Drew Rosenhaus On Raiders’ Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown missed another practice on Sunday, but Drew Rosenhaus is doing his darndest to keep the hysteria to a minimum. On Monday morning, Rosenhaus went on WSVN-TV’s “Sports Xtra” to discuss the Raiders star. 

[RELATED: Antonio Brown Misses Another Raiders Practice]

We have worked very closely with the Raiders, and will continue to work very closely with the Raiders,” Rosenhaus said. “I’m not sure we agree that we’ve exhausted all the options, as [Raiders GM] Mike Mayock said, but there’s no doubt it’s still an ongoing process. We are trying to work with the team and the league and the union on a solution. We haven’t figured that out yet.

To say that AB is upset about the decision to not let him wear his helmet is accurate, but we’re still processing it and figuring it out. I wouldn’t make too much about him not being there today, as much as we’re still trying to come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

The league is allowing Brown to find a version of the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that can pass rigorous NOCSAE testing, but it’s not clear if he’ll be able to get clearance on his favorite headgear.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs May Re-Sign G Jeff Allen

Jeff Allen could be on the verge of reuniting with the Chiefs. The guard is discussing a deal with the team, according to former teammate Geoff Schwartz (on Twitter). 

A new deal would mark Allen’s third go-round with Kansas City. The Chiefs drafted Allen in the second round of the 2012 draft and brought him back into the fold in the middle of the 2018 campaign. In between the KC stints, he spent time with the Texans.

Allen has has 66 career starts to his credit, including four last season. The Texans paid him $7MM/year on his last deal, but he’d come significantly cheaper here in 2019.

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Bills, E.J. Gaines Reach Injury Settlement

E.J. Gaines landed on the Bills’ IR list earlier this month, but the cornerback will nevertheless have a path to playing time this season. The Bills reached an injury settlement with the veteran corner to remove him from their IR list, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Bills placed Gaines on IR due to a groin injury on August 10; they signed Captain Munnerlyn to effectively replace him on the roster. Once Gaines heals up, he will have a chance to sign elsewhere and play in 2019.

This was Gaines’ second Bills contract. He started 11 games with the 2017 Bills and was a first-stringer in the team’s wild-card game. Gaines signed with the Browns last season but only played in six games, landing on IR in early November. The Bills signed him to a one-year, $2.1MM deal (with $250K guaranteed) in late March.

Should the former sixth-round pick suit up in 2019, this will be his age-27 season. Gaines has made 38 career starts, 25 of those coming for the Rams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Notes: Bell, Clowney, Johnson, Kalil, LBs

For a player without a major injury, Le’Veon Bell has gone through a historically light amount of organized football work over the past 19 months. Bell’s game-action delay will continue until Week 1, with Adam Gase indicating (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, on Twitter) his top running back will be held out from Jets preseason games. Bell has not played in a game since the Steelers’ divisional-round loss to the Jaguars in January 2018. His most recent regular-season game was Week 16 of that season. Gase had slammed the door nearly shut on Bell seeing preseason reps, but the first-year Jets coach said Avery Williamson‘s season-ending injury finalized that conversation (Twitter link via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano). For a player who based his ’18 holdout on conservation, this should go along well with his late-2010s M.O.

Here is the Jets latest:

  • Despite the Jets devoting extensive resources to positions that are not typically tabbed as high-value areas, with Bell and C.J. Mosley making out great in free agency, the team largely left its persistent need for edge rushers alone. While Jadeveon Clowney would obviously start for the Jets, were they to make a move for the disgruntled Texans outside linebacker, Cimini writes no trade should be expected. A way it could work: the Jets trade a mid-round pick — worse value than the Texans would have received before the franchise tag extension deadline — and then flip Clowney in a 2020 tag-and-trade. The Jets hold $14.7MM in cap space, so they would have to perform some slight reorganization mechanisms to fit Clowney’s $15.9MM cap figure on their books. For now, the team will head into another season with Brandon Copeland and Jordan Jenkins on the edge.
  • On the inside, Neville Hewitt received the first crack at replacing Williamson. At the Jets’ Green and White scrimmage Sunday night, the four-year veteran — who played 16 Jets games (four starts) last season — lined up in Williamson’s inside ‘backer spot, per Vacchiano (on Twitter). Hewitt’s high-water mark for starts came with the Dolphins in 2016, when the former Miami UDFA started five games.
  • It still appears Bilal Powell, Trenton Cannon and Eli McGuire are competing for two spots. Although the Jets re-signed Powell this offseason, the 30-year-old not playing special teams stands to work against him, Cimini writes. Cannon remains the leading Jets kick-return candidate, pointing to a Bell-McGuire duel for New York’s final running back slot. McGuire is not a key Jets special-teamer, either, and only averaged 3.0 yards per carry last season.
  • Trumaine Johnson‘s adjusted timetable: Week 1. Gase said he is targeting his top cornerback for a return in time for the Jets’ opener. Johnson is dealing with a hamstring injury. He missed six games with leg trouble last year.
  • Not that Ryan Kalil‘s timetable is in question, but the recently signed center had yet to practice with his new team. The Jets deployed him with their first unit (which had some second-stringers sprinkled in) on Sunday night, Cimini adds (via Twitter). The former Panthers snapper has started in the past 12 Week 1s.

