Antonio Brown is set to join 2019 Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, according to reports.

Brown was released on Saturday, with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden saying the team had "exhausted everything" to keep the wide receiver, who had joined from the 
Pittsburgh Steelers on a three-year deal reportedly worth more than $50million per season.

Reports now claim the 31-year-old will link up with the Patriots, signing a one-year, $15m contract, with Brown then seemingly confirming the move on his official Twitter account.

Brown's spell at Oakland took a turn for the worse last week after a reported incident between the receiver and general manager Mike Mayock.

On Wednesday, Brown aired his frustration against the Raiders for fining him for missing practice time and a walk-through.

The situation then escalated from there as it was reported Brown got into a verbal altercation with Mayock, which ultimately resulted in another fine.

Brown apologised to his team on Friday, and Gruden claimed he would play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos.

However, Brown’s latest social media post proved the final straw.

"You are gonna p*** a lot of people off when you start doing what's best for you," Brown posted to Instagram.

"And that's fine!" it continued. "I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines (sic). Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years 'I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong.' Release me. @raiders #NOMore."

The Patriots will face the Steelers, who selected Brown out of the 2010 draft, on Sunday.

Brown, however, cannot face his former team without the switch becoming official, which will likely happen on Monday.

It may raise a few eyebrows that a proud, rugby-mad Scotsman like Jamie Gillan would admit his role model growing up was one of England's greatest ever players.

"Jonny Wilkinson was my favourite rugby player. When YouTube first appeared, as a kid, I think I watched every YouTube highlights video of Jonny Wilkinson," Gillan said of the hero of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph. 

"I've probably watched them about 100 times each. I loved how he played. He played with a lot of heart and was an awesome kicker as well. 

"I also liked watching [former Scotland fly-half] Chris Paterson kick conversions. I like him and Jonny Wilkinson. I looked up to Jonny Wilkinson the most, I liked watching how he played."

It is that sort of forensic-like analysis and willingness to learn that helped Gillan on a path from aspiring rugby union international to a career in the NFL as a punter with the Cleveland Browns.

Growing up in Inverness, Gillan spent four years playing for the youth teams of Highland RFC before relocating to Merchiston Castle boarding school in Edinburgh where he went to chase his dream of playing for Scotland.

But the course of Gillan's personal journey would change at the age of 16. His father Colin, a navigator with the Royal Air Force, was posted to Maryland.

"It was a really big decision that me and my family made. I was doing really well in Merchiston. I got really good results in my GCSEs and had just come off winning the Scottish schools cup for youth 16s," Gillan said of the life-altering moment. 

"We had a really great team, I didn't want to leave! I was rugby mad and we had such a stellar team, I really enjoyed playing. 

"My goal was to play professional rugby and pull on the Scotland jersey one day, but with my parents moving across the Atlantic and the fact my Dad didn't want to be that far away from us, I decided to move out.

"Coming to school in America was way different, having to do the different tests and classes. There were some subjects I had dropped when I was 14 years old, but I had to do them again over here which made it more difficult." 

Fast forward six years and Gillan is about to make his NFL debut against the Tennessee Titans for an ambitious Browns side that boasts superstar talent in the form of Odell Beckham Jr, Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry.

But American football was not necessarily at the forefront of Gillan's mind from the second he touched down Stateside.

It was only when Gillan sought out the coach of his high-school team – the man credited with coining his 'Scottish Hammer' nickname – with the intention of honing his kicking skills and staying fit to play rugby that things accelerated.

His hammer of a left boot caught the eyes of scouts and scholarship offers soon arrived for Gillan, who rocked up at the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

College life provided another culture shock. The gruelling demands of mixing a full training schedule with studies and sleep deprivation was an experience he credits with preparing him for the NFL.

"Going into college life was even crazier because you're doing classes per semester, so you've only got two months to finish these classes and with the NCAA rules you have to take a certain number of classes," he reflected.

"A lot of people don't realise but playing college sports is ridiculously hard, in terms of your timetable and the amount of sleep you're getting. You're up at 5am running until you're throwing up. We've got five classes, have to squeeze in some food and lift right after that for an hour and a half, then punting for two hours, then dinner, then study hall/team meetings before getting into bed around 11.30/12pm. 

