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Richard Sherman of San Francisco 49ers says signing a ‘vengeful’ choice against Seattle Seahawks

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New San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman says playing in the NFC West and having the opportunity to face his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, twice per season played a role in his free-agent decision, telling The MMQB on Sunday that “I’m vengeful in that way.”

Sherman acknowledged his feelings after seeing the reaction from Seahawks fans to his signing with one of their rivals.

“I love the fan base to death, and I loved playing there. It was such a great opportunity. I helped the organization get to a great place and stay there,” Sherman told The MMQB. “But now it’s like I abandoned them. People are out there burning my jersey. Come on. I’m not the one who let me go. They let me go. I didn’t abandon anybody.”

The 49ers and Sherman agreed to a three-year contract that was officially announced by the team Sunday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Saturday that the incentive-laden deal is worth up to $39.15 million.

Sherman told The MMQB that the contract contains guarantees that roll over to the following year if he makes the Pro Bowl.

“I don’t think any agent in the business could have done a better job of negotiating this contract,” Sherman said. “As long as I’m content with what I’m making, nothing else matters to me.

“Once I make a Pro Bowl, $8 million the next year is guaranteed for me. It gives me the ability to control my destiny. The 49ers have skin in the game. I have skin in the game. In my former contract, no matter what I did this year, nothing would be guaranteed to me next year. I couldn’t feel secure in my contract. Now, if I play the way I know I’m capable of playing, I know I’m going to get paid.”

Sherman said he called the Seahawks to gauge their interest on matching the 49ers’ offer but was turned down based on the incentives. He also reached out to the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions before finalizing the deal in San Francisco.

The MMQB also detailed some of the negotiations between Sherman and the 49ers, including general manager John Lynch and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe. Sherman was acting as his own agent, and Marathe said he was impressed by the cornerback’s preparation.

“Richard came into the meeting with us having read all the contracts for all the top cornerbacks past and present,” Marathe said, adding that Sherman “studied our contracts and knew who’d we’d given real guaranteed money to.”

San Francisco hopes Sherman can make a big impact even as he turns 30 later this month and is coming off an Achilles tendon injury that cost him half of the 2017 season. Sherman also had a cleanup surgery on his opposite ankle during the offseason.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Green Bay Packers LB Christian Kirksey out at least one game, source says

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers will be without Christian Kirksey for at least a game and possibly longer, sources told ESPN after the starting linebacker suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over the New Orleans Saints.

A source said the injury is not considered season ending, and although Kirksey is awaiting a second opinion, surgery likely will be avoided.

The best-case scenario is that Kirksey will miss next Monday night’s game against Atlanta and then return after the Packers’ Week 5 bye to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 18.

However, injured reserve is a possibility, meaning Kirksey would be unavailable for at least three weeks.

The Packers signed the former Cleveland Browns starter to a two-year, $13 million contract in March to replace Blake Martinez, who signed with the New York Giants in free agency. Kirksey played every snap in the first two games and until he got hurt on the 17th defensive play against the Saints.

Kirksey missed all but the first two games last season because of a broken collarbone and played in just seven games in 2018 while missing time because of hamstring, ankle and shoulder injuries.

The injury means the Packers will be without their two preferred starters at inside linebacker. They lost rookie fifth-round pick Kamal Martin, a projected starter, to a knee injury in training camp. Martin was expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Undrafted rookie Krys Barnes, out of UCLA, has filled in for Martin, but Kirksey’s shoes may be tougher to fill because he’s the defensive signal caller.

Second-year pro Ty Summers, who had not played a snap on defense before Sunday, took over for Kirksey against the Saints and played the final 44 snaps. He wore the speaker helmet, taking the playcalls from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and relaying them in the huddle. The speedy Summers, a seventh-round pick in 2019 who had played only on special teams in his first season-plus, led the Packers with nine tackles. The team reported no communication issues with Summers in charge.

“Ty stepped up,” said Packers defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, who had two sacks against the Saints. “At practice, you can tell he’s dialed in, he’s locked in. I know he prepared well at practice, you know, it’s going to happen into the game. Kirksey went down and Ty stepped in and made some key plays for us. So it’s all about trusting each other and keep building.”

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More proof Bills’ Josh Allen is an MVP candidate? Third-and-22 conversion – Buffalo Bills Blog

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — To think it all started with a miscommunication.

