Training Camps Open

Ryan McDowell

The Falcons and Broncos have already started the grind of training camp while rookies from nearly every team are getting their first taste at what the NFL life is like. By the end of this week, every team will be suiting up and the annual Hall of Fame Game is just over a week away. The news over the past few days has been fast and furious and is just a taste of what is to come. Buckle up!

Holdout RBs

While RB Melvin Gordon continues to assert that he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Chargers, his contract demands have not changed. When the team reports to camp tomorrow, we should not expect to see Gordon. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported that the Chargers are “dug in” with their stance on Gordon and his contract. It is hard to envision which side will budge first in this situation but RBs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are gaining value by the day.

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Meanwhile, it appears as if Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is intent on following the same path, blazed by RB Le’Veon Bell a year ago. Elliott must report to the team by August 6thto receive an accrued season towards free agency, per Yahoo, but ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported that Zeke has a trip planned out of the country during that same time. The Cowboys don’t have the same quality options as the Chargers do and would be forced to rely on a pair of rookies in Tony Pollard and Mike Weber, or add a veteran option.

WR Contract Talks

Many of the league’s top wide receivers are currently in talks with their respective teams about new deals and it seems that the teams and players are engaged in a game of chicken, waiting for someone else to set the market. All but Saints WR Michael Thomas, that is. Thomas has made it clear he wants to be the first wideout to average $20 million per season on his next contract. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Thomas is one of the biggest bargains in the league, earning just over $1 million this season. 

Dallas and WR Amari Cooper also have work to do towards their new deal and Cooper recently suggested that he is in no rush to work something out, preferring to wait for Thomas and others to set the market.

The “others” refer to Falcons veteran Julio Jones and Chiefs playmaker Tyreek Hill. Jones’ deal is fairly straightforward, and Atlanta has been locking up many of their key players to long-term deals as training camp approaches. Jones did report for the opening of training camp. Given his recent legal worries, the Chiefs are in a tough spot with Hill. While local beat writers have suggested the team remains interested in a contract extension, ProFootballTalk suggested the Chiefs could still look to trade Hill.

Hill Avoids Suspension

One of the top stories of the offseason came to a surprising conclusion late last week when the league announced that they would not suspend Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, who was accused of assaulting his son earlier this offseason. It was once assumed that Hill would be facing a long suspension but as time went by and the local authorities chose not to pursue criminal charges, there was enough reasonable doubt that Hill avoided league punishment altogether. This is obviously excellent news for the Chiefs and fantasy players who took a chance on Hill at his reduced cost. Expect that to quickly bounce back to previous value as a top-20 fantasy asset in all formats. 

Injury News

The Bills placed veteran RB Frank Gore on the non-football illness (NFI) list, but reports suggest he is fine…The Bears placed S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (knee) on the active/PUP list though he is expected to be ready for Week One…Falcons S J.J. Wilcox suffered a torn ACL at practice on Monday, ending his 2019 season…Green Bay placed first-round S Darnell Savage on the reserve/NFI list…Buffalo placed TE Tyler Kroft (foot) on the active/PUP list. Kroft was signed as a free agent this offseason but suffered a broken foot in OTAs and is unlikely to be ready for Week One…The Titans made several moves, placing K Ryan Succop, DE Jurrell Casey and TE Jonnu Smith on the active/PUP list, while rookie DT Jeffery Simmons (ACL) landed on the reserve/NFI list. The good news is that veteran TE Delanie Walker avoided either of these, meaning he should be healthy enough to start camp…Falcons DT Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle and is out indefinitely…Patriots veteran WR Julian Edelman (thumb) is expected to miss the first three weeks of camp. This makes an already thin wideout depth chart even weaker for QB Tom Brady and the Pats… The Texans placed DE J.J. Watt (knee) and WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) on the active/PUP list, though neither are considered serious…The Patriots placed WR Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) and RB Sony Michel (knee) on the active/PUP list…Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) is expected to be healthy by Week One…

Quick Hits

Atlanta signed DE Allen Bailey to a two-year, $10.5 million deal…The Giants and first-round QB Daniel Jones agreed to a four-year contract… The Jets signed TE Ryan Griffin, who was released by the Texans earlier this offseason…Veteran QB Mark Sanchez announced his retirement from the NFL…The Jets released RB De’Angelo Henderson…Lions DT Damon Harrison is expected to report to the team for the star of training camp, even after missing the team’s earlier mandatory mini-camp…Redskins LT Trent Williams will not be with the team as camp opens and there is a concern that Williams could hold out for “quite a while.” Williams’ concerns go beyond financial as he is reportedly unhappy with hos the team handled an earlier medical issue he was dealing with. This feels like a situation that will ultimately end with a trade…Falcons HC Dan Quinn suggested his team could use a rotation behind starting RB Devonta Freeman. The Falcons lost RB Tevin Coleman to free agency but drafted big back Qadree Ollison to go with second-year RB Ito Smith…Seahawks DT Jarran Reed was suspended six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy…The Buccaneers agreed to a four-year deal with rookie LB Devin White

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