Jun 1, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Travis Jonsen (16) runs with the ball during organized team activities at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Travis Jonsen faces misdemeanor DUI charge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Travis Jonsen was arrested on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge on Monday.

In a news release, Tampa police said officers spotted Jonsen driving his car in a manner “indicative of impairment.” He was stopped and arrested at 3:18 a.m.

Jonsen, 25, refused to take a breath test, according to the release. He posted a $500 bond and was released from jail.

Jonsen has been a practice squad player with the Bucs over parts of the past two seasons. He was signed as an undrafted free agent from Montana State.

“We expect members of our organization to uphold the high standards that have been established,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “We are aware of the situation regarding Travis Jonsen earlier this morning and will refrain from further comment at this time while the legal process continues.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles under pressure from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney (20) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals CB Jeff Gladney killed in car accident

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney was killed in a car accident early Monday morning. He was 25.

His agent, Brian Overstreet, confirmed his death to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss,” the Cardinals said.

Pro Football Focus reported that Gladney and a 26-year old female passenger died in a two-vehicle crash in Dallas.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Gladney, a TCU product, with the No. 31 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in 16 games, starting 15, and made 81 tackles, had three passes defensed and forced one fumble in 2020.

The Vikings released him last August following his indictment in Texas on a felony assault charge in a domestic violence case. He sat out the 2021 season, and in March, a jury in Dallas found him not guilty.

The Cardinals signed him to a two-year deal following his acquittal and earlier this month they were excited about his arrival.

“We got an extra first round-pick in free agency,” said Dru Grigson, the Cardinals’ director of player personnel on the Big Red Rage radio show in April. “(He is) incredibly quick-footed, highly instinctive player.

“We’re getting a starter in our building without having to waste any draft capital.”

Condolences poured in on social media Monday.

“Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain’t too much more I can take man damn!” Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor, a teammate of Gladney at TCU, wrote on Twitter. “R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald partnering with Kanye West’s Donda Sports

Los Angeles Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald skipped the team’s organized team activities while negotiations continue for a rich contract extension. And in the meantime, the future NFL Hall of Fame member is busy building his brand off the field.

Donald told the “I Am Athlete” podcast that he has signed with Donda Sports, a new marketing agency founded by rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West. Donda Sports will work with Donald on off-field endeavors both now and post-career.

“(Hearing) the whole spectrum of everything that was going on, what they were going to be bringing, the family atmosphere that they got, for me, it was a no-brainer,” Donald said of what drew him to Donda Sports. “I think it’s a hell of an opportunity to open up a lot of different doors and a lot of different things outside of football that I wanna be involved in. … To be a part of that, and be one of the first athletes to be a part of that, it’s pretty dope. We’re excited about it, and we’re gonna see where this thing goes.”

Donald, 31, has three seasons remaining on a six-year, $135 million deal he signed in August 2018 and is set to receive a combined $37.25 million in base salary over the next three seasons. A 2014 first-round draft pick by the Rams, he’s a seven-time All-Pro and has been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times.

When asked about Donald’s absence at OTAs last week, Rams coach Sean McVay there was no cause for worry. Donald, as is his typical, has been training on his own in Pittsburgh near family.

“He’s done a great job of communicating, with my relationship with him, and he gets a chance to spend time with his family right now, so I feel good about that,” McVay said.

In his eight seasons with the Rams, Donald has 441 tackles (150 for loss, 98 sacks, 23 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He had an NFL-best 20.5 sacks in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA;  Former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown watches the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown says NFL not on his radar next season

Controversial free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown, who earlier this month said he wanted to retire as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, now says he has no plans to play in the NFL next season.

“Don’t play yourself lookin’ to me to play,” Brown said Saturday during an interview at a Fan Controlled Football league game. Just before that, Brown said: “Obviously, we live the game, but you can’t play forever. I think I’m a great player that’s done everything in the game. “

In March, the 12-year NFL veteran expressed interest in joining the Cleveland Browns.

