Sep 29, 2018; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive guard Chris Brown (77) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former Southern California OL Chris Brown dies at 24

Former Southern California offensive lineman Chris Brown has died, coach Clay Helton announced Sunday. Brown was 24.

The school confirmed Brown’s death, according to the Los Angeles Times. No cause was given.

“Heartbroken to hear the news that we lost Chris Brown today,” Helton said on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Brown family. Chris meant so much to so many. Great person, player, teammate, and Trojan. God bless my friend. You are forever in our hearts.”

Brown played in 53 games (27 starts) for the Trojans from 2014-18 and was a starting guard in each of his last two seasons.

He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Chargers in the spring of 2019 but didn’t make the roster. He was subsequently signed to the team’s practice squad before being released in early October.

Brown would have turned 25 on April 26.

This is the second time in 10 months that a former USC offensive lineman died unexpectedly. Former center Max Tuerk died last June at age 26 when he collapsed while hiking.

It was later revealed that Tuerk died of an enlarged heart.

–Field Level Media

Aug 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Trent Brown (77) during a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots to acquire OT Trent Brown from Raiders

Offensive tackle Trent Brown will be traded to the New England Patriots at the start of the league year on March 17, per multiple reports.

Pending a physical, Brown is being dealt to the Patriots for the second time in his career — this time from the Las Vegas Raiders — after playing with New England in 2018.

Prior to the move, Brown first agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $11 million with incentives, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The 27-year-old was due $13.7 million in 2021 and $15 million in 2022, but the new deal coupled with trading Brown allows the Raiders to recoup nearly $14 million in cap space.

Brown tweeted his reaction to the deal Tuesday, indicating his full approval for a return to New England.

“Money don’t mean s— if you ain’t happy I swear to GOD!!” Brown tweeted Tuesday.

ESPN reported the teams will swap late-round picks in 2022 as part of the deal.

The Patriots are familiar with Brown as a starter for the team’s last Super Bowl squad in 2018 on the heels of being acquired from the San Francisco 49ers.

Two months later, he left in free agency to sign a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders. He played in only 16 games in two seasons with the Raiders. General manager Mike Mayock questioned Brown’s drive and his conditioning in a harbinger of what was ahead.

“Trent’s whole thing is when he’s healthy, in shape and ready to go, he’s as dominant as any tackle in football and he proved that early in the 2019 season. Since then, it’s kind of been a roller coaster,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said last week.

“So really what he needs to do more than anything is get himself in the best shape of his life and come out and prove that he is a dominant tackle in the National Football League, and really that’s all it takes. If Trent gets in shape and stays committed, there’s not a better talent out there.”

The Patriots entered the week with more than $60 million in salary cap space with left guard Joe Thuney, kept via the franchise tag last March, expected to exit and quarterback Cam Newton’s future unclear.

Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown (78) jogs on the field prior to an AFC Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Ravens OT Orlando Brown drawing trade interest

Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown covets a role at the exclusive left tackle position and is pushing for a trade out of Baltimore.

Brown made his desire public via social media, and reports indicate the Ravens are amenable to a deal. ESPN reported the Jacksonville Jaguars are among the teams who kicked the tires on a trade for Brown.

Brown was drafted to play right tackle out of Oklahoma. He moved to left tackle for the final 10 games of the 2020 season due to an injury to Pro Bowl starter Ronnie Stanley.

The Ravens signed Stanley to a five-year, $98.75 million contract extension in October.

The 24-year-old Brown was a third-round pick in 2018. He’s entering the final season of a four-year, $3.49 million deal with the Ravens.

He has never missed a game as a pro, including 18 starts last season (playoffs included).

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) smiles after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Antonio Brown makes progress toward playing

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown took a step toward playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs when he was a full practice participant on Thursday.

Brown has been bothered by a knee injury that caused him to miss the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 24.

He was limited in practice on Wednesday so the upgrade in status increases the chances that Brown will be part of the active roster on Sunday.

One setback for Tampa Bay was the addition of tight end Cameron Brate (back) to the injury report. He was limited in Thursday’s session.

Safeties Jordan Whitehead (shoulder) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) and linebackers Lavonte David (hamstring) and Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) were also limited participants.

Linebacker William Gay (knee/ankle) again missed practice for Kansas City. He will be formally ruled out of the Super Bowl when Friday’s injury report is released.

Running back Le’Veon Bell (knee) and receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) were limited in practice. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle/hip) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot) were full participants.

