Dec 25, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Shaq Mason (69) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Buccaneers to ship OG Shaq Mason to Texans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Shaq Mason will be traded to the Houston Texans when official league business allows the transaction on Wednesday.

The deal was first reported as a possibility last week by The Athletic and multiple outlets on Tuesday said both sides were in agreement. NFL Network reported that the Buccaneers will receive a sixth-round draft pick and the Texans will get a seventh-round selection along with Mason.

Tampa Bay saves $5 million under the salary cap, helping to create cash to bring back free agent cornerback Jamel Dean.

Mason, 29, is in the final year of his contract and would have counted $9.5 million against the Buccaneers’ cap in 2023.

A fourth-round pick out of Georgia Tech, Mason started his NFL career with the New England Patriots (2015-2021) and was traded to the Buccaneers prior to the 2022 season. He has 115 career starts in 120 NFL games.

The Texans also agreed to terms on a one-year deal with wide receiver Noah Brown, per the Dallas Morning News.

Brown, 27, set career highs with 43 catches for 555 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games (13 starts) in his fifth season with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (57) on the line of scrimmage against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Not it: Chiefs inform LT Orlando Brown Jr. no tag in 2023

Seven days before the start of free agency, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was informed by the Kansas City Chiefs he won’t receive the franchise tag.

NFL Network and ESPN reported Monday that Brown received word from the Chiefs and that the two sides remain engaged in discussions geared toward a tag-free resolution.

The deadline for NFL teams to use the franchise tag is Tuesday at 4 p.m., and the cost to keep Brown under terms of the repeat application of a franchise tag would’ve been nearly $20 million for 2023. He played on a one-year tender worth $16.7 million in 2022, and would have been assured a 20 percent increase if the Chiefs tagged him in back-to-back offseasons.

Brown, a third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, was acquired by the Chiefs in 2021. He played last season under the terms of the franchise tag after reportedly turning down a six-year extension worth up to $139 million.

Those talks reportedly broke down over the amount of guaranteed money in the offer from Kansas City.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said last week that Brown would be a priority.

“As always, it’s more beneficial to us to get something done long-term,” Veach said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “That’s why this season is so important to us. Really, this is the start. We’ll have a lot of dialogue, as you know. The combine is great to come in and check out the new college talent, but a lot of the time here is spent talking with the agents of our players to start exchanging information. Unlike last year, we at least have a runway to work with. We’ve gotten to know his team a little bit better, so we’re excited to get that process started here and get something figured out.”

Brown turns 27 in May and was a Pro Bowl selection in each of his two seasons with the Chiefs. With 75 starts in five seasons and experience at right tackle and left tackle, Brown would likely jump to the front of the line of available offensive tackles if the two sides don’t reach an agreement by March 13. That’s the date teams and unrestricted free agents from other teams can begin discussing contracts.

Veach has a number of decisions to make involving the offensive line he overhauled in 2021, following the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that left quarterback Patrick Mahomes battered.

Right tackle Andrew Wylie is an unrestricted free agent and the Chiefs’ two All-Pro blockers, center Creed Humphrey and guard Joe Thuney, represent imminent decisions for Kansas City.

Humphrey is a free agent in March 2024. Thuney has a base salary of $15.5 million and cap number of $22.6 million in 2024 and 2025.

–Field Level Media

North Carolina Coach Mack Brown watches action against Clemson during the third quarter of the ACC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday, Dec 3, 2022.

Clemson Tigers Football Vs North Carolina Tar Heels Acc Championship Charlotte Nc

North Carolina extends Mack Brown’s contract through ’28

North Carolina rewarded head coach Mack Brown with a contract extension that takes his deal through January 2028.

The Tar Heels won nine games in 2022 and went 6-0 in true road games to claim the ACC Coastal Division title.

“Mack has re-energized our program in so many ways – from the team camaraderie in the locker room, to the engaged fan base in the stands, to this season’s Coastal Division Championship and nine-win finish,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. “We know that under his leadership, our student-athletes will continue to succeed on the field and in the classroom while giving back to the community. We appreciate all he and Sally have done to help build a positive culture around Carolina Football.”

