The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a two-year contract with free agent running back Derrick Henry on Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move can’t become official until the new league year begins Wednesday. The deal is worth up to $20 million and includes $9 million guaranteed.

The two-time NFL rushing champ joins a Baltimore team that annually produces one of the league’s leading ground games. The running back room was a major offseason concern for the Ravens, because Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins became free agents. Edwards has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Henry’s eight-year NFL career — all with the Tennessee Titans to this point — includes a 2020 season when he rushed for 2,027 yards, becoming the eighth player to surpass 2,000.

Henry turned 30 in January. The four-time Pro Bowler led the NFL in 2023 with 280 rushing attempts and ranked second to Christian McCaffrey with 1,167 yards rushing. His 12 rushing TDs were fourth in the AFC, one behind Edwards. Henry also had the first season of his career without a fumble.

Henry leaves Tennessee ranked second in franchise history with 9,502 rushing yards, trailing only Eddie George (10,009).

The 45th pick overall in 2016 leads the NFL with 9,502 yards rushing and 90 rushing TDs in that span. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry has finished in the NFL’s top 10 in rushing each of the six past seasons.

Henry also has four career TD passes, which trails only Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (seven) among running backs since 2000.

The Ravens finished with the NFL’s best regular-season record in 2023 before losing to Kansas City in the AFC championship game. Now they add another proven offensive playmaker to work alongside quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is coming off his second MVP season.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings stayed aggressive in free agency Tuesday by adding former Green Bay running back Aaron Jones and 2018 third overall draft pick Sam Darnold as a temporary replacement at quarterback for Kirk Cousins.

Jones, who was released Monday by the Packers after they landed 2022 All-Pro Josh Jacobs, gets a one-year, $7 million contract with their biggest rival, a person with knowledge of the terms told The Associated Press.

Darnold, who played last season for San Francisco, will get a one-year, $10 million deal, a second person with knowledge of that contract told the AP. The Vikings also agreed to sign kicker John Parker Romo, according to a third person with knowledge of that deal.

All three people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contracts had not yet been finalized. The signing period opens Wednesday.

As Cousins agreed to leave Minnesota for Atlanta on Monday in a busy opening to the NFL ‘s negotiation window, the Vikings swiftly addressed their defense by agreeing to contracts with edge rushers Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel and inside linebacker Blake Cashman.

Then they pivoted to offense.

Darnold, who went just 13-25 as a starter for the New York Jets after they selected him out of Southern California, was traded to Carolina in 2021. He missed most of the 2022 season with the Panthers because of a sprained ankle, and after becoming a free agent last year, he signed with the 49ers as a backup to Brock Purdy.

The 26-year-old Darnold has thrown for 63 touchdowns and 56 interceptions in 66 career games with a completion percentage of 59.7. With the Jets, he was a teammate of Josh McCown, who was recently hired as Minnesota’s quarterbacks coach.

Darnold becomes the presumptive starter for the Vikings, who still have 2023 fifth-round pick Jaren Hall and veteran Nick Mullens under contract. They almost certainly will draft another quarterback next month, owning the 11th overall pick in the first round and assessing a deep class at the vital position.

The deal with Jones was one of the most surprising turns across the league, after the Packers said they planned to bring him back. He was released instead when a pay cut didn’t work out, and the Vikings swooped in to add a well-regarded player who has enjoyed plenty of success at their expense.

The Vikings ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing yards per game and 24th in rushing yards per attempt last season. They released Alexander Mattison last week, but they’re high on the potential of Ty Chandler entering his third year and now have a proven second option for carrying the ball in Jones.

Though he was limited to 11 games last season because of hamstring and knee injuries, Jones came on strong down the stretch by finishing with five straight 100-yard rushing games, including two in the playoffs. One of those was on Dec. 31 in a blowout win at Minnesota.

In 2022, Jones played in all 17 games and rushed for 1,121 yards. With 8,016 yards from scrimmage in seven seasons, Jones has the sixth most among NFL running backs over that time.

Romo went undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2022 and has had brief stints with Chicago and Detroit. He has not kicked in a regular-season NFL game, but he spent last season in the XFL.

The Vikings also released defensive lineman Dean Lowry, who started four games and finished the season on injured reserve.


The Houston Texans are acquiring running back Joe Mixon from the Cincinnati Bengals, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade hasn’t been finalized. Mixon will replace Devin Singletary, who has agreed to a deal with the New York Giants.

Mixon led the Bengals last season with 1,034 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. Cincinnati planned to release him after agreeing on a contract with running back Zack Moss on Monday.

