The Cleveland Browns have signed backup quarterback Josh Dobbs to a one-year deal as the situation with starter Baker Mayfield remains foggy.

Mayfield has requested a trade away from the Browns, but it is reported the franchise has no intention of dealing the former number one draft pick prior to this year's NFL Draft.

The franchise have moved on from Mayfield as their starter, trading a massive package of draft picks to the Houston Texans to acquire Deshaun Watson, and the signing of Dobbs – reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter – may indicate there is no intention to force Mayfield into a backup role.

It is understandable why the Browns would be hesitant to part ways with their primary signal-caller for a weak trade offer, as they went 0-16 in the season before he arrived, and have won no fewer than six games in the four seasons with Mayfield under center, including an 11-5 season and a trip to the playoffs in 2020.

After trading away three first round picks, plus two more later round picks, the Browns will be hoping a quarterback-hungry team comes calling on draft night as there is arguably no quarterback prospect in this year's class who profiles as a better prospect than Mayfield.

Dobbs has only attempted 17 passes in the NFL since being drafted in the fourth round in 2017, and has never started a professional game.

Sam Darnold has insisted he can still be a starting quarterback in the NFL, despite the Carolina Panthers' seeming distrust.

Darnold was traded to the Panthers from the New York Jets ahead of the 2021 season, yet Carolina are potentially eyeing a quarterback in the NFL Draft and have not ruled out another return for Cam Newton.

The 24-year-old Darnold played 12 times for Carolina last season (11 starts), recording 2,527 passing yards for nine touchdowns, along with five rushing scores.

Over the past two seasons, Darnold has thrown for only 18 touchdowns but 24 interceptions, while being sacked 70 times.

But despite the Panthers perhaps wanting to upgrade, Darnold is sure of his own ability.

He told the Bussin' with the Boys podcast: "It truly is like whatever happens happens, because at the end of the day, it's out of my control, and I know that.

"I have enough security in myself to where I can be like: 'I know I'm a good quarterback. I know I can be a good quarterback in this league. I've proved it.'

"I know there's a team, if something happens, that would want me."

Darnold was drafted by the Jets as the third overall pick in 2018 but struggled to live up to his billing in New York.

He completed just 57.7 per cent of his pass attempts in his rookie season before improving slightly in a 2019 campaign in which he threw 19 TD passes and 13 interceptions.

A tough final season with the Jets was followed by Darnold being traded to the Panthers for three draft picks, including a second-round selection in 2022.

Last year, form and fitness continued to evade Darnold, who has never played more than 13 games in a season. His passer rating of 71.9 represented a miserable career low.

He did at least beat out the returning Newton for the starting job, but the former MVP could yet sign for the Panthers again.

Xavien Howard leads the NFL in interceptions since 2017 and believes the addition of Tyreek Hill by the Miami Dolphins will allow him to make further strides after the cornerback signed a five-year extension.

Howard last week signed a $90million extension with the Dolphins, reflecting his status as one of the NFL's top corners.

He has amassed 27 interceptions over the past five seasons and is in no doubt that the Dolphins expect him to add to that tally under new head coach Mike McDaniel after coming to terms on a lucrative deal.

"To get the ball. That's what I've been doing since I've been here. I wouldn't say nothing different," Howard replied when asked at a media conference what the Dolphins want from him. 

"Continue being a leader in the locker room, help the younger guys out, help the new guys that come into the Miami Dolphins and just continue attacking the ball and making turnovers."

One such new guy is three-time All-Pro wide receiver Hill, who arrived in a blockbuster trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last month.

And Howard anticipates practicing against Hill will help him and the six-time Pro Bowler improve their respective games.

"I think we'll get each other better," Howard added of Hill. 

"I played against him in college and also in the league. I just want to focus on getting each other better. That's really it."

 

Stefon Diggs has become the latest elite wide receiver to agree lucrative new terms, after he signed a contract extension to keep him with the Buffalo Bills.

A dramatic offseason so far has seen big names in Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill leave Super Bowl contenders to earn big contracts elsewhere.

But in a significant boost to the Bills' own title hopes, Diggs is staying in Buffalo, where he is now under contract for another six years.

With two seasons remaining on his existing deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Diggs has agreed to a four-year, $104million extension – including $70m guaranteed.

Schefter added there is "intent from both sides to have him retire in Buffalo". Diggs will be 34 at the end of his contract.

Diggs was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings ahead of the 2020 season in a trade that saw picks including the first-round selection that became Justin Jefferson going the other way.

