It happened. The Cincinnati Bengals dropped a major bomb in the first quarter of NFL Kickoff - QB Joe Burrow signed a monster extension. The five-year, $275 million deal will keep Burrow in Cincy until at least 2028.
The latest highest-paid player in the NFL is ready to kick off the season on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Burrow has been dealing with a calf strain that he suffered early in training camp but has logged full practices all week.
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As NFL teams got down to their final 53-man rosters on Tuesday, the New England Patriots cut everyone not named Mac Jones basically. Backup QBs Bailey Zappe (a fan-favorite) and Malik Cunningham (after a strong preseason) were both waived by the team.
Zappe, a fourth-rounder in 2022, appeared in two games as a rookie - and played well enough for fans to scream incessantly that they wanted him to start over Jones. Cunningham, who was an undrafted free agent out of Louisville in 2023, had a strong preseason.
Fans and media weren't the only ones a little shocked by the moves. Patriots special-teamer Matthew Slater said the news that Zappe was being cut was a shock to the whole locker room.
It's possible that one, or both will end up on someone else's roster - or someone's practice squad.
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Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis left practice on Thursday and did not return. Levis is dealing with a lower body injury, and his status for this weekend's preseason game is up in the air.
Malik Willis is already expected to start preseason Week Two. Head coach Mike Vrabel said they will see where he's at come Saturday.
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QB Derek Carr has only been with the New Orleans Saints for a few short months, but he's already having an impact on the guys in the locker room. Second-year receiver Chris Olave says he's building chemistry with Carr and on off the field.
We'll see if this chemistry translates to the regular season, where Olave is looking to build upon his rookie season, and Carr is looking to start a new chapter on a new squad.
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During Las Vegas Raiders OTAs, new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not participate in practice, as he has not been cleared.
Garoppolo had surgery on his foot in March and is expected to miss Raiders OTAs. Garoppolo's rehabilitation timeline is uncertain, but the feeling in the building is that he should be ready by the beginning of the season at the latest. Head coach Josh McDaniels refused to comment on Garoppolo's surgery on Thursday, the severity, and the timeline of recovery.
By focusing on his recovery, Garoppolo aims to strengthen his foot and regain full mobility - however less time with new teammates and being on a new team in general is likely not going to be beneficial for him.
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The New York Jets are clearly excited about having QB Aaron Rodgers on their side, including WR Garrett Wilson. "I'd be lying if I said we add someone of Aaron Rodgers' pedigree and the expectation doesn't go up a little bit."
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Bill Belichick hasn't yet committed to QB Mac Jones starting for the New England Patriots in 2023. I think he's just being Belichick, but others seem to think the tension between the two is real.
We all saw Jones scream on the sideline many times, frustrated. As he had a right to when you make your defensive coordinator your offensive coordinator (?). Jones wasn't bad his rookie season and then went through a dramatic second year as a pawn in the Matt Patricia experiment.
I know Belichick is controlling, but he's not dumb. Let Jones have another year with an actual OC before you ship him off elsewhere.
Speaking of, a report also surfaced on Tuesday that Belichick shopped Jones to teams including Washington, Tennessee and Vegas. I'm not so sure about that.
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The Carolina Panthers sent a ton (literally, a ton) of representatives to CJ Stroud's Pro Day at Ohio State on Tuesday. The Panthers own the No. 1 pick (acquired in a trade from the Chicago Bears) and are going to be pretty busy over the next month deciding whomst to select with that No. 1 pick. Stroud was the one they were getting to know first.
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said of Stroud: "Really knows football. It's not too big for him. He's very comfortable being in that environment and being in command." Fitterer also said the team's brass had a dinner with the likely first-rounder.
Who the Panthers are taking with the first pick is anyone's guess, but the two seemed pretty damn chummy.
The Panthers will do their due diligence on other top candidates as well, traveling to Alabama on Thursday for Bryce Young, and Kentucky on Friday for Will Levis. That's a lot of wining and dining. In fact, Panthers' execs had dinner with Young on Wednesday night.
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The Las Vegas Raiders have found their Derek Carr replacement, and it's an upgrade to QB Jimmy Garoppolo. He was their best target, after losing out on Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets (maybe?), and they locked him in with a three-year, $67.5 million deal, with $34 million guaranteed.
The main reason he landed in Vegas was his relationship with ex-New England Patriots offensive coordinator (Garoppolo was Tom Brady's backup for years in NE) Josh McDaniels, who is now the Raiders head coach. Garoppolo has a familiarity with McDaniels' offense that it seems Carr wasn't able to grasp. And if we're going off of last year, it appears the team wasn't willing to adjust, based on how poorly Carr played. The writing was on the wall probably midseason that they needed a shot at someone else.
The one knock on Jimmy is his inability to stay healthy - if he can, he plays very well and could get the Raiders a postseason bid. If not, the Raiders have to have a backup plan. With them picking at No. 7 in the 2023 NFL Draft and Garoppolo's short-term deal, they may choose to go the draft-and-sit route.
The Houston Texans were also interested in Garoppolo - with them passing on him, it seems most likely that they'll draft their future QB with the No.2 pick and have him compete with current starter Davis Mills or sign a cheap vet like Carson Wentz.
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Amongst some players (coughcough LeSean McCoy) talking about Eric Bieniemy's lack of influence in the Kansas City Chiefs offense, quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to Twitter to defend his former offensive coordinator.
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