NFL News & Analysis

NFL Training Camp Roundup: Julio Jones signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kyler Murray’s contract extension and more

Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) and head coach Kliff Kingsbury look on against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

PFF's Ari Meirov recaps some of the top stories from the first full week of NFL training camp.

Julio Jones signs a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Jones is set to join Tom Brady and a wide receiver room that already includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Tyler Johnson and Breshad Perriman, among others.
  • Jones has struggled with a nagging hamstring injury over the last couple of years, missing 14 games over the last two seasons.
  • He spent last year in Tennessee and totaled 31 catches for 434 yards and a touchdown. He earned a 74.2 PFF grade, his lowest since his rookie season in 2011.
  • He put together five straight seasons with a PFF grade over 90.0 from 2015 to 2019.
  • Jones also had interest from Green Bay, according to the ESPN report.

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin won’t start camp on PUP

  • Godwin suffered a torn ACL in Week 15 of last season, so this is a great sign of where he’s at in his recovery.
  • The team plans to take a cautious approach with Godwin throughout camp, and it’s still not a sure-fire thing that he’ll be available come Week 1.
  • Godwin tallied a career-high 98 receptions last season for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. He earned an 81.3 PFF grade.
  • Tampa rewarded him with a 3-year, $60M deal earlier this offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow to have an appendectomy and miss the start of training camp

  • Burrow is unlikely to miss significant time, but the Bengals will turn to Brandon Allen and Jake Browning to run the offense to start camp.
  • The Bengals first preseason game is scheduled for August 12 against Arizona, but it’s also worth noting that Burrow played just three snaps in the preseason last year and still led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl.
  • He earned the highest overall PFF grade (91.8) among quarterbacks last season, including the playoffs.

Chicago Bears sign offensive tackle Riley Reiff

  • It’s a one-year deal worth a max. of $12.5 million, with up to $10 million in guarantees.
  • Reiff, 33, spent last season in Cincinnati and was their starting right tackle, playing 711 snaps and receiving a 67.3 PFF grade.
  • His season was cut short after 12 games due to an ankle injury.
  • Chicago will be Reiff’s third NFC North team after he spent the first five years of his career with the Lions and the next four with the Vikings.
  • Prior to this signing, Chicago ranked 31st in Mike Renner’s 2022 NFL offensive line rankings.

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson retires

  • Carson is forced to retire at the age of 27 after suffering a serious neck injury early last season.
  • Seattle selected Carson in the seventh round in 2017, and he started 48 games in five years.
  • He totaled 769 carries for 3,502 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 107 passes for 804 yards and seven touchdowns.
  • He graded over 70.0 in all five years and never had a rushing grade under 74.0. His best season came in 2018 when he finished with an 83.2 PFF grade, sixth-best in the NFL.
  • Seattle used a second-round pick on Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker II and also re-signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year, $5.75M deal this offseason. They are poised to lead the way in Seattle’s backfield in 2022.

Kyle Shanahan announces the end of the Jimmy Garoppolo era

  • “We have moved on to Trey Lance.” Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday. “This is Trey's team.”
  • Garoppolo reported to camp and met with Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. He’s recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and the team expects him to be fully cleared in the coming weeks.
  • Shanahan told reporters that Garoppolo likely would have been traded already if not for the surgery — which happened without the team being made aware.
  • Garoppolo has a base salary of $24.2 million this season. None of it is guaranteed, so the 49ers would save $25.55 million against the cap if they trade (or cut) him. Any team acquiring Garoppolo would likely look to renegotiate his contract.
  • Meanwhile, Lance appeared in five games last season, starting two. He completed 41-of-71 attempts (57.7%) for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished the season with a 59.9 PFF grade.
  • In his last full season as a starter at North Dakota State, Lance earned a 90.7 PFF grade.