Also, receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore are on track to be removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list prior to the game, according to NFL Network.

The two players had their hair cut Sunday by a barber who tested positive but both have returned negative tests each day. Robinson will be able to rejoin the team Friday if he continues to test negative and Kilgore will be eligible to return Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson (91) sacks Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints DE Hendrickson inactive vs. Vikings

New Orleans Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson has been ruled inactive for Friday’s home game versus the Minnesota Vikings.

Hendrickson, who leads the Saints (10-4) with 12.5 sacks, was listed as questionable with a neck injury on Thursday.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown, left guard Andrus Peat, offensive lineman Nick Easton and linebacker Kaden Elliss were also listed as inactive for the game by New Orleans.

Linebackers Eric Kendricks, Todd Davis and Troy Dye, tight end Kyle Rudolph, running back Alexander Mattison, fullback C.J. Ham and defensive end Jalyn Holmes were listed as inactive for the Vikings (6-8).

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2019; Champaign, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator Don Brown looks on during the second half of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Michigan dismisses DC Brown

Michigan has fired defensive coordinator Don Brown after five seasons, according to multiple reports.

The defense was troublesome during Michigan’s poor 2-4 season in 2020. The Wolverines rank 96th in scoring defense at 34.5 points per game and 87th in total defense by allowing 434.3 yards per contest.

Michigan rates 79th in defending the run (178.8) and 96th in stopping the pass (255.5).

The Wolverines allowed 38 or more points in three of their six games.

Brown, 65, was twice a finalist for the Broyles Award given to the nation’s top assistant coach during his four seasons at Michigan. He also was nominated for that award three straight times (2013-15) while at Boston College before leaving to join Jim Harbaugh’s staff.

In Brown’s first season with the Wolverines, the defense tied for the national lead in total defense (261.8) and led in passing defense (142.5).

The change comes at a time in which Harbaugh hasn’t signed a contract extension. He has one season remaining.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) comes down with a pass against Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers activate three from COVID-19 list

Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson, wide receiver Curtis Samuel and rookie defensive tackle Derrick Brown returned to practice Friday after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The team appears to be moving in the right direction after putting eight players on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, including the three who just returned.

Thompson, 26, has recorded 87 tackles and two forced fumbles in 12 games this season.

Samuel, 24, has 54 catches for 517 yards and three receiving touchdowns in 2020. He also has rushed 27 times for 117 yards and two scores.

Brown, 22, has 27 tackles in 12 games this season since being selected by the Panthers with the seventh overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Star running back Christian McCaffrey, who is not expected to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos, was not spotted at Friday’s practice, according to the team’s website. McCaffrey sat out the last three games with a shoulder injury and missed Thursday’s practice after a quad injury surfaced earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) reacts in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL digs into alleged Oct. 15 Antonio Brown incident

Antonio Brown’s alleged off-field conduct has the attention of the NFL once again.

The league is investigating an incident reported by the Miami Herald in which Brown was accused of breaking a surveillance camera and heaving a bicycle at a security guard on October 15.

Brown, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after an eight-game suspension, is accused in a police reported of causing the disruption in Hollywood, Fla., near his residence.

“The league reviews any such incident of this kind,” the NFL said in a statement.

Citing a police report it obtained, the Herald said the Oct. 15 incident occurred in a gated community where Brown lives in Hollywood, Fla. Police found probable cause to charge Brown, but the homeowners association did not go forward with the case.

The police report indicated that the homeowners association president, Sylvia Berman, worried that Brown “may retaliate against her employees,” according to the Herald.

Berman told the newspaper that it wasn’t “that we’re afraid of him,” but that the case wasn’t big enough to pursue, and that Brown, who has a history of on-field and off-field issues in his 11-year career, had agreed to make restitution for the camera.

Alana Burstyn, a spokeswoman for Brown, said in a statement Monday that one of the issues between Brown and the HOA “involved difficulties that visiting friends and family experienced while attempting to access a visitor gate. That and all other issues have been fully and amicably resolved, and everyone is getting along just fine. I am not sure who is trying to promote this narrative.”

In a separate statement, Burstyn said that Brown “regrets that he lost his cool that day and he has made amends with the HOA. … However, he is rightly concerned that he is routinely targeted by some people for mistreatment and undue scrutiny because he is Antonio Brown. He wants to be a good neighbor, good citizen and a good teammate.”

In July, Brown was suspended for the first eight games of the season for “multiple violations of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy,” the league said in an official statement.

