Oct 24, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) takes on the field prior the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins sign RT Austin Jackson to 3-year extension

The Miami Dolphins signed right tackle Austin Jackson to a three-year extension Thursday.

Head coach Mike McDaniel said Jackson has earned the new deal, which is reportedly worth $36 million and includes $20.7 million guaranteed for the former first-round draft pick.

“You are defining your team real time with those types of investments. If you want people to come to work everyday with a complete devotion to what their responsibility is, you should reward that,” McDaniel said.

Jackson, 24, has started 42 of his 44 games — including all 12 this season — since Miami selected him 18th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

The Dolphins declined Jackson’s fifth-year option in May but he responded by having his best season in 2023. Protecting left-handed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side, he has allowed just two sacks in 740 snaps.

“The media, everyone wants to say whatever they want to say about Austin Jackson. But it’s almost a heroic story or something for how he’s turned his career around,” Tagovailoa said. “Very proud of him. I know he’s very happy. … This dude just loves ball. He just wants to do anything and everything he can do to help the team.”

Miami (9-3) has surrendered the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL (18) heading into Monday night’s game against the visiting Tennessee Titans (4-8).

–Field Level Media

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh waves at fans after the Wolverines' 26-0 win over Iowa in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis on Dec. 2, 2023.

Report: Michigan offers Jim Harbaugh $55M contract

Michigan and Jim Harbaugh are discussing a new five-year contract worth $55 million, according to a Sports Illustrated report on Thursday.

The final roadblock to the long-term commitment is Harbaugh putting pen to paper on a stipulation he will not entertain NFL job offers during the upcoming coaching cycle, per the report.

No. 1 Michigan (12-0) is preparing for a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Rose Bowl against No. 4 Alabama (12-1) after claiming its third consecutive Big Ten championship for the first time in program history.

Harbaugh’s current annual salary is just over $7 million, according to 2022 Michigan Board of Trustees documents.

Harbaugh was suspended a total of seven games during the regular season. He missed the first four because of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits involving recruiting visits and alleged false responses from Harbaugh to investigators, then was suspended three games by the Big Ten connected to allegations of sign-stealing.

Harbaugh, who turns 60 on Dec. 23, is 87-25 at Michigan, where he played quarterback from 1983-86 before a 14-year NFL career.

The Wolverines are still seeking their first win in the College Football Playoff (0-2).

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

LB Rashan Gary signs 4-year, $107.5M extension with Packers

Rashan Gary signed a four-year, $107.5 million contract extension to remain with the Green Bay Packers through the 2027 season.

The outside linebacker announced the deal on Monday through his Rashan Gary Sports agency.

Gary’s social media post said he will receive a $34.65 million signing bonus.

Gary, the No. 12 overall pick in 2019, initially signed a four-year, $15.9 million rookie contract and is playing on his fifth-year, $10.9 million option.

After a torn left ACL limited him to nine games in 2022, the 25-year-old Gary has played in all seven games (three starts) for the Packers (2-5) this season. He has recorded 4.5 sacks, 15 tackles and eight quarterback hits.

He has been on a limited snap count so far this season.

In 63 career games (32 starts) in Green Bay, Gary has 27 sacks, 150 tackles, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gives a speech at the 2023 Patriots Hall of Fame induction in the Cross Insurance Pavilion at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots’ Bill Belichick signed long-term deal in offseason

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick signed a multi-year contract extension during the offseason, NFL Network reported on Sunday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed for Belichick, whose Patriots have lost three in a row to fall to 1-5 on the season. New England has missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons, leading to questions being raised about his future with the team.

Belichick, 71, has won six Super Bowl titles since becoming the Patriots’ head coach in 2000. The Patriots have missed the playoffs just five times in his 23 seasons prior to this campaign.

His 299 regular-season coaching victories — accumulated with the Cleveland Browns (36) and Patriots (263) — entering Sunday’s games are third-most all-time in NFL history behind Hall of Fame members Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).

The Patriots host the Buffalo Bills (4-2) on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.

–Field Level Media

NFL Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor

RB Jonathan Taylor committed to Colts for now, at least

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor told reporters Thursday that he is committed to the team, at least in the moment.

“I’m here right now,” he said.

He had not practiced with the team since December after suffering a season-ending right ankle injury. Back this week, it isn’t clear whether he sees a future with the Colts after asking for a trade this summer amid a contract dispute.

“I don’t think it matters if I’m saying I’m committed or not, because I’m here,” said Taylor, who wasn’t present for most of training camp. “If somebody wasn’t committed, they wouldn’t be here. And right now, I’m here and my No. 1 goal is to attack this first practice. It’s been over 290 days, I believe.”

Taylor, a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, is in the final year of his four-year, $7.8 million rookie contract and was due to receive a $4.3 million base salary this season.

He declined Thursday to talk about the potential for a contract extension.

“I’m not here to get into any contract things,” he said. “Those were over the course of the offseason, but the season is here. We’ve got the Tennessee Titans on the clock. Division matchup. What are you going to do?”

The Colts designated Taylor to return from the physically unable to perform list, giving them 21 days to place him on the active roster. Coach Shane Steichen said it is possible Taylor will play Sunday against the Titans.

Reports from Indianapolis indicated there has been a reduction in the tension between Taylor and the front office, but Taylor said his health is the biggest factor in being back with the team.

“The No. 1 thing that changed is that I’m finally able to step on the field,” he said. “Like I said, it’s a big day. It’s a huge day.”

Taylor, 24, rushed for 861 yards and four touchdowns in 11 starts last season. The 2021 All-Pro selection has gained 4,643 yards from scrimmage and scored 36 TDs in 43 career games (41 starts).

The Colts’ leading rusher through four games this year is Zack Moss with 280 yards and one touchdown on 66 carries. Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson has rushed for 131 yards and four scores.

The Colts are tied for first place in the AFC South — along with every other team in the division. Every team is 2-2.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights head coach Gus Malzahn and team run onto the field before the game against the Baylor Bears at FBC Mortgage Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Report: UCF extends coach Gus Malzahn through 2027

UCF is extending the contract of football coach Gus Malzahn through the 2027 season, ESPN reported Thursday.

Under the new deal, he is earning $4 million this season. In the final two years of the extension — 2026 and 2027 — he will receive $5.5 million per season, per the report.

UCF (3-2) is playing its first season in the Big 12, and the pay raise puts Malzahn’s salary in the range of other head coaches in the conference.

According to the USA Today coaches salaries database, Malzahn’s previous base salary was $2.3 million.

At the top end of the conference pay scale is Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State at $7.6 million, per USA Today. At the low end is Dave Aranda of Baylor at just over $3 million.

Malzahn, who turns 58 this month, is in his third season at UCF and has a 21-11 record, including 1-1 in bowl games.

In his coaching career at Arkansas State (2012), Auburn (2013-20) and UCF, he has a record of 98-49.

The Knights, who lost their first two Big 12 games, will play at Kansas (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Carl Granderson (96) stands on the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints sign DE Carl Granderson to 4-year extension

The New Orleans Saints are signing defensive end Carl Granderson to a four-year, $52 million extension, ESPN reported.

The contract includes $35.3 million in guaranteed money for the undrafted fifth-year player, per Saturday’s report.

Granderson, 26, has recorded 2.5 sacks and six quarterback hits through the first two games this season.

He has 108 tackles, 17 sacks, 34 QB hits and four forced fumbles in 56 career games (nine starts) with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates toward fans against the Detroit Lions prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: Chiefs restructure QB Patrick Mahomes’ megadeal

The Kansas City Chiefs restructured Patrick Mahomes’ contract and will pay the quarterback $210.6 million over the next four seasons, his representatives confirmed to ESPN on Monday.

His compensation over that stretch from 2023-26 is now guaranteed and becomes the highest salary in NFL history for a four-season span, according to the report.

Equity Sports CEO Chris Cabott also told ESPN that the Chiefs and Mahomes plan to revisit the agreement following the 2026 season.

Mahomes agreed to a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020. At the time, it was the largest contract in NFL history in terms of total value.

The NFL quarterback market has since been reset, with Mahomes’ $45 million average annual salary trailing Joe Burrow ($55 million), Justin Herbert ($52.5 million), Lamar Jackson ($52 million), Jalen Hurts ($51 million), Russell Wilson ($48.5 million), Kyler Murray ($46.1 million) and Deshaun Watson ($46 million), per Spotrac.

