C.J. Beathard set for MRI on groin injury

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Jaguars backup quarterback C.J. Beathard was carted off the field at Organized Team Activities today, and now the team is attempting to determine how serious the injury is.

Beathard suffered a groin injury and will have an MRI to diagnose the severity of the injury, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The Jaguars have Beathard penciled in as their No. 2 quarterback this season behind Trevor Lawrence. If Beathard has to miss significant time, they’d likely try to find another veteran. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Jake Luton and E.J. Perry.

The 28-year-old Beathard is heading into the second year of a two-year, $5 million contract he signed with the Jaguars last year.

Doug Pederson hopes offseason additions free up Josh Allen

NFL: MAY 31 Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts
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Jaguars pass rusher Josh Allen said recently that his younger teammates could talk to him about the adversity he’s experienced during three seasons on a losing team in Jacksonville, but the greater hope around the team is that the team can avoid rough sailing in the future.

The Jaguars picked Travon Walker first overall and then added linebacker Devin Lloyd later in the first half. Linebacker Chad Muma was a third-round pick and the team also signed linebacker Foye Oluokun, defensive end Arden Key, and defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi in free agency.

On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson said that the team’s hope is that the new faces wind up giving Allen more freedom to make plays than he had last season.

“He’s an excitable player,” Pederson said, via the team’s website. “He’s someone who can make a lot of plays on defense. I think with some of the new additions he’ll be able to get back to that. If the success is there [for the offseason additions], and we hope it is — as teams scheme us on defense — it maybe frees Josh up to be more of what he was a couple of years ago. I think having those pieces around him could do that.”

The Jaguars were similarly aggressive when it came to picking up offensive pieces to support quarterback Trevor Lawrence and a change in fortunes could be in order if all of the new pieces prove to be solid fits with their new team.

Rams, Aaron Donald work out a massive new deal

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Aaron Donald is neither retiring nor holding out.

One of the best defensive players in NFL history has a new contract. The deal replaces the final three years of Donald’s prior arrangement with the team. Other contracts, the salary cap, and Donald’s ongoing stellar play made the existing deal obsolete.

The contract, per a source with knowledge of the terms, has no new years. Instead, the existing deal was torn up, and it was replaced by a new contract.

He’ll get $95 million over the next three years. He’s getting, a literally, a $40 million raise.

The contract includes a pair of voidable years. The void kicks in on the final day of the 2024 league year. Which means that the Rams won’t be able to tag him for 2025. Instead, he’ll become a free agent if he wants to keep playing.

He gets $65 million over the next two years, with no offset on guarantees. It’s structured to let him retire after 2023 with no financial penalty. If decides to play in 2024, he’ll get another $30 million.

Here’s the breakdown of the deal:

1. Signing bonus: $25 million.

2. 2022 base salary: $1.5 million, fully guaranteed.

3. 2022 roster bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed.

4. 2023 roster bonus: $15 million, fully guaranteed and due on second day of 2023 league year.

5. 2023 base salary: $13.5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed as of third day of 2023 league year.

6. 2024 roster bonus: $5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing. Fully guaranteed on third day of 2023 league year. With no forfeiture language.

7. 2024 base salary: $30 million, fully guaranteed as of the fifth day of the 2024 league year. It would be paid with $20 million as an option bonus and $10 million as base salary, for cap purposes.

The guarantees have no offset language.

The $95 million in case flow over three years surpasses the $92.3 million paid to Josh Allen and dwarfs the $63 million paid to Patrick Mahomes in the first three years of their respective contracts. It’s the biggest contract ever given to a non-quarterback, and only 11 quarterbacks rank ahead of him in average salary.

He’s the first non-quarterback to pass the $30 million per year threshold.

And it was all done with no new years. And the ability to retire after two years. And the ability, if he so chooses, to sign with any team he wants in 2025.

Rams sign all eight of their draft picks

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“F–k them picks” has become a motto of sorts for the Rams in recent years, but they held onto eight of them in this year’s draft.

The team waited more than a month to start signing those picks and started the process on Monday. They also finished it. The NFL’s daily transaction wire shows that all eight Rams picks have signed four-year deals with the team.

Third-round offensive lineman Logan Bruss was the team’s top pick this year. He started at right guard and right tackle while at Wisconsin and is expected to play an interior role with the Rams.

Fourth-round defensive back Decobie Durant, fifth-round running back Kyren Williams, sixth-round defensive back Quentin Lake, sixth-round defensive back Derion Kendrick, seventh-round defensive back Russ Yeast, and seventh-round tackle A.J. Arcuri make up the rest of the group.

Browns will hold mandatory minicamp at three different places

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The Browns are taking short road trips next week, practicing at three different places during their three-day mandatory minicamp. The team will practice at team headquarters in Berea next Tuesday before going to Canton, Ohio, on Wednesday and finally to their home stadium Thursday.

