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Ben Roethlisberger signs with Pittsburgh Steelers for 2021 NFL season

Ben Roethlisberger is officially back with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2021 NFL season, the team announced Thursday.

The Steelers did not disclose the terms, but a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14 million from $19 million in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022. The move lowers the team’s salary-cap hit by more than $15 million.

“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in a statement issued by the team. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Roethlisberger was previously under contract for the 2021 season, although the team made it clear he could not return with the $41.2 million cap hit.

“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same — to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”5

Roethlisberger, who turned 39 earlier this week, threw 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season, his first after major elbow surgery following a season-ending injury in Week 2 of the 2019 season.

He attempted 608 passes in the 2020 season — tied for the second-highest total of his career — and maintained throughout the season that his elbow felt fine and wasn’t affecting his on-field performance, though dismal halves against the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and even the Cleveland Browns suggested otherwise at times.

Still, Roethlisberger showed an ability to stretch the field late in the season, upping his average air yards per attempt from 6 yards to 8 yards for the final three games.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

After the season, Roethlisberger said he hoped the Steelers would want him back if he opted to return rather than retiring. Team president Art Rooney II and Colbert made it clear in offseason interviews and statements that Roethlisberger could not come back on his current contract but that they wanted the quarterback to return for one more season — as long as they could free up money to field a competitive team around the quarterback.

With Roethlisberger’s deal, the Steelers are close to cap-compliant for the start of the new league year on March 17.

Although Roethlisberger’s restructured contract reduces his cap hit, the team still faces a difficult task in re-signing any of its 19 unrestricted free agents, including receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and linebacker Bud Dupree.

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Taysom Hill runs for 2 TDs, lifts New Orleans Saints to win in 1st start at QB

Taysom Hill laughed when asked if he paid any attention to the scrutiny and criticism surrounding the New Orleans Saints’ decision to start him at quarterback on Sunday.

No, insisted the fascinating and polarizing 30-year-old curiosity, who is now 1-0 as a starter in the NFL after leading the Saints to a 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Hill didn’t throw a touchdown pass or an interception, but he did lose a fumble after his longest run of the day in the fourth quarter.

However, Hill was quite open about how emotional this week was for him as he prepared to fill in after Drew Brees suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung last week. Brees will miss at least three weeks after being placed on injured reserve by the 8-2 Saints, who won their seventh consecutive game.

“Man, I spent a lot of time reflecting this week,” said Hill, who was a star dual-threat quarterback at BYU but battled injuries and went undrafted in 2017. “My wife and I had so many conversations about where we’ve been, the process of getting here. And if I’m being honest, it was an emotional week.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Felt a lot of love from a lot of people, and it was overwhelming in a good way. And then to be able to come out and get a win in my first start was gratifying. More than anything, I have so much love and respect for Drew and my other teammates that I wanted to make sure that I did my part to help us continue to win.”

Saints coach Sean Payton’s decision to start Hill over fellow backup Jameis Winston was heavily scrutinized, since Hill had attempted only 20 passes in his four-year NFL career, including the playoffs.

But Payton has long expressed his belief that the dual-threat athlete could be a successful starting quarterback. And he told ESPN’s Dianna Russini before Sunday’s game that Hill “deserves this opportunity.”8

Payton downplayed the significance of Hill’s performance after Sunday’s game and even directed the media to start asking about New Orleans’ defense instead. However, Payton couldn’t resist a little gloating minutes later when he retweeted former Falcons receiver Roddy White, exposing White’s “cold take” that read: “Saints about to get whip trying us with taysom hill at qb we about to snack them.”

“I thought he played well. He had the one turnover late in the game,” Payton said of Hill. “We had a big touchdown pass called back [an apparent 57-yarder from Hill to Emmanuel Sanders that was nullified by a holding penalty]. But look, it was a good team win. I thought we were fantastic defensively.”

Hill and the Saints’ offense got off to a bit of a slow start before he led them on their first touchdown drive late in the second quarter — thanks to his longest and ugliest completion of the day. Hill heaved up a wobbly deep ball that was badly underthrown, but Sanders made a great effort to come back for it and make a 44-yard catch. Hill found his groove from that point on, and he connected a total of nine times with Saints receiver Michael Thomas for 104 yards.

