Tom Brady

AFC Rumors: OBJ, Patriots, Miller, Raiders

Closing out the worst season of his six-year career, from a per-game production standpoint, Odell Beckham Jr. did not say whether he wants to be part of the 2020 Browns. He’s under contract through 2023.

I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here,” Beckham said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, adding that Jarvis Landry‘s presence has energized him about being with the Browns. “This is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. God has a plan. In the offseason, everything will figure itself out. I feel like I’ve been here before, answering questions about the next team when I’m on a team already. That’s just something I’m going to tune out for right now. Catch me in the offseason and we’ll see what happens.”

Despite Beckham’s disappointing year, the Browns will surely attempt to see if their recent trade acquisition can build chemistry with Baker Mayfield and bounce back in 2020. Beckham’s contract having no more guaranteed money on it, thanks to the Giants taking that on, would make the three-time Pro Bowler an interesting trade piece — if this situation did progress to that point. Beckham is due $14MM in 2020.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Tom Brady sought a longer commitment from the Patriots this year, but given one-year pay bump the sides agreed on, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran expects the iconic quarterback to depart in 2020. Brady’s age figures to be a sticking point for Bill Belichick signing off on a multiyear deal, per Curran, just as it seemed to be in recent years. A scenario where Brady tries to play until age 45 elsewhere would obviously create a major need for the Pats, who traded Brady’s would-be heir apparent to the 49ers two years ago, and would thrust them to the center of what will be a complicated QB marketplace.
  • As for Antonio Brown coming back to the Patriots to aid the defending Super Bowl champions’ receiving situation, that seems next to impossible. The free agent wide receiver shared a social media post (Twitter link) questioning Robert Kraft‘s desire to win (and one that referenced his alleged acts in the Florida spa sting). Brown, who has filed grievances against the Patriots, figures to be one of the most controversial free agents in NFL history in 2020.
  • Von Miller is battling an MCL sprain, one that forced him to miss his first game since he suffered an ACL tear in December 2013. The Broncos‘ star pass rusher is iffy for Sunday’s game against the Texans. The ninth-year linebacker indicated (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, subscription required) he should not play until he can utilize his array of pass-rushing moves, pointing to him missing at least one more week.
  • The Raiders worked out tight ends Matt Flanagan, Pharoah McKever and Bryce Williams this week, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Oakland also auditioned tight end Cole Wick, who booked the emergency tight end gig.

AFC East Notes: Brady, Jenkins, Lotulelei

Patriots QB Tom Brady will play against the Cowboys this afternoon, but as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) notes, the team will need to closely monitor Brady’s elbow moving forward. Brady was unable to finish practice on Friday due to elbow pain, and while he was able to take all necessary reps on Saturday, he will continue to get work on the elbow as the season goes on.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • It’s not unusual for teams to distance themselves from certain prospects in the pre-draft process in order to hide their interest in those prospects, and that’s exactly what the Patriots did with punter Jake Bailey, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. New England neither interviewed nor held a workout with Bailey, but it traded up in the fifth round of this year’s draft to select him. That move paid off, as the rookie specialist has two AFC Special Teams Player of the Week nods and is currently a favorite for the Pro Bowl.
  • Rich Cimini of ESPN.com expects the Jets to make a concerted effort to re-sign linebacker Jordan Jenkins this offseason. Jenkins, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time, has steadily improved during his first four years in the league, and despite missing two games this season with a calf injury, he has posted five sacks, just two shy of his career-high of seven (which he set last year). Jenkins will likely command a contract paying him over $10MM per year.
  • The Jets will have a lot of positions to address this offseason, but tight end isn’t one of them. As Cimini tweets, the club appears set at TE with Ryan Griffin — who agreed to a three-year extension on Saturday — Chris Herndon, and improving rookie Trevon Wesco.
  • Bills fans have been less than impressed with the performances of front-seven defenders Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy, but Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Lotulelei will definitely be back with the team next year (the Bills could save $10.1MM against the 2020 cap by cutting Lotulelei after the season, but they would also take on a $7.8MM dead cap charge). Murphy’s status is a bit tougher to predict, but if the Bills move on from Shaq Lawson, Murphy is likely to be back for the final year of his contract.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

