Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Steelers offered Le'Veon Bell a five-year, $70 million contract prior to Monday's 4 PM ET deadline.

Per RapSheet, the offer contained more than $30 million over the first two years, but Bell has opted to instead play on the $14.544 million tag for the second straight year before hitting free agency at 27 years old next March. The $14 million average on the Steelers' offer would easily make Bell the league's highest-paid back, an honor held at the moment by Devonta Freeman at $8.25 million per year. It's hard to see Bell doing better than this next offseason, but we'll see.
Jul 16 - 6:57 PM

According to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly, Steelers second-year RB James Conner "was very impressive" at spring practices.

On the same day the Steelers failed to reach a long-term deal with Le'Veon Bell, Kaboly noted No. 2 runner Conner "looks like he can be a solid every-down back in this league." There were few signs of that during Conner's rookie year, when he struggled with durability and pass protection in preseason games, then failed to earn more than eight snaps in any of his 13 regular season appearances. Conner's season ended on injured reserve with a torn MCL.
Jul 16 - 5:49 PM

Ravens RCB Jimmy Smith avoided the active/PUP list to open training camp.

Smith made a stunningly quick recovery after tearing his Achilles' tendon last December 3, even participating at June minicamp. He appears to have been fully cleared to practice on day one of training camp. Smith is one of the biggest difference makers on Baltimore's defense. Last season, Smith graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 18 cover corner among 121 qualifiers.
Jul 16 - 5:43 PM

Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon avoided the active/PUP list to begin training camp.

It means Dixon has been fully cleared to practice on day one of camp after missing all of 2017 with a torn meniscus. A recent beat writer article left Dixon off the Ravens' 53-man roster projection, but the organization was very high on his ability before the lost year. More likely, Dixon will battle Buck Allen to serve as Baltimore's change-of-pace back behind Alex Collins.
Jul 16 - 5:05 PM

Ex-Browns and Raiders DE Armonty Bryant announced his retirement from football.

Bryant announced he was diagnosed with "end-stage renal failure," a chronic kidney disease. Bryant, 28, spent four seasons in the league and registered 11.5 career sacks. He was a seventh-round pick of the Browns in the 2013 draft.
Jul 16 - 4:59 PM

Ravens placed RG Marshal Yanda on active/PUP.

Our first blurb of 2018 training camps. Yanda broke his ankle last Week 2 and was done for the year. He's had ten months of recovery time, but isn't ready to practice early in camp. Players placed on active/PUP can be activated at any time, however, and the expectation remains Yanda will be ready for Week 1. WR Quincy Adeboyejo, CB Jaylen Hill, LB Bam Bradley, DE Brent Urban, and TE Vince Mayle are also beginning Ravens camp on active/PUP.
Jul 16 - 4:52 PM

Le'Veon Bell strongly hinted on Twitter Monday that he will not hold out into the 2018 regular season.

No long-term deal was reached between the Steelers and Bell ahead of Monday's 4PM ET deadline for franchise players to sign extensions. "(My) desire always has been to retire a Steeler," Bell wrote. "Both sides worked extremely hard today to make that happen, but the NFL is a hard business at times. To the fans that had hope, I’m sorry we let you down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date." Bell wouldn't be able to turn in his "best season to date" if he missed games. The over-under date for Bell to report to the Steelers should be set at September 1, the date on which he reported last year.
Jul 16 - 4:25 PM

Cowboys LE DeMarcus Lawrence will play 2018 on the franchise tag.

The one-year, guaranteed pact is worth $17.1 million. A source told NFL Network's Ian Rapaport that Lawrence will definitively not play under the franchise tag next year, but he was always willing to do so in 2017. Sports Info Solutions charted Lawrence with the NFL's highest pressure rate among defensive linemen last season at 17.1%. Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard was second at 14.6%.
Jul 16 - 3:53 PM

Le'Veon Bell will play his second-straight season on the Steelers' franchise tag.

No long-term deal was reached before Monday's 4PM ET deadline. As last year's tag netted Bell $12.12 million and this year's tag is worth $14.544 million, Bell will have collected $26.664 million fully guaranteed for two seasons. A suggestion surfaced Monday that Bell could hold out for the first half of the year, but that would cost Bell over $7 million and seems highly unlikely. Still, Bell is likely headed for another protracted training camp holdout. Last season, Bell reported to the Steelers nine days before Week 1.
Jul 16 - 3:18 PM

Jets waived WR Devin Smith.

The No. 37 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Smith tore his ACL late in his rookie season, and then tore it again in April 2017. He was held out of the Jets' offseason program, so it's possible the move will be designated "waived/injured" and Smith will eventually be released with an injury settlement. A true burner and deep threat before the injuries set in, 26-year-old Smith is going to have trouble getting his career back on track.
Jul 16 - 1:25 PM

The Dallas Morning News' Jori Epstein writes Dak Prescott "regularly targeted" TE Blake Jarwin during the offseason program.

Geoff Swaim appears likely to start for the post-Jason Witten Cowboys, but he is more blocker than receiving threat. Fourth-round rookie Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers could provide a receiving complement, but Jarwin received all the buzz during the offseason. He is a name to watch in training camp.
Jul 16 - 12:24 PM

Titans RT Jack Conklin (ACL) said he has suffered "no setbacks" in his rehab.

Conklin tore his ACL during the Divisional Round loss the Patriots in January. While it is great he has not suffered any setbacks, Conklin still has a way to go in his rehab. "You don’t want to come back too early and hurt it again," he said. "I think I need to earn my way back health-wise and practicing and that is something I am working toward and something I am excited to get back to." Conklin is at best questionable for Week 1.
Jul 16 - 12:01 PM

Panthers.com's Max Henson writes first-round WR D.J. Moore "looked more than ready to contribute" during the offseason.

Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen, and Christian McCaffrey should handle the majority of the targets, but there will still be room for Moore to produce if he is ready. Every indication has been he is, and Henson believes the rookie's "unique" ability to create after the catch will be used "as much as possible." Moore is an upside target in the later rounds.
Jul 16 - 11:33 AM

Philly Voice's Jimmy Kempski believes Darren Sproles (knee) will play fewer snaps on offense this season.

It is not a surprising prediction considering Sproles is 35, coming off a torn ACL, and Corey Clement emerged as a viable secondary option last season. Kempski believes Sproles will still have a role on offense, but he expects him to make most of his contributions as a returner. Sproles has already said 2018 will be his final season.
Jul 16 - 11:28 AM

Philly Voice's Jimmy Kempski believes Eagles second-round TE Dallas Goedert "has a great chance to put up better numbers" than Trey Burton did as the No. 2 tight end.

Burton caught 60 passes for 575 yards and six touchdowns over the last two seasons, but much of that production came with Zach Ertz sidelined. Impressed by how the rookie performed in the offseason program, Kempski thinks Goedert will be able to do more than that even with Ertz healthy, although it still seems unlikely the rookie carves out redraft value on a loaded offense unless Ertz goes down. Still, Goedert looks like an exciting Dynasty prospect.
Jul 16 - 11:24 AM


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