It’s week 31, and we’re getting so close to football that we can practically taste it. With the CFL sating some appetites north of the border, the weekend threw up some more titbits for us to chew over whilst we count down the days to the pre-season “friendly” match-ups.
Bosa still holding out –
Joey Bosa is still holding out in San Diego. The contract still isn’t lined up the way he wants it, and he’s still not at camp. These contract hold-outs have gotten tired this season. Hopefully they can come to an agreement soon, and we can get back to playing ball.
Slay in tears –
After the Detroit Lions offered him a $50.2M contract, Cornerback Darius Slay admitted to shedding a few tears on hearing the news. The Georgia boy got all teared up after he heard the news, looking back at where he came from, and how he got there. Can’t blame the guy, that’s a pretty good deal for a 25 year old cornerback.
Norman struggling in Washington –
Footage has appeared out of the Washington Camp, showing Josh Norman being smoked by Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. It appears in this isolated piece of footage, that Norman simply can’t handle the pace of the two receivers. In fairness to Norman, you can’t read too far into isolated footage, so let’s hope that the rest of the camp is going better for him.
Wilson Pain-Ball –
Damion Wilson is on the sidelines for the beginning of camp, with an eye injury that he picked up during a game of paintball. Not a good start to the pre-season for the Cowboys Linebacker. Even worse for the Cowboys, who are already suffering on Linebacker depth this pre-season.
Pink slips for yards –
Brandon Marshall has called out Antonio Brown in a fit of Bravado. The receiver who played out of his skin, and still came up short by 300 yards on Brown last season, has put his Porsche on the line. He claims that if he puts up more yards this season, then the Steelers WR should hand over his Rolls Royce. Brown is unfazed, and dismissed the challenge as nothing more than a thinly veiled PR stunt on the part of Marshall.
No more Pro-Bowls for Eifert –
Tyler Eifert has declared himself out of any future Pro-Bowls. The Bengals Tight end injured his ankle in the last Pro-Bowl, and this has put him out of play for quite a while. With an unfixed timetable for a return to the game, he has already declared his Pro-Bowl career over, refusing any future games in advance. With the game already held as more risk than reward, and with so many players pulling out of the most recent game, this latest snub could be yet another nail in the coffin in one of the least popular all-star games in professional sports.
Johnson goes to Titans –
Andre Johnson has signed a 2 year deal to play for the Titans, in what could be the last stop of his career. Having played for the Texans, and the Colts, the 35 year old receiver has seemingly defied the expectations and eked out another two years from the game. This would put him in the rankings as one of the oldest performing receivers in the game, although performing is a relative term. The Colts were disappointed by his performance last year, and dropped him during the off season. Could this be his comeback year, or are the Titans using him to leverage the younger players in the offense?
Ravens and Long part ways –
Jake Long has walked away from the table with the Ravens. Refusing to sign an injury waiver that the cautious Ravens had added to his contract, Long walked back into Free Agency and set his table out for the next team. Having returned from major ACL tears in his right knee in two successive seasons, he was signed off by both the Falcons, and a separate Doctor, but the Ravens still wanted to protect their interests from a potential injury with the Offensive tackle. Long wasn’t standing for that, and refused to sign the waiver, backing out of the deal. This could potentially devalue him in the face of the market.
Tre Mason not at training –
In the latest in a long sequence of concerning events, Tre Mason has failed to attend training camp for the LA Rams. After an arrest in March, his behaviour has become increasingly irrational and agitated, and the local police are becoming regulars at his house. Concern has been expressed from his family for his mental well-being, and the team have outlined that he has not been in contact with them, although they appear to be uneasy with committing to a stance on his behaviour this off-season. Hopefully Mason can get through whatever he is experiencing, and get the support he needs.
Ealy on Concussion Protocol –
Panthers D-Line Kony Ealy has been sidelined with a concussion after a lid to lid impact on Saturday. Ron Rivera confirmed that he is going through concussion Protocol after the impact, but he should be fine for a return to the season. Ealy was devastatingly effective as part of the Panthers’ Defense in their Super Bowl campaign, recording multiple sacks at SB50. Expect even bigger things from him this season.
Detroit wants the Draft –
The Lions President, Ron Wood, has declared his interest in making Detroit one of the host cities for the Draft in the future. After Roger Goodell pulled the rug out from under Chicago, and announced that the Draft would become mobile after only two years in the Windy City, several teams have already lined up to host the roadshow in the future, including Dallas and Green Bay. Detroit have made no official inquiries into hosting it, but Wood has made his intentions clear in an Interview.
Gronk and Patriots in talks –
The New England Patriots, and star Tight End Rob Gronkowski are in talks about a potential new contract. In contrast to the hold outs of the recent headlines, Gronk has called in his agents whilst he concentrates on practice. As the undisputed leader at his position, Gronk is undoubtedly well placed to leverage a new contract. He is in practice with the team whilst his agents discuss options with regards to improving on his current 8 year deal, worth $55.23M, which runs until 2019. $27M over four years appears to be a little low for Gronk, so he’s looking for a pay rise in year 4 with a new deal. Let’s see what he gets, but don’t expect all the fanfare and noise of the Fitz or Von Miller negotiations, this is going to be done behind closed doors, in a professional manner.
OBJ gets a boo-boo –
In his Sunday training session, it appears that Odell Beckham-Junior suffered a minor injury whilst going up against Janoris Jenkins. After being carted off of the field, it appears that the damage was superficial, and that it won’t affect him long term. A few cuts on the ankle from a cleat. Please send your band aids to the New York Giants in sympathy for poor OBJ.
Hopkins Blinks –
In the latest hold out for a contract, De-Andre Hopkins has attended training for the Texans. After missing the first session after the Texans refused to offer him a new contract, Hopkins had a sudden change of heart, and turned up. The fines may have been a factor, and the fact that the Texans may have dangled the carrot of “opening discussions” about a new contract if he turned up. Either way, after all his blustering and stalling, Hopkins is back training with the Texans.