Month: June 2024

Cowboys Aiming To Finalize Dak Prescott Extension Before CeeDee Lamb?

With minicamp now in the books, the period leading up to Cowboys’ training camp will be dominated by progress on extension talks for Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons. The latter is under contract for two more years, so he is not as pressing of a financial priority this summer.

Prescott has firmly remained in Dallas’ plans beyond the 2024 campaign, one in which he is set to carry a cap hit of $55.13MM. With no-tag and no-trade clauses in his deal, last season’s MVP runner-up has plenty of leverage in a potential bid to reach the top of the quarterback market. A report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler earlier this month indicated the Cowboys are set to make a “strong offer” to keep Prescott in the fold.

To little surprise, that has placed the 30-year-old at the top of the pecking order in terms of lucrative Dallas extensions. Fowler noted in a recent SportsCenter appearance that the Cowboys want to work out the Prescott accord before those of Lamb and Parsons (video link). Such an approach would come as little surprise, considering the respective cap situations of the three players and the nature of the quarterback (as opposed to receiver and edge rush) markets.

Prescott is a candidate to set a new standard in terms of annual average compensation on his next deal; both Joe Burrow (Bengals) and Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) are currently at $55MM in that regard. The former fourth-rounder has publicly stated that his latest round of negotiations will not be as centered on finances as the last one, and the extent to which that holds true will be a key factor in this process. As Fowler confirms, the Cowboys have not yet aggressively engaged in extension talks with Prescott.

If that continues for the time being, Lamb will be left to wait for serious negotiations of his own. The three-time Pro Bowler did not take part in OTAs or mandatory minicamp as he continues to seek out an extension. Lamb has seen Justin Jefferson reset the top of the receiver market with his $35MM-per-year Vikings pact, and his own value could be similar. Given the surge in lucrative receiver pacts signed by other top producers at the position recently, Lamb will have significant leverage after any potential Prescott deal is hammered out.

Of course, new agreements for either member of that pair will have to be made with Parsons in mind as well. Under contract in 2025 via his fifth-year option, Parsons is aiming to usurp Jefferson as the league’s top paid non-quarterback. The resources Dallas has available to meet that goal (likely next offseason) will largely depend on the progress made with Prescott and Lamb – in that order – during the near future.

49ers, WR Brandon Aiyuk At Standstill

Now in the NFL’s quiet period between minicamp and training camp, a few wide receiver situations move toward center stage. The Cowboys have not extended CeeDee Lamb, while Tee Higgins is the last remaining player on a franchise tag. The Broncos and Courtland Sutton have not reached a resolution, and the Browns are working on resolving their Amari Cooper situation.

While our most recent Trade Rumors Front Office piece touched on the complications the Cowboys’ situation could bring for a Lamb deal, the 49ers have interesting terrain to navigate as well. They want Brandon Aiyuk around beyond 2024, but as of now, they are not readying to pay the new market rate at this position.

[RELATED: 49ers Sought Mid-First-Round Pick For Aiyuk]

San Francisco and Aiyuk have seen negotiations stall, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said during a SportsCenter appearance. The 49ers’ desire to extend Aiyuk has not prompted them to go toward the places this new market is covering, Fowler adds. It is not known how far apart team and player are here, but Aiyuk did not attend minicamp and has now lobbed a salvo at club management.

During a video call with ex-Arizona State teammate Jayden Daniels, Aiyuk said (via the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman) the 49ers “They said they don’t want me back, I swear.” This certainly runs counter to the messaging coming out of San Francisco this offseason, and The Athletic’s David Lombardi notes (subscription required) this can be interpreted as the team not wanting Aiyuk back at the price he is seeking. Social media-driven actions — scrubbing team content from pages, Deebo Samuel sharing 49ers negotiating details, Von Miller cropping John Elway out of a White House lawn photo — have been increasingly common for players in contract squabbles. They largely prove as footnotes in the grand scheme, however.

