to steer clear of workouts while seeking a new deal.

The agreement hushes any holdout talk from McLaurin, who becomes one of the seven highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL while jumping off the list of disgruntled young wideouts.

McLaurin skipped mandatory minicamp and was working out on his own, a plan that head coach Ron Rivera wasn’t pleased with given the arrival of new quarterback Carson Wentz.

But the deal through 2025 carries an average annual salary of $23.3 million.

NFL Network put the max value of the deal at $70 million, while ESPN reported it could reach $71 million.

A third-round pick in 2019, McLaurin caught 77 passes for 1,053 yards with five TDs last season. He had 87 receptions for 1,118 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, production that looks even more impressive when the revolving door at quarterback in Washington is taken into consideration.

Deebo Samuel (49ers) and DK Metcalf (Seahawks) remain candidates for a trade among McLaurin’s peer group of talented receivers digging in for a big payday.

Multiple wide receivers in their position were traded this offseason, including Davante Adams (Packers to Raiders), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs to Dolphins) and Amari Cooper (Cowboys to Browns) as the market for No. 1 wideouts exploded.

Adams left the Packers and is the league’s highest-paid wide receiver with an average salary of $30 million. He’s just ahead of Hill ($28 million), both of whom overtook DeAndre Hopkins ($27.3 million) with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams signed All-Pro Cooper Kupp to a new deal that bumps his pay to $26.7 million per season and the Eagles acquired A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans, signing him to a contract that averages $25 million per season.

Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs ($24 million) is also just ahead of McLaurin in terms of average annual salary.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; A view of the field with the ACC logo in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

ACC to scrap divisions after 2022 season

The 2022 season will be the last featuring divisions in the ACC, which announced a new scheduling format Tuesday.

The league is adopting a 3-5-5 format beginning in 2023, when every team will play three permanent rivalry games each season and rotate through the other 10 teams every other year.

“The future ACC football scheduling model provides significant enhancements for our schools and conference, with the most important being our student-athletes having the opportunity to play every school both home and away over a four-year period,” ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “In the end, it was clear this model is in the best interest of our student-athletes, programs and fans, at this time.”

At the end of the regular season, the top two teams (by conference winning percentage) will meet in the ACC title game on the first Saturday in December.

The ACC is the latest league to do away with divisions, joining the Big 12 (2011), American (2021), Pac-12 (2023) and Mountain West (2023).

According to ESPN, Pittsburgh will have the easiest slate against permanent rivals while Georgia Tech the toughest.

ACC permanent rivalries:

Boston College: Miami, Pitt, Syracuse
Clemson: FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State
Duke: UNC, NC State, Wake Forest
Florida State: Clemson, Miami, Syracuse
Georgia Tech: Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest
Louisville: Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia
Miami: BC, FSU, Louisville
North Carolina: Duke, NC State, Virginia
NC State: Clemson, Duke, UNC
Pitt: BC, Syracuse, Virginia Tech
Syracuse: BC, FSU, Pitt
Virginia: Louisville, UNC, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech: Pitt, Virginia, Wake Forest
Wake Forest: Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

–Field Level Media

Former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield speaks to the crowd at Owen Field on April 23 in Norman.

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Browns QB Baker Mayfield: Both sides ‘ready to move on’

Baker Mayfield says that he and the Cleveland Browns are both “ready to move on.”

The 27-year-old quarterback spoke with reporters Tuesday at his youth football camp in Norman, Okla.

Mayfield didn’t completely rule out a reconciliation if the NFL suspends his replacement, Deshaun Watson.

“I think for that to happen there would have to be some reaching out,” Mayfield said. “But we’re ready to move on, I think — on both sides.”

Watson, 26, is scheduled to have a hearing with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Tuesday.

The hearing will center on the 26 women who accused Watson of unwanted advances and inappropriate sexual conduct during massage appointments during his time with the Houston Texas.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal.

Mayfield has been excused from the Browns’ offseason activities while the team attempts to find a trade partner.

He is due a fully guaranteed salary of $18.86 million in 2022, the final season of his rookie contract.

Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter since the Browns made him the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; A general view of the Big 12 Conference logo on the field after the game between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma Sooners at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Big 12 eyes Brett Yormark as next commissioner

The Big 12 is targeting Roc Nation chief operating officer Brett Yormark as its next commissioner, multiple outlets reported.

