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NFL NOTEBOOK: Ravens' Flacco says he feels no pressure

by The Associated Press on July 24, 2013 11:00 AM

Joe Flacco understands the lofty expectations that come with a Super Bowl ring and a new $120.1 million contract.

And he doesn’t care.

Flacco says he won’t be feeling any extra pressure to perform well this season after he guided the Baltimore Ravens to a world championship and received what was, at the time, the richest contract in NFL history.

After practicing with injured veterans and rookies on Tuesday, Flacco said, “I can’t really complain at this point. We won last year, I have a lot of money — or I’m going to get a lot of money — and we’re going to win football games. That’s the way it is around here.”

Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP after guiding the Ravens to a 34-31 win over San Francisco.

BUCCANEERS: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Peyton Hillis to a one-year contract.

Hillis is a sixth-year pro who finished sixth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage in 2010, when he became the first player in Cleveland Browns history to rush for 1,000 yards, catch 50 passes and score at least 10 touchdowns in a season.

The 27-year-old Hillis appeared in 65 career games, rushing for 2,470 yards and scoring 21 TDs on the ground. He has 111 career receptions for 867 yards and three touchdowns. Last year Hillis played for Kansas City, rushing for 309 yards and 1 TD.

COLTS: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie safety John Boyett will not be available to practice when the Indianapolis Colts report to training camp this weekend.

The team placed Bradshaw, a veteran free agent, on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday. He spent the previous six seasons with the New York Giants and is trying to return from January surgery on his right foot. He is best remembered for scoring the winning TD in New York’s Super Bowl victory two years ago.

Boyett, a sixth-round draft pick in April, was put on the non-football injury list. He played in only one game for Oregon last season because of injuries to both knees.

COWBOYS: Dallas defensive end Anthony Spencer is having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is likely to miss the rest of training camp.

Spencer said he will have surgery Thursday in Dallas and expects to miss three weeks, which puts his return about the same time the Cowboys break camp before their third preseason game at Arizona.

Spencer hyperextended the knee in offseason workouts and said he aggravated the injury in the conditioning test. He has described the injury as a bone bruise and said the surgery was to clean up some of the tissue around the knee.

JAGUARS: Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has been cleared by team doctors to begin practice on Friday when the Jaguars hold their first training camp practice.

Jones-Drew had surgery last December to correct the Lisfranc injury that caused him to miss the final 10 games in 2012. He missed all of the team’s offseason workouts and OTAs in the spring, but had vowed he would be ready for the start of training camp. Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley, in declaring that the NFL’s leading rusher in 2011 had been cleared, said the team will be smart with how they use him during camp and preseason games. They will “bring him along slowly.”

JETS: Santonio Holmes will start training camp on the sideline.

The New York Jets placed the wide receiver on the active-physically unable to perform list Tuesday, an expected move as Holmes recovers from a serious foot injury that ended his season last year after four games.

Holmes is eligible to come off of the PUP list once he is medically cleared to practice, but he was a long shot to be active at the start of training camp. Holmes recently told reporters he wasn’t sure if he’d be healthy enough to practice when the Jets begin training camp practices on Friday in Cortland, N.Y., but added there was no timetable for his return.

ELSEWHERE: A tourism official in charge of negotiating with the NFL on holding the Pro Bowl in Honolulu said the state is open to giving the league flexibility if it wants to alternate the game between Hawaii and other locations.

David Uchiyama, vice president of brand management for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that both the state and the NFL want a long-term agreement. He said Hawaii can make a deal for up to four games given state laws.

“I think they’re exploring their options in going to the mainland, but as long as we stay on top of it and the players continue to express their interest, I think we’re in the game,” Uchiyama said.

Uchiyama said the league and state have been discussing several options for a deal that gives NFL its flexibility while still making a long-term commitment to Hawaii, where the Pro Bowl is a big deal for tourism and marketing the state to potential visitors. One option, Uchiyama said, would be a seven-year deal with four Pro Bowls played in Honolulu.

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