Veteran cornerback Buster Skrine retires

  • A fifth-round pick of the Browns in 2011, Skrine spent four years in Cleveland, four with the Jets, two in Chicago, and he also had stints in San Francisco and Tennessee.
  • Over his 11-year career, Skrine appeared in 158 games and had 590 tackles, 10 interceptions, 88 pass breakups and six forced fumbles.
  • His 64.6 PFF grade last season was second-best in his career.

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.

Michael Thomas cleared to return to practice

  • Thomas was on the field Wednesday running routes and catching passes from Jameis Winston.
  • It’s the first time he’s been fully cleared from the ankle injury that originally occurred in September of 2020. He missed all of last season after undergoing offseason surgery.
  • In his last full season in 2019, Thomas recorded 149 receptions (most in NFL history) for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns. He earned a 90.7 receiving grade, the best mark among wide receivers.
  • Thomas is set to join a revamped New Orleans wide receiver group that now includes Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave.

Derwin James not practicing as he waits for a new contract 

  • James reported to Chargers camp but is officially “holding in” as he waits for a new deal.
  • Both sides have had ongoing productive conversations, and the expectation is a deal making James the highest-paid safety in the NFL will get done.
  • James is coming off a season in which he recorded 118 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and three forced fumbles. He earned a 78.1 PFF grade.
  • He’s entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $9 million under his fifth-year option.
  • The NFL's highest-paid safety is currently SteelersMinkah Fitzpatrick at $18.2 million per season.

LB KJ Wright retires

  • Wright signed a one-day contract with the Seattle Seahawks to make the news official.
  • A fourth-round pick in 2011, Wright spent the first 10 years of his career in Seattle and was a stalwart at linebacker. He started 140 regular-season games and was a part of their Super Bowl XLVIII-winning team.
  • He finished out his career by playing one season with the Raiders in 2021, earning a 63.7 grade to continue a 60.0-plus streak that's spanned his entire career.

49ers release EDGE Dee Ford

  • San Francisco acquired Ford from Kansas City in 2019 for a second-round pick and signed him to a five-year contract worth $85 million.
  • He played only 378 snaps across 18 regular-season games in three seasons with the 49ers. Injuries (primarily a back issue) kept him off the field. 
  • Before all the injuries, Ford was coming off a dominant 2018 campaign in which he earned a 91.0 pass-rush grade with 78 quarterback pressures, 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

HC Kevin Stefanski: Jacoby Brissett will be our starter if Deshaun Watson is suspended

  • Cleveland signed Brissett and traded Case Keenum after acquiring Deshaun Watson for a reason, as they knew a suspension was likely.
  • There have been some rumblings that Jimmy Garoppolo could become an option if Watson receives a lengthy suspension, but that remains an unlikely scenario if it would require a trade.
  • Brissett started five games last season for Miami and earned a respectable 77.4 grade in those starts.

Seahawks RB Chris Carson retires

  • Carson was forced to retire at the age of 27 after suffering a serious neck injury early last season.
  • Seattle selected Carson in the seventh round in 2017, and he started 48 games in five years. 
  • He totaled 769 carries for 3,502 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 107 passes for 804 yards and seven touchdowns. 
  • He earned a 70.0-plus overall grade in all five years and never recorded a rushing grade under 74.0. His best season came in 2018, when he finished with an 83.2 PFF grade, sixth best in the NFL. 
  • Seattle used a second-round pick on Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker and also re-signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year, $5.75 million deal this offseason. They are poised to lead the way in Seattle’s backfield in 2022.

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin won’t start camp on PUP

  • Godwin suffered a torn ACL in Week 15 of last season, so this is a great sign for where he’s at in his recovery.
  • The team plans to take a cautious approach with Godwin throughout camp, and it’s still not a sure-fire thing that he’ll be available come Week 1.
  • Godwin had a career-high 98 receptions last season for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. He earned an 81.3 PFF grade.
  • Tampa Bay rewarded him with a three-year, $60 million deal earlier this offseason.

