Taking a look at the options for Lamar Jackson, Ravens in 2023 and beyond

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If, as it appears, the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t be working out a new contract before the end of the 2022 season, what happens next?

Here’s a look at the various options and deadlines that will apply in 2023, if the two sides do indeed get through the season without a new contract.

First, the Ravens and Jackson will have an opportunity to negotiate a long-term deal through the deadline for application of the franchise tag, on March 7 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Second, absent a deal, the Ravens will have to decide by March 7 at 4:00 p.m. ET whether to apply the franchise tag and, perhaps more importantly, whether to apply the non-exclusive or exclusive version of it.

The non-exclusive tag for 2023 will likely be in the range of $32 million. That approach would allow another team to sign Jackson to an offer sheet. The Ravens would have five days to match. If they don’t, they would get two first-round draft picks as compensation.

The exclusive tag would keep Jackson from talking to other teams. But it would be expensive — the average of the five highest quarterback cap numbers as of April 21. Subject to new deals and renegotiations, that number likely will be in the range of $46 million for 2023.

The Ravens also could apply the transition tag, which would entail a lower salary than the franchise tag for 2023 (roughly $29 million or so) and only a right to match with no compensation.

After a tag is applied, the Ravens and Jackson would have until July 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET to finalize a multi-year deal. After that, they’d have to wait until the conclusion of the 2023 regular season to sign a long-term deal.

In 2024, Jackson would get a 20-percent raise over his 2023 compensation, if he’s tagged again. For a non-exclusive tag of roughly $32 million, that’s $38.4 million. For an exclusive tag of $46 million, it would be $55.2 million. Again, a July 15 deadline would apply for a long-term deal.

In 2025, Jackson likely would become a free agent, since the franchise tag would entail a 44-percent bump over 2024. That’s $55 million under the non-exclusive tag and nearly $80 million under the exclusive tag. They also could use the transition tag in 2025, at a 20-percent increase over his 2024 salary.

Jackson could choose to play on a year-by-year basis. That would put him at (with the non-exclusive tag) $93.4 million over three years. With the exclusive tag, the three-year payout would be $124.2 million.

Baltimore’s offer would need to be compared to the year-to-year amounts. Assuming the Ravens don’t want to risk losing him, Door No. 1 means $124.2 million over the next three years.

To get that, of course, Jackson will have to stay healthy and continue to play at a high level. The Ravens could walk away at any time, if they want.

Jackson isn’t required to go along, of course. He could request a trade. He could hold out. He could finagle a situation in which other teams line up to trade for him and to pay him, like Deshaun Watson did.

Regardless, at some point he’ll have to negotiate a long-term deal, with someone. Unless, of course, he suffers the kind of injury that causes no one to want to pay him a market-level contract.

That’s the biggest risk he’s taking by not doing a long-term deal now. Given the way he plays the position, it’s a risk that needs to be taken seriously.

NFL Week 1 2022 picks

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Football is back, along with our effort to make sense of what will happen during the various football games.

It’s the weekly picks item, with MDS and yours truly doing battle, picking each and every game.

I think I won last year. I can’t remember, actually. I assume someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

Whether I acknowledge the correction is a different issue.

Hopefully, my picks for Week One will need little correction. We disagree on four of 16 games.

For all picks, scroll away.

Bills (-2.5) at Rams

MDS’s take: The Bills are the preseason Super Bowl favorites, and in Week One they’re the favorites to beat the defending Super Bowl champs. And yet I have a feeling that Matthew Stafford is going to out-duel Josh Allen as the Rams win.

MDS’s pick: Rams 27, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: Long flight, high expectations, hot night, great opponent. Also, Sean McVay is 5-0 in Week One. Hang the banner, and chalk up a W for the guys from L.A.

Florio’s pick: Rams 30, Bills 24.


Saints (-5.5) at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Falcons’ offense is going to be better than people expect, but the Saints will still win this one in a close and exciting game.

MDS’s pick: Saints 33, Falcons 31.

Florio’s take: The post-Payton Saints get off to a good start against the overmatched Falcons. We’ll see whether it lasts.

Florio’s pick: Saints 24, Falcons 17.


49ers (-7) at Bears

MDS’s take: I’m not sold on either Trey Lance or Justin Fields, but I think the 49ers will eke out a defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 13, Bears 10.

Florio’s take: The Bears don’t have the talent to compete with an elite team, especially not right out of the gates.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Bears 14.


Steelers (+6.5) at Bengals

MDS’s take: Mitchell Trubisky is going to have a better season than people think for the Steelers, but not so good a season that I expect him to outplay Joe Burrow in Week One.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 21.

Florio’s take: The Steelers are always dangerous as the hunted. They’re even more dangerous as the hunter.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 20.


Eagles (-4) at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions look to me like an improved team — but probably the kind of improved team that loses a lot of close games instead of losing blowouts.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Lions 20.

Florio’s take: The Eagles have high expectations. The best way to begin living up to them is to beat an inferior team.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Lions 20.


Patriots (+3.5) at Dolphins

MDS’s take: I’m not as sold on the Dolphins’ new-look offense as some are, and I think Bill Belichick is going to have some defensive wrinkles in store that help the Patriots win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 16, Dolphins 13.

Florio’s take: The Patriots struggle in Miami when they have the better team. How will they do when they don’t?

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Patriots 20.


Ravens (-7) at Jets

MDS’s take: It looks like it’s going to be a long season for the Jets, and a rebound season for the Ravens.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 31, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: Joe Flacco isn’t elite. The rest of his team isn’t, either.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Jets 17.


Jaguars (+2.5) at Commanders

MDS’s take: The Jaguars have to be better than they were in the last two disastrous seasons, but the Commanders will win a close game in Week One.

MDS’s pick: Commanders 14, Jaguars 13.

Florio’s take: Just as Carson Wentz finally puts last year’s season-ending debacle in Jacksonville behind him, here come the Jaguars.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 24, Commanders 20.


Browns (+1.5) at Panthers

MDS’s take: Baker Mayfield gets his revenge. In the long run, perhaps the Browns’ decision to move on from Mayfield will be vindicated, but in the short term, it was an ugly offseason for Cleveland that will be followed by an ugly start to the regular season.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 23, Browns 20.

Florio’s take: Baker Mayfield may not have said he wants to f–k up the Browns. But he definitely wants to. And he will.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Browns 21.


Colts (-7) at Texans

MDS’s take: Both of these teams look better than last year, but I have more faith in Matt Ryan than I do in Davis Mills to play well in the opener.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Texans 20.

Florio’s take: Matt Ryan may not be a five-year answer, but he’s the best quarterback they’ve had since Andrew Luck retired. The Texans, meanwhile, continue to be in the midst of a rebuild with no deadline for completion.

Florio’s pick: Colts 31, Texans 20.


Giants (+5.5) at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans have had a strange offseason for a team that was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year, looking more like a rebuilding team than a team that’s trying to get to the Super Bowl. I still think they’re better than the Giants, though.

MDS’s pick: Titans 20, Giants 17.

Florio’s take: The Titans lost at home in Week One last year, 38-13 to the Cardinals. Mike Vrabel surely hasn’t forgotten that, and he surely hasn’t let his players forget it, either.

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Giants 10.


Packers (-1.5) at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Packers should cruise to their fourth straight NFC North title and get it started with a road win against the second-best team in the division.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Vikings 21.

