NFL News & Analysis

July 25 Training Camp Notes: Roquan Smith's 'hold-in,' Orlando Brown Jr.'s absence and more

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) breaks a tackle after making an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals on his way to score a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

James Robinson won’t start camp on PUP

  • Robinson tore his Achilles tendon in Week 16 last season, so this is a great sign that he’s ahead in his recovery.
  • Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson said the team is hopeful that he will be fully cleared by mid-August.
  • The former undrafted free agent had an up-and-down year under then-head coach Urban Meyer, totaling 767 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He earned a 77.1 PFF rushing grade. As a rookie, Robinson tallied 1,070 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns.

Bears LB Roquan Smith waiting for extension, will hold-in during camp

  • Smith is entering the last year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $9.73 million under the fifth-year option.
  • “Holding-in” has become the new trend in recent years for players upset with their contracts. The player will show up to camp but won’t participate in anything on-field.
  • The report adds that “Smith has not yet received an offer he would remotely consider.”
  • The league-wide belief has been that Smith will push to become the first-ever $20 million per year off-ball linebacker.
  • The former top-10 pick has had 100-plus tackles in each of his four seasons and finished 2021 with a career-high 163. 
  • He performed well in coverage in 2020 with an 84.0 grade, although that dropped to 68.0 last season.

ChiefsOrlando Brown Jr. will not report to training camp

  • This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, as Brown is yet to sign his franchise tag tender, meaning he’s technically not under contract and the team can’t fine him.
  • Brown and the Chiefs couldn’t reach an agreement on a long-term extension before the July 15 deadline, so he’s expected to play this season under the franchise tag for a fully guaranteed $16.6 million. He starts losing money only if he misses regular-season games.
  • In his first full season starting at left tackle, Brown earned a 75.4 overall grade, with a 76.1 mark in pass protection and a 67.0 mark as a run blocker.

Chiefs rookie WR Justyn Ross won’t play this season

  • Ross recently had foot surgery, leading to the team placing him on injured reserve and ending his season before it began. 
  • The Chiefs signed Ross as an undrafted free agent. There was serious concern about his neck/spine coming out of college, leading to him going undrafted. 
  • The former Clemson standout racked up 1,000 yards as a true freshman back in 2018. He was the highest-graded skill player on a 2018 national championship Clemson team that also featured Travis Etienne, Tee Higgins and Hunter Renfrow. He tacked on six receptions, 153 yards and a touchdown in the national championship game against Alabama. 
  • Everyone is hopeful he could return to a clean bill of health come next season.

Packers extend head coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst

  • Gutekunst helped hire LaFleur back in 2019, and the pair have gone on to win 13 regular-season games in all three years together.
  • They haven’t reached the ultimate goal yet, losing twice in the NFC Championship Game and last season in the divisional round.
  • The Packers also extended director of football operations Russ Ball.

Cowboys have interest in free agent LB Anthony Barr

  • The report adds that nothing is imminent at this point.
  • Barr spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Vikings after being drafted ninth overall in 2014. 
  • He finished last season with a respectable 63.8 overall grade and a 72.6 pass-rush grade.
  • Dallas could use some help at linebacker, especially considering how the team split up Micah Parsons’ snaps in 2021.
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