Category Archives: NFL

Patriots RB Sony Michel recovering from foot surgery

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel underwent a minor foot surgery in May, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Michel’s surgery was “maintenance-based” and focused on minor discomforts he’s been having, according to Reiss. The Patriots will start training camp in late July and Michel’s recovery time is still up in the air. His progress will determine if he has to start training camp on the physically unable to perform list or not.

He’s heading into his third NFL season and the first two have been extremely successful. Michel had a storybook start to his career — breaking playoff records and winning a Super Bowl in his first season. Although his production slipped slightly in 2019, he still produced 912 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. Michel only missed three matches with the Patriots, but he has dealt with multiple knee injuries throughout his short-lived NFL career. He had fluid drained from his knee ahead of his rookie season and twisted his knee again later that year.

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New England’s running back depth consists Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden. Harris was drafted in the third round last season and barely saw the field, but this could be his chance to step up.

The Patriots’ running back corps is extremely deep and will help navigate the offense without Tom Brady on the field. Michel’s health will be crucial to the success of this season, so it’s something to closely monitor.

When the Patriots chose Michel in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, there was palpable worry about his history of knee injuries coming out of Georgia.

These fears weren’t unmerited. He had fluid drained from his knee before his first game, and he underwent a knee scope in the summer of 2019.

This is the third consecutive offseason where he may not play all of training camp due to a medical issue, and the first time it isn’t his knee. On the bright side, he’s only ever missed three games due to the injury bug, and this surgery doesn’t look to risk any more.

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Ravens Waive LB Jake Ryan After Signing Him This Offseason

It didn’t take long for the Baltimore Ravens to cut ties with one of their offseason acquirements.

On Thursday, the Ravens revealed they’ve waived linebacker Jake Ryan just one month after signing him to a one-year, $985,000 contract.

The Ravens signed Ryan to improve their linebacker corps, but his spot on the roster was in jeopardy after the team drafted LSU’s Patrick Queen and Ohio State’s Malik Harrison. Instead of waiting until training camp, Baltimore opted to put Ryan on the waiver wire in June.

Ryan was a former 2015 fourth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers out of Michigan. He started off his NFL career as a rotational linebacker, but slowly started earning starters snap in his second and third years. In his first three seasons, Ryan recorded 213 tackles (15 for loss), eight quarterback hits, one forced fumble, and one sack.

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His stint in Green Bay reached it’s conclusion after suffering a torn ACL during training camp in 2018, forcing him to miss the entire season.

As an unrestricted free agent last year, Ryan signed on with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He didn’t make an impact with the Jags, as he started his season on the non-football injury list. Ryan played in just two games, where he didn’t post a single statistic.

Considering there are plenty of teams who need depth at linebacker, it should only be a matter of time before Ryan is picked up or signed before the start of summer drills.

In four NFL seasons, Ryan has used his size and physicality to develop into a reliable defender against the run, but he has struggled in coverage. He totaled 213 tackles (including 15 for loss), one sack, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 45 career games (27 starts).

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Texans special teams coach Brad Seely retiring after 31 NFL seasons

Houston Texans special teams coordinator Brad Seely will be retiring from coaching after 31-campaigns of coaching the team revealed on Friday. Seely has been instrumental in turning around the Texans special teams unit since he arrived in 2018. 

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to spend over 30 years in the NFL coaching the game I love,” said Seely in a statement. “I want to thank each and every coach, player and staff member I worked with from when I entered the league in 1989 until now. I’ve been blessed to be a part of some of the best organizations in professional sports and I will forever cherish the friendships and memories I’ve made around the league.”

Seely is retiring after 31 seasons coaching in the NFL.

Seely served as a team’s special teams coordinator in every season from 1989 to 2019 and owns 41 years of overall coaching experience. He appeared in nine conference championship games, conquered three Super Bowls and coached 10 different players to 17 special teams Pro Bowl selections.

