Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey Calls Out Sick, Still Wants Trade

If you’re playing hookie from work today, you’re not alone. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey says he will not practice today, or perhaps anytime this week, due to having the flu, Adam Schefter of tweets. The Pro Bowler, he hears, still wants a trade, though the Jaguars still want to keep him. 

Things seemed to be trending in a positive direction late last week – Jags owner Shad Khan reportedly is willing to make Ramsey the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL and the team has made an effort to smooth things over with the soon-to-be 25-year-old. However, things haven’t changed on the other side of the table. Ramsey still wants to be elsewhere, even after helping his team to a Thursday night win over the Jaguars.

The Chiefs, some say, will make a strong push for Ramsey. They won’t be alone – nearly every team in the league wants to acquire the superstar defender.

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Extra Points: Newton, Barkley, Edelman

The Panthers’ season got off to a disastrous start, as the team limped out to an 0-2 record and Cam Newton re-injured himself. It looked like they were quickly circling the drain, and then Kyle Allen happened. Allen was nearly perfect starting in place of Newton, averaging ten yards per attempt and tossing four touchdowns while leading Carolina to a road win over Arizona. Allen’s performance was so strong, that it sparked some talk of a potential quarterback controversy.

Speaking after the game Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said the starting job is still Newton’s when he’s healthy but that right now they’re “rolling” with Allen, per Joseph Person of The Athletic (Twitter link). Newton won’t be getting benched, but Rivera’s comments don’t exactly inspire confidence that he’ll be back soon. Newton aggravated a foot injury he suffered during the preseason, and his throwing shoulder which he underwent surgery on this offseason hasn’t looked 100 percent either. It’ll be very interesting too see what happens next, but with Allen’s emergence it appears Carolina’s quarterback situation isn’t as dire as it originally seemed.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We’ve heard that Giants running back Saquon Barkley has suffered a high ankle sprain and is going to miss some time, and now we have Barkley’s thoughts on his injury. “I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said, via Matt Lombardo of “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible.” Barkley told Jordan Ranaan of that he had a high ankle sprain his freshman year at Penn State, and that he only missed two games with that injury (Twitter link). Right now two missed games would probably be a best-case scenario.
  • Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was knocked out of New England’s win over the Jets with a rib injury, but fortunately it doesn’t seem too serious. X-Rays on his ribs were negative, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that it’s an “early positive sign,” which would seem to suggest he isn’t completely out of the woods yet. In the wake of Antonio Brown‘s release, the Patriots’ receiving corp would suddenly go from loaded to a bit thin if Edelman has to miss any time.
  • In case you missed it, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed‘s career is in doubt.

Three Teams Were Interested In Antonio Brown

In Antonio Brown‘s latest outburst earlier this morning, he declared that he was done playing in the NFL. He also fired off several other bizarre tweets, lashing out at Robert Kraft and Ben Roethlisberger

Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus had said just yesterday that a few teams were interested in his client, and now we have a little more clarity on that. Three teams were probing around the controversial receiver, a source told Mike Florio of Obviously, Brown’s Twitter tirade complicates things, and it’s probably unlikely that all three of those teams are still interested. Notably, Brown has deleted most of his tweets from earlier this morning, although you can still read them at our original post here.

Despite his public proclamations, Florio writes that “it’s believed that Brown eventually will want to return to the NFL,” which is hardly surprising. Brown’s latest antics surely aren’t going to help him find a job, and it’s looking more and more likely that we won’t see Brown on the field again in 2019. If any team does eventually decide to sign him, it’ll certainly be a low-risk prove-it deal that doesn’t guarantee Brown much, if anything at all.


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Saquon Barkley To Miss Time

Things could be worse, but Saquon Barkley is definitely dealing with a significant injury. NFL fans everywhere were holding their breath when Barkley limped to the sidelines, and now we have an update.

Barkley suffered a sprained ankle, sources told Jordan Raanan of (Twitter link). Fortunately Raanan reports that nothing is broken. That being said, he does write that “expectation is that he will miss some time.” Barkley’s ankle got rolled up on by a Buccaneers defender, and it looked like it could’ve been worse at first. He left the game wearing a walking boot, so presumably it’s a high ankle sprain.

The Giants’ offense runs through Barkley, so obviously it’s a massive loss for however long he’s out. New York picked up a thrilling win on Sunday in the first game of the Daniel Jones era. Jones impressed in his first career start, but he’ll now be without his best weapon for at least a little while.

