Texans safety Andre Hal is retiring after beating cancer and returning to the field

Texans safety Andre Hal is retiring after beating cancer and returning to the field

Hal beat cancer, returned for the Texans in 2018, and is now calling it a career.



ShareTexans safety Andre Hal is retiring after beating cancer and returning to the field

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Hal beat cancer in 2018, returning for treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in time to help the Texans rally to an AFC South title. And with his greatest foe defeated, he’s leaving the gridiron behind him.

Hal announced his retirement Tuesday after five seasons in Houston. The former seventh round pick leaves behind a legacy of resilience after starting 40 games and making a dozen interceptions for the club.

Thank you Houston pic.twitter.com/doc4ONMKRA

— Andre Hal (@Drehal29) April 2, 2019

How did Hal get back to the field?

Back in June, the Houston Texans announced starting safety Andre Hal had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. On Wednesday, team doctor James Muntz announced some great news — Hal’s cancer has gone into remission.

Statement from #Texans team physician Dr. James Muntz on S Andre Hal. pic.twitter.com/fBsQDz84iw

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 26, 2018

Hal was informed his Hodgkin lymphoma had gone into remission last Tuesday. The veteran defender attributed the hard work and faith that turned him from a potential training camp casualty to a seasoned starter as the catalyst behind his recovery.

“I never stopped working out,” Hal told reporters Wednesday. “I was obsessed. I just want to get back on the field.

“I just made sure I did everything I could to beat this.”

Statement from S Andre Hal. pic.twitter.com/S2OVjDUYfc

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 26, 2018

What did his return mean for the Texans in 2018?

Hal was a homegrown success story in Houston. The former All-SEC performer from Vanderbilt was a seventh-round flier for the franchise in 2014, but he quickly developed into a dependable piece of the Texans’ secondary. He ascended into a starting role in 2015 and held that spot the past three seasons, giving the team above-average play in center field while hauling in nine interceptions.

Houston rewarded him with a three-year, $15 million contract in 2017, then had to scramble to find his replacement after his lymphoma diagnosis this summer. But while Hal may be coming off the battle of his life, did not cost him the entirety of the 2018 season.

Hal specifically avoided chemotherapy in hopes of being able to return in 2018. He was a potent boost for a Texans secondary that currently ranks 31st in the league in opponent passer efficiency. Pairing him with Tyrann Mathieu gave the club an intimidating last line of defense — and allow an overtaxed Kareem Jackson to slide back to cornerback.

His presence helped Houston rally to a 6-2 finish and a division title. If this is truly the end of Hal’s on-field career, he’ll leave on a high note

Gronk announces retirement, what’s next for Patriots?

Rob Gronkowski retires after 9 seasons and three Super Bowl rings. What’s next for the Patriots?

Gronk went out on top, calling it a career after his third NFL title.



ShareRob Gronkowski retires after 9 seasons and three Super Bowl rings. What’s next for the Patriots?

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski is going out on top. The game-changing tight end announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, less than two months after his New England Patriots won Super Bowl 53. Gronkowski announced his retirement on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Gronkowski steps away from the game at 29 years old but with plenty of miles on his odometer. The oft-injured All-Pro struggled through a long list of maladies through his NFL career, dealing with injuries to his back, forearm, groin, and knees that often kept him from the field — he missed 29 regular season games in his nine seasons in New England. While he claimed he was the healthiest he’d been all season before the Super Bowl, he decided against throwing his body into the fire for one more season, leaving a massive hole in the Patriots’ passing attack in the process.

He finished his career with five Pro Bowl invitations, four first-team All-Pro appearances, three Super Bowl titles, and the title of 2013’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Patriots, including head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, were deferential when addressing his departure.

Statement from Bill Belichick on @RobGronkowski. pic.twitter.com/aSivcAkF3u

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) March 25, 2019

What does this mean for Gronkowski?

He leaves behind a sport that rewarded his hard work with injuries that include but are not limited to:

  • major back surgery
  • strained ankle ligaments (required surgery)
  • a broken forearm (required surgery)
  • a re-break of the same forearm (more surgery)
  • an infection of that broken forearm (took two more surgeries to eradicate)
  • another back surgery
  • a torn ACL/MCL (required extensive surgery)
  • an undisclosed right knee injury (no surgery required, finally)
  • a hamstring injury
  • a pulmonary contusion (originally thought to be a collapsed lung)
  • a herniated disk (back surgery No. 3)
  • a groin injury
  • a concussion

So it’s understandable he’d be interested in retiring before age 30. The good news for Gronkowski is he was able to put together a strong Hall of Fame resume in a relatively brief career. He’ll retire with three Super Bowl championship rings, multiple first-team All-Pro honors, and a litany of stories from depressed linebackers and defensive backs about how impossible he was to cover. At 6’6 and 265 pounds, “Gronk” was a nightmare to track up the seam as well as a crushing blocker who freed up space for his tailbacks.