USA Today reported Brown’s annual salary is $5.1 million.

Brown, who turns 72 in August, has 274 career victories, second-highest among active coaches, and ranks eighth on the FBS all-time list in wins.

A two-time coach of the year, Brown is one of five active head coaches to win a national title (2005 at Texas). He’s in his second stint with the Tar Heels, having also led Carolina from 1988-1997.

“I appreciate the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Guskiewicz, Bubba Cunningham and the athletics department for continuing to invest in our football program and assisting us as we continue our rise in the ACC and on the national landscape,” Brown said. “We’ve had a very successful four years across the board and we’re continuing to strive to win all the games, have as much fun as possible, and mentor young men who graduate and are better prepared for life after football. We’ve accomplished a lot and we still have so much room for improvement, so we’re looking forward to attacking this offseason and getting ready to go for the 2023 season.”

North Carolina was 8-4 in 2020 and ended the season at the Orange Bowl.

Brown pulled in a 2022 recruiting class that ranked eighth nationally and quarterback Drake Maye returns for the 2023 season as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) finds an opening in the Purdue Boilermakers defense during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois star RB Chase Brown declares for NFL draft

Illinois star running back Chase Brown announced Friday that he is declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Brown also won’t play in the squad’s ReliaQuest Bowl against Mississippi State on Jan. 2.

Brown was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top running back. He finished third in the nation with 1,643 rushing yards, a total that ranks third in Illinois history behind Mikel Leshoure (1,697 yards in 2010) and Rashard Mendenhall (1,681 in 2007).

Brown also ranks second on the school’s career rushing list with 3,558. Robert Holcombe (4,105 from 1994-97) is the school leader.

“Through the highs and lows, my time at Illinois has been the best experience of my life,” Brown wrote in his announcement. “I earned a degree, advanced as an athlete, and formed lifelong connections.

“… It has been an honor and a memorable experience to play for you all. I will always bleed orange & blue. After careful consideration, I have decided to forego the upcoming bowl game and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.”

Oct 8, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, USA;  Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker during the post game news conference after losing to Ohio State at Spartan Stadium. This is the fourth loss in a row for Tucker and the Spartans. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Four more Michigan St. players suspended after Michigan altercation

Michigan State suspended an additional four players Tuesday in the wake of Saturday night’s altercation in the tunnel of Michigan Stadium.

Defensive ends Jacoby Windmon and Brandon Wright and cornerbacks Justin White and Malcolm Jones were suspended Tuesday. Previously, the Spartans had suspended linebacker Tank Brown, safety Angelo Grose, defensive end Zion Young and cornerback Khary Crump for their involvement.

A joint statement from Michigan State coach Mel Tucker and athletic director Alan Haller said the new suspensions were a result of the program’s continued to efforts to “gather and review electronic evidence” of what Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh described as an assault.

“We are transparently working with law enforcement and the Big Ten Conference to evaluate additional facts and evidence surrounding the events in Ann Arbor,” the joint statement said in part. “We will continue to take appropriate action in this matter as we learn more. The student-athlete suspensions will remain in place until the investigations are completed.”

Brown, Grose, Crump and Young were seen on video hitting and kicking Wolverines defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows and swinging a helmet at defensive back Gemon Green.

A police investigation into the case is continuing and could result in criminal charges. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday he expected charges to be filed.

“We’re not here to make any excuses for the behaviors Saturday,” Tucker said Monday in his weekly news conference. “They are unacceptable. It’s also very important to say we honor the traditions of the Big Ten conference, including the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry game, and we have a responsibility to uphold the values of this great university.”

Green hired an attorney, Tom Mars, who has said the Spartans players will “feel the full wrath of the law.” Green reportedly sustained facial injuries and a concussion.

–Field Level Media

37. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona CardinalsSyndication Arizona Republic

All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins returns as Cards lose Marquise Brown

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned from the suspended list Monday and could be back on the field Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints roll into town.

And for 2-4 Arizona, the help couldn’t be more timely.