Instead, the Texans are sending an undisclosed draft pick to the Bengals to keep Mixon off the open market. He’ll join Dameon Pierce in the backfield for the AFC South champions.

Led by rookie coach DeMeco Ryans and AP Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud, the Texans advanced to the second round of the AFC playoffs last season.

The Bengals also agreed on a one-year deal with tight end Mike Gesicki, another person familiar with that deal told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract can’t be signed until the new league year opens Wednesday.


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins added needed linebacker help on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with veteran Shaquil Barrett on a one-year contract worth up to $9 million, his agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed.

Barrett, 31, spent the past five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he had 45 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions. The inside linebacker fills an immediate need at the position, as pass rushers Bradley Chubb (ACL) and Jaelan Phillips (Achilles tendon) could miss time early in the season as they work their way back from serious injuries — though the team hopes to have them back in time.

Barrett — undrafted out of Colorado State in 2014 — has won Super Bowls with the Buccaneers (2020 season) and Denver Broncos (2015 season) and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2019 and 2021. He led the league with 19 1/2 sacks during his first season in Tampa in 2019.

In 2023, Barrett had 52 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles. He played only eight games in 2022 because of a torn Achilles tendon.

Tampa Bay released Barrett earlier this month in a move that saved the team nearly $5 million against the salary cap. He was three years into a four-year, $72 million deal that he signed in 2021.

The Dolphins have lost several key pieces on their defense since the start of free agency. Standout defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who was drafted by the Dolphins in the first round in 2019, agreed to a four-year, $110 contract the Las Vegas Raiders. Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who had a breakout 2023 season, left for the Vikings. And Miami released linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah earlier this month.


Former Buffalo Bills running back Nyheim Hines has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns that’s worth up to $3.5 million, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the deal, which cannot become official until Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

Hines, who also is kick return specialist, was released by the Bills earlier this month. The seventh-year pro missed all of last season after a boating accident in which he suffered a torn ACL when he was struck by a jet skier in North Carolina.

He joined the Bills in a midseason trade from Indianapolis in 2022, and although he wasn’t an impact player on offense, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against New England in the regular-season finale.

Hines was a fourth-round pick by the Colts in 2018.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Commanders have added a veteran quarterback, and the move could signal the direction they’re headed for the future of the position.

The Commanders agreed with Marcus Mariota on a one-year contract with a base salary of $6 million that can be worth up to $10 million, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the contract cannot be made official until the new league year opens Wednesday.

Mariota, 30, has appeared in 90 and started 74 NFL games for four teams since being taken with the second pick in the 2015 draft, most recently serving as Jalen Hurts’ backup in Philadelphia last season.

Adding the 30-year-old Oregon product increases the likelihood of Washington using the No. 2 pick this year on a QB. LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are among the prospects expected to be available if Chicago takes USC’s Caleb Williams first.

Another person familiar with the situation said Washington agreed to a one-year contract with defensive end Clelin Ferrell. A third person said the team agreed with guard Nick Allegretti on a $16 million, three-year contract with $9.02 million guaranteed.


The Cleveland Browns are close to adding quarterback Jameis Winston on a one-year contract worth up to $8.7 million, sources told Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

Winston appeared in seven games for the New Orleans Saints in 2023, throwing for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions on 53.2% passing.

The former No. 1 pick hasn’t started a game since 2022, when he went 1-3 in three appearances with the Saints.

Winston is expected to backup Deshaun Watson, who missed 11 contests and finished the campaign with 1,115 yards, seven touchdown passes, and four picks. Joe Flacco, who went 4-1 and won Comeback Player of the Year after joining the club late in the season, remains a free agent.

The 30-year-old Winston has thrown for 22,104 yards, 141 touchdowns, and 99 interceptions in 93 career games.


Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen plans to sign a three-year, $41-million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he told ESPN’s Marcus Spears, according to Adam Schefter.

The 24-year-old earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 2023 after accumulating 133 total tackles (nine for loss), 3.5 sacks, an interception, and six pass deflections. The All-Star nominations were the first of his career.

Queen had 16 total tackles and a deflection in two AFC North clashes against the Steelers last year.

The 2020 first-round pick is expected to take over as Pittsburgh’s top off-ball linebacker. Elandon Roberts was the Steelers’ lone defensive player to amass 100 or more total tackles (101) in 2023.

Queen has totaled 454 total tackles (37 for loss), 13.5 sacks, four interceptions, and 15 pass deflections in 67 career games. He’s also forced five fumbles and recovered six.


