Happy Friday! Let’s check out what’s happening now in the National Football League.
- You could argue that there hasn’t been much worth watching when it comes to New York Jets football in recent years, but that doesn’t mean fans aren’t going to want to get out there and watch it anyway. NJ.com reports that the Jets will have just three public practices at the team’s facility. Further, scheduling conflicts won’t allow the team to practice at Hofstra or host its annual Green-White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. So much for an opportunity to show off prized quarterback prospect Sam Darnold.
- I’m interested to see what the Buffalo Bills look like when they square off against the Chicago Bears in Week 9. Leo Roth of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has the details of the impending quarterback competition in Bills camp that will feature first-round pick Josh Allen, 2017 fifth-round selection Nathan Peterman, or free agent addition AJ McCarron emerging as the team’s starter in 2018. Buffalo was a playoff team last year and could have knocked off the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars if the team had any semblance of a passing offense. The Bills traded up to make Allen the third quarterback taken in the draft and were quick to sign McCarron as a free agent. Odds are both of those players will send Peterman to third-string duties before battling it out for the starting gig.
- While our focus is on future Bears opponents, ESPN’s Brady Henderson writes that Brandon Marshall is no lock to make the Seahawks’ season-opening roster. Henderson outlines what Marshall must do to have a shot at catching passes from Russell Wilson when games start counting in the standings. Marshall has plenty of incentive to be at his best this summer, as only $90,000 of his contract in Seattle is guaranteed.
- NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo tweets that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed on a contract extension for offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson. The Duke University product who attended Lane Tech High School in Chicago earned a 70.7 grade from Pro Football Focus last season and is slotted to be San Francisco’s left guard this season. Tomlinson was drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
- Anyone who follows me on social media knows I love to travel as often as possible, so you won’t be surprised to know that the Kansas City Chiefs rookies recently took a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It’s on my bucket list of things I’d like to get to sooner, rather than later.
- Over in Denver, new quarterback Case Keenum breaks down the Minnesota Miracle play with Broncos fans, via Brian Madden of CBS Denver. It’s not often when you see a pro quarterback break it down on a whiteboard, so take a few minutes and check it out:
- Speaking of the Vikings, Chris Hine of the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports on the team hosting a multi-sport summit on inclusivity. It is the first held by any NFL team, and included representatives from other Minnesota pro teams like the Wild, Lynx, and Timberwolves. The gathering featured former Vikings defensive lineman Esera Tualolo and panel discussions on promoting a positive and healthy atmosphere for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer athletes.
- Earlier we shared a report that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was set to face a three-game suspension, which would keep him out of the team’s first three games but put him back in the mix for a return against the Bears in Week 4. Reaction from around the football world is starting to roll in.
- In the wake of the news, Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones opines that Winston should be cut. “The Bucs should send a message to the community that they do not accept, condone, nor tolerate this kind of conduct,” Jones writes. “Not from anybody, but especially not from the starting quarterback and the face of the franchise.”
- Tampa Bay recently picked up the fifth-year option on Winston’s contract, which will cost the team more than $20 million in guarantees in 2019. That allows the team to push back the timetable to negotiate some sort of long-term extension, should that be the route the team decides to pursue. Yahoo!’s Eric Adelson wonders if there’s any reason left for the team to show trust in Winston. If the team gets off to another slow start, the Buccaneers could be in line for a sweeping regime change that could leave Winston on the outside looking in when it comes to the long term.
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