NFL Notes: Victor Cruz Inks 1-year Deal With Bears | NBC 10 Philadelphia

NFL Notes: Victor Cruz Inks 1-year Deal With Bears

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    NFL Notes: Victor Cruz Inks 1-year Deal With Bears
    CSNPhilly.com
    NFL Notes: Victor Cruz inks 1-year deal with Bears

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears added some salsa, signing former New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz to a one-year contract Thursday.

    The Bears were looking for help after Alshon Jeffery signed with Philadelphia.

    A feared receiver with the Giants, he helped them win the Super Bowl before being slowed by injuries. He was released after seven seasons in February.

    Cruz has 303 catches for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns, many of which he celebrated with a salsa dance. A knee injury and a calf problem caused him to miss most of the 2014 season and all of 2015. Last year, he had 39 catches and one touchdown reception.

    Giants: Beckham, Vernon miss OTAs
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York ended their first week of voluntary organized team activities missing two of their biggest stars -- wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Olivier Vernon.

    The workout Thursday was fourth of the week, and Beckham missed them all. The team did not say whether Vernon missed all four, but the veteran who signed an $85 million contract in the offseason last year wasn't there Thursday, the only day workouts were open to the media.

    The only other player missing was third-year defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, who hinted since the end of last season that he may take time away from football.

    While coach Ben McAdoo said he wanted all his players at the workouts, he said he would coach the ones there.

    NFL: International players to join practice squads
    NEW YORK -- Four NFL teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads during the 2017 season. Three players are from Britain and one from Germany.

    The announcement by the NFL on Thursday is part of a new International Player Pathway program.

    The international players are: tight end Alex Gray with Atlanta, defensive end Efe Obada with Carolina, defensive end Alex Jenkins with New Orleans and linebacker Eric Nzeocha with Tampa Bay.

    The players have been training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida the past three months.

    Gray is a former rugby player; Jenkins and Nzeocha were recent college players. Obada was originally signed by Dallas in 2015. Each team will get an exemption for an 11th practice player, who is ineligible to be activated during the season.

    Bills: LB Hodges signs, CB Gaines released
    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have signed linebacker Gerald Hodges, who started 12 games for San Francisco last season.

    Team officials also said Thursday that cornerback Charles Gaines had been released.

    Hodges is going into his fifth season after being drafted in 2013 by the Minnesota Vikings. He played two-plus seasons with Minnesota before joining the 49ers. He had 83 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble last year.

    Gaines did not play last season but started four games for Cleveland in 2015.

    Jaguars: Jags to host Bucs for joint practices
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two joint training camp practices before their preseason game in August.

    The teams will practice Monday and Tuesday before playing Thursday night, Aug. 17. The Jaguars also will have two joint practices at New England a week earlier, before their preseason opener.

    New coach Doug Marrone and top executive Tom Coughlin want the Jaguars to be more physical. Holding joint practices in consecutive weeks will make that clear to the players.

    Marrone says he's a fan of joint practices "as long as you can make sure that it is competitive and not combative."

    The Jaguars and Bucs also practiced together in Jacksonville before their preseason game last year.