Bills sign Boldin

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Sammy Watkins and the Buf­falo Bills re­ceivers aren’t as young and untested now that An­quan Boldin is with the group. Boldin will re­turn for a 15th NFL sea­son af­ter sign­ing a con­tract with the Bills on Mon­day. The move pro­vides the team lead­er­ship, pro­duc­tion and an in­stant boost in cred­i­bil­ity to what had been a patch­work po­si­tion.

BILLS Boldin snags job

PITTS­FORD, N.Y. — Sammy Watkins and the Buf­falo Bills re­ceivers aren’t as young and untested now that An­quan Boldin is with the group.

Boldin will re­turn for a 15th NFL sea­son af­ter sign­ing a con­tract with the Bills on Mon­day. The move pro­vides the team lead­er­ship, pro­duc­tion and an in­stant boost in cred­i­bil­ity to what had been a patch­work po­si­tion.

The 36-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion, was the NFL’s 2015 Wal­ter Pay­ton Man of the Year award win­ner and ranks in the top 25 among sev­eral ca­reer cat­e­gories.

“The great thing about An­quan is what he brings on the field and off the field,” Gen­eral Man­ager Bran­don Beane said.

It wasn’t lost on Beane that Boldin showed he’s still ca­pa­ble of mak­ing an im­pact af­ter spend­ing last sea­son with Detroit, where he had 67 catches for 584 yards and 8 touch­downs in 16 games.

Boldin’s 1,076 catches for 13,779 yards over­all rank third among play­ers since his NFL of­fen­sive rookie of the year sea­son in 2003 with Ari­zona. Over­all, he ranks ninth on the NFL ca­reer list in catches, 14th in yards re­ceiv­ing and is tied for 23rd with 82 touch­downs re­ceiv­ing.

JETS

WR lost for year

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets will be with­out their top wide re­ceiver for the sea­son.

Quincy Enunwa will be placed on in­jured re­serve with a bulging disk in his neck that will likely re­quire surgery, with a re­cov­ery time of 6-9 months. Coach Todd Bowles said Mon­day that Enunwa will seek a sec­ond opin­ion, and the in­jury is not con­sid­ered ca­reer-threat­en­ing.

Enunwa, pro­jected as the Jets’ No. 1 re­ceiver, was hurt Sat­ur­day night dur­ing prac­tice at MetLife Sta­dium. Bowles said the in­jury ini­tially ap­peared sim­i­lar to the one that held Enunwa out dur­ing spring work­outs.

With Bran­don Mar­shall and Eric Decker cut dur­ing the off­sea­son, it ap­peared Enunwa would be given the op­por­tu­nity to lead an in­ex­pe­ri­enced group of re­ceivers. He has 80 ca­reer catches for 1,172 yards and 4 touch­downs over 2 sea­sons.

Af­ter Enunwa, the Jets’ most-ex­pe­ri­enced re­ceiver is Mar­quess Wil­son, who had 56 ca­reer catches for 777 yards and 3 touch­downs in 4 sea­sons in Chicago.

PATS/TEX­ANS Wil­fork re­tires

Former New Eng­land and Hous­ton de­fen­sive tackle Vince Wil­fork an­nounced his re­tire­ment from the NFL in a bar­be­cue com­mer­cial Mon­day, a fit­ting farewell for a big guy who loved to eat.

Wil­fork tweeted a video show­ing him un­tap­ing his an­kles, hang­ing up his cleats and grab­bing grilling tongs. The video then shows the 35-year-old de­fender danc­ing, cook­ing ribs and smok­ing a cigar while wear­ing his trade­mark over­alls.

“No more cleats,” he said. “I’m mov­ing on to smoke meats, fel­las. Peace out. I’m outta here. Later.”

The video ends by not­ing that “Vince’s Farewell Tail­gate” will take place Sept. 7 in New Eng­land. The de­fend­ing Su­per Bowl cham­pi­ons open the sea­son that Thurs­day night against Kan­sas City.

Wil­fork played 13 NFL sea­sons, in­clud­ing the last two in Hous­ton. He said ear­lier this sum­mer he was con­tem­plat­ing re­tire­ment af­ter the Tex­ans de­clined to of­fer him a new con­tract.