West Rumors: Chiefs, Brown, Bolts, Rams

Andy Reid has worked with an MVP before (Brett Favre) and coached Pro Bowlers in Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Alex Smith. But Chiefs GM Brett Veach makes the case the seventh-year Kansas City HC has never had the kind possibilities for creativity, without limitations, that Patrick Mahomes provides.

I think Andy understands that the talent he has in this kid is like nothing he’s ever had before,” Veach said, via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star. “Not to say he didn’t have good quarterbacks before, not to say he didn’t have a great rapport or relationship with them, but I think Andy’s creativity is not restricted now in any way, not by mental, not by arm strength, not by mobility. Because sometimes you get super-smart guys, and maybe they don’t have this … or you get guys that don’t have this, but they have that.”

Over the course of Reid’s Chiefs tenure, he has steadily incorporated college concepts into his offense. He helped coax the best season of Smith’s career in 2017, but Mahomes’ runaway MVP season obviously established a new bar for the Reid offense’s modern capabilities. In Pryor’s expansive article detailing the relationship between Reid and Mahomes, Veach adds the 21st-year HC not having to scrap any of his play designs separates his partnership with Mahomes.

Here is the latest out of the West divisions, continuing first with (a given) the Antonio Brown saga:

  • Brown is about out of options, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (on Twitter) Mike Mayock‘s comments Sunday set the stage for potential Raiders discipline if the mercurial receiver does not practice soon. Another Brown option: a lawsuit that would allow him an injunction, thus enabling him for a time to wear his old helmet while the case plays out. That would be a rather extreme response, especially coming after a report indicating Brown was unlikely to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. But that was before NFL- and NFLPA-backed testing struck down Brown’s 2011 Schutt AiR Advantage helmet solution bid failed. Brown could still appeal, but it does not seem probable he would prevail. The Raiders’ dress-rehearsal game is Thursday; it is quite possible, if not likely, Brown will not play in the preseason.
  • Derwin James‘ absence will test the Chargers, but it makes their March re-signing of Adrian Phillips all the more important. The sixth-year safety/All-Pro special-teamer made a big difference playing as a hybrid linebacker in the Chargers’ Round 1 win over the Ravens, and Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes he will receive first crack at replacing James. Phillips (94 tackles in 2018 before a two-turnover wild-card performance) started Sunday’s preseason game against the Saints.
  • The contract-year statuses of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters may force the Rams to consider the big picture when finalizing their roster. Les Snead could well keep an extra corner this season because of the potential 2020 departures of the team’s starting corners, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic writes (subscription required). In addition to Talib and Peters, slot starter Nickell Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill and third-round pick David Long will be roster locks. That leaves one or two spots left for a host of players who have shown well in camp, with Bonsignore singling out 2018 waiver claim Darious Williams and 2017 UDFA Kevin Peterson as the leaders to round out the corner corps. The latter missed all of 2018 due to injury, but both players have had standout camps. In addition to the Colts, Patriots and Saints, the Rams may begin receiving trade calls on some corners.

Latest On Raiders, Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown missed another Raiders practice on Sunday. While Brown is still dealing with feet issues, Mike Mayock confirmed this latest absence was related to his helmet. The Raiders’ supportive tone has shifted.

He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that; we appreciate that,” Mayock said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (video link). “At this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. From our perspective, it’s time for him to be all-in or all-out.”

The first-year GM reiterated hope Brown will be a major part of this new Raider regime’s attempt at a bounce-back season, but the team is clearly frustrated with its trade acquisition’s recent antics. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the NFL regarding Brown’s helmet grievance, and despite the four-time All-Pro finding a slightly newer model of his since-discontinued helmet, he’s been informed it failed an NOCSAE test.

Mayock’s comments run counter to Jon Gruden‘s last weekend. Oakland’s HC expressed support for Brown on both the helmet and foot fronts. A week later, it appears the 31-year-old superstar is testing the limits of another franchise.

The ball will be in Brown’s court. Mayock’s comment comes after the 10th-year wideout said the report of him again threatening to retire was false. We’re back in a holding pattern with Brown, whose holding pattern in Pittsburgh earlier this year led to his Bay Area relocation.

