Week In Review

5 Key NFL Stories: 12/8/19 – 12/15/19

Odell Beckham Jr. wants out: Just when you thought the Browns’ 2019 season couldn’t get any more dysfunctional, reports emerged this past week that Beckham wasn’t happy in Cleveland. The star receiver allegedly wants out, and has been telling opposing players and coaches to come get him. The Browns were the subject of endless hype this offseason due to their retooled roster and new coaching staff, but things fell apart quickly and they started the year 2-6. They’ll be missing the playoffs this season, and will be dealing with a lot of drama this offseason. Beckham is under contract through the 2023 season, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens with him this spring. Beckham has been having a disappointing season, and hasn’t been nearly the elite top option the Browns were hoping for.

Alshon Jeffery done for the year: The Eagles are still very much alive in the pitiful NFC East, but they’re going to be making their final push without a key piece of the offense. Their best receiver was placed on injured reserve after going down with a foot injury on Monday Night Football last week, and he won’t play again this season. He’ll finish 2019 having only appeared in ten games, making 43 catches for 490 yards and four touchdowns.

Giants cut Janoris Jenkins: Jenkins was waived by New York after insulting a fan on Twitter. He had also publicly blasted the coaching staff in recent weeks, and the team finally felt it was right to move on. Jenkins is capable of being a solid corner and he has a lot of starting experience, so it’ll be very interesting to see if a contender claims him on Monday. He has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond this year, so a prospective new team wouldn’t be risking much. We heard earlier this morning that he was expected to join a contender for Week 16.

Cardinals cut Terrell Suggs: Jenkins wasn’t the only veteran defender to hit the waiver wire this week, as Suggs will be joining him. After spending the first 16 years of his career with the Ravens, the pass-rusher signed with Arizona this offseason on a one-year, $7MM deal. He had been reasonably productive for the Cardinals, finishing with 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 13 games. Suggs’ waiver situation is going to be very interesting, as his team has put it out there publicly that he doesn’t want to play for any team other than Baltimore. Suggs wants to return home to finish his career as the Ravens get ready for a playoff run, but they are also last in the waiver priority list. There’s apparently at least one team other than Baltimore planning on claiming him, and it’ll be interesting to see if he changes his mind and reports.

Dolphins extend DeVante Parker: What was supposed to be a dreadful season for the Dolphins has surprisingly produced a bunch of nice moments. There have been many bright spots, and the Parker redemption arc is certainly one of them. The former first-round pick finally has begun to deliver on his potential this season, and Miami rewarded him by handing him a four-year extension worth around $40MM. He’ll get an $8MM signing bonus, and will now be under contract through the 2023 season.

5 Key NFL Stories: 11/24/19 – 12/1/19

Jason Garrett not getting fired imminently: Garrett was allowed to enter the final year of his deal without an extension, and his seat has been warm for a while. After an embarrassing lopsided loss to the Bills at home on Thanksgiving, there was initial speculation that could be the end. Garrett isn’t quite done yet however, as we learned that he won’t be fired during the season. Owner Jerry Jones has blasted his coaching staff recently, but he isn’t willing to make an in-season firing with the Cowboys still very much in the thick of things in the NFC East. Still, it looks like Garrett’s days are numbered unless he pulls off a miracle postseason run.

Cardinals DB Josh Shaw suspended: A completely unexpected development came on Friday, when the Cardinals defensive back was suspended for at least the rest of the season for betting on NFL games. The league’s investigation found that he didn’t use inside information, but they are still obviously treating it very seriously. Commissioner Roger Goodell took the added step of issuing a strong statement, which read in part “betting on NFL games, or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances.” Shaw, who started 12 games for the Bengals in 2016, has been on injured reserve since before the start of the season.

Eagles’ Lane Johnson gets paid: Philadelphia gave their starting right tackle a huge payday, inking Johnson to a four-year, $72MM extension. Johnson will get a whopping $54.595MM guaranteed, and his annual average salary makes him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Johnson’s previous deal ran through the 2021 season, so the Eagles elected to take care of him a couple of years early. Philly has made locking up their O-line a priority this season, doling out extensions to interior linemen Brandon BrooksJason Kelce and Isaac Seumalo as well.

Redskins could finally make change: Washington fans have been increasingly frustrated with the franchise’s direction in recent years, and it appears owner Dan Snyder might finally be willing to consider a shakeup. A report emerged that indicated front office head Bruce Allen could be on the chopping block at the end of the season. Allen was named team president back in 2014, and is extremely unpopular with the team’s fanbase. Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden earlier this season, and it looks like Snyder might allow a full tear-down.