Florio’s take: The Vikings will instantly be better than they were last year. The Packers may eventually be better, too. It will take them some time to get there, however.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 28, Packers 24.


Chiefs (-6) at Cardinals

MDS’s take: I like the Chiefs to win this one big, with Patrick Mahomes putting on a show and Kyler Murray struggling to keep up.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: Too many people are sleeping on the Chiefs. Here comes the football world’s first wake-up call.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 35, Cardinals 24.


Raiders (+3) at Chargers

MDS’s take: The rematch of last year’s Sunday night finale will end differently, as this time it’s the Chargers winning a close one.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 31, Raiders 30.

Florio’s take: The Chargers have a knack for seeing things go sideways. For now, though, they’re good enough to get off on the right foot by holding serve at home against a division rival.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 34, Raiders 30.


Buccaneers (-2.5) at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Tom Brady may have taken a long leave of absence during training camp, but when the games count for real, he’s going to turn it on and beat the Cowboys.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Cowboys 20.

Florio’s take: Tom Brady has only played once before in AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys will be happy to never see him there again.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 28,


Broncos (-6.5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Russell Wilson will get a win in his return to Seattle, but it’s not going to be as easy as some think, as the Seahawks’ defense will prove to be better than expected.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 17, Seahawks 14.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks lack the horses to keep up with the Broncos and Russell Wilson.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 28, Seahawks 14.

PFT’s 2022 NFL season predictions

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I am ready to get hurt again.

Yes, it’s a self-inflicted wound. But it’s an axe that must be swung. Unlike the one that Jack Del Rio once put in the Jacksonville locker room.

Every year, everyone who covers the NFL makes predictions for the season. If you don’t, you’re not really covering the NFL, are you?

The good news is that the results of the season in relation to the predictions do not operate as a disqualifying event. Otherwise, there would be very few people covering the NFL.

Here are the playoff predictions from all PFT writers. Fortunately, by the time the playoffs roll around, no one will care if we’re wrong or right.

Josh Alper

AFC

1. Bills; 2. Chargers; 3. Colts; 4. Ravens; 5. Chiefs; 6. Raiders; 7. Dolphins.

Wild card: Chargers over Dolphins, Raiders over Colts, Chiefs over Ravens.

Divisional: Bills over Raiders, Chiefs over Chargers.

Conference championship: Bills over Chiefs.

NFC

1. Packers; 2. Eagles; 3. Saints; 4. Rams; 5. Buccaneers; 6. 49ers; 7. Cardinals.

Wild card: Eagles over Cardinals, Saints over 49ers, Rams over Buccaneers.

Divisional: Rams over Packers; Eagles over Saints.

Conference championship: Eagles over Rams.

Super Bowl: Bills over Eagles.


Michael David Smith

AFC

1. Bills; 2. Chiefs; 3. Ravens; 4. Colts; 5. Broncos; 6. Chargers; 7. Bengals.

Wild card: Chiefs over Bengals, Chargers over Ravens, Broncos over Colts.

Divisional: Bills over Chargers, Chiefs over Broncos.

Conference championship: Chiefs over Bills.

NFC

1. Buccaneers; 2. Packers; 3. Cowboys; 4. Rams; 5. Vikings; 6. Eagles; 7. Cardinals.

Wild card: Packers over Cardinals, Cowboys over Eagles, Rams over Vikings.

Divisional: Buccaneers over Rams; Cowboys over Packers.

Conference championship: Buccaneers over Cowboys.

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Buccaneers.


Myles Simmons

AFC

1. Bills; 2. Chiefs; 3. Ravens; 4. Colts; 5. Bengals; 6. Raiders; 7. Chargers.

Wild card: Chiefs over Chargers, Raiders over Ravens, Bengals over Colts.

Divisional: Bills over Raiders, Chiefs over Bengals.

Conference championship: Chiefs over Bills.

NFC

1. Buccaneers; 2. Rams; 3. Eagles; 4. Packers; 5. 49ers; 6. Saints; 7. Cowboys.

Wild card: Rams over Cowboys, Saints over Eagles, Packers over 49ers.

Divisional: Buccaneers over Saints; Rams over Packers.

Conference championship: Buccaneers over Rams.

Super Bowl: Buccaneers over Chiefs


Charean Williams

AFC

1. Bills; 2. Colts; 3. Bengals; 4. Raiders; 5. Dolphins; 6. Chargers; 7. Steelers.

Wild card: Steelers over Colts, Bengals over Chargers, Raiders over Dolphins.

Divisional: Bills over Steelers, Raiders over Bengals.

Conference championship: Bills over Raiders.

NFC

1. Eagles; 2. Rams; 3. Packers; 4. Saints; 5. Buccaneers; 6. 49ers; 7. Cardinals.

Wild card: Rams over Cardinals, 49ers over Packers, Saints over Buccaneers.

Divisional: Eagles over 49ers; Rams over Saints.

Conference championship: Eagles over Rams.

Super Bowl: Bills over Eagles.


Mike Florio

AFC

1. Chiefs; 2. Colts; 3. Bills; 4. Steelers; 5. Bengals; 6. Raiders; 7. Chargers.

Wild card: Colts over Chargers, Bills over Raiders, Steelers over Bengals.

Divisional: Chiefs over Steelers, Colts over Bills.

Conference championship: Chiefs over Colts.

NFC

1. Buccaneers; 2. 49ers; 3. Eagles; 4. Vikings; 5. Packers; 6. Rams; 7. Cowboys.

Wild card: 49ers over Cowboys, Rams over Eagles, Packers over Vikings.

Divisional: Buccaneers over Rams; Packers over 49ers.

Conference championship: Packers over Buccaneers.

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Packers.

PFT’s Week One 2022 NFL power rankings

NFL: AUG 19 Preseason - Texans at Rams
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1. Rams: Good news, the defending champs always start on top. Bad news, there’s only one direction to go.

2. Buccaneers: It feels like Tom Brady‘s last ride. And it has always felt as if he’s destined to walk away with a trophy under his arm.

3. Bills: They’re carrying the target of a Super Bowl winner without getting to the game in nearly 30 years.

4. Chiefs: How are they not more widely regarded to be ready to get right back to where they’ve been for four straight years?

5. Packers: With a depleted receiver room, the Cheeseheads soon may pivot to ayahuasca.

6. Bengals: Will 80-percent turnover make the offensive line better? It can’t really be much worse than it was in the postseason.

7. 49ers: If they can get adequate performance from the quarterback position and avoid a rash of key injuries, they could make it back to the Super Bowl.

8. Titans: Is this Ryan Tannehill‘s last chance to take the Titans to the next level?

9. Eagles: Five years after winning a Super Bowl, they’re ready to contend again.

10. Cowboys: Can they win in the playoffs this year? First, they have to get back there.

11. Colts: At a time when everyone is wondering whether Russell Wilson will join the Tom Brady/Matthew Stafford parade from new team to NFL title, Matt Ryan may be in a better position to actually pull that off.

12. Ravens: In a tightly-packed AFC, they’re as capable as anyone to get to the postseason and win more than one game there.

13. Cardinals: They’ll be fine in September and October. The pressure will be on in November and December, especially with the Hard Knocks in-season cameras and microphones there.

14. Raiders: The offense should be fine. Can the defense slow down the other three offenses in the division?

15. Chargers: Is it already playoffs or bust for second-year coach Brandon Staley?

16. Steelers: Write them off at your own peril.

17. Patriots: How many years of post-Tom Brady struggles before Brady gets more credit than Bill Belichick for the Super Bowls?

