Off the Field

Edelman not planning to sue NFL over suspension

Edelman not planning to sue NFL over suspension

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will not sue the NFL over a four-game suspension.

According to NFL Network, New England's top wide receiver is accepting the ban following the denial of his appeal and has no plan to sue over the suspension.

Edelman not planning to sue NFL over suspension

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will not sue the NFL over a four-game suspension.

According to NFL Network, New England’s top wide receiver is accepting the ban following the denial of his appeal and has no plan to sue over the suspension.

He will be eligible to return Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts. He can practice beginning Oct. 1, three days before the Thursday game against the Colts.

Various reports indicated Edelman’s positive test was for a substance that was not immediately recognizable.

Edelman’s suspension will keep him out of games at home against the Houston Texans, on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions, and at home against the Miami Dolphins. He will forfeit approximately $471,000 of his $2 million base salary this year.

The 32-year-old apologized on Instagram for the positive test a day after news of it broke, writing, “I don’t know what happened.” He added that he has taken “many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened.”

Edelman’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, released a statement the day before Edelman’s apology defending the integrity of his facility, the TB12 Sports Therapy Center. Guerrero started the facility with Tom Brady and works with several Patriots players — including Brady, Edelman and Rob Gronkowski — a matter that has reportedly been a source of tension between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

Entering his 10th season, Edelman hasn’t played since the team’s Super Bowl LI victory in February 2017. He missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a preseason contest.

He returned to the field during the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp in June after previously attending voluntary organized team activities.

In nine NFL seasons, including last year’s campaign that was wiped out by injury, Edelman has 425 receptions for 4,540 yards and 24 touchdowns. He made 98 grabs for 1,106 yards and three scores in 2016.

–Field Level Media

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Alabama is overwhelming media choice to win SEC championship

ATLANTA (AP) — Reigning national champion Alabama has been picked to win the Southeastern Conference championship in a preseason media poll.

Alabama was selected by 193 of the 284 voters this week at SEC media days. Georgia, last year's SEC champion which lost to Alabama in the national championship game, was second with

ATLANTA (AP) — Reigning national champion Alabama has been picked to win the Southeastern Conference championship in a preseason media poll.

Alabama was selected by 193 of the 284 voters this week at SEC media days. Georgia, last year’s SEC champion which lost to Alabama in the national championship game, was second with 69 votes.

Auburn received 14 votes. South Carolina, the choice of four voters, and Florida, with two, were the only other teams named on more than one ballot.

The predicted order of finish in the SEC West was Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, LSU, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Georgia was picked first in the East, followed by South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Alabama had seven first-team picks on the media’s preseason all-SEC team.

___

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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LB Harrison praises Belichick; Amendola has fond (and not-so-fond) memories

LB Harrison praises Belichick; Amendola has fond (and not-so-fond) memories

Like his team, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick can be rather polarizing.

Whether he is en evil hooded genius, or just plain evil, likely depends on whether one is a fan of his team. But when it comes to

LB Harrison praises Belichick; Amendola has fond (and not-so-fond) memories

Like his team, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick can be rather polarizing.

Whether he is en evil hooded genius, or just plain evil, likely depends on whether one is a fan of his team. But when it comes to his players, opinions usually don’t vary too much. But that’s not always the case.

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who joined the New England Patriots late last season, said Thursday that Bill Belichick is a better head coach than Mike Tomlin.

Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” Steelers’ all-time sacks leader said Belichick’s name when asked to pick who was better. When asked if Belichick was “by far” better, Harrison replied, “To me, yes.”

“Mike Tomlin is good as a head coach,” Harrison said. “He’s a players’ coach. I think he needs to be a little bit more disciplined.

“The big thing with Belichick is he’s very regimented, he’s disciplined, everyone is going to be on the same page, there’s not going to be anything as far as someone doing their own thing. I think over there [in New England], their whole coaching staff is like that.”

Harrison left Pittsburgh on less-than-ideal terms, being released in December — with input from Tomlin into the decision — partly because he was reportedly showing up late or being absent over displeasure with playing time.