Extra Points: Brady, Rudolph, Garrett, Kaep

There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady‘s future this season, and whether he plans on continuing to play with the Patriots beyond 2019. Set to be a free agent after this season, there have been rumors Brady could wind up with a different team. A recent Adam Schefter report indicated retirement was also an option, although that would be at odds with Brady’s stated desire to play until he’s 45. According to his longtime friend and personal trainer Alex Guerrero, he could go well beyond that. Guerrero made a recent radio appearance on WEEI, and made it sound like Brady doesn’t plan on stepping away anytime soon.

“No one thought you could play at the elite level in your late 30s, early 40s. That is something we always felt we could do. I have really wanted to be there to help him accomplish that goal. I certainly do believe that 45 is a very realistic goal,” Guerrero said. “We talk about it all the time. Every year he just adds another year. He goes in and he’s like, ‘Guys, I feel so good still. I think I am going to go till 45.’ I am like, ‘OK.’ Now he’s like, ‘Alex, I think I can go like 46 or 47.’” If Brady does really want to go all the way to 47, that means we could have another five years of the legendary Patriots signal-caller. Guerrero is one of Brady’s closest confidants, and he’s certainly in the know. During the interview, he also emphatically denied reports of tension between himself and the organization.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The fallout from the Browns/Steelers brawl isn’t going to get any crazier than it already is. Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph will not take legal action against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that “Rudolph considers the situation to be exclusively an NFL matter.” The fact that it was even a consideration underscores just how wild last night’s events were. Rudolph’s agent had even intimated on Twitter that they were seriously considering pursuing a lawsuit or prosecution. In case you somehow missed it, Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, while Maurkice Pouncey got a three-game ban and Rudolph was fined.
  • There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding Saturday’s Colin Kaepernick workout, and the last we heard at least 24 teams were slated to attend. Commissioner Roger Goodell apparently made the decision to have the workout without consulting his usual advisers, and made the call in an impromptu fashion. He obviously wants it to go off without a hitch, and is determined not to have it be a PR nightmare. To that end, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com that there is “zero doubt the league office is twisting arms” to get teams to show up (Twitter link). The whole thing has been a bit bizarre, and the league has been accused by Kaepernick’s allies of setting it up for failure.
  • The league has switched course and said they won’t provide Kaepernick’s reps with a list of those attending, and Florio’s report would seem to indicate there won’t be many top decision-makers at the workout. It’s been unclear whether there would only be low-level scouts on-hand, but the Broncos at least seem to be taking it seriously. Denver is sending top pro scout Jordan Dizon to the workout, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9News.

AFC East Notes: Brady, Pats, Jets

With the departures of both Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown, Tom Brady has grown increasingly “frustrated” with the turnover at wide receiver, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It has been no secret that Brady invested a large amount of time in trying to mesh with both Gordon and Brown and get them up to speed with the offense. At one point, Brady even offered to have Brown stay at his house after he was signed.

With the recent trade for Mohamed Sanu, Brady is now left with having to get yet another receiver up to speed with the offense. The two already sound like they’re already building a strong connection, and ultimately Sanu should prove to be a much better fit in the offense than Gordon ever was, and much more reliable and durable than him or Brown could have been. Through seven games, Sanu has 33 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown.

With the reports that Brady’s future with the Patriots after this year is uncertain, this “frustration” is sure to add fuel to the fire that the six-time Super Bowl winner may be elsewhere at the start of the 2020 season.

