The Buffalo Bills' have assigned their number 32 jersey to a player for the first time since O.J. Simpson wore it 42 years ago.

Running back Senorise Perry will wear the number once donned by Simpson, who played in Buffalo from 1969 until 1977, earning four rushing titles and becoming the first man to rush for more than 2,000 yards.

While the number was never officially retired by the Bills, the scandals attached to Simpson's name meant the Bills did not give it out to players that followed.

Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995. However, he was found liable for their deaths in a civil suit filed by their families.

In 2007 Simpson was arrested on felony armed robbery and kidnapping charges in Las Vegas. He was convicted of both charges in 2008 and served nine years in prison. He was released in October last year.

"Whatever they do is fine with me," Simpson, 71, told The Athletic of Perry taking his jersey.

"That's how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honour the team. Since I left, I always tried to honour the Bills.

"And, to be honest, it's not something I think about. There's too much else going on in life."

Perry, who spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, accepted wearing the number would bring extra attention but did not hesitate to pick it.

"I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I'm willing to take anything that comes my way," he said.

"I'm going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I'm doing well for my family.

"On one hand, wearing the number of a Hall of Famer creates a high expectation. I thought it was retired, but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it."

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will be a "full participant" in organised team activities (OTAs), the NFC East team announced on Tuesday.

Last week head coach Doug Pederson was non-committal about whether Wentz would be ready for OTAs, but on Tuesday he said his quarterback should be good to go.

"Carson has no limitations," Pederson said. "He's been working with the guys all offseason and we're looking forward to these next 10 practices with him.

"I'm not going to hold him back."

Wentz, 26, suffered a stress fracture in his back last season, keeping him out of the final three games in 2018 and all of the playoffs. Wentz was expected to be out for three months, but that timetable was extended.

He was also absent for the first two games of 2018 as he recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that caused him to miss the end of the 2017 regular season and all of that postseason, as well, including the Eagles' Super Bowl LII win over the New England Patriots.

The second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Wentz's only fully healthy season was his rookie year, when he threw for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.

Before the back injury in 2018, Wentz threw for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns with seven interceptions in 11 games.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released defensive tackle and six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy after nine NFL seasons.

Tampa Bay decided not to pay McCoy the $13million he was due for the upcoming season, it was announced on Monday.

It is another hit to the Buccaneers defense, who may be without sack leader Jason Pierre-Paul after he was injured in a car accident in May.

"These decisions are very difficult, personally and professionally," general manager Jason Licht said via the team's official website. "Over the past nine years, Gerald has been a cornerstone of this franchise and a leader in our community.

"Parting ways with a player and person such as Gerald is one of the toughest responsibilities of this job."

McCoy was selected by Tampa Bay as the third overall pick in the 2010 draft. The 31-year-old was First-Team All-Pro in 2013. 

"I know Gerald has done a lot of good things on and off the football field in Tampa during his time here," head coach Bruce Arians said. "You hate to see good football players go, but this is a decision that we felt needed to be made in order to allow us, and Gerald, the ability to move forward. Gerald is a class-act and I wish him the best.”  "

McCoy leaves the Buccaneers with 54.5 career sacks, 22 passes defended and 296 total tackles, including 140 quarterback hits.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apologised for his criticism of former team-mate Antonio Brown.

Roethlisberger – a two-time Super Bowl champion – criticised Brown's route running after a Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos during the NFL last season.

Brown was eventually traded to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason and Roethlisberger discussed his comments on Monday.

"I took some heat and deservedly so for some of the comments on that show and especially towards him," Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh radio station KDKA about Brown.

"I genuinely feel bad about that and I'm sorry. Did I go too far after that Denver game? Probably."

Brown was reportedly unhappy about Roethlisberger's criticism and he eventually requested the Steelers move him in mid-February.

The wide receiver was then sent to Oakland about one month later in exchange for two draft picks.

Roethlisberger and Brown played together in Pittsburgh from 2010-18.

