The Seattle Seahawks officially severed ties with two longtime standouts who are expected to retire due to health concerns, waiving wideout Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor with failed physical designations.
“The Seahawks have made the difficult decision to terminate/failed physical Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor,” general manager John Schneider said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community.
“These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family.”
The news was expected for the 31-year-old Chancellor, who sat out all of last season with a neck injury that was described as career ending. Baldwin’s playing future was revealed to be in doubt during the draft in late April, when ESPN reported the 30-year-old receiver might have already played his final game, due to an accumulation of injuries.
–Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said he won’t play the 2019 season for personal reasons, writing on Instagram, “I must take time away from this game & get my world in order.”
A full-time starter the past four seasons and a 2017 Pro Bowler, Smith affirmed he doesn’t plan to play for any team other than the Jaguars, despite rumors of a possible trade. The 28-year-old was set to earn a base salary of $9.75 million this season.
The Jaguars issued a statement, reading, “We will not have a comment about Telvin Smith’s statement at this time. We need to have a conversation with Telvin to understand the situation and the circumstances. If there is a way we can support him we need to understand that.”
–Tight end Benjamin Watson plans to end his short-lived retirement and sign with the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots, multiple media outlets reported.
According to ESPN, Watson will sign a one-year, $3 million deal.
Watson, 38, was drafted 32nd overall by the Patriots in 2004. He played six seasons in New England, followed by three in Cleveland, and spent four of the last five in New Orleans.
–The Carolina Panthers will receive $120 million in tax breaks if they move their facility to South Carolina, after the state’s Senate approved a bill by a 27-15 vote.
Under the bill, which Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to sign, the Panthers would be exempt from paying state income taxes for players, coaches and other employees for 15 years, assuming that money is used toward a new complex in South Carolina.
Currently based in Charlotte, N.C., the team has been planning a 200-acre development in Rock Hill, S.C., about 25 miles south of its current facilities next to Bank of America Stadium, though it will continue to play games in Charlotte.
–The Miami Dolphins signed former Buffalo Bills tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year deal, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported is worth $3 million.
Mills, 28, started all 48 games over the past three seasons and has appeared in 87 games (82 starts) for the Chicago Bears (2013-14) and Bills (2015-18).
Mills played 95.5 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps (1,011 total) at right tackle last season and was penalized five times — three for holding and two false starts.
–The Jaguars released backup quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Blair Brown.
Kessler, who turns 26 on Saturday, was 2-2 as a starter for Jacksonville last season. He completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 709 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Brown was a fifth-round pick in 2017. He has 12 career tackles in 28 games (two starts), with 495 of his 548 career snaps on special teams.
–The Seahawks signed cornerback Jamar Taylor, fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin.
Taylor, 28, is a former second-round pick who has bounced around from Miami to the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos in recent years.
Bellore started four of 14 games for the Lions last year. Martin has not played in a regular-season game since 2016.
–Backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Bills last season, has decided to retired from the NFL, the team announced Thursday.
“Derek let me know a few weeks back that he wasn’t sure if he could be committed [for the season] and wanted to still think about it,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said in a statement. “So I knew going into the draft that this was something that could potentially happen. But it wasn’t definite. We talked this week and he let me know today that he is going to retire.”
Anderson, who began his NFL career with the Browns in 2006, appeared in 78 games, completing 909 of 1,674 passes for 10,878 yards, with 60 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.