Jay Cutler growing into a reality TV star is exactly what we needed to get us through the week, as we’re just days away from training camp’s first practice. In an attempt to bridge the gap between now and then, let’s kill some time by checking out what else is happening around the league.
- Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And if it were up to him, he would prolong his reign of terror into his 40s. Rodgers told NBC Sports’ Peter King that he wants to play until 40, citing all-time greats Tom Brady and Brett Favre who played at an elite level at an advanced age. “Steve Young’s career was cut short in his late thirties. John [Elway], the same-he didn’t really move the same as when he was younger. So to be able to move the same way at 38, 39, 40 would be cool,” Rodgers said. “That’s my aim.” Come on, guy. Don’t you have hobbies you’d like to attend to? Maybe beat out Tony Romo as a lead TV analyst? Possibly shoot some Wrangler commercials? You’ve inflicted enough pain on the NFC North. At some point, you should take a step back, enjoy your handiwork, and let someone else enjoy the limelight.
- While Rodgers sets his sights on playing in his 40s, Terrell Owens simply wants to play again. Somewhere. Anywhere. Seriously:
I asked player agent Jason Staroszik if T.O. Is serious about playing in the CFL. Here is what he said: “Absolutely 100 per cent. He still feels like he has some football years left in him. He just loves the game and wants to get back to playing whether it’s the CFL or NFL.”
— David William Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) July 17, 2018
- Not sure where T.O. fits on Jeremy Fowler’s All-Retirement Team, but I think this squad could probably hang with a lot of teams in the league. Heck, they would probably have put up a better fight than last year’s Browns.
- Speaking of receiver comebacks, we’ll be keeping an eye on what’s happening with Cameron Meredith as he returns from an ACL injury. Meredith told the Saints’ official website that his goal was to get back for training camp and doesn’t believe it should be a problem. “I haven’t had a setback along the recovery process. I’m gaining strength day by day, month by month,” Meredith said. “I’m excited to see how soon I can get back … But the main objective for me is to do as much as I can with the trainers to get ready for the season.”
- It sounds like Meredith and Allen Robinson are in the same boat. And while part of us wishes Meredith was recovering with the Bears and preparing to catch passes from Mitch Trubisky, we wish the local product all the best in New Orleans.
- If you were impressed with the kind of money Robinson and Sammy Watkins made as free agents last year, Brandin Cooks just raised the bar:
Rams have agreed to terms on a 5-year contract extension with WR Brandin Cooks, the team announced today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 17, 2018
- Even without Cooks, next year’s free agent receiver market figures to be a doozy. And while we hope the Bears aren’t needing another wideout, that class is certainly loaded and could see some more big paydays on the horizon.
- Elsewhere in Los Angeles, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that defensive tackle Aaron Donald has told folks he thinks he’ll get a new deal done with the Rams before training camp opens. After singing Cooks to a five-year deal, Donald is an obvious target for the Rams to keep in house.
- Sticking in the NFC West, Earl Thomas – the Seattle Seahawks star safety/last man standing from the Legion of Boom – has a simple request:
- The Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension, so Bell will (once again) play on the franchise tag. And because things played out as they did last year with no long-term agreement, Bell’s agent told SiriusXM NFL Radio that Bell will sit out camp and will report to the team before its first game – just as he did last year.
- Bell shared this statement after the deadline to get a contract extension passed:
to all my Steeler fans, my desire always has been to retire a Steeler…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 youu down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date…
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) July 16, 2018
- The feeling is that the Steelers want to pay Bell according to his position, while Bell wants more because he does more than your run-of-the-mill running back. To be fair to Bell, there isn’t a playmaker like him out of the backfield and there might not be a more valuable non-quarterback than him. Perhaps that’s why he reportedly turned down this rumored deal:
Mentioned yesterday the #Steelers final offer to RB Le’Veon Bell was 5 years, $70M. More context today: The fully guaranteed part was his signing bonus of just over $10M. He would’ve made $33M over the 1st two years — in a rolling guaranteed structure. $45M over the 1st 3 years.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2018
- NFL.com fantasy editor Marcas Grant offers up a handful of players who are going undrafted who could jump up and be studs out of the blue. Depending on what happens with perennial fantasy standout Le’Veon Bell, you might want to keep an eye on running backs such as Seattle’s Chris Carson and San Francisco’s Matt Breida.
- I like what the Alliance of American Football is doing to create its teams, using a geographic allocation system that sends players to teams close to where they played in college or the NFL. Fans old enough to remember the USFL might remember this concept, so it’s not a totally foreign idea. This could be something that drums up interest from fans who don’t have a professional allegiance but want to get into the game on another level. As someone who likes good competition, I hope this plan works.