The NFL has approved a change to its playoff overtime rules to ensure both teams are given a chance to possess the ball.

Under the rules that cover the regular season, and before Tuesday's vote applied to the postseason, each team has the opportunity to possess the ball in overtime unless the team that gets it first scores a touchdown on the opening possession.

The equity of the overtime format was called into question following the end of a pulsating AFC Divisional Round clash between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City managed to send the game to overtime after driving down the field in the final 13 seconds of regulation to set up a game-tying field goal.

The Chiefs subsequently won the toss and Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce for the game-winning touchdown on the opening possession.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who in a 42-36 defeat threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns in an astonishing display, never had the chance to respond.

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles tabled a rule change at this week's NFL owners' meeting, proposing that both teams have the chance to possess the ball in overtime in the postseason, and the motion passed by a 29-3 margin.

Since 2010, 12 postseason games have gone to overtime, with teams that won the coin toss boasting a 10-2 record. Seven of those games were decided on the first overtime possession.

But NFL competition committee member Rich McKay intimated that an unsatisfying end to a classic in Kansas City was the final straw in terms of making a change.

Speaking at a media conference, McKay said: "In the Buffalo game this year, it's potentially the greatest 20-30 minutes of football that I've ever seen and to think that it ended that way definitely brought up the idea of 'hey, is that equitable, does that work for everybody?'.

"So I think that no question started the discussion. What typically happens in these, is they tend to lose momentum as you get further away from the game, and that did not happen in this instance."

 

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are "in a great spot" when it comes to a long-term tie-up, according to coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Murray's agent Erik Burkhardt issued a statement last month in which he called for the quarterback to be shown "a real commitment" by the franchise in his next contract.

In the 2021 season, Murray threw 3,787 yards with 24 touchdown passes and added five rushing TDs, while he had the second-highest completion rate in the NFL of 69.2 per cent.

Burkhardt said Murray required "long-term stability for both the organisation and himself", stating a "detailed contract proposal" had been submitted. He urged the Cardinals to "prioritise" his client's situation, rather than continue "to merely talk about addressing Kyler's long-term future".

For Kingsbury, there is no drama as Arizona look to secure 24-year-old Murray's future.

"We are in a great spot with him," Kingsbury said on Tuesday, quoted by profootballnetwork.com.

"I know that [statement] was what it was, but nothing has changed from our end. We're excited about his future and want to make him an Arizona Cardinal for as long we can.

"I think all of us want to feel wanted. You put so much time and effort working in this game, so that's a big part of it. [Murray] knows how we feel about him, and I'm so excited to see what we can do with him moving forward."

Burkhardt also serves as Kingsbury's agent, but the coach has previously indicated he was unaware of the plans for February's statement about Murray.

Murray was the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the team have a 22-23-1 record in the games where he has featured.

An 11-6 record in the 2021 season was the team's best for six years.

Murray last week said he was "happy where I am".

"I'm an Arizona Cardinal," Murray said. "I've done nothing but give my all to the Cardinals and will continue to do that. I'm not really too worried about my future as a Cardinal."

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has suggested the team are close to agreeing a deal for Aaron Donald to return for the 2022 season.

The Super Bowl LVI champions had hoped Donald would do so after he hinted he would "run it back" during the victory parade following the win against the Cincinnati Bengals at the NFL's big show in February.

Ahead of the game at SoFi Stadium, it was reported the highly rated defensive tackle could retire if he finally won a championship to go with his individual achievements.

And the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could scarcely have been more influential in the 23-20 Rams win.

Donald held up Joe Burrow and the Bengals on third and one and then fourth and one on their final drive, finishing with two sacks and three quarterback hits – tying the best marks of his playoff career.

The 30-year-old penned a six-year, $135 million extension before the start of the 2018 season, but has now outplayed that deal.

Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday at the annual league meeting, McVay addressed Donald's situation, saying: "It's a huge priority for us. I know that our group is working with [Donald's agent] Todd France and trying to get that figured out.

"[I] feel really good about Aaron's excitement about coming back and continuing to lead the way for us. But that is a piece that we do want to be able to get figured out for him. And I think he's deserving of it.

"We're in the process of working through that right now."

Donald recorded 12.5 sacks for 111 yards and 17 quarterback hits in the 2021 regular season, before adding another 3.5 sacks for 20.5 yards and nine quarterback hits in the postseason.

Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers did not want to lose Davante Adams, but it was a trade the team had to make.

Superstar wide receiver Adams left the Packers to join the Las Vegas Raiders in a blockbuster trade earlier in March.

