- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner26 mins ago
According to MMQB's Peter King, the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson just agreed to a contract extension that will make him the NFL's second-highest-paid quarterback.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have agreed to a 4-year, $87.6-million extension, per source.
Wilson's deal comes in just south of the average of $22 million per season, which the NFL's leading man, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, makes. Wilson and the Seahawks had agreed to a self-imposed deadline of 10 a.m. local time on Friday to agree to an extension.
The Seahawks might be in a financial pinch, with several other key players wanting to get paid or heading into their free-agency seasons, but they had to make this contract with Wilson happen. There was pressure for Wilson to get a deal done — he stood to make a mere $1.5 million this season.
The contract averages $21.9 million, which is just north of two-time champ Ben Roethlisberger, whose deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers averages $21.85 million.
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- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will miss practices this weekend to attend his brother’s funeral.
Mickey Rivera, 56, died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, and Coach Rivera sent out a tribute to his brother on Twitter that day.
Rivera will miss Panthers practices on Saturday and Sunday to attend funeral services in Reno, Nev., according to ESPN. Panthers assistant head coach Steve Wilks will run the show in Rivera's absence.
"It's been a series of ups and downs," said Rivera, who received the news while moving back into his house, which was heavily damaged by fire that happened during the Panthers' playoff run in January. "We got back off of vacation and we were moving back into our home, and then we got the word about my brother, Mickey.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
The biggest question about the Seattle Seahawks entering the 2015 season seems to be: How will they bounce back following the disappointment of losing the Super Bowl in haunting fashion?
But that might need adjusting.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor intends to hold out from training camp in search of a new deal. Money, it would appear, is the biggest worry in Seattle right now.
In addition to Chancellor, defensive end Michael Bennett is also unhappy with his contract — staying away from volunteer workout and perhaps even requesting a trade — and might join Chancellor as a no-show at the start of camp.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
ENGLEWOOD, Colo — Welcome to training camp of the contender that everyone has forgotten about.
Pick up a magazine or find an early Internet preview and let me know if any picked the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl. I haven't seen one yet.
"We're here to win a championship," said Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, who got the job because John Fox won four straight AFC West titles but no Super Bowl titles. "That's our goal as a football team."
That's training camp talk. Roughly 32 teams will say that if pressed. About 15 or so should realistically think they're telling the truth. Maybe six or seven have a good reason to be angry if it doesn't come true.
The Broncos haven't dropped out of that group of six or seven. They're still a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They'll just chase that goal with a much different approach.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Sheldon Richardson is becoming a headache for the New York Jets. A talented headache, but a headache nonetheless.
Richardson was suspended for the first four games of this season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, reportedly for marijuana use. On Thursday, as the Jets started training camp, there was a story out of St. Louis that Richardson was clocked for allegedly driving 143 miles per hour and then resisting arrest via a high-speed chase on July 14.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
A month ago, I never, ever thought I'd be writing that headline about an NFL player.
The Jason Pierre-Paul story with the New York Giants is terrible and weird. Pierre-Paul injured himself in a July 4 fireworks accident. ESPN said Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated, which was reportedly the first time the Giants heard about it. Pierre-Paul would not let the Giants see him in the hospital.
None of this is sitting well with Giants co-owner John Mara, who sounded off Thursday as the Giants reported to training camp without Pierre-Paul.
"We don't know how extensive the damage is right now," Mara said, according to NJ.com. "That is the problem.
"I don't know how many fingers he has. We know what we've read and what we've been told, but until we actually see him and the extent of the damage, it's hard to make any sort of prediction as to what kind of condition he's in."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Super Bowl favorites (at least according to many Las Vegas betting houses) got off to choppy start during the pressure portion of practice Thursday, and this was after Aaron Rodgers had thrown an interception to an undrafted rookie cornerback.
But, being the Green Bay Packers, they still found their groove offensively in the first training camp practice of the year. Dressed in shorts and shells, Rodgers led the first-team offense in the no-huddle session and shook off the earlier rust following a first-down incompletion.
Then, off it went: The reigning league MVP hit Jordy Nelson on a fade stop for a first down. Eddie Lacy then took an inside zone run for 6 yards. Jeff Janis beat Sam Shields for a chain-mover. Lacy for 6 more. Even after a Bryan Bulaga false start, Randall Cobb made a diving catch from the slot to convert a third-and-11.
“It wasn’t pretty early, but we got it cranked up there,” center Corey Linsley said.
In three minutes, the Packers salvaged a rough patch with the first-team offense and at least started to evoke thoughts of what this offense might accomplish again in 2015.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers couldn't help but throw a little shade at his friend and leading receiver when asked how Jordy Nelson looked after entering training camp with questions about his surgically repaired hip.
"Was he even out there?" the Green Bay Packers quarterback playfully asked after Thursday's practice.
Rodgers, of course, knew. He hit Nelson on a few quality passes during the two-hour session, and in an otherwise uneventful camp-opening practice, Nelson's presence on the field was a sign of good news for the Packers. He had missed parts of OTAs following hip surgery, and even though he took part in drills in June, there was speculation that Nelson could open up camp on the Packers' active/PUP list.
But Nelson was a full go. He ran in shells (no pads) at what appeared to be close to full speed, made nice cuts and worked on sharpening his Pro Bowl form.
Head coach Mike McCarthy appeared impressed.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Like there wasn't enough going on already at Patriots camp ... a group of Jets fans flew a banner over the first day of New England's camp reading "CHEATERS LOOK UP."
The stunt was the product of @JetsFanMedia, a crew that previously started a "FireJohnIdzik.com" campaign to oust the Jets' beleaguered general manager. Idzik was bounced right after the end of the 2014 season. The reference, obviously, is to the ongoing deflate-gate/phone-gate saga involving Tom Brady and the Patriots.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Nothing like starting off training camp with a Julian Edelman-to-Tom Brady trick play, in which the soon-to-be 38-year-old Brady makes a nifty one-handed catch.
This is from Thursday's New England Patriots practice, with good camera work from the stands by @beecee5 on Twitter:
Soak it in, football is back. (Now commence with the deflated football jokes.)
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