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“Brad Seely is one of the best special teams coaches in NFL history and his contributions to the game have been unparalleled,” said Texans Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien. “I first met Brad when we were both assistant coaches in New England and immediately recognized his ability to connect with his players and teach them about the game in his own unique way. Brad has won at every stop in his 30-year career and his résumé of three Super Bowl victories and five conference championship appearances speaks for itself. It was an honor and privilege to coach alongside Brad and I will always consider him a friend. On behalf of the entire Texans organization, we wish him and his family the best in his retirement.”

The Texans have assistant special team coach Tracy Smith who has spent 10 of his 11 campaigns in the NFL as Seely’s assistant coaching special teams.  Seely started his NFL career coaching the Indianapolis Colts (1989-1993), New York Jets (1994), Carolina Panthers (1995-1998), New England Patriots (1999-2008), Cleveland Browns (2009-2010), San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014) and Oakland Raiders (2015-2017) before joining the Texans in 2018.

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NFL coaching staff can return to facilities beginning friday

NFL coaches will be permitted to return to team facilities beginning Friday.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport obtained a memo sent to teams from Commissioner Roger Goodell that allows coaching staffs to be among the employees eligible to return to club facilities starting Friday, June 5.

Players not seeking treatment for injuries are still barred from working at team facilities.

According to the memo, coaches may return only if the team has “received necessary permission from state and local governments to reopen its facility.” Clubs may also increase the number of employees in the facility to a total of 100, if allowed by local authorities.

Rapoport reported that the league anticipates only the San Francisco 49ers are not able to get to their facility Friday. The Niners are aware and supportive of the plan and have communicated with local authorities to obtain all necessary permissions when available, per Rapoport.

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“It is what it is,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Thursday. “I’m not too upset about it. Yeah, you want every advantage possible, but our county is not there yet and it doesn’t bother me that much because I do understand. Plus, the players aren’t allowed in. Us coaches, we can meet like we’re doing right now on Zoom.”

The NFL closed all 32 team facilities earlier this spring as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S.

Team facilities were allowed to start reopening on May 19, but coaches and players were barred from returning as many states continued with lockdown orders. Protocols put in place will continue to be followed as additional members of the teams are allowed to re-enter the building.

Friday’s return to the office for coaching staffs will be the next step in gearing up for the 2020 campaign. The Eagles announced later Thursday that their facilities are set to reopen Monday to limited employees.

The memo to teams noted that coaches and other staff, “particularly those who may be in a higher risk category or who have concerns about their own health conditions,” are expected to meet with medical staff or a personal physician about any special precautions that must be taken while at the team facility. The league office will also work with team medical staff to implement COVID-19 testing for coaching staffs and other personnel prior to players becoming eligible to return to club facilities.

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Father says Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III injures thigh during a move

Las Vegas Raiders rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III, the team’s top draft pick, suffered a cut to a thigh recently while moving things into a trailer, the player’s father informed AL.com on Monday.

A Raiders source stated the team was “told [Ruggs] will be fine” going forward.

“He was trying to move a trailer or something — move furniture or something — and the trailer just kind of pinned him against a car or a wall or something,” Henry Ruggs Jr. said. “He’s pretty much OK, I’m about to go out there and see him in a little bit. It was just like a little open wound on his leg, a little incision. Like something had stuck him right there on his thigh a little bit.”

Ruggs III, the No. 12 overall draft pick, was the first receiver selected in April’s draft, an historically deep draft for the position. He was also the fastest player in the draft, having run a 4.27-second 40 time at the combine.

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But like every player in the draft, the rookie has been reduced to virtual meetings with the Raiders since being selected due to the pandemic.

Being injured would obviously slow any other development.

“The Raiders are aware of a report regarding an off-field injury to Henry Ruggs III. Respecting Henry’s right to medical privacy, the team will not be commenting on the report,” the team said in a statement.

Ruggs Jr., meanwhile, stated his son is “just having to walk on crutches. Not putting as much pressure on it.”

Provisions due to the coronavirus, the elder Ruggs said, have not permitted him yet to speak to the doctor who treated his son.