"That's the thing about media and social media, as soon as you say 'sorry' it only goes so far," Roethlisberger said. "You can't take it back. And I wish I could because if that's what ruined our friendship and relationship, I'm truly, genuinely sorry about that."

Brown – a seven-time Pro Bowl player – finished with 1,297 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in 15 games for the Steelers last season. He has scored 74 times in 130 career games.

"I bring accountability," Brown said at his introductory press conference in Oakland in March. "I bring actions. Not what I say, what I do. How I approach things. Holding guys accountable in the receiver room.

"Pittsburgh will always be my family. Those guys gave me a chance when I was a 21-year-old kid. Obviously, people listen to the things that were being said and written, but at the end of the day, it's all about how you make people feel."

Roethlisberger, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $68million extension with the Steelers in the offseason.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long announced his retirement on Saturday.

The number two overall pick in the 2008 draft finished as a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Long, 34, announced on Twitter he was retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL with the Eagles, New England Patriots and the then-St Louis Rams.

"Cheers. Been a hell of a journey," Long wrote.

"Eleven years and I can honestly say I put my soul into every minute of it. Highs and lows. I've seen them both and I appreciate the perspective. Gratitude and love to those who lifted me up."

Long won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2018 as a nod to his work in the community and in charitable causes.

His brother Kyle still plays for the Chicago Bears on the offensive line and his father, Howie, was an eight-time Pro Bowl player and Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Ezekiel Elliott is not concerned about a reduced workload or his contract status, even though the Dallas Cowboys have indicated there is no set timetable over a new deal.

The running back helped the Cowboys win the NFC East last season, as well as beating the Seattle Seahawks in the opening round of the playoffs.

He rushed for 1,434 yards on 304 carries and caught a career-high 77 passes in 2018, touching the ball on more than 35 percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps despite being rested for the final week of the regular season.

However, Dallas are keen to make sure Elliott does not have to carry too much of the offensive burden again.

"It's just physics," running backs coach Gary Brown said last week at rookie minicamp. "Year after year with that type of workload, eventually anyone's going to slow down. We're trying to pre-empt that and take care of him now."

When asked about the team's plan, Elliott replied to the Dallas Morning News: "I haven't worn down yet."

The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option of the 23-year-old's rookie contract last month, though executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week that Elliott is "a guy we want to have here long term".

"The only reason you say, well maybe he's not at the front [of the extension order] is because he's got this year, then he's got another year on his tender. But Zeke's every bit as important," Jones added.

Elliott, though, is only focused on what happens on the field, rather than negotiations off it.

"I'm not concerned. [I] just go out there and play football, do what I've been doing," he said.

Dak Prescott never wants to leave the Dallas Cowboys.

The 25-year-old quarterback, who is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract, has spent his entire career in Dallas.

He told reporters on Wednesday he hopes he retires with the team that took him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

"I mean, I want to be a Cowboy forever," Prescott said, via ESPN.

"I think the people that are doing the deal feel the same way, so to me, it's no rush. I know it will get done."

Prescott, a two-time Pro Bowl player, has completed 66.1 per cent of his passes and thrown for 67 touchdowns, along with 25 interceptions, in his career.

The Cowboys have a 32-16 record in his starts and have made the postseason twice in his three NFL seasons.

Prescott has a chance to sign the largest contract in franchise history.

"It's all generational money, life-changing money, so it's just a blessing to be able to be in this position," Prescott said.

"But as far as the numbers are concerned, my focus is on the locker room, and that will all take care of itself."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said earlier this month he was confident the team will get a deal done with Prescott.

The Cowboys finished 2018 with a 10-6 record and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they fell to the Los Angeles Rams.

Josh Rosen revealed he has still not heard anything from Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim since the NFL draft and his subsequent trade.

The new Miami Dolphins quarterback is waiting for some closure, having not had contact from Keim since before Arizona selected Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in last month's draft.

Rosen said it was Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury who broke the news about selecting Murray one year after he was picked as an apparent franchise QB at number 10 overall. 