The 29-year-old signed a five-year deal worth up to $141million, making him the highest-paid receiver in league history.

Adams has posted combined numbers of 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons, leaving a big void for the Packers to fill.

"That was one of those things those decisions are never easy to make," coach LaFleur said during the NFL owners' meetings.

"Unfortunately, it was one that we had to come to. I think a lot of it was driven by Davante, but there's no sense in looking back. We're moving forward. We appreciate everything he's done, obviously.

"It's a lot to replace in terms of production and the type of leader he was for us. But again it was one of those deals you never want to back, but sometimes you have to make.

"Sometimes you got to make some tough decisions. Certainly appreciate everything Davante brought to our team. I mean, he is the best receiver in the National Football League, so that was a tough one for me personally and for our organisation."

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had 430 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2021, has also left the Packers, and LaFleur knows his team need replacements.

"Certainly, if you look at our roster right now, we definitely need to get some speed in that room," LaFleur added.

"We need a legit guy that can take off the top of the coverage. We lost a guy that was pretty good at doing that.

"It's like putting a puzzle together, you've got to find those pieces that you're missing and put it all together. How that's going to look in the end? I have no idea right now."

One major boost, at least, for the Packers was the return of Aaron Rodgers, with the back-to-back MVP becoming the highest-paid player in the NFL when averaged out per-year.

"I actually received a text message that confirmed Aaron was coming back," LaFleur said when asked if he knew Rodgers was going to sign a new deal.

"I was in an offensive meeting. I actually darted out right away just to make sure I read it the right way before I let everybody know.

"I would say that I had pretty good feelings about it since the Super Bowl ended up until that point. Until you know, you really don't know."

Pete Carroll believes the Seattle Seahawks "got a really good deal" for Russell Wilson but added they will not be looking to trade another superstar in DK Metcalf.

Long-time Seahawks quarterback Wilson was moved with a fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick, along with Drew Lock, Shelby Harris and Noah Fant.

That deal signalled the end of an era in Seattle, where Wilson had been the starter since being drafted in 2012, winning the Super Bowl in his second season.

Prior to the trade, Carroll had insisted the Seahawks had "no intention of making any move there".

But speaking on Tuesday, the head coach said: "Things change. There was a long period in there working it. I didn't have the intention of going crazy, but we looked at the opportunity.

"Once we got a good look at it, there was reason. We got a really good deal, so we went ahead and made it. It took a long time to get to that, though.

"We had a long process where I didn’t think we would do it. It was such a complicated trade to make."

Given Carroll's wording, Seahawks fans might be concerned by his update on the future of wide receiver Metcalf, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

"We intend for him to be with us," Carroll said. "We'd love to figure that out."

However, he added some certainty on the future a 24-year-old who last year had 12 receiving touchdowns – more than either Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill, two players who have this offseason secured huge new contracts following trades.

"We're not on that topic yet specifically, because we've got so many other things going on, but we'd love to have him," Carroll said. "There's no way I could imagine playing without him."

Among those "many other things" is the identity of Wilson's successor under center, even as the Seahawks work to re-sign his former back-up Geno Smith.

The team are "definitely still in the quarterback business," Carroll said. Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett could be options in the draft, but talks with Colin Kaepernick "have not progressed".

For now, former Broncos QB Lock is in the box seat, despite underwhelming across three seasons in Denver in which he earned only 21 starts.

Lock threw 15 interceptions in his sole season as a regular starter in 2020, leading Carroll to acknowledge "there's a lot of turnovers in his game" and "that just doesn't fit with us". "We just have to fix that," he said.

However, the Seahawks coach can also "still see" the "big, strong-armed, mobile, aggressive, athletic quarterback" that came out of college.

"All we're seeing right now is upside," he added.

Cam Newton is again biding his time before deciding on his NFL future, although another return to the Carolina Panthers remains a possibility.

Newton was the 2015 NFL MVP during an initial nine-year Panthers career before he was released in March 2020.

The quarterback landed at the New England Patriots in July of that year on a one-year deal, replacing the great Tom Brady.

Although that contract was renewed for 2021, the emergence of rookie QB Mac Jones meant Newton was cut before the season started.

Newton had thrown just eight touchdown passes to 10 interceptions in New England but added 12 rushing scores – the most by a QB since his own 2011 record of 14 – and did enough to earn another job with the Panthers.

With Sam Darnold injured after an indifferent start in Carolina, Newton re-joined the team in November.