Terrelle Pryor stabbed: A terrible story broke over the weekend, when it was reported that the free agent wideout had been stabbed in his shoulder and chest and was in critical condition. Word soon leaked that Pryor had been arrested and charged with simple assault. Fortunately Pryor has since been upgraded to stable condition, and is expected to be released from the hospital soon. He reportedly suffered artery damage, and a 24-year-old woman was arrested and charged with attempted homicide.

 

5 Key NFL Stories: 11/10/19 – 11/17/19

Colin Kaepernick has workout: Kaepernick had his highly anticipated workout over the weekend, and it didn’t go smoothly. Shortly before it was set to begin, Kaepernick announced he was pulling out and moving the workout to his own location. There were numerous points of dispute between the free agent quarterback and the league, and only eight teams ended up having scouts at his workout. That being said the actual workout seemed to go pretty well, with one exec telling Adam Schefter his arm talent was “elite.” Kaepernick’s agent said this morning that he isn’t particularly optimistic about his client getting signed.

Eagles sign Jay AjayiThe Eagles brought back a key piece of their Super Bowl team, signing their former running back. Philly has had an inconsistent ground game the past couple of seasons, and they clearly weren’t satisfied with only having Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. Ajayi has been productive in the past, but there have always been major concerns about his knee. He tore his left ACL last season, and it took him a while to find a new team. He was one of the biggest names left on the free agent market.

Daren Sproles out for season: The reason the Eagles likely signed Ajayi was the bad injury news they got on Sproles. The veteran change of pace back was ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury. After missing most of the 2018 season with a broken arm and a torn ACL, Sproles is having another season cut short. Sproles had said after last year he didn’t want to go out with an injury-ruined campaign, so maybe this will persuade him to come back for 2020. That being said, it seems likely the 36-year-old is headed toward retirement. It’ll be very interesting to see if he decided to hang them up.

Myles Garrett suspended indefinitely: You can’t talk about the past week around the NFL without mentioning the Browns/Steelers brawl. After Myles Garrett swung Mason Rudolph‘s own helmet and hit him in the head, he was suspended for at least the rest of the season and will have to meet with the commissioner to apply for reinstatement for 2020. Garrett will appeal the ban, which will be heard early this coming week. Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey was suspended three games and Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one, while Rudolph was fined.

Eagles, Brandon Brooks agree to extension: The Ajayi move wasn’t the only major deal the Eagles made this past week. They also gave guard Brandon Brooks a massive extension that will pay him $52.4MM over four years. Brooks is now the second-highest paid guard in the league behind only the Cowboys’ Zack Martin. Brooks got $30MM guaranteed, and the Eagles have now extended each member of their interior offensive line this year.

5 Key NFL Stories: 11/3/19-11/10/19

Trent Williams saga: The drama with Williams and the Redskins took a few turns this week, and the team ended up placing the left tackle on the NFI list, ending his season. Williams blasted the team and said there was no hope of reconciliation between the two sides, and Washington elected not to pay him any of his remaining salary for 2019. Williams was placed on the NFI list because he is unable to wear a helmet without pain, stemming from surgery he had to remove a growth on his head that turned out to be cancerous. Williams contends that Redskins doctors told him the growth was just a harmless cyst, and told him not to get it removed for years. A grievance could be in the works.

Derwin James to return in Week 13: The Chargers suffered a brutal loss on Thursday Night Football against the Raiders, but they did get some good news this week. Their star safety is apparently set to return in Week 13 following the team’s bye. When James is healthy, the Chargers have one of the league’s more talented defenses. The AFC is very muddled at the moment, so Los Angeles could still be very much alive in the playoff race when James returns.

Panthers place Cam Newton on IR: The Panthers officially pulled the plug on Newton’s 2019 season, placing their longtime franchise quarterback on injured reserve. Newton was initially only expected to miss a few weeks when he was shutdown because of his foot injury, but he has been unable to relieve the pain. With Newton on the shelf, it’ll be Kyle Allen under center the rest of the way. Earlier this morning we heard that Newton was considering surgery, and that he’s likely to be traded this offseason. It’s looking like we’ve seen Newton take his last snap as a Panther.

Desean Jackson to IR: Speaking of guys getting shutdown, Jackson was placed on injured reserve as well. He could come back for a playoff run technically, but that seems unlikely. Jackson will end his Philly return campaign having just played in just one full game. He had eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in that game, and the Eagles’ offense just hasn’t looked the same without him in the lineup.