Also on Thursday, former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, now with Miami, talked about Belichick during a podcast on Barstool Sports. He agreed Belichick isn’t the friendliest of coaches. But he doesn’t view that in quite the same positive light as does Harrison.

Amendola called Dolphins head coach Adam Gase “one of the guys,” adding, “He’s our leader, he’s our head coach, but he’s also our boy.”

“It’s cool, it’s refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven’t had in a long time,” Amendola continued. “… Back in New England, it’s almost like you had a principal and a principal’s office and s— like that; in a good way and a bad way, too.”

Amendola also called Belichick the best head coach of all time. But the wideout, who left for Miami after what he said was an inferior offer from New England, has previously had sharp words about the way Belichick handled the benching of defensive back Malcolm Butler during the team’s Super Bowl LII loss to Philadelphia.

“I don’t know the answer to that to this date,” Amendola said back in April. “I know we had 40-some-odd guys dressed up for the game, all of them didn’t play, and for whatever reason [Belichick] felt — he’s the coach, I can’t make that decision, I can only do my job. … In hindsight, it’s like, really, ‘What agenda are we on?’ It’s something I’ll probably never understand.”

“Nobody really got an explanation for it,” Amendola continued. “He’s a brother of ours. He was a brother of ours that year. And I hate to see a guy who worked so hard throughout the season not get a chance to play in the biggest game of the year and really get no explanation for it. With that said, I don’t know how the business aspect went into that decision. I don’t know how the personal aspect went into that decision between him and Bill. But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day.”

–Field Level Media

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Mowins, Griese to call Jets-Lions on MNF in Week 1

Mowins, Griese to call Jets-Lions on MNF in Week 1

For the second consecutive year, Beth Mowins will be the play-by-play announcer for one half of ESPN's Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 1 of the regular season.

The network announced Thursday that Mowins and analyst and former NFL quarterback

Mowins, Griese to call Jets-Lions on MNF in Week 1

For the second consecutive year, Beth Mowins will be the play-by-play announcer for one half of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 1 of the regular season.

The network announced Thursday that Mowins and analyst and former NFL quarterback Brian Griese will be in the booth as the New York Jets visit the Detroit Lions at 7:10 p.m. ET on Sept. 10.

Mowins and analyst and former NFL coach Rex Ryan called the second game of the Week 1 MNF doubleheader last year — when the Los Angeles Chargers visited the Denver Broncos — making Mowins the first woman to call a nationally televised game in 30 years. She also called four games for CBS later in the season.

Griese has been a college football analyst for ESPN since 2009, after an 11-year NFL career.

Laura Rutledge will be the sideline reporter for Jets-Lions.

ESPN had previously announced that its new lead MNF trio of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten and Booger McFarland would call the Los Angeles Rams at the Oakland Raiders in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m.

The network has typically assigned its full-time crew to the earlier game of its opening-week doubleheaders, but the Rams-Raiders matchup is expected to draw extra interest as former MNF analyst Jon Gruden makes his return as an NFL head coach for the first time since 2008.

–Field Level Media

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NFL, NFLPA issue joint statement on anthem; policy put on hold

NFL, NFLPA issue joint statement on anthem; policy put on hold

The NFL and its players association issued a joint statement Thursday evening, saying the sides are "working on a resolution to the anthem issue," and that all new rules relating to the anthem will be put on hold.

The

NFL, NFLPA issue joint statement on anthem; policy put on hold

The NFL and its players association issued a joint statement Thursday evening, saying the sides are “working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” and that all new rules relating to the anthem will be put on hold.

The statement reads in full:

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice.

“Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

The statement comes hours after news emerged that the Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league’s new anthem policy under “conduct detrimental to the club,” which could allow — but not necessarily require — the team to fine or suspend players as punishment for violating the policy.

Multiple reports said the Dolphins — who made the classification in a discipline schedule submitted annually at the start of training camp — have made no decisions about if or how they would discipline any violations. Under the collective bargaining agreement, teams are allowed to impose anything from fines to a four-game suspension as punishment for regulations classified under the conduct detrimental heading.

