Oct 24, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (57) lines up during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs use franchise tag on LT Orlando Brown

Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown became the first player tagged in the NFL offseason on Monday.

Brown would make approximately $16.5 million on the franchise tag in 2022 if the two sides are unable to work out a long-term deal.

Acquired from the Baltimore Ravens for a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, Brown stabilized the left side of the Kansas City offensive line in a focused overhaul of the Chiefs’ front wall last offseason.

A third-round pick of the Ravens who began his career at right tackle, Brown is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who hiked his value by moving to the left side for the Ravens when Ronnie Stanley (ankle) was lost for the 2020 season.

Tagging Brown shifts the attention of general manager Brett Veach to safety Tyrann Mathieu, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next week.

Mathieu turns 30 in May and said he would love to be back in Kansas City. But he’s also expected to draw significant interest in free agency.

Signed to a three-year, $42 million deal in 2019, Mathieu was an All-Pro pick in his first two seasons in Kansas City.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Mathieu has 26 career interceptions and 10 sacks in 129 career games. He has played for the Chiefs, Texans and Arizona Cardinals.

Veach said he met with reps for Mathieu in Indianapolis but painted a wait-and-see picture that implied the Chiefs would let Mathieu entertain other offers while keeping the door open for his return.

Contract talks with Mathieu were complicated when the Minnesota Vikings and 32-year-old Harrison Smith signed a four-year deal worth $16 million per season in 2021.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Tommy Brown (75) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama OL Tommy Brown transfers to Colorado

Former Alabama offensive lineman Tommy Brown announced on Thursday that he is transferring to Colorado.

“Heading west… Sko Buffs!” Brown said on Twitter.

Brown put his name in the transfer portal one day after the Crimson Tide lost to Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game on Jan. 10.

Brown played in 11 games, starting once at left guard, during the 2021 season. Overall, he played in 29 games over three seasons with Alabama.

The graduate transfer has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA;  Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown cheers during the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown blames Bucs, claims ankle, Bruce Arians caused in-game exit

Antonio Brown emerged late Wednesday claiming his badly injured ankle, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers “cover-up” of his status, caused his in-game exit from the sideline at MetLife Stadium.

Brown, spotted earlier this week courtside at the Brooklyn Nets game, issued a statement through his attorney on the same day the Buccaneers included him on the team’s injury report for Week 18.

Though the Buccaneers made it clear after beating the New York Jets on the day Brown bowed out that he was “no longer a Buc,” no official transaction was made in what could be shaping up as a litigious face-off. Of note in Brown’s professional career and pertinent in any legal dispute over his remaining salary are unceremonious exits from the Pittsburgh Steelers, then-Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots prior to his fresh start with the Buccaneers.

Brown, 33, claimed the Buccaneers were aware of the severity of his ankle injury and that an MRI “shows broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful.”

Only three weeks ago it appeared Brown might be done with the Buccaneers over his “representation of vaccination status” to the team and NFL. But head coach Bruce Arians allowed another chance as Brown rehabbed his hurting ankle.

With the Buccaneers down several wide receivers — including starters Chris Godwin (ACL) and Mike Evans (COVID-19) — Brown played for the first time in 10 weeks on Dec. 26 at Carolina, one game before the incident vs. the Jets.

Brown said in his Wednesday statement that “Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it my all for the team. I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities. On top of that, the pain was extreme.”

Brown said general manager Jason Licht acknowledged in a text message that Brown disclosed his ankle pain to Arians.

Arians was asked Wednesday if it was a matter of “how and not if” Brown was gone, he replied: “Right.”

“It’s a management decision, what’s happening right now,” Arians said.

Brown claimed in the lengthy statement that Arians also directly exchanged texts with Brown prior to the game and discussed the injury.

“I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I told him, ‘It’s my ankle.’ But he knew that. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘You’re done’ while he ran his finger across his throat.

“Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.

“I didn’t quit. I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out.

“…Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was bad enough. Then came their spin. Coach denied on national television that he knew about my ankle. That’s 100 percent inaccurate.”

Brown was a member of the Super Bowl-winning roster in 2020 and was one of a number of free agents to re-sign with the team in the offseason.