Seahawks considered Antonio Brown: The Seahawks ended up claiming Josh Gordon off waivers, but they apparently considered bringing in a different big-name receiver. Earlier this week we heard that the Seahawks kicked the tires internally on adding Brown before ultimately adding Gordon. Apparently Russell Wilson was lobbying for Brown to join Seattle, which would’ve been highly entertaining if nothing else. Despite the Seahawks’ interest, the most recent report indicated that Brown isn’t going to play in 2019.

5 Key Stories: 7/14/19 – 7/21/19

Tyreek Hill evades suspension: The complex saga involving the embattled Chiefs wide receiver broke in his favor this week, with the NFL opting not to suspend the fourth-year standout. This news came as a surprise around the league, due to Hill’s past and his threatening of his ex-fiancee, but the Chiefs have brought him back into the fold and will expect him for training camp. While this controversial decision figures to follow the All-Pro talent, he may be in the extension conversation again. However, the Chiefs — who had begun negotiations before the latest round of off-field Hill drama began — are now planning to wait on a Hill re-up due to the fallout from this months-long drama.

Falcons fortify defense long-term: The Falcons’ final pre-camp week included significant box-checking on their offseason to-do list. Both Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones agreed to extensions, the former at the franchise tag deadline. Jarrett is now the NFL’s third-highest-paid interior defender, while Jones’ deal partially bridged the sizable gap between C.J. Mosley‘s contract and the off-ball linebacker field. As for Julio Jones, the All-Pro wideout has reported to Falcons camp. But no deal appears imminent.

Robbie Gould cashes in; Jadeveon Clowney still waiting: The 49ers will have their kicker back, with the sides ending their impasse hours before the 2019 franchise tag deadline. Gould, who requested a trade earlier this offseason, wanted two years fully guaranteed to stay with the 49ers. He got it and will enter a third season as San Francisco’s kicker. Clowney is now going into his sixth Texans season, and the three-time Pro Bowl defender will do so without a long-term contract. With a reported disagreement between the team’s previous power structure on Clowney, the Texans did not offer the former No. 1 overall pick a deal in line with the ones franchise-tagged defensive ends Frank Clark and DeMarcus Lawrence signed this year. The NFLPA is also planning a grievance to have Clowney tagged as a defensive end, where he can collect $1.7MM more than the linebacker tag.

Eagles bring back a fan favorite: Darren Sproles looks set to play a 15th season. Twice flirting with retirement before injury-marred campaigns, the 36-year-old running back signed a one-year deal to return to the Eagles. Sproles joins a new-look Philadelphia backfield, with Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard set to occupy key roles this season and replace some of Sproles’ recent teammates. But this agreement should allow Sproles to climb higher on the NFL’s all-purpose yards list, where he currently sits sixth.

Zeke rethinking his training camp plans? Ezekiel Elliott reported to Cowboys OTAs and minicamp, but he is now a holdout risk. The two-time rushing champion is now considering staying away from Cowboys camp and may well be out of the country when his teammates report to Oxnard, Calif., next week. The Cowboys have been murky about the subject of an Elliott extension. Although the team has significant leverage due to the August 6 reporting date tied to Elliott’s service-time clock as it relates to free agency, Dallas’ offensive centerpiece may be ready to test the franchise’s resolve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

5 Key NFL Stories: 6/30/19-7/7/19

NFL, NFLPA hope to sign new CBA soon. Things appear to be going surprisingly smoothly in negotiations between the two sides. Earlier this week, we heard that they were hoping to have a deal done before the start of the 2019 season. For the past year-plus, there’s been constant worrying about a potential work stoppage, but that doesn’t seem too likely at the moment. That being said, there are still some potential hiccups, which we outlined here. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is also reportedly taking on a prominent role in the negotiations. We’ll likely be hearing a lot more about this situation as the summer progresses, and we’ll make sure to keep you posted.

No suspension for Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys’ star running back won’t be suspended for an incident with a security guard in Las Vegas that took place back in May. The whole ordeal always seemed minor, but the league took it quite seriously. Zeke was summoned to meet with Roger Goodell, and the league investigators even interviewed his girlfriend. Elliott is under team control for two more years, and we heard recently that the team was hoping to extend him soon. That’s good news for the Ohio State product, since earlier reports had indicated Dallas was going to hold off on extending him.

