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As contract talks near, Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams will prepare for offseason surgeries



SEATTLE — Before Jamal Adams gets paid this offseason, he’ll have to get surgery.

More than one, in fact.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the Pro Bowl strong safety will have surgery soon to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury he played through in the team’s 30-20 wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Adams also needs surgery on two broken fingers on his left hand, per Carroll, but not on the right shoulder he injured in Week 10.

All this comes as Adams and the Seahawks head towards a contract negotiation.

“Jamal had an incredible role this season,” Carroll said. “The juice that he brought, the competitiveness, the attitude of toughness, you just couldn’t miss him. He was banged up a good part of the season. He was hurt and he played really hurt in this last game and he found a way to do it. There was a question: is he going to be able to play effectively enough to let him play? But his will was so strong and he just wouldn’t be denied on it and I wanted him to be a part of it. But he had to struggle through some plays in this game as you see when you watch closely. His toughness is just undeniably there.”

Carroll said there were plays against the Rams that Adams didn’t make because of his injured shoulder. Adams was in position to knock down, if not intercept, a throw that Cooper Kupp caught for 44 yards. He missed a tackle on a check-down to Cam Akers that also went for 44 yards.

Adams said his movement was restricted in his left arm because of a harness he wore to support his shoulder, which he had injured the week before.

“That’s not an excuse,” he said when asked about the role his injury played on Kupp’s catch. “I have to make the play.”

Adams was credited with four tackles and three passes defensed against the Rams.

“I was in a lot of pain, but I fought through it,” he said. “It’s never going to be about me. It’s about this team, it’s about winning, and as long as my legs are moving, I’m going to be out there.”

Adams’ 9.5 sacks in 12 regular-season games were the most ever by a defensive back since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. His 30 pressures were 14 more than any other DB, per ESPN Stats & Information research. Adams missed four games earlier in the year with a groin injury. He led the Seahawks with 14 tackles for loss and did not have an interception, keeping his career total at two over four seasons.

The Seahawks acquired Adams from the New York Jets last summer in a blockbuster trade, giving up a package of draft picks that included their first-round selections in 2021 and ’22. The contract the Seahawks inherited runs through the 2021 season, which is the fifth-year option the Jets had exercised.

At the time of the trade, the Seahawks planned to wait until this offseason to attempt to sign Adams to an extension.

“That’s something that is out of my hands right now,” Adams said. “I sure pray that I am here. I love being a Seattle Seahawk. I love being a part of this organization. It’s a special one with special people with special guys around, and young ladies as well. So when that time comes, it comes. But I’m worried about getting healthy right now and getting back and getting into the flow of everything and figuring out everything. So I’m not really focused on that right now.”

Carroll said safety/nickelback Marquise Blair is on track to be ready by training camp following surgery on the ACL tear he suffered in Week 2. Defensive end/outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, who suffered the same injury in the same game, recently had a second surgery for that injury.

“He’s come out of that really well but he’s behind because of that,” Carroll said.

Irvin is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. turns Super Bowl LV taunting fine into positive with donation to school



Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is donating $7,815, the amount he was fined for taunting the Kansas City ChiefsTyreek Hill in Super Bowl LV, to support the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Youth Leadership Program at Tampa’s Young Middle Magnet School.

The Buccaneers Foundation, in turn, is matching his donation, making the donation $15,630 total to the school.

“Since it got a lot of media attention, it was out there and I wanted to just spin it in a way to make it positive,” Winfield told the team’s website.

Winfield has been a mentor to students through the program, part of the Buccaneers’ social justice initiative. After Winfield was fined, fans asked if they could pay the fine but he is encouraging them to donate to the school instead.

“Our district is deeply appreciative, not only for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but also Antoine Winfield, Jr. for this monetary donation that will make a strong impact at Young Middle Magnet,” superintendent Addison Davis said, according to the team’s website. “Taking an unfortunate situation and turning it into a positive one is the measure of a true champion, and a wonderful example for our students and entire community.”

Winfield received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for making a peace sign in Hill’s face as the Chiefs receiver was getting up off the field in the fourth quarter with the Buccaneers comfortably ahead.

After the Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory, Winfield told reporters he was only returning the favor to Hill, who he said made a similar gesture to him during the regular season in a game the Chiefs won 27-24. Hill scored three touchdowns and had 269 yards receiving on 13 receptions in that game but was held to seven catches, 73 yards and no touchdowns in the Super Bowl.

“The taunting, man it’s something I had to do. When we played them earlier, Hill went off on us. He backflipped right in front of my face and gave me the peace sign. So, it was only right that I gave him the peace sign right back to him. It felt amazing to be able to do that,” he told reporters.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter contributed to this report.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul having surgery on left knee



TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul is undergoing a surgical procedure on his left knee on Wednesday, he posted on social media.

The three-time Pro Bowler posted news of the procedure, which was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET, on his Instagram Story.

In July, Pierre-Paul underwent arthroscopic surgery on the same knee to clean up cartilage that was causing discomfort.

He was on the injury report throughout the 2020 season with the knee injury, even missing a practice leading up to the Super Bowl, but he did not miss a game this season.

He finished the 2020 season with a team-leading 9.5 sacks and a career-high 4 forced fumbles, with 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. His two sacks played a key role in defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship.

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Pittsburgh Steelers want Ben Roethlisberger to return in 2021, team president Art Rooney II says



PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers want Ben Roethlisberger back, and he wants to return.

Team president Art Rooney II acknowledged the mutual desire between the Steelers and their longtime quarterback in a statement Wednesday morning.

“Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting” Rooney said. “We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go. Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to help us win a championship. We both understand the next step is to work out Ben’s contract situation.”

The final year of Roethlisberger’s current deal comes with a $41.2 million cap hit, though a contract restructure and extension could lower that by a maximum of about $14 million.

Roethlisberger, who turns 39 next week, also could opt to take a pay cut to the veteran minimum, which would put his cap hit just over $23 million.

In a statement to NFL Network on Tuesday night, Roethlisberger’s agent Ryan Tollner said “we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible.”

Rooney’s statement is the most committal the Steelers have been toward bringing the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback back for at least one more season.

General manager Kevin Colbert was lukewarm last week in his assessment of Roethlisberger’s status with the team, saying “hopefully, there is a way we could try and figure out and do what’s best for the organization and do what’s best for Ben.”

Rooney echoed some of Colbert’s sentiments in Wednesday’s statement, saying that the sides still have to resolve Roethlisberger’s contract situation — something that has to be done by the open of the new league year on March 17.

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