Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and 2009 first-round draft pick Josh Freeman has announced his retirement. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo
Former first-round draft pick Josh Freeman retired after attempting a comeback in the Canadian Football League.
Freeman spent most of his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him in 2009. He sought to continue his playing career with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL, who made the announcement Saturday.
Freeman threw for more than 4,000 yards in 2012 and started 59 games in five seasons with Tampa Bay. The Bucs released him in October 2013, and he played with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts during the rest of his career. In 62 NFL games, he completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 13,873 yards, 81 touchdowns and 68 interceptions.
-- Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden is pleased to see former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson wearing silver and black.
Gruden told reporters that the addition of Johnson -- the Chiefs' career tackles leader -- helps solidify the middle of the Oakland defense. And while thrilled with securing the services of the four-time Pro Bowl selection, Gruden couldn't help but look at other additions in the past that came from the AFC West rival Chiefs.
"Last time I was here at Oakland we stole Rich Gannon from Kansas City, we took Andre Rison from the Chiefs, we took Albert Lewis from the Chiefs," he said. "We love stealing from the Chiefs. So now we got Derrick Johnson and I'm on my way to the Raiders store to pick up a Derrick Johnson Raiders jersey. I'm gonna wear it home tonight."
-- Running back C.J. Anderson posted a career high in rushing yards last season with the Denver Broncos, only to be released in April.
Anderson is looking to set the bar even higher after signing a one-year, $1.7 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.
"The 1,000 yards? That was just a start," Anderson told the Charlotte Observer.
The 27-year-old Anderson rushed for 1,007 yards on 245 carries with three touchdowns in 16 games with the Broncos last season. He also had 28 receptions for 224 yards and a score.
-- New York Giants safety Landon Collins told Newsday that he wants to participate in the team's minicamp next month.
Collins underwent a second surgery on his broken forearm in April and is expected to be cleared in a few weeks. The two-time Pro Bowl selection told the newspaper he will abide by the decisions of the coaching staff and medical personnel.
The 24-year-old Collins initially had surgery after sustaining the injury against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16 of last season. Follow-up visits to doctors, however, showed that forearm had not healed correctly.
He amassed more than 100 tackles in each of his first two seasons and started every game until the fractured forearm kept him out of the 2017 season finale, finishing with 99 tackles.
-- Danny Etling has seen an increased workload with fellow quarterback Tom Brady electing to skip organized team activities with the New England Patriots.
Etling, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has been working with NFL veterans on the Patriots while getting up to speed. Asked whether he views this time as an opportunity to wrest the top backup job away from Brian Hoyer, Etling told the Providence Journal that he isn't looking too far ahead.
Etling played at Purdue before transferring to LSU in 2016. He completed 325 of 544 passes for 4,586 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in two years as a starter with the Tigers.
Brady is expected to show up for mandatory minicamp June 5-7.
-- Free agent running back Adrian Peterson has been posting videos of himself on Instagram this month working out with weights and on treadmills.
The 33-year-old recently told ESPN he has been posting the workouts in hopes that NFL teams will notice and be enticed to sign him.
Peterson's 2017 season was cut short by a neck injury. He finished with 448 rushing yards with two touchdowns. He started the season with the New Orleans Saints before getting traded to the Arizona Cardinals. He was released in March.
-- Former Seattle Seahawks defensive Cliff Avril said the team began to doubt coach Pete Carroll shortly after Malcolm Butler's interception at the goal line in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLIX.
The Seahawks were closing in on a second straight Super Bowl title when they advanced the ball to the New England Patriots' 1-yard line with 26 seconds left. Trailing by four, the Seahawks elected against running the ball with five-time Pro Bowl selection Marshawn Lynch in favor of a pass with quarterback Russell Wilson.
"You think about what could have happened," the 32-year-old Avril said on the Dave Dameshek Football Program. "If we win that Super Bowl, I think we probably would have won another one within the two years that went by."
Instead, Avril said, the cracks began to form and the door was open for questioning the methods of Carroll.
-- Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff revealed that he had an impromptu meeting with Aaron Rodgers when discussing quarterback Matt Ryan's contract during an appearance on Andrew Brandt's The Business of Sports podcast.
Dimitroff said he met the Green Bay quarterback by chance in Minneapolis.
"I saw Aaron, interestingly enough, at the Super Bowl in the airport," Dimitroff said. "He just said to me, 'We don't know each other that well, but just get this deal done with Matt first so I can get on with my life.'"
The Falcons eventually signed Ryan to a blockbuster five-year, $150 million contract with $100 million guaranteed May 3, making the 2016 NFL MVP the highest paid player in the league. Rodgers, who may soon take that title, has two years left on a five-year, $110 million extension he signed in 2013. The two-time NFL MVP and six-time Pro Bowl selection is scheduled to make $19.8 million in 2018 and $20 million in 2019, per Spotrac.
-- Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper already is thrilled with the offseason acquisitions of Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
"It's been really cool," Cooper told the team's website. "Been learning a lot from Jordy, obviously with him being in the league for such a long time. He knows a lot and he's always sharing his wisdom in the receiver room. It's been cool being around Marty as well."
The speedy Bryant is expected to stretch the field, which should benefit Cooper and Nelson.
"It will open up the offense a lot more being that he's so fast, he's so dangerous with the ball in his hands," Cooper said. "Man, we have a lot of threats on offense."
-- San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh said he knew the value of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stemming from their respective time with the New England Patriots.
Garoppolo was traded by the Patriots midway into last season and quickly hit the ground running with the 49ers, posting a 5-0 mark as a starter before parlaying that success into a $137.5 million contract in February.
"I already knew that was going to happen; I called it before anybody," Marsh told SFGate.com of Garoppolo's fast start. "I knew because I was with the Patriots and he would shred our defense every day. He'd shred the first team every day, and it looked no different than when Tom (Brady) was on the field. He's a much better athlete than Tom; he's super disciplined and works hard. I'm very happy to have him as my quarterback."
-- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has heard the talk of the team being without a true No. 1 wide receiver since it released Dez Bryant.
But Prescott contends that the Cowboys will be just fine provided he do his part.
"I don't know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver," Prescott said, via Pro Football Talk. "It's about getting the ball out, spreading the ball around, keeping the defense on its toes."
While Bryant led the team with 69 receptions in 2017, members of the current crop of Dallas wide receivers said they feel they can more than pick up the slack this season. Dallas' wide receiver depth chart isn't imposing, however, with offseason acquisitions Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin joining Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams and third-round draft pick Michael Gallup.
-- The San Francisco 49ers are entertaining high hopes this season, with prognosticators as well as their own locker room effectively shooting for the moon.
Offseason acquisition Jerick McKinnon said "the whole team" has talked about the Super Bowl in a recent conversation with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
"The Super Bowl. That's what the eyes are on," the 5-foot-9 McKinnon said. "That's the prize. That's the ultimate goal."
-- Buffalo Bills rookie Tremaine Edmunds is receiving high praise from fellow linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.
"I would be surprised if he's not an All-Pro player in the next two, three years. I would be surprised, really," Alexander said recently on "One Bills Live. "Just his athleticism and the way he's handling the information, I would be really surprised if he's not that next great linebacker in his era, like that Luke Kuechly-type."
Edmunds, who was selected with the 16th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, was the top-rated outside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com after registering 213 tackles -- including 33 for loss -- and 10 sacks in his final two seasons at Virginia Tech.