Randy Gregory to apply for reinstatement. The embattled Cowboys pass-rusher is looking to get reinstated yet again. Gregory has always been high on talent, but has been unable to stay out of trouble with the commissioner’s office. Since entering the league in 2015 he’s already been suspended a handful of times, including for the entire 2017 season. He was conditionally reinstated prior to last year, and racked up six sacks in 14 games before another failed drug test saw him slapped with an indefinite ban. Jones thinks that he’ll be able to play this season, and the team recently signed him to an extension.

Tedy Bruschi suffers stroke. We got some unfortunate news on Friday when word broke that Bruschi had suffered another stroke. Bruschi’s family released a statement that read in part “Tedy is recovering well, and would like to thank the nurses, doctors and staff at Sturdy Memorial Hospital for all they have done. Tedy and his family thank you for your ongoing encouragement, and kindly ask for privacy at this time.” The former Patriots linebacker suffered a stroke in 2005 during his playing days with New England, and returned to the field later that same year. All of us here at PFR are hoping for a full and speedy recovery, and send our best wishes.

Josh Rosen unlikely to start Week 1. The Dolphins traded a second-round pick for Rosen back in April, but they aren’t going to just hand him the starting job. Earlier this week, we heard that Rosen is a “clear underdog” to start Week 1. One Dolphins player reportedly said that Ryan Fitzpatrick “impressed everyone as a leader and that he was clearly the best quarterback in the offseason program.” Fitzpatrick seems to have a solid leg up in what will be one of the few open quarterback battles in camps this year. While Fitz is capable of playing very well for stretches, ultimately the Dolphins are planning for the future and not looking to win in 2019, so it would be a shock if we don’t see Rosen at some point.

5 Key NFL Stories: 6/23/19 – 6/30/19

Jonah Williams to miss 2019 season. The Bengals were dealt a tough blow earlier this week, when it was announced that Jonah Williams would likely miss his entire rookie season. The offensive tackle underwent shoulder surgery that will sideline him for the 2019 campaign. “We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. Cincinnati drafted Williams 11th overall in April, and he was supposed to be an immediate starter. With this news, the Bengals’ offensive line got a lot thinner. Cordy Glenn is now expected to kick over from left guard in his place.

Tyreek Hill meets with league investigators. The embattled Chiefs receiver had his long-awaited meeting with the NFL’s investigator this week. Hill made his case during the meeting, and it apparently went very well for him. The Chiefs apparently think that Hill will be suspended for a maximum of four games, which is a big win for him considering how things were looking earlier this offseason. We also heard that Hill is expected to attend Kansas City’s training camp next month.

Saints DT David Onyemata suspended one game. The Saints’ defensive line will be a little thin in Week 1, as Onyemata was slapped with a one-game ban stemming from his February citation for marijuana possession. Onyemata is heading into the final year of his rookie deal, and has played a pivotal role in New Orleans the past couple of seasons. Last year, he played nearly 60 percent of the defensive snaps. Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles toward the end of last season and isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 campaign, so the Saints will be lacking for defensive tackles when they open the season against the Texans.

Eli Manning not worried about Daniel Jones. The notion that Jones could push Manning for the Giants’ starting job has been picking up steam recently, but the veteran doesn’t sound too concerned. Speaking recently at his passing academy, Manning said he doesn’t think there’s a competition between him and Jones. Manning also said that he sees a lot of his former self in the Duke product, and that he’ll do whatever he can to help his development. “I talk to Daniel and I see so many similarities in the situation and how things are going and just what he’s trying to do, his personality,” Manning said.

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs could reopen extension talks. The news that Hill could be facing only a relatively brief suspension wasn’t the only positive development for him this week. We also heard that assuming Hill comes out of the investigation relatively cleanly, which is now expected, the Chiefs could reopen extension talks with him shortly. Shortly before the allegations of child abuse first broke, we heard that the two sides had been discussing a new contract.

 

5 Key NFL Stories: 6/16/19 – 6/23/19

Saints, Michael Thomas talking contract. The Saints and their star wideout have begun preliminary contract negotiations, but it’s unclear how much progress has been made. Thomas, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020, is scheduled to make just $1.15MM in base pay this year, but assuming he and New Orleans come to terms, he will likely shoot to the top of the wide receiver market. That means he can expect a deal paying him at least $18MM per year with at least $41MM or so in fully guaranteed money. And the Saints appear to be eyeing that $18MM figure, whereas Thomas and his camp are shooting for an AAV of $22MM. Thomas’ original demand was apparently even higher than that, as we learned that he recently lowered his asking price to $22MM/year. There is still a gap to bridge, though the two sides hope to have this situation resolved by the time training camp opens next month.

