Darius Slay has revealed he will wear the number 24 jersey in a tribute to the NBA's "GOAT" Kobe Bryant after being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Star cornerback Slay joined the Eagles from the Detroit Lions this week in exchange for third and fifth-round draft picks before promptly signing a three-year contract extension worth around $50million.

Slay has worn 23 in his NFL career to date but plans to switch this year in a tribute to Philadelphia native Bryant, who was tragically killed along with eight other victims, including his daughter Gianna, in a helicopter crash in January.

Running back Jordan Howard wore 24 for the Eagles last season, but his move to the Miami Dolphins freed up one of the old numbers Bryant - a noted Eagles fan - wore with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"My number I'm rocking? I'm going with that 2-4, man," Slay told fans on Instagram Live.

"I'm gonna rock with 2-4 this year. I'm going Kobe mode, man. Black mamba, baby.

"Rest in peace to the GOAT, man, one of my favourite players. Gonna rock that 2-4 probably. I think I'm gonna look good in 24."

Elsewhere, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed the departure of quarterback Jameis Winston, who spent five seasons with them, for the first time.

A day after Winston, the former number one overall pick, said goodbye to the team after their addition of Tom Brady, the Bucs responded.

They posted a tweet on Sunday that included a "thank you, Jameis" graphic with a message that expressed their gratitude to him "from the bottom of our hearts". 

Malcolm Jenkins said the New Orleans Saints are like family after returning to the NFL franchise via free agency.

Jenkins re-joined the Saints for a second spell in New Orleans following his departure from the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 32-year-old safety started his professional career with the Saints in 2009, helping New Orleans to victory in Super Bowl XLIV before moving to the Eagles in 2014.

After another Super Bowl triumph and five years in Philadelphia, three-time Pro Bowler Jenkins is back with the Saints on a four-year deal.

"I am very, very excited to be coming back to New Orleans, especially at this point in my career," Jenkins told reporters on Saturday. "It kind of feels like everything's coming full circle and obviously with the success that the team has had in the last few years, being able to come back and just help push the team just with that one more step that I think it needs to be back in that Super Bowl again.

"I'm super excited and grateful for Mrs. Benson, Mickey Loomis and Sean [Payton] for giving me the opportunities to come back. New Orleans is family. I still have a place down there and my second daughter's middle name is NOLA because I love that place. I'm excited to be back in the community.

"My foundation has maintained our programs in New Orleans over the last six years. It feels like I'm coming back home."

Tom Brady's departure from the New England Patriots might have been the big NFL news on Tuesday, but there was plenty of activity elsewhere in free agency.

As the world waits on Brady's next move after 20 seasons as a Patriot, the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers reportedly found new starting quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater respectively.

Here, we wrap up some of the other big moves that were reported to have been agreed ahead of the new league year beginning on Wednesday.

 

Tight end Jason Witten returned to the Dallas Cowboys last season after a campaign in the broadcast booth and he will be back in 2020, but with the Las Vegas Raiders. Witten, Maliek Collins and safety Jeff Heath are all thought to be making the move from Dallas to Sin City. Linebacker Cory Littleton has also agreed terms with the Raiders, according to reports.

Vic Beasley, who led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2015, is said to be heading to the Tennessee Titans. The edge rusher has only had 18 sacks combined over the previous three seasons.

Having had 11.5 sacks in 2019 with the Cowboys, Robert Quinn's agents told NFL.com he is bound for the Chicago Bears on a five-year, $70million deal. Chicago have confirmed Leonard Floyd has been released.

Malcolm Jenkins, a key part of the Philadelphia Eagles when they won Super Bowl LII, has been released, though the team confirmed two other members of their defensive backfield, Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod, had signed new deals.

Former Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Chargers, revealed he has been "reunited with my guy" Ron Rivera at the Washington Redskins. 

The Chargers were busy making an acquisition themselves, bringing in offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga on a three-year, $30m deal, according to NFL.com. Who he will be protecting remains to be seen, though, with the Chargers considered one of the favourites in the Brady sweepstakes.

A day after handing receiver A.J. Green the franchise tag, the Cincinnati Bengals reportedly made two signings on the other side of the ball in nose tackle D.J. Reader and cornerback Trae Waynes.

The Jacksonville Jaguars bolstered their front seven by signing ex-Cleveland Browns linebacker Joe Schobert, while cornerback Darqueze Dennard is thought to be joining too.