18. Dolphins: If Tua can get it done, the Dolphins can get to the round of eight, and maybe even to the AFC Championship.

19. Broncos: The bar is higher than it should be for a team that has undergone many changes over the past two years. Especially since they have to compete with the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers.

20. Saints: The departure of Sean Payton is being met with a surprising degree of nonchalance. It’s a huge void, and it’s still not clear whether anyone still on the coaching staff will be able to fill it.

21. Browns: If they eventually win a Super Bowl with Deshaun Watson, the bizarre journey of 2022 presumably will have been worth it. For anything less than that, it won’t be.

22. Vikings: Ding dong the Zim is dead. That alone could be enough to get the Vikings to the playoffs.

23. Panthers: They’ve got the talent to contend. Which will only make the seat even hotter for the coaching staff.

24. Washington: This is Carson Wentz‘s last chance to be an NFL starter. Will that be enough to get him to stop being reckless with the ball?

25. Seahawks: The presence of Pete Carroll forces us to take them more seriously. Even then, it feels like they’ll have a hard time — especially in a tough division.

26. Falcons: Matt Ryan was the cornerstone of the franchise since 2008. How will they not take a step back without him?

27. Giants: It’s going to take more than a year to fumigate the roster.

28. Lions: Can they climb the ladder? Absolutely. Will they? We’ll see.

29. Jaguars: If they were in the NFC, they’d be a fringe playoff contender. In the AFC, there are just too many good teams.

30. Bears: They’re tearing it down to build it up. It may take a while to build it up.

31. Jets: Hopefully, ownership will give the current regime enough time to get the most out of their current roster.

32. Texans: Bad news, they’ve earned this spot. Good news, there’s only one direction to go.

2022 NFL Roster Cutdown Tracker

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Here is the complete list of cuts for all 32 NFL teams as they have made their roster moves to reach the 53-player limit:

Arizona Cardinals: Released cornerback Josh Jackson and linebacker Joe Walker and waived offensive lineman Koda Martin on August 29. Releasing linebacker Devon Kennard on August 29. Waived quarterback Trace McSorley on August 30. Announced they placed receiver DeAndre Hopkins on reserve/suspended; placed guard Marquis Hayes on injured reserve; cut TE Stephen Anderson, WR Andre Baccellia, WR Victor Bolden Jr., LS Aaron Brewer, OL Rashaad Coward, S Tae Daley (waived/injured), QB Jarrett Guarantano, OL Danny Isidora, DL Manny Jones, LB Devon Kennard, WR Jontre Kirklin, LB Jesse Luketa, OL Greg Long (waived/injured), OL Josh Miles (waived/injured), OL Justin Murray (injury settlement), QB Trace McSorley, WR JaVonta Payton, TE Chris Pierce Jr. (waived/injured), DL Christian Ringo (injury settlement), TE Bernhard Seikovits, CB Jace Whittaker, S James Wiggins, DL Antwaun Woods and LB Chandler Wooten.

Atlanta Falcons: Waived or released wide receivers Frank Darby, KeeSean Johnson, Stanley Berryhill, and Cameron Batson; defensive linemen Derrick Tangelo, Abdullah Anderson, Nick Thurman, and Darrion Daniels; offensive linemen Justin Shaffer, Jonotthan Harrison, Ryan Nuezil, Tyler Vrabel, Colby Gossett, and Leroy Watson; defensive backs Corey Ballentine, Matt Hankins, Henry Black, and Teez Tabor; tight ends Anthony Firkser, Tucker Fiska and MyCole Pruitt; linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski, Jordan Brailford and Dorian Etheridge; running backs Caleb Huntley and Qadree Ollison; and fullback John Raine.

Baltimore Ravens: Waived kicker/punter Cameron Dicker on August 28. Waived center Jimmy Murray on August 29. Announced they released safety Tony Jefferson, guard/defensive tackle Khalil McKenzie, linebacker Steven Means, defensive back Kevon Seymour, tackle David Sharpe, defensive lineman Brent Urban and cornerback Daryl Worley; waived running back Tyler Badie, quarterback Anthony Brown, nose tackle Isaiah Mack, fullback/tight end Ben Mason, linebacker Zakoby McClain, running back Nate McCrary, linebacker Jeremiah Moon, defensive tackle Rayshad Nichols, tight end Tony Poljan, receiver Makai Polk, cornerback David Vereen,receiver Binjimen Victor, safety Ar'Darius Washington, receiver Raleigh Webb and linebacker Chuck Wiley; waived with injury designations receiver Shemar Bridges, defensive tackle Aaron Crawford and linebacker Daelin Hayes.

Buffalo Bills: Waived punter Matt Araiza on August 27. Waived offensive lineman Jacob Capra, offensive lineman Tanner Owen, wide receiver Neil Pau'u, defensive end Daniel Joseph, defensive back Jordan Miller, and defensive back Josh Thomas on August 29. Released running back Duke Johnson on August 30. Released tight end O.J. Howard on August 30. Announced they placed cornerback Tre'Davious White on the reserve/physically unable to perform list; released quarterback Matt Barkley, offensive lineman Greg Mancz, offensive lineman Luke Tenuta, offensive lineman Alec Anderson, running back Raheem Blackshear, running back Duke Johnson, receiver Tanner Gentry, receiver Isaiah Hodgins, tight end O.J. Howard, defensive end Mike Love, defensive end Kingsley Jonathan, defensive tackle Brandin Bryant, defensive tackle Prince Emili, defensive tackle C.J. Brewer, linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, defensive back Nick McCloud and defensive back Ja'Marcus Ingram; released defensive tackle Eli Ankou with an injury settlement; placed linebacker Andre Smith on the reserve/suspended list.

Carolina Panthers: Placed kicker Zane Gonzalez and linebacker Julian Stanford on injured reserve. Released wide receiver Brandon Zylstra, safety Juston Burris, and wide receiver Keith Kirkwood. Waived running backs Spencer Brown and John Lovett; Derek Wright, C.J. Saunders, Charleston Rambo, and Ra'Shaun Henry; tight ends Colin Thompson and Josh Babicz, offensive linemen Deonte Brown, Mike Horton, and Sam Tecklenburg; defensive ends Austin Larkin, Drew Jordan, and Darryl Johnson; defensive tackle Frank Herron; linebackers Josh Watson, Arron Mosby, and Isaiah Graham-Mobley; cornerbacks Tae Hayes, Kalon Barnes, and Madre Harper; and safety Kenny Robinson.

Chicago Bears: Waived receiver Kevin Shaa, center Corey Dublin, tackle Jean Delance, and safety Jon Alexander on August 29. Released quarterback Nathan Peterman on August 30. Released guard Michael Schofield, tackle Shon Coleman; defensive tackle Trevon Coley; defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.; cornerback Greg Stroman Jr., safety Davontae Harris; and tight end James O'Shaughnessy. Waived wide receivers Isaiah Coulter and Nsimba Webster; offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen; defensive end Charles Snowden; cornerback Thomas Graham Jr.; running backs Darrynton Evans and De'Montre Tuggle; wide receiver Chris Finke; guard Lachavious Simmons; tight end Chase Allen; defensive tackle Micah Dew-Treadway; linebacker DeMarquis Gates; and safety A.J. Thomas.

Cincinnati Bengals: Announced they placed LB Joe Bachie on the reserve/physically unable to perform list; released S Trayvon Henderson, DE Noah Spence and WR Mike D. Thomas; waived P Drue Chrisman, QB Jake Browning, LS Cal Adomitis, OT Devin Cochran, DT Domenique Davis, CB Javaris Davis, TE Nick Eubanks, OG Lamont Gaillard (injured), OG Nate Gilliam, LB Clarence Hicks, CB Delonte Hood, WR Trenton Irwin, DE Raymond Johnson III, LB Keandre Jones, WR Kwamie Lassiter II, TE Thaddeus Moss, OG Desmond Noel (injured), HB Jacques Patrick, WR Kendric Pryor, TE Justin Rigg, LB Tegray Scales, DT Tyler Shelvin and DT Tariqious Tisdale.

Cleveland Browns: Placed defensive end Chris Odom on injured reserve, released receiver Javon Wins, and waived receiver Ja'Marcus Bradley, defensive tackle Glen Logan, safety Jovante Moffatt, offensive tackle Ben Petrula, and defensive end Curtis Weaver. Released quarterback Josh Rosen and running back John Kelly, placed quarterback Deshaun Watson on suspended list and waived linebackers Dakota Allen and Willie Harvey Jr.; wide receivers Daylen Baldwin, Mike Harley Jr. and Easop Winston; tight ends Miller Forristall, Nakia Griffin-Stewart and Zaire Mitchell-Paden; offensive linemen Blake Hance, Brock Hoffman, David Moore Jr., and Alex Taylor; cornerbacks Shaun Jolly and Herb Miller; safety Lavert Hill; defensive tackle Roderick PerryII; and fullback Johnny Stanton IV.

Dallas Cowboys: Released kicker Brett Maher on August 30. Released quarterback Cooper Rush and waived quarterback Will Grier on August 30. Placed linebacker Damone Clark on NFI and waived or released long snapper Jake McQuaide; quarterback Ben DiNucci; offensive linemen Issac Alarcon, Aviante Collins, James Empey, Braylon Jones, Alec Lindstrom, and Amon Simon; defensive linemen Josiah Bronson, Markaviest Bryant, Mika Tafua, and Carlos Watkins; defensive backs Tyler Coyle, Juanyeh Thomas and Isaac Taylor-Stuart; wide receivers Dontario Drummond, Brandon Smith and T.J. Vasher; linebackers Storey Jackson and Malik Jefferson; running backs Malik Davis and Aaron Shampklin; and tight end Sean McKeon.

Denver Broncos: Waived defensive back Blessuan Austin, linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel, offensive tackle Sebastian Gutierrez, running back JaQuan Hardy and defensive back Donnie Lewis on August 29. Released quarterback Josh Johnson on August 30. Announced they waived wide receiver Kendall Hinton, defensive lineman McTelvin Agim, tackle Quinn Bailey, defensive lineman Jonathan Harris, cornerback Faion Hicks, guard Zack Johnson, linebacker Jonathan Kongbo, linebacker Kana'i Mauga, cornerback Ja'Quan McMillian, guard Netane Muti, guard Michael Niese, running back Devine Ozigbo, tight end Dylan Parham, safety J.R. Reed, wide receiver Darrius Shepherd and wide receiver Seth Williams; released quarterback Josh Johnson, tight end Eric Tomlinson and defensive lineman Mike Purcell; placed wide receiver Brandon Johnson on injured reserve; and traded linebacker Malik Reed to the Steelers.

Detroit Lions: Released linebacker Jarrad Davis on August 29. Cut quarterback Tim Boyle. Placed cornerback Jerry Jacobs on reserve/PUP list. Released Tim Boyle, linebacker Jarrad Davis, tight end Devin Funchess, defensive lineman Bruce Hector, running back Justin Jackson, offensive tackle Kendall Lamm, and offensive tackle Dan Skipper. Waived receiver Maurice Alexander, cornerback Cedric Boswell, tight end Derrick Deese, offensive tackle Obinna Eze, cornerback Mark Gilbert, linebacker James Houston, running back Godwin Igwebuike, receiver Tom Kennedy, cornerback A.J. Parker, kicker Riley Patterson, offensive tackle Darrin Paulo, receiver Kalil Pimpleton, linebacker Anthony Pittman, and cornerback Saivion Smith. Waived/injured defensive lineman Eric Banks, receiver Trinity Benson, defensive lineman Jashon Cornell, guard Kevin Jarvis, and safety C.J. Moore.

Green Bay Packers: Waived linebacker Ty Summers on August 28. Waived or released kicker Ramiz Ahmed, tight end Nate Becker, defensive tackle Akial Byers, tight end Sal Cannella, defensive back De'Vante Cross, defensive back Shawn Davis, defensive back Kabion Ento, quarterback Danny Etling, wide receiver Travis Fulgham, wide receiver Rico Gafford, defensive back Innis Gaines, running back Tyler Goodson, linebacker Ladarius Hamilton, defensive tackle Jack Heflin, wide receiver Ishmael Hyman, tackle Caleb Jones, linebacker Kobe Jones, tight end Alize Mack, center Michal Menet, defensive tackle Chris Slayton, running back Patrick Taylor, defensive back Kiondre Thomas, linebacker Ray Wilborn, running back Dexter Williams, and wide receiver Juwann Winfree.

Houston Texans: Waived kicker Matt Ammendola on August 27. Released running back Marlon Mack on August 30. Traded defensive tackle Ross Blacklock to the Vikings on August 30. Announced they waived defensive back Grayland Arnold, receiver Jalen Camp, receiver Drew Estrada, defensive back Jacobi Francis, tight end Seth Green, receiver Johnny Johnson III, defensive back Tristin McCollum, offensive lineman Jimmy Morrissey, defensive lineman Adedayo Odeleye, fullback Paul Quessenberry, offensive lineman Max Scharping, offensive lineman Jordan Steckler, offensive lineman Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms and receiver Connor Wedington; released quarterback Jeff Driskel, tight end Antony Auclair, defensive back Terrence Brooks, receiver Chris Conley, defensive lineman Demone Harris, running back Marlon Mack, offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, tight end Mason Schreck and defensive back Isaac Yiadom; waived defensive back Kendall Sheffield with an injury designation; placed defensive lineman Derek Rivers on injured reserve; and traded defensive lineman Ross Blacklock to the Vikings.

Indianapolis Colts: Released running back Phillip Lindsay on August 30. Released receiver Keke Coutee, offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, linebacker Brandon King, defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh, and safety Will Redmond. Waived defensive tackle Curtis Brooks, cornerback Anthony Chesley, defensive end Kameron Cline, quarterback Jack Coan, defensive back Marcel Dabo, receiver Ethan Fernea, receiver DeMichael Harris, tight end Michael Jacobson, tight end Nikola Kalinic, offensive tackle Jordan Murray, receiver Samson Nacua, running back D’Vonte Price, linebacker Forrest Rhyne, guard Josh Seltzner, linebacker James Skalsi, cornerback Marvell Tell, offensive tackle Ryan Van Demark, linebacker Sterling Weatherford, cornerback Chris Wilcox, defensive tackle Chris Williams, and running back Ty’Son Williams. Placed punter Rigoberto Sanchez and safety Armani Watts on injured reserve.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Released Tyrell Adams, safety Rudy Ford, offensive lineman KC McDermott, and receiver Laquon Treadwell. Waived defensive lineman Auzoyah Alufohai, running back Ryquell Armstead, cornerback Benjie Franklin, defensive back Brandon Rusnak, linebacker Chapelle Russell, and offensive lineman Badara Traore. Traded wide receiver Laviska Shenault to the Panthers on August 29. Waived defensive lineman Israel Antwine, wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr., linebacker Rashod Berry, wide receiver Jeff Cotton Jr., cornerback Xavier Crawford, offensive lineman Coy Cronk, offensive lineman Nick Ford, wide receiver Willie Johnson, cornerback Gregory Junior, safety Ayo Oyelola, quarterback E.J. Perry, tight end Gerrit Prince, defensive tackle Jay Tufelele, offensive lineman Darryl Williams, and defensive tackle Raequan Williams on August 30. Waived running back Mekhi Sargent to reach 53-player limit on August 30.

Kansas City Chiefs: Cut five players on Saturday: tackle Roderick Johnson, quarterback Dustin Crum, running back Tayon Fleet-Davis, wide receiver Aaron Parker and linebacker Mike Rose. Cut wide receiver Josh Gordon on August 30. Released defensive tackle Danny Shelton, wide receiver Corey Coleman, wide receiver Daurice Fountain, linebacker Jermaine Carter, linebacker Elijah Lee, center Austin Reiter, and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth. Waived wide receiver Cornell Powell, safety Zayne Anderson, cornerback Dicaprio Bootle, tight end Mike Bushman, guard Mike Caliendo, linebacker Jack Cochrane, defensive tackle Matt Dickerson, running back Jerrion Ealy, tight end Jordan Franks, tackle Vitaliy Gurman, safety Nazeeh Johnson, defensive end Azur Kamara, safety Devon Key, and defensive end Kehinde Oginni.

Las Vegas Raiders: Placed tackle Brandon Parker, defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster and linebacker Tae Davis on IR and waived tight end Nate Bowers and wide receiver Justin Hall on August 28. Waived offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood on August 30. Traded cornerback Trayvon Mullen to Cardinals on August 30. Announced they released center Hroniss Grasu, safety Matthias Farley, receiver Keelan Cole, cornerback Darius Phillips and defensive tackle Kyle Peko; waived lffensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, offensive guard Alex Bars, linebacker Curtis Bolton, cornerback Isiah “Ike” Brown, cornerback Bryce Cosby, safety Qwynnterrio Cole, tight end Cole Fotheringham, quarterback Chase Garbers, offensive guard Jordan Meredith, offensive tackle Bamidele Olaseni, receiver Dillon Stoner, defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive end Zach VanValkenburg, running back Austin Walter and receiver Isaiah Zuber; placed tight end Jacob Hollister on injured reserve; and traded cornerback Trayvon Mullen Jr. to the Cardinals.

Los Angeles Chargers: Got down to 53 by cutting Christian Covington, Sage Surratt, Zack Bailey, Michael Bandy, Trevon Bradford, Andrew Brown, Leddie Brown, Cole Christiansen, Jamal Davis II, Ben DeLuca, Emeke Egbule, Joe Gaziano, Kemon Hall, Ryan Hunter, Michael Jacquet, Hunter Kampmoyer, Carlo Kemp, Erik Krommenhoek, Raheem Layne, Tyreek Maddox-Williams, Kevin Marks Jr., Jason Moore Jr., Gabe Nabers, Joe Reed, Foster Sarell, Brandon Sebastian and Mark Webb Jr.

Los Angeles Rams: Got down to 53 by cutting: WR Landen Akers, T A.J. Arcuri, T Chandler Brewer, DE Earnest Brown IV, TE Roger Carter, DB T.J. Carter, DE T.J. Carter, DT Elijah Garcia, LB Chris Garrett, DB Jake Gervase, DB Grant Haley, TE Jacob Harris, LB Anthony Hines, DB Daniel Isom, G Jeremiah Kolone, DB Duron Lowe, TE Jared Pinkney, T Max Pircher, RB Trey Ragas, G Jack Snyder, DE Brayden Thomas, WR Austin Trammell and DE Benton Whitley. The Rams also put guard Logan Bruss on injured reserve, put linebacker Travin Howard on the non-football injury list, and put defensive back Quentin Lake on the physically unable to perform list. Nose tackle Bobby Brown III has been placed on the suspended list.

Miami Dolphins: Released wide receiver Mohamed Sanu on August 29. Released running back Sony Michel, offensive lineman Adam Pankey and defensive back Quincy Wilson; waived offensive lineman Blaise Andries, defensive lineman Owen Carney Jr., running back Gerrid Doaks, cornerback Elijah Hamilton, defensive tackle Niles Scott, linebacker Darius Hodge, defensive back D'Angelo Ross, and running back ZaQuandre White; placed linebacker Calvin Munson on injured reserve on August 29. Waived wide receiver Lynn Bowden on August 30. Waived wide receiver Preston Williams on August 30. Placed cornerback Byron Jones on reserve/PUP list on on August 30. Placed linebacker Brennan Scarlett on injured reserve. Waived tackle Larnel Coleman, receiver River Cracraft, offensive lineman Kellen Diesch, linebacker Cameron Goode, linebacker Porter Gustin, defensive tackle Benito Jones, offensive lineman Solomon Kindley, safety Verone McKinley III, receiver Braylon Sanders, tackle Kion Smith, and defensive tackle Ben Stille.

Minnesota Vikings: Placed wide receiver Bisi Johnson and defensive lineman T.Y. McGill on injured reserve, released cornerback Tye Smith, and waived tackle Timon Parris and wide receiver Myron Mitchell on August 29. Waived quarterback Kellen Mond on August 30. Waived linebacker Janarius Robinson on August 30. Waived linebacker Chazz Surratt on August 30. Waived defensive lineman Armon Watts on August 30. Announced they released quarterback Sean Mannion, cornerback Nate Hairston and cornerback Parry Nickerson; waived safety Mike Brown, receiver Dan Chisena, tight end Zach Davidson, guard Wyatt Davis, safety Myles Dorn, guard Kyle Hinton, receiver Trishton Jackson, running back Bryant Koback, linebacker William Kwenkeu, linebacker Blake Lynch, outside linebacker Zach McCloud, quarterback Kellen Mond, tight end Nick Muse, outside linebacker Janarius Robinson, defensive lineman T.J. Smith, center Josh Sokol, linebacker Chazz Surratt, defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman and defensive lineman Armon Watts; waived defensive lineman Jullian Taylor with an injury settlement.

New England Patriots: Waived or released tight end Devin Asiasi, defensive back Justin Bethel, offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais, offensive lineman Yasir Durant, offensive lineman James Ferentz, offensive lineman Arlington Hambright, wide receiver Josh Hammond, running back Kevin Harris, defensive back Brad Hawkins, wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey, linebacker Harvey Langi, linebacker Cameron McGrone, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, offensive lineman Bill Murray, wide receiver Tre Nixon, defensive lineman Jeremiah Pharms Jr., defensive lineman LaBryan Ray, offensive lineman Kody Russey, offensive lineman Will Sherman, tight end Matt Sokol, running back J.J. Taylor, kicker Tristan Vizcaino, linebacker Nate Wieland, and tight end Jalen Wydermyer. Placed defensive lineman Henry Anderson and wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson on injured reserve.

New Orleans Saints: Waived quarterback Ian Book on August 30. Waived defensive back Brian Allen, defensive tackle Josh Black, tackle Derrick Kelly, cornerback Quenton Meeks, running back Abram Smith, and tackle Khalique Washington on August 28. Announced they traded defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to the Eagles; released linebacker Jon Bostic, defensive end Taco Charlton, offensive lineman Josh Andrews, tight end J.P. Holtz, center Nick Martin and linebacker Eric Wilson; placed defensive tackle Albert Huggins on injured reserve; placed wide receiver Kawaan Baker on the suspended list; and waived quarterback Ian Book, wide receiver Dai'Jean Dixon, defensive back DaMarcus Fields, defensive back Vincent Gray, linebacker Chase Hansen, defensive tackle Jordan Jackson, tight end Lucas Krull, defensive end Niko Lalos, wide receiver Kirk Merritt, offensive lineman Derek Schweiger, linebacker Nephi Sewell and wide receiver Rashid Shaheed.

New York Giants: Waived kicker Ryan Santoso, offensive lineman Josh Rivas, defensive back Yusuf Corker, receiver Keelan Doss, receiver Travis Toivonen, defensive back Olaijah Griffin, and offensive lineman Eric Smith on August 29. Released wide receiver C.J. Board, guard Jamil Douglas, tackle Will Holden, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, and quarterback Davis Webb. Waived running back Jashaun Corbin; wide receivers Alex Bachman and Jaylon Moore; tight end Austin Allen; offensive linemen Garrett McGhin and Roy Mbaeteka; defensive linemen David Moa and Ryan Anderson; linebacker Quincy Roche; cornerbacks Khalil Dorsey, Darren Evans, Zyon Gilbert and Harrison Hand; and safeties Nate Meadors and Trenton Thompson.

New York Jets: Waived defensive back Javelin Guidry and defensive end Bradlee Anae on August 29. Cut quarterback Chris Streveler on August 29. Waived running back La'Mical Perine on August 29. Released running back Tevin Coleman on August 30. Placed fullback Nick Bawden on injured reserve. Waived or released cornerbacks Rachad Wildgoose and Isaiah Dunn; defensive linemen Tanzel Smart, Jabari Zuniga, and Jonathan Marshall; linebackers Marcell Harris, Del'Shawn Phillips, Hamsah Nasirildeen, and DQ Thomas; offensive linemen Chuma Edoga, Conor McDermott, Ross Pierschbacher, Grant Hermanns, and Chris Glaser; safeties Will Parks and Jason Pinnock; tight ends Kenny Yeboah and Trevon Wesco; and wide receivers Tarik Black, Irvin Charles, and Calvin Jackson.

Philadelphia Eagles: Released safety Anthony Harris on August 30. Waived wide receiver Devon Allen, offensive lineman Jack Anderson, offensive lineman Kayode Awosika, cornerback Josh Blackwell, running back Kennedy Brooks, safety Andre Chachere, wide receiver Britain Covey, linebacker Christian Elliss, cornerback Mario Goodrich, cornerback Tay Gowan, wide receiver John Hightower, running back Jason Huntley, defensive end Matt Leo, cornerback Mac McCain, quarterback Reid Sinnett, defensive tackle Kobe Smith, linebacker JaCoby Stevens, quarterback Carson Strong, tight end Noah Togiai, cornerback Kary Vincent, defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, and defensive tackle Renell Wren. Released wide receiver Deon Cain, tackle Le'Raven Clark, safety Jaquiski Tartt, tight end Richard Rodgers and center Cameron Tom. Placed wide receiver Greg Ward on injured reserve.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Waived or released defensive backs Carlins Platel, Elijah Riley, Chris Steele, and Linden Stephens; linebackers Buddy Johnson, Ron'Dell Carter, Hamilcar Rashed, Delontae Scott, and James Vaughters; defensive linemen Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Donovan Jeter, and Mondeaux; offensive linemen William Dunkle, Adrian Ealy, Chaz Green, John Leglue, and Ryan McCollum; running back Max Borghi; tight ends Kevin Rader and Jace Sternberger; and wide receivers Tyler Snead, Tyler Vaughns and Cody White. Released linebacker Marcus Allen, cornerback Justin Layne, running back Anthony McFarland, offensive lineman Joe Haeg, and offensive lineman Trent Scott.

San Francisco 49ers: Waived cornerback Ka'dar Hollman on August 28. Waived cornerback Ken Crawley and center Dohnovan West on August 29. Announced they released tight end Troy Fumagalli, safety Tashaun Gipson Sr., cornerback Dontae Johnson, receiver Marcus Johnson, tight end Tyler Kroft, offensive lineman Jordan Mills, receiver Willie Snead IV, defensive lineman Akeem Spence, quarterback Nate Sudfeld, defensive lineman Kemoko Turay, receiver Malik Turner and defensive lineman Jordan Willis; and waived running back JaMycal Hasty, defensive lineman Kevin Atkins, defensive lineman Alex Barrett, cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields, offensive lineman Alfredo Gutierrez, safety Tayler Hawkins, cornerback Qwuantrezz Knight, receiver Tay Martin, linebacker Marcelino McCrary-Ball, linebacker Segun Olubi, offensive lineman Jason Poe, offensive lineman Justin Skule and offensive lineman Keaton Sutherland.

Seattle Seahawks: Announced they released cornerback Justin Coleman; waived receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, safety Marquise Blair, linebacker Joel Dublanko, quarterback Jacob Eason, offensive tackle Greg Eiland, receiver Aaron Fuller, defensive tackle Jarrod Hewitt, receiver Cade Johnson, linebacker Vi Jones, receiver Kevin Kassis, tight end Tyler Mabry, receiver Bo Melton, linebacker Tanner Muse, safety Scott Nelson, offensive tackle Liam Ryan, center Dakoda Shepley, receiver Freddie Swain, running back Darwin Thompson, linebacker Lakiem Williams and safety Deontai Williams; waived running back Josh Johnson with an injury designation; and placed linebacker Tyreke Smith on injured reserve.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Announced they traded inside linebacker Grant Stuard to the Colts; waived receiver Tyler Johnson, kicker Jose Borregales, receiver Deven Thompkins, receiver Kaylon Geiger, receiver Jerreth Sterns, outside linebacker Andre Anthony, offensive tackle Dylan Cook, safety Chris Cooper, cornerback Don Gardner, defensive lineman Mike Greene, tight end JJ Howland, offensive guard Sadarius Hutcherson, running back Patrick Laird, cornerback Kyler McMichael, center John Molchon, defensive lineman Benning Potoa'e, defensive lineman Willington Previlon, inside linebacker J.J. Russell, safety Jerreth Sterns, safety Nolan Turner and outside linebacker Jordan Young; waived/injured outside linebacker Elijah Ponder; released safety Logan Ryan, outside linebacker Genard Avery, quarterback Ryan Griffin and defensive lineman Deadrin Senat; and placed cornerback Rashard Robinson on injured reserve.

Tennessee Titans: Waived or released punter Brett Kern; quarterback Logan Woodside; wide receivers Dez Fitzpatrick, Mason Kinsey, Reggie Roberson, and Cody Hollister; defensive linemen Larrell Murchison, Sam Okuayinonu and Jordan Peevy; defensive backs Tyree Gillespie, Chris Jackson, Theo Jackson, Tre Swilling, Adrian Colbert, and Greg Mabin; running back Trenton Cannon; linebackers Joe Jones, Jack Gibbens and David Anenih; offensive linemen Xavier Newman, Jordan Roos, Andrew Rupcich, Christian DiLauro, Hayden Howerton, Jalen McKenzie, and Willie Wright; and tight ends Thomas Odukoya, David Wells and Tommy Hudson.