Aiyuk is tied to a manageable fifth-year option salary ($14.12MM). The 49ers do not have to act this year, though the cost may well rise the longer the team waits. The ebbs and flows of this negotiation, numbers-wise, are not known. But it is fair to believe Aiyuk’s asking price has risen since the run of WR deals came to pass this offseason. An extension north of Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s four-year, $120.01MM Lions extension came up from Aiyuk’s camp. As it stands, the 49ers do not appear to want this negotiation to end there.

Aiyuk, 26, may make more sense as a long-term investment compared to Samuel. Aiyuk-over-Samuel — on a team payroll that should eventually include a Brock Purdy extension — rumors have circulated to the point the older wideout has addressed his future in San Francisco. Samuel, 28, is signed through the 2025 season — at $23.9MM per year. The market is rising once again, and three players now earn more than $30MM per year. Aiyuk has never made a Pro Bowl, however, separating him from the tier Lamb likely will end up on once his negotiations wrap.

Among 49ers, only Jerry Rice has accumulated more receiving yards through four seasons than Aiyuk’s 3,931. The NFL, of course, has shifted toward a pass-heavy league in the years since Rice’s otherworldly prime. Terrell Owens did not become an immediate starter as a rookie, and Samuel missed 15 games over his first four seasons. Samuel, though, also packed in a first-team All-Pro season (2021) during his first four seasons. An Aiyuk extension in the $30MM-AAV range, while in step with the new market, may cause an issue for San Francisco’s versatile weapon. That 49ers-centric stat also may not paint the full picture; among active wideouts, Aiyuk’s yardage through four seasons ranks 14th.

The 49ers can retain Aiyuk on the franchise tag in 2025, though the team is currently projected to be $37MM-plus over next year’s salary cap. This is with Purdy on his seventh-round contract and both Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir unsigned. Aiyuk can potentially use San Francisco’s cap situation in his negotiations, though it would not be out of the question for the 49ers to find a way to tag him next year.

Like the Bengals, the 49ers attempting to make this WR setup work for one more year points to Aiyuk remaining with the team. First-round pick Ricky Pearsall looms as a potential successor for Samuel or Aiyuk. As this interesting round of negotiations persists, training camp will be the next step.

Since Aiyuk is on a rookie contract, the 49ers can waive his $50K-per-day fines — as they did for Nick Bosa once he signed — for holding out of training camp. The team reached an extension with Samuel, who staged a hold-in, days into its 2022 camp. With more than a month left until Aiyuk is required to report, it will be interesting to see which side budges here.

Bengals Unlikely To Use Franchise Tag On Tee Higgins In 2025?

Fans who appreciate the value wide receivers provide will be in for a treat during the weeks leading up to training camp, as numerous high-profile wideouts are engaged in contract situations. The Bengals technically have a deadline prior to camp, but nothing this offseason has pointed to it being especially consequential.

Tee Higgins is widely expected to play this season on the franchise tag. He and the Bengals have not negotiated in more than a year, and an offer south of $20MM per year came from the team during those 2023 talks. Although Jessie Bates refrained from signing his tender until barely two weeks remained until Week 1, Higgins took the step to lock in his $21.82MM salary early. As a result, Higgins will be contractually required to attend camp.

This may represent a positive step for the parties’ relationship, but the prospect of it concluding after five seasons remains squarely on the radar. The Bengals letting Higgins play on the tag this year will give them the option to restart negotiations after the season. It will also open the door to a second tag in 2025. That would cost $26.2MM to apply, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler refers to a re-tag scenario as unlikely to transpire.

Citing a second tag’s cost and the team’s plans for a Ja’Marr Chase extension, Fowler points to a path for Higgins to play out his tag year and reach free agency. Additionally, Fowler notes talks between the parties have been “all but nonexistent” as of late.

