Concern is growing at the scouting combine regarding injured Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, who is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL he suffered in January. Multiple NFL teams have failed Smith at the physical, while three have already declared they won’t draft him, according to Jeff Legwold and Adam Schefter of ESPN. This comes on the heels of a Friday report stating that Smith might miss all of next season.
Prior to his injury, the expectation was that Smith would be an early first-round pick, but some clubs now believe he’ll be a Day 3 selection, per Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Smith took out an insurance policy on himself last summer, so he’ll collect a tax-free $700k if he doesn’t go in the first round and another $100k with each missed pick thereafter, tweets ESPN’s Darren Rovell. Thanks to his insurance policy, Smith could make as much as $5MM if his draft stock plummets, per Rovell.
And now for some notes on QBs:
- The fact that Colin Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco leaves the 49ers with little to no leverage in trade talks, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Potential Kaepernick suitors could now be inclined to wait until a possible release by April 1, when his $12MM salary becomes guaranteed, rather than give anything up for him. If cut, Kaepernick would likely make less per year on his next deal, but his desire to get away from the 49ers outranks his motivation to cash in, per Barrows.
- The Ravens and Joe Flacco‘s agent, Joe Linta, have made “significant progress” in their talks to rework the quarterback’s contract and are expected to have further discussions Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports (link via Jamison Hemsley of ESPN.com).
- North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz has been the most impressive signal-caller at the combine, three NFL head coaches told Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole (Twitter link).