Washington Commanders: Waived or released tackle Alex Akingbulu, defensive tackle David Bada, tight end Kendall Blanton, running back Reggie Bonnafon, defensive end William Bradley-King, defensive tackle Tyler Clark, wide receiver Matt Cole, cornerback Corn Elder, wide receiver Alex Erickson, safety Ferrod Gardner, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, tight end Jake Hausmann, linebacker Khaleke Hudson, cornerback Danny Johnson, guard Nolan Laufenberg, guard Wes Martin, wide receiver Kyric McGowan, wide receiver Marken Michel, tackle Aaron Monteiro, cornerback Dejuan Neal, defensive end Jacub Panasiuk, safety Steven Parker, running back Jaret Patterson, center Jon Toth, and linebacker Tre Walker. Placed tackle Willie Beavers, cornerback Josh Drayden and center Keith Ismael on injured reserve.

FMIA: Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Welcomes Training Camp Tour To Latrobe With 3 Words—Bring It On

NFL: MAY 25 Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workouts
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BULLETIN: The Deshaun Watson suspension will be for six games, per multiple media reports today. I’ve revised the column with some thoughts on where this story stands as of 9:30 a.m. ET today.LATROBE, Pa. — Mike Tomlin was back with the punters Saturday afternoon. When you ask those who’ve been around him for years, you [more]

FMIA: NFL Training Camp Tour Kicks Off With Las Vegas’ Hot, Hot New Offense And Buffalo’s Plans for Von Miller

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HENDERSON, Nev.—In the conference room adjacent to Raiders coach Josh McDaniels’ office, just after noon on Saturday, class was in session. The pupil in this 17-minute tutorial: quarterback Derek Carr. Every day—on the practice field, or in the hallways of the Raiders’ gleaming practice facility in suburban Las Vegas, anywhere they see each other—McDaniels finds [more]

Which quarterbacks are next up for new deals?

Day 2 of mini camp for the Denver Broncos
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With Kyler Murray becoming the latest quarterback to land a major contract, let’s take a look at who’s next to cash in, either this year or next. (Or, maybe, not at all.)

Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens quarterback spent months resisting the team’s overtures to do a long-term deal. Now, he wants to get his second contract. Complicating matters is that he has no agent. He has said that contracts signed by other quarterbacks don’t matter to him, which is a clear example of why he desperately needs an agent. Those other deals become precedent for his own, a bar that he should strive to meet or to exceed.

It’s a challenge to separate team from self when it comes to getting a fair contract. Some players get brainwashed by the idea that they owe it to the broader effort to leave extra meat on the bone. Other players recognize that their duty to themselves and their families is to maximize the value that they generate from playing football, because their time for doing so is extremely short. They have no equity in the business. They have only what they can squeeze from ownership and squirrel away in the bank.

Yes, it’s a team sport. But there definitely is a “me” in team when it comes to ensuring that full and fair value is generated by a player who has earned every penny he makes, and who is entitled to pursue as many pennies as he can from owners who have money to burn — and to buy superyachts with.

Russell Wilson.

Deshaun Watson leveraged the quasi-free agency he finagled for himself into a brand-new, market-setting deal. Wilson, who had only one place he truly wanted to play if not Seattle, didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to ask for more on the way through the door.

And that’s a smart move, because he’ll get even more after the 2022 season.

With the richest owner by far poised to buy the team, and with the team giving up so much in trade assets to get Wilson, he’ll get a market-value deal after the season. It likely will be fully guaranteed.

Is there a chance that injury or ineffectiveness hurts his value? Yes, but it’s slim. The Broncos essentially accepted the fact that Wilson will get a monster deal the moment the trade happened. By not doing it now, they know they’ll be paying him even more later.

That said, there’s a chance that the Wal-Mart clan will decide to make Wilson an offer he can’t and won’t refuse before the start of the 2022 regular season. Again, it will be cheaper to do it now than next year, and the terms could be so good for Wilson that he won’t want to carry the risk of having injury or subpar play cloud his value come next year.

Joe Burrow.

His window on a new contract opens at the conclusion of the 2022 regular season. Burrow already has earned his second deal. And who knows? He could be the first young quarterback to get his second contract after the final game of the regular season and before the start of the postseason, if the Bengals qualify for the playoffs again.

Burrow may face local pressure to “take less.” Hopefully, he won’t. He has transformed that franchise. He deserves everything he’s able to get. If they want to keep him for the long haul, they need to change their ways — and they possibly already are, given that they’re finally selling stadium naming rights.

That said, it may be difficult to get a fully-guaranteed deal, if owner Mike Brown simply can’t put a giant pile of cash into escrow. Maybe Burrow will be the first quarterback to hinge his compensation to a specific percentage of the cap. Thus, as it goes up, he get more — and his contract never becomes obsolete.

Justin Herbert.

Two great years, no playoff berths. That doesn’t matter. He’s already regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. If the Chargers want to keep him, they’ll have to pay up. Presumably after the 2022 season ends. If they won’t, someone else gladly will, now or later.

Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles have sent mixed signals, publicly and privately, regarding their commitment to Hurts. The commitment to the 2020 second-round pick seemingly was made when the Eagles traded for receiver A.J. Brown.

Here’s the question. Will Hurts deliberately take a second-tier deal in order to ensure that the Eagles will always have a solid team around him?

The fact that he wasn’t a first-round pick will bring his long-term status to a head sooner than otherwise. He’ll be a free agent in March 2024, unless the Eagles apply the franchise tag. His performance this season will go a long way toward helping the Eagles peg his future value. The challenge then will be getting on the same page with Hurts.

Tua Tagovailoa.

He’s also entering his third season. After it ends, he’ll be eligible for a new deal. It’s the ultimate upside for delivering on his potential, and for taking full advantage of the help he’ll have around him.

If he doesn’t step up, however, he could end up looking elsewhere for his second NFL contract, either if he’s released after the 2022 season or if he becomes a free-agent when his four-year rookie deal expires.

Baker Mayfield.

He’s on a one-year deal in Carolina. If he performs well, the Panthers will surely want to keep him. Others will become interested.

Surprisingly, the multi-million-dollar haircut Mayfield took to grease the skids out of Cleveland didn’t include a promise from the Panthers not to apply the franchise tag next year. If he overachieves this season, he may find himself blocked from the open market by the tag.

Jimmy Garoppolo.

Unless he signs a long-term deal as part of a trade to a new team, Garoppolo will become a free agent in March. That makes it critical for him to find a place where he can play — and play well — in 2022.

Daniel Jones.

The Giants didn’t pick up his fiffth-year option. The 2019 top-10 pick enters a contract year. If he becomes the guy the Giants thought he’d be three years ago, he’ll get a long-term deal or the franchise tag.

Ryan Tannehill.

He’s got two years left on his current deal. He was absent from some of the voluntary offseason program, possibly in an effort to get an adjustment. After this season, the Titans may have to make a long-term decision. Which may be one of the reasons why they drafted Malik Willis.

Matt Ryan.

He has two years on his contract, as he enters his first season with the Colts. If he delivers, the team may want to give him a big pile of money in order to ensure that he’ll be around for a few more seasons.

Tom Brady.

The GOAT will be a free agent in 2023. He’ll be able to pick his next team, unrestricted and unfettered. And with $37.5 million per year waiting for him from Fox, he’ll be able to tell anyone who wants him to keep playing that, in order to get him, they’ll have to pay him more than what he’d be getting to not actually play.

PFT mini-mailbag

Seinfeld
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Sometimes, I’ll do a PFT mailbag with more than a dozen questions answers. That’s usually more than my attention span can take. I’ll assume you feel the same way.

So I decided to do a short version of the usual slow-Sunday mailbag today. I am embarking on it with a plan to answer only five or seven questions from those posed via the response to a call for inquiries on Twitter. We’ll see if I can stick to it.

Away we go.

From @PFTPMPosse: It feels like EVERYBODY has known for a while that Mike Zimmer didn’t like Kirk Cousins, so why did the Vikings keep re-signing him? No other options, even though it feels like there are more great QBs than ever before, and they are changing teams regularly?

The Vikings originally signed Cousins to a three-year deal in 2018. After two seasons, the Vikings extended the deal to get cap relief and certainty beyond 2020. After two more seasons, the Vikings did it again.

Zimmer’s feelings for Cousins don’t mesh with how the organization feels about him. That disconnect likely became the focal point for the dysfunction that eventually got both Zimmer and G.M. Rick Spielman fired.

As to the availability of other quarterbacks, who would the Vikings have gotten if they’d gotten rid of Cousins? Deshaun Watson? Russell Wilson? Jimmy Garoppolo? Baker Mayfield? Carson Wentz? Matt Ryan? There weren’t many options who were obviously better than Cousins, and his $35 million guaranteed salary for 2022 could have made it hard to trade him without the Vikings picking up some of the salary.

So they decided to continue the all-in play with Cousins, and to hire a coach who would be far more likely to work well with Cousins. That’s surely one of the biggest reasons why Kevin O’Connell is there, and why Jim Harbaugh isn’t.

Will it work? That’s one of the most interesting questions of the next season or two.

From @NeilWatchesPFT: Should the NFLPA negotiate a better injury recourse for players to take when franchise tagged? It’s a tool that shifts ALL of the injury risk from the team onto the player with 0 recourse if they get a career-ending injury.

The problem with negotiating is that, to get something, something else has to be given up. The NFL, if it were even inclined to entertain any major changes to the franchise-tag process, would want a significant concession. The union would then have to decide whether to yield on some other term in order to enhance the terms of the franchise tag.

It’s unfortunate. For the players who get restricted by the tag, it’s unfair. And the fact that those players don’t hit the market on the first day of free agency and set a new bar hurts other players, indirectly.

Despite a few advances that have helped the players, the tag has remained in place for nearly 30 years. I don’t expect it to change in the next 30 — unless the players tie those revisions to something like expanding the regular season to 18 games, a possibility mentioned by @PMGUKColt in a separate question.

From @leepers500: What would it take for the NFLPA to reach parity with the NBA and MLB and force player’s contracts to be guaranteed? Is it pointless as we all know now that contracts are kind of guaranteed money plus Monopoly money?

It’s a one-contract-at-a-time arrangement. That’s why other owners weren’t happy with the five-year, $230 million, fully-guaranteed deal that the Browns gave to quarterback Deshaun Watson. It potentially sets a new bar for other quarterbacks, starting with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson — or maybe Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

If all player contracts were guaranteed, most contracts would be shorter. And there would be a significant unintended consequence arising from long-term, fully-guaranteed deals for veteran players. If the player’s performance dips, through injury or otherwise, money that could go to the guys who are actually getting it done gets tied up on players who aren’t earning it. In a salary-capped system, that hurts the players who are doing the work while someone else gets the money.

That’s probably one of the reasons why Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti isn’t thrilled about the Watson contract. Given Lamar’s playing style, he may not be the same guy in the final year or two of a five-year, fully-guaranteed deal.

From @aredzonauk: What’s more likely, the Cowboys win the Super Bowl or a guest appearance by @AaronRodgers12 on PFT Live?

It’s more likely that any/every team will win any/every Super Bowl than Rodgers ever appearing on PFT Live. Unless we agree in advance that I’ll call in sick that day. Or unless NBC agrees to suddenly pretend I don’t exist. That would probably do it.

I still think Rodgers and I have more in common than he realizes, other than the fact that he’s a world-class athlete and I am the exact opposite. He has a good sense of humor. He likes Scotch and tequila. He likes The Office. He likes to read, or at least to act like he likes to read. Regardless, I think with a bottle of booze and a couple of cigars, we’d have a much better time than he’d imagine.

Then again, his expectations would be very low.

From @ovohmar: Would you be interested in joining a dynasty league?

Those assholes at Pardon My Take (and I say that lovingly) have me so nervous about being set up to have them yell at me, “No one gives a shit about your fantasy team” that I can’t even consider this question without wondering whether it’s all part of a ruse aimed at getting me to step right into it, again.

From @downmamabear: If Jimmy G. is not traded before Friday does it mean the Niners have doubts with Lance as a starter? Or is it just the market situation?

The 49ers have repeatedly bungled the quarterback position over the past five years, from passing on Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft to trading for Garoppolo instead of waiting for Kirk Cousins in free agency to saying “no thanks” to Tom Brady in 2020 to making a desperate move to the No. 3 overall pick in the draft in 2021. Currently, they have to decide whether to trade or maybe even cut Garoppolo, or whether to continue to carry his gigantic cap number while waiting for a trade opportunity to surface. Once he passes a physical, he has no guaranteed pay unless he’s on the Week One active roster. If, however, he ends up suffering a season-ending injury in training camp or the preseason, the team will be on the hook for his full pay.

Garoppolo should want out now, so that he has a fair chance to compete for a starting job elsewhere. However, he’d benefit from a possible season-ending injury to a starter elsewhere, since that team possibly would be willing to pay all or most his full freight in 2022. Otherwise, he’s not seeing anything close to that money, especially if he’s cut after the preseason concludes.

Absent an injury, the 49ers will have a hard time getting significant value of Garoppolo — and he’ll have a hard time getting much of a salary — given that the Panthers got Baker Mayfield for a fifth-round pick and $5 million. The question is whether Garoppolo is truly willing to play along with waiting for an injury that may not happen.

From @glrush13: What team or teams in the league do you feel has the largest range of outcomes this season meaning which team or teams would you not be surprised if they turned out to be good or just stink?

In the NFC, I’d put the Vikings and Saints in that bucket. They both could be great, and they both could have the wheels fall off. Ditto for the Seahawks; I tend to think they’ll be better than many expect.

In the AFC, I think the Steelers will be better than people expect, primarily because they usually exceed low expectations. I also think that the three teams in the AFC West other than the Chiefs (Broncos, Raiders, Chargers) can be Super Bowl contenders or bottom-dwellers. The Dolphins also are a team that could have a very wide range of potential outcomes, with the outcome largely hinging on the play of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

From @GamblingAvenge1: What is the difference in the disciplinary process between Calvin Ridley and Deshaun Watson? You keep saying this is the first test of the new system.

That’s a great question, with a simple answer. Ridley was suspended under the gambling policy. Watson will be suspended, if at all, under the Personal Conduct Policy. The “new system” relates to the conduct policy, not the gambling policy. As to the former, an independent disciplinary officer conducts the hearing and makes the initial decision on punishment. As to the latter, the Commissioner retains full control.