(The Sports Xchange) - Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is resigning control of the team to focus on battling Alzheimer’s Disease.
Team president Joe Ellis is assuming control of the franchise, which Bowlen purchased in 1984 when the team faced bankruptcy. In 16 playoff appearances, the Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl six times.
“This is a sad day for the NFL,” commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday in a statement released by the league. “Pat Bowlen’s leadership has been critical to the success of the Broncos and the entire NFL.”
The Pat Bowlen Trust was established to keep the team in the family. Bowlen has seven children and there is no plan to sell the team.
Running back Jamaal Charles reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs as the team reported for training camp, according to reports.
Charles, 28, rushed for 1,287 yards in 2013, which was the third best total in the NFL last season, and he ran for 1,509 yards in 2012.
Cincinnati Bengals owner and general manager Mike Brown announced he is ceding more day-to-day control to coach Marvin Lewis and his daughter, executive vice president Katie Blackburn.
Brown remains at team headquarters on a daily basis, explaining, “I can still bark, and they have to make sure they don’t step on my toes.”
The 78-year-old Brown is not battling any health issues. Brown took over for his father, NFL legend Paul Brown, when he died in 1991.
Philadelphia Eagles second-year offensive tackle Lane Johnson will miss the first four games of the 2014 regular season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Johnson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 draft, is eligible to participate in training camp and all pre season practices and games.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had set a goal of returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament by September, was fully cleared for training camp.
The first team practice is scheduled for Thursday, and coach Bill Belichick confirmed Gronkowski will be on the field, not on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Gronkowski hurt his knee Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns. His entire 2013 calendar year was filled by injuries and rehab, including multiple surgeries on his forearm and a procedure on his back. He missed six games in 2013 and was limited into the regular season.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, a potential holdout as he seeks a new contract, reported to training camp Wednesday.
Davis, 30, skipped a mandatory minicamp in June and earlier voluntary workouts in a bid to get his contract reworked. He is the fourth highest-paid tight end in the NFL. He is scheduled to earn base salaries of $4.7 million this year and $4.35 million next year.
Meanwhile, guard Alex Boone is expected to continue his holdout.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice announced his retirement from the NFL.
The 27-year-old Rice ends his career with 243 receptions for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns in 81 games played with 57 starts.
Rice’s 2013 season was cut short after eight games when he suffered a knee injury at St. Louis on Oct. 28. He recorded 15 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns during Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning season.
Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is expected to miss eight weeks of the regular season recovering from hip surgery.
Initial projections called for Pouncey to return in October, likely around Week 5, but his return could be delayed according to multiple reports. Pouncey tore the labrum in his hip sometime during the Dolphins’ OTA sessions.
It comes as no surprise as NFL training camps get under way that the San Francisco 49ers placed linebacker NaVorro Bowman on the active/physically unable to perform list Wednesday.
Bowman is still recovering from the torn ACL and MCL he sustained in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks in January. The Pro Bowler is not expected to return until sometime around the midpoint of the regular season.
Cornerback Justin Gilbert agreed to a four-year, $12.8 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, leaving just one 2014 draft pick unsigned.
Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in May, will report to training camp and compete with Buster Skrine to start opposite Joe Haden in the remodeled defensive backfield of the Browns.
The lone unsigned 2014 draft pick is 11th overall selection Taylor Lewan. The Michigan offensive tackle is projected as a rookie starter at right tackle with the Tennessee Titans.
The Houston Texans signed veteran free agent offensive tackle Tyson Clabo on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-6, 314-pound Clabo, 32, started all but one game last season for the Miami Dolphins. He was a starter with the Atlanta Falcons for seven seasons.
New York Jets added another pass rusher Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with veteran Jason Babin, a former first-round pick of the Houston Texans who has bounced from the Eagles, Seahawks, Chiefs, Titans and Jaguars since entering the NFL in 2004.
The Jets also placed guard Willie Colon (knee, biceps) and linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee) on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list to begin camp. Cornerback Lowell Rose was released.
Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes