Tom Brady's Super Bowl triumph with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was watched by a disbelieving audience, giving him something in common with US president Joe Biden.

Brady and the Bucs visited the White House on Tuesday in honour of their Super Bowl LV win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the former New England Patriots quarterback winning a scarcely fathomable seventh Lombardi Trophy at the age of 43.

And he humorously compared that success to president Biden's win in last November's presidential election, which continues to be disputed by former president Donald Trump and his supporters despite no evidence to support claims of election fraud.

"Not a lot of people think we could've won," said Brady in his speech. "In fact, I think about 40 per cent of the people still don't think we won."

"I understand that," president Biden replied. 

Making a pointed reference to the build-up to the election in which then-president Trump and the Republicans frequently referred to president Biden as "sleepy Joe", Brady added: "We had a game in Chicago where I forgot what down it was.

"I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing and they started calling me... Sleepy Tom. Why would they do that to me?!"

Tampa Bay begin their title defence against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9, and it is safe to say nobody will be sleeping on the Buccaneers' chances of retaining the crown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have bolstered their pass rush with the signing of veteran Melvin Ingram on a one-year deal.

Knee injuries limited the edge rusher to just seven games in the 2020 season, his final campaign with the Los Angeles Chargers.

He did not register a sack last year but the 32-year-old Ingram has been a consistently productive pass rusher in his career.

Ingram is one sack shy of 50 at the NFL level and should be in a good spot to reach that milestone playing for a Steelers defense that features one of the league's best pass rushers in T.J. Watt.

Watt led the NFL in sacks with 15 last season and was first among edge rushers with a pressure rate of 25.8 per cent.

The attention Watt commands could free up Ingram to regularly wreak havoc in the backfield and revitalise his career in Pittsburgh.

Ingram told ESPN's Josina Anderson: "I definitely feel like it's the place for me.

"I met with coach [Mike] Tomlin. You can tell he's very involved and a players' coach. That's what stood out to me.

"He wants to win and that is what I am on. My role is my role. He just told me to come in and be me. Everyone knows how I play."

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley does not know if he will be ready for Week 1 of the NFL season, though he is "feeling good".

The progress of the 24-year-old's injury recovery remains uncertain ahead of the start of training camp next week.

Barkley suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, a blow that contributed to a miserable 1-7 start for the Giants.

Optimism is high for New York in 2021, though, with reinforcements arriving in free agency after the team rallied to win five of their last eight games and finish 6-10.

The expected return of Barkley – who took the league by storm as the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 – is part of that feel-good factor, but he is still unsure as to when he will make his comeback.

"I don't know," Barkley said, per SNY and the New York Post, when asked if he would be ready for Week 1 when the Giants play the Denver Broncos on September 12.

Asked if he was trying to keep his status a mystery, he replied: "I've been asked a lot - I guess that's the theme of the summer, going to be when I'll be back.

"But no, I don't have that answer, to be honest. I'm not trying to lead it up to it or something like that or put something up. 

"It's a fun process, but it's a tough process at the same time. Just have to continue to listen to my body, listen to my trainers, listen to the coaches and take it day by day."

Barkley ended on a positive note, adding: "I'm feeling good. I'm doing good, taking it day by day, trying to get one percent better every single day.

"I'm enjoying my time. Obviously, camp is approaching soon, so I'm enjoying time with my family and still trying to get the work in that I can before things ramp up."

In his first two seasons in the league, there were only five running backs who rushed for more yards than Barkley (2,310), while his yards per carry average of 4.83 was ninth during that span.

A huge part of former number two overall pick Barkley's value comes from his receiving ability out of the backfield.

His 143 receptions and 1,159 yards through the air in his first two seasons put him in the top six among running backs for both categories.

Barkley was third behind only Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott with 3,469 scrimmage yards over the two-year period, with quarterback Daniel Jones eager to have him back in the offense for a pivotal year.

The pressure is on for the Giants, who have not won a playoff game since their 2011 Super Bowl success.