The NFLPA filed a grievance last week challenging the NFL’s new anthem policy, saying the policy was imposed without consultation of the players and “is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”

The NFL and its owners passed the new policy this offseason, requiring players to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” or stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. The policy calls for fines and punishment to be charged to a player’s team for any mode of disrespect during the anthem.

Teams must pay the fines, but they can choose whether or not to punish their players, something New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson has already said he will not do. Any punishment imposed by a team upon one of its players must come via the conduct detrimental classification.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins label anthem policy ‘conduct detrimental’; could fine or suspend violators

Dolphins label anthem policy 'conduct detrimental'; could fine or suspend violators

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league's new national anthem policy as "conduct detrimental" and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the Dolphins

Dolphins label anthem policy ‘conduct detrimental’; could fine or suspend violators

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league’s new national anthem policy as “conduct detrimental” and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the Dolphins are required to provide an annual discipline schedule to the league when players report for training camp. Miami’s rookies reported Thursday.

According to multiple reports, the one-sentence anthem policy is included under a long list of “conduct detrimental to the club” in Miami’s nine-page discipline document.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, any violations of rules classified as conduct detrimental — which includes all kinds of rules including those relating to curfew and punctuality, for example — can be punished by anything from a fine to a four-game suspension. Punishment is not required for a conduct-detrimental violation, and it is entirely at the team’s discretion.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have not made any decisions about how — or if — they will discipline players who violate the league’s anthem policy. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports the team does not intend to suspend violators. The MMQB’s Albert Breer reports the team put anthem language under the conduct-detrimental section “as a placeholder, basically,” giving the team more time to decide how it will handle violations.

“The NFL required each team to submit their rules regarding the anthem before their players reported to training camp,” the team said in a statement. “We will address this issue once the season starts. All options are still open.”

Later Thursday evening, the NFL and NFL Players Association issued a joint statement on the subject of the anthem, saying the sides are “working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” and that all new rules relating to the anthem will be put on hold for “the next several weeks.”

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has kneeled during the anthem numerous times the last two seasons, and said in May he was still considering doing so this coming season. Newly acquired defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist during the anthem the past two years while with the Los Angeles Rams.

The NFL and its owners passed a new policy this offseason that requires players to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” or stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. The policy calls for fines and punishment to be charged to a player’s team for any mode of disrespect during the anthem.

Teams will be allowed to pay the fines for their players, something New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson has already said he will do, or they can choose to punish their players. Any punishment imposed by a team upon one of its players must come via the conduct detrimental classification.

Last week, the NFLPA filed a non-injury grievance challenging the new policy, saying it was imposed without consultation of the players and “is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”

The owners set the new rule in an attempt to quash the silent protests that started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the anthem in what he said was a stand against racial injustice.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Dolphins could suspend players for anthem protests

NFL notebook: Dolphins could suspend players for anthem protests

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league's new national anthem policy as "conduct detrimental" and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the Dolphins are required

NFL notebook: Dolphins could suspend players for anthem protests

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league’s new national anthem policy as “conduct detrimental” and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the Dolphins are required to provide an annual discipline schedule to the league when players report for training camp. Miami’s rookies reported Thursday. According to multiple reports, the one-sentence anthem policy is included under a long list of “conduct detrimental to the club” in Miami’s nine-page discipline document.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, any violations of rules classified as conduct detrimental — which includes all kinds of rules including those relating to curfew and punctuality, for example — can be punished by anything from a fine to a four-game suspension. Punishment is not required for a conduct-detrimental violation, and it is entirely at the team’s discretion.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have not made any decisions about how — or if — they will discipline players who violate the league’s anthem policy. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports the team does not intend to suspend violators. The MMQB’s Albert Breer reports the team put anthem language under the conduct-detrimental section “as a placeholder, basically,” giving the team more time to decide how it will handle violations.

–One day after Jurrell Casey voiced he would continue to protest against social injustices during the national anthem before games, the Tennessee Titans said they plan to sit down with their star defensive tackle.

Casey told CNN during a promotional stop in London that he intends to continue protesting despite the new NFL edict that players are to show respect while the anthem is being played. Teams will be fined if one of their players doesn’t follow the policy.

