NFL

BREAKING NEWS: Aaron Rodgers agrees record-breaking $200m deal with Packers

By Sports Desk March 08, 2022

Aaron Rodgers has agreed to terms on a four-year, $200million deal with the Green Bay Packers to make him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

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  • 'Work to do' for Watson but Stefanski says uncertainty not to blame for debut display 'Work to do' for Watson but Stefanski says uncertainty not to blame for debut display

    Deshaun Watson "understands there's work to do" following his Cleveland Browns preseason debut, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski.

    Watson has not played a competitive game since January 2021 and is set to see that wait extended at least into October.

    The Browns quarterback is facing a six-game suspension following a disciplinary hearing, although the NFL has appealed for a longer ban after sexual assault and misconduct allegations.

    Watson, who faced 24 civil lawsuits, was not charged by two grand juries and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, but he apologised "to all of the women that I have impacted" ahead of Friday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    When the game got underway, Watson was clearly rusty, with his first pass in a Browns uniform an awful overthrow.

    Although the Browns won 24-13 – having trailed 13-0 – Stefanski acknowledged Watson's debut might not have gone exactly as he planned, but the coach was asked if the uncertainty around his suspension had contributed to the shaky performance and replied: "I don't think so, I don't."

    Stefanski said: "I think he probably wants some throws back.

    "Obviously playing football for the first time in a while, it was important for him to get out there, with his team-mates, in this scheme, hearing a different voice in the helmet, those kind of things.

    "I'm sure he had the butterflies and the jitters early, but I think he understands there's work to do."

    While Watson's status has been unclear for some time, Stefanski explained the team had been working towards giving him his bow in preseason.

    "It's been something we've been talking about throughout the last months and weeks, trying to figure out what the best path forward was not just for our quarterbacks but for our entire team," he said.

    "We just thought getting him some time out there in a game setting made sense in this preseason."

  • Wilson limps out of Jets' preseason opener with knee injury concern Wilson limps out of Jets' preseason opener with knee injury concern

    The New York Jets have had a nightmare start to their preseason with second-year quarterback Zach Wilson limping out of Friday's 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Wilson suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter, buckling without contact as he scrambled out of the pocket trying to outrun a tackler.

    The 23-year-old Jets QB fell, got up limping, before dropping to the turf again and exiting for the locker room.

    Wilson had thrown an interception on the Jets' fifth play, finishing the game completing three of five passes for 23 yards.

    The injury concern is to the same knee that he sustained a PCL sprain last season, causing him to miss four games.

    Jets head coach Robert Saleh revealed Wilson would have an MRI on Saturday to determine the extent of the injury but said his ACL was "supposed to be intact".

    The Jets have high hopes for their 2021 NFL Draft second pick, building their roster around him this offseason, having bolstered their offensive ranks with tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin and drafting wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall.

    Wilson had a difficult rookie season with a 3-10 record, completing 213 of 383 attempts for nine touchdowns and 2,334 yards with 11 interceptions for a 55.6 completion rate.

    There were other injury worries from Friday's preseason games with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London hurting his right knee in their 27-23 win over the Detroit Lions.

    San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell watched on in their clash with the Green Bay Packers after suffering a hamstring injury during their camp.

    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen, covering for Joe Burrow who is recovering from an appendectomy, was ruled out due to a concussion in their 36-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

     

  • Deshaun Watson apologises to 'all of the women that I have impacted' Deshaun Watson apologises to 'all of the women that I have impacted'

    Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has apologized for the first time to the women who accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.

    Watson's immediate playing future in the NFL is in limbo after the NFL appealed a six-game ban handed by independent arbiter Sue L. Robinson last week for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

    The league was seeking a minimum one-year suspension as well as a fine of at least $5million. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal.

    In the meantime, the Browns announced on Wednesday that Watson would play in Friday's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Ahead of Friday's game, Watson appeared in an in-house video where he spoke about the situation and apologized for his actions for the first time, having previously said he had "no regrets".

    "I want to say that I'm truly sorry to all of the women that I have impacted in this situation," Watson said.

    "The decisions that I made in my life that put me in this position, I would definitely like to have back.

    "But I want to continue to move forward and grow and learn and show that I am a true person of character and I am going to keep pushing forward."

    Watson had been facing 24 civil lawsuits filed by female message therapists alleging sexual misconduct between 2020 and 2021 during his time with the Texans.

    The three-time Pro Bowler was not charged by two grand juries and has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. He settled 20 of the lawsuits in June, with a further three settlements reported at the start of August ahead of the verdict of his NFL hearing.

    Friday's appearance marked Watson's in an NFL game of any kind since the 2020 season finale, dating back to January 3 2021.

    The Houston Texans had held him out of all of their 2021 games while a criminal investigation into the allegations was conducted. He was traded to the Browns in March this year.

    "Each and every snap, I want to make sure I cherish that because I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to get out there with those guys," he said.

    Watson added that he would work on personal growth during his probable time out of the game.

    "I know I have a lot of work to put in, especially on the field to be able to make sure I'm ready to play whenever that time comes whenever I can step back on the field," he said.

    "But also, the biggest thing is I want to continue counseling and I want to make sure that I'm growing as a person, as an individual for my decision-making on and off the field.

    "I want to make sure that I'm just evolving in the community as much as possible, and that is for the Cleveland community, that is the NFL community and beyond."

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