Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine picked Brian Hoyer over rookie Johnny Manziel to start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh. Hoyer made three starts in 2013 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury.

"He was the clear leader from the beginning," Pettine said of Hoyer on Wednesday. "We've maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player."

Both Hoyer and Manziel played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday. During that game, Manziel made an obscene gesture toward the Washington sideline and will likely be fined by the league.

"I need to earn a place in this offense. Nothing should be given to me and I completely understand that," Manziel said.

Steelers: Running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will be charged with marijuana possession. Ross Township police said traffic officer Sean Stafiej pulled over a Chevrolet operated by Bell after Stafiej, who was on a motorcycle, noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car. Stafiej found a 20-gram bag of marijuana in the car. "We are aware of the reports and still gathering information," a Steelers spokesman said.

Buccaneers: Tampa Bay released wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, who played for offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford when Tedford was Cal's coach. Hawkins played just four games for San Diego last season.


Bengals: Cincinnati and Vontaze Burfict agreed to a three-year extension that will pay the Pro Bowl linebacker a maximum of $20.05 million through 2017, a source said. He's making $570,000 this season with Cincinnati, which signed him as an undrafted free agent from Arizona State in 2012.

Miscellany: An initial exam showed no evidence of sinus cancer three months after Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly completed radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Dr. Peter Costantino said.

  • Former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff was nominated as the senior finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2015 class of inductees.

  • Retired Mike Carey, the first African-American referee to work a Super Bowl, said the "league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington. It happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think. ... It just became clear to me where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me."