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David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers owner David Tepper said he was involved in the decision to not re-sign linebacker Thomas Davis, 35, the team's all-time leading tackler and a long-time leader in the locker room. “When you have cherished – I'm not going to use this word lightly – cherished veterans, you should get involved at that point with ownership. If you have things that could potentially be disruptive or viewed as very controversial, Eric Reid, you get ownership involved in that decision making.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers owner David Tepper admitted winning became harder this past season the worse Cam Newton's right shoulder. He's also hopeful that Newton's shoulder will be much improved by the 2019 season, but realistic the team has to be prepared in case that doesn't happen. “We have to recognize we may have to do things through the year if it doesn't [get better],'' Tepper said. “We have to make sure we have our options in all ways possible.'' As for the rehab plan for Newton's shoulder, Tepper indicated a decision between rest and surgery has not been made. “Of course it's a concern,'' Tepper added. “People get injured in football and what we have to do is keep our options open just in case. Cam Newton is a guy we're going to be depending on. He's a talent. But it would be foolish to say you're not having an awareness of potential things that could happen during the year.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers owner David Tepper said there were many reasons why he retained coach Ron Rivera and GM Marty Hurney after a 1-7 finish to a 7-9 season. Among them: * He believed the team was better than the final record; * The offensive line at times looked like a disaster due to injuries; * Improvement on defense once Rivera took over the play calling; and he admitted changes probably should have come earlier; * The team got older faster then anyone expected; * As Cam Newton's ‘'shoulder got worse much it was harder to win;'' * The way the team played in a 33-14 victory at New Orleans in the finale; * He believes Rivera is a good coach and Hurney has a handle on the personnel side.

Mike Wells ESPN Staff Writer 

The Colts have officially announced that they are parting ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo. Assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson is leaving the Colts to become the offensive line coach position with the Buffalo Bills.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints LT Terron Armstead said the Rams' defensive front is "stacked, for sure." But he said, "We've got a front five that we feel like we can put up against anybody in the league."

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David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has pulled out of the Pro Bowl. ESPN.com's Todd Archer is reporting Kuechly will be replaced Leighton Vander Esch, becoming the first Cowboys rookie defender to play in the all-star game since Everson Walls in 1981.

Jeff Legwold ESPN Senior Writer 

If Broncos coach Vic Fangio hires Ed Donatell as his defensive coordinator — and Fangio would like to given Donatell is scheduled to formally interview today — Donatell will be no stranger to many with the team given it would be Donatell's third stint with the Broncos. Donatell was Mike Shanahan's secondary coach from 1995-1999 and he was Josh McDaniels' secondary coach in 2010.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Leighton Vander Esch will replace Luke Kuechly at the Pro Bowl, becoming the first Cowboys rookie defender to play in the all-star game since Everson Walls in 1981. Vander Esch led the Cowboys with 176 tackles, according to the coaches' breakdown, which is the most by a rookie in team history. He also had three tackles for loss, five quarterback pressures, two interceptions and six pass deflections. He will join teammates Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Byron Jones and DeMarcus Lawrence and the coaches in Orlando, although Martin is likely to skip the game because of a knee injury that bothered him most of the season.

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

The Bills on Tuesday hired Bobby Johnson as their offensive line coach. Johnson served as the Colts' assistant offensive line coach this season after previous stints with the Bills, Jaguars, Lions and Raiders. He replaces Juan Castillo, who was fired earlier this month.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

According to multiple sources, Marc Colombo signed a new deal to be the Cowboys offensive line coach in 2019. He took over on an interim basis for Paul Alexander after seven games in 2018 and had to work around injuries to Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Zack Martin in the second half of the season, as well as not having Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick all season. The Cowboys could have faced competition for Colombo with his former Boston College teammate, Brian Flores, expected to be named head coach of the Miami Dolphins whenever the New England Patriots' season ends.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

If presumptive defensive coordinator Gregg Williams plays his usual 4-3 front, it shouldn't be that difficult to transition from the current 3-4. The one issue: They're short on DEs. Let's project five of the front seven: MLB Avery Williamson, WLB Darron Lee, SLB Jordan Jenkins, DT Leonard Williams (Nathan Shepherd), NT Mike Pennel. They don't have any experienced 4-3 DEs under contract, but they could take one with the third pick. This could hurt Henry Anderson's chances of re-signing because he's better in a 3-4. Overall, this is a solid move by the Jets. Williams will bring attitude to the defense.

