Oct 17, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Le'Veon Bell (17) carries the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

RB Le’Veon Bell says Ravens releasing him

The Baltimore Ravens are releasing running back Le’Veon Bell, the former All-Pro announced on social media Tuesday.

The Ravens, who saw their top three running backs go down to injury before the season started, signed Bell as a free agent in October.

He wrote: “this hurts, but it’s been a blessing to be here to say the least, i’ve enjoyed every second of this short period & gotta whole new meaning of what this city is like & it’s a great place to be.” He added that he appreciated head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta giving him the opportunity.

Bell was sparingly used by the Ravens, who also signed free agents Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray after injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Justice Hill and Gus Edwards before Week 1.

The 29-year-old Bell appeared in five games for Baltimore. He carried the ball 31 times for 83 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and scored two touchdowns.

Freeman (223 yards) and Murray (212 yards) have emerged as the top running backs, but the ground game in Baltimore still runs through quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has gained 639 rushing yards and scored two TDs this season.

Bell was a two-time All-Pro with the Steelers before forcing his way out of Pittsburgh by sitting out the entire 2018 season. He ultimately signed with the Jets in 2019 but lasted just 1 1/2 seasons in New York before he was cut in October 2020.

The Kansas City Chiefs added him to their roster in 2020, and he played in nine games, gaining 254 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) looks up during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans agree to release DE J.J. Watt

The Houston Texans are parting with All-Pro defensive end J.J. after he asked for his release.

The team announced the decision on Friday after Watt posted a video on social media.

“I have sat down with the McNair family and I have asked them for my release and we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time,” Watt said. “I came here 10 years ago as a kid from Wisconsin who’d never really been to Texas before. And now I can’t imagine my life without Texas in it. The way that you guys have treated me, besides draft night. I mean, you guys booed me on draft night. But every day after that, you treated me like family. And I truly feel like you’re my family.

“…I’m excited and looking forward to a new opportunity, and I’ve been working extremely hard. But at the same time, it is always tough to move on. And I just want you guys to know that I love you. I appreciate you. I appreciate the McNair family for drafting me and giving me my first opportunity in the NFL.”

He can sign as a free agent with another team when the new league season begins next month.

Watt will leave a legacy in Houston. In 10 seasons with the franchise, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, was a first-team All Pro five times and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2017 after raising more than $37 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

He is the team’s all-time leader in sacks with 101, tackles for loss (172), quarterback hits (282) and forced fumbles (25). He has 531 career tackles, 61 passes defensed and 16 fumble recoveries since the Texans made him the No. 11 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.

“Change is never easy, especially when it involves the ones you love. J.J.’s impact on not only our organization, but the entire Houston community, is unlike any player in our franchise’s history,” Texans CEO Cal McNair said in a team-released statement. “I told J.J. earlier this week that we will forever consider him a Texan.”

Watt played in 128 games with the Texans, despite losing chunks of three seasons to injuries. He played in just three games in 2016, five in 2017 and eight in 2019.

While Watt, who turns 32 next month, has been synonymous with Houston, the departure from the franchise was expected. He said in November he didn’t want to be part of a rebuilding effort, and the Texans face numerous questions leading into the 2021 season.

Among those questions is the future of franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has asked to be traded.

Watt was entering the final year of a six-year, $100 million contract extension he signed in 2014 and was due to earn $17.5 million.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) walks off the field following the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Injury guarantee helped spur Jets’ release of Bell

A hefty injury guarantee for 2021 helped to spur the New York Jets to release running back Le’Veon Bell, ESPN reported Sunday.

Bell’s contract carried an $8 million guarantee for 2021, adding to the buyer’s remorse the team had over signing him to a four-year, $52.5 million deal as a free agent in March 2019.

Rather than take the risk, the Jets decided to release him. The Kansas City Chiefs signed Bell to a one-year deal on Thursday.

Bell, 28, was a two-time All-Pro while spending 2013-17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he had three 1,200-plus-yard rushing seasons. He sat out the 2018 season in a salary dispute.

Bell wound up playing 17 games and amassing just 863 rushing yards and four total touchdowns for the Jets, who paid him $28 million.

In two games for New York this season, Bell gained 74 yards on 19 carries and caught three passes for 39 yards.

–Field Level Media

May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) makes a catch during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Washington releases WR Latimer

The Washington Football Team cut wide receiver Cody Latimer on Sunday without him ever playing a down for the team.

The NFL placed Latimer on the Commissioner’s Exempt List on July 27, following an incident in May in which gunshots were fired in an apartment in Colorado. Latimer, 27, received felony charges of assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm, as well as two misdemeanors — prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

His release follows that of Derrius Guice on Aug. 10 after the running back was charged in Virginia with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property. The Washington Post, citing charging papers in the case, reported that Guice, 23, was accused of strangling his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness.

Washington signed Latimer to a one-year, $1.05 million free-agent deal in March, with $137,500 of it guaranteed.

Latimer played collegiately at Indiana. The Broncos selected him the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons in Denver, followed by two with the New York Giants.

In 66 career games (15 starts), he has 70 catches for 935 yards with six touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) makes a catch during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Washington releases WR Latimer

The Washington Football Team cut wide receiver Cody Latimer on Sunday without him ever playing a down for the team.

The NFL placed Latimer on the Commissioner’s Exempt List on July 27, following an incident in May in which gunshots were fired in an apartment in Colorado. Latimer, 27, received felony charges of assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm, as well as two misdemeanors — prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

His release follows that of Derrius Guice on Aug. 10 after the running back was charged in Virginia with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property. The Washington Post, citing charging papers in the case, reported that Guice, 23, was accused of strangling his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness.

Washington signed Latimer to a one-year, $1.05 million free-agent deal in March, with $137,500 of it guaranteed.

Latimer played collegiately at Indiana. The Broncos selected him the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons in Denver, followed by two with the New York Giants.

In 66 career games (15 starts), he has 70 catches for 935 yards with six touchdowns.

–Field Level Media