    Kansas City Chiefs sign veteran edge rusher Carlos Dunlap

    • It’s a one-year deal worth up to $8 million for Dunlap in Kansas City.
    • The two-time Pro Bowler was efficient in a rotational role for Seattle last season with a 72.1 overall defensive grade and a 15.3% pass-rush win rate. He finished the year with 8.5 sacks and needs just four more to reach 100 in his career.
    • The Chiefs lost Melvin Ingram II in free agency, and so Dunlap figures to take over his role.
    • Kansas City also used a first-round pick on Purdue pass-rusher George Karlaftis in April’s draft.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen carted off with knee injury

    • The severity is unclear at this point, but the tone from the organization is cause for real concern.“Right now, we feel terrible for Jensen,” general manager Jason Licht said after practice. “We won’t know for some time. We have some tests you have to wait a couple of days before you can get them. You have to wait for swelling and things like that to go down.”
    • The 31-year-old is coming off his first Pro Bowl selection and re-signed with Tampa on a three-year, $39 million deal earlier this offseason.
    • Jensen has been with Tampa Bay since 2018 and has not missed a single start during that time. His 4,518 snaps are the most of any center during that span.
    • He earned a 69.9 PFF grade last season and has posted 70.0-plus run-blocking grades in four of the past five seasons.
    • The Bucs already lost guards Alex Cappa (free agency) and Ali Marpet (retirement) this offseason.
    • Robert Hainsey, a third-round pick in 2021, would be the next man up if Jensen misses significant time. Former Browns center J.C. Tretter is currently PFF's highest-rated available center on the open market.

    New York Jets sign linebacker Kwon Alexander to one-year deal

    • Alexander took a visit with the Jets back in April and now finally signs, reuniting with Robert Saleh from his San Francisco days.
    • Saleh was the 49ers' defensive coordinator when Alexander was on the team in 2019 and for part of 2020.
    • He spent the past year and a half with the Saints and tallied 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 12 games last year. He earned a 53.9 overall grade and a 67.6 coverage grade.

    Atlanta Falcons not planning to have QB competition — Marcus Mariota is the starter

    • “Obviously, we've got a plan for each of them. Marcus is the starter,” quarterbacks coach Charles London said. “That's how we're going into this thing.”
    • Atlanta used a third-round pick on Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, but he’s exclusively been taking second-team reps.
    • Meanwhile, Mariota has not started a game since 2019. The former No. 2 overall pick spent the past two seasons with the Raiders but saw meaningful action in just one game — Week 15 of 2020 — although the results were quite good (82.1 PFF grade).
    • Mariota’s five-year tenure with the Titans was defined by inconsistent play, including 83 big-time throws to 82 turnover-worthy plays and zero season passing grades above 75.0.

    Detroit Lions CB Jeffrey Okudah fully cleared for training camp

    • “He's good to go,” head coach Dan Campbell said. “He's committed. He's in a good place right now. For the most part, we're not putting any restrictions on him.”
    • Okudah, the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, tore his Achilles in Week 1 of last season and also missed seven games as a rookie with hamstring, shoulder and core muscle injuries.
    • His time in the NFL has been a struggle so far. His 42.5 PFF overall grade as a rookie ranked 125th of 136 qualifying cornerbacks.
    • But Okudah is “standing out” at camp, according to Nick Baumgardner and Colton Pouncy of The Athletic. “He’s built up top and down low. He was moving with fluidity. His length still looks different up close. All the good stuff that made him a top pick.”

    New England Patriots extend DI Davon Godchaux on a 2-year deal

    • It’s a two-year, $20.8 million extension that includes $17.85 million fully guaranteed.
    • Godchaux left Miami after four seasons to sign a two-year deal with the Patriots last offseason. This new extension now puts him under contract through 2024.
    • He appeared in all 17 games last season and had a very strong end to the year, as his 84.7 run-defense grade over the final eight weeks was the best among all interior defensive linemen.
    • Lawrence Guy and former second-rounder Christian Barmore round out a very strong interior for New England.

