January 29, 2019 / 4:24 AM / 6 months ago

NFL notebook: Saga will make us stronger, Brees says

With a week behind him since the controversial loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took to social media Monday morning to share his thoughts about how his team’s season ended and to address Saints fans.

Jan 20, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts after throwing a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL acknowledged Sunday in a court filing that officials should have called pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact on a third-down pass from Brees that was intended for Tommylee Lewis. Instead, it was ruled an incompletion. Had the call been made, the Saints would have had a first down, with the ability to score a touchdown or bleed the clock for the game-winning field goal.

The Saints instead kicked a field goal with 1:41 remaining, leaving time for the Rams to tie, and went on to lose the game 26-23, sending the Rams to the Super Bowl against New England.

“The longer I play I realize that we truly are one heartbeat with our fans,” Brees wrote in an Instagram post. “Our success is your success. Our disappointment is your disappointment. We are inspired by one another to accomplish things far greater than what we could ever do on our own. ... This will make us stronger, this will bond us tighter, this will be a source for our success in the future.”

—Kicker Adam Vinatieri will return to the Indianapolis Colts for a 14th season and his 24th in the NFL, the team announced.

News of the contract extension for the 46-year-old Vinatieri spread late last week, but the contract wasn’t executed until Monday morning. Terms weren’t announced, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the one-year deal is worth $3.875 million.

Vinatieri spent the first 10 years of his career with the New England Patriots. The three-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and added a fourth ring in his first season with Indianapolis in 2006.

—Detroit Lions linebacker Trevor Bates continues to undergo psychological testing at a New York City hospital, his agent said, after he was arrested and allegedly struck a police sergeant over the weekend.

Bates, 25, was arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly refusing to pay a taxi fare, and then struck and cut the face of a sergeant while being processed at the precinct, requiring three stitches and causing a mild concussion.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association, a group of around 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants, issued a strong statement Saturday on Twitter, referring to Bates as “dog crap” and saying the NFL “condones criminals.”

—The Buffalo Bills signed long snapper Reid Ferguson to a three-year contract extension, the team announced.

The deal puts Ferguson, who was set to be an exclusive-rights free agent, under contract through 2021.

Ferguson, 24, went undrafted out of LSU in 2016 and spent part of that year on the Bills’ practice squad before making the team in 2017. He’s played in all 32 games over the last two seasons, recording three tackles this year.

—Field Level Media

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