The rental route is how the Bengals proceeded with Bates, who shares an agent with Higgins. Bates departed in free agency after receiving a below-market Bengals offer at the July 2022 tag deadline, ultimately scoring by far the biggest deal (four years, $64MM) among free agent safeties 2023. Considering the value gap between wide receivers and safeties, the Bengals receiving nothing for Higgins — beyond a potential 2026 compensatory pick — would sting. But the team does have a monster Chase payment — in all likelihood — to make. Joe Burrow‘s cap number also rises considerably next year, increasing from $29.6MM to $46.3MM.

Only one wide receiver over the past decade has been tagged twice. The Buccaneers cuffed Chris Godwin in 2021 and again in ’22; the parties reached an extension days after the second tag. On the whole, 10 players have been tagged twice since 2014. Godwin, Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Justin Simmons, Brandon Scherff, Leonard Williams, Cam Robinson represent that club. This group collectively went 6-4 in signing extensions with the team that tagged them. Cousins, Bell, Johnson and Scherff departed in free agency.

The Bengals’ history with the franchise tag illustrates they are fine letting a player move on after a rental season. The team has not extended a tag recipient since Mike Nugent in 2013, with Rudi Johnson (2005) and Carl Pickens (1999) the only other players the Bengals have extended after tagging them. The organization has completed one tag-and-trade move — DT Dan Wilkinson in 1998 — though this would seemingly be an avenue to recoup some value for Higgins.

Even with Burrow’s 2025 cap number and Chase’s fifth-year option figure ($21.82MM) accounted for, the Bengals are projected to carry more than $43MM in cap space in 2025. That number will certainly fluctuate over the next several months, but the team could have the option of tagging Higgins. As for the fifth-year wideout, he can elevate his value with a bounce-back season.

Higgins’ 2023 slate featured his own injury trouble and then Burrow’s, ending with a career-low 656 yards. As WR salaries boom, a number of other matters — those involving CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill, Brandon Aiyuk and Amari Cooper — stand to affect the market’s upper reaches. A third 1,000-yard season would put Higgins in strong position come 2025, and the Bengals would face some pressure regarding a second tag.

For now, Cincinnati joins San Francisco in gearing up for another season with its longtime wide receiver duo in the fold. Having reached Super Bowl LVI and pushed the Chiefs to the brink in the ensuing AFC championship game, the Bengals will hope Burrow’s return can reignite their championship quest. Although Higgins may well be a rental and Chase the core piece, the team’s WR2 represents a central component to Cincy’s title hopes this year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/17/24

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: WR Devron Harper

New England Patriots

  • Waived: G Ryan Johnson

Both Harper and Johnson were among this year’s collection of UDFAs. The Vikings guaranteed Harper $15K, according to Cardinals Wire’s Howard Balzer. Johnson, who played collegiately at Youngstown State, was not part of the Patriots’ initial UDFA haul. He signed with the team last month. Harper was one of two Mercer wideouts the Vikings signed after the draft. The other — Ty James — remains on Minnesota’s 90-man offseason roster.

Chargers Sign Round 2 WR Ladd McConkey, Wrap Draft Class

Make that nine unsigned draft picks as of June 17. A year after 14 second-rounders entered July unsigned, the 2024 draft class has now seen every Round 2 choice agree to terms by mid-June.

The Chargers are the last team to cross the finish line here, but’s Ian Rapoport tweets they now have second-round wide receiver Ladd McConkey signed to his four-year rookie deal. As the No. 34 overall pick, McConkey will see most of his rookie contract guaranteed.

A near-$1MM gap between the Year 4 salary guarantees for the Nos. 33 and 35 overall picks (Bills WR Keon Coleman, Falcons DL Ruke Orhorhoro) undoubtedly created a natural drag in Chargers-McConkey talks. But the Georgia alum is locked in and landed more guarantees than Will Levis did after he became the second choice in last year’s second round. The Titans guaranteed Levis $8.7MM of Levis’ $9.5MM rookie deal; Rapoport adds McConkey will better that.

