GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers had as many as four key defensive contributors who were scheduled to be free agents after this season.
Now they only have three.
The Packers signed defensive lineman Dean Lowry to a contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. The three-year deal with worth just over $20 million, including a $6 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN.
Lowry, a fourth-round pick in 2016, was scheduled to make $2.025 million this year in the final season of his rookie deal.
He moved into a full-time starting role midway through the season after injuries depleted the defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson, Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark all finished the season on injured reserve.
Wilkerson was not re-signed, and Daniels is entering the final year of his deal. Starting inside linebacker Blake Martinez and last year’s sack leader, Kyler Fackrell, also are scheduled to be free agents after this season.
Lowry has only missed one game in his first three years, appearing in 47 regular-season games with 19 starts. He played in all 16 games and made eight starts last year. He set career highs in tackles (57), solo tackles (39), sacks (3) and passes defensed (4) while also registering the first forced fumble of his career.
Panthers’ Cox cited for speeding, marijuana
BESSEMER CITY, N.C. — The North Carolina Highway Patrol cited Carolina Panthers defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. for speeding, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on Wednesday, the final day of the team’s training camp.
Sergeant Christopher Knox of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said troopers pulled over the 25-year-old Cox on Interstate 85 northbound near Bessemer City for driving 90 mph in a 65 mph zone in a 2015 Nissan. Cox was cited for possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana. He has an Oct. 14 court date.
The incident came about an hour after the Panthers broke camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and players began returning to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Panthers released a statement Wednesday night, saying, “The club is aware that Bryan Cox Jr. was cited by law enforcement today. We are gathering information and have been in contact with the NFL and Bryan. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Cox has been with the Panthers since 2017. He is the son of Bryan Cox, who played 12 seasons in the NFL and was named All-Pro three times.
Beckham Jr. dealing with hip injury
This story has been corrected. Read below.
Sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that Beckham is dealing with a hip injury, but he could participate in team drills against the Colts on Thursday. Beckham took part in individual drills on Wednesday.
The Browns are in Westfield, Indiana, for two joint practices with the Colts before their preseason game on Saturday.
Beckham did not play in Cleveland’s first preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
An August 14 story had sources incorrectly describing Beckham Jr.’s injury as a hip pointer. Later, sources said it is simply a hip injury and not a pointer.
Brown faces lawsuit over unpaid $38K chef’s bill
Stefano Tedeschi — who goes by the name “The Sports Chef” — filed suit in Osceola (Florida) County on July 30, claiming that Brown’s balance of $38,521.20 remains unpaid.
Brown rented an Orlando-area mansion and hired the chef to prepare food for multiple days, a culinary show and other services for nearly 50 Pro Bowl teammates and many other party guests, Tedeschi told ESPN in an interview Wednesday.
Brown wrongfully terminated the agreement and did not allow Tedeschi to retrieve his equipment and food from the premises, the lawsuit states. A Brown associate told Tedeschi not to make eye contact with Brown on his way out, Tedeschi told ESPN.
Tedeschi added that he never got an official reason for the lack of payment. He paid staff members out of pocket for their work and forwent other work opportunities by committing to Brown.
“I’ve cooked for countless NFL superstars and celebrities,” said Tedeschi, who says he has prepared food for Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, among others. “Never once have I had one problem [until this]. My food is so good, and my mannerisms in someone’s home is second to none.”
Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, responded to the lawsuit, saying only, “We expect to be filing a motion to dismiss the complaint and will let the filing speak for itself.”
Tedeschi claimed that Brown later offered to pay Tedeschi in social media advertising, which Tedeschi said he didn’t accept.
This is the latest legal incident for Brown in Florida. The All-Pro faced two lawsuits from an April 2018 incident in which Brown allegedly yelled at security and threw items from inside an apartment off a balcony, according to documents obtained by ESPN. Both lawsuits were for “damages in excess of $15,000, exclusive of” attorney fees and interest.
In April, Brown settled the lawsuit brought by the guardian of a 2-year-old boy alleging “intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault” after items flung from the 14th floor of The Mansions at Acqualina nearly hit the child.
In January, Brown was involved in a domestic dispute during which he allegedly pushed the mother of his daughter to the ground in Hollywood, Florida. No arrests were made and no charges filed. Heitner called the allegations “baseless and false,” and Brown later filed for majority custody of his daughter.
Traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders in March, Brown recently filed a grievance with the NFLPA over the expiration of his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet. Brown lost the grievance on Monday and reported to the Raiders on Tuesday. He is also dealing with a foot injury that’s keeping him off the practice field.
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