"We're doing that Monday-Friday during the season. During the offseason you're doing it for about two months and in the summer, you stay doing the same thing on top of doing the work. It's a hard schedule but it moulds you well if you stick to it and take it and run with it. I ended up doing okay and playing in the NFL so…"

Gillan went undrafted in April's draft, not uncommon for punters, but was picked up by the Browns in free agency and was in direct competition with Super Bowl winner Britton Colquitt for a place on the roster.

Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had a tough decision on his hands, but the raw potential of Gillan – whose rugby-style tackling adds another dimension – saw him earn the nod.

Priefer admitted "it would have been very difficult to let a guy like Jamie out the building" but Gillan – who learned of the news while in the Flying Monkey Pub with his father – would have had no regrets regardless of the outcome.

"I was out with my dad enjoying myself a little bit. It was like D-Day, everyone was finding out if they were cut or put on the practice squad or traded or making the team," he said. 

"I didn't have a whole lot of emotions to be honest. I think my dad was more emotional and nervous than I was because I knew what I had done in the past four months. 

"I know what I have done in the pre-season. I've worked really hard and regardless of what happens, I can sit back and be happy with what I've done. I didn't know if I was going to get cut, traded or make the team so I was just enjoying the experience. 

"I didn't want to be in my room or hanging out and not really doing much. Me and my dad were like let's go out and enjoy ourselves and see what happens. So, we did and then I got the phone call from the GM saying that I made the team, so I was extremely happy."  

Gillan insists he has not felt overawed by sharing a locker room with his more globally recognised team-mates, who he says have welcomed him with open arms.

That's not to say there hasn't been any playful hazing.

"Yeah there is a little bit," he said. "We had to get up and sing in front of the team, so that was fun. 

"I sung Evil Scotsman by Billy Connelly in front of the whole team and they thought that was really funny, so you know little stuff like that makes it fun.

"I get a bit of a rookie banter, people just having a little laugh you know but at the end of the day everybody has been supportive and fantastic."


Watch Jamie Gillan in action as the Cleveland Browns host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday 8th September on Sky Sports Action at 17:00 and Sky Sports Main Event at 18:00. You can also catch-up on the action on Tuesday with the NFL This Week highlights show available on BBC Two and iPlayer.

The Oakland Raiders "exhausted everything" but wide receiver Antonio Brown "didn't fit", according to head coach Jon Gruden.

The Raiders released Brown on Saturday hours after he asked to be let go by the team without having played a single game.

Brown was reportedly facing a hefty fine following a verbal altercation with general manager Mike Mayock earlier in the week, with his guaranteed money said to be voided.

Gruden faced the media to explain the decision shortly after Oakland's announcement and said the franchise could not be faulted.

"It's disappointing," he told reporters. "I'm really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work and I'm sorry it didn't.

"I apologise, but I will tell you I'm very proud of what we did as an organisation to try.

"I was very hopeful about what he could bring here, but unfortunately it's not going to happen. He is a good guy. He's misunderstood by a lot of people, but he's a good guy."

Gruden is now hoping to move on and focus on Monday's game against the Denver Broncos.

"I'm sorry that we never got the chance to see him in silver and black," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and talk about it all day.

"We've got 12 rookies. We've got a lot to be excited about and I wish Antonio the very best."

Gruden added: "We've been practicing without him. We realise where we are. We've been practicing without him quite a bit. It's disappointing, but we've got guys that are really good players that have an outstanding opportunity."

The Antonio Brown Era in Oakland is over before it even began, after the Raiders decided to release the wideout on Saturday.

Elite players rarely stay on the market for long and Brown's agent has made it clear his client is looking to explore his options.

ESPN's Adam Schefter quoted Brown's representative, Drew Rosenhaus, as saying: "Now that Antonio is a free agent, we are focused on the future and I will immediately work on signing him to a new team. Antonio is looking forward to a new beginning."

There is surely no way 30 teams - excluding the Pittsburgh Steelers, who traded Brown to Oakland following a fallout, and Raiders - could pass on a chance to land one of the NFL's best, right?

Here are three teams that should consider signing Antonio Brown.

