As we move closer to Week 2 Sunday, plenty of storylines have surfaced — much of them out of the AFC East. Antonio Brown is on track to make his Patriots debut, Minkah Fitzpatrick may or may not be on the trade block, and a mono-stricken Sam Darnold will miss the Jets’ Monday-nighter against the Browns. But let’s shift to a few items on the league’s periphery.
- The NFL recently discussed some changes to its ownership policy. With franchise values skyrocketing, the league’s rule requires prospective owners to put up at least 30% of the price. This has produced limited buyers, at least it did with during the Panthers sale. (Current franchise valuations would force bidders to put up at least $600MM.) Seeking input from a quartet of firms involved in franchise sales, NFL owners discussed several matters on the topic of acquiring teams but made only one change recently. Owners of non-NFL teams in NFL markets — such as Steve Ballmer, Mark Cuban, etc. — can now make bids to acquire NFL franchises, Scott Soshnick of Bloomburg.com reports.
- Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm regularly appears in 2020 mock drafts as a first-round pic, but various NFL personnel are now not so sure he will be part of that class. Executives and scouts polled by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller expect Fromm to return to school for what would be his senior season in 2020. Operating a run-first offense, Fromm has displayed improved accuracy since being handed the Bulldogs’ reins as a true freshman. However, he’s viewed as perhaps a cut below the likes of Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert on the 2020 prospect spectrum.
- Were Fromm to postpone his NFL entrance, he would likely be joining one of the more hyped quarterbacks in modern draft history. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence has begun to generate more buzz than Tagovailoa or Herbert, leaving NFL brass to question the Dolphins’ strategy of using this season to tank for a possible franchise quarterback. “Next year, though? Oh, yeah. Let me get [Ohio State’s] Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence, and our fans won’t care how many games we lose,” an NFL GM told Miller.
- Projected first-round tackle Walker Little, a junior at Stanford, underwent knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season, per Miller. The 6-foot-7 blocker will then have to determine whether or not to enter the NFL off a lost season or return to school to rebuild his stock.
- Despite the Dolphins‘ run of moves to jettison higher-profile talent, they are not projected to possess the most cap space in 2020. As of now, that’s the Colts, who are in line to hold $138MM, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap tweets. Miami sits second at $113MM, with no other teams over $100MM. These figures are imprecise with the 2020 cap not yet set, but the Colts’ caution this year in free agency — despite holding more than $100MM in space — stands to again equip the franchise with plenty to spend come March.
- Free agent wide receiver Cayleb Jones is serving a six-game suspension, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter). The younger brother of Zay Jones, Cayleb Jones was charged with domestic assault as a member of the Vikings during the summer of 2018. He did not make Minnesota’s 53-man roster.