In Week 1 of the 2019 season, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw receiver Cole Beasley a pass he wasn’t expecting. Determined not to let that happen again, they discussed the route ad nauseam afterward. That paid off in Sunday’s wild 35-32 win against the Los Angeles Rams.

Allen found Beasley for a first down on third-and-22 during the fourth quarter. It was perhaps the team’s biggest play of the young season after Los Angeles roared back from a 28-3 deficit to take the lead. At the very least, it was one of two plays on Buffalo’s go-ahead drive that saved what was nearly a historic collapse.

“Honestly, it just turned into some backyard ball. Me and Cole have talked about this route many a time,” Allen said. “Cole found a spot in the middle [of the field], made a good catch, knifed upfield and got the first down. It was a huge play for us.”

Buffalo controlled the game for two-and-a-half quarters, leading by 25 midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles answered with 29 unanswered points to take the lead with just under three minutes to play.

Allen — who entered the game playing like an MVP candidate, with a league-high 727 passing yards and seven total TDs — needed a touchdown drive with his team trailing by four points. He found Beasley for a 19-yard gain on the first play of the go-ahead drive before taking a long sack. Two plays later, Allen rolled to his right and hit an open Beasley in the middle of the field.

“You never really know how a team is going to react. It’s those moments where we find out what we’re really made of,” Beasley said. “Because that’s tough, man, when you’re up 28-3, and they come back and take the lead from you with not much time left? That can deflate a team. But these guys are all dogs, and they don’t shy away from that. They’re all competitive as hell, and they fight to the finish.”

The other play that saved the Bills happened when Allen finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Kroft, giving Buffalo the lead for good. Allen finished with 311 passing yards and five touchdowns, including one on the ground. Through three games, he ranks second in the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, with 1,038 and 10.

Plays such as the long third-down conversion are a microcosm of what Allen brings to the field, especially late in games. His 10 game-winning drives since 2018 tie that of Houston’s Deshaun Watson for most in the NFL in that span.

“The guys play for him,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “Like all games, I’m sure there’s some plays he wants back, but at the end of the day, to come back in the NFL and win the game, that’s tough to do, and he’s now done it twice in the past two weeks. It just goes back to the ability to stay calm in critical moments of the game and have that winning mindset.”

The Bills will take that mindset and their three-game win streak into Week 4. They play Sunday at the Las Vegas Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).



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After victory, Matt Patricia keeps proper perspective, focuses on Detroit Lions ‘being consistent’

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Facing criticism and questions about his job security, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia won a game for the first time in 11 months on Sunday.

The Lions’ 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals, though, didn’t provide him with a sense of relief.

“I don’t ride the roller coaster. I just got to stay consistent,” Patricia said. “I think it’s hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster. I think it’s hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster. I think when you do that, you just try to hope it stops when you’re at the high point and not the down point.

“For us, it’s just about being consistent. It’s early in the season. We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to learn, you know. There’s a lot of plays in this game we’ve got to do better, so we’re going to go back to work and try to improve. That’s the bottom line. It’s the NFL. It’s every week.”

Patricia talked about similar things with his team in the week leading up to the game against Arizona after Detroit had double-digit leads against Chicago and Green Bay and lost them both. Not being affected by the ebbs and flows of a game was something multiple players and Patricia talked about.

Before the 2020 season, then-Lions owner Martha Ford and current Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said they expected major improvement this season, including playing meaningful games in December.

When Hamp took over ownership in June, she said “major improvement is the goal.” Then the Lions started 0-2, losing in similar fashion to many of Detroit’s defeats in the first two seasons under Patricia.

Then, on Sunday, the Lions had a fourth-quarter comeback under Patricia for only the second time in his tenure, which now stands at 10-24-1. Detroit, meanwhile, had 11 fourth-quarter leads evaporate in two-plus seasons with Patricia at the helm.

After, though, Patricia deflected attention, instead focusing on what it meant for his players, who hadn’t won a game since an Oct. 27, 2019, win over the New York Giants. Patricia specifically mentioned the energy and joy he saw in the locker room after the win that made him happy for his team.

“Love to win. Love it. It’s great. It was awesome. Love it for the guys,” Patricia said. “But, you know, there’s a lot to learn from too. If you go into the approach that everything’s great, from that standpoint you’re missing a great opportunity to get better and to learn from what happened yesterday.

“And certainly in yesterday’s game we made the play at the end of the game to win, and give credit to the players, they are the ones who did it. But for coaches, we have to stay consistent and just try to give these guys every tool we can to get better each week.”

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