“I feel like me and Taysom, we have the same chip on our shoulder,” said Thomas, who also blamed himself for a “terrible drop” early in the game that might have made Hill’s performance even more impressive.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Thomas laughed and acknowledged that Hill throws a “fastball.”

“We’re always trying to come out here and dominate and help this team win games and always prove people wrong and prove people that believe in us right,” Thomas said. “You know he’s a dog, man. Taysom’s a dog. So just to see him come out there and play like he played today, who cares what anyone says? He’s a baller.”

Hill said the Saints cut down “significantly” on the number of designed runs they usually draw up for him. But his legs were still a big asset.

Hill’s first TD run came on a designed QB keeper on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line in the third quarter. His second TD run was a 10-yard scramble that showed off his speed and athleticism when he couldn’t find an open receiver in the fourth quarter.

Hill went undrafted out of BYU in 2017 after throwing for 6,929 yards and 43 TD passes and running for 2,815 yards and 32 TDs. He began his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers before being claimed by the Saints off waivers.

Since then, his role has steadily increased from special teams to just about every position on the offense. The Saints signed Hill to a two-year, $21 million contract extension as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson after loss: Tennessee Titans ‘wanted it more than us’

Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson questioned the effort of the Baltimore Ravens after they blew an 11-point lead in a 30-24 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans.

“It looked like that team wanted it more than us,” Jackson said. “They were playing physical. When we went up, I felt like we just took our foot off the gas. But we just have to keep it going for the team.”

On Sunday, the Ravens took a commanding 21-10 advantage early in the third quarter before collapsing late in the fourth quarter and in overtime. Baltimore suddenly trailed 24-21 with 2:18 remaining in regulation when three defenders (Chuck Clark, Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey) missed tackles on A.J. Brown’s 14-yard touchdown catch. The Ravens then lost in overtime when Derrick Henry ran 29 yards up the middle of their defense for the touchdown.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Asked about Jackson’s comment that the Titans wanted to win more than the Ravens, Baltimore rookie running back J.K. Dobbins said: “We always give good effort, but today was … They just gave more effort than us. We just have to fix that.”7

The frustrations continue to build on a team that was once among the preseason Super Bowl favorites. After last week’s 23-17 loss in New England, Jackson said the team was “ticked off” and other players acknowledged the Patriots were more physical than them. The Ravens put on the pads Wednesday to set a more physical tone, but the results Sunday were all too familiar.

Baltimore has lost three out of four games for the first time under Jackson and dropped consecutive games for the first time since September 2019. The Ravens (6-4), the defending two-time AFC North champions, dropped to third place in the division.

The biggest difference between last season and this one has been games against the better teams in the NFL. In 2019, Jackson was 6-1 against teams with winning records. This year, he’s 1-3 against them.

What can Jackson tell his teammates?nfl cheap jerseys nike

“Just focus and keep your head up,” said Jackson, who completed 17 of 29 passes for 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “We were in worse situations my rookie year [when the Ravens started 4-5 in 2018]. We turned the season around and people were down on us then. I feel like people want us to lose.”

The Ravens have a quick four-day turnaround and play at the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) on Thanksgiving night.

Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers salty after review turns incompletion into interception

Colts quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t hold back in voicing his displeasure over the NFL‘s murky rule of what is and isn’t a catch after a play was changed from an incomplete pass to an interception in their loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Rivers attempted a pass to receiver Marcus Johnson down the sideline in front of the Colts’ bench with 11 minutes left in the third quarter. The ball was underthrown, which allowed Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters to turn around and become the primary target. Peters had the ball in his hands when Johnson became the defender and tried to knock it out. Johnson appeared to knock the ball out of Peters’ hands as he was going to the ground.

The play initially was called an incompletion, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh threw his challenge flag. The officials changed the call and said that Peters had control before fumbling. That explanation didn’t sit well with Rivers.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale8

“It’s gotten so jacked up how the catch rule is,” the quarterback said. “No one who has been around football or watched thought that was a catch, including the guy [Peters] who dropped it. But some guy who has probably never thrown a football in his life gets to decide.”

Peters said he thinks the officials ultimately made the right call.