“In the case of Jurrell Casey, I think our head coach (Mike Vrabel) and general manager (Jon Robinson) are interested in having a conversation after he gets back from the United Kingdom,” Titans CEO and team president Steve Underwood said at a sports authority meeting in Nashville on Thursday, according to the Tennessean. “We think there may be some misunderstanding on his part. Because the new league policy does not provide anywhere that fines are made against players. If a player doesn’t stand, the teams can be fined, but not the players.”

–Julio Jones has been informed the Atlanta Falcons are not in position to address his contract in 2018, according to multiple reports.

According to a report by The Athletic, the Falcons discussed their financial situation and the need for Jones to wait in line.

The All-Pro wide receiver has been away from the team during the offseason, which began with Jones causing consternation in Atlanta by deleting references to the team on his social media accounts. Jones, who signed a five-year, $71 million deal in 2015, could become a priority after the upcoming season.

–First-round pick Roquan Smith was absent as the Chicago Bears reported to training camp.

The linebacker, selected eighth overall in the NFL draft, is expected to be an immediate contributor after winning the Butkus Award at Georgia last season as college football’s top linebacker. He has yet to sign a contract that will pay him about $18.5 million over four years.

“We’re optimistic he’ll be here soon,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said at the camp-opening news conference on Thursday, adding that there’s “no time frame” for signing Smith. “We know it’s a process.”

–Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith returned to practice for the first time since Achilles surgery, after being limited to individual drills during last month’s minicamp.

The Ravens will closely monitor the 29-year-old Smith, coach John Harbaugh said, and provide him extra rest as he ramps up workouts.

Baltimore took the cautious approach with offensive guard Marshal Yanda by placing him on the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday. Yanda, 33, is recovered from ankle surgery but an offseason operation on his shoulder will limit his participation over the next 4-6 weeks. The six-time Pro Bowl selection is expected to be ready for the regular season.

–Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles led all NFL players in merchandise sales from March to May, according to the quarterly report released by the NFL Players Association.

Foles clipped his counterpart from that Super Bowl, New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady, for the top spot, with fellow Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz ranking third.

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley finished fourth, though he ranked first in jerseys sold. Teammate Odell Beckham Jr. finished ninth on the overall merchandise list.

–The Minnesota Vikings signed first-round cornerback Mike Hughes to a contract, the team announced.

Terms were not announced, but Hughes’ four-year deal will pay him around $9.3 million with a signing bonus approaching $5 million, based on his 30th overall draft slot. Like all deals for first-round picks, his contract includes a fifth-year team option.

Hughes, 21, was considered one of the draft’s top cornerback prospects, but he slid a little due to off-field concerns. Hughes is expected to rotate into a deep cornerback group that includes Xavier Rhodes, 2015 first-rounder Trae Waynes, 39-year-old veteran Terence Newman and 2016 second-round pick Mackensie Alexander.

–Field Level Media

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Foles led all NFL merchandise sales during spring

Foles led all NFL merchandise sales during spring

Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles led all NFL players in merchandise sales from March to May, according to the quarterly report released by the NFL Players Association on Thursday.

Foles clipped his counterpart from that Super Bowl, New England Patriots signal-caller

Foles led all NFL merchandise sales during spring

Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles led all NFL players in merchandise sales from March to May, according to the quarterly report released by the NFL Players Association on Thursday.

Foles clipped his counterpart from that Super Bowl, New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady, for the top spot, with fellow Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz ranking third.

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley finished fourth, though he ranked first in jerseys sold. Teammate Odell Beckham Jr. finished ninth on the overall merchandise list.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott rounded out the top five, with his teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott ranking seventh.

Also in the top 10 were Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (sixth), San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (eighth) and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (10th).

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins classify anthem policy as conduct detrimental; could fine or suspend violators

Dolphins classify anthem policy as conduct detrimental; could fine or suspend violators

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league's new national anthem policy as "conduct detrimental" and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the

Dolphins classify anthem policy as conduct detrimental; could fine or suspend violators

The Miami Dolphins have classified violations of the league’s new national anthem policy as “conduct detrimental” and could fine or suspend players who do not follow the policy, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Like all NFL teams, the Dolphins are required to provide an annual discipline schedule to the league when players report for training camp. Miami’s rookies reported Thursday.

