Patrick Chung and the New England Patriots have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to widespread reports.

The deal keeps Chung under contract with New England through 2023, his age-36 season.

Veteran safety Chung receives a $3million signing bonus and is now due up to $12.8m over the next four years. 

The revamped deal also provides the Patriots with some much-needed salary cap relief, creating $925,000 in cap space. 

The 34th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Chung has been a mainstay in New England's secondary for almost all of his time in the pros, spending 10 of his 11 seasons with the Patriots save for the 2013 campaign with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Since rejoining the Patriots in 2014, Chung has appeared in 91 of 96 regular-season games with 82 starts. 

He also started all 12 of New England's playoff games en route to their Super Bowl appearances following the 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons, three of which resulted in championships. 

The NFL is king in the United States, but that does not mean the coronavirus is going to bow before it.

"You have to focus on fitting football inside of this world of coronavirus and don't get caught up in trying to fit coronavirus inside this world," Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter said on Tuesday on a conference call.

"The way coronavirus has kind of changed how every industry is working, you can't expect just to throw football back in and think that the virus is going to kneel down to almighty football."

Elected president of the NFL Players Association just days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world in March, Tretter is tasked with helping develop a plan for playing the 2020 season while keeping the league's players healthy.

How exactly the league plans to keep its players safe is a big unknown within a sport that involves high levels of physical contact.

"The way this thing passes along is through contact, and that's what we do for a living," Tretter said.

"We interact with each other at the facility, at practice, weight lifting, at the meal room, it is shoulder to shoulder standing by each other, passing things around. So there is a long list of ideas we need to come up with on how to make this environment safe for us. And that's why it's going to be a lot of thinking involved in that."

Earlier in the day, the NFL's chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, said the league fully expects to have positive cases of coronavirus but the key will be identifying it early and preventing the spread. 

"There's no bad idea at this point, and you kind of have to think outside the box," Tretter said. "And just because it's an idea doesn't mean things are definitely going to happen, but you need to explore it, and you need to understand it."

Testing will be paramount in order for the NFL to return, but Tretter acknowledges once the league gives the green light for players to return to their team's facilities and practices to commence there are still risks involved and the chance of contracting the coronavirus is still possible.  

"There's a level of risk to everything," Tretter said. "You're facing a level of risk right now going to the grocery store. There's always going to be a level of exposure that people are going to face in this. So I don't think we'll ever get to a point where there's no risk of exposure. 

"Coming in contact with other people is a risk of exposure. So that's never going to be down to zero. Our job is to try to get that to as close to zero as possible, and that's why you kind of have to look at everything."

One major obstacle for the NFL opening team complexes for players is dealing with the spread of the coronavirus within a sport that involves constant contact among humans.

The NFL has been conducting a virtual offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 324,000 people worldwide.

But when and if the NFL gets going, its chief medical officer said there would be positive tests for coronavirus.

"Obviously football and physical distancing is not compatible," NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said on a conference call on Tuesday.

And Sills acknowledges with all the physical contact, there will be positive tests of COVID-19 among players.

"We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise," Sills said. "Because we think that this disease will remain endemic in society, it shouldn't be a surprise that new positive cases arise.

"Our challenge is to identify them as quickly as possible and prevent spread to any other participants. We're working very diligently on that, and we'll have some detailed plans at a later time."

Some NFL teams were able to open their facilities for essential staffers, medical personnel and rehabbing players on Tuesday, but there is still no word on when all players and coaches will be cleared to attend their team's complexes.

"We're not putting dates on the calendar," Sills said. "When we and the NFLPA [NFL Players Association] together feel that we're at a point of satisfaction with the science, we'll move forward. We're moving as fast as the science and data take us."

The NFL announced on Tuesday new policies to increase employment and advancement opportunities for minorities and women. 

Team owners approved changes to the Rooney Rule, which has now been expanded. All teams are now required to interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organisation for head coaching jobs; at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator vacancies; and at least one minority candidate from outside the organisation for football operations or general manager positions. 

"The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

"While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognise, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league."

In the last two seasons, only two of the 13 open head coaching positions were filled by minorities. Currently in the NFL there are only four minority coaches and two general managers. 

The league also announced that NFL teams are no longer able to block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator jobs with other clubs. Teams may still prevent an interview if they believe it is not for a "bona fide" position, and any clarification on what is deemed a "bona fide" position will be determined by Goodell. 

