The headlines from the past week at PFR:
The franchise tag deadline spurs action. 3pm CT came and went on Friday with three more franchise players agreeing to extensions with their respective clubs. Broncos linebacker Von Miller was first, inking a six-year, $114.5MM deal that made him the highest-paid defender in the NFL. Kicker Justin Tucker was next, signing a four-year, $16.8MM pact with the Ravens after some acrimony. And at the eleventh hour, Muhammad Wilkerson shocked the league by agreeing to a five-year, $86MM accord with the Jets. Meanwhile, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, and Redskins Kirk Cousins all failed to reach extensions with their respective clubs.
Deflategate is finally over…probably. The NFL’s long national nightmare is over, as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced that he would no longer fight his four-game suspension that resulted from the Defaltegate controversy. Brady had considered taking his appeal to the Supreme Court, but will instead accept a ban that will cause him to miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills, leaving Jimmy Garoppolo in the starting role for the first month of the season. The NFLPA, however, might not be ready to give up Brady’s cause.
Extensions continue to roll in. We are squarely in the midst of extension season, and two players agreed to long-term pacts this week. Just months after being waived by the Redskins, cornerback David Amerson is now a highly-paid starting corner, inking a four-year, $38MM extension with the Raiders. It’s quite the turnaround for Amerson, who turned into a reliable option once he arrived in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, Giants punter Brad Wing also signed on the dotted line of a three-year, $6.45MM pact which contains $3.725MM in guarantees (No. 7 among punters).
Suspensions affect 2016 plans. Amidst the franchise tag news on Friday, the NFL also announced two substance abuse-related suspensions, banning 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch (link) and Bills running back Karlos Williams (link) for four games apiece. Perhaps the best edge rusher on San Francisco’s roster, Lynch might have to wait on scoring a long-term extension until the club deems him reliable. Williams, meanwhile, had already shown up to camp overweight, and will only add to Buffalo’s running back problems, as rookie Jonathan Williams was recently arrested for DUI.
Isaiah Crowell posts a disturbing image. The Browns have no plans to waive Crowell after the running back made an Instagram post depicting a police offer being stabbed in the neck by a hooded man, but the club and the public have expressed disappointment with the third-year back. Crowell quickly deleted the post, and has since made public apologies to both the Cleveland and Dallas police departments. In addition, Crowell will donate his Week 1 game check to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.
The supplemental draft ends quickly. The 2016 supplemental draft didn’t see a single player chosen, as every NFL club passed on its chance to draft one of seven eligible players. Before the Rams picked offensive tackle Isaiah Battle in 2015, three years had gone by without a player being selected, so a quiet supplemental draft isn’t exactly without precedent. However, two players who were involved in the draft did find landing spots relatively soon, as defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard signed with the Texans and wide receiver Rashaun Simonise agreed to terms with the Bengals.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.