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Jalen Ramsey, Rams ‘on same page’ concerning contract extension

The Los Angeles Rams have been in contact with Jalen Ramsey’s representatives regarding a contract extension as the All-Pro cornerback enters the final season of his rookie deal.

Ramsey was coy Tuesday when asked where negotiations stood.

“The Rams know where I stand,” Ramsey said on a video conference with reporters. “I think that’s all that matters at the end of the day. It will be handled. They know where I stand. They’ve been in contact with my agent. They’re on the same page as my agent.”

When asked whether he would attend training camp if he had yet to sign an extension, Ramsey showed no hesitation.

“Yeah, for sure,” he stated.

Ramsey is estimated to command a record-breaking contract, and it’s anticipated that he will have the upper hand in negotiations, given what the Rams paid to acquire him before the trade deadline last campaign. The Rams sent their 2020 and 2021 first-round draft picks and a 2021 fourth-round selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Ramsey, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2016.

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“I can’t really worry about that,” Ramsey said about the negotiations. “I just control what I got to worry about right now. I feel like everybody knew what type of situation it was gonna be once they traded for me, so I think it doesn’t really need to be talked about that much. It’ll get handled.”

Considered among the top lockdown corners in the NFL, Ramsey has 10 interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and 49 pass deflections in four seasons.

The Rams have been aggressive in signing players to record-breaking contracts over the past two years.

Running back Todd Gurley signed a four-year, $40 million extension in July 2018 that involved a record-breaking $45 million guaranteed. A month later, defensive tackle Aaron Donald signed a six-year, $135 million extension that amounted to the richest contract ever signed by a defensive player. Last September, quarterback Jared Goff signed a four-year, $134 million deal that includes a record-breaking $110 million guaranteed.

The Rams, however, cut Gurley this offseason and also traded receiver Brandin Cooks, who was in the midst of a five-year, $81 million contract.

Gurley’s and Cooks’ contracts will cost the Rams nearly $30 million in dead money cap charges in 2020.

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Seattle Seahawks reach deal with running back Carlos Hyde

The Seattle Seahawks and running back Carlos Hyde have reached a settlement on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

Hyde, who turns 30 in September, scored six touchdowns and ran for a career-best 1,070 yards on 245 carries for the Houston Texans last campaign and played in all 16 matches for the second time in his career.

However, he and fellow back Lamar Miller both hit free agency, and the Texans went on to acquire David Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals in a blockbuster trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

The Seahawks have been searching since early in free agency for a veteran to reinforce their backfield with starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny both coming off season-ending injuries.

The Seahawks had offered Devonta Freeman a one-year deal, sources confirmed to ESPN. They moved on to Hyde, who will be an early-down complement to Carson, at least until Penny returns.

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Penny is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and other damage in his knee he suffered in December.

The Seahawks believe there’s a strong possibility Penny will have to start the season on the physically unable to perform list, in which case he’d have to miss at least the first six matches. Carson (hip) is expected to be ready by Week 1.

The rest of the Seahawks’ backfield is young, another reason why Seattle had been seeking a veteran running back. Behind Carson, Hyde and Penny, the Seahawks have second-year pro Travis Homer and three rookies: fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas and undrafted free agents Patrick Carr and Anthony Jones.

Marshawn Lynch told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt earlier this month that his agent had been in talks with the Seahawks about a potential return to Seattle.

The Texans acquired Hyde from the Kansas City Chiefs last year in a trade on cutdown day in exchange for offensive lineman Martinas Rankin. Houston made the move a week after Miller tore his ACL in Houston’s third preseason game.

Over the past three campaigns, Hyde has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Texans.

He has 5,079 total yards and 35 total touchdowns in six seasons.

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Cowboys’ Aldon Smith ‘grateful’ to be reinstated by NFL

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith says he’s “grateful” for the opportunity to get back on the playing field after being conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday.

Smith, who had been suspended since 2015 for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies, discussed his reinstatement during an interview with TMZ Sports. Asked about what it will be like to get back on the field after being suspended for over four seasons, Smith said that situation has “played in my head.”