Brown, 33, most recently played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, catching 87 passes for 1,028 yards in his two seasons there (2020-21) but winning his only career Super Bowl with the team. He removed his pads and jersey and left the field during the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s Week 17 road win over the New York Jets.

A few days later, the Buccaneers released Brown, and the wideout claimed the team forced him to play hurt and covered up facts related to his injury. Then-head coach Bruce Arians denied the allegations.

Brown played for the Steelers from 2010-18, totaling 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. He was named to seven Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams during his nine seasons with the team. But after he got into an argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and was benched for an important Week 17 game for missing practices, he requested a trade after the 2018 season.

Brown then played in one game for the New England Patriots in 2019 before being released amid allegations of sexual assault. He joined the Buccaneers for the next two seasons after serving an eight-game suspension handed down by the league in a separate incident that involved an altercation with the driver of a moving truck. He entered a no-contest plea to charges filed in the case and received probation.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (85) leaps for the ball along with Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Dallin Leavitt (32) and cornerback Brandon Facyson (35) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Browns, TE David Njoku agree on 4-year extension

The Cleveland Browns and franchise-tagged tight end David Njoku have agreed on a four-year, $56.75 million contract extension, NFL Network reported Friday.

Under the agreement, Njoku will receive $28 million in guaranteed money at signing, per the report. With an annual average value of nearly $14.2 million, he’ll be among the top five in pay for the position.

Njoku, 25, would have earned around $10.9 million in 2022 under the franchise tag.

Njoku caught 36 passes for 475 yards with a team-high four receiving touchdowns in 16 games (11 starts) last season. He has 15 career TDs in 65 games (36 starts) for the Browns since being taken No. 29 overall in the 2017 draft.

The Browns released tight end Austin Hooper earlier this offseason. Hooper later signed with the Tennessee Titans.

–Field Level Media

Former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme pleads guilty to trespassing

Former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme was arrested early Friday morning after an incident at a downtown hotel in Lexington, Ky.

Mumme was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and resisting arrest after police responded to the incident at the Hyatt Regency hotel.

The 70-year-old Mumme pleaded guilty in court later Friday, according to WKYT. The television station said the judge credited him with time served and waived his court costs.

According to reports, the dispute at the hotel involved a woman refusing to pay a bar tab.

Officers asked Mumme to leave the building multiple times without success. Mumme reportedly used physical force against an officer who was attempting to arrest him.

Mumme was head coach at Kentucky from 1997-2000 and drew national attention for his progressive “Air Raid” offensive attack. Tim Couch passed for 8,159 yards and 73 touchdowns in two seasons in the system and became the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Now-Mississippi State coach Mike Leach was offensive coordinator during Couch’s two seasons. He built on the “Air Raid” during head-coaching stops at Texas Tech and Washington State.

Despite the gaudy passing statistics, Mumme went just 20-26 before resigning under pressure due to upcoming NCAA violations.

–Field Level Media

May 13, 2022; Costa Mesa CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers guard Zion Johnson (77) during rookie minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers sign first-round pick G Zion Johnson

The Los Angeles Chargers signed first-round draft pick Zion Johnson to his four-year rookie contract on Friday.

Johnson’s deal is reportedly worth $14.75 million and includes a $7.9 million signing bonus.

The 6-foot-3, 316-pound guard from Boston College was the No. 17 overall pick in last month’s draft.

Johnson, 22, earned All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors last season.

Projected to start at right guard with the Chargers, he allowed just one sack in 2,288 career snaps at Boston College.

–Field Level Media

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs for a touchdown during their 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville Jan. 10, 2021.

Titans Ravens 111

Lamar Jackson rips critics on absence from voluntary OTAs

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson lashed out at critics questioning his absence from voluntary organized team activities.

Jackson specifically took issue with former NFL quarterback and current Pro Football Talk analyst Chris Simms for his take on the matter. Simms compared Jackson to Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady, whom Simms claimed never missed OTAs until he played in four Super Bowls.

Jackson stressed over social media that the OTAs are, indeed, voluntary and that he will attend the sessions at some point. The former NFL Most Valuable Player concluded his Twitter post with “Find something else to talk about.”

