5 Key NFL Stories: 4/14/19 – 4/21/19

Seahawks extend Russell Wilson. As former NFL executive Andrew Brandt likes to say, deadlines spur action. Wilson laid out an April 15 deadline for extension negotiations, and may have indicated he wouldn’t sign any new deal — not in 2019, not next year, never — with the Seahawks had that date passed. The tactic worked, as Wilson and Seattle agreed to a four-year, $140MM extension that makes the veteran signal-caller the highest-paid player in NFL history. Wilson received a full no-trade clause and an NFL-record $65MM signing bonus.

Latest on Frank Clark. Wilson will be in Seattle for the foreseeable future, but the same might not be able to said for Clark, whom the Seahawks assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Trade rumors have swirled around Clark for weeks, but they’ve recently become more pronounced. Several teams are reportedly interested in Clark, and while Seattle may consider trading him, general manager John Schneider & Co. want a first-round pick in exchange. Clark’s fate is expected to be resolved by or during the draft.

Patriots add Demaryius Thomas. Lacking in offensive weapons given the departures of Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and Cordarrelle Patterson, plus the uncertain status of Josh Gordon, New England added the veteran Thomas on a one-year deal. It’s an exceptionally risk-averse contract, as most of Thomas’ potential earnings are tied up in per-game roster bonuses and incentives. The Patriots reportedly pursued Thomas at the trade deadline, but he was instead shipped from the Broncos to the Texans. The 31-year-old Thomas is recovering from an Achilles tear but is hoping to be available for training camp.

Draft rumors heat up. We’ve made it! The draft gets underway on Thursday night, and news/speculation is coming in rapidly. The Giants may be zeroing in on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, while the Bengals could also consider taking a signal-caller in the first round. Meanwhile, the Raiders might be in line to take Kyler Murray if the Cardinals pass. And Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat is now off some NFL teams’ draft boards following the revelation of a heart condition.

Zach Miller announces retirement. Miller, of course, suffered a devastating knee injury during the 2017 season, and doctors at one point told him he was at risk for losing his leg after he severely dislocated his left knee and tore his popliteal artery. The 34-year-old has undergone nine surgeries and, as of earlier this year, hadn’t ruled out an NFL return. But he’s now decided to hang up his cleats, and PFR wishes Miller the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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