Steelers officially put Shazier on IL
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will miss a second straight season while recovering from spinal surgery.
The team placed Shazier on the physically unable to perform list on Monday, allowing him more time to continue his rehabilitation from a lower spine injury suffered against Cincinnati in December 2017.
The 26-year-old Shazier, a two-time Pro Bowler, remains committed to playing in the NFL again. He has chronicled his physical progress over the last 18 months through various social media accounts and continues to be heavily involved in team activities, including scouting college players and serving as a de facto coach for the team’s inside linebackers.
The Steelers took a major step toward addressing Shazier’s absence in the offseason. They signed former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Mark Barron as a free agent in March and traded up in the first round of the NFL draft to select Michigan’s Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick.
Former Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski is set to retire after an 18-year career.
Janikowski spent 17 seasons with Oakland before kicking last season with Seattle after signing a one-year deal. Janikowski’s agent, Paul Healy, confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that his client intends to retire. Janikowski, 41, told ESPN over the weekend he didn’t believe his body could handle kicking in the NFL anymore.
The Raiders took Janikowski with the 17th overall pick in the 2000 draft out of Florida State. Nicknamed “Seabass,” Janikowski converted 80.4% of his field goal attempts during his career, including a career long of 63 yards during the 2011 season, the only time he was selected for the Pro Bowl. The kick at the time matched the NFL record for longest field goal made.
Rosen moving on
DAVIE, Fla. — As he embraced a fresh start Monday, Josh Rosen said all the right things, smiled a lot and even cracked a couple of jokes, such as when he noted the phalanx of photographers nearly drowning out his first news conference with the Miami Dolphins.
“These clicks,” he said with a chuckle, “are loud.”
Rosen does attract clicks, which is a big change for a Dolphins team low on star power. It has been so long since they had a Pro Bowl quarterback that Rosen referred to him as “Mr. Marino.”
Despite a rough rookie season that prompted the Arizona Cardinals to discard him, Rosen still believes he can be a Dan Marino-type franchise quarterback. And he’s glad to get an opportunity with the Dolphins, who are eager to stop a revolving door at the position that has gone through 19 starters since Marino’s last game 20 years ago.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be here,” Rosen said. “Very rarely do you get a second chance to make a first impression.”
As for motivation, Rosen’s crooked grin grew wider when he was asked about any chip on his shoulder.
“I don’t think my chip has to grow any more,” he said. “I might tip over.”
He was the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft but became expendable in Arizona last week when the Cardinals used the No. 1 overall pick to select Kyler Murray. A day later, the Dolphins acquired him for two draft picks to become part of their rebuilding effort under first-year coach Brian Flores.
“I felt like I got drafted twice,” he said.
Rosen took no jabs at the Cardinals and acknowledged that in Miami he faces a one-year tryout. If he doesn’t play well this season, the Dolphins will likely have a poor record and be well-positioned to take a QB early in the first round in 2020.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons have released guard Brandon Fusco after bolstering the position in free agency and last week’s NFL draft.
Fusco started the first seven games at right guard last season before suffering a season-ending right ankle injury against the New York Giants on Oct. 22.
The Falcons signed free-agent guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown before making guard Chris Lindstrom the team’s first pick of the NFL draft. Lindstrom is expected to compete for the starting job at right guard.
The Falcons continued to focus on their offensive line when they drafted tackle Kaleb McGary of Washington late in the first round.
The 30-year-old Fusco has started in 87 of 90 games with Minnesota, San Francisco and Atlanta.
CLEVELAND — A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press the Cleveland Browns are signing undrafted Scottish free agent punter Jamie Gillan from Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Browns brought Gillan in for a workout before the NFL draft. They plan to sign him later this week and have him in camp to compete with starting punter Britton Colquitt, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because Gillan still must pass a physical before signing.
Gillan caught Cleveland’s attention — and other teams’ as well — after averaging 43.4 yards per punt last season. He was born in England and played rugby growing up in Scotland before his father, a member of the Royal Armed Forces, was transferred to the United States. He’s been dubbed “The Scottish Hammer.”