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Notebook: Owens on cover of Madden 19 HOF edition


Former NFL receiver Terrell Owens will grace the cover of the Madeen 19 Hall of Fame edition. File photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

By The Sports Xchange, UPI

Terrell Owens is making a return to football -- as the cover boy of "Madden NFL 19."

Just over three months after he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Owens and EA Sports revealed Friday that he will grace the cover of the latest edition of the popular EA Sports football video game.

Rather appropriately, Owens will be the headliner of the Madden NFL 19: Hall of Fame edition, which will be released Aug. 7 -- three days after Owens and the 2018 class will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

EA Sports also announced Thursday that the standard "Madden NFL 19" edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be released Aug. 10.

Owens, never one to shy away from attention, shared the news in a post on his Twitter account that was captioned: "It's that time! I've made my decision to return to football. Madden 19 HOF."

In an accompanying video, Owens was seated behind a number of football hats as he made the announcement of his "return" to the game.

"There's been a lot of speculation as to what I'm doing so after a lot of discussion with my family and every one of my coaches, I've decided to come back to the game. So with that being said, I've officially signed with ... Madden NFL 19 Hall of Fame edition EA Sports," said Owens while holding up a copy of the game. "I'm back in the game. So get your popcorn ready."

Owens is part of a star-studded Hall of Fame class that features linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, fellow wideout Randy Moss and safety Brian Dawkins. Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer complete the eight-man class.

Although he gained much notoriety for on-field antics and clashes with teammates and coaches, Owens put up sparkling numbers during his 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

Owens, who is depicted in a Cowboys uniform on the video, ranks second in career receiving yards (15,934), eighth in all-time receptions (1,078) and fifth in total touchdowns (156).

--San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster cleared another legal hurdle when a marijuana possession charge against him in Alabama was dropped.

The District Attorney's office in Tuscaloosa (Ala.) dismissed the misdemeanor charge after Foster completed a diversion course there, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Earlier this week, Foster was cleared of two felony domestic violence charges when a judge in San Jose, Calif., ruled that there was insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

That cleared the way for the second-year linebacker to join the 49ers at organized team activities Thursday. It marked the first time Foster was with the team since the felony charges were filed against him in April.

Foster still faces an illegal firearms misdemeanor charge. The pre-trial date is June 6.

The felony charges were dropped six days after Foster's former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, testified that she lied about the linebacker assaulting her Feb. 11.

Foster could still face league discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. He also could be subject to league discipline under the substance abuse policy, even though the marijuana charge was dropped.

--The Green Bay Packers continued to overhaul their offense with the addition of veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis.

Lewis, a free agent who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in March, posted a photo on his Twitter of him signing a contract with the Packers.

The 34-year-old Lewis, who spent his first 12 seasons with the Jaguars, will provide depth behind Jimmy Graham, who was signed to a three-year, $30-million deal by the Packers in March.

Although Jacksonville signed Lewis to a one-year, $3.5 million option on Feb. 20, he was released when the club added a pair of free agents in tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul.

Lewis made 24 receptions for 318 yards and five touchdowns in 2017 and also had four catches for 21 yards and a score in the playoffs. He has 375 receptions for 4,502 yards with 33 touchdowns in 170 career games since being selected by Jacksonville with the 28th overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft.

--Less than two weeks after reaching a settlement in a sports memorabilia fraud lawsuit, the New York Giants fired three members of the team's equipment staff, multiple media outlets reported.

The Giants dismissed equipment director Joseph Skiba, assistant equipment manager Ed Skiba and equipment/locker room manager Ed Wagner Jr., according to ESPN, which first reported the firings.

New York quarterback Eli Manning was accused by three sports memorabilia collectors of providing fraudulent "game-worn" equipment that was sold to fans.

At the center of the dispute were messages from Manning to Joseph Skida -- a defendant in the initial lawsuit -- asking for helmets "that can pass as game used."

Manning, a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, and the Giants denied the allegations and characterized the suit as "inflammatory and baseless" in court filings.

The civil suit, in which Joseph Skiba was not liable, was settled May 14. The three collectors -- Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown -- had sought triple the amount of their alleged losses (which totaled less than $20,000) for purchasing two helmets that were billed as worn by Manning.

Manning will not face disciplinary action from the league, which ruled it was not a personal conduct issue.

--Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks has been adamant that veteran Sam Bradford will be his starter entering the 2018 season.

That was Wilks' plan even after the Cardinals traded up to take rookie quarterback Josh Rosen with the No. 10 pick in the NFL Draft.