Elsewhere, the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC representatives in last month's Super Bowl, confirmed they had tendered one-year contracts to restricted free agents Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida.

Nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters will be allowed to enter free agency later this month, the Philadelphia Eagles have confirmed.

The 38-year-old tackle will be out of contract when the new NFL year begins on March 18 and, rather than work out a long-term deal before that deadline or place their franchise tag on Peters, Philadelphia have confirmed he will instead test the market.

Peters, who began his career with the Buffalo Bills, has spent the past 11 years as an Eagle and was part of the team that won Super Bowl LII two years ago.

"The Philadelphia Eagles and Jason Peters have mutually agreed that Peters will enter the free agent market when the new league year begins on March 18," the Eagles said.

"We are appreciative of everything Jason has contributed to the organisation over the last 11 seasons in Philadelphia, including building a first-ballot Hall of Fame career and helping us win our first Super Bowl championship.

"Jason has been an incredible leader and person both on and off the field. We will remain in communication as each side continues to evaluate its options in free agency."

Peters started 13 games on the Eagles' offensive line last season, though it was thought the franchise drafted his long-term replacement in 2019 when they selected left tackle Andre Dillard with the 22nd overall pick.

 

Tom Brady's cryptic social media post left Jalen Ramsey convinced the Patriots quarterback is leaving New England, and DeSean Jackson adamant he is retiring.

He may not be at the Super Bowl for the first time in four years, but Brady ensured he remained the focus in Miami with an uncaptioned black-and-white photo he uploaded to his social media accounts on Thursday.

Six-time Super Bowl champion Brady, who could be seen walking in the tunnel at the Patriots' stadium in the picture, is due to become a free agent this offseason and the 42-year-old has indicated he wants to carry on playing.

The possibility of him starting his 21st NFL season away from New England is therefore seemingly a realistic possibility.

"Oh, that means he's out the door," Los Angeles Rams cornerback Ramsey said when shown the tweet.

"He's out the door. He's definitely out the door. He's gone from New England. That's exactly what that means."

The Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts have been mooted as potential destinations for Brady.

Though when asked where he thought Brady could wind up, Ramsey added: "I don't know, the [Las Vegas] Raiders maybe."

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jackson interpreted the tweet in another way, believing Brady is about to hang up his cleats after 20 glorious years with New England.

"He's walking away. He's retiring," said Jackson, who, like Ramsey, was speaking at the EA SPORTS Bowl.

"I don't know, man, he's walking out the tunnel, man. He's leaving. I'm surprised you don't see a deuce sign! 

"I don't know, he's playing with you, man. He's playing with you."

New York Jets Pro Bowler Jamal Adams had implored Brady to "please leave the AFC East!", yet Jarvis Landry, who plays in the AFC North for the Cleveland Browns, feels it would be strange to see the veteran in a different jersey.

"It's not right to take the Patriots out without Tom Brady there," Landry added.

"Like, does it even count anymore? You know what I mean?

"I'm kidding. But, you know, he's a true competitor.

"I'm sure whatever decision that he makes is going to be the right one for him and he's going to make it work."

Offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch have been relieved of their duties by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles missed out on the Divisional Round when they were beaten 17-9 by the Seattle Seahawks last weekend.

Head coach Doug Pederson suggested Groh and Walch would retain their roles on Wednesday, but revealed just a day later that they had departed.

"After much consideration and discussion, I have decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach positions," Pederson said in a statement.

"It was not an easy decision for me to make and I appreciate everything that Mike Groh and Carson Walch contributed to the organisation and to my staff.

"As I said yesterday, they were a big part of our success down the stretch this past season.

"This is one of the most difficult parts of the job and something that weighs on me, but ultimately I have to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of the football team moving forward

"I apologise for any confusion that I created during yesterday's press conference, including my comments on coach [Jim] Schwartz, who has done a great job as our defensive coordinator.

"It was my intent not to comment on any of my staff during the ongoing evaluations, because I wanted to be able to go through the process and communicate any decision directly with the individuals.

"I did a poor job of explaining that the first time I was asked. I will continue to evaluate everything, and consider all possibilities to improve our football team."

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wants a new and improved deal and he will not return to Lincoln Financial Field next season unless he does.

Jenkins has a year remaining on his current contract with the Eagles and the two-time NFL Super Bowl champion is trying to renegotiate fresh terms in Philadelphia.