"We believe these new policies demonstrate the NFL owners' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the NFL," said Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman of the league's workplace diversity committee.

"The development of young coaches and young executives is a key to our future. These steps will assure coaching and football personnel are afforded a fair and equitable opportunity to advance throughout our football operations.

"We also have taken important steps to ensure that our front offices, which represent our clubs in so many different ways, come to reflect the true diversity of our fans and our country." 

While the league is taking steps to increase diversity, one of the more controversial proposals, which would have rewarded teams that hired minority coaches or general managers with higher draft picks, was tabled by the owners. 

On the same day that NFL teams can start reopening their facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic if state and local governments give the go-ahead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady worked out with his new team-mates.

This session, though, took place on a field at a preparatory school in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Times published pictures of Brady and several of his team-mates during a roughly two-hour throwing session at Berkeley Preparatory School on Tuesday, with Brady donning an orange practice jersey over his shoulder pads.

According to ESPN, an NFL spokesperson said the workout is allowed as long as Brady and his team-mates follow the recommendations and guidelines of state and local authorities and medical experts along with NFL Players Association guidelines.

A six-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, Brady has often been in the news since joining the Buccaneers on a two-year, $50million contract in March.

Brady was ejected from a closed Tampa park last month after being spotted working out. Tampa mayor Jane Castor later issued a light-hearted apology to Brady, saying: "Tom, my apologies for the miscommunication when you arrived – not the best first impression.

"But given my law enforcement background, I couldn't help but have someone investigate the sighting of a G.O.A.T running wild in one of our beautiful city parks. No harm, no foul, and thanks for being a good sport."

Brady also avoided a trespassing charge and fine from the NFL for his bungled visit to the home of Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich late last month.

The NFL opened an investigation into Brady visiting Leftwich's house to pick up his playbook and determined that he did not violate any offseason work rules.

Brady's visit to Leftwich’s home would have flown under the radar had he not entered Leftwich's next-door neighbour's house by mistake.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he is "definitely not giving up on the season" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA was suspended indefinitely in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has wreaked havoc across the globe.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly exploring the possibility of holding the entire postseason in one location – Las Vegas, while there has been talk the competition could head straight into the playoffs.

The Lakers had played 63 of the 82-game regular season when the campaign was halted, Los Angeles boasting a Western Conference-best 49-14 record and James is eager to return.

"Definitely not giving up on the season," James said. "Not only myself and my team-mates, the Lakers organisation, we want to play.

"There's a lot of players that I know personally that want to play. And obviously, we don't ever want to jeopardise the health of any of our players or any of the players' families and so on and so on.

"This is a pandemic that we have no idea [about]. We can't control it."

"I know we all miss it," said the three-time NBA champion. "I'd be sitting here lying if I said we don't."

After a difficult first season in Los Angeles, James had returned to his brilliant best for the Lakers in 2019-20 – the veteran's performances catapulting him into the mix for a fifth MVP award.

At the time of the NBA suspending the league, James had been averaging 25.7 points, 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Lakers.

Sports are slowly returning following the coronavirus outbreak, with Germany's Bundesliga resuming behind closed doors over the weekend, while UFC 249 took place without fans in Jacksonville, Florida.

"We're seeing a lot of sporting events, UFC, soccer, we're hearing baseball's about to get going in a little bit," James added. "You know, I want to get back to playing. I love to play the game of basketball. I know how inspiring the game of basketball is.

"I know how inspiring sport is, itself. As soon as possible, when we can get back out there, we'd love to bring the game of basketball back to our fans."

James also revealed he started training to be an NFL player during the NBA's lockout in 2011.

"Myself and my trainer, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to like October and November," James said. "We started to clock our times with the 40's. We started to add a little bit more in our bench presses and things of that nature."

"The thoughts came into my mind. Never having the ability to finish my high school career playing my senior year I have dreams all the time about playing football."

California governor Gavin Newsom says the state could start holding sporting events without spectators in the first week of June if the current trend of declining hospitalisations and ICU patients due to COVID-19 continues. 

"Sporting events, pro sports in that first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions also can begin to move forward … if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks," Newsom said during a press conference on Monday. 

Newsom said California, which was the first U.S. state to issue a stay-at-home order on March 19, is allowing more counties to accelerate their re-opening process. 

However, he said not all areas are in the same position and specifically mentioned the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County – home to many professional sports teams – as ones that may not be ready to move forward just yet. 

"They can move at their own pace based upon their own local conditions," Newsom said. 

