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Watson agrees to 11-game ban, $5M fine

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension, pay a $5 million fine and undergo professional evaluation and treatment as part of a settlement with the NFL following accusations of sexual misconduct by two dozen women.

The league had sought to ban Watson for at least one year for violating its personal conduct policy. He was accused of sexually harassing and coercing the women during massage therapy sessions while he was with the Houston Texans.

Watson signed a $230 million fully guaranteed contract after being traded to the Browns in March. Because the team structured Watson's deal so he'll make $1.035 million in his first season, he'll lose $632,500 in salary during the suspension.


Bowles: No set date for Brady's return

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans must decide if rookie Malik Willis gets a second straight preseason start knowing exactly what they have in veteran Ryan Tannehill.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Tom Brady, who is due back soon from a personal break from training camp, though coach Todd Bowles said Thursday he has no specific date for the quarterback's return.


FIU LB Knox, brother of Bills TE, dies

MIAMI (AP) FIU football player Luke Knox, who appeared in 23 games at Mississippi before joining the Panthers and was the brother of Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox, has died, the university said Thursday.

Luke Knox died Wednesday evening, school officials said. The cause was not revealed, though the university said police do not suspect foul play.


Steelers' Pickett to play more vs. Jags

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) Mike Tomlin wants to see what Kenny Pickett can do against better competition.

After an impressive NFL debut in Pittsburgh's preseason-opening win over Seattle last week that included throwing for the clinching touchdown in the final seconds, the rookie quarterback will see the field far earlier on Saturday when the Steelers visit Jacksonville.


Jets QB Wilson eager to begin knee rehab

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Zach Wilson returned to the New York Jets' facility Thursday, eager to begin rehabilitation on his surgically repaired right knee.

The second-year quarterback had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles to repair a torn meniscus. He also has a bone bruise in the knee and is expected to be sidelined the next few weeks as he recovers.


49ers' Lance gets warm Minnesota welcome

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) The buses bound for the Twin Cities left southwestern Minnesota at 6:30 a.m. sharp, carrying the biggest Trey Lance fans that San Francisco's young quarterback will ever meet.

Players and staff from the Marshall Tigers football team - the team Lance led as a prep star just five years ago - attended the joint 49ers-Vikings practice Thursday, with more than 100 guests from his hometown flanking the practice fields in orange and black T-shirts.


Packers claim WR Fulgham off waivers

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers claimed wide receiver Travis Fulgham off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Fulgham had 38 catches for 539 yards and four touchdowns for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 but was released after training camp the following year.


Chargers make James NFL's highest-paid S

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Chargers fans on Wednesday finally got to see what they had been hoping for three weeks into training camp - a smiling Derwin James running out to the field in his powder blue practice jersey, helmets and shoulder pads.

James took part in his first practice after signing a four-year, $76.5 million contract extension, making him the NFL's highest-paid safety.


Saints' Landry, Hurst hurt in practice

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The early exits by New Orleans Saints wide receiver Jarvis Landry and offensive tackle James Hurst exemplified how the second day of joint practices with the Green Bay Packers got much more physical than the first.

Wednesday's scrimmage featured three scuffles, two between the Saints offense and Packers defense plus a third during special teams drills. The first skirmish came in the opening minutes and sent Landry to the locker room.


Rhule remains in no hurry to choose QB

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule has been adamant for weeks that he wouldn't rush to announce a winner in the ongoing quarterback competition between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield.

That hasn't changed, even with his team just days from taking the field for their second exhibition game, a point Rhule had previously indicated he wanted to have the situation settled.

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