The 32-year-old scored a rushing TD in each of his first five games back, one short of Johnny Lujack's QB streak of six in 1950. Three games with a passing TD and a rushing TD boosted Newton's own record tally to 45 such games.

However, Newton later lost his place to Darnold and finished the year with a career-low passer rating of 64.4.

Still, almost three months on from the Panthers' final game of the season, the team are considering their future with Darnold while Newton is again without a team.

"I have teams that are interested in signing me," Newton told ESPN. "I am waiting on the best fit as it pertains to winning a championship and getting a fair chance to play."

Coach Matt Rhule said on Tuesday: "I love Cam Newton. He's an amazing leader. He's an amazing football player.

"Everything we do has to be right for the organisation, right for him."

The Panthers have the sixth overall pick in 2022, but it is a draft light on quarterback talent. Meanwhile, various trades and moves in free agency have left both the team and Newton short of alternative options.

Jerry Jones has explained Amari Cooper's trade to the Cleveland Browns, claiming the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap could be "better spent" elsewhere.

Cooper signed a five-year, $100million contract extension with the Cowboys in 2020, coming off four Pro Bowl appearances in his first five seasons in the NFL.

But the wide receiver struggled to live up to that salary, which made him the highest-paid player at his position in 2021.

Cooper's $22m accounted for 10.5 per cent of the Cowboys' cap, with only defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence taking up more.

Despite that, Cooper ranked just 30th among receivers for catches (68) and receiving yards (865) and tied 12th for receiving touchdowns (eight).

Heading into 2022, Jones and the Cowboys pondered the merits of committing league-leading money to a player they were targeting with just 104 passes last year – tied for 32nd at his position.

"To be fair, we let Cooper go down the road," Jones explained. "That was our decision.

"That wasn't made to depreciate the team. At the end of the day, it is a financial allocation toward the talent, and you've got to consider availability, and that sometimes departs from the best route runner.

"We had to look hard at the 10 or 11 players who are getting two-thirds of the money. We have to make sure every one those players are pulling as much weight as you can, because of the economic emphasis. That is a big part of what's on the field.

"How much were they there, how many snaps they get, how much production did you get. That is always going to be under scrutiny. It should be."

Ultimately, Jones said, the Cowboys "made a decision that that allocation should be better spent".

Cowboys fans might still have hoped to get more in return for a player for whom they parted with a first-round draft pick – which became safety Johnathan Abram – in a 2018 trade with the then Oakland Raiders.

The Browns sent a fifth-round 2022 selection to Dallas, along with a pick swap in the sixth round.

"We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade," Jones said.

The New Orleans Saints have struck a deal with Tre'Quan Smith to keep the wide receiver with the team.

Smith has signed a two-year deal worth $6million, potentially rising above $10m with incentives, according to NFL Network.

Despite making a number of roster moves to ensure they could get under the salary cap and hiring a new head coach, the Saints' offense will ultimately have a similar look to 2021 when it takes to the field this year.

Jameis Winston has returned at quarterback with Smith again joining Michael Thomas and Marquez Callaway to make up the receiving corps.

Smith, 26, has been with the Saints since they picked him in the third round in 2018.

He has caught 17 touchdown passes in that time, though last year's total of three was a career-low, as was his yards per reception mark of 11.8, which compares to 15.3 in his rookie year.

Former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has been promoted to head coach with the Saints, replacing Sean Payton after his successful 15-year run in the job.

Solomon Thomas, the former number three overall pick, has agreed to join the New York Jets.

According to widespread reports, defensive lineman Thomas has signed a one-year deal with the Jets after spending last season with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Thomas had a career-high 3.5 sacks as well as 12 QB hits with the Raiders in 2021 despite not starting any games.

The 26-year-old spent his first four seasons with the team who drafted him, the San Francisco 49ers, where Jets head coach Robert Saleh previously served as defensive coordinator.

While Thomas has not lived up to his lofty draft position, the rebuilding Jets will hope his reunion with Saleh proves to be a productive one.

The Jets struggled to a 4-13 record in Saleh's first season, but are optimistic about posting an improved 2022 campaign after a productive free agency period.

The Buffalo Bills have decided to match the offer sheet offensive lineman Ryan Bates signed with the Chicago Bears.

AFC East champions the Bills had until Tuesday to decide whether they would ensure they kept the restricted free agent.

To do so, they had to match the Bears' four-year contract offer, which reportedly includes two fully guaranteed years at the start of the deal.

Guard Bates, who also had free-agent visits with the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, will now remain with the Bills.