Falcons, Julio Jones also talking contract. One of the reasons for the holdup in the Saints/Thomas negotiations may be the fact that the division-rival Falcons and their own star receiver are discussing a new deal. Jones is 30 and is under club control through the 2020 season, but he has been lobbying for more money since last offseason. And although teams are generally loathe to rework a contract that has two years or more left on it, Atlanta appears willing to make an exception for Jones. Whichever of Jones or Thomas ends up signing a contract first will probably become the highest-paid wideout in league history until the other one signs. Like Thomas and the Saints, Jones and the Falcons are hoping to put pen to paper before the start of training camp.

Alex Smith still wants to play. Until this week, we hadn’t heard much about Smith since January, when it was reported that Smith was likely to miss the entire 2019 season. Given the extensive nature of his horrific leg injury and the infection it caused, that news was not a big surprise. But Smith, 35, is walking again after spending four months in a wheelchair following his series of leg injuries, he has been able to play golf, and he is throwing passes at the Redskins’ facility. Right now, he is not thinking retirement and hopes to resume his playing career. A return to the field would probably represent the greatest accomplishment in Smith’s career, but he is up to the challenge. He acknowledges, though, that his comeback attempt will be quite lengthy and arduous.

John Elway not interested in owning Broncos. There have been plenty of rumors that, if the trustees of the Pat Bowlen Trust determine it’s in the best interests of the team to be sold rather than passed on to one of Bowlen’s children, franchise icon Elway could be the key figure in an ownership group that purchases the club. Those rumors picked up again in the wake of Bowlen’s passing, but Elway, who has served as the Broncos’ GM since 2011 and who won two Super Bowls with the club during a Hall-of-Fame career, summarily shot down those rumors this week. Elway said, “No. 1, I don’t have the money. I wish I did. I wish that wasn’t an issue. I’m happy with where I am. I’m proud to work for the organization and the opportunity they provide and so we’ll continue to work our tail off.”

Josh McCown calls it a career. McCown will largely be remembered for his high-character, intense work ethic and his willingness to help groom younger quarterbacks, but that’s not exactly a bad thing (especially considering he earned nearly $50MM over the course of his 17-year career). McCown announced his retirement this week, and he exits the league having posted a 23-53 career record as a starting quarterback. That’s not what he had in mind when the Cardinals selected him in the third round of the 2002 draft, but he did enjoy a few memorable moments on the field and will immediately become an NFL analyst for ESPN, though at least one team was interested in signing him as a backup/mentor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

5 Key Stories: 6/9/19 – 6/16/19

Texans, Patriots butt heads over GM candidate: The Texans’ hopes of landing Nick Caserio hit a wall this week. The Patriots not only resisted the overture but accused the Texans of tampering, taking issue with the timing of Houston’s GM switch. Bill O’Brien said neither he nor former Patriots exec-turned-Texans staffer Jack Easterby had contacted Caserio. Rather than the Texans powering through on this front, perhaps via trade, the franchise backed off and will not pursue Caserio any longer. However, it could be messy on the home front. Caserio is prepared to leave the Patriots, who may not be acting in the best faith in keeping him in New England. After all of this, the Texans may be prepared to go without a GM in 2019 and make another run at Caserio next year.

Extension agreements aplenty: Several teams moved to extend key players this week. The Chiefs led the way by doing deals for Mitchell Schwartz and Harrison Butker. Kansas City added a year to its standout right tackle’s deal, keeping him through 2021, and moved to retain its third-year kicker. The biggest-money extension of the week came out of New Orleans. The Saints and top sack artist Cameron Jordan agreed to terms on the defensive end’s third NFL contract — a three-year, $52.5MM re-up that locks in Jordan through 2023. Kenny Moore has now gone from UDFA to well-paid slot cornerback in a span of two years; the Colts gave him a deal that will pay him $30MM in new money. Lastly, it turns out Kyle Rudolph does have a post-2019 future in Minnesota. The Vikings completed yet another extension, this one keeping their tight end around long-term.