Here are some more developments from the AFC East:

  • Although it is common for some players to still take part in team meetings and be around their club while being on IR, that will not be the case for Josh Gordon, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Sources told Reiss that there were multiple factors that ultimately led to Gordon being placed on IR, with what was viewed as an overall decline in his dependability as part of the tipping point for Belichick to make the decision.
  • C.J. Mosley, who has missed the majority of the season with a groin injury, is expected to be out a few more weeks, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It has been speculated that Mosley, who signed a big deal with the Jets this past offseason, could end up missing the rest of the season if the groin injury does not improve. In the two games he’s played this season, Mosley has compiled nine tackles, with one interception and a fumble recovery.
  • With the release of Kelechi Osemele after he elected to undergo an unapproved shoulder surgery, the way the Jets handled the situation has raised some eyebrows around the league, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. One personnel executive told Cimini that: “It’s a bad optic for the team and it sends a bad message to the locker room. What are they thinking?” It remains to be seen what effect, if any, this saga has on future players signing with the Jets.

Patriots Notes: Trades, Brady, Gronk

The Patriots made a couple of notable trades over the past week, acquiring wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and jettisoning defensive end Michael Bennett. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the team is not done dealing, and his sources say New England is continuing its efforts to strengthen its offense.

Even with Sanu in the fold, La Canfora says the Pats are still expected to pursue receiver help, and although all indications are that the Bengals won’t trade A.J. Green prior to Tuesday’s deadline, rival GMs expect Bill Belichick to take a run at him just the same. As reported previously, the club is also interested in bolstering its tight end group, and Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert and Tampa’s O.J. Howard appeal to the Patriots. Additionally, New England remains in the market for O-line upgrades, with Washington’s Trent Williams, Cincinnati’s Cordy Glenn, and old friend and current Giant Nate Solder also potential targets.

Now for more out of Foxborough:

  • Despite La Canfora’s report that the Patriots will continue to be aggressive in the trade market, Michael Lombardi of The Athletic says the Pats are not involved in any deals right now, as they are quite limited in cap room (Twitter link). The Bennett trade helped to facilitate the Sanu acquisition, but if New England is going to make another splash, it may need to cut or restructure another player.
  • For the first time in 20 years, Tom Brady‘s future is uncertain, and one of the league’s most respected reporters, Adam Schefter, recently said that Brady staying with the Pats beyond 2019 is less likely than his retiring or suiting up for another club. Another of the NFL’s most prominent scribes, Ian Rapoport, doesn’t go as far as Schefter, but he does say that Brady’s tone with respect to his future has changed dramatically, and RapSheet confirms that TB12’s 2020 plans are very much up in the air (video link). On the other hand, Schefter points out that Brady’s strong relationships with Belichick and owner Robert Kraft — which were reportedly strained not that long ago — could convince the future Hall-of-Famer to stay in New England.
  • If Brady does play elsewhere in 2020, La Canfora says the Chargers would hold significant appeal to him given his connections to SoCal and his increasing interest in Hollywood.
  • Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski recently stated in no uncertain terms that he would remain retired, but as Stefan Geller of the Boston Herald writes, that could still change. Gronk is calling on the league to allow players to use CBD products to aid in their recoveries, and if that happens, he suggested he could come back. “I also want to have the option to get back into the game, and if I’m banned next year, I can’t,” Gronkowski said. Gronkowski, obviously, is using CBD products and recently partnered with CBD Medic.
  • Tom Pelissero of NFL.com names Patriots special teams/WRs coach Joe Judge and ILB coach Jerod Mayo as two assistants who could garner head coaching interest during next year’s coaching carousel. While it would be a stretch to see the 33-year-old Mayo as an HC in 2020, especially since he just became an NFL coach seven month ago, it would not be surprising to see him get an interview.

Extra Points: Brady, Brown, Pettis

There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady‘s future recently, thanks to ESPN’s Adam Schefter hinting on this past week’s Monday Night Football broadcast that Brady might be eyeing a new team in 2020. Appearing on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ earlier this week Schefter doubled down, per Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston. Schefter laid out the three possible options: Brady retiring, Brady returning to the Patriots in 2020, or Brady going to a new team. Schefter then said that “staying in New England, to me, would seem like the least likely option of the three.”