Yormark, 55, would replace Bob Bowlsby, who announced in April that he was stepping down after a decade as commissioner.

Yormark was promoted to COO of Jay Z’s Roc Nation agency in January after previously working as co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified.

Although he has little experience in collegiate sports, Yormark spent 15 years at Barclays Sports and Entertainment and was the CEO there before joining Roc Nation in 2019.

The Big 12 is a league in transition, with Texas and Oklahoma announcing last year that they are moving to the Southeastern Conference when their Big 12 rights expire in 2025. Bowlsby helped to usher in the additions of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, who will join no later than 2024-25.

–Field Level Media

Thompson defensive back Tony Mitchell (3) breaks up a pass intended for Central wide receiver Karmello English (2) during the 7A state championship game in Birmingham Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr]

7a Championship Central Vs Thompson

Five-star CB Tony Mitchell picks Alabama

Cornerback Tony Mitchell, a five-star prospect ranked No. 15 in the Class of 2023 per the 247Sports composite, committed to play for Alabama late Sunday.

Earlier in the week, the Alabama native whittled down his list to four finalists. He picked the Crimson Tide over Auburn, Georgia and Texas A&M.

Mitchell is listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. He plays for Thompson High School in Alabaster, Ala. He is 247Sports’ second-ranked cornerback in the class.

Alabama previously landed another five-star corner, Jahlil Hurley — the third-ranked player at his position in the class. Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide also have commitments from four four-star players in the class, including quarterback Eli Holstein.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera looks on as owner Daniel Snyder speaks during his introductory press conference at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

House Oversight Committee: Daniel Snyder trying to ‘evade’ subpoena

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform so far has been unable to serve Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder with a subpoena to testify on Capitol Hill, a spokesperson said Monday.

The committee is investigating allegations about the Commanders’ workplace culture. Media reports have detailed allegations of sexual misconduct from 15 female ex-employees, including multiple accusations of sexual harassment against Snyder in particular. While those women have spoken out publicly, at least 50 ex-employees reportedly have complained about the workplace culture.

“Mr. Snyder has so far refused to accept service of the Committee’s subpoena,” the spokesperson’s statement said. “While the committee has been, and remains, willing to consider reasonable accommodations requested by witnesses, we will not tolerate attempts to evade service of a duly authorized subpoena or seek special treatment not afforded to other witnesses who testified in this matter. The Committee will not be deterred from obtaining Mr. Snyder’s testimony, and we remain committed to ensuring transparency about the toxic workplace culture at the Washington Commanders and the NFL’s inadequate response.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified before the committee on the matter last week. Snyder declined an invitation to testify, citing business that required overseas travel. Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) responded by saying she would subpoena Snyder to appear.

The Athletic reported that Snyder’s attorney declined to accept a subpoena on Snyder’s behalf Friday.

After a 2020 Washington Post report initially revealed many of the allegations, the NFL launched its own investigation led by attorney Beth Wilkinson. The league fined the Commanders $10 million in 2021 and had Snyder step away from day-to-day operations, but Wilkinson’s findings were not released publicly, prompting the House committee to request that commissioner Roger Goodell release everything related to the investigation.

Last week, the committee released a 29-page memo based on its own eight-month investigation, which found that Snyder conducted his own “shadow investigation” into workplace allegations in an attempt to discredit the accusers.

Snyder is at the center of multiple investigations. In addition to the House committee inquiry, the Virginia attorney general said in April that he was launching an investigation into allegations regarding the team’s business practices.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform obtained evidence that Snyder had team executives illegally withhold refundable security deposits from ticket holders and kept two sets of books to hide revenue from the NFL in order to contribute less to the revenue-sharing pool.

Goodell told the committee last week that he has no authority to remove Snyder as owner of the Commanders. An owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote (24 of 32) of fellow owners, although Goodell does have the authority to recommend a vote.

In May 1999, NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Washington franchise and the old Jack Kent Cooke Stadium to a group headed by Snyder, who then was 34. The group paid $800 million, which at the time was a record purchase price for a U.S. sports franchise.

–Field Level Media

Marlin Briscoe recalls racism he faced as the first starting black quarterback in professional American football during the Black Bodies in Leadership: Journey of the Black Quarterback panel at the Phoenix Art Museum on Feb. 20, 2020.

Black Quarterbacks Panel

Marlin Briscoe, pro football’s first Black starting QB, dies at 76

Marlin Briscoe, the first Black starting quarterback in pro football, died Monday at age 76.