Holdouts taking shape: This became a busy week on the holdout front, with several key starters absent from teams’ mandatory minicamps. Jadeveon Clowney, Chris Jones, Yannick Ngakoue and Robbie Gould stayed away from their franchises’ camps this week. Clowney has been on the extension track for 2 1/2 years now, but his status does not appear to have contributed to Brian Gaine‘s firing. Jones broke out in 2018, becoming one of the NFL’s top interior pass rushers. The centerpiece of the Chiefs’ defensive line is entering the final year of a second-round contract, and talks have stalled. While Jalen Ramsey showed up for Jaguars minicamp, but with some pointed language about his contract, Ngakoue is absent. The former third-round pick is in a contract year. Kyle Shanahan is taking his franchise-tagged kicker’s absence in stride, and it doesn’t appear Gould will resurface with the 49ers any time soon.

Latest on Jets front office: Despite Joe Douglas having been college teammates with Todd McShay at Richmond, the new Jets GM will not lure the longtime analyst away from ESPN. After interviewing with his longtime friend, McShay will stick in his current post. However, one of the candidates Douglas beat out for the GM job — Bears exec Champ Kelly — is still in the running to join the Douglas-led front office. Former Browns GM Phil Savage is in the mix as well.

Broncos lose their owner: After a years-long battle with Alzheimer’s, Pat Bowlen died at 75. He had been the Broncos owner since 1984, helping lift the franchise to new heights. The Broncos had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons during Bowlen’s tenure and became the NFL’s winningest home team in that span. Lauded for his work in helping the NFL secure crucial TV deals, Bowlen leaves behind a towering legacy. In the wake of his death, matters will shift to what is next in Denver. That has become an extensive legal matter, but the youngest of Pat’s children, Brittany Bowlen, has long been viewed as the preferred successor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

5 Key Stories: 6/2/19 – 6/9/19

Eagles make major investment: Carson Wentz became the first of the 2016 draftees-turned-franchise quarterbacks to sign an extension. The former No. 2 overall pick agreed to a four-year, $128MM (in new money) re-up that came with more than $100MM in guarantees and $66MM in full guarantees. The $32MM-per-year average and full guarantee figure placed Wentz in the top five among QBs, and the total guaranteed amount (which includes injury guarantees) is believed to be the most in NFL history. The Eagles are gambling on a quarterback who has finished the past two seasons injured, but Wentz’s 2017 season (and some aspects of his ’18 work) showed immense potential. The fallout from this deal has impacted the Cowboys and Rams, the other teams using 2016 QB picks as starters.

Texans abandon GM after one season: We have yet to hear much in the way of reasoning for Brian Gaine‘s ouster, but the defending AFC South champions cut bait in Year 2 of a five-year contract. Gaine, who had previously worked as a Texans exec under Rick Smith, oversaw an 11-5 season in 2018. It’s possible a lack of movement on the Jadeveon Clowney front contributed to this. Regardless, the Texans are moving on their GM search. Former Browns GM Ray Farmer and ex-Lions GM Martin Mayhew are the first candidates. But the franchise’s top choice appears to be longtime Patriots exec Nick Caserio, who worked with Bill O’Brien at one point.

Hours later, Jets make their choice: The Texans tried to interview Joe Douglas during their 2018 GM search. Shortly after their job became available again, the Jets landed their top choice. Long their preferred option, Douglas did not make it easy on them. The Jets reportedly doubled their initial salary offer, after Douglas declined them multiple times. They also look to have attempted to assuage his concerns about their ownership situation by doing a six-year deal. While Daniel Jeremiah will not be joining Douglas’ staff, another longtime analyst — ESPN’s Todd McShay — is in the mix.

Trent Williams unhappy with Redskins: At first, the 10th-year tackle was believed to be staying away from his team because of dissatisfaction with his through-2020 contract. Then, a more ominous report emerged indicating Williams wanted to leave the Redskins because of their handling of his recent medical procedure. It is possible both reasons are at the root of his absence, with the financial component not to be dismissed here. Either way, a seven-time Pro Bowler is at odds with his team — one that did not make notable offseason investments at tackle.

Gerald McCoy makes his decision: After three visits, the six-time Pro Bowler opted to remain in the NFC South. McCoy chose the Panthers and will face the Buccaneers twice this season. The 31-year-old lineman received a one-year, $8MM deal from Carolina. This may or may not have been the best offer. Only $4MM of the Panthers’ proposal was guaranteed, while the Ravens may have offered $8MM in guarantees. The Browns also viewed McCoy as an $8MM-per-year player — after the Bucs removed his $13MM 2019 cap number from their payroll — but “weren’t touching” the $10.25MM McCoy could receive via incentives.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.