That’s a pretty bold statement to make, and Schefter is obviously one of the most well-connected people around the league so he wouldn’t say something like that lightly. The Patriots are coming off yet another Super Bowl win and have started the season 7-0, but thanks to a unique contract maneuver with voidable years, Brady is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2019 campaign. Brady’s deal includes a provision that precludes the Pats from franchise-tagging him, so he’s truly free to walk if he wants to. We’ll surely hear a lot more about his future with New England before the end of the season.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet Saturday evening as we await kickoff:

  • Speaking of the Patriots, their former receiver Antonio Brown is still looking for work. It’s been made clear that Brown won’t be picked up before the league includes its investigation into his sexual assault allegations, and the two sides appear to be in a stalemate. Brown says he’s ready to interview with the league, people close to the embattled wideout told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, a separate source told Fowler that the league “feels like it’s waiting on Brown.” This type of confusion is par for the course for this whole saga. Meanwhile, Fowler notes that Brown continues to train on his own in Florida.
  • Dante Pettis was on the receiving end of a lot of hype this offseason, but the second-year pro hasn’t had the breakout campaign many were hoping for. The 49ers’ second-round pick last year, Pettis has been a bit of a disappointment. He’s been buried in San Francisco’s pecking order, and apparently he could be on the move. During a recent radio appearance, Sirius XM NFL Insider Adam Caplan said not to be surprised if the young receiver is traded at the deadline (Twitter link). There are a lot of teams in need of receiver help, and given Pettis’ age and the promise he flashed last season, the 49ers should be able to land a middle-round pick for him if they did decide to deal him. So far this season he has only nine catches for 83 yards and one touchdown.
  • In case you missed it, multiple teams are in on Kenyan Drake.

Latest On Antonio Brown, Patriots

The Patriots’ decision to end Antonio Brown‘s stay after 11 days may not have been as unanimous as originally reported. Robert Kraft led the charge for the Patriots to jettison the embattled wide receiver, and while Bill Belichick went along with it, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston notes the 20th-year Pats HC probably would have retained Brown had Kraft not insisted he be released.

Kraft has not been known to intervene in personnel matters, with Curran adding this is believed to be the first time (though, Kraft was reported to have played a role in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade process — something the owner denied). Tom Brady was not on board with Kraft’s decision to cut Brown, Curran adds, noting the future Hall of Fame quarterback’s practice work with the four-time All-Pro was nearly flawless and that Brown’s talent was “beyond anything Brady ever worked with.”

Kraft was reportedly “enraged” upon learning of Brown’s text messages to his second accuser, and it led to the team cutting ties with the perennial Pro Bowler. This led to a mostly deleted Brown Sunday-morning tweetstorm, with the disgruntled receiver referencing Kraft’s involvement in the reported prostitution sting. The Brown saga will still include the Patriots going forward, considering an NFLPA-backed grievance centered around his $9MM signing bonus is likely forthcoming.

While the Patriots will face an obstacle in keeping that $9MM off their books because they deployed Brown in Week 2 after learning of the civil suit filed against him (per Albert Breer of SI.com, on Twitter), the organization will be in line to lean on the contract’s morals clause as well as language indicating Brown’s failure to disclose “any situations that may prevent continued availability” in this upcoming battle. The NFLPA will likely argue that CBA language requires a higher standard to void signing bonus money and would supersede these team-implemented clauses, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry writes.

The Pats are set to carry $5.75MM on their 2019 cap because of this process, with Corry adding a grievance likely will not be settled until 2020. A $4.5MM cap credit would come the Pats’ way, in addition to Brown’s $4.75MM 2020 charge being removed from New England’s books, should the team prevail in the grievance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Ramsey, Wynn, Conner, Brady

Coach Doug Marrone confirmed at Jalen Ramsey will play for the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football, as Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network relays (Twitter link).

