Thursday morning one-liners

AP

The Bills hope some veteran days off leads to valuable experience for young players.

Dolphins S Reshad Jones looked good in his first practice back.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t talking about practice fights.

The Jets catch shade even when it isn’t thrown directly at them.

Ravens WR Chris Matthews is trying to be more consistent.

Some are wondering if Bengals CB Adam Jones is slowing down.

For the Browns, little victories matter.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to practice.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien isn’t a fan of practice fights either.

Questions about the future of Colts WR Phillip Dorsett linger.

Jaguars DE Calais Campbell missed his third straight practice with a “medical issue.”

Titans WR Eric Decker actually is a coach on the field.

The Broncos are putting a heavy focus on the run game.

Chiefs CB De’Vante Bausby is getting a second chance to impress.

The Chargers removed the last of their San Diego signage.

The Raiders are shuffling their line to make up for the absence of LT Donald Penn.

Cowboys DE Taco Charlton is ready for his first bite of the NFL preseason.

Giants QBs Geno Smith and Josh Johnson are doing their best with limited work.

Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery missed his second straight day of practice.

Washington G Brandon Scherff apparently makes a mean deer fajita.

Bears QB  Mike Glennon’s starting to feel more comfortable.

The Lions activated S Don Carey from the PUP list.

Packers K Mason Crosby is adapting to his new special teams teammates.

The Vikings CBs are ready to be more physical.

Falcons CB Jalen Collins has no problems working with the third defense for now.

Panthers rookie RB Christian McCaffrey is earning some high praise in his first camp.

The Saints think CB Marshon Lattimore will be back soon.

Buccaneers G J.R. Sweezy is bringing a little attitude to the line.

Cardinals rookie WR Chad Williams is ready to contribute.

Rams DT Michael Brockers isn’t going to apologize for a day off during camp.

The 49ers are excited about what they’ve seen so far from LB Reuben Foster.

Seahawks S Earl Thomas is feeling good as he returns to work.

Washington encouraged by Junior Galette’s burst

AP

Washington has been hoping for Junior Galette to make an impact on their pass-rush for two seasons now. Both seasons, however, were wiped out by Achilles tears.

Now, coach Jay Gruden thinks Galette is showing signs of his old form from his Saints days, when Galette had 22.0 sacks in 2013-14.

Dominant pass rushers like he was in New Orleans are hard to find,” Gruden said, via Rick Snider of the Washington Post. “I think he’s got the quick twitch still.”

Of course, Galette hasn’t made it to the first preseason game yet, so it’s probably early to declare the comeback successful.

But their need for a starter opposite Ryan Kerrigan (at least during Trent Murphy‘s four-game PED suspension) has led them to give Galette a chance, and so far, they like what they’re seeing.

Colts.com declares Chester Rogers the winner at No. 3 receiver

AP

He established an immediate lead, and he already has won the job. According to the website owned by the team for which he plays.

Kevin Bowen of Colts.com declares Chester Rogers, an undrafted free agent from Grambling in 2016, to be the third receiver.

“Chester Rogers is the guy,” Bowen writes in daily notes sent by the team via email. “When the Colts have started 11-on-11 drills, utilizing three-receiver personnel, there’s Rogers, playing alongside T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. We’ve seen much more of Rogers than Kamar Aiken and Phillip Dorsett. The latter two will, and still could, factor into things behind Hilton and Moncrief. But early returns indicate that Rogers is a virtual 12th starter for the Colts.”

The development slides Dorsett, a former first-round pick who is entering his third NFL season, deeper in to “bust” territory. But it allows Rogers to become regarded as a steal.

Jordan Reed’s visit to specialist turns up “nothing earth-shattering”

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Jordan Reed went to Charlotte to see a specialist about the toe injury that has kept him off of the field in the early stages of training camp and that’s the sort of trip that is often followed by word of an extended stay on the injured list.

That’s not the case for Reed, however. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on Wednesday that the doctor found “nothing earth-shattering” while examining Reed’s toe and that “everything looked pretty good.”

All sounds like good news for the tight end, although Gruden added that the visit did not result in a date for Reed to return to action.

“We’ll wait until he’s 100 percent and hopefully it will be for the first game, obviously,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com. “It could be next week. We don’t know yet.”

Reed’s injury history is long enough that an extra dollop of caution is to be expected before he’s given a full green light and the results of the visit to the doctor suggest he’ll get there.

Report: “Substantial gap” between Lions and Matthew Stafford

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There’s no reason for Matthew Stafford to be in a hurry to get a new contract, not with the chance to go year-to-year like Kirk Cousins and strike it rich.

So unless the Lions are going to make a big offer now, it stands to reason things will be slow.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, there’s “still a pretty substantial gap,” in the negotiations between the Lions and Stafford.