Richard Sherman described himself as "very remorseful" after he was charged with five misdemeanours following his arrest on Wednesday.

The Prosecuting Attorney's Office in King County, Washington, on Friday charged Sherman with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment of roadway workers, criminal trespass in the second degree (domestic violence designation), resisting arrest and malicious mischief in the third degree (domestic violence designation).

Sherman, a three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback formerly of the Seattle Seahawks and most recently with the San Francisco 49ers, pled not guilty to all charges.

The reckless endangerment of roadway workers charge was added on Friday after Sherman was released from King County Correctional Facility without bail on Thursday.

Sherman was arrested in Seattle on Wednesday morning. He was said to have attempted to force entry into the home of his wife's parents and there was believed to be a "verbal altercation" between him and the occupants.

The domestic violence components of two of Sherman's charges stem from his familial relationship with the residents.

Having entered his plea, Sherman is due to attend a pre-trial hearing on August 13.

In a statement released on Twitter and Instagram, Sherman wrote: "I am deeply remorseful for my actions on Tuesday night.

"I behaved in a manner I am not proud of. I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted.

"The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need. I appreciate all of the people who have reached out in support of me and my family, including our community here in Seattle.

"I am grateful to have such an amazing wife, family and support system to lean on during this time."

Tom Brady stunned the NFL and wider sporting world by winning a seventh Super Bowl title at age 43, and he reportedly achieved that feat while battling an injury that would ruin the season for most players.

Brady revealed in May that his offseason knee surgery that was originally reported as a "clean-up" back in February was, in fact, "pretty serious".

And the extent of the problem was fully disclosed on Thursday, with NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reporting Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl glory in his first season with the team through the pain of playing on a completely torn medial collateral ligament (MCL).

The difficulty level of leading a new team to a championship, having previously spent the past 20 years with the New England Patriots and winning six titles, while battling a knee issue of that severity cannot be overstated.

However, after the Bucs lost three of four games to head into the bye week 7-5, Brady made it look remarkably easy, guiding Tampa Bay to eight straight wins, a streak capped off with a 31-9 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, as they captured the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in franchise history.

Brady finished his maiden season with the Buccaneers with 4,633 passing yards (third in the NFL), 40 touchdowns (tied-second) and 12 interceptions. His 41 passing plays of 25 yards or more in the regular season trailed only Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans (42).

Per Stats Perform data, Brady was fourth in air yards per attempt among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes. His average of 9.5 provided a further indication of his renaissance as a deep-ball thrower in Tampa.

He was second in pickable pass percentage, throwing an interceptable ball on just 2.2 per cent of his attempts. Only Alex Smith (2.1 per cent) did a better job in that regard.

The difference after the bye was stark. Brady's yards per game jumped from 275 to 299.3 while his passer rating improved to 112.4 from 95.1. He threw 28 touchdowns to 11 interceptions prior to the bye, but tossed 22 scores and just four picks across his final eight games.

His yards per attempt average leaped from 6.96 to 8.74, as the Bucs offense became more potent following the break.

Indeed, the Bucs averaged 28.7 points per game before the bye but upped that tally to 33.9 over the course of the final four regular-season and four postseason games.

Brady will be 44 when the Bucs start their quest to defend the title against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9. Conventional wisdom suggests the challenge should be tougher for him at an older age.

Yet Brady continues to challenge conventional wisdom and go beyond the limits of what was thought possible for an NFL quarterback. If the knee is healed, there's a chance that, soon to be in his mid-forties, he could be even better in 2021.

The Carolina Panthers have signed tackle Taylor Moton to a four-year, $72million extension.

Moton was franchise tagged by the Panthers back in March, with Carolina set a deadline of 16:00 EST on July 15 to sign him to a long-term deal.

And they achieved that goal on Thursday, inking him to a contract that will net him $43m in guaranteed money.

The standout on a largely underwhelming Panthers offensive line last year, starting right tackle Moton allowed 32 pressures on 412 pass protection snaps.