Jefferson has excelled in Minnesota, but the Bills also got good value in Diggs, who hit the ground running with 127 catches for 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season on the team. He added 20 catches for 311 yards and two TDs in the playoffs.

In 2021, Diggs enjoyed a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard regular season (1,225) and had a career-high 10 TDs.

As quarterback Josh Allen's primary offensive weapon last year, Diggs registered a burn – where a receiver wins his matchup against a defender – on 68.8 per cent of his targets, seventh-best among wide receivers with 50 or more targets.

Across two seasons with the Bills, no player in the NFL has been targeted more often than Diggs (330), who ranks third in that time for catches (230), fourth for receiving yards (2,760) – Jefferson (3,016) is first – and tied eighth for receiving scores (18).

Rob Gronkowski is not yet certain if he will return for the 2022 season, saying he is "not ready to commit to the game of football right now".

Gronkowski previously retired in 2018 and sat out the 2019 season before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to link up with former New England Patriots team-mate Tom Brady.

The tight end helped Tampa to a Super Bowl triumph in the 2020 campaign and a playoff run last season, but his deal has run out and he is currently a free agent.

Brady sensationally reversed his decision to retire last month, agreeing to return to Tampa for another season.

Gronkowski, a four-time All Pro, has not yet made a similar decision, however.

"Right now, I'm not ready to get back out on that field," Gronkowski told TMZ Sports.

"I'm not ready to commit to the game of football right now."

Brady's retirement and subsequent decision to return came as a surprise to many, though not long-time team-mate Gronkowski.

"I knew he was going to come back, but I didn't think he was going to come back this year, to tell you the truth," he added.

"I thought he was going to come back in a year, spend some time with his family.

"He's not done, man... The guy's 44 and, let me tell you, he doesn't look a day over 23 when he's throwing the football around."

While Gronkowski remains uncertain on his own future, the 32-year-old is attempting to stay clear of making a rushed decision.

That even resulted in him refusing to catch passes in a recent charity event, instead electing to take on the role of quarterback.

"I knew if I started catching some passes that my head would have started turning, like, 'Oh, crap, I got to get back out on the field,'" he said.

"Even in your 30s, I mean, you just can't just slack it and just be 50 per cent all-in, then you're going to get caught off with the game and it's going to just spit you right out.

"You've got to be fully dedicated. I'm not ready to do that yet, I'm not going to sign a contract if I'm not fully ready."

The New Orleans Saints have finalized a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire an extra first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft.

The deal sees the Saints acquiring picks 16 and 19 overall from the Eagles, as well as a sixth-round pick, and in return, the Eagles received pick 18, a third-rounder and a seventh-rounder in this year's draft.

Philadelphia will also receive the Saints' first-round pick in 2023, and their second-round pick in 2024.

Consensus around the trade is that it was a 'win-win', as the Saints will be able to add an immediate injection of quality young talent into an ageing roster, while the Eagles added another premium pick in next year's draft, which features a far superior quarterback class.

Philadelphia had three first-round picks before the trade, and will still enter the draft with three of the first 51 selections (15, 18 and 51), while New Orleans has three of the first 49 (16, 19 and 49).

Frank Gore plans to sign a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers before retiring from the NFL.

Five-time Pro Bowler Gore turns 39 in May and did not feature at all last season after going unsigned following one-year spells with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

Prior to that, Gore played for the Indianapolis Colts after spending nine years in San Francisco, where he was selected as a third-round draft pick in 2005 after moving on from the Miami Hurricanes.

Gore, who has the third-most rushing yards in NFL history (16,000), expressed his desire to end his career with the 49ers as he intends to retire before taking up a staff role working for the franchise.

"Probably in a couple months," Gore told 49ers podcast TheSFNiners. "We're still trying to figure out when I'm going to do my one-day contract, to sign, do my retirement.

"I told [49ers chief executive] Jed York that I always wanted to be a Niner. So we're working on that right now, and then we're going to also sit down with me and my agent to talk about me working in the front office.

"I love looking at talent. I love evaluating talent, and I love ball. And they know that I know football players, what it's supposed to take to be a football player."

Colin Kaepernick has opened the door to an NFL return over five years after his last appearance, saying he "absolutely" possesses the quality to improve teams.

The 34-year-old, who made 12 appearances as the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback in his last NFL campaign in 2016, made headlines that year by opting to kneel for the United States' national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

Kaepernick has been out of the league since then, but worked out in front of NFL scouts during the University of Michigan's Spring Game on Saturday.