Under the new terms, Mahomes would earn $52.65 million in each of the next four campaigns.

Mahomes, who turned 28 on Sunday, won his second Super Bowl and second league MVP award last season.

Including a 1-1 start to this season, Mahomes is 65-17 as a starter in the regular season and 11-3 in the postseason. He has passed for 24,772 yards, 196 touchdowns and 51 interceptions in 82 starts since the Chiefs drafted him in the first round (10th overall) in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Paycor Stadium after signing his record-setting contract. Burrow became the highest-paid player in NFL history on an annual basis at $55 million per year.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow signs his record NFL contract

Joe Burrow put the pen to paper on Saturday as the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback signed the richest-ever NFL contract.

The Bengals confirmed reports that the deal is for five years and $275 million. Spotrac lists the contract with $219 million in guaranteed money.

The Bengals made Burrow, from Athens, Ohio, the No. 1 overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft.

“My father always said that in the NFL, the quarterback is like the key to your car,” said Bengals president Mike Brown, whose father was the legendary coach Paul Brown. “You can have a great car, but you need a key to get the car going and to operate it at a high level. We feel that we have a good one in Joe.”

The contract extension kicks in with the 2025 season and runs through 2029. He will earn $5.5 million this season in the final year of his four-year rookie deal and $29.5M in 2024 on his fifth-year option.

Head coach Zac Taylor said Burrow, a fourth-year captain, is the right quarterback for his team.

“Quarterback is the most critical position in sports, and Joe has embraced his role here with intelligence and determination,” Taylor said. “The team responds to Joe as our quarterback, and we look forward to a bright future with Joe continuing to lead our talented roster. He makes everyone better.”

Burrow was on the roster at Ohio State for three years before transferring to LSU, where he won the Heisman Trophy and a national championship. The fact that he has found his success in Ohio is significant, he said Saturday.

“I had some unfinished business in Ohio. My one athletic failing so far, in my opinion, is my time at Ohio State,” he said, wearing his Athens High School football sweatshirt. “I didn’t get to play. So to come back and kind of redeem myself in that way has been important to me.”

Burrow has started 42 career regular-season games for the Bengals and already has single-season franchise records for passing attempts (606 in 2022), completions (414 in 2022), passing yards (4,611 in 2021), touchdown passes (35 in 2022), and passer rating (108.3 in 2021). Among NFL quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,500 career pass attempts, he is the leader in completion percentage with 68.2.

He also led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl since 1989 following the 2021 season, a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

Burrow, 26, strained his calf early in training camp and missed a month of practice and all three preseason games before returning last week. Taylor said Burrow will start the season opener on Sunday against the Browns in Cleveland.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson wants new deal, but ‘it’s up to them’

Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson said Thursday that he’s very much interested in receiving a new contract, although he isn’t certain if it will happen prior to the team’s season opener.

“Of course I would want a contract to be done,” Jefferson said. “But at the end of the day, it is all up to them and what the ownership want to do with that.”

The Vikings open the season against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Minneapolis.

Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said last week that the club intends to work a deal with Jefferson. He noted that some players opt to halt negotiations at the start of the season, although Jefferson kept the ball in the team’s court in regard to that. “It’s up to them,” he said.

Jefferson has two seasons remaining on his current contract. He will receive approximately $2.4 million in 2023 and $19.743 million in 2024, and the Vikings can place him on the franchise tag in 2025 if a deal has not been reached.

Jefferson was asked if he had reached out to others who have gone through this process.

“I’m in a different situation,” Jefferson responded. “I’ve done something that no one has ever done in the history of the game. So my situation is a little bit different than everyone else’s. Of course, I’m going into my fourth year, trying to talk about contract two years early. There’s so many different parts that go in towards it. That’s why I leave it up to my agent and just keep my mindset on the field.”

Jefferson, 24, has earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first three seasons since being selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of LSU. He has racked up 324 career catches for 4,825 yards and 25 touchdowns in 50 games (48 starts). He was also named to his first All-Pro team in 2022.

–Field Level Media