I don’t know where they got that from, or who made that up, either,” Brown said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “Why would I retire, man? I have a beautiful career. I’m healthy. I love to play the game.”

Brown reported back to the Raiders after his helmet grievance failed. But he has not given up in his interesting quest at headgear continuity. Brown’s camp said this week the Raiders informed Brown if he found a newer model (made since 2010) of the helmet he’s worn throughout his career it could be certified by the NOCSAE, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. It was not. The camp also believes the NFL moved to keep the receiver from wearing a newer model of the helmet, with a 2011 Schutt AiR Advantage model only failing to pass the league’s new safety-based guidelines once Brown caused this stir. Nevertheless, the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet is banned, Bair tweets.

However, the NFL and NFLPA worked together in the process that led to Brown’s latest helmet solution being tested (and failing), Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The sides jointly said earlier this week the helmet would be tested in the same lab as the other league-approved helmets. Both the league and the union concurred Brown will not be allowed to wear that helmet in games.

While Brown is losing this battle, and is the only player waging it, he is clearly not going down without a fight.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Release LB Paul Worrilow

Paul Worrilow‘s bid to shake off his 2018 injury and be part of this latest Eagles edition will come up short, with Field Yates of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the team released the veteran linebacker.

Despite Worrilow’s initial Eagles pact preceding a season-nullifying injury, the team re-signed him this offseason. Being a vested veteran, Worrilow will venture back to free agency.

The former Falcons and Lions linebacker suffered a torn ACL early in the 2018 Eagles’ offseason program and has yet to fully recover. He suited up for 13 Lions games in 2017, starting eight. A team will surely need to see the 29-year-old defender show he is healthy before signing him going forward.

A Falcons UDFA, Worrilow became an immediate NFL success story by being a full-time Atlanta starter for three seasons. The team used him as a depth player during its NFC championship 2016 season and let him walk during the 2017 free agency period.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Release Dontrelle Inman, Place Josh Gordon On NFI List

Dontrelle Inman‘s run with the Patriots will end before the regular season. The Patriots are releasing the veteran wideout, Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets. The veteran wideout requested this move, and the team will oblige, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

This move will clear a path for Josh Gordon to make his way back onto New England’s roster. The Pats placed Gordon on their active/NFI list, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Gordon’s return indeed prompted Inman’s agent to seek a release for his client, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Inman joins a slew of notable veteran receivers the Patriots have parted ways with over the past two offseasons, following the likes of Kenny Britt, Eric Decker, Jordan Matthews and Bruce Ellington. Inman, 30, has produced fairly consistently when given the opportunity. He caught eight passes for 108 yards in the Colts’ two playoff games last season, and his abbreviated 2018 regular-season work graded well, per Football Outsiders. But the former Chargers auxiliary cog has not been able to stick around anywhere for long since leaving southern California.

Despite arriving in Indianapolis midseason, Inman recorded 28 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns. His best season, which featured 810 yards and four TDs, came with the 2016 Chargers. While teams have not viewed him as more than a stopgap, Inman nevertheless profiles as someone who could be an intriguing depth target for another team.

The NFL reinstated Gordon on Friday. The former All-Pro would be eligible for Week 1, once he comes off the Pats’ NFI list by August 31, and would then be in line to again be a key Patriots weapon. Bill Belichick did not commit to Gordon, but the Patriots tendering him as a restricted free agent this offseason provides a fairly clear indicator they are interested in a second Gordon season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Eyeing Free Agent Kickers

Both Browns kickers — incumbent Greg Joseph and fifth-round rookie Austin Seibert — missed their only field goal tries Saturday night. Although each came from beyond 50 yards, the Browns are now considering bringing in additional competition.

Freddie Kitchens said he and John Dorsey have discussed adding another kicker to their mix, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes.

While it would certainly be odd for the Browns to go elsewhere, after spending a mid-Day 3 pick on one of the nation’s best college kickers, teams are quicker to give up on kicker draft picks than they are at nearly every other position. The Browns did this just last year, cutting 2017 seventh-rounder Zane Gonzalez two games into last season.

To me, those critical errors are just as important as the missed field goals themselves because we’ve got to put them in a better position to make them. But are they expected to make a 53-yard field goal? Yes they are,” Kitchens said, via Cabot. “Am I concerned about it? No, because we’re not playing for real yet, but I will be.”

Joseph made 17 of 20 field goal attempts last season and went 1-for-2 from beyond 50 yards. Seibert was 17-for-19 as an Oklahoma senior and kicked for the Sooners for four years. Joseph made a 43-yarder in Cleveland’s preseason opener but missed an extra point. Seibert has yet to miss a PAT in his brief time as a pro.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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