The Giants drafted Barkley second overall last April, and he’s been electrifying the league ever since. The Penn State product averaged five yards per carry last season and also caught 91 passes for 721 yards. There’s a lot of optimism around this Giants team due to Jones’ emergence, but the Barkley injury certainly puts a damper on things. Adam Schefter of soon followed up with a tweet confirming it’s a high ankle sprain, and that Barkley will undergo an MRI on Monday.

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Keanu Neal Tears Achilles

For the second straight season, Falcons safety Keanu Neal‘s season has ended with a devastating injury. Neal is believed to have torn his Achilles during the team’s loss to the Colts earlier today, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Obviously, his year is over. Rapoport writes that Neal will have surgery this week, and “should be good to go well before the 2020 season.” In Week 1 of last year Neal tore his ACL, and this latest injury was to the same leg. Atlanta picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason, keeping him under team control through 2020. The good news for him is that option year was fully guaranteed for injury at around $6.7MM and assuming he can’t pass a physical on the first day of the new league year, he’ll get that cash no matter what.

Neal has been a good player when healthy, but he’ll now have missed 28 games over the past two seasons. It’s a tough blow for a Falcons defense that already hasn’t looked great this year and was one of the most injured units in the league last year. Atlanta drafted the Florida product in the first-round back in 2016.

He started all 16 games in 2017, racking up 113 tackles, six passes defended, and an interception. The Falcons’ secondary got diced up by Jacoby Brissett on Sunday, and now they’ll be without one of its key cogs moving forward. They currently sit at 1-2 and will host the Titans in Week 4.

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AFC Notes: Mariota, Moncrief, Colvin, Garrett

After an ugly loss to the Jaguars this past Thursday, Mike Vrabel said that the Titans are not considering a quarterback change at this time.

Marcus Mariota, who has been struggling this season, may have cleared 300 yards against the Jaguars, but his performance was underwhelming for the majority of the game. On the season, Mariota is averaging career-low marks in completion rate (61%) and QBR (38) despite being surrounded with arguably the most talented supporting cast of his career.

In fairness to the ex-Oregon star, Mariota has been sacked more times than anyone in league history through the first three weeks of the season. Still, the Titans offense has been dreadful, having scored just seven points in their last 79 minutes of play dating back to Week 2 against the Colts.

Ryan Tannehill, who was traded to the Titans this past spring, figures to get a chance under center sooner rather than later if Mariota continues to struggle.

Heres more from the AFC:

  • The Steelers started the season with high hopes for new receiver Donte Moncrief, but after he dropped five passes in the first two games, Mike Tomlin is benching him for Sunday afternoon’s Week 3 game against the 49ers. Moncrief signed a two-year, $9MM deal with the Steelers back in March. Moncrief’s absence likely means an increased role for second-year wide receiver James Washington.
  • The Texans will carry less dead money against their salary cap because Aaron Colvin signed with Washington after his $34MM contract was terminated by the organization. Colvin signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with Washington at an $805k rate. Because his contract contained offset language, Colvin is now due $6.742MM from the Texans, less than his guaranteed $7.5MM base salary for the season. Colvin, cut for performance issues after a rocky first season last year and a tough start to this year, has a $2MM cap charge in 2020 for the pro-rated portion of his $4MM signing bonus.
  • The NFL fined Myles Garrett $21,056k for each of his two roughing the passer penalties on Monday night in the Browns‘ victory against the Jets. The second penalty injured Trevor Siemian’s ankle, which ultimately ended his season“You do not want to put anybody out for the season,” Garrett said following the win. “That is their job. That is something that you do not do unless you love it, and you do not want to take that away from anybody. I hope [Siemian] comes back faster and stronger than he ever has. I wish the best for him.” Garrett was also fined $10,527k in Week 1 for hitting Delanie Walker in the face mask.

Latest On Cam Newton

Despite reports that Cam Newton could miss several games as the Panthers try to avoid aggravating his foot sprain, there is a chance the former MVP could practice on Wednesday, paving the way for him to play next week against the Texans, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Newton has been dealing with a foot issue since the preseason and aggravated it in last week’s ugly loss to Tampa Bay. After two games, it is clear that Newton is well below 100% strength, as he has yet to score a touchdown, via the air or ground, and completed only 49% of his passes last week, with 34% of his passes being deemed “uncatchable”.

It would be wise for the Panthers coaching staff to wait until Newton is fully healed before having him return to the field and risk a re-injury to his foot.

