NFL Notes: Bills add Coleman, Falcons extend Allen

The Sports Xchange

August 06, 2018 at 7:38 pm.

The New England Patriots released wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, the team announced on Monday.

Mitchell missed all of last season with an ailing knee for the Patriots, who recently parted ways with Jordan Matthews and signed fellow wideout Eric Decker.

The 25-year-old Mitchell had his knee examined by doctors on July 23. The Boston Herald and Providence Journal reported at the time that the evaluation included a procedure to determine the extent and cause of discomfort in his knee.

Mitchell, who was a fourth-round selection of New England in the 2016 NFL Draft, had a decent rookie campaign with 32 receptions for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He had an expanded role in the second half of the season, reeling in all of his scoring passes over the final six games.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Mitchell also came up big in the dramatic come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. He had six receptions for 70 yards as the Patriots rallied from a 25-point second-half deficit to post a 34-28 overtime victory over the Falcons.

–Steve Wilks’ plan to strengthen the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line suffered a blow when Wilks announced that starting center A.Q. Shipley will miss the entire season after suffering a torn anterior-cruciate ligament.

Shipley, 32, suffered the injury Saturday and will undergo surgery. He will be placed on injured reserve.

Shipley started all 16 games each of the past two years, and he was the only member of the starting offensive line who did not miss games because of injury last season.

Shipley is scheduled to make $2 million this season in the final year of his two-year deal with the Cardinals.

–The Green Bay Packers placed linebacker Jake Ryan on injured reserve, the team announced.

The move comes one week after Ryan sustained a torn ACL during practice.

Ryan was slated to start next to Blake Martinez at inside linebacker this season. Oren Burks and Ahmad Thomas were considered as possible replacements for Ryan, according to Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Also, the Packers signed running back Akeem Judd, released guard Ethan Cooper and placed rookie linebacker C.J. Johnson on injured reserve with an ailing hamstring.

–Former Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert died on Sunday at the age of 51, the Denver Broncos announced.

Heckert most recently served as an executive with the Broncos from 2013-17. He stepped away from the team after being diagnosed with amyloidosis, which is a protein disorder of the blood.

Heckert served as the general manager of the Eagles (2006-09) and Browns (2010-12) before joining the Broncos in 2013.

–The Atlanta Falcons signed safety Ricardo Allen to a three-year contract extension, the team announced.

The financial details were not disclosed, but NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the deal is worth $19.5 million. Allen’s contract now runs through the 2021 season.

Allen, a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, did not play in his first NFL season, but started 45 regular-season games and five postseason games over the next three seasons.

–Terrell Owens worked out for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, one day after hosting an unconventional Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Owens, 44, worked out for Roughriders coach and general manager Chris Jones in South Pittsburg, Tenn.

Jones said he wanted to focus on the route running and stamina of Owens, who last attempted to make the roster of an NFL team in 2012 with the Seattle Seahawks.

–The Pro Football Hall of Fame reportedly is considering a rule that would require future candidates for enshrinement to commit to attending the induction ceremony.

Pro Football Talk reported that news, and Hall of Famer Cris Carter called that report fake news on his Twitter account.

However, Pro Football Talks claims it has again confirmed the report through a third source.

The report indicated that there is no guarantee that the rule will be finalized or enacted. It is still in the discussion stage.

–Quarterback Sam Darnold found himself working primarily with the third-team offense in the New York Jets’ intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Darnold has a “very fair shot” at being the starting quarterback for the regular-season opener.

Darnold, the third overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, completed 9 of 11 passes for 89 yards in the scrimmage.

Josh McCown is listed as the team’s No. 1 quarterback, with Teddy Bridgewater No. 2.

Schefter was told by a source that Darnold has a shot at becoming the starter and that the former USC quarterback is “further along than they thought” he would be at this stage.

–Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers isn’t interested in setting a definitive retirement age.

Rivers, who turns 37 in December, said he is focused on playing out the final two years left on his current contract. As for playing into his 40s, well, Rivers didn’t sound as interested to commit as a few other quarterbacks in the league.

“I’m super excited about a handful more years,” Rivers said to Albert Breer of “I don’t have a number in my head. I laugh when I hear Drew (Brees), (Tom) Brady’s already 41, when I hear them say mid-40s, I go, ‘Y’all can have that. I have no desire to get there.'”

–Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict passed his physical and was expected to practice, the team announced.

Burfict was placed on the non-football injury list to open training camp because he was dealing with a hamstring issue.

The 27-year-old Burfict will have a little more than one month to prepare for the regular season before serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

–Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson reiterated that Tyrod Taylor will be the team’s starting quarterback to begin the season.

Per Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America, Jackson said that Taylor will get the nod over rookie Baker Mayfield. The move will give the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft a bit more time to develop.

“I’m not changing my mind,” Jackson said. “Tyrod’s starting. That’s no reflection on Mayfield. He respects what I’m doing for him long-term. He may not like me for it now, but he’ll thank me later.”

–Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is expected to attend practice after being activated from the physically unable to perform list, the team announced.

Ansah, who is playing under a $17.143 million franchise tag, is working his way back following offseason knee surgery.

–The Buffalo Bills swung a trade for a wide receiver Sunday night by acquiring Corey Coleman from the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed future draft pick.

Coleman was traded a day after Browns coach Hue Jackson said Coleman had a hamstring injury that limited him in practice.

Coleman, 24, was the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft but has battled inconsistencies and dealt with injuries since entering the league. In 19 career games for Cleveland, Coleman totaled 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns.

–Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said in June that he might return for the 2019 season, and on Monday he made it clear he would be back if the team will have him.

Davis will start this season by sitting out the first four games as a result of an NFL suspension for violating the league’s policy on the use performance-enhancing substances.

He said that suspension played a role in his decision to return.

“If the team is willing to have me back, I’ll be back,” Davis said, according to the team’s website. “I look at the way things transpired this offseason and think back to, really, my legacy and the things that I’ve been able to do as a football player. I don’t want to leave on a sour note. You never want to walk away from the game knowing that you served a four-game suspension. That’s my mindset right now.”

–Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler is tired of delivering the familiar refrain.

Butler said he’s repeatedly asked for his feelings after being limited to one snap on special teams in Super Bowl LII. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick publicly has not elaborated on his decision to keep Butler on the sideline during the team’s 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 4.

“Everywhere I go, people ask me why I didn’t play in the Super Bowl and stuff like that,” Butler said in an interview with “Bar, restaurant, bathroom — it doesn’t even matter. They ask me why I didn’t play and say, ‘I’m sorry …’ I don’t want to hear that (expletive).”

–Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen came to the defense of quarterback Cam Newton following a verbal attack from former teammate Kelvin Benjamin.

Benjamin told The Athletic this past weekend that he wished he was able to play with a more accurate quarterback to begin his career. The Buffalo Bills wideout also said he thought being drafted by the Panthers was a “bad fit from the get-go.”

“He was the MVP, wasn’t he?” Olsen said of Newton, who won the award in 2015. “Just in general, you play with an MVP quarterback. There’s like four or five of them in the league, right?

“Obviously, you know how I feel and how we feel about Cam, which I think right now is all that matters. … People have opinions. That’s just the world of today.”

–The Oakland Raiders announced that they signed free agent cornerback Raysean Pringle and waived defensive back Shaquille Richardson with an injury designation.

Pringle joins the Raiders after spending his rookie season on both the Green Bay Packers’ and Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squads in 2017.

Richardson had been with the Raiders throughout the club’s offseason program.