NFL notebook: Patriots lose receiver Nelson Agholor to Ravens

NFL notebook: Patriots lose receiver Nelson Agholor to Ravens

Nelson Agholor, who had 31 receptions for 362 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Patriots, has agreed to a free agent deal with the Ravens. Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a contract with wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

The team announced Friday that it has reached an agreement in principle with the 29-year-old, who caught 31 passes for 362 yards and two touchdowns with the New England Patriots last season.

Agholor played his first five NFL seasons with the Eagles, then one with the Raiders and two with the Patriots.

Baltimore could use some help at receiver after tight end Mark Andrews was the only Raven to surpass 500 yards last season.

Of course, the quarterback spot is also uncertain after Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. He could negotiate with other teams, though the Ravens would have a chance to match any deal.

RULES: The NFL will consider significant changes to the kicking game with the competition committee proposing that the league adopt the college rule that allows kickbacks on fair catches and move the punt return location to the 25-yard line.

NFL CEO Troy Vincent said the competition committee looked at various rules on kickoffs in college and the spring leagues to try to reduce injuries on what is one of the more dangerous plays.

Vincent said the league needs more data from an XFL rule that reduces high-speed collisions by placing coverage players 35 yards in front of the kicker and 5 yards from blockers, but said the college rule that allows fair catches to be treated like rebounds reduces injuries approximately “20 to 25%”

“It may not be perfect. I think it will warrant good discussion on the floor,” Vincent said.

“The one thing we all agreed on was that you can’t leave that game as it is, not with the injury rates against what we’ve seen. You can’t leave it as it is.”

Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s competition committee, said the league has looked at several ideas to change the punt game, which currently has the highest rate of injuries and penalties.

But for now, the committee is proposing a simple approach of moving touchdowns from the 20- to the 25-yard line in hopes of reducing the number of punts.

PANTHERS: Carolina has agreed to a deal with free agent wide receiver DJ Chark, the team said.

The 26-year-old Chark, a five-year veteran, had 30 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns for Detroit last season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the NFL Network reported it was for one year.

Chark joins veteran Adam Thielen, who agreed to a trade with Carolina on Sunday, as part of a revamped receiving corps for the Panthers, who traded their top wide receiver, DJ Moore, to the Chicago Bears as part of a package for the best overall pick in the draft.

The Panthers aim to draft a quarterback at no. 1, and whoever they choose will have two veteran targets on the outside. Carolina also brought in tight end Hayden Hurst and running back Miles Sanders as it revamps an offense that ranked near the bottom of the league last year.

Chark was a 2018 second-round pick by Jacksonville out of LSU. His best season was 2019, when he had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns for the Jaguars.

Injuries have limited him to 28 games over the past three seasons.

MEDIA: Jerry Green, a Detroit sportswriter who covered 56 consecutive Super Bowls, has died at 94, The Detroit News said.

Green retired as a columnist from the News in 2004, but attended the Super Bowl for the paper until this year. His streak began with Green Bay’s 35-10 victory over Kansas City in the first Super Bowl in 1967.

“Jerry Green is part of the fabric of the Super Bowl!” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the News in January.

Green, a New York native, died Thursday night, the News reported. He was a sportswriter in Detroit for The Associated Press before joining the News in 1963.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else,” Green said earlier this year of a career spanning a variety of pro and college sports.

News editor and publisher Gary Miles said Green was an icon.

“And he was unashamedly proud of the paper, its contributions and its colleagues. He gave us everything and we will miss him,” Miles said.

Before the Super Bowl era, Green covered the 1957 NFL Championship Game, which was won by the Detroit Lions. The Lions have yet to play in a Super Bowl.

“I don’t think I’ll last that long,” Green jokingly told Crain’s Detroit Business in 2019.

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