 

New England Patriots

New England are bound to pop up in plenty of people's heads. The Patriots have an elite coach in Bill Belichick, a tight-knit system and certainly are no strangers to taking risks. While last year's gamble that brought Josh Gordon over from the Cleveland Browns did not quite work out in 2018, the wideout made valuable contributions en route to the Patriots' latest Super Bowl win. Better yet, he will have a chance to redeem himself this year. The jury is still out on whether they made the right choice, so why not give it another go?

Brown, 31, is still at the peak of his career and has eclipsed 1,200 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons. He would certainly improve a receiving corps that already features Gordon, Demaryius Thomas and Julian Edelman.

If Brown wants to play for a winner, joining a team that's won three of the last five Super Bowls might not be a bad idea.

 

Dallas Cowboys

America's team already has plenty of drama surrounding it, so why not add more? Surely Jerry Jones has at least considered bringing Brown aboard.

Dallas has a dynamic running back in Ezekiel Elliott, a dangerous dual threat quarterback under center in Dak Prescott and received great production from Amari Cooper after acquiring the wideout in a midseason trade last year.

With Brown in the fold, the Cowboys would have an abundance of elite options. If there's one statement move Dallas could make to show it's dedicated to winning now, it's this.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals owner Mike Brown has been changing Cincinnati's culture by taking chances on wayward players over the years. If Adam 'Pacman' Jones and Vontaze Burfict could carve out roles, Brown might be able to do the same.

But that is not the only reason this move could make sense.

A.J .Green has been at the heart of Cincinnati's offense for years but he is expected to miss the start of 2019 due to an ankle injury he suffered in practice this offseason. If Green misses the first half of the campaign, pairing him with Brown would allow him to ease back into things while demanding a little less attention every play.

Tyler Boyd had a breakout season in 2018 and John Ross has the breakaway speed to be a major downfield threat moving forward. Then there's tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Joe Mixon.

An explosive player like Brown that can open up the field might be just what Cincinnati needs to rebound from last year's 6-10 finish.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was at the team's facility early on Saturday "trying to wrap his brain around" the Antonio Brown situation that resulted in Oakland cutting the star receiver, his brother and former NFL quarterback, David Carr, told NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football'.

Brown asked to be released in an Instagram post containing a photo of large text that read: "You are gonna p*** a lot of people off when you start doing what's best for you." 

Just a few hours later, the Raiders announced they are moving on from the wideout before his first season in Oakland has even started.

"They've given him chance after chance after chance, and at this point ... and this is from [my brother] Derek, they have no choice but to move on and prepare for the [Denver] Broncos as if he's not going to be on the team," David Carr said after Brown requested to be released.

David added: "There's a relief, honestly, that he might not be there [for Monday's game]." He also claimed practices have been "smoother" without the receiver. 

According to ESPN, the Raiders fined Brown $215,073.53 on Friday for conduct detrimental to the team - following a reported row with GM Mike Mayock - and voided his guaranteed money.

Brown told ESPN that the Raiders took away more than $29million in guaranteed money from his contract, stating there's "no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week."

He had also been fined nearly $54,000 earlier in the week for missing practice time and a walk-through, also considered to be conduct detrimental to the team.

Brown posted his displeasure with his first fine on Instagram while taking a shot at the Raiders. Shortly after, multiple reports indicated Oakland was considering suspending the wideout.

After 24 hours of speculation and uncertainty about his status with the Raiders, Brown apologised to the team on Friday and head coach Jon Gruden said the plan was for Brown to play in Week 1 against the Broncos.

However, that optimism soon vanished and Brown is now without a team.

After a drama-filled 48 hours between the Raiders and disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown, Oakland have decided to move on a day before the season starts.

The team officially announced his release on Saturday, just hours after the star wideout asked to be let go on Instagram.

Brown shared a message that read: "You are gonna p*** a lot of people off when you start doing what's best for you."

In the same post, he added: "And that's fine! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines [sic]. Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years.

"I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong." Release me @raiders #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake."

Oakland soon confirmed they had parted company with Brown. The briefest of statements, released on Twitter and their official website, read: "The Raiders have released WR Antonio Brown from the team today."