“I think I made a play with the ball. I was going backwards for multiple steps, [and] I had control over it,” Peters explained. “So, I think it was an interception. I kind of went over and asked Philip Rivers if he thought it was a pick. He didn’t think so, but that was a [heck] of a job by Coach [John] Harbaugh. [The coaches] upstairs, they got that called down, and they went with it. So, I appreciate it, and the team does, too.”

Al Riveron, the NFL‘s senior vice president of officiating, said there was “clear and obvious visual evidence” that Peters controlled the ball and took three steps to establish possession before fumbling.

The Ravens took advantage of the changed call to score what turned out to be the winning touchdown in their 24-10 victory over the Colts.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Rivers tried to soften his stance on the changed call at the end of his Zoom session with the media.

“I’ll probably get in trouble for saying the guy has probably never thrown a football, but they called it an interception, so it’s an interception,” he said. “Bottom line is I probably shouldn’t have thrown the ball. Shouldn’t have thrown it short. You throw it short, you leave it in other people’s hands.”

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford opens up about ‘different,’ ‘stressful’ week, toll of being away from family

Matthew Stafford’s daughter, Hunter, had fallen off her high chair onto a granite floor Friday night and the Detroit Lions quarterback didn’t know what to do. He was quarantined in a Detroit-area hotel away from his family due to NFL COVID-19 protocols after he came into close contact with an infected person. His wife, Kelly, couldn’t find anyone to watch their other three daughters.

So Stafford jumped in the car Friday night and started to head home.

“It’s a long story,” Stafford said Sunday, after his team lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-20. “But yeah, I was on my way home.”

Stafford had told the story to CBS during a production meeting, which reporter Melanie Collins shared before Sunday’s game. Stafford didn’t want to go into details again after the game, but Collins reported he called general manager Bob Quinn and told him he would have to break protocol and be unable to play Sunday.

Collins said he was a mile from home when Kelly found someone to take care of the kids. He turned around, returned to the hotel and stayed away from his family and in protocol. Hunter ended up with a concussion, and Kelly explained what happened Saturday on Instagram.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

After Sunday’s game, Stafford said Hunter was “doing OK.”7

“That was probably the closest it got [to not playing] and obviously just depended on if I continued to test negative,” Stafford said. “But the plan, early on in the week, was that if I continued to test negative that I’ll be able to show up on Saturday night and do all the meetings virtually and all that kind of stuff and then play.

“So the week was obviously a different one, a little bit of a stressful one, but no excuse, got to come out and play better.”

Stafford did play against Minnesota, completing 23 of 32 passes for 211 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions before leaving to be checked for a concussion in the fourth quarter. He cleared concussion protocol and then spoke with the media, where he explained how difficult the week was for him.

In terms of football, Stafford was able to be in meetings and watch practices virtually, and he constantly communicated with backups Chase Daniel and David Blough while trying to stay mentally ready himself. It was being away from his family that was the hard part and the part that weighed on him.

It’s also the part he’s still unsure of. While Stafford said he believed he’d be able to fly back to Detroit with the team, he was under the impression after the game he would have to remain quarantined from his family.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“It’s not something I take lightly. I understand it’s a pandemic and people’s health and safety are at risk, and I would feel terrible if I brought that in and infected a bunch of teammates or coaches or whatever it is,” Stafford said. “So I understand it. Doesn’t make it easy, but everybody in the league is doing it.

“I just hate being away from my family, you know, and finish a practice, finish a game, go hug my daughters, hug my wife. That’s what sometimes makes it worth it for me, and not being able to see them and hang with them has been really tough. But there’s other people dealing with the same kind of stuff I am. That’s just the hard part for me.”

Will Chargers receiver Mike Williams put it all together after up-and-down start?

Mike Williams is everything you’d want in a wide receiver. Big — 6-foot-4, 220 pounds — fast (4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and able to land in the most awkward positions imaginable. And get up standing. Unhurt. Well, maybe with a few aches and pains.

“I don’t even think about it,” said of his often-acrobatic landings. “My mind is ‘catch the ball.’ When you land it can be pretty violent.

“But I don’t think about it. However I land, I land. I’m just trying to make a football play.”