His pressure rate of 7.8 per cent was the eighth-best among right tackles with 200 or more pass protection snaps in 2020.

Moton was the only franchise player who headed into Thursday without a long-term deal to sign one before the deadline.

He joined Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams and Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons in getting new contracts.

Marcus Williams of the New Orleans Saints will play on the franchise tag, along with fellow safety Marcus Maye, whose negotiations with the New York Jets came to nothing.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin is set to cash in next year in free agency after he failed to come to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cam Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars will play on the tag for the first time, but for Washington Football Team guard Brandon Scherff it is the second year he will have that franchise designation for the entire season.

 

It wouldn't be an NFL offseason without some contract controversies.

Though the two most recent collective bargaining agreements have made it more difficult for players to hold out, several teams are still approaching the start of training camp needing to resolve issues surrounding players unhappy with the terms of their current deal.

Aaron Rodgers' continued self-enforced exile has cast a shadow over the offseason, but his staring contest with the Green Bay Packers is not tied to his level of remuneration.

For four big-name defenders who skipped mandatory minicamp – though Jamal Adams was permitted to do so due to personal reasons – it is indeed about the money.

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore said recently to ESPN: "I just want what I'm worth, however that plays out. Every player should be paid what they're worth. That's just how it is."

But what is the worth of Gilmore and the three other high-profile defensive players? And should the teams in question make the effort to sign them to more lucrative deals?

Stats Perform looked at the advanced metrics surrounding each player to assess the best course of action for their respective franchises.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Gilmore's demand to be paid what he is worth may strike some as bemusing from a player who carries the highest salary cap hit among cornerbacks ($16.27million) and missed five games in a down year.

However, his wish is more likely related to his base salary rather than his overall cap number. Gilmore is due $7m in base salary in 2021, half of what Byron Jones of the Miami Dolphins, whose $14m base salary is the most among corners, is scheduled to receive next season.

Though 2020 was a disappointing year for Gilmore and the entire Patriots defense, he has a strong case for narrowing that gap to Jones.

While he only managed one interception and three pass breakups, Gilmore still had the edge over Jones in several metrics.

His adjusted open percentage, which measures how frequently an opponent got open against a defender's coverage, adjusted for position, was 24.18 compared to 26.16 for Jones.

 

Though both spent time playing as inside corners, both Gilmore and Jones are primarily outside defenders and there was a contrast between the two when they lined up at that spot in 2020. Gilmore allowed a burn – when a receiver wins his matchup on a play where he is targeted regardless of whether the pass is catchable – on 50 per cent of his targets, compared to 60.4 for Jones.

Gilmore was also superior in terms of burn yards per target (10.08 to Jones' 14.08), while his burn yards per snap average of 1.36 was 12th among corners with at least 200 pass coverage snaps on the outside. Jones struggled by comparison, allowing 1.92 burn yards per snap.

The Patriots used a lot of their salary cap space on a free-agency splurge they hope will get them back in contention. However, given Gilmore's past level of performance – since signing with New England in 2017, he has racked up 52 pass breakups, tied for sixth-most in the NFL, and 11 interceptions – they might well be wise to find a way to negotiate a contract with an increased base salary for a player whose unadjusted open percentage of 46.6 was fourth among outside corners in his last full season in 2019.

Xavien Howard, CB, Miami Dolphins

Like Gilmore, Howard may also be comparing his contract to that of Dolphins team-mate Jones, whom Miami made the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL with a five-year $82.5m deal in March 2020.

Howard still has four years left on a deal paying him over $15m a year, but the All-Pro will have his eyes on a contract closer to Jones' average annual value of $16.5m.

Such compensation would unquestionably be deserved given Howard led the league in interceptions for the second time in three seasons in 2020 by picking off 10 passes.

His adjusted open percentage of 25.19 was almost a full percentage point better than that of Jones, and he had a significant edge in burn yards per target, though Howard was not exactly impressive in that category, giving up an average of 11.12 while playing on the outside.