Gronk just blocked a poor, unwitting Chiefs defensive back into oblivion pic.twitter.com/XkJnbggDTo

— Christian D’Andrea (@TrainIsland) January 21, 2019

His 16-game regular season averages come out to 72 catches, 1,095 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He was just as good in the postseason, with 75 catches, 1,046 yards, and 12 touchdowns in his first 15 playoff games. Gronk was a monster, and the only thing that could effectively slow him was injury.

He retires having averaged 0.69 touchdowns per game. Nice.

What does this mean for the Patriots?

Gronkowski is irreplaceable, and his retirement will put Bill Belichick’s “next man up” philosophy to the test. The Patriots have gone stretches without their All-Pro tight end in the past (see above), but moving on to life without Gronk means Tom Brady will be without the security blanket target he’d turn to in clutch situations across the past decade. Gronkowski averaged nearly seven targets per game in his NFL career — more than any other player on the roster.

Brady had nothing but praise for the player who’d bailed out his offense in so many big moments in the past.

What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field! Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with! Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!

The solution to the team’s newest problem likely isn’t already on the roster. Dwayne Allen had only 13 catches in his two seasons as a Patriot before becoming a salary cap casualty this winter.

Behind Allen on the team’s roster were Jacob Hollister and Ryan Izzo, who each ended 2018 on injured reserve. Hollister has been one of Belichick’s pet projects as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming, but he only has eight career NFL receptions. Izzo, a 2018 seventh-round pick, has yet to play a game as a pro.

Gronkowski’s departure will also put a strain on an already overworked group of wide receivers. Julian Edelman regained his spot as the team’s top wideout this fall, but at age 32 will face questions about how much longer he can keep this up. Behind him are Phillip Dorsett, 2019 signees Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, and 2018 late-round pick Braxton Berrios. New England will have to make some tough decisions on who will be retained and who will be let go in order to revamp the team’s receiving corps.

Although there’s a chance Gronkowski’s retirement isn’t quite permanent.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus on @nflnetwork on Gronk’s retirement: “I was shocked. I thought Rob was going to come back and play.” His speculation, gut feeling, is that Gronk comes back at some point. But Rob told Rosenhaus he is “done, done, done.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 25, 2019

The good news for the Patriots is there’s a solid pool of tight ends in the 2019 NFL Draft. Iowa standouts Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson are both expected to be first round picks, though both may be gone before the team picks at No. 32. New England’s combination of need, position, and the fact Belichick has a strong relationship with Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz could be enough to necessitate a rare trade-up for the Pats; either target could help mitigate the loss of Gronkowski while serving as a vital step in a Patriot roster overhaul.

But neither will bring the blend of strength, speed, and concentration Gronkowski brought to the position. The oft-injured tight end’s star burned bright, and he’ll retire with a Hall of Fame resume and more than $53 million in career earnings from the Patriots alone. Now he’s free to expand his party bus business, show up at Wrestlemania, and just generally be the human personification of a golden retriever wherever and whenever he likes.

Kareem Hunt suspended 8 games

NFL suspends Kareem Hunt 8 games following investigation into multiple assaults

Hunt will be eligible to play for the Browns midway through the season.



ShareNFL suspends Kareem Hunt 8 games following investigation into multiple assaults

Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

The NFL has wrapped up its investigation into multiple accusations of violence against Cleveland Browns tailback Kareem Hunt. The third-year player will sit out the first eight games of the 2019 season as a result, the league announced Friday.

Hunt will not appeal the suspension.

The league handed down a lengthy suspension following a tumultuous 2018 that saw Hunt implicated in a pair of assaults and caught on camera shoving and kicking a woman in a third. He was eventually released by the Chiefs in late November — not for his actions, but for lying about them to team officials.

He was a free agent for about three months before the Browns decided to give him a second chance. Cleveland general manager John Dorsey, the man who had drafted Hunt while working as an executive in Kansas City in 2017, explained the signing as an extension in his belief in personal redemption.

“At the end of it, the one thing we did find was he understands and takes full accountability for the egregious act he committed,” Dorsey said. “He is extremely remorseful for his actions. What he has done is he has sought professional counseling. With regards to moving forward, anything like this situation, once he understands his situation, he is now working toward being a better man moving forward.”

What led to Hunt’s suspension?

Hunt was involved in multiple altercations in 2018 that required both police and NFL investigation. The most troubling incident came in February, where hotel security cameras caught Hunt shoving a woman to the floor and then kicking her. While a police investigation followed, no real response occurred until TMZreleased video of the assault on November 30.

KC Chiefs Running Back Kareem Hunt Brutalizes and Kicks Woman in Hotel Video https://t.co/p4epheQvJZ

— TMZ (@TMZ) November 30, 2018

Kansas City released its Pro Bowl tailback hours later, and he was placed on the league’s exempt list after going unclaimed through the waiver process. In February, Hunt was signed by Cleveland and reunited with Dorsey.

According to the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the standard punishment for assault is a six-game suspension without pay:

Violations involving assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault will result in a baseline six-game suspension for first offenses.

However, due to the multiple accusations against Hunt, he will serve longer than a baseline suspension.

