NFC Notes: Gurley, Eli, Lions, Cowboys

Though most first-round picks sign deals containing full guarantees, we learned last week that Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley will only see the first two years of his contract fully guaranteed due to his knee injury, which is considered a non-football injury because it didn’t occur in the NFL. But an NFLPA source tells Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that despite the optics, this scenario is actually a win for Gurley, not the club.

“No player in the league, from [Peyton] Manning to Jadeveon Clowney] to Jameis Winston, has protection against getting cut [and not paid/and guarantees not honored] due to this type of situation,” the source told Volin. “The fact that Gurley’s agent got him two years protected for a non-football injury is better than every other player in the first round, and the league in general.”

More from the NFC:

  • Opining at a truly elite quarterback has never actually hit the open market since the inception of free agency, agent Tom Condon tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News that he’s confident his client Eli Manning will eventually work out an extension with the Giants. Manning will earn $17MM in base salary in 2015, the final year of his deal, and while New York could opt to use the franchise tag on him (at a cost of more than $20MM), but Condon seems sure that an agreement can be reached.
  • Responding to reader’s question in this week’s mailbag, Michael Rothstein of writes that the Lions could be on the lookout for a blocking tight end as the regular season approaches. As the questioner points out, most starter Eric Ebron‘s backups are also pass-catching types, so the club want a replacement for Kellen Davis, who played the inline role in 2015. There will be free agent options as roster cutdowns occur (as Rothstein notes), but the Lions could take a look at ex-Bengal Jermaine Gresham, who I recently ranked as the third-best FA left on the market.
  • News of the weird: the Cowboys, Giants, and Patriots will be contacted by the FAA in relation to their use of drones at practices, according to Bloomberg Business. The FAA does allow for the private use of such technology, but the user must agree to certain safety stipulations. None of the clubs had requested such clearance, per the report.
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