In two games this season, Brown has 10 receptions for 100 yards. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a four-time first-team All-Pro, Brown has 851 receptions for 11,363 yards and 75 touchdowns. He led the NFL in receptions and yards receiving twice in his career, including in 2014, when led in each category (129 catches for 1,698 yards).

The Buccaneers (7-3) are second in the NFC South, one-half game behind the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay will host the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 23.

–Field Level Media

Aug 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Trent Brown (77) during a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders place OT Brown back on COVID-19 list

The Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday placed right tackle Trent Brown back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, just six days after removing him from the designation.

Brown is still experiencing complications from the virus, according to SI.com.

The 27-year-old was taken off the list on Friday and experienced a scary situation in Cleveland two days later.

Brown was receiving an IV treatment in the team’s locker room prior to Sunday’s game against the Browns when air entered his bloodstream, a potentially serious medical problem that led to him being taken to a hospital immediately.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden indicated earlier this week that the team was waiting on some test results related to Brown.

Brown was initially on the COVID-19 list from Oct. 21-30.

Brown has played in just two games this season. He missed three games earlier in the campaign due to a calf injury.

Brown earned a Pro Bowl selection last season in first year with the Raiders. He has played in 60 NFL games (57 starts) with the San Francisco 49ers (2015-17), New England Patriots (2017) and Raiders.

Also, rookie cornerback Damon Arnette (wrist/thumb) returned to practice Thursday. He has been sidelined since being hurt against the New England Patriots in Week 3 and subsequently undergoing surgery for a broken right thumb.

Arnette also spent time on the COVID-19 list while sidelined.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

More than TDs on line for Brady’s Bucs, Brees’ Saints

Tom Brady and Drew Brees could change places yet again as the top two touchdown passers in NFL history.

The host Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints could change places atop the NFC South standings.

Much will be at stake when the two most prolific active quarterbacks in the NFL lead their respective teams against each other Sunday night in Tampa.

Brady and the Buccaneers (6-2) lead the South by a half-game over Brees and the Saints (5-2), who prevailed 34-23 when these teams met in the season opener.

Both quarterbacks had two touchdown passes last week, leaving Brady with 561 for his career, one more than Brees. The Saints quarterback had leapfrogged Brady on the all-time list last Sunday with a pair of scoring passes at Chicago.

The two future Hall of Famers could trade places multiple times Sunday night and beyond.

“I’d say it’s pretty cool,” Brees said. “I’m just laser-focused on the job that is right in front of me and the opportunity that we have this week. Winning the football game is the most important thing, and however we can get that done.

“We both play on very good teams for very good organizations, with great coaches and great systems, great players around us. (I’m) just grateful for the opportunity to compete, grateful that we’re in the situation where we’re battling to win the division.”

The Saints intercepted Brady twice and sacked him three times in the opener.

“I think we did some things well, we got the turnovers,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “I didn’t think we played very well in some other areas when you watch the tape. They’re playing with confidence.”

New Orleans has won four consecutive games and Tampa Bay has won three in a row. The Saints have won their last four meetings against the Buccaneers.

Since the opener, Brady has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,950 yards and 18 touchdowns with two interceptions. He has rushed for one touchdown in that span.

The Buccaneers activated wide receiver Antonio Brown from the suspended list earlier in the week. They signed the former Steeler, Raider and Patriot on Oct. 27.

“He’ll have his role,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “It could be 10 plays, it could be 35 plays. I wouldn’t anticipate 60 plays, for sure, but we’ll just see how it goes.”

Arians said Brown was “full speed” in his first workout with his new team.

“Everybody else was walking, but he was going full speed — that’s him anyway,” Arians said. “Guys were helping him (and) he’s got a really good handle on what we’re trying to get done ‘formationally’ and everything. It was great interaction with all the guys and it was a good start to the week.”

Tampa Bay also has plenty of receivers with Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who was limited in practice Wednesday because of a finger injury, as well as tight end Rob Gronkowski.

“I’ve been taking care of myself off the field,” Brown said. “I pride myself on being the guy who is staying in high condition and being physically fit. I spend a year and a half working out in parks and not being able to get a lot of reward. Just grateful to be in the position where I can work out and get the opportunity to play in the game and get some rewards.”

Saints All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas hasn’t played since the first meeting with Tampa Bay because of ankle and hamstring injuries. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

Running back Alvin Kamara was limited in practice because of a foot injury suffered in a win at Chicago last week, but he said he will play against the Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media