According to multiple reports, the one-sentence anthem policy is included under a long list of “conduct detrimental to the club” in Miami’s nine-page discipline document.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, any violations of rules classified as conduct detrimental — which includes all kinds of rules including those relating to curfew and punctuality, for example — can be punished by anything from a fine to a four-game suspension. Punishment is not required for a conduct-detrimental violation, and it is entirely at the team’s discretion.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have not made any decisions about how — or if — they will discipline players who violate the league’s anthem policy. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reports the team does not intend to suspend violators. The MMQB’s Albert Breer reports the team put anthem language under the conduct-detrimental section “as a placeholder, basically,” giving the team more time to decide how it will handle violations.

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has kneeled during the anthem numerous times the last two seasons, and said in May he was still considering doing so this coming season. Newly acquired defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist during the anthem the past two years while with the Los Angeles Rams.

With every NFL team set to report to camp by the end of next week, each will be required to classify the anthem policy in its annual discipline schedule.

The NFL and its owners passed a new policy this offseason that requires players to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” or stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem. The policy calls for fines and punishment to be charged to a player’s team for any mode of disrespect during the anthem.

Teams will be allowed to pay the fines for their players, something New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson has already said he will do, or they can choose to punish their players. Any punishment imposed by a team upon one of its players must come via the conduct detrimental classification.

Last week, the NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance challenging the new policy, saying it was imposed without consultation of the players and “is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”

The owners set the new rule in an attempt to quash the silent protests that started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the anthem in what he said was a stand against racial injustice.

–Field Level Media

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Titans to speak with DT Casey about anthem protest plans

Titans to speak with DT Casey about anthem protest plans

One day after Jurrell Casey voiced he would continue to protest against social injustices during the national anthem before games, the Tennessee Titans said they plan to sit down with their star defensive tackle.

Casey told CNN during a promotional

Titans to speak with DT Casey about anthem protest plans

One day after Jurrell Casey voiced he would continue to protest against social injustices during the national anthem before games, the Tennessee Titans said they plan to sit down with their star defensive tackle.

Casey told CNN during a promotional stop in London that he intends to continue protesting despite the new NFL edict that players are to show respect while the anthem is being played. Teams will be fined if one of their players doesn’t follow the policy.

“In the case of Jurrell Casey, I think our head coach (Mike Vrabel) and general manager (Jon Robinson) are interested in having a conversation after he gets back from the United Kingdom,” Titans CEO and team president Steve Underwood said at a sports authority meeting in Nashville on Thursday, according to the Tennessean. “We think there may be some misunderstanding on his part.

“Because the new league policy does not provide anywhere that fines are made against players. If a player doesn’t stand, the teams can be fined, but not the players.”

Casey’s comments implied that he thinks the players will be fined, not the clubs.

“I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?” Casey said. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now.”

Casey and linebacker Wesley Woodyard both raised a fist after the national anthem before games during the 2017 season.

The Titans reportedly don’t plan to reprimand Casey for Wednesday’s comments but said they do want to collect his thoughts on the matter.

The new anthem policy, passed in May, states players “must stand and show respect for the flag and anthem.” Players are allowed to remain in the locker room while the anthem is playing.

“There are two things that can happen that are considered to be legitimate under the policy: stay in the locker room or you can stand respectfully during the anthem,” Underwood said. “And it doesn’t apply just to the players; it applies to every employee of ours.

“So, we’re not exactly sure why he suggested that he would, as he put (it), ‘take his fine’ because there will be no fines levied against him.”

The NFL owners set the new rule in an attempt to quash the silent protests that started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee during the anthem in what he said was a stand against racial injustice.

President Donald Trump has made an issue out of player protests. Last season, he called the players’ actions a “total disrespect for our great country.”

Casey, a three-time Pro Bowler, has 39 sacks in seven NFL seasons, all with the Titans.

–Field Level Media

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