Still, while Wilks remains firmly in the corner of Bradford, who was signed to a one-year, $20 million contract in March, he admits that Rosen has made an impression on him.

During this week's team activities, asked if the possibility of Rosen opening the season as the starter was a long shot, Wilks told the team's official website: "No, it's not."

Bradford has a lengthy injury history, appearing in only two games with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017. He has played 80 of a possible 112 regular-season games. If he can stay on the field, the former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick in 2010 is expected to be under center in Week 1.

While the Cardinals manage Bradford's workload, Rosen has received plenty of repetitions during offseason workouts and has earned praise from Wilks, flashing the skills that prompted Arizona to move up five spots in the draft to take him.

--Los Angeles Rams defensive end Morgan Fox will miss the 2018 season after reportedly tearing his ACL in Thursday's practice.

A team source told the Orange County Register that Fox sustained a serious injury, and the NFL Network, citing a source, reported it was a torn ACL.

An undrafted free agent signed by the Rams in 2016 out of Colorado State-Pueblo, Morgan barely saw the field as a rookie before making a substantial contribution last season.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Fox appeared in all 16 games, making one start, and registered 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

At Tuesday's practice, which marked the first day of organized team activities, the Register reported that Fox was receiving first-team repetitions at outside linebacker.

--Safety Tyrann Mathieu was let go by the Arizona Cardinals in a cost-cutting move in March.

The Houston Texans moved quickly to bring in Mathieu, signing the former All-Pro to a one-year deal and adding a much needed playmaker to the secondary.

Mathieu, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract with the Texans, spent his first five seasons with the Cardinals, but he is making a seamless transition with his new club.

"It's been fun," said Mathieu, per the Houston Chronicle. "Obviously I'm still settling in. I think just jelling with the guys. It's never too early to kind of start building some camaraderie and just getting a feel for your guys, especially on the football field. I'd say the first couple days, it's been fun. It's been smooth."

Mathieu is eager to play under Romeo Crennel, who was Houston's defensive coordinator in 2016 and will return to that role this year. Mike Vrabel, who ran the defense last year, left to become coach of the Tennessee Titans.

"He's a great teacher as well so I'm looking forward to continuing to really learn from him," Mathieu said. "He has a great track record. I think most of the defenses he's coached were pretty good defenses. I think he understands how to put guys in certain positions to make plays, and I think ultimately that's what I was looking for."

Mathieu thrived in a number of roles with Arizona. He was mentioned among the leading candidates for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in December.

--Cornerback Isaac Yiadom has agreed to a contract with the Denver Broncos, multiple media outlets reported.

Yiadom, who was selected in the third round (99th overall) in the NFL Draft last month, received the standard four-year deal for players drafted after the first round.

Yiadom made 110 tackles, three tackles for losses and three interceptions in 39 games at Boston College. He joins a cornerback group that lost Aqib Talib this offseason and will compete for playing time against Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, Tramaine Brock and Brendan Langley.

With Yiadom in the fold, the Broncos have only linebacker Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State, their first-round pick (fifth overall), and running back Royce Freeman of Oregon, another third-rounder, unsigned from their 10-player 2018 draft class.

--The Miami Dolphins signed free agent center Mike Matthews, according to several media outlets.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Matthews was undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016 and signed with the Cleveland Browns, but was released before the start of the regular season.

The 24-year-old Matthews signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, but sustained a torn patellar tendon in training camp.

Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews and younger brother of Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews.

Daniel Kilgore, acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, is expected to be the Dolphins' starting center after they parted ways with longtime starter Mike Pouncey this offseason.

Matthews is expected to compete for playing time with Jake Brendel, who played in every game as a reserve for Miami last season.

--Wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr., second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL Draft last month, has signed his rookie contract, the team announced Friday.

Chark, who played at LSU, was selected with the 61st overall pick.

"This is amazing," Chark said in a release distributed by the Jaguars. "It is something you dream about your whole life and to finally put your name on that piece of paper to solidify that you are indeed a player here is a surreal moment. I can't even put it in words right now."

Chark made 66 receptions for 1,340 yards and six touchdowns in 24 games in his last two seasons at LSU. He had 40 catches for 874 yards and three TDs last season.

The Jaguars have signed six of their seven draft picks, with only defensive lineman Taven Bryan of Florida remaining unsigned.


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U.S. Daily News | Sports: Notebook: Owens on cover of Madden 19 HOF edition
Notebook: Owens on cover of Madden 19 HOF edition
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