Latest NFL News & Rumors: Wednesday, September 7

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets Rule Out Zach Wilson Until At Least Week 4

  • It’s a dramatic shift in tone after head coach Robert Saleh said Wilson had a chance of playing in Week 1 when he spoke to the media Monday. 
  • Saleh clarified Wednesday that Wilson had no setbacks in his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery, but the team wants to make sure “his mind and body are 100%” before they put him on the field.
  • With Wilson out, Joe Flacco is now set to get the start Sunday against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens. He’ll also be in line to start Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns and Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike White will serve as the backup.
  • Sunday’s game will be Flacco’s first time playing against the Ravens since he was traded in 2019. He earned a 58.8 PFF grade in his lone start for the Jets last season.

Buffalo Bills Sign TE Dawson Knox To Four-Year Extension

  • It’s a four-year, $53.6 million extension for Knox, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract. The deal includes $31 million in total guarantees. 
  • The Bills selected Knox in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He set career highs last season with 49 receptions for 587 yards and nine touchdowns, earning a career-best 62.4 PFF grade. His six touchdowns of over 10 yards ranked second-most among tight ends.
  • Knox’s chemistry with quarterback Josh Allen was on full display last season. Allen had a 130.5 passer rating when targeting Knox, the highest of any QB-TE duo for the year.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson Says Friday Is Deadline For Extension

  • Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $23 million fully guaranteed on his fifth-year option. 
  • The two sides have had discussions over the past several weeks, but it’s a very unique situation, as Jackson is negotiating without an agent.
  • If no deal gets done and Jackson gets through the year with no real issues, he would be in line to get franchise-tagged for the 2023 campaign.
  • The quarterback market has seen several mega deals this offseason, with the most recent coming in Denver with Russell Wilson signing a five-year, $245 million contract with $165 million in total guarantees. 
  • The potential caveat in negotiations with Baltimore could be the guarantee structure, as Deshaun Watson’s $230 million fully guaranteed deal remains the best contract in all of football, and no quarterback has come close to matching it.

Los Angeles Chargers CB J.C. Jackson Unlikely To Play in Week 1

  • Jackson was given a two-to-four week timeline to return after undergoing a “minor” procedure on his ankle. Wednesday marked two weeks since the surgery, but Jackson is not expected to play on Sunday against the Raiders, Taylor Bisciotti of NFL Network reported
  • Head coach Brandon Staley would not confirm the report when asked about it Wednesday, saying instead that Jackson’s walking boot is off and they consider him to be “day-to-day.”
  • The Chargers signed Jackson this offseason to a five-year, $82.5 million contract that included $40 million in guarantees.
  • He’s coming off a season in which he produced a 78.9 PFF grade and 0.5 PFF wins above replacement, both of which were top-10 marks at his position. His 44.0 passer rating allowed in man coverage and 89.0 man coverage grade both ranked first among qualifying cornerbacks.
  • With Jackson likely out and Davante Adams coming to town in Week 1, Los Angeles will have to rely on second-year corner Asante Samuel Jr. and veteran Michael Davis to step up in their roles. 

New York Giants WR Darius Slayton Takes Pay Cut To Stay With Team

  • Slayton reduced his salary from $2.54 million to the league minimum of $965,000. Slayton can earn some of the money back through play-time incentives, while the Giants save about $1.6 million in much-needed salary cap space.
  • Slayton was in some trade conversations throughout camp, but no trade ever came to fruition. He’s still scheduled to be a free agent after the season.
  • In three seasons with the Giants, Slayton has 124 catches for 1,830 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he’s coming off a down year with career lows in targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns and PFF grade (52.8).
  • The Giants receiver room now has Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, rookie Wan'Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, Richie James Jr. and Slayton. 

Emmanuel Sanders Announces Retirement After 12 Years

  • Sanders signed a one-day contract with the Denver Broncos to make the news official.
  • A third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Sanders spent four years in Pittsburgh, five and half in Denver, and the final two and a half years with San Francisco, New Orleans and Buffalo. 
  • “I've decided to retire from the National Football League,” Sanders wrote on Instagram. “I had one hell of a ride. Three Super Bowl appearances, multiple Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl champion. I gave the game everything I had and it treated me well which is why I'm happy with my decision.”
  • Overall, Sanders caught 704 passes for 9,245 yards and 51 touchdowns in his 12-year career. He earned 70.0-plus PFF grades in nine out of 12 seasons and never had a season under 65.0.

Los Angeles Rams rule out WR Van Jefferson For Thursday Night Football

  • Jefferson did not practice this week and is still recovering from offseason knee surgery. He’s the only player on the Rams’ final injury report.
  • The expectation is second-year receivers Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell will fill in for Jefferson, while Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II lead the way.
  • The Rams could also lean on using some more two-tight end sets with Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins.

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle Dealing With Groin Injury

  • Kittle officially did not practice Wednesday, and head coach Kyle Shanahan said he was “not sure” how serious the injury is.
  • “Was hoping he’d be good today,” Shanahan told reporters. “He did a little on Monday and was not feeling good today. So we’ll have to see day-by-day.”
  • The 49ers are set to play the Bears in Chicago on Sunday. Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner and Tyler Kroft are the other three tight ends on the roster, though it’s too early in the week to make any assumptions about Kittle’s status. 

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