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NFL roundup: Bills agree to new stadium lease

The SportsXchange

The Bills reached agreement Friday with the state on a 10-year lease for Ralph Wilson Stadium that will keep the NFL team in Buffalo.

The deal includes a sizable relocation fee of $400 million should the Bills decide to leave the city during the lease except in year seven when it would be $29 million, The Buffalo News reported.

The agreement culminated months of meetings between team management and the state of New York.

According to The Buffalo News, a source said $130 million will be earmarked for renovations to the stadium, with $35 million coming from the Bills. The state and county will share the rest of the $95 million in renovation costs, though the source of that money was unclear.

There had been rumors about the Bills, who played the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday in Toronto, possibly relocating to another city.

---Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was listed as probable on the team's injury report Friday and coach Mike Shanahan indicated that there's a good chance the rookie will be cleared to play Sunday against Philadelphia.

Shanahan told reporters Friday that Griffin looked good in practice but had not received medical clearance. He expected that to come Friday night.

Griffin suffered a sprained knee two weeks ago in an overtime win over Baltimore and sat out last Sunday's game against Cleveland. He returned to practice this week and took every rep Friday.

Linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) also was listed as probable for Sunday.

---The Philadelphia Eagles relegated Michael Vick to a third-string role for the rest of this season, but the veteran quarterback says he's looking to the future and a new opportunity with another team.

"I'm not a backup. Just being honest, just being candid. I'm a full-fledged starter," Vick told Birds 24/7. "That's what I've got in me, that's what I provide, that's what I offer. Whatever happens, wherever I end up, they're going to get 110 percent.

"You're going to get the same thing out of me that you got the last two, three years and that's 110 percent effort and a guy that's confident in his abilities to play and win."

Vick has not played since November while recovering from the effects of a concussion. The Eagles have moved forward with rookie Nick Foles as their quarterback.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play in Sunday's game against Jacksonville, The Boston Globe reported Friday.

Gronkowski has practiced for the past week on a limited basis while he continues his recovery from a broken forearm.

There's a chance that Gronkowski could return for the regular-season finale against Miami, NFL.com reported.

Gronkowski suffered the injury on Nov. 18 and has missed four games. The Patriots have gone 3-1 in his absence, losing to San Francisco on Monday night.

---San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson's hard hit on New England tight end Aaron Hernandez last Sunday night apparently will cost him.

Goldson said Friday that he received notification from the NFL of a $21,000 fine for the tackle. He plans to appeal, ESPN.com reported.

Officials flagged Goldson for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a midair collision with Hernandez, who was turning to make a catch in the 49ers' 41-34 overtime victory. Goldson celebrated after the play.

Also, coach Jim Harbaugh announced that defensive lineman Justin Smith was upgraded from doubtful to questionable to play Sunday night at the Seattle Seahawks.

---Quarterback Mark Sanchez avoided saying Friday whether he expects to return to the New York Jets next season, but a report indicated that the team will bring him back in 2013.

Sanchez is benched for Sunday's game against San Diego. Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy will make his first career start.

Newsday reported Friday there are indications that Sanchez will remain with the team next year despite a disastrous 2012 season in which he has thrown 17 interceptions. Sanchez is due to make $8.25 million in 2013, which could be a deterrent to a possible trade.

Sanchez said thoughts of a trade in the offseason have not entered his mind.

"I'm a Jet, and that's all I've known," he said.

Also, defensive end Quinton Coples was fined $15,750 for unnecessary roughness against Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker.

---Atlanta Falcons safety Chris Hope was fined $30,000 by the league for a helmet-to-helmet hit against New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Friday.

Hope was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play in the third quarter of last Sunday's game.

---Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin and cornerback Cary Williams were each been fined $15,750 by the NFL for late hits during last Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Boldin blocked Broncos cornerback Chris Harris to the ground after a play ended and was penalized.

Williams hit wide receiver Eric Decker after he went out of bounds.

"Cary's was late," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in the Baltimore Sun. "Cary's was out of bounds and late. Cary would be the first to tell you that was a mistake."

Harbaugh, however, said he did not think Boldin did anything wrong.

Also, linebacker Ray Lewis might attempt to play Sunday against the New York Giants, according to the Sun.

Lewis is trying to come back from a torn triceps that he sustained against the Dallas Cowboys Oct. 14. He practiced for the third straight week.

The Sun reported Friday that team sources said they expect Lewis to try to play but the final decision will be made by the Ravens' medical and coaching staff.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, however, would only say that Lewis is "coming along."

---Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith was fined $15,750 for unnecessary roughness against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Smith was fined by the league Friday for his helmet-to-helmet hit during last Sunday's game. According to the Indianapolis Star, fines for hits against Luck have totaled $129,000 this season.

---The Miami Dolphins signed veteran kicker Nate Kaeding as a replacement for injured Dan Carpenter.

The Dolphins also announced Friday that they placed Carpenter (groin) on injured reserve.

Kaeding comes to the Dolphins after nine years with San Diego, which released him in October. He was 7 of 7 on field-goal attempts in three games this season before he suffered a groin injury.
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