Even factoring in the QB premium Levis received, this year’s batch of second-rounders making notable guarantee strides pointed to McConkey bettering Levis’ contract. The salary cap’s $30.6MM jump is raising all boats, though second-rounders have continued to make progress here. In addition to three guaranteed years, Coleman’s Bills contract includes $1.74MM of his $2.1MM 2027 base salary. Coleman’s guarantee percentage betters that of Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, whom the Buccaneers chose to close out the 2021 first round. McConkey probably will not be far behind here.

While McConkey’s contract will provide him key security and help the players chosen near the top of the 2025 second round, he steps in at an interesting point on the Chargers’ timeline. The team’s Jim Harbaugh hire preceded a Mike Williams release and a Keenan Allen trade to the Bears. McConkey will join Josh Palmer, DJ Chark and 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston as the top Justin Herbert targets — in what is expected to be a run-heavier offense compared to recent years.

The Chargers traded up (via the Patriots) for McConkey, moving up three spots for the national championship-winning WR. A shifty slot player, McConkey showed notable improvement from 2021 to ’22. In the latter campaign, he posted 762 yards and seven touchdowns on 58 receptions. Back and ankle injuries limited McConkey in 2023 — a season that also saw Georgia lose Brock Bowers for a stretch — but he still averaged a career-best 15.9 yards per catch. Checking in at 6-foot, 186 pounds at the Combine, McConkey improved his draft stock by blazing to a 4.39-second 40-yard dash.

Allen’s crafty route running aided Herbert’s quick NFL ascent, with Williams providing contributions — particularly in 2021 — as a downfield option. The Bolts, who now employ run-oriented OC Greg Roman, now have McConkey signed through 2027. After Johnston struggled as a rookie, the team will hope McConkey can make a quicker assimilation to help Herbert in Harbaugh’s first season back in the pros.

Finishing off this year’s second-round signings, the Chargers have completed their draft class deals. Here is how Harbaugh’s first Los Angeles class looks:

Isaiah Rodgers In Mix To Start For Eagles; Team Considering James Bradberry Move To Safety

The Eagles decided to let both their Super Bowl LVII safety starters walk in free agency last year. That decision created issues for a defense that cratered down the stretch. A year later, Philadelphia’s secondary appears much deeper.

Part of the reason the Eagles can feel more comfortable about their DB contingent comes from a roster-stash move they made last summer. As teams were considering which players they would cut as the deadline to move down to 53 loomed in late August, the Eagles quietly added Isaiah Rodgers, a young kick returner who worked as a Colts CB starter in 2022. Of course, Rodgers was sidelined throughout last season due to a gambling ban that stemmed from extensive violations of the NFL’s policy. A year later, Rodgers may come out in better position.

Although the former sixth-round pick missed his age-25 season, he has a clear path to a rebound window ahead of what may well be a more notable free agency stay in 2025. Rodgers has been “a revelation” this offseason, per’s Albert Breer, and The Athletic’s Brooks Kubena notes the Eagles gave the three-year Colt a significant number of first-team reps during minicamp (subscription required). Despite the Eagles still rostering Darius Slay and James Bradberry and the team having re-signed Avonte Maddox not long after making him a cap casualty, it has bolstered its CB group with a host of younger talents.

Rodgers started nine games with the Colts in 2022, playing opposite Stephon Gilmore, and made an impression in part-time duty. Pro Football Focus ranked Rodgers as the NFL’s fifth-best cornerback that year. This assessment came on just 283 defensive snaps, but the 170-pound defender recovered four fumbles that year and also intercepted three passes in 2021. Training camp figures to be pivotal for Rodgers, who saw the Eagles devote the most important part of their draft to the cornerback position.