The Browns will tour the Hall of Fame on Wednesday and practice at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Practice will be closed to the public.

“We’ll have a really good day’s work on Tuesday,” coach Kevin Stefanski said at Monday’s Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament at Westwood Country Club, via Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal. “On Wednesday we’ll go down to the Hall of Fame as a team and practice down there and visit down there, which I think is so vitally important that we understand what’s come before us — the players, the coaches, the great teams that have come before us. We’re so fortunate to have the Pro Football Hall of Fame right down the road, so we’re going to take advantage of that on Wednesday.”

The final practice of the offseason will happen at FirstEnergy Stadium in downtown Cleveland. Kicker Cade York has worked at the stadium some this offseason, but it will mark the first time the full squad has conducted a workout there.

“I want to get down there with the team,” Stefanski said. “I want to get all of our players working in the stadium. I want to get our young kicker working in the stadium in the offseason. I think it’s a good spot to end camp. Also, from a communications standpoint, we can work together as coaches and split the team up and put ourselves through some situational football.”

Ravens sign Isaiah Likely

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The Ravens sealed a deal with another member of their 2022 draft class on Monday.

The team announced the signing of tight end Isaiah Likely, who was one of their six fourth-round picks in April. All six of those players will start their NFL lives with four-year deals.

Likely is the fourth of the Ravens’ 11 picks to sign and the first of those sixth-round selections.

Likely had 59 receptions for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns at Coastal Carolina last season. The touchdowns were the most for any tight end in the top level of college football.

The Ravens doubled up on tight ends in the fourth round with Charlie Kolar also joining the club. Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are the top returning tight ends on the roster.

Titans claim Carson Green off waivers from Texans

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Texans at Cowboys
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The Titans claimed offensive lineman Carson Green off waivers Monday, which explains why they waived offensive lineman Derwin Gray.

Green, 23, joins the Titans’ 90-player offseason roster after the Texans waived him Friday. He had signed with the Texans on March 11.

Green went undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2021 and signed with the Texans as a rookie free agent. The Texans cut him out of the preseason.

Green was on and off the team’s practice squad last season but did not play in the regular season.

Kliff Kingsbury: DeAndre Hopkins will be “full go” for training camp

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Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins is going to be suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. But he is slated to be on the field for training camp this summer.

Via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said in his Monday press conference that Hopkins is expected to be “full go” for training camp.

To this point in the offseason program, Hopkins has worked off to the side while recovering from his knee surgery.

Hopkins missed nearly half of the 2021 season with his knee injury. In 10 games, he had 42 receptions for 572 yards with eight touchdowns.

It was only the third time in Hopkins’ career that he didn’t reach 1,000 yards. It also happened in 2013 when Hopkins was a rookie and in 2016 when Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage served as the Texans’ quarterbacks.

Titans release Derwin Gray

NFL: NOV 28 Titans at Patriots
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The Titans have moved on from one of their offensive linemen.

Tennessee has released Derwin Gray, the team announced on Monday.

Gray spent most of the 2021 season on the Titans’ practice squad, though he did not appear in a game. He signed a futures contract with the club after Tennessee was eliminated from the postseason in January.

Gray was a Steelers seventh-round pick in 2019. He appeared in five games for Pittsburgh in 2020, recording 25 offensive snaps and 11 special teams snaps.
Gray also spent some time with the Jaguars after the Steelers waived him late in the 2020 season.

Trevor Lawrence on Evan Engram: Having that matchup will be great for us

NFL: MAY 23 Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts
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Everyone in Jacksonville is hoping that quarterback Trevor Lawrence‘s second season will be much more successful than his rookie campaign and one of the moves they made in hopes of setting him up for that success was signing tight end Evan Engram as a free agent.

Engram’s athleticism helped make him a first-round pick for the Giants in 2017 and it’s made a strong impression on Lawrence in their time working together this year. Lawrence said on Monday that he anticipates Engram finding advantageous matchups against defensive players once the team hits the regular season.

“He runs like a receiver,” Lawrence said. “Just having that matchup is going to be great for us. Safety, linebacker . . . whoever’s going to have to cover him, it’s going to be tough.”

There was a lot of similar talk over Engram’s five years with the Giants, but injuries, dropped passes, and a series of coaching changes helped limit the tight end’s production. If a change of scenery helps things fall into place, Lawrence’s chances of a big leap in 2022 will look better.

Jerry Jeudy tweaks hamstring in practice

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Receiver Jerry Jeudy left the field early Monday during the Broncos’ organized team activities. He had a slight limp and was “somewhat upset,” James Palmer of NFL Media reports.

Jeudy later returned in sweats to watch practice.

Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Jeudy had a slight groin tweak and that his departure was precautionary.

Jeudy missed time last season with ankle injury, playing 10 games with five starts. He did not score a touchdown last season.

In two seasons, the former first-round choice has 90 receptions for 1,323 yards and three touchdowns.