A trade market for Bears quarterback Justin Fields has yet to develop, ESPN reported on Tuesday, citing sources that most teams view the 2021 first-round pick as a backup.

Fields was widely expected to be in play for the Atlanta Falcons or Pittsburgh Steelers. Atlanta agreed to a reported $180 million contract with 35-year-old Kirk Cousins and the Steelers signed Russell Wilson at a discount rate with Denver paying most of the $39 million salary he’s guaranteed for 2024.

The modest market creates a conundrum in Chicago, where general manager Ryan Poles holds a pair of top-10 draft picks and the Bears are thought to be planning on using one of those selections on Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams.

The Bears hold the No. 1 pick in the draft because they opted to pass on Bryce Young of Alabama and No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud of Ohio State in 2023, instead dealing the rights to the top spot to the Panthers. Carolina traded wide receiver DJ Moore and their first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Bears and selected Young.

Many of the teams still in the market for a quarterback are focused on a popular set of prospects in the 2024 draft with Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye of North Carolina and J.J. McCarthy of Michigan being discussed as probable top-15 picks. Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. are also on the radar as potential first- or second-round picks.

Fields, 25, still could find a new home this offseason. The Las Vegas Raiders agreed to a two-year deal with Gardner Minshew but are paying a backup rate to a potential placeholder starter and the New England Patriots, currently holding the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft, might give Fields a shot if it becomes evident their preferred quarterback won’t be available at the top of the draft.

Value for first-round draft picks at quarterback nosediving is a familiar backdrop for general managers attempting to offload those players. The Patriots agreed to accept a sixth-round pick in exchange for Mac Jones, who was selected 15th in 2021, four spots after Fields went to the Bears.

The No. 3 pick in that draft, Trey Lance, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys from the San Francisco 49ers for a fourth-round pick.

The 2021 No. 2 pick, Zach Wilson, has drawn no interest after being given permission to seek a trade by the Jets last month.


Derek Watt, the middle brother in the football-playing Watt brothers trio, announced his retirement from the NFL.

A fullback, Watt was selected by the then-San Diego Chargers in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played his first four seasons with the Chargers, then joined younger brother T.J. with the Pittsburgh Steelers for three seasons. He did not play in the NFL last season.

In an lengthy statement posted, Watt said he was “just a kid from Pewaukee, WI who had the chance to live out his childhood dream of being drafted and playing in the NFL. And now, it is with great honor and gratitude that I officially announce my retirement and the end to my career … a career that ended up being about so much more than just the game that I love.”

He also thanked his parents and his two brothers, including J.J., who retired after the 2022 season. T.J. and J.J. Watt were named NFL Defensive Player of the Year — younger brother T.J. in 2021 and older brother J.J. in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

“To JJ & TJ … From playing in the backyard, to sharing a field in the NFL, this journey together has been absolutely incredible. They say if you want to be great, then you should surround yourself with greatness … You both have pushed me to be the best that I could be and it’s been so special to see all the hard work that we put in and sacrifices that we made pay off!”

Derek Watt retires after gaining 249 yards from scrimmage and scoring three touchdowns in 110 games (20 starts). He also was a presence on special teams, playing more than 60 percent of his team’s snap count in each of six seasons.


Carolina continued reconstructing its offensive line on Tuesday with a four-year, $53 million contract agreement with guard Damien Lewis.

Multiple outlets reported Lewis received $26.2 million in guarantees to pair with another free agent, Robert Hunt, who agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract with the Panthers on Monday. Hunt played guard and tackle for the Miami Dolphins.

Lewis, who turns 27 later this month, was a third-round pick of the Seahawks from LSU in 2020 and has 61 starts in four seasons.

Panthers head coach Dave Canales was on the Seattle coaching staff each of Lewis’ first three years in the NFL.


The Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year deal with offensive lineman Matt Hennessy on Tuesday.

Hennessy, 26, can play multiple interior offensive line positions. He started 22 total games for the Atlanta Falcons from 2020-22 before sitting out last season with a knee injury.

Atlanta selected Hennessy in the third round out of Philadelphia’s Temple University in 2020.


Courtesy of an accounting error by the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals added a third-round draft pick initially awarded as a sixth-rounder when the league released compensatory draft selections.

The Bengals were awarded pick No. 97, the top compensatory selection awarded for the 2024 draft, instead of the 208th overall pick at the end of the sixth round.

Compensatory picks are given to teams who lose free agents, coaches and scouting and personnel staff to other teams based on a league calculation that factors in salary, playing time and production.

