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Lions, Stafford agree to explore trade

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

The Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford are planning to part ways.

The Lions and Stafford have mutually agreed to explore the possibilities of trading him, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke Saturday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team and Stafford did not announce the decision.

Stafford expressed an interest in being traded after the season ended and the team responded by tabling the idea until a new general manager and coach were hired, the person said. Stafford was on a call with Lions general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell earlier this week, according to the person, and they discussed moving on without each other.

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Packers activate CB Williams to roster

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) The Green Bay Packers have elevated recent cornerback acquisition Tramon Williams to their active roster for Sunday's NFC championship game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The move Saturday comes two days after the Packers announced they had signed Williams to their practice squad. The 37-year-old Williams was waived by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, two days after their 17-3 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

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Lions hire Saints' Glenn as DC

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions hired Aaron Glenn to be their defensive coordinator.

The Lions announced the move Saturday. Glenn joins new coach Dan Campbell's staff after spending the past five seasons as the secondary coach for the New Orleans Saints.

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Chiefs' Mahomes cleared to play Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was cleared Friday from the league's concussion protocol after his third consecutive day of practice and will be under center when Kansas City plays the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game.

Mahomes was hurt in the third quarter of the Chiefs' divisional-round win over Cleveland. He returned to take the majority of snaps in a light workout Wednesday, then did the same during the longest practice of the week Thursday, before team doctors and an independent neurologist gave him the green light following Friday's workout.

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NT Vea in, WR Brown out for Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bolstered their defense for Sunday's NFC championship game, activating nose tackle Vita Vea from the reserve/injured list.

The third-year pro, one of the top run-stoppers in the NFL, has been sidelined since early October with a broken ankle. He resumed practicing with the team this week and will be available this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

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Mayhew, Hurney join Washington brass

Ron Rivera bulked up his front office Friday, hiring Martin Mayhew to be Washington's general manager and Marty Hurney to serve as executive vice president of football and player personnel.

The moves give Rivera two seasoned NFL executives to work with going into his second season coaching and running football operations.

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Bills WR Davis questionable vs. Chiefs

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills are uncertain whether wide receiver Gabriel Davis will be available to play in the AFC championship game at Kansas City on Sunday.

Davis and defensive tackle Vernon Butler were listed as questionable Friday after returning to practice on a limited basis.

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Bears promote Desai to def. coordinator

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears promoted safeties coach Sean Desai to replace retired defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano on Friday.

The longest-tenured member of the Bears' coaching staff, Desai was hired as a quality control coach in 2013 under Marc Trestman. He worked with defensive backs and linebackers while also assisting on special teams through the 2018 season before being promoted to safeties coach.

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Steelers TE McDonald retires at age 30

PITTSBURGH (AP) Vance McDonald could sense last spring the end of his NFL career was in the offing.

The Pittsburgh Steelers tight end's urge to branch out beyond the football field - one that bubbled for years - came to a head during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lawrence, Fields head early entry list

Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields is among 98 players granted special eligibility by the NFL into the league's draft, while national championship-winning QBs Mac Jones from Alabama and Trevor Lawrence from Clemson are among another 30 players eligible after completing their degrees and deciding not to play more in college.

Those 128 players, plus three more who inquired about their draft status but didn't need special eligibility, were on the NFL's official list released Friday as available to be drafted after giving up their remaining college eligibility. The 131 total players is 11 more than last year, but still below the record 132 two years ago.

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