D.J. Humphries: If you don’t think Kyler Murray is Cardinals’ future, you’re a fool

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Kyler Murray showed up to the Cardinals’ organized team activities last week, his first work with the team in Arizona this offseason. The Cardinals quarterback is not there Monday for the start of the third week of OTAs, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN reports.

Murray has made it known publicly he wants a new contract from the team.

Left tackle D.J. Humphries opened his media availability Monday by joking, “Sorry I’m not Kyler, guys.”

Humphries, though, expects the Cardinals to sign Murray to a long-term deal.

“If you think Kyler is not our future, you’re a plum fool. That’s our quarterback,” Humphries said. “You need to stop that day drinking.”

Murray is scheduled for a base salary of $965,000 in 2022, but given a $4.5 million roster bonus that became fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year, he will make $5.4 million. That makes him the 18th highest-paid quarterback in the league, per overthecap.com

Trevor Lawrence: Everyone on the coaching staff is on the same page

NFL: MAY 31 Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts
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The Jaguars were notoriously a mess in their one season under Urban Meyer.

But with Doug Pederson now the team’s head coach, things in Jacksonville appear at the very least on the road to competency.

On Monday, quarterback Trevor Lawrence talked about how the Jags’ new staff has been clear and connected in the way it’s taught the new offensive scheme.

“It’s been really smooth. I think everybody is on the same page, which is good,” Lawrence said in his press conference. “I think the way they built the staff is, everyone has a similar — not everyone’s going to think the same. Obviously, you need that diversity to be able to put you in the best position to win. But everyone’s on the same page and you can tell it’s very seamless.

“And also, when people talk, it’s not everyone trying to say their opinion. People pick and choose. I think they do a good job of communicating beforehand, so when we get into meetings, they kind of know exactly what they’re all thinking and they’re all on the same page.”

Lawrence wasn’t directly criticizing the staff from his rookie season with Jacksonville. But it’s easy to tell that last year’s No. 1 overall pick is in a much better position to succeed in Year Two.

Starting all 17 games last season, Lawrence 59.6 percent of his passes for 3,641 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also rushed for 334 yards with two TDs.

Despite no relationship with Hall of Fame, Terrell Owens will attend Bryant Young’s induction in Canton

Bryant Young / Terrell Owens
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Terrell Owens boycotted his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction four years ago, becoming the only living enshrinee not to attend the ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Instead, the receiver, miffed that it took him three years to go into the Hall, gave an induction speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Owens hasn’t had anything to do with the Hall since.

But he has accepted an invitation from former 49ers teammate Bryant Young to attend Hall of Fame week in August to celebrate Young’s enshrinement.

“He knows my feelings about the Hall of Fame,” Owens said at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series during a panel discussion of Hall of Famers welcoming Young to the club, via Matt Maiocco of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I wouldn’t be here or even considering going to the Hall of Fame if it weren’t for B.Y.”

Owens, who ranked second in all-time receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and eighth in receptions (1,078) when he retired, has remained vocal in his criticism of the selection process. Forty-nine media members, including Dan Fouts, James Lofton and Bill Polian, serve as selectors.

“As far as my relationship with the Hall of Fame, I don’t have one,” Owens said. “But when it comes to being there for your brothers, obviously, for a teammate like B.Y., the way he showed up every day, just the professionalism, the way he approached his craft, and me seeing (that). He’s like a gentle giant. He’s quiet, but when the beast needs to come out, you saw it on the field.

“So for me to sit in that locker room and walk into that locker room every day and see how he approached work and just marvel at his professionalism, the way he played, I wouldn’t probably be here. But this is a huge moment. It’s not about me. This is me celebrating my teammate. Prior to that, I probably had no earthly idea when I would probably step foot back in Canton.”

Alexander Mattison: Vikings want to have the best running back group in the NFL

NFL: JUL 29 Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
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Vikings running back Alexander Mattison isn’t going to be a starter as long as Dalvin Cook is around. But Mattison thinks he can be part of something special, along with Cook and the rest of the running backs who make the Vikings’ roster.

Mattison said the Vikings’ running backs room can be the best in football, and they hold each other to a high standard of performance to reach that level.

“I love it,” Mattison said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “It’s awesome to have a good group of guys that we can all push one another. We’re going to learn from one another. That skill set everybody brings to the running back room, it’s very unique. And we don’t like to say we have the best back in the league or the best one-two punch in the league, we want to have the best group in the league. So we hold that standard in the room.”

Cook is the unquestioned starter, but he said he likes to see the depth behind him.

“Having that depth and having that next guy up ready to go, next-guy-up mentality, and to have the guys ready to go produce, that’s always important,” Cook said.

Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu had 13 carries for 61 yards last season, and he’ll compete with rookie fifth-round pick Ty Chandler for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Cook and Mattison, in a running back group they think can be the best in football.