What does this mean for the Browns?

Cleveland had a solid tailback platoon before signing Hunt, which made Dorsey’s decision to reach out to his former player less than three months after his release curious. Nick Chubb was an explosive runner in his rookie season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and sliding into a starting role for the final eight games of the year. While he doesn’t add much of a threat as a receiver, Duke Johnson has been a reliable pass catcher as a pro; he’s averaged 59 receptions annually in his four seasons with the team and is now reportedly on the trade block.

The combination of Chubb and Johnson, if the latter is retained, gives the Browns a dynamic 1-2 punch in the backfield. Losing Hunt for eight games shouldn’t have a significant negative effect on their playmaking.

Hunt’s high-risk signing, no matter how unnecessary, was meant to give Baker Mayfield a high-reward target out of the backfield. Not only has Hunt averaged 4.7 yards per carry in his limited NFL career, but he’s also scored 10 receiving touchdowns on 79 receptions — a touchdown rate of greater than 12 percent.

Getting Hunt off the league’s suspended list at the midway point of the season will give first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens another talented weapon to incorporate into his offense. Cleveland thrived after Kitchens was promoted to interim offensive coordinator in 2018, spreading out Mayfield’s targets beyond Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and giving the Browns’ one of the league’s most exciting offenses. At his best, Hunt combines the qualities Chubb and Johnson bring into one player. He’ll get the chance to show that off in the Browns’ ninth game of the 2019 season.

Tyreek Hill under investigation for alleged battery of a juvenile

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill under investigation for alleged battery of a juvenile

Police have been called to the home of Tyreek Hill twice in March.



ShareChiefs WR Tyreek Hill under investigation for alleged battery of a juvenile

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation by police for an alleged battery.

According to KCTV 5, Overland Park (Kan.) police were called to the home of Hill on March 5 and March 14. The first call was to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect, and the second was to investigate battery of a juvenile. The Kansas City Star reported that the incident was against Hill’s son, resulting in a broken arm.

Hill has not been charged with a crime and the Chiefs confirmed they are aware of the investigation.

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs told the Star in a statement. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

Hill, 25, was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery by strangulation in December 2014, following an incident in which he reportedly punched and choked his then-pregnant girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team before finishing his collegiate career at the University of West Alabama.

Hill completed his probation requirements and the case was expunged from his record. We’ll revise with more information if there are updates.

Raiders Trade Rumors On Jordan Howard & Emmanuel Ogbah, Jared Cook 2019 NFL Free Agency, Roster Cuts

Raiders free agency rumors have been electric with all the big signings Jon Gruden & Mike Mayock have made building talent around quarterback Derek Carr. Now there are Raiders trade rumors going viral around Oakland trading for Bears running back Jordan Howard. Would Howard be a great fit in the offense with pass catching running back Jalen Richard since the Raiders don’t know if they will re-sign Marshawn Lynch or Doug Martin? The Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr and Olivier Vernon, but now have put former first round pick Emmanuel Ogbah on the trading block. Could the Raiders trade for the Browns defensive end? All these questions will be answered by Chat Sports’ Mitchell Renz on the Raiders Report.

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Jared Cook is a free agent who is meeting with the New Orleans Saints today and with the recent signings around Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams leads Mitchell to believe the Raiders don’t intend to re-sign Cook. Will the Raiders cut offensive tackle Donald Penn after signing Trent Brown? Is Seth Roberts the next Raiders player to get cut after signing Tyrell Williams? Will the Raiders make the playoffs in 2019?

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The latest Oakland Raiders Rumors & News:
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Raiders Cutting Donald Penn?
Raiders Cutting Seth Roberts?
Raiders Interested In Emmanuel Ogbah?
Raiders Trading For Jordan Howard?
Raiders To the playoffs in 2019?

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Tavon Austin Re-Signs With Dallas Cowboys & Christian Covington Signs In NFL Free Agency

Breaking Cowboys news in NFL Free Agency: The Dallas Cowboys have re-signed WR Tavon Austin and they’ve signed DT Christian Covington in 2019 NFL Free Agency.

The Cowboys have finally entered NFL Free Agency, re-signing multiple players, including Tavon Austin, Cameron Fleming and Jamize Olawale. They’ve also added their first outside player, in former Texans DL Christian Covington. How did Cowboys Nation react to the move? We’ve got all the latest there on the Cowboys Free Agency moves.

Cowboys report host Tom Downey breaks down those moves, plus discusses the latest Cowboys rumors on Emmanuel Ogbah, Eric Berry, Golden Tate and more! Did Odell Beckham want to play for the Cowboys? Could the Cowboys trade for Emmanuel Ogbah? Are Eric Berry or Golden Tate top free agency targets for Dallas? And will the Sean Payton rumors ever die?

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[NFL Breaking News]Ravens expected to sign safety Earl Thomas to 4-yr/$55M contact | NFL Free Agency

[NFL Breaking News]Ravens expected to sign safety Earl Thomas to 4-yr/$55M contact | NFL Free Agency

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