Extra Points: Sanders, Bucs, Marijuana

In a string of tweets themed around Kevin Durant’s landmark defection to the Warriors, Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders addressed some of his own contract issues. The seventh-year wideout responded to a follower’s query about his status with the defending champions and professed his desire to stay in Denver (Twitter link) unless the Broncos determine they don’t want him after his contract year.

Sanders, who is set to count $6.6MM against Denver’s cap this season, observed the second-tier receiving market clear up before him after Allen Hurns, Keenan Allen and Doug Baldwin agreed to deals in June — each for between $10MM and $11.5MM per year. While the 29-year-old Sanders has shown superior production to those talents since coming to Colorado, he’s also nearly two years older than Baldwin and several years older than the former duo.

The former Steelers draft choice also attempted to clear up a matter from his past free agency foray. The Chiefs were reported to have struck a deal with Sanders in March of 2014 only to see the wideout then sign with their archrivals. Sanders tweeted the deal was indeed close to occurring, with incentives having loomed as a sticking point. He went on to record a 1,400-yard season in Peyton Manning‘s final productive year before following that up with an 1,100-yard slate in 2015 to vault him into position to possibly earn an eight-figure-AAV contract.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • The Buccaneers reuniting Mike Smith with Dirk Koetter is one of the reasons Tampa Bay fans should be excited about the season, Roy Cummings of Today’s Pigskin writes. Smith will be tailoring a more versatile scheme around the players’ strengths, Cummings writes, as the Bucs move away from Lovie Smith‘s preferred Tampa-2 scheme. Koetter worked as the Falcons’ OC under Smith from 2012-14. Smith spent last season out of football.
  • Former Broncos and Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer wrote TheMMQB.com’s Monday Morning Quarterback column published earlier today and outlined his push for the NFL to consider a form of medical marijuana to help players deal with pain. More specifically, Plummer is advocating for the league to get behind a compound derived from marijuana called Charlotte’s Web, a hemp extract high in CBD, which the former 10-year veteran describes as a “non-addictive, non-psychoactive naturally occurring in cannabis.”
  • Under the current CBA, such use of this compound would violate the league’s substance-abuse policy, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out. A move in this direction, also advocated by Eugene Monroe and Derrick Morgan, would require action on the NFLPA’s part. Unlike the year-round random PED testing, the NFL mandates a drug test at a point between April and August for players not in the league’s drug program. Florio points out that use of these products outside of this window provides a way for players not to fail tests, barring marijuana-related arrests. For a medicinal marijuana policy to emerge, Florio writes the owners may ask the union to make a trade at the bargaining table, given the sides’ acrimony on numerous issues.
  • The Giants insisting on keeping Ereck Flowers at left tackle has turned off some potential tackle options in free agency.
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