NFL notebook: Browns officially hire Stefanski

One day after multiple reports pegged former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as the new head coach of Cleveland Browns, the team made the hire official, announcing the move via press release on Monday.

FILE PHOTO – Nov 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski looks on before the start of a game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple media outlets reported that Stefanski’s contract will be for five years, with full contract terms still unknown. The Browns will introduce Stefanski at a press conference on Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Cleveland, which fired Freddie Kitchens after one season and a 6-10 record, interviewed eight candidates for the job. Stefanski, 37, will be the sixth full-time head coach since the Haslams bought the team in 2012.

—The Jacksonville Jaguars announced that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo will not return for a second season in 2020.

The Jaguars were 6-10 and finished 26th in scoring and 20th in total offense in 2019, although DeFilippo was generally praised for his work developing rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II following Nick Foles’ injury in the season opener.

Minshew, a sixth-round draft pick, was 6-6 as a starter and completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions.

—Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed that defensive coordinator George Edwards will not return to the team, meaning Zimmer is hunting for two new coordinators. Edwards’ contract is due to expire, and he won’t be back. Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski has been hired as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach.

Edwards was on Zimmer’s staff for all six of the coach’s seasons with the Vikings.

Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray was also informed he would not return.

—The Detroit Lions tabbed Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin to serve as their defensive coordinator.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia and Undlin both got their starts in the NFL coaching ranks in 2004 with the New England Patriots.

Undlin, 48, replaces Paul Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator. He joined the Eagles in the 2015 offseason following three years with the Denver Broncos, where he worked as the defensive quality control coach in 2012 and the defensive backs coach from 2013-14.

—The Chicago Bears are bringing in former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor as their new coordinator, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.

Lazor, who was out of pro football last season after being fired following the 2018 season, is part of a staff overhaul in Chicago. Head coach Matt Nagy, who was the play-caller for a team that went 8-8 this season, dismissed second-year coordinator Mark Helfrich, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride Jr., among other changes.

Lazor, 47, took control of the Bengals’ offense two games into the 2017 season when coordinator Ken Zampese was fired. The unit finished the season ranked 32nd in total offense and 26th in scoring offense. The Bengals were 26th and 17th, respectively, in 2018.

—Kansas City defensive end Chris Jones, who missed the Chiefs’ AFC divisional playoff win against the Houston Texans on Sunday due to a calf injury, is considered day-to-day, coach Andy Reid said a day later.

Reid said the Chiefs are otherwise “pretty healthy” going into Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Tennessee Titans.

Jones leads the Chiefs with nine sacks and has recorded 31 over the past three seasons. Jones (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) had 36 tackles in the regular season and would also serve as an anchor to the run defense against the Titans’ powerful Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 377 yards on 64 carries in two playoff wins.

—Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and he let it be known he is looking for one thing in a new team: a solid shot at a Super Bowl ring.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick spent his first five NFL seasons with the Houston Texans, who traded him to Seattle in August. The Seahawks agreed not to put the franchise or transition tag on him, allowing him to explore free agency.

—Patriots center David Andrews is optimistic about returning to the field for next season after missing the 2019 campaign following a diagnosis of blood clots in his lungs.

Andrews said he doesn’t view the blood clots as career-threatening and plans to continue a career in which he played in 60 of a possible 64 games during his first four seasons, including 57 starts.

—A felony charge of cocaine possession against New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung was conditionally dismissed, a prosecutor in Belknap County, N.H., announced.

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The conditions are: good behavior for two years, meaning no crimes (felony or misdemeanor) or major motor vehicle offenses; periodic drug testing; 40 hours of community service; and waiving of his rights for a speedy trial and/or indictment.

Chung, 32, was indicted in August after police allegedly found cocaine at his home near Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, N.H., on June 25. He pleaded not guilty.

—Field Level Media

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