Stafford’s entering the final year of the deal he signed in 2013, and figures to eclipse Derek Carr as the biggest contract in the league if he does a long-term deal.

But if they can’t do a long-term deal, he’d make $26.4 million in 2018 via the franchise tag, and he could top $100 million over three seasons if he plays under the tag the two years after that.

Stafford has said he has “no timetable,” but the two sides continue to talk.

Jay Gruden’s loving having bigger receivers this year

AP

Washington has had good receivers in the past. But coach Jay Gruden hasn’t enjoyed having a pair of guys with the size of Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, and he’s eager to put that size to good use.

Via Rick Snider of the Washington Post, Gruden said having the 6-foot-4 Pryor and the 6-2 Doctson opens up the playbook for him.

“I do like to have bigger receivers in the red zone here and there to be able to throw some fades, too. What the heck, you know, I love the fade,” Gruden said. “You can throw the back-shoulder fade. You can throw it over the top. They can go up and get seam-balls.”

Of course, it isn’t a simple matter of size. With his wingspan and jumping ability, Pryor plays taller than his listed height, and has used it to his advantage in practice.

The local media would probably enjoy describing it in more detail, but the team’s policy on reporters shooting video restricts them. Those rules do not, however, apply to any and every fan who walks through the door carrying a small camera/editing machine/broadcasting platform/phone.

One such helpful fan was @CarolB, who showed just how impressive Pryor has been.

That’s the kind of play smaller receivers aren’t able to make, but not every big one can make it the way Pryor did. We’re just happy we got to see such an impressive play for ourselves.

Jordan Reed seeing a specialist about his toe injury

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Washington tight end Jordan Reed hasn’t practiced yet, and he isn’t even on site for training camp today.

According to J.P. Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com, coach Jay Gruden said Reed had traveled to Charlotte to see a specialist about his big toe injury.

Reed remains on the physically unable to perform list, and leaving town to get a second opinion makes it worth wondering when he’ll return to practice. The team has remained optimistic the injury wasn’t going to be a long-term one.

When healthy, he’s one of the most talented tight ends in the league.

The problem has been keeping him healthy. He’s missed 18 games in the last four seasons.

Unemployed quarterback No. 39 in merchandise sales

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The Top 50 Player Sales Report released on Tuesday by the NFL Players Association includes 49 players who currently are employed by NFL teams. The unemployed player, a former 49er, comes in at No. 39.

Yes, the man who had the 17th highest-selling jersey in May 2017 finished at No. 39 from May 1 through July 31 in all merchandise sales. Which is impressive, given that there likely wasn’t much merchandise manufactured bearing Colin Kaepernick’s name or likeness, given that he hasn’t been a member of an NFL team since early March.

Kaepernick finished higher than players like Cardinals running back David Johnson (No. 42), Saints running back Adrian Peterson (No. 45), Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins (No. 48), and Cardinal receiver Larry Fitzgerald (No. 49).

Jersey sales likely had a lot to do with that figure. After Kaepernick’s status as No. 17 on the May 2017 list became a news item, the league-owned online shop didn’t update the page to reflect jersey sales for June 2017. And, perhaps, all that that implies.

The figures more than imply another message: Whoever signs him will be selling plenty of jerseys bearing his name an number over new colors and logos.

Tuesday morning one-liners

AP

Which Bills helped their stock in the first week of training camp?

The Dolphins are taking it easy with S Reshad Jones.

Said Patriots RB Dion Lewis, “We have a lot of great running backs, and they’re great guys as well. Competition’s great. That’s when you show who you really are.”

Jets CB Morris Claiborne’s work at practice earned a good review.

The Ravens got WR Michael Campanaro back at practice.

Former Bengals RB James Brooks visited the team’s camp on Monday.

S Derrick Kindred isn’t taking a spot in the Browns secondary for granted.

First-round pick T.J. Watt is off to a good start at Steelers camp.

The game has slowed down for Texans LB Bernardrick McKinney.

Some positive notes about Colts WR Donte Moncrief’s work at practice.

Rookie T Cam Robinson is in line for a big role with the Jaguars after Branden Albert’s retirement.

Titans rookie TE Jonnu Smith has set high expectations for himself.

Things went a bit better for the Broncos offense on Monday.

The Chiefs are working to boost their run game.

Said Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. of rookie DT Eddie Vanderdoes, “I think he understands how to get lined up. He understands the blocking schemes. He understands how to get on edges. Things that we drafted him for.”

Chargers wide receivers have been doing a lot of talking to the team’s defensive backs.

Rookie DE Taco Charlton is coming along after a slow start at Cowboys camp.

Blocking is a focus for Giants rookie TE Evan Engram.

An injury scare last summer hasn’t dimmed Eagles TE Zach Ertz’s excitement about doing some hitting in practice.

Redskins veterans are high on rookie DL Jonathan Allen.

