RB An­der­son is an ‘ex­cited’ free agent

Long­time Steeler LB Har­ri­son re­tires for the sec­ond time

The Detroit News - - Sports - As­so­ci­ated Press

C.J. An­der­son is leav­ing Den­ver with a mil­lion mem­o­ries, a Su­per Bowl ring and no hard feel­ings.

“It’s busi­ness, I un­der­stand it,” An­der­son told the As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day af­ter he was re­leased by the Den­ver Bron­cos. “I’ve been here five years and it came to an end. So, I’m ex­cited for the next op­por­tu­nity.”

Where that is, “I don’t know,” An­der­son said. “I have no clue.”

Pos­si­ble land­ing spots in­clude Mi­ami, where Dol­phins coach Adam Gase of­fered him a four-year, $18 mil­lion deal in 2016 that Den­ver matched, and New Eng­land, where Pa­tri­ots coach Bill Belichick is also a fan.

An­der­son hits free agency at an op­por­tune time.

He’s 27, has just 683 ca­reer car­ries and is com­ing off his best sea­son, one in which he played in all 16 games for the first time and ran for a ca­reer-best 1,007 yards.

An­der­son’s re­sume in­cludes a Pro Bowl, two dozen TDs, a pair of play­off touch­downs and nu­mer­ous game-seal­ing runs, none big­ger than his TD plunge that capped Den­ver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in Su­per Bowl 50.

Har­ri­son re­tires again

Long­time Steel­ers line­backer James Har­ri­son is giv­ing re­tire­ment a sec­ond try.

Har­ri­son, a five-time Pro Bowler and 2008 NFL De­fen­sive Player of the Year, an­nounced on In­sta­gram that he is step­ping away fol­low­ing a 15-year ca­reer.

Har­ri­son played nearly his en­tire ca­reer with the Steel­ers and the 84.5 sacks he col­lected while wear­ing black-and-gold are a fran­chise record. He spent the 2013 sea­son in Cincin­nati and signed with New Eng­land late last sea­son, ap­pear­ing in all three play­off games for the Pa­tri­ots, in­clud­ing their Su­per Bowl loss to Philadel­phia.

This is the sec­ond time Har­ri­son has called it quits. He re­tired briefly in Septem­ber 2014 only to be lured back to the Steel­ers. He re­mained pro­duc­tive into his late 30s, reg­is­ter­ing at least five sacks from 2014-16.

Posluszny re­luc­tantly ex­its

Sit­ting with his wife and two young daugh­ters, Jaguars line­backer Paul Posluszny got blind-sided like never be­fore in his NFL ca­reer.

A guy known for his metic­u­lous prepa­ra­tion wasn’t ready for team­mate Telvin Smith’s heart­warm­ing speech.

So Posluszny started to cry as soon as Smith paused to col­lect him­self. A few min­utes later, both of them had tears rolling down their cheeks.

Posluszny for­mally and re­luc­tantly re­tired Mon­day af­ter 11 sea­sons in the league, in­clud­ing the last seven in Jack­sonville. He fin­ished his ca­reer with 1,381 tack­les, 41 pass breakups, 16 sacks, 15 in­ter­cep­tions and eight forced fum­bles.

“I don’t want to do this,” said Posluszny, who en­joyed one win­ning sea­son dur­ing his time in Buf­falo and Jack­sonville.

“I want to keep play­ing. But what was more im­por­tant for me was I didn’t want to go back on the field and be a step too slow or miss a play. If I’m out on the field with Telvin and Myles (Jack) and they ex­pect me to do some­thing and I miss that play be­cause I held on a year too long, I don’t know how I look at them.

Some hel­mets pro­hib­ited

The NFL for the first time is pro­hibit­ing cer­tain hel­mets from be­ing worn by play­ers.

In no­ti­fy­ing the 32 teams Mon­day, the league has sought to have play­ers stop us­ing 10 hel­met va­ri­eties. Some, par­tic­u­larly those man­u­fac­tured by Rawl­ings, no longer are be­ing made and don’t have sup­port from the com­pany. Oth­ers were found to be in­fe­rior to many of the 34 hel­mets the NFL and the play­ers’ union ex­am­ined.

Pre­vi­ously, NFL play­ers could choose any hel­met as long as it passed cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stan­dards. Six of the sub­stan­dard hel­mets are pro­hib­ited im­me­di­ately, while the other four may be worn by play­ers who used them in 2017 but not by new play­ers.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen some dy­namic changes in the hel­met in­dus­try, both from new in­no­va­tors as well as new hel­mets and mod­els from in­cum­bent com­pa­nies,” said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of health and safety pol­icy.

“The pur­pose of the con­tin­u­a­tion to rank hel­mets and the joint de­ci­sion with the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion to pro­hibit is to in­crease that move­ment into bet­ter per­form­ing hel­mets. We are en­cour­aged this is an im­por­tant step for bet­ter player safety.”

Jack Dempsey/As­so­ci­ated Press

Run­ning back C.J. An­der­son’s re­sume in­cludes a Pro Bowl, two dozen TDs, a pair of play­off touch­downs and a Su­per Bowl win with Den­ver.

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