The 25-year-old joined Buffalo in a 2019 trade from the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We have kind of pondered that and worked through it – obviously we are tight on the cap, but we are going to bring Ryan back," Bills general manager Brandon Beane confirmed.

"It's really important for us to be strong up front, both lines. Ryan's a versatile player. He can actually play all five spots, but most importantly, he's been a center, guard he's filled in.

"We thought when he had his opportunity this year, he did a heck of a job starting the last four regular-season games and then the two postseason games. 

"It didn't seem too big for him. You want to keep as many of those key pieces, he knows our system. He obviously knows [quarterback] Josh Allen."

Bears GM Ryan Poles was frustrated, saying: "I just found that out. 

"It stinks. But that's part of the RFA process. So we'll adjust and we'll keep adding players. It's out of your control."

The Bills, who are rated as the early Super Bowl favourites, also brought back offensive lineman Ike Boettger after agreeing a one-year deal.

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen says his team are not shopping Saquon Barkley, even though he had taken calls from other NFL teams about the running back.

Barkley was drafted to huge fanfare at number two overall in 2018 and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year as he racked up 15 total touchdowns in his debut campaign.

The 25-year-old has struggled to recapture those performances since, with injuries hindering him along the way as a torn ACL in 2020 limited him to just two games that year.

As the Giants rebuild with a new GM and head coach, there was trade talk at the scouting combine about Barkley, who is now playing under his fifth-year option worth $7.2million.

But Schoen has clarified that his previous comments about listening to calls did not mean he was keen to see the player move on.

"I reached out to him immediately after all that happened at the combine," Schoen told ESPN about Barkley, who averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in 162 attempts last year.

"Again, it would be irresponsible for the team if a team calls – I think 31 other GMs would say the same thing – if somebody is going to call and offer you something ridiculous, you're going to listen. 

"It doesn't mean you're going to make a deal or say yes to it. That was taken a little bit out of context. So I haven't called one team on Saquon Barkley.

"Everybody ran with that from the combine. I said I would listen if people called on any players. It would be irresponsible if I didn't. That doesn't mean I'm going to do every deal. 

"I've got calls about a few of our players. He's one where a couple teams have reached out. 

"But I'm not shopping Saquon Barkley. The guy was the number two pick in the draft for a reason. He's got a lot of talent and I'm looking forward to working with him."

New York have not won a playoff game since their Super Bowl triumph at the end of the 2011 season.

Brian Daboll, who like Schoen has just arrived from the Buffalo Bills, is the team's fifth head coach since two-time Super Bowl winner Tom Coughlin departed after the 2015 campaign.

Giants co-owner John Mara was also asked about Barkley this week and called him "a great representative" for the team who "could have a very big year".

But he stressed any football decisions lay with Schoen and Daboll.

Andy Reid insists there is no rift between him and Tyreek Hill after the Kansas City Chiefs traded their star wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins.

In the latest blockbuster move of an incredible offseason in the NFL, Hill was traded to Miami for five draft picks last week.

The Dolphins then handed Hill, a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a four-year, $120million contract extension with $72.2m guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player at his position.

Hill was a pivotal part of a Chiefs team that has reached the AFC Championship Game for four straight years and won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2019 season.

Chiefs coach Reid stressed that his departure was directly related to contract negotiations and the Chiefs' situation with the salary cap.

"I love Tyreek Hill," said Reid, per ESPN. "There's no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. 

"I thought he deserved an opportunity if that's where he wanted to go. 

"He's a family man that has a few kids and he's got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that. 

"At the same time, it gives us great compensation."

Speaking publicly for the first time since the trade, Reid made it clear the Chiefs' initial intention was to find a way to keep Hill.

He added: "We came in aggressive [with a contract offer], and after we got to a point, we just said, 'Listen, in this day and age you have issues you have to deal with, with the cap'. 

"So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. You can go different routes with a player. You can play hardball or you can go about it the way I did, or we did.

"You've got to be able to manage that the right way.

"If you're paying all of your money to a quarterback and you can't surround him with players, that can be a problem. 

"So you have to find a way with a Tyreek Hill maybe that you have to get rid of so you can replenish. That's offense and defense. I'm not just talking about the offensive side."

The departure of Hill is a huge blow for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, though Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster are two free agent pass-catchers who have been brought in so far.

"You want to surround him with great players," added Reid when he was asked about Mahomes.

"We did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we're doing here with the players we brought in and we feel they're very good football players.

