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Rob Gronkowski Confirms He'll Play In Week 1

Rob Gronkowski confirmed that he'll play for the New England Patriots in Week 1 at the Miami Dolphins.

Gronkowski, who underwent surgery on a torn right ACL on Jan. 9 and returned to full-team drills for the first time Aug. 18, did not play in the preseason.

Gronkowski has been one of the NFL's most productive tight ends whenever he's been on the field, but has had injury issues over the past few seasons.

"Super excited, super pumped. I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it," Gronkowski said Monday. "My mentality now is I'm ready to go, I'm ready to be out there, I'm ready to hit, I'm ready to start going."

Via Mike Reiss/ESPN


Alex Smith Agrees Upon Four-Year Extension With Chiefs

Alex Smith has signed a four-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs worth $17 million per season.

Smith's deal includes $45 million in guaranteed money.

The Chiefs dealt for Smith from the San Francisco 49ers for two second round picks.

“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”

Via Terez A. Paylor/The Kansas City Star


Odell Beckham Jr. Expected To Miss First Few Weeks

Odell Beckham Jr. won't be available for the New York Giants in Week 1 of the regular season at the Detroit Lions.

Beckham could be out for the first two or three weeks of the season as he returns from a hamstring injury.

"Let's just let this kid get better," Tom Coughlin said after practice Monday. "I went to him yesterday to say, 'Let's just not have any more setbacks.' Because it's every day the same question over and over. He's not ready to play. He may be a couple or three weeks away. I'll let you know when he's ready."

Beckham missed the team's June minicamp with a hamstring injury and aggravated it in the team's first practice of training camp July 22.

Via Dan Graziano/ESPN



Wes Welker Returns To Practice, Status In Doubt For Week 1

Wes Welker returned to practice with the Denver Broncos on Monday as he continues through the NFL's concussion protocol.

Welker has not been cleared for contact and is still a question mark for Sunday night's regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. 

Welker suffered a concussion on Aug. 23, which is his third since Nov. 17.

Via Jeff Legwold/ESPN


Alex Boone To Sign New Two-Year Deal With 49ers

Alex Boone is expected to report to the San Francisco 49ers by the end of Monday to end his holdout.

Boone will sign a new two-year deal to replace his old contract with an increase in salary and incentives.

The 49ers also will not be able to use their franchise tag on Boone once the new contract has expired, sources said.

Boone originally was scheduled to make up to $4 million over the next two seasons under his previous deal, sources said.

Via Adam Schefter/ESPN


Texans Trade For Ryan Mallett

The Houston Texans have traded for Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots, sending a conditional sixth or seventh round pick in 2015.

The Texans are entering the 2014 season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter.

To make room for Mallett on their roster, the Texans will waive quarterback Case Keenum, a source told ESPN.

Mallett was passed on the Patriots' depth chart this summer by rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, a second-round pick who impressed throughout training camp and the preseason.

Via ESPN


Michael Sam Goes Unclaimed On Waivers

Michael Sam went unclaimed on waivers after his release by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

Sam is now to sign with an NFL team's practice squad.

Sam arrived at Rams Park on Sunday for a face-to-face exit meeting with Jeff Fisher. The meeting was postponed a day so Sam could attend Missouri's opening victory over South Dakota State.

Via ESPN


Ray McDonald Arrested On Domestic Violence Charge

Ray McDonald has been arrested on domestic violence charges.

San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol confirmed that McDonald, 29, was taken into custody early Sunday after officers responded to a call at 2:48 a.m. PT.

McDonald ranks second among San Francisco 49ers' defensive ends in sacks, snaps and tackles since 2011.

Under the league's newly implemented personal conduct policy, a first domestic-violence offense will result in a six-game ban and a second in a lifetime ban from the NFL.

Via Paul Gutierrez/ESPN


Nate Burleson Cut By Brown

Nate Burleson has been cut by the Cleveland Browns.

Burleson has been dealing with a lingering hamstring issue and played in just one preseason game.

Burleson had 461 yards and one touchdown last season for the Detroit Lions.

Via ESPN


James Harrison Retires From NFL

James Harrison has announced his retirement from the NFL.

Harrison spent 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and one last year with the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today," Harrison's statement said. "My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career.

"My love for the game isn't strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school."

The 36-year-old Harrison entered the league in 2002 as an undrafted free agent out of Akron. 

Via Coley Harvey/ESPN