Speaking to WXYZ Detroit, Kaepernick told potential suitors that he could help them to improve, and said he wants to hold conversations with any interested franchises.

"I can help make you a better team, I can help you win games," Kaepernick said.

"I know right now the situation likely won't allow me to come in and step into a starting role. I know I'll be able to work my way to that though, and show that very quickly.

"So, to the teams that have questions, more than anything I would say I'd love to come in for a workout. 

"I'd love to sit down with you and have that conversation about how I could help you be a better team."

Kaepernick filed a legal grievance against the NFL in 2017, accusing franchise owners opposed to his political and social activism of colluding to keep him out of the competition, with a settlement being reached in the case two years later.

He featured in two playoff campaigns during his time in San Francisco and is adamant that he retains the quality necessitated of an NFL quarterback, as he looks to whip up interest from scouts.

"Absolutely," Kaepernick responded when asked if he could still compete in the NFL.

"We can still get out there and sling it. Really getting out here today for the exhibition was to be able to show that I could do that.

"One of the questions that my agent kept getting asked was 'Well, it's been five years. Can he still play?'.

"So, we wanted to make sure that we come out, we show everyone I could still play, still throw it.

"I'm really just looking for an opportunity for a door to open, to have a pathway to be able to get back in there, get a starting job and lead a team to a championship."

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker is reportedly on his way to New England Patriots.

Sources have informed ESPN's Adam Schefter that Parker will be traded to the Patriots along with a 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick.

New England are set to receive a compensatory third-round pick next year after losing J.C. Jackson in free agency.

The Patriots are well stocked with wide receivers, as Parker would join Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, N'Keal Harry, Ty Montgomery, Kristian Wilkerson and Malcolm Perry in New England.

Parker finished last season with 40 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns from 10 appearances.

Miami last month pulled off a blockbuster trade to acquire Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Owner Arthur Blank believes the Atlanta Falcons needed to move on from quarterback Matt Ryan in pursuit of a new "long-term plan".

Ryan was Atlanta's starter from being taken with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft until he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts last month.

The 2016 NFL MVP missed only three games in 14 years, with only two players – Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (225) and Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch (223) – playing more than his 222 games in that time.

But Ryan is now 36 and last year failed to pass 4,000 passing yards in a season for the first time since 2010, despite the 17-game schedule.

The Falcons have not played a playoff game since 2017, and Blank felt it was time to reset.

"It has nothing to do with how much we appreciate or love Matt, which we do both," he said, as quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But you know there has to be a long-term plan.

"We have to get ready for the next 14, 15 years – and that's what our fans really should expect us to do.

"It shouldn't be a fire drill when we have that transition to make. So, we're trying to prepare for that as best we can."

Blank is not expecting a winning season in 2022 but is hopeful for 2023.

"Next year we should be in a position where there'll be the biggest cap space that we've had since I've owned the team over 21 years," he said.

"It'll be something north of $100million to $110m. So, we'll have an opportunity to extend our own players and be more active in free agency than we were this year."

The Los Angeles Rams have signed former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner on a five-year deal.

Wagner was released by the Seahawks earlier in March, fresh on the back of Russell Wilson's trade to the Denver Broncos, despite having a year to run on his contract.

The 31-year-old visited both the Baltimore Ravens and the Rams over the past week, and he has opted to stay in the NFC West with the reigning champions.

The Rams confirmed the news on their official website on Thursday, with reports suggesting the deal is worth an initial $50million, with a further $15m in incentives.

Wagner spent 10 seasons in NFL with the Seahawks and won the Super Bowl in 2013.

He played at an extremely high level for a struggling Seattle team in 2021, earning his eighth Pro Bowl selection and being named second-team All-Pro.

Since entering the NFL in 2012, only Lavonte David (867) has racked up more tackles than Wagner (817), who is third in pass breakups (60) and joint-fifth in interceptions (11).

A six-time first-team All-Pro, Wagner has recorded at least 104 total tackles in each of his 10 seasons so far.

Tom Brady described Bruce Arians as "smart, tough and loyal" after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach stepped down on Wednesday.

The franchise confirmed Arians will no longer lead the team, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles set to take over.

Arians will not be leaving the Bucs, however, instead taking on a new role of senior football consultant.

The decision comes just over a year after Arians and Brady led Tampa Bay to their second Super Bowl triumph, and the former New England Patriots quarterback wrote a message of gratitude to the 69-year-old, who had spent three years in charge.