Philly drafted Quinyon Mitchell in Round 1 and Cooper DeJean in Round 2. DeJean is viewed as a corner/safety hybrid at this juncture, Breer adds, but Mitchell certainly will be treated as a hopeful long-term starter at corner. The Eagles also gave plenty of first-team reps to 2023 fourth-round pick Kelee Ringo during minicamp, Kubena adds. Ringo logged 199 defensive snaps last season, which still featured the Slay-Bradberry tandem as the CB group’s leaders.

Slay is going into his age-33 season, and his three-year, $39MM deal does not feature any 2025 guarantees. Bradberry re-signed on a three-year, $38MM pact in 2023 but could not follow up his strong ’22 campaign with impressive work last season. PFF rated Bradberry 100th at the position in 2023. The Eagles have made an effort to begin cross-training Bradberry at safety, and Breer adds the team is toying with moving the ninth-year vet to a back-line spot on a full-time basis. No guarantees remain on Bradberry’s deal post-2024.

As a few Hall of Famers have shown, corner-to-safety moves are not too uncommon. This one would come ahead of Bradberry’s age-31 season. The Eagles brought back C.J. Gardner-Johnson after his year in Detroit and still roster 2023 starter Reed Blankenship. Sydney Brown, a 2023 third-rounder, is rehabbing an ACL tear sustained in Week 18. He is a candidate to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list.

Even with Brown potentially out of the mix to start the season, the Eagles’ secondary should have more options compared to 2023. Rodgers and/or Ringo entering Week 1 as viable starter candidates would likely prompt the Eagles to strongly consider Bradberry at safety, depending on how the career-long boundary corner looks in training camp, with DeJean an interesting wild card here. A depth-based trade could conceivably come into play as well.

The Eagles submitted one of the more notable collapses in recent NFL history last season, with the defense playing the lead role in the unraveling. This figures to be an interesting season for three-time reigning playoff qualifiers, as the Slay-Bradberry-Maddox-CJGJ group intersects with a host of younger options that will be expected to take over down the line.

It is not certain if Rodgers will be part of that long-term collection, as he will be a free agent next year. But the UMass alum has a path to re-emerging after seeing the gambling scandal quickly overshadow his rookie-contract Colts contributions.

Ten Unsigned 2024 Draft Picks Remain

The NFL collectively is ahead of where it was last year with regards to draft signings. Teams have navigated the guarantee issue second-round contracts presented in recent years. Unlike 2023, when 30 players were unsigned in late June and nearly half the second round was without contracts entering July, we are down to 10 unsigned rookies from the 2024 class. Here is the lot still without NFL contracts:

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

The clearest difference between this year and last comes from the second round. On June 17, 2023, half the second-rounders were unsigned. The 2011 CBA introducing the slot system has removed most of the drama from rookie-deal negotiations, but second-rounders continue to make guarantee gains. This contractual component has complicated matters for teams in the past, but that has not been the case — for the most part — this year.

A number of 2021 second-round picks remain attached to their rookie deals. Those terms illustrate the improvements Round 2 draftees have made on that front since. The Jaguars did guarantee 2021 No. 33 pick Tyson Campbell‘s first three seasons; his fourth brought $50K guaranteed. This year, the Bills needed to guarantee nearly Keon Coleman‘s entire rookie contract. Coleman has three years locked in and $1.74MM of his $2.1MM 2027 base salary is guaranteed at signing. This year’s No. 59 overall pick (Texans tackle Blake Fisher) secured more in Year 4 guarantees than Campbell’s deal contains.

A sizable gap does exist between Coleman’s final-year guarantees and those of Falcons DT Ruke Orhorhoro (No. 35 overall). The Clemson product has $966K of his $2.1MM 2024 base guaranteed. This gulf has likely caused the holdup for the Chargers and McConkey, a player who — after the exits of longtime starters Keenan Allen and Mike Williams — stands to be a central figure in the Bolts’ first Jim Harbaugh-era offense. With the top players in Round 2 on the cusp of seeing fully guaranteed deals, McConkey can set another notable precedent while gaining some additional security for himself.

