Buffalo’s units head in different directions. The news was all positive on the offensive ball for the Bills last week, as wide receiver Sammy Watkins came off the PUP list while the club signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a unique six-year extension that can be worth $90MM. On defense, however, the roster is unraveling: first-round rookie Shaq Lawson is already expected to miss the start of the season, and now second-rounder Reggie Ragland is out for the year with a torn ACL. Lawson’s projected replacement, IK Enemkpali, suffered his own torn ACL last night and will now miss 2016, as well. To replace some of that production, Buffalo agreed to sign veteran linebackers Brandon Spikes (link) and David Hawthorne (link) last week.
The Eagles face an offensive line crisis. Right tackle Lane Johnson, perhaps Philadelphia’s best offensive lineman, is facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy, and though Johnson disputes the ban, he ultimately expects it to stick. The Eagles have internal replacement options in Dennis Kelly and Matt Tobin, but they’ve also placed a call to former Giants tackle Will Beatty, who’s been sitting on the free agent market since being released this spring. The Jaguars, meanwhile, are also interested in Beatty, and have in fact offered him a contract.
Trading season could begin shortly. Deals don’t come together in the NFL as often as they do in MLB, but we could still see some action between clubs as final cutdowns approach. The Eagles, for one, would like to acquire a linebacker, likely to act as depth inside behind starter Jordan Hicks and provide insurance against a Nigel Bradham suspension. The Jaguars, meanwhile, would like to trade from surplus, as they feel they have enough talent at tight end and along their defensive line to ship off some players in exchange for draft picks. Finally, a number of teams around the league appear to be making calls in the hopes of landing a reserve tight end.
The Browns clarify their QB depth chart. Head coach Hue Jackson named Robert Griffin III his starting quarterback, a move that was long expected but is now official. Given that Austin Davis just signed an extension last fall, and the fact that Cleveland invested a third-round pick in Cody Kessler, veteran signal-caller Josh McCown would look to be the odd man out. The Cowboys look to be an obvious suitor, but Cleveland reportedly wants a fourth-rounder in exchange for McCown, while Dallas is only willing to give up a sixth-round pick.
Joey Bosa still not in Chargers camp. At last check, San Diego had not spoken with Bosa and his camp since July 28, and the fear is that the relationship between the two sides is irreparably damaged, as the No. 3 overall pick feels disrespected by the club. The deadline for San Diego to trade Bosa has officially passed, but that doesn’t mean much for negotiations, which don’t appear to be nearing any sort of conclusion. The dispute between Bosa and the Chargers is over offset language and signing bonus payout, and unless one side unexpectedly blinks, the stalemate doesn’t appear close to ending.
Ladarius Green faces serious health concerns. The Steelers signed Green away from the Chargers to add an extra dimension to their passing game, but it’s looking as though he won’t contribute much — if at all — this season as he continues to deal with headaches that are thought to be related to his concussion history. Reports have even indicated that Green is contemplating retirement if the issue does not subside. And while Green’s well-being is the primary concern, there is also a financial component to the situation, as Pittsburgh could look to recoup some money from Green if it turns out he wasn’t forthcoming about his medical concerns.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.