 

Yet that number is likely more reflective of how often the Dolphins left Howard in single coverage. Indeed, Howard's average depth of target of 14.5 yards speaks to the frequency with which he was given the task of staying in tight coverage with a receiver downfield.

The Dolphins aren't flush with cap room – Miami sit just over $5.5m under the 2021 cap – but, in a year where the team will be expected to make a year-three leap under head coach Brian Flores, identifying a method by which to keep Howard happy is the smart move.

With a league-leading 18 interceptions in the past three seasons, Howard is a playmaker the Dolphins need on the field and motivated if they are to challenge in the AFC.

Jamal Adams, S, Seattle Seahawks

Having long since angled for a lucrative extension even before his blockbuster trade to the Seahawks last offseason, Adams is finally in line for his payday at some point this year.

Still playing on his rookie contract and due to earn close to $10m in 2021, Adams will have designs on becoming one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.

Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos is the safety with the top contract, his average annual salary coming in at over $15m, but a better comparison for Adams may be division rival Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals ($14.75m).

Baker and Adams each spend a significant amount of time in the box and down near the line of scrimmage and the latter's reprsentatives will base much of their argument in negotiations around him leading the Seahawks in sacks with 9.5 last year.

 

Yet they may struggle to make a compelling case when the discussion turns to his skills in pass coverage.

Adams finished the 2020 season with an adjusted open percentage of 24.94, comfortably below that of Baker, who set the fourth-best mark among all NFL defenders with 16.38 per cent.

Such a disparity would on the surface appear to make it tough to justify Seattle giving Adams a deal akin to that of Baker.

Yet after surrendering two first-round picks to prise Adams from the Jets, the Seahawks have locked themselves into a situation where they have no choice but to pay him. Though he has proven himself a playmaker near the line of scrimmage, his performance in coverage should lead Seattle to try to ink Adams to a deal with eye-catching headline numbers but a team-friendly structure.

Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals

Due to earn $15.5m in base salary and carry a $20.8m cap hit in the final year of his contract in 2021, Jones' desire to receive the compensation he believes he is due before his deal expires is likely motivated by the Cardinals' decision to sign J.J. Watt to a two-year, $28m deal this offseason.

Watt remains an ominous presence on the defensive line, but – now 32, with a checkered injury history, and having posted nine sacks in 24 games over the past two seasons – his signing is a gamble by the Cardinals, and Jones may be wondering why they did not instead invest in keeping him around.

Jones has been the picture of consistency for the Cardinals, posting double-digit sacks in each of his first four seasons with Arizona before a torn bicep cut his 2020 campaign short after five ineffective games.

The Cardinals' reticence to pay the 31-year-old now is understandable given that recent injury, but Jones will feel he has already proven himself dependable heading into 2021 and is more deserving of a new deal than several of his fellow edge rushers who have already received paydays this offseason.

 

In his last full season in 2019, only one edge rusher, Cameron Jordan (70), had more pressures where he beat a pass protector than the 69 Jones produced.

Watt had 51 such pressures in 2020, Shaquil Barrett received a $17m-a-year contract from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after producing 53, while Leonard Floyd was paid $16m a year by the Los Angeles Rams after beating a man on 39 pressures.

Those deals complicate matters for the Cardinals, who might have to choose between paying a player they may not trust to stay healthy and potentially shipping out the most productive pass rusher in their recent history.

The obvious solution is a new deal laden with playing-time incentives that reward Jones for staying healthy. If that cannot be done, then the Cardinals could possibly soften the blow of losing him by getting a clutch of 2022 draft picks to help them restock their defense in return via trade.

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman was arrested on Wednesday on a charge of burglary domestic violence.

Sherman, who played his third season with the San Francisco 49ers last term, was booked into King County Correctional Facility in Seattle at 06:08 (local time).

A three-time first-team All-Pro and a Super Bowl XLVIII champion with the Seattle Seahawks, Sherman, 33, is a vice-president of the NFL Players Association's (NFLPA) executive committee.