In the interim, Kyle Allen will start for the Panthers for the foreseeable future, beginning with today’s matchup with the Cardinals. In his lone career start last year, a win against the Saints, Allen played well, completing 16 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Giants Tried To Trade Up For DE Josh Allen

Giants GM Dave Gettleman‘s oft-scrutinized decision to select Duke QB Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft is about to be put to the test, as Jones will make his first career start when Big Blue takes on the Buccaneers this afternoon. Although Jones’ performance in camp and the preseason helped to quiet the criticism a bit, it’s probably not an overstatement to say that Gettleman’s career with the Giants is riding on Jones’ right arm.

Many pundits expected the Giants to select Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen with the No. 6 pick, and when Gettleman went with Jones, the Jaguars scooped Allen up one pick later. Several days after the draft, Gettleman described the decision to bypass Allen as “agonizing.” He said, “I agonized over that. I agonized. Before the draft, we discussed that thoroughly as a group — first last Friday, then again Wednesday. Obviously we had great regard for Josh Allen. But the one thing I have learned is you don’t fool around with a quarterback. If he’s your guy, you take him.”

In fact, Gettleman was so enamored with Allen that he tried to trade back up with the Jaguars to get him, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports (video link). The Giants were also armed with the No. 17 overall pick, so they may have had enough ammo to pull off such a deal, but Jacksonville wasn’t interested in passing up a talent like Allen.

Gettleman indicated post-draft that he knew of at least two teams that would have taken Jones before New York was back on the clock with the No. 17 selection, and Rapoport confirms that was the case (Twitter link). We heard earlier that the Giants also tried to trade up with Denver for the No. 10 overall selection, but they ultimately held onto the No. 17 pick and drafted DT Dexter Lawrence. Gettleman finally achieved a trade-up when he dealt pick nos. 37, 132, and 142 to Seattle in exchange for the No. 30 pick, which he used to draft CB Deandre Baker.

If Jones becomes a franchise signal-caller, this will all become little more than an interesting footnote. Allen, though, is living up to the hype thus far, having posted two sacks and seven pressures in the first two games of his career.

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Jordan Reed’s Career In Doubt

Redskins tight end Jordan Reed has tremendous talent, but he can never seem to stay healthy. The one-time Pro Bowler has not played a snap in 2019 due to a concussion, and he has already been ruled out of Washington’s Week 3 contest against the Bears.

And as Adam Schefter of reports, Reed’s career is very much in jeopardy. The 29-year-old has suffered numerous concussions throughout his career, and while it’s difficult to determine the exact number, his long-term health is obviously cause for concern.

For his part, Reed would like to continue playing, but it’s possible that he will not be cleared to do so. As Schefter writes, the more time that passes without Reed coming back, the less likely it is he returns.

Reed is under contract through 2021 thanks to a five-year, $46.75MM extension he signed in May 2016. That came on the heels of a 2015 campaign in which the Florida product came just shy of posting 1,000 receiving yards and scored 11 touchdowns. His numbers were not quite as breathtaking in 2016 (66 catches for 686 yards and six TDs), but he did make his only Pro Bowl that year.

Reed suffered his latest concussion during the Redskins’ third preseason game in August.

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Ben Roethlisberger Expected To Make Full Recovery

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has vowed to return to the field, and to that end, the two-time Super Bowl champ will undergo his season-ending elbow surgery this week, as Adam Schefter of reports.

Luckily for Roethlisberger, he will not require Tommy John surgery, so Schefter’s sources say there is no concern about the signal-caller’s availability for 2020. “There is complete optimism that he will be ready to roll next season,” one source said. “No one is concerned that next year is going to be a problem.”

Although Schefter says the exact nature of Roethlisberger’s elbow injury remains unclear, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the procedure will repair a muscle tear and does not involve any ligaments or tendons (which is in keeping with the report that TJ surgery is not required). JLC adds Big Ben’s recovery plan will include throwing in the spring.

In the meantime, Pittsburgh is not throwing in the towel on the 2019 campaign, as evidenced by the team’s trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier this week. The club has expressed full confidence in second-year QB Mason Rudolph, and both La Canfora (in a separate piece) and Schefter remind us that the Steelers were so enamored with Rudolph — and so convinced that the division-rival Bengals were locked in on him — that they leapfrogged Cincinnati in the third round of the 2018 draft to select him. At the time, then-Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said he felt as though the Steelers had bugged the Bengals’ war room.

In fact, Ian Rapoport of tweets that the Steelers had a first-round grade on Rudolph, which is why they believe they can remain competitive this season.

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