Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life earlier this month, was laid out Tuesday in an open silver casket surrounded by flowers and displays of family snapshots at a church in Dix Hills, N.Y., where hundreds of mourners gathered at a wake to remember him.
Police say Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Dec. 1 at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. They say he then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed his suicide.
Friends have said the relationship between Belcher and Perkins was strained. The couple briefly lived apart recently before getting back together.
Perkins, who was from Texas, was remembered at two funeral services last week.
Belcher starred at West Babylon High School before playing college football at the University of Maine. He joined the Chiefs in 2009 as an undrafted free agent but became a starter during the 2012 season.
Jets land Edwards
The New York Jets are bringing back wide receiver Braylon Edwards, less than a week after he bashed the organization in support of quarterback Mark Sanchez.
New York was awarded Edwards off waivers from Seattle after he was let go by the Seahawks Monday. Edwards played for New York from 2009-10. He had two productive seasons with the Jets, developing a good rapport with Sanchez in helping New York to consecutive trips to the AFC title game.
With Rex Ryan contemplating last week whether Sanchez would remain the starting QB or be replaced by third-stringer Greg McElroy, Edwards wrote on Twitter that people shouldn’t blame Sanchez, but should “blame the idiots calling shots.” He tweeted an apology the next day, and was reunited with the Jets less than a week later.
Around the league
The Pittsburgh Steelers suspended running back Rashard Mendenhall for their game Sunday at Dallas for conduct detrimental to the team. Pittsburgh promoted running back Baron Batch from the practice squad to take his place. … The Detroit Lions have tied a dubious NFL record. Detroit blew 10-point leads in three straight losses, tying the Minnesota Vikings (2011), New Orleans Saints (1999), Cleveland Browns (1991), St. Louis Cardinals (1980), Washington Redskins (1952) and Green Bay Packers (1947). … The Chicago Bears have signed 16-year veteran placekicker Olindo Mare after kicker Robbie Gould was placed on season-ending injured reserve with calf injury.