The NFL is reportedly wrapping up its investigation into Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, but franchise owner Jerry Jones stood behind Elliott when addressing the media earlier today, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. “I have reviewed everything and there is absolutely nothing – not one thing – that had anything to do with domestic violence,” Jones said. Last week, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported a “growing sense” that Elliott will face a league-imposed suspension. Elliott was never arrested or charged in the incident, but his accuser addressed her allegations in a statement today.
Here’s more from Dallas and the rest of the NFC East:
- Echoing statements he made earlier this year, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones reiterated his club’s desire to reach an extension with right guard Zack Martin, tweets Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “We’d love to get Zack Martin‘s [deal] done,” said Jones. “He’s an important part of our future…confident we’ll get something worked out.” The Cowboys plan to meet with Martin’s agent during training camp, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Dallas, which has already hammered out deals with left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick, controls Martin through 2018 via the fifth-year option. Martin, a 2016 All Pro, ranked as the second-best guard in the league a season ago, per Pro Football Focus.
- With B.J. Goodson entrenched as the club’s starting middle linebacker, the Giants are unlikely to re-sign Kelvin Sheppard, reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Sheppard, 29, started 11 games for New York last season, but was essentially a two-down player, as he saw action on only 40% of the team’s defensive snaps. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, and Devon Kennard figure to serve as Big Blue’s starting ‘backers, with Kenan Robinson and J.T. Thomas serving as relatively high-priced reserves.
- The Giants aren’t expected to reach an extension with guard Justin Pugh, as the fifth-year pro seemingly wants to reach the free agent market in 2018, as James Kratch of NJ.com writes. The upper echelon of the guard market has now hit the $12MM mark, and it’s possible Pugh could hit that barrier with another solid season. Pugh, a 55-game starter during his career, will earn $8.821MM next year, and Kratch believes the franchise tag (with a cost near $15MM) could be in play for 2018.
- Free agent addition Brian Quick isn’t likely to act as one of the Redskins‘ top four wideouts next season, meaning his roster spot could be in danger, details John Keim of ESPN.com. If Quick isn’t a contributor on offense, he’d need to be a factor on special teams, something he hasn’t been throughout his career. Washington inked Quick on a minimum salary benefit contract that contained just $80K in guarantees, so cutting him wouldn’t represent much of a fiscal loss.
Rory Parks contributed to this post.