Bears LB Leonard Floyd feels he’s improved as a tackler.

WR Kenny Golladay has been doing some extra work with Lions QB Matthew Stafford.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t want to compare his defense to other teams.

Vikings CB Terence Newman said he is “chasing this hot babe known as the Lombardi Trophy.”

The Warriors’ rebound after losing in the NBA Finals caught Falcons QB Matt Ryan’s eye.

WR Brenton Bersin has been cut several times, but keeps coming back to the Panthers.

Willie Snead is a big believer in the Saints receiving corps.

The Buccaneers aren’t underestimating S Keith Tandy.

CB Tramon Williams said he wouldn’t have signed with the Cardinals if he didn’t think they could have a winning season.

A healthy CB E.J. Gaines has been productive at Rams practices.

The 49ers are dealing with injuries at safety.

Kendrick Lamar stopped by Seahawks camp.

Jay Gruden: Terrelle Pryor already is “one of the top guys in the league”

AP

In Washington, the top two receivers left via free agency, and the top free-agent acquisition at receiver is a former quarterback. But coach Jay Gruden realizes that Terrelle Pryor could eventually be one of the league’s best receivers.

Actually, Gruden seems to think Pryor already is.

“I think had he made this decision sooner in his career, I think he’d be further along,” Gruden told reporters on Monday. “But being that he just made it not too long ago, he’s where he is. I mean, he’s still one of the top guys in the league and he just started playing. He’s a physical freak. So we’re excited to have him and we’re going to continue to work with him. We just have to keep working. Kirk [Cousins] and Terrelle just have to get together so they get on the same page, get to know each other not only on the field but off the field.”

Gruden explained that Pryor’s background as a quarterback aided his transition.

“His ability to retain and pick up information in a hurry, really,” Gruden said when asked to identify how playing quarterback helped Pryor the most. “He’s picked up the system effortlessly. He asks good questions, has great logic when he is asking questions, wants to add more stuff for himself, like most quarterbacks would do. He’s been outstanding really. I just like the fact that he’s a very bright guy, understands coverages, understands where the ball should go and route concepts, which is very big. He is a very smart receiver, now it’s just about polishing up the little things and the details of each route and we’re working with him on that.”

Work has been the key word for Pryor, who separately made it clear that his current situation is the result of a lot of elbow grease.

“It wasn’t easy,” Pryor told reporters. “You guys see me as this big, 6-5, fast guy running out there, running past people, who’s so big and stuff like that. It may seem like it was easy, but I’ve spent – even from when I was with the Browns I transferred over and I got released from Cincinnati in 2015, I got picked up by the Browns and I only had a month to really train before I really even had the opportunity to go into camp and be ready for wideout, never playing it [the position] in my life. Countless hours. . . .

“I mean, countless hours. I’m talking about three hours. Tim Cortazzo, my trainer, he spent three, four hours a day, not just outside running routes but also going indoors running around cones because I really didn’t know how to handle my body, I didn’t know how to adjust my body, I didn’t know how to take control of myself. Now I’m at the point where I can control my body, I know where I’m going, I know what I want to do to the defender, I know how to stare at the guy in his eyes and make him think that I’m doing something else and then try to do something else. That’s what I continue to get better at, stuff like that.”

With Pryor, the question continues to be finding his ceiling and reaching it. Last year, a raw receiver catching passes from a revolving door of factory of sadness shift supervisors still generated more than 1,000 yards. With more time to develop and a 4,900-yard quarterback throwing the ball this year, Pryor could indeed emerge as one of the finest receivers in the game.

Washington signs Kenny Hilliard, waives Keith Marshall

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Washington announced it has signed free agent running back Kenny Hilliard, releasing Keith Marshall with an injury designation in a corresponding move.

The Texans made Hilliard a seventh-round draft choice in 2015 and has spent most of the past two seasons on Houston’s practice squad.

Hilliard, 25, has never played in a regular-season game. In the 2016′ preseason finale for the Texans, he had 29 carries for 86 yards against the Cowboys.

At LSU, he appeared in 48 games with seven starts in his time with the Tigers. He rushed for 1,547 yards and 27 touchdowns, tied for eighth-most in school history.

Marshall was injured in Saturday’s practice. A seventh-round pick in 2016, he missed his entire rookie season with an elbow injury.

In four seasons at Georgia, Marshall appeared in 33 games with 1,379 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns along with 24 receptions for 225 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Monday morning one-liners

AP

S Micah Hyde is serving as a leader in the Bills secondary.

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was a guest at Dolphins practice.

Patriots WR Brandin Cooks discussed his touchdown celebration.

The Jets like what they’ve seen from their rookie safeties.

WR Tim White’s play was a highlight of Sunday’s Ravens practice.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton and his son worked with WR John Ross at the end of practice.