Jackson, 25, is obligated to attend only the team’s mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled for June 14-16.

Jackson is set to play the 2022 season on his fifth-year option worth $23.016 million. That annual average salary is 15th in the NFL among quarterbacks, according to Spotrac. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be traded by the 49ers but has a 2022 salary of over $25 million.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta said following the NFL draft that the team is prepared to negotiate with Jackson but that contract talks were not a priority at the time. Jackson said his only focus is the Super Bowl.

Jackson had a combined 18 interceptions over his first three seasons before throwing 13 picks in 12 games during 2021. He had 16 touchdown passes last season, a steep decline from his 2019 MVP total of 36.

He had 767 rushing yards and two touchdowns last season after back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

–Field Level Media

Apr 2, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Colin Kaepernick passes during halftime at the Michigan Spring game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders didn’t inform Derek Carr of Colin Kaepernick workout

Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels didn’t inform quarterback Derek Carr that the team was going to work out Colin Kaepernick.

That was because he felt there was no reason to do so.

“I think he knows this is his football team and he’s working like it on the field and he’s leading the way that we want him to lead and he’s doing all the right things,” McDaniels said of Carr on Thursday. “I couldn’t ask more from Derek Carr and (am) very pleased with what he’s doing so far.”

Kaepernick, 34, worked out for the Raiders on Wednesday but McDaniels had to little to say about how the outing went.

“Just a standard procedure, we will only talk about the people who are on our team,” McDaniels told reporters. “(General manager Dave Ziegler) and his staff have worked out tons of guys this spring and we really don’t make comments about the evaluations that we made or what they looked like, what they didn’t look like, strengths and weaknesses, those kinds of things are kind of private obviously for us as we look at things to try to make decisions to make the team better.

“If players are added to the team then obviously we’ll talk about them at that point. I respect the question 100 percent. I understand. But (that is) kind of what we’ll stick to.”

Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016, the year in which he took a knee during the national anthem as a protest against racism and police brutality.

Kaepernick has continually expressed a desire to play again, and even met with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017.

Last month, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh allowed Kaepernick to work out during halftime of the Wolverines’ spring game. Harbaugh coached Kaepernick with the 49ers.

At the time, Kaepernick again expressed the desire to work out for an NFL team.

“I can help make you a better team, I can help you win games,” Kaepernick told WXYZ Detroit. “I know right now the situation likely won’t allow me to come in, 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 work out. I’d love to sit down with you and have that conversation about how I could help you be a better team.”

Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 career yards and 72 touchdowns against 30 interceptions, completing 59.8 percent of his passes. He’s also rushed for 2,300 yards and 13 scores. He led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season.

Meanwhile, Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension last month and is under contract through 2025.

“I think Derek’s pretty comfortable with where he’s at,” McDaniels said of Carr. “I think he knows who he is for us and I know he knows how I feel about him, how we feel about him. I don’t think that’s really a big thing to Derek at this point.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baylor Bears linebacker Terrel Bernard (2) reacts to a play against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half of the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Sugar Bowl moved to Dec. 31 to avoid TV conflict with ‘MNF’

The Sugar Bowl will be played on New Year’s Eve at 12 noon ET on Dec. 31 next season, rather than in its regular primetime TV slot.

The bowl game is normally held on New Year’s Day, which will fall on a Sunday in 2023. But it could not be moved to Monday, Jan. 2 with other bowl games because ESPN owns the broadcast rights and had a conflict with its “Monday Night Football” game, an AFC tilt between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

Instead, the Sugar Bowl — held in New Orleans and usually pitting representatives of the SEC and Big 12 — will stay back on Dec. 31 and kick off at 11 a.m. local time.

Next season’s two College Football Playoff semifinal games, the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, will follow that day at 4 and 8 p.m. ET in some order.

The Orange Bowl will be played Dec. 30, but that isn’t unfamiliar territory for the Miami-based game that features the ACC champion. The two other traditional New Year’s Day bowls — the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl — will be played during the day on Jan. 2.

–Field Level Media