NFL notebook: Rodgers escaped Peru before airport shutdown


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers barely got out of Peru on March 18 just before the airport closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said Friday.

Speaking to radio hosts A.J. Hawk, Rodgers’ former Green Bay teammate, and Pat McAfee, a former Indianapolis Colts punter, Rodgers recounted a frantic exit from South America for himself and three traveling companions.

“That was quite the ordeal,” Rodgers said. “Have you seen the movie ‘Argo’? You have? The scene at the end where they’re racing to the airport. Nobody was chasing us, thankfully, or holding us. We didn’t have to speak Farsi to get back into the country, but there was some moments where we worried we were not going to get out.”

The group had a private plane, which Rodgers said was crucial to getting out that morning.

—Defensive tackle Michael Brockers is returning to the Los Angeles Rams after his free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens fell through.

The Ravens confirmed they wouldn’t be signing Brockers, whose new deal with the Rams is for three years and worth up $31.5 million, the NFL Network reported. Brockers confirmed the move on his Instagram account.

“Lord you work in Mysterious Ways, but I will Never Doubt or Question your plan. Sorry Ravens But ‘I’m Going, Going, Back Back, To Cali, Cali’,” he wrote, quoting lyrics from a Notorious B.I.G. song.

—The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein to a three-year contract.

The deal is worth $7.5 million, NFL Network reported.

Zuerlein, 32, who has spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, is coming off one of the worst years in his career, making just 72.7 percent of his field-goal attempts. He did make 5 of 7 from 50 yards or longer.

—The Philadelphia Eagles exercised contract options on six players, including quarterback Carson Wentz, tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Ertz, 29, will earn $8 million in 2020 and $8.25 million in 2021.

Wentz’s option had to be picked up Friday or else the quarterback’s 2020 salary would have ballooned to more than $30 million this year and the remainder of his four-year extension voided. Instead, Wentz will have a base salary of $1.38 million this year with an $18.65 cap hit.

—The Washington Redskins signed free agent tackle Cornelius Lucas.

NFL Network reported it was a two-year deal worth $5.3 million. Lucas, 28, has played both right and left tackle in his six-year NFL career with four teams.

He appeared in all 16 games and made eight starts last season for the Chicago Bears, allowing only one sack.

—The Minnesota Vikings re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah and center Brett Jones.

Abdullah, 26, averaged 25 yards per kickoff return in his second season with the Vikings in 2019. He also rushed 23 times for 115 yards and caught 15 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Jones, 28, has played in 16 games (three starts) over the past two seasons with Minnesota.

—Linebacker Reggie Ragland signed with the Detroit Lions, who also agreed to a one-year deal with linebacker Elijah Lee, according to reports.

They join recently signed Jamie Collins in a reshaped Detroit linebacker corps.

A second-round pick in 2016, Ragland was traded by the Buffalo Bills to the Kansas City Chiefs and played for the Super Bowl champions last season. Ragland, 26, registered 160 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception in 42 games (32 starts) with the Chiefs.

—The Green Bay Packers will re-sign return specialist Tyler Ervin to a one-year deal, ESPN’s Field Yates reported.

The Packers claimed Ervin off waivers in December from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he energized the Packers on special teams.

In four games with the Packers, Ervin returned six kickoffs for 160 yards (26.7 yards per return) and 11 punts for 106 yards (9.6). In two postseason games, he returned three kickoffs for 41 yards.

—Field Level Media