The Browns made a change to their offensive line group.

LB Tyler Matakevich is trying to make an impression on the Steelers.

Texans WR Will Fuller has shown signs of improvement.

The Colts flipped their guards as they look for the right offensive line alignment.

Rookie CB Jalen Myrick’s first week of Jaguars training camp didn’t go as hoped.

The Titans didn’t hold rookie WR Corey Davis back on his first day of practice.

CB Lorenzo Doss is trying to find more playing time for the Broncos.

WR Tyreek Hill is in line for a bigger role with the Chiefs this season.

The Raiders will wear pads for the first time on Monday.

Chargers QB Cardale Jones is looking forward to learning from Philip Rivers.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten got some advice from Jerry Rice.

CB Janoris Jenkins’ anger flared at Giants camp.

Undrafted Eagles rookie CB Randall Goforth tore his ACL.

Tracing how TE E.J. Bibbs made his way to the Redskins.

A look at how some younger Bears players prepared for their second NFL seasons.

Lions G T.J. Lang is feeling the best he’s felt in years.

Packers DL Mike Daniels wants Green Bay’s defense to take a page from the Seahawks.

Vikings QB Sam Bradford and WR Laquon Treadwell are working on their chemistry.

The Falcons got S Ricardo Allen back on the practice field.

Said Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker of QB Cam Newton, “To me, you wouldn’t have even known that he had surgery in the offseason and that he’s still going through the recovery process.”

Saints coach Sean Payton reminisced about former Saint Rob Ninkovich upon his retirement from the Patriots.

Checking in on the Buccaneers kicker competition.

QB Trevor Knight is trying to show the Cardinals he belongs in the NFL.

A positive review of Rams QB Sean Mannion’s early work at camp.

DL Arik Armstead appears to be taking to his new role on the 49ers defense.

Will this be S Kam Chancellor’s final season with the Seahawks?

Washington RB Keith Marshall to miss second consecutive season

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When Washington drafted running back Keith Marshall in the seventh round of last year’s draft, the team thought it was getting a big-play threat on offense, as Marshall ran the fastest 40-yard dash time at the 2016 Scouting Combine. Now there are doubts about whether Marshall can ever get back to full speed.

For the second consecutive year, Marshall will miss the entire season, as he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee and won’t be able to play this year. Last year, Marshall missed the entire season with an elbow injury suffered in the third preseason game.

Marshall also tore his ACL in the same knee while in college at Georgia. He made a full recovery from that injury, but patellar tendon tears are notoriously hard to come back from, and it’s hard for any player to miss two full years and then come back and play.

Just before Marshall suffered the injury, Washington coach Jay Gruden had been saying that Marshall had a good chance of being a contributor on the offense this year. Now that won’t be the case, and Marshall will just hope he can get healthy and play in 2018.

Matthew Stafford continues to have “no timetable” for new deal

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In his negotiations with the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford hold all the cards. And he knows it. And he feels no need to put any of them on the table.

Via LionsLowDown.com, Stafford reiterated on Saturday that he has “no timetable” for doing a new deal. He used the same term last month when discussing the situation, and he has shown no sense of urgency to get something done.

He has no reason to. With more than $100 million in career earnings, another $16.5 million due this season, and a franchise-tag number of $26.4 million for 2018, Stafford can just sit back and wait for events to unfold.

Thanks to Kirk Cousins, who has become the Lewis and Clark of the year-to-year approach, Stafford now realizes that he would make more than $100 million from 2018 through 2020 if tagged three times by the Lions. And why wouldn’t they tag him three times? They currently have no other options, and it’s not like they could easily find another Matthew Stafford, barring another 0-16 season.

Unlike young players who have never realized a major payday, Stafford doesn’t have to pounce on a discounted deal now. He can wait it out, and with each passing day he gets closer to a three-season sequence that could see him turn the quarterback market on its ear and then hit the open market at 33, with more than $200 million in career earnings and maybe other $150 million to still make.

Jets sign TE Chris Gragg, waive KD Cannon

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The Jets signed veteran tight end Chris Gragg, waiving rookie receiver KD Cannon to make room.

Gragg missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He was hurt on a low hit by Washington safety DeAngelo Hall in the preseason, going on injured reserve.

The Bills drafted Gragg in the seventh round in 2013. He played 32 games in three years, with 10 starts, making 24 catches for 251 yards and two touchdowns.

Cannon signed with the 49ers as a priority free agent, one of the league’s highest-paid undrafted free agents with a $5,000 bonus and $40,000 guaranteed. But he lasted only a weekend of non-contact practices with other rookies and tryout players before the 49ers released him.

The Jets had claimed him off waivers from the 49ers.

Cannon had a successful college career at Baylor, leaving as the third-leading receiver in school history. He made 195 catches for 3,113 yards and 27 touchdowns.