Washington Commanders EDGE Chase Young won’t be ready for start of regular season

  • Young tore his ACL in Week 10 of last season and head coach Ron Rivera described the injury as “a little more severe” than some other ACL injuries.
  • Starting the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list or injured reserve (IR) is a possibility, according to Rivera. In both scenarios, he would miss a minimum of four games.
  • Young earned the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2020 with 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. His 87.1 PFF grade that season ranked fifth among all qualifying edge rushers.
  • He’s also been one of the more productive players at the position against the run, grading in the 92nd percentile among all edge defenders in PFF run-defense grade since entering the league.

Ryan Kerrigan retires

  • Kerrigan signed a one-day contract with the Commanders to make the news official.
  • A first-round pick in 2011, Kerrigan spent 10 years with Washington, where he recorded the most sacks in franchise history with 95.5.
  • The four-time Pro Bowler was also very dependable, as he never missed a game until his ninth season, appearing in 139 consecutive games.
  • Kerrigan accumulated 73.0-plus pass-rush grades in six of his first seven seasons and never had a year under 67.0 in his 10 years with Washington. He would go on to spend his final year in 2021 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

San Francisco 49ersArik Armstead will miss a few weeks due to knee sprain

  • Armstead injured his knee in a collision with an offensive lineman during Wednesday’s practice.
  • “It’s nothing we’re too concerned about but it will take him some time away,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “He thought it was just a bruise because it didn’t bother him that bad, but it was hurting him a little after, then got the MRI, so we’ve got to hold him out a little bit.”
  • Armstead has been a steady force for San Francisco, recording a 74.0-plus PFF grade in four consecutive seasons.
  • His 155 total pressures over the last three years are top-20 among all defensive linemen.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen will miss “months” due to knee injury, likely entire teason

  • Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Jensen will miss significant time and that the team is waiting for the final word on the severity as the swelling goes down.
  • NFL Media reported that the team is fearing it is going to be a season-ending injury.
  • Jensen re-signed with Tampa this offseason on a three-year, $39 million deal. He has not missed a single start since originally joining the team in 2018.
  • Robert Hainsey, a third-round pick in 2021, is next in line to take over the center position. Former Browns center J.C. Tretter is currently PFF's highest-rated available center on the open market.

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup unlikely to be ready for start of regular season

  • Gallup tore his ACL in Week 16 of last season while making a touchdown grab.
  • Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Gallup admitted a Week 1 return “is not a realistic possibility” for him. 
  • In nine games last year, the former third-round pick caught 35 passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns. He earned a 73.4 PFF grade.
  • Dallas re-signed him to a five-year, $62.5 million deal this offseason.
  • His most productive statistical season came in 2019 when he caught 66 passes for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns.
  • With Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson no longer on the team, Gallup is slated to have a major role once he’s able to return alongside CeeDee Lamb.
  • Dallas is scheduled to kick off their season on Sunday Night Football against Tampa Bay.

Houston Texans CB Derek Stingley should be ready for Week 1

  • Stingley, the third overall pick in April’s draft, is slowly being brought in as he returns from a Lisfranc injury suffered in college.
  • Although Stingley ran full speed at his pro day in April, the Texans have not put him in team drills throughout OTAs or training camp, but he has participated in other drills as he gets acclimated to the NFL level.
  • Head coach Lovie Smith said he anticipates Stingley being ready come Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts: “Whenever a player is coming out with a major injury, this ramp-up period, that's what it's for,” Smith said. “We're going to ease him into it. He's healthy, seeing him run around. We had him doing a few plays… So he's on schedule.”
  • The Texans are hoping they get the 2019 freshman version of Stingley, when he produced a 91.9 coverage grade, which led all FBS cornerbacks.
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