Philip Rivers signed a one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts two months ago and has announced he already has a job lined up after he retires. 

Colts coach Frank Reich, however, believes Rivers will still be the team’s quarterback after the 2020 season. 

"I really believe it's Philip's intent to play multiple years," Reich said on a Monday conference call. "I personally believe he is more than capable of multiple years. But as far as how the actual contract gets worked out, it's the NFL, so we keep things realistic there. But I'm very optimistic it'll be a multi-year thing." 

Reich’s comments come after it was announced on May 8 that the 38-year-old Rivers would coach St Michael Catholic High School in Alabama after his retirement. 

Rivers, who spent his first 16 NFL seasons with the Chargers, contemplated retirement before agreeing to a one-year, $25 million deal with the Colts following a disappointing 2019. 

"It was a normal contract negotiation. There was push and pull on each side, a multi-year deal and this deal and trying to get numbers and everything to balance out right, and it finally just came down to what it was," Reich said.

"But I think the spirit of it was, 'Hey, we're in this together,' and as long as Philip wants to play, he wants to be here."

An eight-time Pro Bowler, Rivers, whose 59,271 passing yards and 397 passing touchdowns both rank sixth in NFL history, joins an Indianapolis team that went 7-9 in 2019 and has missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons.  

When Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 2019 season ended with elbow surgery, he vowed not to trim his beard or cut his hair until he had fully recovered.  

On Monday, he shared a video proving he had earned his grooming.  

Roethlisberger posted a clip to Twitter showing himself throwing to team-mates, indicating the 38-year-old has made a full recovery from the operation that ended his season in 2019.  

The video begins with Roethlisberger explaining his promise to himself last year. 

"I'm not going to shave or cut my hair until I can throw a football again … throw it to one of my team-mates, like a legit NFL pass," he said.  

Roethlisberger is then shown firing passes at Quaker Valley High School in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania to wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ryan Switzer, along with running back James Conner.  

The video ends with Roethlisberger's hair cut and Smith-Schuster looking directly at the camera to declare: "He's back." 

The Steelers managed an 8-8 record last season despite a series of injuries to key contributors, especially on offense.  

Roethlisberger injured his throwing elbow in Week 2 in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, while Conner missed six games and Smith-Schuster sat for four games.  

Mason Rudolph was Roethlisberger's primary replacement at quarterback, playing 10 games, but undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges made six starts, including in each of the season's last five games.  

Roethlisberger, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, has led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances and two titles in his 16 seasons with the team.  

He has a career 94.0 passer rating and is Pittsburgh's all-time passing leader with 56,545 yards and 363 touchdowns.   

Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn believes "tremendous" quarterback Cam Newton will win games for a team this season.

Lynn explained it was the Chargers' confidence in their own players that led to their decision not to add him to their roster.

Newton remains unsigned almost two months after his release from the Carolina Panthers, having spent nine seasons in Charlotte.

After Philip Rivers' departure, the Chargers were seen as one of his most likely landing spots but they declared Tyrod Taylor as starter before drafting Justin Herbert at number six overall.

With it looking likely Newton will settle for a backup job in 2020 unless there is a major QB injury, Lynn talked up the 31-year-old's credentials as he confirmed the Chargers considered signing him.

Asked if the team explored the possibility, Lynn told CBS Sports Radio: "Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback.

"He's been MVP of this league, he's led his team to the Super Bowl and he's healthy now from what I hear. 

"Cam is going to be on somebody's roster and he's going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure."

"I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have," Lynn added, as he explained why the Chargers opted not to sign Newton before the draft.

"With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick - those are guys that a lot of people don't talk about. He [Stick] was a Division I AA, he won like three National Championships. 

"He's a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day."

Meanwhile, Rivers – who left the Chargers for the Indianapolis Colts after 16 seasons – is already making a strong impression with his new team.

Rivers only signed a one-year, $25million deal and has a deal in place to coach high school football in Alabama after his NFL career is over.

But Colts coach Frank Reich said the "spirit" of their agreement was a multi-year pact.

"I can just tell you I really believe it's Philip's intent to play multiple years," he said, per The Athletic. "I'm very optimistic."

The legal representatives for Quinton Dunbar and Deandre Baker - the two NFL cornerbacks charged over an alleged armed robbery - claimed their clients have been released from jail after posting bail.

The Miramar Police Department issued arrest warrants for Seattle Seahawks corner Dunbar and New York Giants defensive back Baker over an incident that occurred in Florida last Wednesday, where money and watches were allegedly stolen.