“Jalen and I have always had a good open relationship,” Marrone said. “…we sat down yesterday and talked about what went on with him and I… that’s behind us right now…”

Blackmon adds that Ramsey is focused on the game against the Titans. It was reported earlier today that the team may be targeting Friday as the ideal time to trade the cornerback. While we await to see if Ramsey ends up elsewhere, let’s take a look at some notes from the AFC:

  • With LT Isaiah Wynn on injured reserve with a toe injury, the Patriots may move starting LG Joe Thuney to the tackle spot, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Wynn isn’t eligible to return for another eight weeks but it’s possible he finds his way back on the field at that point.
  • James Conners knee injury doesn’t appear to be serious, Jeff Hathhorn of 93.7 The Fan relays (Twitter link). Conner expects to play for the Steelers this Sunday.
  • Tom Brady is dealing with a “minor” calf ailment, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passes along on Twitter. Brady was limited today in practice, though there’s been no indication that his status for the Patriots’ game this week is in jeopardy.

AFC Rumors: Clowney, Brady, Brown, Browns

Two franchise-tagged edge defenders changed teams this offseason, with Dee Ford leaving Kansas City and Frank Clark arriving. Trades for tagged players after the July 15 extension deadline are obviously rarer, but John McClain of the Houston Chronicle expects the Texans to deal away Jadeveon Clowney before the season (Twitter link). NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo agrees but wonders (Twitter link) if the talented defender’s Houston departure will instead come in 2020. The 26-year-old edge presence plans to return to his current team in late August.

Clowney is tethered to a $15.9MM cap number, which is a point of contention for the outside linebacker’s camp because of his greater usage as a defensive end, and cannot be extended by any team until after the regular season ends. The Texans discussed a Clowney trade with the Chiefs, but they opted for a Clark deal soon after. McClain cites the team, despite drafting Tytus Howard in Round 1 and signing Matt Kalil, needing a left tackle as a reason Clowney has a better chance of being traded than suiting up for Week 1.

Clowney’s trade value will not be as high as it was before July 15, however, so the Texans would have to factor this into the equation. They could tag him again in 2020 and continue this long-drawn-out process, potentially revving up the tag-and-trade scenario at that point — when they would likely have a GM again.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Although Tom Brady agreed to an in-name-only extension, setting him up for potential 2020 free agency, and put his house on the market, the Patriots quarterback continues to maintain he would like to play past his 45th birthday. That has long been the 42-year-old passer’s goal, and he reiterated it during an appearance on WEEI (via Pro Football Talk) this week. Brady’s post-2019 status, though, is murky.
  • The redone contract Brady agreed to will place a $21.5MM cap number on the Patriots’ books, Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets. This is down $5.5MM from his previous 2019 cap hold. In doing this, the Patriots, as of Tuesday, possess $15.15MM in cap space (17th-most in the NFL).
  • We have learned plenty about the importance Antonio Brown places on in-game headgear over the past several days. Now, the Raiders receiver is enlisting the help of Twitter followers in hopes of finding a newer brand of his preferred helmet — a Schutt AiR Advantage. The NFL has given Brown the go-ahead here, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, since the NOCSAE could certify a helmet that is less than 10 years old. But it may be difficult for Brown to succeed on this front. This model was discontinued in 2009, per the Toronto Sun’s John Kryk, and a helmet-industry source (we are deep in the weeds here) said any post-production models of this helmet will likely be unavailable so many years later. However, Drew Rosenhaus told Florio his client apparently located “a few” 2010 models and is searching for one from 2011 — to potentially get two more years to wear this type of helmet.
  • Antonio Callaway‘s failed drug test, which will cost him four games, evidently did not occur this offseason. The second-year Browns wide receiver has not failed a test since the end of last season, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. Since, the 2018 fourth-round pick has been in a comprehensive drug treatment program. Callaway entered the NFL in stage 1 of the league’s drug treatment program, because of a diluted sample at the Combine — which the Florida alum admitted was an attempt to mask marijuana use — and can be tested up to 10 times per month. Several violations needed to have occurred for him to test positive, per Cabot. Callaway was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession last summer.