Kevin Seifert NFL Nation 

Referee John Parry will lead the officiating crew for Super Bowl LIII. Parry's regular-season crew threw an average of 15.8 flags per game, in the middle of the pack of the league's 17 referees. He called the league's second-most roughing the passer penalties (11). This will be Parry's second Super Bowl as a referee and third overall. He also was the referee for Super Bowl XLVI, when the Giants defeated the Patriots, 21-17, to cap the 2011 season.

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

Ravens DT Brandon Williams' statement after being named to his first career Pro Bowl: Thank you to the fans and NFL colleagues who voted for me. It is an honor to represent the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization. My wife and I couldn't hold back our tears of excitement and joy to know that after six wonderful years in the NFL, and with God's guidance, we have reached our goal of getting selected to the Pro Bowl! I couldn't be more appreciative and thankful to everyone who has had a hand or vote in getting my dream to come true, and I look forward to playing the game in Orlando. I vowed to myself and to my wife that we could not take a trip to Hawaii until after I went to the Pro Bowl. Honey, pack your bags!"

Pat McManamon ESPN Staff Writer 

Baker Mayfield was voted NFL Rookie of the Year by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA). Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward were voted to the PFWA All-Rookie team. Officially recognized NFL awards will be presented the night before the Super Bowl.

Jordan Raanan ESPN Staff Writer 

Giants QB Kyle Lauletta pleaded guilty Tuesday to a disorderly persons offense and 2 tickets (improper turn and disregarding an officer's instructions) in Hudson County Court, according to his lawyer Gerald Krovatin. The other charges were dropped and as part of the conditional dismissal program Lauletta will have all charges dropped if he avoids further trouble over the next 12 months. Lauletta was arrested in October for various motor vehicle and related disorderly persons offenses pertaining to a traffic violation in Weehawken, New Jersey.

Jeremy Fowler ESPN Staff Writer 

The Steelers have $18.25 million in salary cap room according to NFLPA's latest report, the sixth-most in the NFL. A lot will change come March. Trading Antonio Brown would add $1.045 million to that.

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

Hypothetical Super Bowl predictions from FPI: Saints would have a 55% chance to beat the Patriots. Chiefs would have a 54% chance to beat the Rams. Rams would have a 51% chance to beat the Patriots. Chiefs-Saints would be a 50/50.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Perry Fewell on Tuesday was hired as the Panthers' new secondary coach. Fewell is a native of Charlotte and worked with coach Ron Rivera with the Chicago Bears in 2005. "With his background with coverages and technique I think he'll be really good for us, especially for our young defensive backs," Rivera said.

Mike Wells ESPN Staff Writer 

In a surprising move, the Colts are not bringing back offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, source confirmed. DeGuglielmo led one of the best offensive line turnarounds in the NFL this season. The Colts went from being a weak unit up front to giving up an NFL-low 18 sacks this season. DeGuglielmo was not originally hired by coach Frank Reich. He was supposed to be on Josh McDaniels' staff before McDaniels decided to stay in New England. NFL Network first reported DeGlielmo being let go.

Adam Teicher ESPN Staff Writer 

The Chiefs activated guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif off the injured reserve list and waived safety Ron Parker. Duvernay-Tardif could take his place as the starter at right guard for Sunday's AFC championship game that he lost when he broke his leg and tore ankle ligaments in an October game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The release of Parker could be a sign that Eric Berry will be available to play against the Patriots. Otherwise, the Chiefs have just three safeties in Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray and Jordan Lucas.b

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys can go about extending the contracts of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott or the first time this offseason. Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones said he wants Prescott, “short term and long term.” Regarding Elliott, he said, “it would be madness to think any differently.” He has the same feelings about DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones and others. “Now getting there, hell, I want a bigger boat,” Jones said. “The bottomline is there's a whole bunch of stuff that you want … Do you have the resources or do you have the means or do you have the plan to get there?”

Cameron Wolfe ESPN Staff Writer 

Dolphins CB Xavien Howard makes the Pro Football Writers of America All-AFC team. He was the NFL's co-interception leader with 7.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

If there's any question about Jason Garrett's future with Cowboys, Jerry Jones ended that, while speaking on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. “If Jason Garrett was on the market two weeks ago, he would've had five offers for head coach," Jones said. "I know that. And so you've got to look at what your alternative is.”