NFL Notebook: Browns QB Mayfield gets engaged

The Sports Xchange

July 01, 2018 at 9:02 pm.

Jun 12, 2018; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throw passes during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 12, 2018; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) and quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throw passes during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Baker Mayfield would love to help the Cleveland Browns win a ring in the future. On Saturday, he gave one away as he proposed marriage to his girlfriend Emily Wilkinson.

For the record, she said yes. Well, sort of.

“What is that?” Mayfield asks while posting video of the ring in his Instagram story, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“You did good,” Wilkinson said, clearly with her eyes on the rock.

“Did you say yes?” the 23-year-old Mayfield asked again.

“Yeah, I think I did, right?” she responded, laughing.

The engagement is another high point in recent months for Mayfield, who was selected by the Browns with the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has approximately three weeks to spend with his now fiancee before starting training camp. He enters camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor.

— Former defensive tackle Roy Miller announced he will retire from the NFL rather than return after serving a six-game suspension for a domestic violence allegation.

Miller did not address the specifics of his estranged wife’s accusations but released a statement on Instragram claiming that she wants to sabotage his career.

“I am officially retiring from the NFL,” Miller wrote. “Unfortunately my ex is trying everything she can to ruin any opportunity for me to work for my kids. This has caused me much pain. had some interest (from) teams but until the divorce goes through I can’t even contemplate putting a team through the drama.”

His estranged wife, Nicole, sought a restraining order against him last week after saying the 6-foot-1, 301-pound player ripped the handle off her car door during a dispute over custody of their children. Miller was arrested in Jacksonville, Fla., and charged with domestic battery of his wife in November. According to reports, she told police her husband grabbed her by the hair, pushed her around, threw her phone into the toilet and prevented her from retrieving it.

Miller had six tackles last season before being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. He collected 250 tackles and eight sacks in 119 career games with the Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chiefs.

— Ereck Flowers looks to have the advantage for the New York Giants’ starting right tackle job.

Flowers and Chad Wheeler are competing against each other, but Flowers lined up for all of the first-team reps during mandatory minicamp and three other offseason practices that the media was allowed to watch.

It is a contract year for Flowers, a 2015 first-round draft pick who was not given a fifth-year option. He skipped some of the team’s offseason program after being replaced by Nate Solder as the starting left tackle.

Wheeler played in 11 games as a rookie right tackle last season, including five starts. He could back up at left and right tackle if he does not win the starting job.

— Houston Texans safety Andre Hal is taking an aggressive attitude as he attempts to combat Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I know how to beat it, and I’m definitely going to beat it,” Hal said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve got so much support from Houston to Port Allen to Baton Rouge, it feels great to have all these people come and help me out. When you get sick or you get a cold, you’ve got to keep on grinding. You’ve got to grow through it. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary. This is temporary for me.”

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that develops from cells in the lymphatic system called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections. Hal, who was diagnosed with the disease in June, made it a point to be in attendance at his fourth annual football camp for kids in Port Allen, La. He said he “wanted to show the kids nothing can stop you when your mind is right.”

The 26-year-old Hal was re-signed to a three-year, $15 million contract last year. He has 172 total tackles and nine interceptions.

— Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake has registered double-digit sack totals on five occasions during his NFL career, including in each of the last two seasons despite seeing his percentage of defensive snaps limited to just 51.1 in 2016 and 58.3 the following year, but the five-time Pro Bowl selection insists he’s willing to play whatever role is asked of him by the Dolphins.

“I don’t have this ‘Everybody look at me. I must be the starter.’ That’s not my mentality,” Wake, 36, said. “I want to do whatever is going to help the entirety of the team, the entirety of the defense. So if it means me being a third-down guy, let’s do it. If it means I have to start and play every down, I’ll take that role on, too.”

Wake is entering the final season of a two-year contract. He can make up to $18 million if he plays 55 percent of Miami’s snaps between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The 6-foot-3, 263-pound Wake has 92 sacks for his career, leaving him second only to Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor in franchise history.

— Former NFL offensive coordinator Joe Pendry will end his retirement and become the general manager of the Birmingham franchise of the Alliance of American Football, reported.