Baker was wanted on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, while Dunbar was wanted on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm.

Dunbar and Baker turned themselves in at Broward County Jail over the weekend and their respective attorneys both announced on social media that they had been released after posting bonds.

Dunbar, who was traded from the Washington Redskins to the Seahawks in March, issued a statement through his attorney Michael Grieco in which he apologised for "any unnecessary distractions".

In the statement, posted on Grieco's Twitter account, Dunbar said: "I would like to thank all my fans for their support and apologise to the Seattle Seahawks organisation for any unnecessary distractions that these allegations against me may have caused.

"In addition, I am very grateful to be a part of a team that supports one another and uphold the credibility of each of its members through adverse situations.

"Moving forward, this entire situation has taught me how to not associate myself with environments that may mischaracterise my values and who I am."

The attorney for Baker, a first-round draft pick for the Giants in 2019, announced on Instagram that his client was also out on bail.

Bradford Cohen has said there are "affidavits from several witnesses that exonerate my client".

Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris has signed his franchise tender and will reportedly earn around $11.4million next season.    

Harris, who joined Minnesota as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia in 2015, tied for the NFL lead in 2019 with six interceptions.  

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Harris said he hopes to be able to remain with the Vikings past the 2020 season.  

"I will let my agents and the Vikings work towards long term certainty in Minnesota, but I am excited to be back for the 2020 season," Harris said.

Harris has appeared in 65 regular-season games with the Vikings and made 164 tackles to go along with nine interceptions. All of those picks have come in his past 25 games.

"During the past five years, Minnesota has become home and is where I want to continue to develop as a player having only scratched the surface," Harris said.

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawfully carrying a weapon on Saturday in Houston. 

Police found and pulled over Oliver's vehicle after another driver called 911 to say Oliver was failing to maintain a lane and driving dangerously in a construction zone. 

A Montgomery County Sheriff's deputy said Oliver had an open beer between his legs and was given a field sobriety test. 

Oliver was then transported to a hospital for a mandatory blood draw before being jailed. Police said a search of the vehicle discovered a pistol. 

Buffalo selected Oliver with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Houston. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team after posting 43 tackles and five sacks while appearing in all 16 regular-season games. 

"We are aware of the situation and we are gathering more information," the Bills said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this point."

New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar turned themselves in to the Miramar Police Department in Florida on Saturday after both were charged with armed robbery.

Baker and Dunbar were issued warrants for their arrests on Thursday stemming from a May 13 incident.

The men are accused of stealing money and watches with force while armed with semi-automatic firearms. Baker allegedly intentionally threatened victims with a firearm.

Baker is facing four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Dunbar is charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm.

Baker's lawyer, Bradford Cohen, said he has several affidavits that will clear Baker.

"We believe our client is innocent of all charges," Cohen said. "We urge people not to rush to judgment. We have affidavits from several witnesses that exonerate my client."

Dunbar's attorney, Michael Grieco, said he has passed along five sworn affidavits from witnesses that exonerated his client from wrongdoing to the state attorney's office.

In other NFL news, Washington Redskins receiver Cody Latimer was arrested in Colorado on Saturday on felony charges of assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm.

According to a Douglas County Sheriff's Department report, a witness heard gunshots and arguing inside an apartment.

When the responding officers arrived, they found three individuals who were all detained. One person had minor injuries, which were not related to a gunshot.

Latimer was released on $25,000 bond and is facing misdemeanour charges of prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

NFL team facilities will be eligible to reopen on Tuesday but will still be off-limits to coaches and players who are not there for medical rehabilitation.

Teams will only be allowed to reopen facilities if it is allowed by state and local restrictions for containing the spread of the coronavirus, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared in a memo on Friday.  

While the move is a step toward starting the 2020 season on time, the continued restrictions on players and coaches indicate the league still has a long way to go.  

"This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safely and effectively, even in the current environment," the memo said.  

Clubs are allowed to have a maximum of half of their normal staff return to their facilities, but no more than 75 total employees.

Teams will be able to elect which personnel can return to work but will have to follow health guidelines outlined by the NFL last week.

The memo mentioned that coaches may be returning to their workplace "in a relatively short time" and said that the league is working with the players' union to develop a plan where players could start training together "as early as next month".

The NFL released its schedule last Thursday, with a targeted opening game on September 10. The league has been insistent that it plans to start its season on time, despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

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