He was moved to the Dolphins a day later in exchange for the 62nd pick and a 2020 selection.

"The only thing that really did kind of frustrate me through this whole process was like I still haven't heard from my old GM," Rosen said on the Rich Eisen Show. 

"I hadn't talked to him for months before. Still haven't talked to him after. That was kind of frustrating, but for the most part, I'm just ready to put that whole chapter behind me and keep pushing on and playing football.

"My agent gave me a call about five minutes before saying, 'Don't be surprised if this might happen'. 

"I was like, 'Alright, it is what it is, we'll see how the cards end up falling. But you know I'm going to compete wherever I am'." 

He added: "So Kliff gave me an actual call a minute before it happened saying that we're going to draft Kyler. I mean, I have the most respect for Kliff. I don't slight anyone for making business decisions they think are best for them and their family, but I appreciated how he acted like a man and was very respectful. 

"He was wishing me the best. He called me even the day after the draft wishing me good luck. And I wished him good luck. I even gave Kyler a call, sent him a text that said, 'Good luck, I'm wishing you the best'. 

"But that's kind of all you can really ask for in this game. People make decisions for whatever reason. But as long as they are men about it and they respect someone's career, then I can appreciate that.

"Literally [Kingsbury is] like, 'Hey, so we're about to draft Kyler. I don't really know what happens now.

"And I responded, 'I don't really know what happens either'. But regardless, at least he gave me the courtesy of giving me the call. I love everyone in that building, with the exception of maybe one or two guys there.

"I had an awesome time. I'm bummed to move on, but I'm excited. And it's been an interesting ride, but I think it just makes the story a little bit better."

The New York Jets have fired general manager Mike Maccagnan in a shock move and promoted head coach Adam Gase to serve in the role on an interim basis.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the Jets said they would start looking for a new GM immediately, with reports suggesting the Philadelphia Eagles executive Joe Douglas is an early candidate, given his close relationship with Gase.

Maccagnan, who had two years left on his contract and served in the role since January 2015, was instrumental in the team drafting quarterback Sam Darnold last year and was part of the group involved in hiring former Miami Dolphins coach Gase in January after Todd Bowles was fired.

As well as Darnold, he also made impressive draft picks in Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams, while he selected Quinnen Williams at number three overall this year to complement a free-agency haul that included the addition of Le'Veon Bell.

However, he also picked QB Christian Hackenberg, who is no longer in the league, in the second round of the 2016 draft, and was also responsible for Bowles' hiring. The team did not reach the playoffs during his tenure.

Brian Heimerdinger, who previously worked with Maccagnan in the Houston Texans front office and had been with the Jets for just one season as the VP of player personnel, has also reportedly been fired.

Reports of a rift between Maccagnan and Gase around the draft period had previously been emphatically denied by both men, including as recently as last week.

"Mike helped to execute the strategic vision of the organisation during the last four seasons and especially the past few months," chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. 

"However, I came to the decision to make a change after much thought and a careful assessment of what would be in the best long-term interests of the New York Jets.

"I will start a search for our new general manager immediately. In the interim, Coach Gase will be the acting general manager. I would like to thank Mike for his time and efforts during his tenure, and I wish only the best for him and his wife Betty."

The disappointing career of EJ Manuel has come to and after he retired from the NFL.

The No. 16 overall pick from the 2013 draft by the Buffalo Bills has quit just three months after he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs to back up Patrick Mahomes.

Manuel started 17 games over four seasons with Buffalo before signing with the Oakland Raiders prior to the 2017 season to back up Derek Carr.

His run in Oakland lasted only one season as he was cut before the next year following the team's acquisition of AJ McCarron.

If this is truly the end for Manuel's NFL career, his final numbers include 30 games played with 18 starts, 343 of 590 passes completed for 3,767 yards, 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Manuel’s retirement is just the latest development for a brutal 2013 class of quarterbacks. None of the 11 QBs drafted are currently NFL starters, while the majority are out of the league.

Denver Broncos star Von Miller believes four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris Jr. deserves a new deal.