The 32-year-old enjoyed another fine season for the Eagles, tallying 81 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four forced fumbles en route to the NFC wild-card playoffs, which Philadelphia lost.

Now, three-time Pro Bowler Jenkins – who joined the Eagles from the New Orleans Saints in 2014 – wants a pay rise.

"I won't be back under the same deal," Jenkins told reporters on Monday. "That won't happen. ... It's like anything else, you set your value on the market.

"The market is good for safeties right now, and I consider myself to be in the top tier of that group."

"I'm not one to beg," Jenkins added. "I am a very prideful person, so I feel like what I put out there this year, what I put on tape, what I've given to this team is more than enough. I can't do any more. So for me, I feel good about that; that it'll be good enough for me to go into this offseason with certainty that I'll be fine."

"I told myself I'll make it to 10 and then go year by year after that, you know, as long as my body felt good, the money was what I wanted and it was a team I enjoy being on," he said. "Right now I'm physically able, still love the game, I would love to be here, but I understand that this is a business.

"Honestly, I've reached the point where I've done what I can. At this point, it's up to my agent and management. I let my soul bleed every time I touch the field, sacrifice myself, do whatever I'm asked to do. So I'm content with doing my part."

 

Carson Wentz says he was "so dang proud" of the Philadelphia Eagles' season and assured fans he would be "just fine" after a head injury in the playoff defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Eagles lost Sunday's wild card game 17-9 at home to the Seahawks after quarterback Wentz was forced to exit in the first quarter, having taken a blow to the back of his helmet from Jadeveon Clowney.

Wentz had played the entire regular season for the first time since his rookie year, having suffered major injuries in 2017 and 2018 and missed Philadelphia's Super Bowl LII triumph.

Although his playoff debut ended on a sour note, the 27-year-old took to Instagram on Monday to send a message to fans, offering an update on his health while looking forward to the 2020 season.

"So dang proud of this team and how we battled and overcame so much this season," Wentz wrote. "Not the ending we envisioned but we will all grow and be stronger because of it!

"The fight and resiliency that this team displayed was so impressive. Love these guys!

"Also, appreciate the thoughts and prayers. I'm feeling good today and will be just fine! Head injuries are a scary thing so I appreciate everybody's thoughts and prayers.

"Hate not being out there to finish it out with my guys because of a play like that, but it's the unfortunate part of this game. It's all in God's plan, not mine! Trusting in him.

"Philly, year four was one fun ride. Appreciate the love and support - especially the real ones who were with us through the highs and lows.

"Onward to next year... big things comin', believe that!"

Seahawks defensive end Clowney speculated after the game he might receive death threats from "the worst fans in the world" in Philadelphia for the hit on Wentz, but he added there was no intent in the incident.

"I was just playing fast, and he turned like he was running the ball, so I was trying to get him down," Clowney said. "It was a bang-bang play.

"I don't intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I've been down the injury road - it's not fun.

"That's a great player over there for their team and for their organisation. I hope he's okay. Like I said, I didn't intend to hurt him.

"I didn't even know he went out of the game until the next series. I thought it was just a small hit, but everybody was going crazy on the sidelines. I was just trying to finish the play, but it happened."

Rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf stole the show in the Seattle Seahawks' playoff win at the Philadelphia Eagles, earning plaudits from Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and even LeBron James.

Metcalf had 160 receiving yards on seven receptions and connected with Wilson for the decisive touchdown in a 17-9 wild-card round win.

The 53-yard TD saw Metcalf go to ground in taking the catch before springing up to lunge into the endzone, securing an advantage the Seahawks protected with relative ease.

Quarterback Wilson was particularly effusive in his praise of the "special" 22-year-old, a second-round pick in 2019.

"DK was special tonight, and he's been special all year," Wilson told reporters. "He's one of the best rookies that's come out.

"He's got a nice little chip on his shoulder, too - I'm glad he's on our team, that's for sure, and he's on our team for a long time.

"I think the great thing about him, though, is that he's always been professional from day one. Nothing happens by accident.

"[It has been about his] his preparation, how he's prepared week in, week out - even since the offseason - all the extra work, all the early mornings, throwing at 5:20 in the morning in the summer. That's what greatness looks like."

Head coach Carroll added: "I think the night was stolen by DK. He did some stuff that it's hard to imagine anyone else doing."