According to ESPN, the Raiders fined Brown $215,073.53 on Friday for conduct detrimental to the team - following a reported row with GM Mike Mayock - and voided his guaranteed money.

Brown told ESPN that the Raiders took away more than $29million in guaranteed money from his contract, stating there's "no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week."

He had also been fined nearly $54,000 earlier in the week for missing practice time and a walk-through, also considered to be conduct detrimental to the team.

Brown posted his displeasure with his first fine on Instagram while taking a shot at the Raiders. Shortly after, multiple reports indicated Oakland was considering suspending the wideout.

After 24 hours of speculation and uncertainty about his status with the Raiders, Brown apologised to the team on Friday and head coach Jon Gruden said the plan was for Brown to play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. 

That plan has changed rather quickly.

Antonio Brown has been released by the Oakland Raiders, the team announced on Saturday.

Antonio Brown has called on the Oakland Raiders to release him as his problems with the team continue to play out in public.

Brown, who was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in March, has been at the centre of much controversy in recent months, including a holdout due to a dispute with the NFL over helmet regulations.

The wide receiver was consequently fined $53,950 for missing mandatory practices and walk-throughs.

It was reported Brown faced a ban following a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, but he issued an apology and was back training with the Raiders on Friday, seemingly putting the myriad issues behind him.

Brown posted a video on his official YouTube page on Friday that appeared to include clips of a conversation with head coach Jon Gruden in which the player says: "I've been trying to be a Raider since day one."

"It's time for me to control my own narrative," he wrote alongside the video. "Show the world I'm not the bad guy."

But this was followed by an Instagram post from Brown on Saturday that suggested his relationship with Oakland had soured once more.

He posted a quote: "You are gonna p*** a lot of people off when you start doing what's best for you."

Brown continued in the caption, challenging the Raiders to release him: "And that's fine! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mine.

"Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years.

"'I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong'.

"Release me, @raiders. #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake"

ESPN reported the post was in response to the Raiders fining Brown another $215,073.53 for conduct detrimental to the team, voiding the guaranteed $29.125million in his contract.

It is said Brown, who had been set to play the season opener, is not now willing to face the Denver Broncos on Monday.

The Dallas Cowboys are hoping to reach a contract agreement with quarterback Dak Prescott by Sunday.

This has been an offseason of big-money contract negotiations between the Cowboys and some of their young stars.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott ended his preseason holdout earlier this week after signing a six-year, $90million extension. Dallas also signed right tackle La'el Collins to a five-year extension this week, and inked linebacker Jaylon Smith to a five-year, $64.5m deal.

But negotiations with Prescott appeared to hit a snag in August, after reports the two-time NFL Pro Bowler had turned down a $30m per year offer from the team and was seeking a record annual figure of $40m. A subsequent report shot down that sum as false.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he is hoping the two sides can reach a deal by Sunday's opener against the New York Giants.

"I'd say the dialogue has been good, and we're still holding out hope we can figure out how to come up with a deal by the game on Sunday," Jones told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Friday.

Jones also said the Cowboys are having "very limited" negotiations with wide receiver Amari Cooper, "for a range of reasons that will eventually get worked out."

Unlike some other teams that do not conduct negotiations once the NFL season begins, Jones said talks will continue with Prescott if no deal is reached by Sunday.

"We're open for business," Jones said. "I know sometimes the players don't care to do that. But we can obviously juggle that and do that. We would be fine with doing that.

"It's really up to the player and their representatives to determine what their deadlines are and their timelines. It doesn't seem to bother us, and I don't know that we've given those type of deadlines or timelines."

We are just one day into the regular season and there is a lot to recap in the NFL.

From Antonio Brown's continued drama in his first season with the Oakland Raiders, to a few extension updates.

We run through all that is happening around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Brown, Gruden speak out after more drama

Well, the drama in Oakland might not be over yet but at least one saga seems to be done. After 24 hours of uncertainty around Brown's status, head coach Jon Gruden said the plan is for Brown to play in the Raiders' season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday. Gruden's comments were a change of pace, considering just hours before it had been reported that Oakland planned to suspend the receiver after he got into a verbal altercation with general Mike Mayock. 