"Thank you, BA for all that you have done for me and our team," Brady wrote on Instagram. "You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive. 

"Smart, tough, and loyal are a few of the words to describe your style. I will always remember the conversations we had when you recruited me two years ago and all of the things we discussed came true.

"We all benefited from your leadership and guidance and I'm so proud of everything we accomplished. You were a huge part of the decision to join the Bucs and I'm forever grateful.

"I'm so happy you will spend the much-deserved time with your loving and supportive family that has given so much to our communities. Congratulations on an amazing coaching career but more importantly, how you positively impacted me and everyone else in the game of football."

Brady announced his retirement from the game in February, before sensationally changing his mind the following month, re-signing with the Bucs for the 2022 season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed Bruce Arians will no longer be the team's head coach on Wednesday, with Todd Bowles set to take over.

Arians will not be leaving the Bucs however, taking on a new role of Senior Football Consultant, with the defensive coordinator Bowles taking on head coaching duties.

Arians' decision comes one season removed from leading Tampa Bay to their second Super Bowl triumph, in Tom Brady's first season with the club.

Having previously coached the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 to 2017, Arians ends a three-year run with a 31-18 regular season and 5-1 playoff coaching record.

"I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition – everything," he said in a statement. "It has been one hell of a ride, but I know this is the right time for me to make this transition.

"So why now? The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey.

"This team is in a much better place than it was three years ago due to Jason's [Licht] hard work and the Glazer family's commitment to winning."

Lamar Jackson has flatly rejected any suggestion he wants to leave the Baltimore Ravens, describing such talk as a "false narrative".

Jackson is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, with no signs of an agreement with the Ravens on an extension.

But the 2019 MVP moved to put to bed the idea of him continuing his career elsewhere after the 2022 campaign.

He posted on Twitter: "I love my Ravens I don't know who the hell putting that false narrative out that I'm having thoughts about leaving stop tryna read my mind."

Jackson took the NFL by storm in his second year in the league in 2019, throwing for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He also ran for 1,206 yards and seven scores.

However, the Ravens suffered a shock Divisional Round loss to the Tennessee Titans to end that season, and were eliminated at the same stage of the 2020 campaign by the Buffalo Bills.

Jackson then endured an injury-hindered 2021 season, throwing 16 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and adding a career-low two touchdowns on the ground as the Ravens missed the playoffs with an 8-9 record.

No player in the NFL has a higher yards per carry average over the course of the last three seasons than Jackson's 6.36.

The Ravens will hope they can sign him to a new deal and then help Jackson recapture his 2019 magic throwing the ball, with Baltimore likely all too aware that a strong 2022 season played on the final year of his current contract would lead to a more difficult negotiation next offseason.

Two-time Super Bowl champion safety Malcolm Jenkins has announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the NFL.

Jenkins had a decorated career playing for the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles, winning Super Bowls with both.

The three-time Pro Bowler was a first-round draft pick by the Saints in 2009 out of Ohio State, spending five seasons in New Orleans before heading to Philadelphia.

Jenkins made 1,044 tackles across his career, in which he also recorded 21 interceptions and 110 pass breakups. He scored eight defensive touchdowns.

He took to Twitter on Wednesday to write: "Grateful. After 13 seasons, my time on the football field has come to an end. I'm just a boy from Piscataway, who through this game, became a champion in the sport and a champion for the people.

"My time on the field may be over, but I'll never stop fighting for the people."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was keen to pay tribute to Jenkins, saying in a statement. "In so many ways, Malcolm Jenkins defined everything we want a Philadelphia Eagle to be.

"He was talented, intelligent, versatile, and reliable. He was physically and mentally tough. He led with his words, with his actions, with the emotion he took to the field, and with the professionalism he brought every single day to our building."

After six seasons with the Eagles, Jenkins returned to the Saints in 2020 for a second stint.

New Orleans coach Dennis Allen was also full of praise for the 34-year-old, saying: "I recall when we first drafted Malcolm in 2009, he made contributions to a Super Bowl Championship team in multiple positions in the secondary and then pretty quickly developed into an outstanding safety. 

"The combination of skill, awareness and intelligence allowed Malcolm to be in position to make plays all over the field. To put up the numbers he did for as long as he did speaks both to his talent and his commitment to his craft.

"He was also a great leader in the locker room and important contributor to the community. I'm proud to say that I had the opportunity to coach Malcolm and congratulate him on an excellent career."

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