"We were made aware of an arrest last night of one of our player leaders for an alleged domestic violence incident and have activated our domestic violence crisis protocol for the protection and support of everyone involved," an NFLPA statement read.

"We will continue to monitor events closely as more facts are made available to us."

According to public records, Sherman was denied bail, though ESPN reported that is normal practice for domestic violence suspects until they can go before a judge.

An emergency call from a residence was taken around 02:00, per a Redmond (Washington) Police Department spokesperson who spoke to ESPN, with the caller alleging a male family member who was not a resident was attempting to break into the property.

The suspect was alleged to have fought with police outside the home before he was apprehended and transported to hospital. No residents were injured.

ESPN's Adam Schefter also reported that Washington State Police are investigating Sherman in connection to a hit and run and damage to Department of Transportation property following a single-car incident in which a vehicle struck a concrete barrier.

Sherman signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2018 after seven seasons with Seattle. He helped San Francisco to Super Bowl LIV at the end of the 2019 season, but suffered a heartbreaking defeat as the Kansas City Chiefs prevailed 31-20.

Stephon Gilmore is hopeful he can find common ground with the New England Patriots and that he can be "paid what I'm worth".

The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time first-team All-Pro is seeking a new contract and held himself out of mandatory minicamp to attempt to force the Patriots' hand.

Cornerback Gilmore carries a salary cap hit of $16.26million, the largest among players at his position, in 2021.

However, his base salary of $7m is half that of Byron Jones of the Miami Dolphins, who leads all corners in that regard with $14m.

While he appears content to remain in New England, Gilmore clearly wants a contract that he feels reflects his status as one of the NFL's premier corners.

"I just want what I'm worth, however that plays out," Gilmore told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

"Every player should be paid what they're worth. That's just how it is.

"Hopefully, we can find some common ground and get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play.

"Right now, I'm just trying to focus on myself and make sure I'm good mentally and physically."

Gilmore was limited to 11 games last season and underwent surgery in the offseason to repair a torn quadriceps muscle.

He added of his physical condition: "I feel stronger than I've ever felt since the surgery. I've been running a lot, building full speed.

"We'll see [if he is ready for training camp]; if I need to be. But I also don't want to push it."

Since signing a five-year, $65m contract with the Patriots in 2017, Gilmore has racked up 52 pass breakups, tied for sixth-most in the NFL, and 11 interceptions.

 

Larry Fitzgerald remains undecided as to whether he will extend his glittering NFL career into an 18th season.

Fitzgerald is a free agent after his contract with the Arizona Cardinals expired after the 2020 campaign.

The Cardinals have given him the time to decide if he will retire or play at least one more year in the NFL.

However, with the start of training camp three weeks away, the timeline for him to make his decision is growing short.

Yet Fitzgerald seems in no rush to make a definitive call on if his career will continue.

"I haven't decided anything," Fitzgerald said in an interview with ESPN. "Training camp starts in a few weeks. I'm excited, it's going to be another great year for the NFL."

While Fitzgerald has been pontificating on his future, the Cardinals have spent the offseason reinforcing their depth at wide receiver behind DeAndre Hopkins.

They signed veteran A.J. Green in free agency and used a second-round pick on Purdue wideout Rondale Moore, potentially leaving Fitzgerald with limited opportunities to make an impact were he to return.

And, if the Cardinals are not interested in bringing him back, Fitzgerald may also find a disappointing market for his services after one of the worst seasons of his career.

The 11-time Pro Bowler registered 54 catches for 409 yards and one touchdown, all of which were career-lows, in 2020.

Fitzgerald registered a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup against a defender on a play where he is targeted regardless of whether the pass is catchable, on 47.9 per cent of his targets last season, the 10th-lowest rate among NFL wideouts, according to Stats Perform data. His burn yards per target average of 7.39 was the seventh-worst in the league.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has set his sights on Super Bowl glory after declaring his toe is feeling "great".

Mahomes underwent surgery following a Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February.

The Chiefs will open their 2021 NFL campaign against the Cleveland Browns on September 12 and the 2018 MVP is raring to go.