He’s made plenty of football plays for the Los Angeles Chargers thus far this season, developing an early connection with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. He is averaging 17.3 yards per reception, hauling in 18 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns, despite dealing with nagging injuries.

Williams has always stronger and bigger than just about everyone dating back to his childhood growing up in Tampa, Florida, playing both football and basketball for Plant High School. He signed to play football at Clemson but the hops from hoops always stayed with him.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap7

“Me and the homies playing in the backyard,” he explained. “Throw the ball up … we all made catches like that. It’s nothing to the people back home.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Herbert took notice once he got settled into the starting role and coaches pulled out the playbook. He discovered that Williams is a matchup nightmare for nearly any cornerback or safety.

And that’s why Herbert said he knows now that anytime he sees Williams, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft, on the sideline covered by a single player, he’s going to Williams because he knows the receiver will make a play on the ball.

“It’s on tape,” Williams said. “I’ve shown I can do it. He [Herbert] has seen it. Coaches have seen me multiple times doing it.”

And so he does and, at times, is very successful. After a shoulder injury before the season began (from diving in practice, something Chargers coach Anthony Lynn obviously frowns upon) he has, also at times, been show-stopping. But is this the year that he finally breaks through?

In 2019, he had 49 receptions for 1,001 yards and a 20.4-yards-per-catch average (which led all receivers) and two touchdowns. He caught 10 touchdown passes in 2018, a season in which he had 43 receptions for 664 yards. He leads the league in receptions of more than 35 yards dating to the start the 2019 season.

When Keenan Allen left the Week 5 game against the New Orleans Saints with back spasms, coaches told Williams to “go out and play.”

He did that, and then some. He caught a dazzling 64-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter to give the Chargers a 27-20 lead, one of his five receptions for 109 yards against the Saints while battling a hamstring injury.

He also put the Chargers in position to win by making a leaping, 29-yard catch in double coverage with 15 seconds left to play and the game tied at 27-27, setting up Michael Badgley for a game-winning field-goal attempt. Badgley missed the 50-yard try, but Williams put him in position to be the hero.

Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles have ‘trust and faith’ in Carson Wentz amid struggles

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that he did not consider replacing Carson Wentz with Jalen Hurts during Sunday’s night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, adding that Hurts and Nate Sudfeld need to be ready in case that situation comes up down the road.

Wentz turned the ball over four times and ended 15-of-27 for 123 yards with a pair of touchdowns in a 23-9 win over the Cowboys.

“Carson is our starter, and we’ve got a lot of trust and faith in him that he can get the job done. By no means was I in a position to make a decision or make a move [Sunday],” Pederson said. “It’s just something that we’ve got to continue to coach, we’ve got to continue to get better. He understands he has to get better in that area. We also understand that our backup quarterbacks here, Jalen and Nate, have got to be prepared, whether it’s a situation like that or an injury situation where they have to go in and play. My mind wasn’t there. I wasn’t going there. I was going to give Carson every opportunity to win that game for us. He’s capable of doing that, and I wasn’t in that frame of mind.”nike cheap nfl jerseys

Wentz is on pace for the worst statistical season of his career. He leads the league in turnovers (16), interceptions (12) and sacks (32), is 31st in completion percentage (58.4) and 29th in yards per attempt (6.1). His play had picked up over the past few games as he led multiple comeback efforts before tailing off against Dallas, which entered the game as the most giving defense in the NFL.8

Hurts, the team’s second-round pick this past April, has been sprinkled into the offense over the first half of the season, lining up all over the formation including at quarterback, where he’s completed two passes on as many attempts for 27 yards. Hurts has played 23 snaps total. The offense has generated 215 yards (9.3 average) and two touchdowns on those plays.

“Jalen’s doing a nice job. He’s prepared during the week, and he understands the game plan,” Pederson said.

“I think that you can’t do go in and say, ‘hey, learn the offense like Carson knows it right now,’ but I think you can do some things with him that allow him to be successful if we had to. But he’s in a good position. He studies hard during the week with Nate, and he’s prepared if called upon.”nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Pederson referenced his experience during the 2015 season, when he was offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, in explaining why he is sticking with Wentz. The Chiefs started 1-5 but the coaching staff kept Alex Smith at quarterback, and Kansas City rattled off 11 straight wins from there.

