NFL News & Analysis

NFL training camp roundup: Highlights and storylines from Aug. 24

2MAG3P2 Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/ John Froschauer)

Isaiah Simmons traded to the New York Giants

The Arizona Cardinals traded safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants on Thursday. They received a 2024 seventh-round pick in return.

The Cardinals selected Simmons with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The team declined his fifth-year option earlier this offseason, making him a free agent at the end of the year.

Simmons struggled in the transition from college to the NFL in his first two years, grading out at 59.9 (2020) and 49.7 (2021) overall. Last season was much improved, as he earned a 67.9 overall grade, 39th out of 118 qualifying safeties. He was particularly effective rushing the passer, highlighted by an 83.5 pass-rushing grade, second-highest at the safety position.

Simmons’ versatility at Clemson was on full display, but he’s struggled to find a natural fit at the NFL level. Last year, Simmons lined up at slot corner (409 snaps), in the box (297), defensive line (110), free safety (53) and wide corner (28). It remains to be seen what the Giants have in mind for the former first-rounder, but a seventh-rounder for a player who is just three years removed from being drafted in the top 10 is certainly worth the risk.

Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy carted off at Denver Broncos practice Thursday

 Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was carted off at practice Thursday with an apparent hamstring injury.

 The Broncos already lost Tim Patrick to a torn Achilles this year, so it goes without saying that any serious injury to Jeudy would be brutal for the team. The former first-round pick has been productive when on the field but has battled his fair share of injuries over his first three years in the league.

Jeudy’s 78.4 overall grade last season ranked 20th out of 113 qualifying wide receivers. His 2.08 yards per route run ranked 12th among wide receivers who saw at least 50 targets.

Rookie second-rounder Marvin Mims Jr. was already expected to step up into a bigger role with Patrick sidelined for the season, and he could be forced to step into an every-down role in Week 1 and beyond if Jeudy’s injury is serious.

Left tackle Josh Jones traded to the Houston Texans

The Arizona Cardinals traded left tackle Josh Jones to the Houston Texans, just hours after sending Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants.

The Texans appear set long-term at the offensive tackle position after locking up both left tackle Laremy Tunsil (80.0 overall grade in 2022) and right tackle Tytus Howard (67.9) to three-year extensions this offseason. Howard underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand earlier this month and it’s unclear if he will be ready for the season opener on Sep. 10 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jones had a strong 2022 season, earning an overall grade of 75.8 (17th out of 81 qualifying tackles) while playing left tackle. He struggled mightily the previous year (2021), finishing the campaign among the league’s worst-graded offensive linemen at 46.8 overall. It’s worth noting, however, that he was bouncing around the offensive line, as he played 612 snaps at right guard and 230 at right tackle.

In Houston, it’s possible Jones is slotted in as the starting right tackle if Howard is sidelined to begin the year. The team also has a glaring hole at left guard, where 2022 first-rounder Kenyon Green finished last out of 77 qualifying guards with a 37.7 overall grade last season. Jones could be asked to step in if Green continues to struggle in his sophomore season.

Free-agent linebacker Alexander Johnson signs with the Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins signed free agent linebacker Alexander Johnson on Thursday.

Johnson is a natural fit in the Dolphins defense. He played in Denver under Vic Fangio from 2019-2021 and spent last year with the Seahawks, appearing in one game after spending most of the year on the practice squad.

When healthy, Johnson has proven to be a productive force at the position. Since 2019, his 90.2 run-defense grade ranks third among all linebackers in the NFL. He will provide the Dolphins with quality depth behind starters Jerome Baker and David Long Jr., the latter of whom has struggled to stay healthy over the course of his career, appearing in just 22 games over the last two years.


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