"The toe's feeling great," he told NFL Total Access. "I'm out here playing golf, being able to walk around the course. I've been running, cutting, jumping, throwing, doing it all.

"So, I'm just excited to get back to training camp and have another chance to make a run at it and win the Super Bowl this year."

Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards per game with 316.0 in 2020, well clear of Deshaun Watson (301.4) in second.

The 25-year-old participated in the Chiefs' offseason program and is eagerly awaiting the training camp later this month. 

"It's different in the sense that you don't have the parades and all that different type of stuff," he added.

"But I think the beautiful thing about the NFL is every single year, you start from scratch. You have to come in, you have to put in the work to try to get to the big game and try to win it.

"And so for us, win or lose that Super Bowl the last two years, we still have that same mentality of we're going to start from scratch and build and try to find a way to get back to that game."

The New England Patriots are hoping their first-round pick from this year's draft, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, can help return them to glories of the Tom Brady era, but they appear set to move on from another recent top selection.

Wide receiver N'Keal Harry, the first-round pick of the Patriots in 2019, seemingly has no desire to catch passes from Jones should he win the starting quarterback job in 2021, his agent this week announcing Harry had requested a trade from New England.

Given the Patriots invested heavily in the wide receiver position in free agency this offseason, Harry may well have found himself on the outside looking in come roster cutdown day.

Therefore, New England will likely be only too willing to oblige his request, but they might find a lack of suitors following an extremely disappointing first two seasons in the league from the former Arizona State star.

Harry has 45 catches for 414 yards and four touchdowns so far in his NFL career, disappointing numbers that reflect his inability to separate from coverage at the highest level.

Indeed, even in college Harry was known more for his ability to make contested catches than for his prowess as a separator, and his struggles in getting free from defenders have been exacerbated in the pros.

Thrown at only 24 times as a rookie by Tom Brady, he was open on just 43.5 per cent of those targets in 2019, the lowest percentage among NFL wide receivers to be targeted at least 20 times in that campaign.

He improved his open percentage markedly to 63.2 in 2020 but that was still 17th-lowest for all wide receivers last season, with opposing cornerbacks experiencing little difficulty in keeping him under wraps over the past two years.

In 2019, Harry registered a burn – when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted regardless of whether the pass is catchable – on only 47.8 per cent of targets, well below the average of 60.5 per cent for wideouts with a minimum of 20 targets.

His big-play percentage, which measures burns for 20 yards or more and burns for touchdowns, was 24.5, while Harry was tied for fourth-bottom in burn yards per target (6.82) and his burn yards per route average of 1.3 was a yard below the mean.

The 2020 season saw Harry's big-play percentage decline to 20.6 and decent improvements in burn percentage (52.6), burn yards per target (8.27) and burn yards per route (1.7) were not enough to get him even close to average in those categories.

Harry's failure to hit the ground running helped push Brady out the door after the 2019 season and he again failed to stand out in an offense that struggled mightily following the now seven-time Super Bowl champion's departure.

He is the epitome of a draft bust and a cautionary tale to teams thinking of investing in players who struggle to separate at the college level. Harry might want out of New England, but he may have significant trouble finding a new home.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he has taken time to work on his mental health amid questions about his long-term future with the NFL franchise.

Rodgers – who skipped Green Bay's organised team activities (OTA) – is officially a holdout following his absence as the Packers reported for their mandatory minicamp last week.

The three-time MVP and 37-year-old is pushing to leave the Packers – a team he has represented since 2005, winning a Super Bowl.

Reports of Rodgers' unhappiness first emerged on draft day this year, though Green Bay are unwilling to trade the veteran.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Rodgers told reporters: "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work on my mental health.

"I haven't dealt with bouts of depression or anything, that I think for whatever reason, are OK to talk about if you're talking about mental health.

"I've just really been trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind. What habits can I form that allow me to feel most in my body, most present, happiest? And that's what I've been doing."