And NBA great James took to Instagram to add his congratulations, posting on his story: "Congrats young [king]. Too fast, too strong."

The Seahawks move on to play the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round in the NFC.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson believes the NFC wild-card clash with the Seattle Seahawks would have been a different if star quarterback Carson Wentz did not suffer a head injury.

Wentz exited in the first quarter after hurting his head and did not return as the Eagles lost 17-9 to the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

The Eagles signal caller took a blow to the back of his helmet from Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and was replaced by 40-year-old back-up Josh McCown.

McCown – making his postseason debut following 17 seasons in the league – went 18 of 24 for 174 yards as the Eagles failed to reach the divisional round in Philadelphia.

Asked whether the game would have been different if Wentz was healthy, Pederson told reporters: "It's hard to say but I'd say yes if he was healthy. With the game plan we had, I think so. But it's hard to speculate."

The Eagles were hoping Wentz could lead the team deep into the playoffs after the 27-year-old played the entire regular season for the first time since his rookie year.

Wentz had suffered major injuries in 2017 and 2018 as Nick Foles stepped up to guide the Eagles to Super Bowl LII glory – Sunday's playoff appearance his first since being drafted in 2016.

"I feel for him. I feel bad for him," Pederson said of Wentz. "I briefly saw him in the dressing room afterwards.

"I'm disappointed for him. I wanted this for him. A lot of his team-mates did, too. So did the team and organisation. He's been through a lot."

Th Eagles endured an injury-ravaged season, but star tight end Zach Ertz managed to suit up and face the Seahawks, despite two non-displaced rib fractures sustained in Week 16.

Ertz was rushed to hospital after finding blood in his urine, however, he took to the field two weeks later and was teary-eyed post-game.

"It's been tough. It's been real tough," Ertz told reporters. "It hurts. Been a lot of highs and lows. My faith just kept me through it, kept me grounded. There was a plan for me.

"I just wanted it to be black and white, honestly. I took the emotion out of it. I just prayed that I wanted it to be clear. I didn't want it to be a grey area where it was an emotional decision. When it was unanimous that I was good to play, I knew that there was a plan and a reason, and that's why I was able to go."

"I wanted to play for this city," Ertz added. "I take a lot of pride [in] playing for my team-mates."

The Seattle Seahawks moved past the injury-hit Philadelphia Eagles courtesy of a 17-9 win in the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

Seattle set up a clash against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round after proving too good for the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles lost quarterback Carson Wentz in the first quarter due to a head injury and never got to their best to trouble the Seahawks in the NFC wild-card showdown.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson went 18 of 30 for 325 yards and a touchdown, but it was Seattle's defense that dominated.

They managed seven sacks, including six of Wentz's replacement Josh McCown.

McCown went 18 of 24 for 174 yards, but Wentz's injury, which came after a blow to the back of his helmet from Jadeveon Clowney, hurt the Eagles' chances.

The Seahawks needed until late in the second quarter to score their first TD as Marshawn Lynch spun over from five yards.

Jake Elliott's three field goals were all the Eagles could manage, with his second bringing them back to a 10-6 deficit in the third quarter.

However, Wilson connected with DK Metcalf with a 53-yard touchdown pass and the Seahawks were untroubled from then.

Metcalf starred with 160 receiving yards on seven receptions.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will miss the remainder of the NFC wild-card clash against the Seattle Seahawks with a head injury.

Wentz, 27, left the field and was questionable to return after taking a blow to the back of his helmet from Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in the first quarter of Sunday's NFL playoff game.

Veteran back-up Josh McCown replaced Wentz under center before the latter was officially ruled out by the Eagles after half-time in Philadelphia.

Wentz sat out Philadelphia's playoff run in 2017, his second season in the league, after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the regular season.

In his absence, Nick Foles steered the franchise to their first Super Bowl triumph, as they beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Minnesota.

Prior to the postseason showdown against the Seahawks, Wentz completed 388 passes for 4,039 yards and 27 touchdowns in 16 appearances.

The Philadelphia Eagles were forced to turn to Josh McCown at quarterback early on against the Seattle Seahawks after starter Carson Wentz suffered a head injury in the NFC wild-card clash.

Wentz was hurt while running the ball during the first quarter of Sunday's NFL playoff game, having taken a blow to the back of his helmet from Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

McCown came in for Philadelphia's next possession, with the Eagles announcing on Twitter that Wentz – making his postseason debut – was being evaluated, listing him as "questionable to return".