Pendry, 70, began his coaching career at West Virginia before becoming offensive coordinator of the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars and head coach of the league’s Pittsburgh Maulers.

He then served as the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns (1985) before working in the same role with the Kansas City Chiefs (1989-92), Carolina Panthers (1995-97) and Buffalo Bills (1998-2000). Pendry also was the offensive line coach with the Houston Texans in 2006 and most recently was a special adviser at Alabama.

Former Green Bay Packers cornerback and longtime defensive coach Tim Lewis has been hired as the team’s head coach.

— Saquon Barkley has received a great deal of exposure since being selected by the New York Giants with the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft and also shared quite a bit of himself by posing naked in ESPN The Body Issue 2018.

“This will probably be my last naked one,” the 21-year-old Barkley told Newsday. “I think I put myself out there enough.”

Barkley intends to focus on his day job, and that’s to help a Giants team that slumped to a 3-13 record last season while seeing its offense rank 31st in the league in scoring at 15.4 points per game.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Barkley cemented his status of one of the elite prospects at Penn State, rushing 217 times for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with the Nittany Lions. He also caught 54 passes for 632 yards and two scores, as well as returning two kickoffs for touchdowns.

— Miami Dolphins rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick already is looking ahead to Week 1 of the season. In fact, the former Alabama defensive back hasn’t stopped focusing on the opener since being selected with the 11th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

“Every day I just think about it,” he told the Miami Herald of the opener against the Tennessee Titans. “I’m just going out there and doing what I do. Making plays. It’s the same game. Just in a different stadium, different setting. I’ve just got to do what I do.”

Fitzpatrick, who signed a four-year contract worth $16.4 million, reportedly has received positive feedback from coaches and players after organized team activities. He won the Bednarik and Nagurski awards in 2017 as the nation’s premier defender at Alabama. He also won the Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in the country.

— Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders plans to show his worth to the Denver Broncos as well as any other team interested in him.

Sanders has no more guaranteed money on his contract that runs through the 2019 season. With his name included in reported trade conversation this offseason, the 31-year-old Sanders told The Athletic that he is going to give it his all in 2018.

“I always play like that, like it’s always year to year,” he said. “I got something to prove this year and if I don’t prove it to the Broncos, then I’ll be proving it to some other team.”

Sanders, who had more than 1,000 receiving yards for three consecutive seasons through 2016, slipped to 47 receptions for 555 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. He has 464 catches for 6,156 yards and 33 scores in 115 career games.

— Cornerback Orlando Scandrick would like to see former teammate and current free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant suit up with the Washington Redskins.

Bryant has been a man without a team since being released by the Dallas Cowboys on April 13. He said he’d like to remain in the NFC East and reportedly even turned down a multiyear offer from the Baltimore Ravens.

“I know Dez can still catch touchdowns,” Scandrick told NFL Network. “I know he can still be a great red zone threat, and I would love to play with him again.”

Bryant, who spent eight seasons with the Cowboys, had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with Dallas in 2017. The 29-year-old has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.

— Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard is not concerned that he has no contract beyond this season.

Dennard, the No. 24 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was given a fifth-year option for 2018 last year, making $8.5 million.

“It’s not a thought at all,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m just focused on football and trying to be the best Darqueze Dennard I can be, be the best football player I can be and help the team win. I mean, I’m not too much worried about contracts. That will figure itself out.”

He played all 16 games in 2017 and had 85 tackles (61 solo), two sacks and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). However, he was ranked the No. 93 cornerback among 119 qualifying by Pro Football Focus.

— The Los Angeles Chargers are impressed with first-round draft pick Derwin James.

James, a safety, was taken with the No. 17 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The Chargers drafted James hoping he would be a starter. They signed him a month ago to a reported four-year, $12.39 million contract, including a $7.1 million signing bonus.

“For the most part, he’s had an outstanding spring,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said recently, according to ESPN. “We’ve put a lot on his plate. He’s taken more reps of any (defensive back) on the team right now, and I think in the situations we’ve put him in he’s handled very well.”