“He’s gonna be anxious to get the ball in his hands and be super competitive. We need him to lift us up, there’s no question, with how we’re playing right now,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

Hopkins also returns as the Cardinals lost top receiver Marquise Brown (foot) to injury and already were playing without running backs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee).

Brown was injured on the final play of the game in the loss to the Seahawks. He’s expected to miss six weeks with a small non-surgical fracture, NFL Network reported. The team feared Brown might miss the rest of the season.

The Cardinals also fear starting left guard Justin Pugh is done for the season with a knee injury suffered Sunday, according to NFL Network.

To fill Brown’s spot, the Cardinals acquired Robbie Anderson from the Carolina Panthers. Anderson was kicked out of the Panthers’ game with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday by interim head coach Steve Wilks.

The Cardinals confirmed the deal Monday, adding the trade is contingent upon Anderson passing a physical. The Cardinals are sending Carolina a sixth-round pick in 2024 and a seventh-round pick in 2025, per ESPN.

The Cardinals officially added Hopkins to the active roster and released kicker Matt Ammendola.

Even with Anderson, Hopkins represents the potential cavalry amid a streak of three losses in four games and on the heels of producing only three field goals at Seattle in a 19-9 loss on Sunday.

Kyler Murray was sacked six times by the Seahawks, who entered the game ranked 32nd in scoring defense.

With Hopkins for 10 games last season, Murray was 8-2, completed 72 percent of his passes and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 19-9.

In 10 games without the five-time Pro Bowler since the start of the 2021 season, Murray is 3-7 with a completion percentage of 64 and an 11-6 TD-INT ratio.

Anderson, 29, did not have any catches in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Rams. Wilks sent him to the locker room late in the third quarter after Anderson got in a heated argument with position coach Joe Dailey.

“No one is bigger than the team,” Wilks said after the loss, which dropped Carolina to 1-5. “I’m not going to focus and put a lot of attention on one individual.”

Anderson has caught 13 of his 27 targets this season for 206 yards and one touchdown in six games. Over seven seasons with the New York Jets (2016-19) and Panthers, he has 368 receptions for 4,880 yards and 29 scores in 101 games (84 starts).

Pugh, 32, is in his sixth season in Arizona. He’s having additional testing done to ascertain the severity of his injury. He has started all but one of his 57 games with the Cardinals. Drafted No. 19 overall in 2013 by the New York Giants, Pugh has started 119 of 120 games in his 10-year career.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) runs with the ball as Washington Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) chases during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles WR A.J. Brown (personal) missed second straight practice

Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown missed practice Thursday for the second straight day due to personal reasons.

The Eagles haven’t divulged what matter Brown is dealing with. It is unknown if he will be back with the club for Friday’s practice.

Brown has 20 receptions for 309 yards and one touchdown. He was acquired from the Tennessee Titans in a draft-night trade.

Brown, 25, is in his fourth NFL season. He has 205 receptions for 3,304 yards and 25 touchdowns in 46 games (39 starts).

Running back David Boston (ribs) also missed his second straight practice.

Cornerback Darius Slay (back) and guard Landon Dickerson (foot) returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday. Slay was a full participant while Dickerson was limited.

Receiver DeVonta Smith (back) practiced in full after being limited on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Stanford, California, USA;  Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw smiles before the start of the first quarter against the USC Trojans at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Power 5 Hot Seats: Stanford’s David Shaw next to go?

Nebraska’s Scott Frost and Arizona State’s Herm Edwards didn’t make it a month into the 2022 season before becoming the first two Power 5 coaches let go by their programs in an eight-day span.

After Edwards ‘mutually’ agreed to part ways with the Sun Devils program on Sunday, West Virginia’s Neal Brown was installed as the 4-1 favorite to be the next Power 5 coached fired by

The Mountaineers opened the season 0-2 for the first time in more than four decades with losses at Pittsburgh and at home against Kansas before rebounding with a 65-7 victory over Towson on Saturday. However, that did little to cool the heat under Brown’s seat as he sits with an 18-20 career record at West Virginia and has yet to get the Mountaineers into the national rankings.

Brown’s fate could be determined by upcoming games at Virginia Tech and Texas followed by a home game against Baylor, with all three opponents currently 2-1.