First-round contracts have only been fully guaranteed en masse since 2022, when Vikings safety Lewis Cine — chosen 32nd overall — secured those terms. Though, matters like offset language still have been known to slow negotiations. Extended holdouts into training camp no longer occur among rookies, with players risking the loss of an accrued season toward free agency — a product of the 2020 CBA — by doing so. Corley and Benson were this year’s top third-round picks. The 49ers gave No. 64 overall pick Renardo Green two fully guaranteed years. That has likely caused a holdup for the Jets and Cardinals, considering the progress made via contracts agreed to by earlier draftees.

Steelers Will Not Extend G James Daniels In 2024

As Cameron Heyward extension uncertainty looms, it does not appear the Steelers have ruled out a fourth contract with their stalwart defensive lineman. It does, however, look like they are passing on another agreement with one of their interior O-line starters — for 2024, at least.

The topic of a James Daniels extension surfaced earlier this offseason, but the two-year Pittsburgh starter effectively shut this issue down by confirming (via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly) the team does not plan to extend him before the season. Considering the Steelers do not do in-season extensions, Daniels is set to play out his contract year.

Daniels should have an opportunity to cash in once again as a free agent in 2025; despite this being the former Bears second-rounder’s seventh NFL season, he will only be 27 by the time the market opens next year. The Steelers confirming they want to have him play out the three-year, $26.5MM deal to which he is attached raises the stakes for the Iowa product.

The Steelers moved on from the two other veteran O-linemen they signed in 2022 by cutting both Chukwuma Okorafor and Mason Cole in February. Those moves came months after the team traded Kevin Dotson to the Rams. Dotson has since fetched a three-year, $48MM deal to stay in Los Angeles. This bodes well for Daniels, whose 2025 departure could leave the Steelers vulnerable at guard.

Pittsburgh, which went 27 years between first-round tackle investments before drafting Broderick Jones in 2023, has used Round 1 choices on tackles in back-to-back years. The team is set at those spots, and second-rounder Zach Frazier will be viewed as likely to take over at center. The team signed Isaac Seumalo to a three-year, $24MM deal in 2023. The former Eagles blocker is going into his age-31 season. With Daniels four years younger, he profiles as a pricier option on his third contract.

Pro Football Focus rated the Iowa alum 33rd among guards last season and 24th in his Steelers debut. ESPN’s pass block win rate metric slotted Daniels ninth among guards in 2022. The six-year NFL starter has missed just two games as a Steeler. Given the number of eight-figure-per-year guard paydays that came to pass in March, Daniels has a big opportunity ahead. Counting Landon Dickerson‘s extension, six guards — Dickerson, Dotson, Robert Hunt, Jonah Jackson, Damien Lewis, Jon Runyan Jr. — all signed deals at or north of $10MM per year this offseason. The salary cap will rise once again next year.

The Steelers used a fourth-round pick on Mason McCormick this year. Although the team found a gem in Dotson out of Round 4 back in 2020, it would be interesting if it was already earmarking a spot for McCormick in 2025. The Steelers hold exclusive negotiating rights with Daniels until March 2025, and while the Rams did use those well by coming to terms with Dotson before free agency started, Daniels playing out his contract year would put him in a position to raise his value and hit free agency.

As it stands, the Steelers appear prepared to let that happen. While the team has a low-cost quarterback situation for 2024, it has been tied to interest in extensions for Russell Wilson and/or Justin Fields. One of the QBs almost definitely will not be back, but the Steelers may need to factor in a bigger quarterback contract to its calculous next year. With several big-ticket deals on the books for defenders, that complicates matters for players like Daniels.

Latest On Jets, QB Aaron Rodgers

JUNE 17: Rodgers and the Jets were in agreement with the decision to classify his minicamp absence as unexcused, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes. New York elected not to move the date of minicamp up one week, he adds, given the effects such a decision would have had on several other players. After a brief spell with Taylor guiding the first-team offense, Rodgers will be back in place for training camp.