"Antonio is back today. We're really excited about that," Gruden told reporters. "We're ready to move on. He's obviously had a lot of time to think about things and we're happy to have him back and Raider nation is excited about that too."

Brown spoke to reporters briefly at Friday's practice, saying, "I'm excited to be out here with my team. I apologised to my team-mates, the organisation. Enough talk. I've decided to be out here with my team-mates, grateful for all the fans. I'm excited to be a part of the Raiders."

Rams running back Gurley won't be limited 

The Los Angeles Rams are not planning to limit Todd Gurley in week one, even though the running back is coming off a knee problem that hampered his performance last season. When asked whether Gurley would be playing a limited number of snaps against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, coach Sean McVay simply said: "Nope."

After missing last term's final two regular-season games because of inflammation and soreness in his left knee that was later reported to be arthritis, Gurley had a special training schedule during camp. He practiced every other day to ease back into a full workload and did not play in any preseason games.

"I'm excited to see Todd Gurley continue to do his thing," McVay said. "He looks good, he's feeling good and we're looking forward to Sunday."

Chiefs, wideout Hill agree to big extension

Tyreek Hill is not planning to leave the Kansas City Chiefs anytime soon. The Chiefs receiver agreed to a contract extension that was reported to be for three years and worth $54million. He was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him a little more than $2m this season.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue my playing career here in Kansas City," Hill said in a statement on Friday. "Kansas City is my home, and I appreciate the love and support from [owner] Clark Hunt, Coach [Andy] Reid and Brett Veach along with my coaches and team-mates. To Chiefs Kingdom, you're the best fans in the world."

Hill has dealt with multiple off-the-field incidents overshadowing his playing career with the most recent being a leaked audio recording of him and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, talking about alleged abuse of their three-year-old son. 

Hill has 223 catches for 3,255 yards with 25 receiving touchdowns throughout his three-year NFL career. He also has rushed 63 times for 477 yards with four touchdowns.

Two things that don't matter

Cowboys, Cooper aren't far in extension negotiations 

After signing Ezekiel Elliott to a new contract to end the running back's holdout, the Dallas Cowboys still have Amari Cooper hoping for an extension. But it looks like it may take some time before the wideout has a new contract.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones provided a brief update on how negotiations have been going when it comes to the 25-year-old receiver.

"There haven't been a lot of negotiations with Amari, period," Jones said. "And I'm not free to be able to share why. I think at some point we'll start that. I don't know what their parameters will be." 

This is not a huge concern because Cooper has not held out and there is plenty of time to get a deal done this season. Cooper said he would rather be with the team "running routes, catching balls from Dak" instead of sitting out. He addressed his contract status earlier this week, saying: "I don't know, to be honest."

Dallas acquired Cooper through a trade with the Raiders in October last season in exchange for a 2019 first-round draft pick, which gives reason to believe the two sides will eventually reach an agreement. 

Nagy concerned about Bears offense 

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was clearly frustrated with his offense after his team scored just three points against the Green Bay Packers in their season opener on Thursday, but he was willing to take most of the blame. 

"Obviously unacceptable," Nagy told reporters after the loss. "Starts with me, so this — I just told the guys in there, this is not who we are. I was proud of our defense. I thought they played their a** off tonight. Offensively, not good enough. And we're going to fix it. Our guys know that."

The Bears fell 10-3 and finished with just 254 total yards, averaging just 3.9 yards per play and going three for 15 on third-down conversions. They also were penalised 10 times for a loss of 107 yards.

One glaring concern for the Bears was quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who struggled as he completed 26 of 45 passes for 228 yards with no touchdowns and a red zone interception. Trubisky said after the game he let a lot of his team-mates down and could have been better, but Nagy admitted he did not help the QB enough.

While the Bears' week one play was concerning, it is still early in the season so Nagy and Trubisky have time to figure it out. 

One video you have to see

The Atlanta Falcons put together a video compiling the reactions that offensive and defensive linemen would have if they moved positions and scored a touchdown. Their reactions are pretty priceless.

Friday's tweet of the day

In case you got lost with all the Brown news, here is a recap.

Antonio Brown is set to play for the Oakland Raiders in their Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos, according to head coach Jon Gruden.