The next shortest odds belong to Stanford’s David Shaw at 5-1.

After an opening win against Colgate, the Cardinal weren’t competitive in a 41-28 home loss to Southern Cal last week. Stanford travels to Washington and Oregon the next two weeks before returning home to play host to Oregon State before another road trip to Notre Dame.

The Cardinal have failed to reach a bowl game the past three seasons, leaving Shaw’s long-term future very much in doubt. Shaw’s record at Stanford has fallen to 94-46 (.671 winning percentage) over 12 years, and the Cardinal are 12-20 since their last bowl appearance following the 2018 season.

That’s also the case for Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets were shut out 42-0 at home by Ole Miss on Saturday, dropping Georgia Tech to 1-2. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a 41-10 home loss to Clemson before beating Western Carolina 35-17.

Georgia Tech travels to Central Florida this week before starting ACC play with a game at Pittsburgh. Collins’ record over four years at the program has fallen to 10-27 after a successful two-year stint at Temple where he went 15-10 with the Owls.

Next NCAA Coach Fired Odds
Neal Brown, West Virginia: 4-1
David Shaw, Stanford: 5-1
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech: 6-1
Jeff Scott, South Florida: 6-1
Chip Kelly, UCLA: 9-1
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy: 9-1
Jay Norvell, Colorado State: 10-1
Karl Dorrell, Colorado: 12-1
Scott Satterfield, Louisville: 12-1
Steve Sarkisian, Texas: 14-1
Bryan Harsin, Auburn: 16-1
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: 16-1
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: 18-1
Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame: 20-1

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the first half against Wyoming  at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Brown scores 3 TDs as Illinois routs Wyoming

Chase Brown rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as Illinois thumped Wyoming 38-6 in each team’s season opener in Champaign, Ill.

Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito was unspectacular but efficient in his first game for the Fighting Illini, completing 25 of 35 attempts for 185 yards with two scores and no interceptions. Brown also caught a touchdown pass.

Defensively, Illinois held the Cowboys to 211 total yards and kept them out of the end zone. Wyoming’s Andrew Peasley, a transfer from Utah State, struggled mightily and hit only 5 of 20 passes for 30 yards with an interception.

Titus Swen rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries for Wyoming.

It took Illinois only 41 seconds to get all the points it needed. Two plays after setting up on its 48, DeVito found Brown for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Brown rushed for 38 yards on the first play from scrimmage.

Wyoming got a 22-yard field goal from John Hoyland with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, but the Illini answered with Brown’s 11-yard scoring jaunt with 8:12 left in the second period for a 14-3 advantage.

Kicker Caleb Griffin added a 27-yard field goal less than four minutes later for a 17-3 Illinois lead at halftime. Hoyland responded with a 46-yard field goal less than three minutes into the third quarter.

The game’s remainder was all Illinois. DeVito found Pat Bryant for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 2:56 left in the period to make it 24-6.

Brown started the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run and Reggie Love scored on a 33-yard burst with 6:49 remaining.

Wyoming converted just one of 12 third-down opportunities. Illinois was seven of 16 while racking up 477 yards.

Overall, the Illini had a 26-10 edge in first downs.

–Field Level Media

Jun 13, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90) participates in minicamp at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars release veteran DT Malcom Brown

The Jacksonville Jaguars released defensive tackle Malcom Brown on Wednesday.

The move was surprising because Brown started all 17 games for the Jaguars last season and had two sacks and a career-best 57 tackles.

However, Brown was scheduled to earn $5.4 million in base salary this season and potentially $500,000 more in game bonuses. He was slated to receive $29,411 for each game he was active.

Also, Brown had fallen behind DaVon Hamilton on the depth chart during training camp.

Brown was a first-round draft pick (32nd overall) by the New England Patriots in 2015 and has started 97 of 106 games played in his seven seasons. He has 304 tackles, 13.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries.

The 28-year-old played for the Patriots from 2015-18 and the Saints in 2019-20 before the Jaguars acquired him from New Orleans in March 2021.

–Field Level Media