BROWNS Osweiler to start

BEREA, Ohio — Brock Osweiler has risen from trade throw-in to pre­sea­son starter. Cleve­land Coach Hue Jack­son picked Osweiler over Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer and Kevin Ho­gan to start Thurs­day’s ex­hi­bi­tion opener against the New Or­leans Saints in what will be an im­por­tant stage in a quar­ter­back com­pe­ti­tion that’s mid­way through its sec­ond week.

Jack­son said he chose Osweiler pri­mar­ily be­cause he has NFL ex­pe­ri­ence, and Jack­son wants to give both Kessler and Kizer more play­ing time.

“It’s best for me to trot Brock out there, see if he can go lead this of­fense and lead the team and in the process keep get­ting these young guys more reps,” Jack­son said af­ter Mon­day’s prac­tice.

As for who will start Cleve­land’s opener ept. 10 against Pitts­burgh, Jack­son in­sisted he hasn’t made up his mind.

Osweiler, who started 14 games for Hous­ton last sea­son, had a solid prac­tice while tak­ing his first snaps with Cleve­land’s start­ing of­fense. He com­pleted sev­eral long passes, in­clud­ing a deep one to wide re­ceiver Corey Cole­man, who made a one-handed grab.

The Browns ac­quired Osweiler in March, tak­ing him and his guar­an­teed $16 mil­lion con­tract sim­ply so they could get a 2018 sec­ond-round pick from the Tex­ans.

VIK­INGS Mur­ray off PUP list

MANKATO, Minn. — Latavius Mur­ray was fi­nally on the prac­tice field in pur­ple. Ri­ley Reiff was back to work, too.

And with that, two of the Min­nesota Vik­ings’ most im­por­tant off­sea­son ad­di­tions started to come back from in­juries.

Mur­ray was ac­ti­vated from the phys­i­cally un­able to per­form list Mon­day and prac­ticed with the Vik­ings for the first time since he was signed in March, pledg­ing to plow for­ward af­ter fall­ing be­hind rookie Dalvin Cook in the race for the team’s start­ing run­ning back spot.

Reiff, the veteran left tackle signed away from Detroit to shore up one of the team’s big­gest weak­nesses, had missed most of train­ing camp with a back in­jury. Both he and Mur­ray par­tic­i­pated in in­di­vid­ual drills on Mon­day and sat out the team por­tion of prac­tice, which in­cluded more con­tact.

Coach Mike Zim­mer had char­ac­ter­ized Reiff’s ab­sence as pre­cau­tion­ary, but he was more force­ful last week when he spoke about Mur­ray’s need to get on the field and make up for lost time.

DOL­PHINS Landry in­ves­ti­gated

FORT LAUD­ERDALE, Fla. — Mi­ami Dol­phins wide re­ceiver Jarvis Landry is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for pos­si­ble do­mes­tic bat­tery, of­fi­cials said Mon­day, an al­le­ga­tion the player’s girl­friend called a fab­ri­ca­tion.

A spokesman for the Broward County state at­tor­ney’s of­fice said Mon­day in an email the al­le­ga­tions were un­der re­view and no de­ci­sion has been made on whether Landry will be charged.

The case was re­cently re­ferred to pros­e­cu­tors by the Fort Laud­erdale Po­lice Depart­ment. A heav­ily-redacted po­lice re­port is dated April 1, but Landry’s girl­friend said in a state­ment re­leased by his sports

NFL Ex­hi­bi­tion Sched­ule

All times Cen­tral (Sub­ject to change) THURS­DAY, AUG. 3 Dal­las 20, Ari­zona 18

WEEK 1 WED­NES­DAY’S GAME Hous­ton at Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

THURS­DAY’S GAMES

Min­nesota at Buf­falo, 6 p.m. At­lanta at Mi­ami, 6 p.m. Wash­ing­ton at Bal­ti­more, 6:30 p.m. Jack­sonville at New Eng­land, 6:30 p.m. Den­ver at Chicago, 7 p.m.