The NFL said in a memo it miscalculated the compensation of the Cincinnati pick, which is believed to be tied to safety Jessie Bates. Bates left the Bengals to sign with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency last March.

Correcting the compensation for Cincinnati impacts every subsequent draft pick.

Philadelphia — and the rest of the remaining draft selections — falls down one spot from No. 97 to No. 98.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A former Jacksonville Jaguars financial manager who pled guilty to stealing more than $22 million from the NFL franchise through its virtual credit card program was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison Tuesday.

Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. sentenced Amit Patel, 31, in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville. Patel, wearing a charcoal suit and a burgundy tie, showed no emotion inside the packed courthouse as the punishment was handed down.

Prosecutors said Patel has returned $1.89 million, leaving his restitution tab at $21,132,454.40 — a figure the judge acknowledged he will never be able to pay back following a felony conviction. Patel pled guilty in December to one count of wire fraud and one count of making an illegal monetary transaction.

The judge sentenced Patel to 78 months on each count, to run concurrently. It was the lowest number under sentencing guidelines. He also got three years of supervised release.

Patel’s lawyer argued for a lighter sentence Tuesday, asking for no more than 60 months. Prosecutors countered and detailed how Patel used “insider information” to go unnoticed for 40 months (between 2019 and 2023) while making hundreds of fraudulent transactions.

“If he can steal $22 million and get probation, he’s going to do it again,” assistant U.S. attorney Michael J. Coolican argued. “He’s a smart guy and will find a way. … If it’s reported on SportsCenter tonight you can steal $22 million and get a low-ball sentence, a slap on the wrist, you better watch out.”

Patel had roughly two dozen friends and family members in the courthouse. Four of them spoke on his behalf: his older brother, an uncle, a former high school teacher and his girlfriend.

Patel wiped away tears as his brother detailed his younger sibling’s alcohol abuse and gambling addiction, as his uncle told the court what a prison sentence would do to Patel’s widowed mother, as his former teacher called him a model student and as his girlfriend talked about standing by him through weekly alcohol and gambling addiction meetings and having to take a job as an Uber driver.

Patel closed the hearing and said he started gambled 14 years ago.

“I stand before you embarrassed, ashamed and disappointed for my actions,” he said. “It began small and then snowballed so big that my only thought was to gamble my way out of it. In the end, I always thought that big win was right around the corner and would fix all my problems.”

Patel said he is nearing one year of sobriety.

“Part of my recovery process is making amends,” Patel said. “However, that seems impossible given how many people I’ve let down.”

Megha Parekh, the Jaguars’ chief legal officer, read a victim-impact statement to the court.

“Speaking on behalf of the Jaguars, do know that we want to move on and forgive, not just Amit, but ourselves for trusting him only to watch him shame us, individually and collectively,” Parekh said. “We are proud of our employees for how they weathered through the mess he made. But make no mistake, Amit broke our hearts.”

Patel’s lawyers said he gambled away “approximately 99%” of the misappropriated money and said his gambling losses totaled $32 million.

Patel gambled on prominent websites at the Jaguars’ facility, which triggered an NFL investigation. The NFL met with Patel in February and then turned the case over to the FBI. The Jaguars subsequently suspended and eventually fired Patel, who began working for the team in 2018.

Patel oversaw the company’s monthly financial statements and department budgets and served as the club’s administrator of its virtual credit card program, which allowed authorized employees to “request VCC’s for business-related purchases or expenses.”

Patel used his control to make fraudulent transactions, according to the court filing. He duplicated and inflated transactions for items such as catering, airfare and hotel charges and filed fake transactions that seemed legitimate.

The Jaguars insist Patel was a rogue employee who took advantage of a lack of oversight after a co-worker with similar authority was moved to another department. No one else in the finance department has been fired, and the Jags have since instituted more checks and balances to prevent something similar from happening again.

Patel went to great lengths to hide his actions, even paying off some of the credit card debt from his personal account. He used the money to buy two vehicles, a condominium in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach, a designer watch and cryptocurrency, according to court documents.

He spent more than $278,000 on hotels, rental properties and travel. He spent more than $200,000 on golf memorabilia, including $47,113.92 to purchase a putter used by Tiger Woods during the 1996 U.S. Amateur. He spent more than $77,000 at the Ponte Vedra Beach Inn & Club. He spent $140,412.97 on eBay and $69,025.26 with Ticketmaster.

He also used $275,000 of the stolen funds to hire his attorney, according to court documents.