The wide receiver was absent from practice on Thursday amid reports he was facing a ban following a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock the previous day.

Brown had previously expressed his displeasure over being fined $53,950 for missing mandatory practices and walk-throughs while filing two grievances against the NFL in an attempt to get clearance to wear his outdated helmet this season.

However, after issuing an apology prior to the practice session, the 31-year-old was back working with his team-mates on Friday ahead of the season opener against the Broncos on Monday.

"Antonio is back today. We're really excited about that," Gruden told reporters. "We're ready to move on.

"He's obviously had a lot of time to think about things and we're happy to have him back and Raider nation is excited about that too."

Brown appeared briefly to speak to reporters at the workout, saying: "I'm excited to be out here with my team. I apologized to my team-mates, the organisation.

"Enough talk. I've decided to be out here with my team-mates, grateful for all the fans. I'm excited to be a part of the Raiders."

Oakland acquired Brown in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in March, sending picks in the third and fifth rounds of the 2019 draft in the opposite direction.

They immediately signed the seven-time Pro Bowler to a new contract, reportedly for three years and worth a guaranteed $30.125million.

Tyreek Hill has agreed to a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, the team announced on Friday.

Terms of the wide receiver's new deal were not disclosed by the Chiefs, though it is reported to be a three-year extension worth $54million.

Hill was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract but had been in negotiations with the franchise in the hope of completion prior to the 2019 season.

Kansas City open the new campaign away to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

A fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Hill has been a Pro Bowl selection in all three of his seasons in the NFL, registering 223 catches for 3,255 yards and 25 receiving touchdowns.

The 25-year-old has also rushed 63 times for 477 yards with four touchdowns and was a key component in the Chiefs team that won the AFC West last season.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue my playing career here in Kansas City," Hill said in a statement released by the Chiefs.

"Kansas City is my home, and I appreciate the love and support from [CEO] Clark Hunt, coach [Andy] Reid and [general manager] Brett Veach along with my coaches and team-mates. To Chiefs Kingdom, you're the best fans in the world."

Hill was cleared to begin training camp with Kansas City in the offseason after the NFL conducted a "comprehensive investigation" into allegations he had abused his three-year-old son. Based on the evidence available, the league ruled he had not violated their personal conduct policy.

Mitchell Trubisky appeared to pay for his lack of preseason action in a poor opening NFL display but insisted that was not the reason for the Chicago Bears' defeat.

The Bears lost 10-3 to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday in a game dominated by the two defenses, with Trubisky particularly dismal, going 26-of-45 passing for 228 yards with no touchdowns and a red-zone interception.

The Chicago quarterback had not thrown a single pass in the preseason, yet he suggested it should not have been an issue come game day.

"I know you guys [the media] are going to try to draw comparisons like that, but really - I wish I could have said this before - the snaps in the preseason have nothing to do with the way we execute," he told a news conference.

"The sloppiness was tonight. We weren't doing that in practice. We were smooth in practice.

"It just seemed a little scattered tonight with all of our personnel, trying to find a rhythm and trying to find our identity on offense. We just put ourselves in bad situations and shot ourselves in the foot.

"You can maybe contribute it to that [the lack of a preseason], but I think it's kind of a stretch. It was just uncharacteristic to who we usually are as an offense. We need to do our job."

Trubisky did acknowledge he was left feeling as though he had let his team-mates and the Bears fans down, though.

Asked to analyse his performance, he replied: "Not that good, not that good. I definitely left a lot of plays out there.

"Just myself and as an offense, we really couldn't find a rhythm there. We struggled on third down, obviously. That was apparent. We've got to be better on first and second down to stay in manageable situations on third down.

"I felt like I made some good throws here and there, made good decisions for the most part, but I think it was just sloppy by myself and the offense as a whole, just going through all our procedures.

"It was just tough. We couldn't find a rhythm. It's really frustrating, because it's very uncharacteristic of this offense - especially with the way we've been practising.

"But the type of guys we've got in there - obviously our defense, special teams battled all night to keep us in it - we've just got to continue to pull together, look within ourselves and find answers to make sure we're not feeling like this again.