New Or­leans at Cleve­land, 7 p.m. Philadel­phia at Green Bay, 7 p.m. FRI­DAY’S GAMES

Pitts­burgh at NY Gi­ants, 6 p.m. Tampa Bay at Cincin­nati, 6:30 p.m. San Fran­cisco at Kan­sas City, 8 p.m. SAT­UR­DAY, AUG. 12

Ten­nessee at NY Jets, 6:30 p.m. Dal­las at LA Rams, 8 p.m. Oak­land at Ari­zona, 9 p.m. SUN­DAY, AUG. 13

Detroit at Indianapolis, 12:30 p.m. Seat­tle at LA Charg­ers, 7 p.m.

WEEK 2 THURS­DAY, AUG. 17 Bal­ti­more at Mi­ami, 6 p.m. Buf­falo at Philadel­phia, 6 p.m. Tampa Bay at Jack­sonville, 7 p.m. (ESPN) FRI­DAY, AUG. 18

Min­nesota at Seat­tle, 9 p.m. SAT­UR­DAY, AUG. 19

Carolina at Ten­nessee, 2 p.m. Kan­sas City at Cincin­nati, 6 p.m. Indianapolis at Dal­las, 6 p.m.

NY Jets at Detroit, 6:30 p.m. Green Bay at Wash­ing­ton, 6:30 p.m. New Eng­land at Hous­ton, 7 p.m. LA Rams at Oak­land, 9 p.m. Den­ver at San Fran­cisco, 9 p.m. Chicago at Ari­zona, 9 p.m. SUN­DAY, AUG. 20

At­lanta at Pitts­burgh, 3 p.m. New Or­leans at LA Charg­ers, 7 p.m. MON­DAY, AUG. 21

NY Gi­ants at Cleve­land, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 3 THURS­DAY, AUG. 24 Mi­ami at Philadel­phia, 6 p.m. Carolina at Jack­sonville, 6:30 p.m.

FRI­DAY, AUG. 25

New Eng­land at Detroit, 6 p.m. Kan­sas City at Seat­tle, 7 p.m. (CBS) SAT­UR­DAY AUG. 26

Ari­zona at At­lanta, 6 p.m. Buf­falo at Bal­ti­more, 6 p.m.

NY Jets at NY Gi­ants, 6 p.m. Indianapolis at Pitts­burgh, 6:30 p.m. Cleve­land at Tampa Bay, 6:30 p.m. Oak­land at Dal­las, 7 p.m.

LA Charg­ers at LA Rams, 7 p.m. (CBS) Hous­ton at New Or­leans, 7 p.m. Green Bay at Den­ver, 8 p.m. SUN­DAY, AUG. 27

Chicago at Ten­nessee, noon (FOX) Cincin­nati at Wash­ing­ton, 3:30 p.m. (FOX) San Fran­cisco at Min­nesota, 7 p.m. (NBC) WEEK 4 THURS­DAY, AUG. 31 Jack­sonville at At­lanta, 6 p.m. Detroit at Buf­falo, 6 p.m.

LA Rams at Green Bay, 6 p.m. Cincin­nati at Indianapolis, 6 p.m. Philadel­phia at NY Jets, 6 p.m. Pitts­burgh at Carolina, 6:30 p.m. NY Gi­ants at New Eng­land, 6:30 p.m. Wash­ing­ton at Tampa Bay, 6:30 p.m. Cleve­land at Chicago, 7 p.m. Dal­las at Hous­ton, 7 p.m. Mi­ami at Min­nesota, 7 p.m. Bal­ti­more at New Or­leans, 7 p.m. Ten­nessee at Kan­sas City, 7:30 p.m. Ari­zona at Den­ver, 8 p.m. Seat­tle at Oak­land, 9 p.m. LA Charg­ers at San Fran­cisco, 9 p.m.

man­age­ment firm the in­ci­dent oc­curred in March.

Estrella Cerqueira, who is the mother of Landry’s daugh­ter, said in the state­ment that the cou­ple had a “vo­cal dis­agree­ment” but that she never felt phys­i­cally threat­ened and that noth­ing vi­o­lent took place. She said some­one else she did not iden­tify called po­lice.

AP file photo

The Buf­falo Bills added a veteran re­ceiver Mon­day in An­quan Boldin, a veteran who played in Su­per Bowls with Bal­ti­more and Ari­zona, to a young and untested group of re­ceivers.

Osweiler

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