"[General manager Brett Veach] is building this thing to where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays."

The Chiefs have won the AFC West division for six straight seasons but face fierce competition this year.

Seattle Seahawks great Russell Wilson has been signed by the Denver Broncos to play QB, while the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have also strengthened with big moves.

All NFL teams must hire a minority offensive assistant coach from next season, the league has said.

It was also agreed among owners at Monday's annual general meeting to add women to the Rooney Rule, as well as encouraging more diversity in ownership groups and announcing the creation of a Diversity Advisory Committee.

There are currently just five minority head coaches in the NFL, and it is hoped that by increasing the talent pool among offensive coaches – which is often from where head coaches are hired – that number will increase over time.

Chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee Art Rooney II, who is also owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and whose father the 'Rooney Rule' is named after, said: "It's a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions.

"We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].

"So, without oversimplifying it, it's really an effort to try to bring more talented minority coaches to the offensive side of the ball. Both within the league and hopefully attract those talented individuals from the college ranks."

Minority coaches now make up 39 per cent of the NFL total according to league data, which is a rise from 35 per cent at the start of the 2021 season, while there are 12 women in coaching positions.

The addition of women to the Rooney Rule means they are now included as a "minority" of which at least two must be interviewed, but this does not necessarily mean a woman and a person of colour will always be part of the process as a hiring team could in theory interview two women, or two people of colour.

"The truth of the matter is that as of today, at least, there aren't many women in the pool in terms of head coach," Rooney added. "We hope that is going to change over the years, but for that reason we didn't see it as inhibiting the number of interviews for racial minorities at this point in time.

"Obviously, we can address that as time goes on, but for now we didn't see that as an issue.

"Really, we are looking at probably the early stages of women entering the coaching ranks, so we may be a little ways away before that becomes a problem."

The San Francisco 49ers have no plans to release Jimmy Garoppolo despite their inability to trade him, general manager John Lynch has insisted.

No secret has been made of the Niners' plans to trade Garoppolo since their 2021 season came to an end with defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco selected quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick in last year's draft, having traded the 12th overall pick and their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to move up to that spot.

Lance is set to take over as the starting quarterback in 2022, but Lynch did not rule out Garoppolo still being on the depth chart, having received no trade offers for the former New England Patriot.

"I don't foresee that," Lynch said when asked about releasing Garoppolo at the NFL owners' meetings on Monday.

"He's too good of a player. I don't foresee that, and I think Jimmy will be playing for us or he'll be playing for somebody else. He's too good of a player not to be."

Garoppolo remains on the Niners' roster as host of potential suitors have filled their quarterback need via other means. The Denver Broncos pulled off a spectacular trade for Russell Wilson, the Indianapolis Colts shipped Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and then dealt for Matt Ryan, while the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky.

There had previously been talk of the Niners having an offer of two second-round picks in hand for Garoppolo, but Lynch dismissed such speculation.

"Not true. No," Lynch said. "Nobody ever said, 'OK, here’s our offer'. We never got to that point."

While Garoppolo's future with San Francisco remains in question, Lynch assured that All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel and Pro Bowl edge rusher Nick Bosa will be on the roster for a long time as the Niners negotiate likely lucrative contract extensions with the pair.

"We've had good communication with Tory [Dandy] who represents Deebo and Bryan Ayrault who represents Nick,” Lynch said. "We have a plan for each of those guys. We will keep those discussions private but like I've long said, those guys are going to be a part of us for a long, long time. 

"They're fantastic players. They are very much at the core of who we are and they are fabulous players, fabulous people and a big part of who we are.” 

The 2024 NFL Draft will be held in downtown Detroit, the league announced on Monday. 

One of the most anticipated events on the sporting calendar, the three-day event will take place around the Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza site. 

This year's draft will be held in Las Vegas next month, with Kansas City hosting the 2023 edition. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said: "The draft has become a prominent offseason event across the country, and we are excited to work with the [Detroit] Lions and their partners to bring the 2024 NFL Draft to the Motor City. 

"With the help of Visit Detroit, the Detroit Sports Commission, and the City of Detroit, the Lions' passionate fan base and all visitors will be treated to an incredible three-day experience." 

Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit, added: "Visit Detroit is looking forward to working with our partners in the hospitality community to welcome enthusiastic football fans from across the country who will make our city a pigskin pilgrimage stop.  

"Hosting the draft is another exciting win for Detroit, and it will deliver a powerful economic impact and highlight the vibrancy of our region." 

Page 7 of 104
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.