“Not saying that we are going to win 11 straight here, but what I’m saying is, we are going to work through our issues. We are going to work through our problems,” Pederson said. “Carson understands that we’ve got to hold everybody accountable, and it starts with me, and I’m going to look at myself in the mirror. I’m going to look at some of the decisions and calls I’ve made in the first eight games, and that’s part of what this [bye] week is about, and it’s about getting better. The only way we get better, especially with some young players on offense that are playing, who are getting valuable reps, is to continue to work, and they have to work with Carson. That’s what we are going to do, and that’s our focus moving forward.”

Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson: Lower numbers not a concern

As the Baltimore Ravens reached the bye, quarterback Lamar Jackson has led Baltimore to a better record than last year at 5-1, but he has not thrown the ball as effectively as in last year’s NFL MVP season.

Jackson believes the decline in every passing category — from completion rate to passing yards to touchdowns — has nothing to do with his mechanics.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“I don’t think I’ve slipped,” Jackson said. “There are certain situations in the game where you have to throw in certain windows, with the guys putting their arms up trying to slap the ball. There were a lot of tipped passes during our games, and I’m trying to find angles. So, that’s why sometimes my elbow drops trying to get the ball out.”

Jackson’s sidearm delivery has surfaced at times over his three NFL seasons. But it appeared he dropped his arm to deliver the ball more often in Sunday’s 30-28 win over the Philadelphia Eagles after getting some passes batted down at the line.

Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban isn’t worried about Jackson’s delivery.

“I’m more concerned about his base, his platform and the biomechanics of the delivery than some of those things that he does great naturally,” Urban said. “I know there are some other players around this league who get publicized for how amazing it is that they can throw sidearmed.”8

Entering this season, the Ravens were hoping for Jackson to take a step forward as a passer. But Jackson has regressed in every passing category through six games.

Jackson ranks 24th in completion rate (63%), 25th passing yards (1,135), 23rd in yards per attempt (7.01) and 14th in passer rating (99.2). He is 13th with 10 touchdown passes after leading the NFL last year.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

The Ravens work hard on the “biomechanics” of a quarterback’s delivery, which includes the coordination of his feet, hips, arms and then the follow through.

Has Jackson struggled with that the past couple of games?

“I don’t see that at all,” Urban said.

Jackson has struggled to complete passes recently. Over his past four games, he ranks 31st in completion percentage, ahead of just Joe Flacco and Sam Darnold.

“I think he had about five throwaways this past game — that’s part of it — which, as coaches, we applaud,” Urban said. “One of our quarterback commandments is, ‘Do what’s best for the team at that moment.'”

What hasn’t changed with Jackson is the victories. He’s 24-4 since taking over as the Ravens’ starting quarterback midway through the 2018 season, which is the best in the NFL over that span.

But Jackson has been visibly more frustrated than last season.

“It’s how the game is going,” Jackson said. “My emotions will probably flare up a little depending on that, but it’s just a competitive edge. I don’t like to mess up, and I feel like our guys should feel the same way.”

New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas can return after discipline if healthy

Michael Thomas’ discipline lasted only one game, according to New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. As long as he is healthy, the Saints’ star receiver is eligible to return Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Thomas was listed as limited in Wednesday’s practice with the ankle injury that has sidelined him since Week 1 and a new hamstring issue. Thomas did not participate in the early portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media. But he was dressed in uniform and apparently returned to practice later based on the limited designation.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Thomas has been sidelined since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1. But he appeared close to returning in Week 5 before he was disciplined by the team for an altercation during practice that included him punching teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson.7

The Saints had a bye in Week 6, which should have given Thomas even more time to heal — though Payton declined to offer any injury projections.

“We’ll see. I think he’s feeling better. [But] we really don’t get into injuries or projections,” Payton said Wednesday morning.

Payton also declined to get into any further details of Thomas’ disciplinary incident when asked how Thomas responded to his punishment.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“Not interested in talking about how he responded,” Payton said. “We’re getting ready for Carolina this week, we had a good bye week, and here we are.”

Thomas himself said that he will be back this week while making a cameo appearance in the background of teammate Cameron Jordan’s interview with ESPN’s First Take last week. Otherwise, Thomas has not spoken with the media since the incident.