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Vikings hire ex-Raiders OC Downing

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have hired Todd Downing as a senior offensive assistant, bringing him back to his hometown team after serving last year as offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

Downing will begin his 18th season in the NFL, the first five of which were with the Vikings as an intern, systems analyst and quality control coach. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in Oakland in 2017 after two years as quarterbacks coach.

Downing has also been with the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills. He played quarterback at Eden Prairie High School, just a few miles from Vikings headquarters. Downing first started coaching at his alma mater under Mike Grant, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Vikings coach Bud Grant.

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Eagles C Kelce visits Phillies camp

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce got plenty of attention for his salty language during the Super Bowl celebration parade. The All-Pro says he tried to tone it down when he spoke inside the Phillies clubhouse on Monday.

But once Kelce started his speech, he found that old habits die hard.

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Hurney back as Panthers GM after probe

The Panthers have reinstated interim general manager Marty Hurney after an NFL investigation found no wrongdoing into charges of harassment by his ex-wife.

Hurney had been on a paid leave of absence during the investigation.

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Chiefs sign ex-Raiders CB Amerson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Chiefs signed free-agent cornerback David Amerson on Friday to provide secondary depth.

The veteran cornerback has made 56 starts and appeared in 68 games over five seasons with the Washington Redskins and the Chiefs' AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders. He's made 249 tackles, picked off eight passes and returned two four touchdowns.

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Will Smith's killer appeals conviction

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A man convicted in the shooting death of retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith has appealed the conviction and 25-year-sentence arising from a confrontation after a 2016 traffic collision.

Cardell Hayes was convicted of manslaughter in December 2016 in Smith's death and of attempted manslaughter because Smith's wife, Raquel, was shot in both legs during the encounter in April of that year.

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Jags' stadium renamed to TIAA Bank Field

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars will play in a renamed stadium next season.

The franchise said Friday that TIAA Bank Field will replace EverBank Field as the official stadium name.

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QB McCarron wins arbitration, will be FA

CINCINNATI (AP) AJ McCarron won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and will become an unrestricted free agent next month, making him one of the more attractive quarterbacks on the market.

McCarron challenged the Bengals' decision to put him on a non-football injury list as a rookie in 2014, when the fifth-round pick had a sore passing shoulder. The move meant that the season wouldn't count toward free agency and McCarron would have to stick around as Andy Dalton's backup for one more year in 2018.

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Cards' Fitzgerald set to return in 2018

PHOENIX (AP) No. 11 is coming back for the Arizona Cardinals.

New Arizona coach Steve Wilks says wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald - arguably the most popular and certainly the most prolific player to don a Cardinals uniform - has told him he'll return for a 15th NFL season.

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Janikowski won't be back with Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Eighteen years after the Raiders made kicker Sebastian Janikowski a surprise first-round draft pick, his career in Oakland has come to an end.

The team told Janikowski this week that he won't be brought back when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next month.

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5 sites finalists for '19 or '20 draft

The NFL has named five sites as finalists to host the NFL draft in either 2019 or 2020.

Finalists to host either the 2019 or 2020 draft include Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Nashville, Tennessee; as well as a combined entry of Cleveland and Canton, Ohio. Canton is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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