Harris joined the Broncos the same year as Miller in 2011, signing a three-year deal as an undrafted NFL free agent before penning a five-year extension in 2015. 

The 29-year-old is set to enter the final year of his current deal after Denver exercised his 2018 option last March and is slated to earn $8.5million in 2019.

Harris, however, wants a new deal or a trade. Miller – who will be entering his ninth season in Denver – said the cornerback and long-time team-mates is deserving of a fresh contract.

"He does every single thing right, on and off the football field," Miller said. "Undrafted free agent. Played well through his first contract. Got a second contract. Played well through the second contract.

"Sometimes, when you first get here, they tell you if you play and you play well, they'll take care of you and if you do the right things in the community and you do all the right things on the football field, they'll take care of you.

"Chris has definitely done everything right and then some. … But it's not always as easy as it seems and I understand that. I've been through that before."

According to a report in April, which cited unidentified sources, Harris has formally requested to be traded if the team are unable to give him a new contract.

Other reports stated he wants at least $15m per year on a new deal. 

General manager John Elway was asked about the possibility of an extension once the news surfaced and said then: "We'll talk about it. Doesn't mean we'll do it."

In 123 career games with 105 starts, Harris has logged 19 interceptions — four returned for touchdowns — 83 passes defended and 462 total tackles.

After Nick Foles moved from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cody Kessler has moved in the opposite direction.

Quarterback Kessler, who was released by the Jaguars last week, signed a one-year deal with the Eagles on Monday.

He will compete with Nate Sudfeld and Clayton Thorson for the back-up QB role, a position which proved hugely significant in each of the last two years when starter Carson Wentz had each season cut short due to injury.

The 2017 campaign saw Foles famously lead the franchise to their first Super Bowl title.

Kessler, 26, played four matches for Jacksonville last season, going 2-2 after Blake Bortles was benched.

He was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, moving on to the Jags after two seasons. 

Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks are expected to sign well-travelled quarterback Geno Smith.

According to a report from ESPN, Smith is set to sign for his fourth team in as many seasons, where he will compete with Paxton Lynch for reps behind Russell Wilson. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made an appearance on Game of Thrones on Sunday.

Rodgers was featured as a soldier on the battlefield in the latest episode. He showed that he is more than just a talented signal caller, as he portrayed a Lannister soldier in one of the series' most momentous clashes.

The two-time MVP hinted at his role in late April via Twitter, giving fans fair warning to pay attention for episode five of the show's eighth and final season.

Rodgers proved he has more than just his famous 'discount double check' in his acting repertoire, but he likely will not be seen again in the seven kingdoms anytime soon.

For now, he will focus on helping Green Bay reach the postseason for the first time in two years.

The Packers posted a 6-9-1 record in 2018 and have a new head coach in Matt LaFleur.

Rodgers will look to bounce back from an injury-plagued season in which he threw for 4,442 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The Arizona Cardinals announced the signings of their rookie draftees, including former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.

Number one NFL draft pick Murray's contract includes a $23.59million signing bonus and $35.2m guaranteed in addition to a fifth-year team option for the 2023 season.

"Everything I dreamed of," Murray said. "For me, being in Arizona and being a Cardinal, I can honestly say there is no place I'd rather be.

"It brings a smile to my face knowing I'll get the opportunity of a lifetime to quarterback this team. I just have to work toward that and earn that.

"This is just the beginning. I plan to work as hard as I can, lead this team to a lot of wins and, hopefully, a lot of rings."

Murray, 21, was selected first overall by Arizona in last month's draft. The two-sport star turned down a deal to play in MLB after the Oakland Athletics drafted him with the ninth pick in the 2018 draft.

He led Oklahoma to a 12-2 record as he threw for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2018. He also ran for 1,001 yards and capped off his final collegiate season by winning the Heisman Trophy.

Green Bay became the first team to sign their 2019 first-round selection to a rookie deal when the Packers inked former Maryland safety and 21st overall pick Darnell Savage to his four-year contract last Thursday.

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