The 40-year-old back-up is with his ninth team in an NFL career that started back in 2002. He had announced his retirement after spending the previous two seasons with the New York Jets, only to be tempted back by the Eagles.

Wentz sat out Philadelphia's playoff run in 2017, his second season in the league, after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during the regular season.

In his absence, Nick Foles steered the franchise to their first Super Bowl triumph, as they beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Minnesota.

The Philadelphia Eagles are still unsure if Zach Ertz will feature against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday – but Nelson Agholor will definitely miss the Wild Card game in the opening round of the NFL playoffs.

Tight end Ertz did not play against the New York Giants in Week 17 as the Eagles clinched the NFC East, sitting out the game due to rib and back injuries.

Along with offensive lineman Lane Johnson – who has not featured since Week 14 due to an ankle issue – Ertz was listed on the team's latest injury report on Friday as questionable.

"He is still not cleared for any contact," Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson said of Ertz prior to Friday's practice session.

"He will work a little on the side, like he's done this week. We're waiting on a few doctor results tomorrow [Saturday]. If things go favourably, he'll play and if they don't, he won't."

As for Johnson, the Eagles' selection with the fourth pick in the 2013 draft, the two-time Pro Bowl tackle was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but did not participate at all on Friday.

Wide receiver Agholor has been ruled out contention due to a knee injury, scuppering his hopes of facing the Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field.

While his absence will be a blow to a depleted offense already without fellow receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, there was some good news for the team concerning Miles Sanders.

The rookie running back hurt his ankle during the 34-17 triumph over the Giants but was a full participant in practice on Friday.

The NFL playoffs are upon us and a feast of football awaits on Wild Card Weekend.

With two games on Saturday and another double-header on Sunday, there is plenty of action to look forward to.

It all kicks off with the Houston Texans hosting the Buffalo Bills, before reigning champions the New England Patriots face the Tennessee Titans on the road later that day.

The Seattle Seahawks head to Philadelphia to tackle the Eagles in the final showdown, which comes after the New Orleans Saints have welcomed the Minnesota Vikings.

We take a closer look at all the games using Stats Perform data.

 

SATURDAY (All times Eastern)

Bills (10-6) v Texans (10-6) 4:35pm

- This will be the first game between these two teams since a 20-13 Texans win in Houston in 2018. The Texans have won each of the last three home games against the Bills, holding them to 13.0 points per game.

- The Bills are looking for their first playoff victory since 1999 after reaching 10 wins for the first time since that same 1999 season.

- The Texans won the AFC South and a playoff berth for the fourth time in five years, with the only exception being 2017 with Deshaun Watson injured.

Titans (9-7) v Patriots (12-4) 8:15pm

- Including postseason games, the Patriots had defeated the Titans in seven consecutive meetings before Tennessee turned the tables in the teams' last meeting, defeating New England 34-10 in Nashville in November 11, 2018.

- With Ryan Tannehill starting at quarterback, the Titans went 7-3 in their last 10 regular-season games, averaging 30.4 points per contest. 

- The Patriots are playing in the Wild Card round for the first time in a decade, as their Week 17 home loss to the Miami Dolphins opened the door for the Kansas City Chiefs to become the AFC's second seeds.

SUNDAY

Vikings (10-6) v Saints (13-3) 1:05pm

- This will be the fifth all-time postseason meeting between the Vikings and the Saints, with the Vikings winning three of the previous four games, including 'The Minneapolis Miracle' in the 2017 Divisional Playoff – a 29-24 triumph settled by Case Keenum's 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs as time expired.

- Minnesota have not won a road playoff game since a 2004 Wild Card Game at Green Bay, 31-17. The Vikings have allowed at least 17 points in 15 consecutive road playoff games.

- The last seven Saints' playoff games have been decided by eight points or fewer, the longest such streak in NFL history. 

Seahawks (11-5) v Eagles (9-7) 4:40pm

- The Seahawks and Eagles have never met in the postseason despite making 12 and 10 postseason appearances, respectively, from 2002 to 2018 – Seattle switched conferences in 2002.

- The Seahawks lost 24-22 to the Cowboys in the 2018 Wild Card Game in Dallas, snapping a six-game winning streak in such games.

- Seattle enter the postseason with back-to-back losses after starting the season 11-3.

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