"I definitely feel like I let a lot of my team-mates and the fans down with the way I played. I definitely feel like I could have done better."

Aaron Rodgers took great confidence from the Green Bay Packers' season-opening NFL win against the Chicago Bears after a poor offensive showing.

The first game of the new season failed to live up to expectations but the Packers emerged 10-3 winners as Rodgers threw the only touchdown to Jimmy Graham.

The Green Bay quarterback was relieved to come through with a victory that relied heavily on their defense after a dismal start in which Rodgers went two of five for five yards in the first quarter for negative-12 yards in total.

When asked for his thoughts at that stage, Rodgers said: "It can't get any worse. The first quarter, I think we had three drives, nine plays and negative yardage."

It was the Packers' worst single-quarter display since 1994 but they recovered to score through Graham at the start of the second.

"I hold myself to a higher standard and I didn't play great tonight," Rodgers acknowledged, but he added his delight at Green Bay's defensive performance as he was reminded he had predicted the offense would start slow.

"Foreshadowing, huh? That was fun to watch. It's been a long time since I've seen a performance like that.

"Obviously a lot of credit goes to [defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine and his staff. Those players... incredible effort. We didn't do them a whole lot of favours with our performance on offense.

"But every time we needed a stop, they came up with some really big plays. Great for Adrian [Amos], coming back to the team, to get a pick in the endzone there.

"And a lot of credit to the front. They put a lot of pressure on them. Both the Smiths [Za'Darius and Preston] looked like they were in the mix a bunch. That was just a dominating performance.

"It gives you a lot of confidence when you play like that on offense and win a game by a touchdown."

As well as paying tribute to Pettine, Rodgers highlighted the importance of Matt LaFleur starting with a win in his first game as an NFL head coach.

"You've got to give credit where credit's due," Rodgers said, discussing Pettine. "What Mike, his staff and the defensive guys did tonight was spectacular. So, he was the first one I wanted to go to because we put him in some tough spots.

"And then after that last kneel down, I held onto that ball because I wanted to give it to Matt. It's a big deal winning your first NFL game as a head coach. I'm happy for him - obviously, it's a lot of fun working with him.

"And I told him, 'I'm going to be a lot better moving forward'. But I'm excited about the season, I'm excited about these guys."

Antonio Brown's agent said he had been in touch with Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock trying to heal the wide receiver's relationship with the team.

Brown's saga with the Raiders took another wrong turn on Wednesday when he and Mayock had an altercation, which prompted the team to make plans to suspend him, according to ESPN.

Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told NBC Sports he was trying to work things out with the Raiders.

"I think there's been a lot of speculation," Rosenhaus said.

"The reality is that we're still talking through many scenarios. There has yet to be a suspension. Nothing is final yet. I've been in touch with coach Gruden, Mike Mayock. We're doing our best to work this out. Trying to keep this relationship moving in a good direction again."

Mayock did not elaborate on the situation when he spoke to reporters on Thursday.

"Antonio Brown is not in the building today. He's not going to be practising," Mayock said.

"I don't have any more information. When we do, I'll get it to you. That's it for today."

ESPN also noted that if the Raiders suspend Brown with the intention of voiding the $30.125million of guaranteed money in his contract, they could successfully dump the receiver, ending his time with the team.

As to whether Brown still wants to play for the Raiders, Rosenhaus said he believes so.

"I believe he does. I can't speak for him, but in my conversations with him, he's willing to honour his contract and play for the Raiders," Rosenhaus said.

The agent said if it were up to Brown, he would play on Monday in the season opener against the Denver Broncos.

But can the two sides mend fences before then?

"I'm not optimistic that I can give you an answer to that right now," Rosenhaus said. "If it were up to me, if it were up to Antonio, he would play. But there's a lot of people involved who have to make that decision."

Brown missed the first part of training camp due to frostbite on his feet from not wearing the proper footwear in a cryotherapy machine, and he then held out from practice as he filed two grievances against the NFL in an attempt to wear his outdated helmet.

The 31-year-old receiver recently voiced his displeasure over being fined nearly $54,000 for missing mandatory practices and walk-throughs and the Raiders sent him a letter saying his conduct was becoming "detrimental to the team".

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