NFL notes: Sanchez played hurt

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes aim against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla.,...

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez takes aim against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla., Jan. 1, 2012. (JOE SKIPPER/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had a reason for his worse-than-expected 2011 season.

And it wasn't because he doesn't have the arm strength to get the ball downfield. No, according to then-Jets receiver Plaxico Burress, Sanchez was hurt the entire year.

"He was battling some injuries last year, shoulder-wise that a lot of people didn't know about ... different things like that," Purress told ESPN.com. "But I think he really turned a corner."

Sanchez was never included in the Jets injury report last season, at least not for a shoulder problem. He started all 16 games, completing 308-of-543 passes for 3,474 yards and 26 touchdowns but the Jets went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

EAGLE APOLOGIZES

Philadelphia Eagles running back Dion Lewis apologized Monday after being arrested over the weekend.

Lewis and his older brother, Lamar Lewis, were arrested by cops in Albany, N.Y., early Sunday morning after allegedly pulling a fire alarm when they couldn't get into a locked Hampton Inn. Both were charged with falsely reporting an incident, a felony, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment of property.

Dion Lewis was released following arraignment and is scheduled to appear in Albany City Court Wednesday while his brother is still in custody.

"I want to apologize to my family, the Albany community, the Eagles organization and fans, and to the NFL for my involvement in an incident this past weekend," Lewis said in a statement released by the team. "It was never my intention to cause any public alarm or damage any property. I am sorry for any embarrassment and inconvenience that my actions have caused."

Lewis played 15 games for the Eagles last season, mostly on special teams. He ran for 102 yards on 23 carries.

CLOCK TICKING

Time is running out for the New Orleans Saints to get quarterback Drew Brees signed to a long-term deal.

The Saints have just one more week to get Brees' name on a contract or the best they can do is sign him to a one-year deal. Anything longer would need to wait until after the 2012 season.

Brees has already been tagged as the Saints franchise player, which comes with a one-year, $16.4 million offer, but so far he has refused to sign it in an effort to get a multi-year contract in the range of $20 million per season. The Saints have reportedly offered Brees the richest contract in league history but so far he hasn't bit.

BILLS SIGN RECEIVER

The Buffalo Bills put the finishing touches on signing their 2012 draft class, inking wide receiver T.J. Graham Monday.

The Bills are the 13th team to sign their entire crop of draftees this year.

"I didn't feel like I was waiting," Graham told Buffalobills.com. "I was participating in all of the other workouts this spring. I'm just excited to officially be part of the team so I'm ready to get things started."

Graham, a third-round draft pick out of North Carolina State the Bills traded up to get, had 99 catches for 1,453 yards and 12 touchdowns during his college career.


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