This season, he had 42 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven games.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) is tackled by New York Jets cornerback Bryce Hall (37) after a catch during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Antonio Brown throws tantrum, exits field vs. Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown removed his shoulder pads and jersey, ran across the end zone and headed to the team’s locker room midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the host New York Jets.

The Buccaneers trailed 24-10 at the time and were driving downfield on offense, but Brown was not among the players in the game. According to the FOX broadcast, Brown “boiled over” about something and could not be convinced to stay with the team on the sideline.

Fellow receiver Mike Evans tried to keep Brown from taking off his shoulder pads to no avail.

Brown was seen standing in the end zone, making a “peace out” gesture to the crowd, while the teams were playing on the other side of the field.

Brown had three receptions on five targets for 26 yards at the time he left. He has 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season.

The 33-year-old has a trail of off-the-field incidents, distractions and legal trouble dating to the start of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most recently, Brown was suspended three games by the NFL this season for falsifying a COVID-19 vaccine card.

Brown spent the first half of the 2020 season suspended for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He turned himself in to police in Florida in January 2020 due to charges of battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief.

He was released by the New England Patriots after one game in 2019 due to allegations of sexual misconduct and threatening text messages sent to his accuser. New England picked up Brown after he was released by the then-Oakland Raiders before he played in a game due to multiple controversies.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Kendall Lamm (71) after the game against the Chicago Bears at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Titans OT Kendall Lamm tests positive for COVID-19

Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Kendall Lamm announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning.

Lamm revealed the positive test just hours before the Titans were slated to host the San Francisco 49ers. Tennessee placed him on the COVID-19 list a short time later.

The Titans also announced the activation of standout receiver A.J. Brown and safety Chris Jackson from injured reserve.

Lamm’s absence leaves Tennessee without three offensive linemen. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan (back) and left guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder, COVID-19) were declared out on Wednesday with Saffold also being placed on the COVID-19 list.

“Well family and friends I tested positive for COVID this morning!” Lamm wrote on Instagram. “I know everyone has their own opinion on this as you should but I can tell you it’s very real and with my respiratory issues this will not be fun!”

The 29-year-old Lamm was in line to start in place of Lewan. He has started once this season in 12 appearances in his first season with the Titans.

Lamm has played in 86 games (28 starts) over seven NFL seasons with the Houston Texans (2015-18), Cleveland Browns (2019-20) and Tennessee.

Lewan has started 11 games this season and Saffold has made 13 starts.

Brown, who missed the past three games with a chest injury, has 46 receptions for 615 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games this season. Jackson (foot) also missed three games. He has 31 tackles in nine contests.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) look on before throwing the football against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (illness) returns to practice

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Wednesday and put his chances of starting Sunday at “120 percent.”

Jackson missed Baltimore’s game last week with a non-COVID illness. Backup Tyler Huntley rallied the Ravens to a 16-13 win over the Chicago Bears.

“I think I’m fully back to normal. I want to go out there and just go. I don’t want to go out there and limit myself or have coach limit me,” said Jackson, adding that he has “no clue” what caused him to miss two practices last week and, ultimately, Sunday’s game.

“I just got fatigued. I got some chills. I was out of it. But I’m good now. I’m feeling great.”

Wide receiver Marquise Brown (thigh), defensive tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) and linebacker Malik Harrison (calf) also returned to practice. Williams and Harrison have missed the past three games while Brown missed Week 11 against the Bears.

Jackson and the Ravens (7-3) host the Cleveland Browns (6-5) on Sunday night. They play the Browns twice in three weeks.

Jackson is completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards and 14 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He has rushed for another 639 yards and two touchdowns.

Brown has 52 catches for 719 yards and six TDs on the season.

Harrison has 22 tackles in seven games (five starts).

Williams had started all six games before his injury, posting 13 tackles and a fumble recovery.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Antonio Brown out, Rob Gronkowski questionable vs. Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been ruled out for Monday night’s home game against the New York Giants.

Brown hasn’t played since sustaining an ankle injury in Tampa Bay’s 28-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 14.

While Brown has been ruled out, coach Bruce Arians said Saturday that the “arrow’s trending up” for tight end Rob Gronkowski as well as cornerback Sean-Murphy Bunting.