“I think the overall emotion is I’m grateful. I’m really grateful,” Smith said. “… I came a long way. For me to have the opportunity to get back and do something that I love, something that I enjoyed — just to have that opportunity again means a lot. I was able to defeat some big, big obstacles in my life.”

Smith has been arrested numerous times in his career for offenses including DUIs and domestic violence. In 2018, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years’ probation after pleading no contest to violating a court order and false imprisonment to settle the domestic violence case. He served the sentence in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center.

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He stated he is now sober, telling TMZ that he wants his story to be an inspiration for others.

“I just want my story to spread and help out others,” Smith said. “For people who may have thought differently about me and for those people who always believed in me to be able to say, ‘Wow, this is great.’ Because I believe everybody goes through things in their life, and no matter what they do for a profession, it affects them in a manner that can either be their downfall or it can be something they look at and learn from. I want people to see my story and see it and be like, ‘Hey man, he can do it; he’s done it.’ I want to be a source of inspiration.”

Smith had 47.5 sacks in 59 matches before his suspension. He told TMZ he is now “an overall better person.” Smith will be able to take part in meetings with Cowboys coaches and teammates in the virtual offseason program starting Tuesday.

He signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys in April. By being reinstated, he will receive $90,000 from the Cowboys and can make up to $4 million if he reaches multiple incentives in the contract.

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Chargers considered signing Cam Newton

After the Chargers and Philip Rivers split ways, the search for a quarterback started in free agency.

Los Angeles was in the sweepstakes for Tom Brady, but they came up short after he decided to sign with the Buccaneers. Another free agent option was Cam Newton, who was released by the Panthers in March.

Newton was seen as an ideal target for L.A. because his presence would help sell tickets in their new season. However, they passed up on the opportunity to sign the former MVP.

Were the Chargers actually interested in signing Newton? Coach Anthony Lynn said that the team did contemplate it. “Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback,” Lynn said on a recent CBS Sports interview.

“He’s been MVP of this league, he’s led his team to the Super Bowl and he’s healthy now from what I hear. Cam is going to be on somebody’s roster and he’s going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure.”

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Los Angeles ended up drafting former Oregon product Justin Herbert with the No. 6 overall selection in this year’s draft with the hopes of him being the long-term solution at the position.

Prior to Herbert being selected, Lynn was already confident with the quarterbacks that were already on the roster.

“I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have,” Lynn said. “With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don’t talk about, but he was a Division I AA — he won like three national championships. He’s a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day.”

While the Chargers quarterback room is set, Newton remains a free agent. Lynn trusts that he will be signed in 2020 by a team.

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NFL to allow teams to open facilities on Tuesday with several restrictions

A memo from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to all 32 NFL teams states franchises can start reopening their facilities with strict guidelines starting May 19 as long as state and local regulations permit them to do so.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided the memo Friday, and Goodell wrote the following in part in his announcement of the news: “Clubs may reopen their facilities beginning on May 19 if they are permitted to do so under governing state and local regulations, are in compliance with any additional public health requirements in their jurisdiction, and have implemented the protocols that were developed by [NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills] and distributed to all clubs on May 6.”

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Of note, clubs cannot have more than 50 percent of their staffs (and a max of 75 people) inside the facility at the same time. If a franchise wishes to spread out over multiple locations, the max number of people allowed still stays at 75 over all locations combined.

Coaches are not allowed to return to facilities in an effort to promote competitive equity among all 32 teams, some of which will not be able to travel back to headquarters May 19.

Players also cannot go to the facility unless they are rehabbing an injury or receiving treatment. “Customer-facing activities,” with examples including ticket and merchandise sales, are not permitted yet.

Teams must also report any case of COVID-19 to the league. The NFL news follows reports that NBA facilities have started to reopen, with a handful of teams doing so on Friday, May 8. Like the NFL, the NBA is also under heavy restriction, although players are allowed to work out on an individual basis.

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