Rodgers amassed 48 touchdowns, five interceptions and a completion rate of 70.7 per cent for the Packers – who lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rodgers' quarterback rating of 121.5 puts him second on the all-time list among qualifiers, behind only his 2011 campaign (122.5).

In total, Rodgers completed 372 of 526 attempts for 4,299 yards as the Packers topped the NFC North with a 13-3 record to clinch home-field advantage and the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Rodgers is level with Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown with three MVP honours – only Peyton Manning (five) has more in NFL history.

Rodgers added: "Sometimes the loudest person in the room is not the smartest person. Sometimes the loudest person in the room is not the person who has all the facts on their side or the truth on their side.

"Sometimes there's a lot of wisdom in silence. Sometimes there's a lot of wisdom in being selective on what you say."

The Packers will open their 2021 season against the New Orleans Saints on September 12.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed first overall pick Trevor Lawrence to a four-year rookie contract.

Jacksonville completed what had long been seen as a formality when they made Lawrence the first pick in April following his stellar collegiate career at Clemson.

He is now a fully contracted member of the Jaguars having signed a deal worth $36.8million with $24.1m in guarantees and a standard fifth-year option included.

Since the introduction of fixed contract lengths and slotted salaries for first-round picks in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, signing highly drafted rookies is not the challenge it once was.

But Lawrence agreeing to terms on his rookie deal is another hurdle cleared as the Jaguars look to get the player they hope will turn their franchise around on the field.

Provided that he stays healthy through training camp, Lawrence – who underwent surgery on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder prior to the draft – will make his preseason debut for the Jaguars against the Cleveland Browns in August.

His regular-season debut is set to come a month later when the Jaguars visit the Houston Texans on September 12.

 

The Jaguars finished the 2020 season with a 1-15 record, losing 15 straight games having won their opener, but gaining the right to select a quarterback most deemed as a generational prospect in the process.

Lawrence led Clemson to a National Championship in his first season in 2018 and racked up 10,098 passing yards and 90 touchdowns – the first of those tallies putting him third in school history behind Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson, the second joint-second – while throwing just 17 interceptions in his three seasons with the Tigers.

Though he did not lead Clemson to glory last season, Lawrence was first among quarterbacks with at least 100 snaps and 20 pass attempts in well-thrown percentage. He delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 84.3 per cent of his passes, per Stats Perform data.

If he maintains that remarkable level of accuracy at the NFL level, the Jaguars may turn things around much quicker than anticipated.

The NFL has fined the Washington Football Team $10million after the completion of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct within the workplace.

Following Thursday's announcement of the punishment, which does not strip the team of any draft picks, owner Dan Snyder decided to hand over his day-to-day responsibilities to his wife Tanya, who was named co-CEO on Tuesday.

The investigation, which began last year and consisted of independent counsel Beth Wilkinson interviewing more than 150 people, found that for years women within the organisation were bullied and several females experienced sexual harassment and experienced "a general lack of respect in the workplace".

"Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention to these issues," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "In some instances, senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves, including use of demeaning language and public embarrassment. This set the tone for the organisation and led to key executives believing that disrespectful behaviour and more serious misconduct was acceptable in the workplace."

Snyder blamed himself for the workplace environment and apologised to those affected.

"I have learned a lot in the past few months about how my club operated, and the kind of workplace that we had," Snyder said in a statement. "It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realise the extent of the problems, or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue. I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace."

He went on to say that, for the next several months, "Tanya will assume the responsibilities of CEO and will oversee all day-to-day team operations and represent the club on all league activities".

As part of the report, Wilkinson made 10 recommendations on improving workplace culture, including developing formal protocols for reporting harassment, developing a formal disciplinary action plan and providing training to all employees on bullying, harassment and inclusion.

The Snyders agreed to implement all 10 of the recommendations.

"I agree with the Commissioner's decisions in this matter," Snyder said, "and am committed to implementing his investigation's important recommendations.

"Going forward, my focus will be on making the Washington Football Team a source of pride to all of its employees, fans and partners, including my partners in the NFL."

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