Gronkowski missed last week’s 29-19 loss to the Washington Football Team after sustaining a back injury in the Buccaneers’ 36-27 setback to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 31. He’s officially listed as questionable.

Gronkowski, 32, has 16 catches for 184 yards with four touchdowns in four games this season for the Bucs (6-3).

Murphy-Bunting, 24, remains on injured reserve after sustaining a dislocated elbow in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Brown, 33, has 29 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games this season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) look on before throwing the football against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson returns to practice after illness

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Friday after missing two days with a non-COVID illness.

Wide receivers Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman also were on the practice field. Both were absent from Thursday’s session and Brown also missed Wednesday’s workouts due to a thigh injury.

Jackson is expected to start Sunday when the Ravens (6-3) visit the Chicago Bears (3-6).

Jackson, 24, has thrown for 2,447 yards and 14 touchdowns against eight interceptions, and rushed for 639 yards and two scores in nine games this season.

Brown, 24, leads the Ravens in receptions (52), receiving yards (719) and touchdown catches (six) in nine games.

Bateman, 21, has 18 catches for 241 yards in four games. Baltimore drafted him in the first round (27th overall) in April.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Antonio Brown accused of obtaining fake COVID vaccination card

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown is accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to avoid NFL protocols, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Thursday.

The publication said that Brown’s former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz, was the source of the information.

According to the report, Brown’s girlfriend, Cydney Moreau, told Ruiz in a text message on July 2 that Brown was willing to pay $500 for a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card.

The Tampa Bay Times showed the text conversation between the two, in which Moreau asks Ruiz about getting the COVID cards and following up shortly with “JNJ shot. Ab said he will give you $500.”

Ruiz said he was unable to find a fake vaccination card for Brown. He said a few weeks later, Brown showed him fake vaccination cards that he said he purchased for himself and Moreau.

Ruiz and Brown later had a falling out over a debt. Ruiz said Brown owns him $10,000 and he decided to speak publicly about the situation after settlement talks were unfruitful.

Brown’s lawyer denies Ruiz’s account and says his client is vaccinated.

“Antonio Brown appreciates the severity of the pandemic, which is why he got the vaccine and supports everyone for whom it is advisable to get the vaccine,” Sean Burstyn sent in a text to the Tampa Bay Times. “Coronavirus has hit close to home as it took him out of a game. He is healthy, vaccinated, and ready to win another Super Bowl.

“One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been a movement to cast doubt on our country’s vaccination programs with baseless, vindictive tabloid gossip.”

According to the newspaper, Brown didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

The team, however, released a statement Thursday supporting Brown.

“After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with league policy,” the team said. “All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed.”

Brown has caught 29 passes for 418 yards and four touchdowns in five games this season. He has missed the past three games after injuring an ankle against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 14 and is in jeopardy of also missing Monday’s game against the New York Giants.

Prior to the season, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said the team was “100 percent vaccinated.”

–Field Level Media

New England Patriots NFL offensive line Trent Brown

Patriots remove RT Trent Brown from IR, add LB Jamie Collins to list

The New England Patriots activated starting right tackle Trent Brown off injured reserve and placed veteran linebacker Jamie Collins on the same list on Saturday, one day before a home game against the Cleveland Browns.

Brown has been sidelined since suffering a calf injury in the season-opening game against the Miami Dolphins. He was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 9.

Brown, 28, returned to the Patriots this season for his second stint with the team. He has played in 64 career games (61 starts) over seven NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2015-17), New England (2018), and the Raiders (2019 in Oakland, 2020 in Las Vegas).

Collins missed practice all week with an ankle injury. The move to IR means he will have to miss at least three games.

Collins, 32, is a member of the Patriots for the third time. He also played for the team from 2013-16 and in 2019. He spent the 2020 seasons with the Detroit Lions and was released after two games this season before rejoining New England.

Collins has seven tackles, one sacks and one interception in five games with the Patriots. For his career, he has 693 tackles, 26.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.

Collins was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 and has topped 100 tackles four times. He also has played for Cleveland (2016-18). He was acquired by the Browns from New England midway through the 2016 season.

–Field Level Media