JUNE 12: Haason Reddick‘s pursuit of a new contract qualifies as the top issue coming out of the Jets’ minicamp, but the team conspicuously does not have its future Hall of Fame quarterback on-hand for its mandatory June workouts.

Aaron Rodgers did not show for Tuesday’s minicamp opener, and The Athletic’s Dianna Russini notes the second-year Jets QB will not take part in any of the team’s workouts this week. While Tyrod Taylor seeing more reps with his new team stands to be important given how last season went for the Jets, Rodgers making a point to urge the Jets to avoid distractions and then ending his offseason this way has naturally generated questions.

[RELATED: Jets Not Closing Door On Haason Reddick Extension]

It is not known where Rodgers is this week. The 20th-year passer reported for the Jets’ media day Monday and took a mandatory physical, per’s Rich Cimini, before leaving town. Rodgers had planned this trip during his rehab work, according to SNY’s Connor Hughes, who adds the Jets are not concerned about their QB’s absence.

Rodgers, 40, participated in the Jets’ voluntary workouts this offseason. He has also been in the team’s Nathaniel Hackett-guided offense for two years now. Rodgers also has a recent history of not showing for his team’s minicamp.

Most recently, he did so in 2021 during a months-long standoff with the Packers themed around a trade request. The parties agreed to a truce of sorts ahead of training camp. The 18-year Packer, however, did not show for his former team’s voluntary workouts in 2022. This became an issue for Green Bay, which was breaking in a few rookie wide receivers that offseason. Though, Rodgers reported for Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp that year. He was at Jets minicamp in 2023. It should be noted Rodgers won his fourth MVP award after the 2021 standoff, though his performance dipped — as the Packers moved on from Davante Adams — in 2022.

Coming off an Achilles tear sustained four plays into last season, Rodgers has acknowledged the pressure the Jets face this year. Ownership signed off on mulligans for Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas, but it is widely believed the HC-GM combo is on the hot seat. The QB’s whereabouts should become known at some point, and while the Jets are downplaying the matter, this certainly represents an unusual ending to an offseason program. Rodgers has been full-go during the team’s offseason program and will continue building toward a full-fledged comeback when training camp begins.

Giants Likely To Make RB Addition?

For the first time since 2017, the Giants’ backfield will not include Saquon Barkley. A veteran lead back (Devin Singletary) has been added to replace him, but further moves at the position could be coming.

New York has 2023 fifth-rounder Eric Gray in place as a returnee. He saw a minor role on both offense and special teams as a rookie, and Singletary’s presence makes it unlikely he will see a notable uptick in carries or receptions in 2024. The Giants again took the draft route to add depth this year, selecting Tyrone Tracy Jr. in the fifth round.

Given the lack of experience at the position amongst those and other options, Dan Duggan of The Athletic writes a veteran backfield signing is “likely” between now and the opening of training camp (subscription required). Several options fit the bill in that respect, and Matt Breida is among them. Duggan notes a reunion with the 29-year-old could meet the need for depth in the summer.

Breida has played each of the past two seasons with the Giants. He averaged just 3.2 carries per game during that span while serving as Barkley’s backup, and the Singletary-Gray-Tracey trio could limit his offensive role if he were to come back. If that does not come to fruition, the likes of Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Cam Akers and Brandon Bolden could be on New York’s radar as unsigned backs who will likely be affordable.

The Giants added Dante Miller in April as an interesting flier in the backfield. It remains to be seen if he will be able to earn a roster spot, though, and the same is true of former UDFA Jashaun Corbinwho is once again set to compete for a role during training camp. Veterans still on the market would represent far more experienced options to complement Singletary, although special teams contributions will of course be highly valuable as well.

New York – a team which is set to host Jacob Saylors, the UFL’s top rusher amongst running backs – currently have $11.7MM in cap space. That should leave room for a modest addition in the backfield, and the Giants will certainly have a number of options to consider if one is pursued.