His daughter, Angela Marriott, told the AP that Briscoe died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, Calif.

Briscoe made his first start for the Denver Broncos on Oct. 6, 1968, a 10-7 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Nicknamed “The Magician,” he started five games under center that season, passing for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushing for 308 yards and three scores.

When Denver didn’t give him a chance to play quarterback in 1969, he asked to be released and joined the Bills.

With Jack Kemp entrenched as the starting signal-caller in Buffalo, Briscoe transitioned to wide receiver and made the Pro Bowl in 1970 with 57 catches for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns.

Briscoe went on to win Super Bowls VII and VIII with the Miami Dolphins and retired with 224 receptions for 3,537 yards and 30 TDs with six teams.

Briscoe, who starred at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

–Field Level Media

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Attorney files suit against Texans for ‘enabling’ Deshaun Watson

Texas attorney Tony Buzbee filed suit against the Houston Texans on Monday, saying the team “enabled” former quarterback Deshaun Watson’s sexual misconduct against his clients during massage sessions.

Buzbee is representing the remaining four women suing Watson in Harris County, Texas, accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Buzbee indicated earlier this month he planned to add the Texans to the litigation. He followed through on that less than a week after settling 20 of 24 cases with Watson. It also comes one day before Watson’s reported hearing with the NFL.

“Today we filed the first case of what will likely be many against the Houston Texans related to Deshaun Watson’s behavior,” Buzbee said in a statement provided to “Suffice it to say, the overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning. We believe the Texans knew or most certainly should have known of Watson’s conduct.”

Buzbee cited information gleaned from the Houston Police Department.

The first lawsuit was filed in March 2021, with a flurry of additional women also filing complaints over the following months to bring the total to 24.

The women all allege Watson committed sexual improprieties during the course of a massage. He has denied all accusations, and two grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against Watson earlier this year.

The Browns acquired Watson, 26, from the Houston Texans in a trade in March and signed him to a five-year deal with $230 million in guaranteed money.

Watson did not play during the 2021 NFL season. In 2020, the three-time Pro Bowl selection led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and set a career high with 33 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 8, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) greets teammates after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers great Luke Kuechly joins team’s radio broadcast

Former Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly has joined the team’s radio broadcast.

The Panthers announced Monday that Kuechly will be part of the broadcast team for seven games in 2022, along with play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff and either Jordan Gross or Jake Delhomme. Jim Szoke will remain the third man in the booth for the 10 other regular season games.

A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time All-Pro, Kuechly retired after the 2019 season at the age of 28.

Now 31, he said joining the broadcast booth felt like the natural next step.

“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly said. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow. I think it could be a lot of fun. I think that’s the biggest reason, to do something around the game on game day that’s fun. You still get the atmosphere, and all the good memories I have here in Carolina.”

Kuechly will broadcast six home games: Week 1 vs. Cleveland, Week 4 vs. Arizona, Week 5 vs. San Francisco, Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh. He will also make the Week 9 road trip to his hometown of Cincinnati.

“You just know (Kuechly’s) going to be good at it,” Delhomme said. “I look forward to it because he’s so smart.”

A first-round pick (ninth overall) by Carolina in 2012, Kuechly was a tackling savant upon his arrival into the league, leading the NFL with 164 tackles in his rookie season as he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He led the league again in 2014 with 153 stops and retired with 1,092 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 18 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries in 118 games (all starts).

–Field Level Media

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks to the media after minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns QB Deshaun Watson scheduled for disciplinary hearing on Tuesday

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is scheduled to have a hearing with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Tuesday, ESPN reported Saturday.

The hearing will center on the 26 women who accused Watson of unwanted advances and inappropriate sexual conduct during massage appointments during his time with the Houston Texas.

Robinson was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

The NFL is expected to push for a lengthy suspension of Watson, whose representatives have settled 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits filed against Watson.

The NFLPA will defend Watson during the hearing.

Robinson spent more than 25 years (1991-2017) as a member of Delaware’s district court.

After Robinson makes a ruling, Watson will have the option to appeal any punishment.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could rule on Watson’s appeal or allow an independent arbitrator to make a decision.

Watson has denied the accusations on multiple occasions.

The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal. Watson didn’t play in 2021 after requesting to be traded from the Texans.

–Field Level Media