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#pounditMonday, August 3, 2020

Football

Everson Griffen reportedly receiving interest from Packers

Everson Griffen is still seeking a new home on the eve of training camp, and he may find it in one of his former division rivals.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Griffen and the Green Bay Packers have mutual interest, in addition to the possibility of a return to the Minnesota Vikings.

Griffen seemed to close the door on a return to Minnesota earlier in the offseason, but that was four months ago and he’s still unsigned. As long as his former team remains interested, it’s a possibility. Seeing Griffen in Packers colors would be a tough pill to swallow for Vikings fans, but it would present an opportunity for Griffen to land with a contender.

The 32-year-old defensive lineman has 74.5 career sacks, adding eight to that tally in 2019.

Three NFL players placed on Commissioner Exempt List

The NFL has not used the Commissioner Exempt List all that often over the years, but three players have reportedly been placed on the list ahead of the 2020 season.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker and Washington wide receiver Cody Latimer have all been placed on the Commissioner Exempt List, according to multiple reports. All three players are facing felony charges.

Dunbar and Baker are facing charges stemming from an incident on May 14 in which they were accused of robbing some people at a party. They were accused of stealing $7,000 in cash and two watches with a combined value of $43,000. The players were said to have lost about $70,000 at a different party a few days earlier, and then robbed some people in attendance at the May 14 party.

Attorneys representing Dunbar and Baker said the players were victims of an extortion attempt. However, a new report published this month shows Dunbar’s attorney helped organize a payoff plan where the alleged victims were given $55,000 to recant their testimony about the robbery. Baker’s attorney has said publicly that the allegations of a payoff are “false” and “defamatory.

Latimer is facing three felony charges — including assault with a deadly weapon — after he brandished a gun in an alleged dispute during a poker game back in May. Everyone was kicked out of the game following the argument, and Latimer allegedly later showed up at the apartment of the person he was arguing with and threatened him with a gun.

Latimer spent the last two seasons with the Giants before joining the Redskins this offseason. Dunbar is entering his first season with the Seahawks after spending five with Washington, and Baker is going into his second year with the Giants.

Raheem Mostert finalizes new contract with 49ers

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert has gotten his wish.

Mostert has finalized a new contract with the organization, according to his agent, Brett Tessler. Terms were not disclosed, but it’s certain to include a healthy pay rise.

Mostert was previously set to make $3 million this season, but he had supposedly wanted his salary brought more in line with teammate Tevin Coleman’s $4.5 million salary. Subsequently, he had requested a trade from the 49ers earlier this month, citing the team’s refusal to adjust his contract given his output in 2019. Ultimately, it seems all he really wanted was an improved deal. Now that he’s got it, there will be no trade and Mostert is set to show up on time to training camp.

The 28-year-old running back had a breakout season for the 49ers in 2019, rushing for 772 yards and eight touchdowns. Both of those were career highs.

Report: Many in NFL feel Seahawks were ‘fleeced’ in Jamal Adams trade

Jamal Adams

If you think the New York Jets got the better of the Jamal Adams trade, it appears you’re not alone.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini spoke to numerous coaches and general managers over the weekend about the Adams trade, and she said on Monday’s edition of “Get Up!” that the prevailing opinion was that the Seattle Seahawks got “fleeced” by giving up two first-round picks and safety Bradley McDougald to acquire Adams.

The Seahawks did, in fact, part with an enormous haul to land Adams. They clearly see him as a transformative figure on defense due to his ability and versatility. Plus, he does fill a position of need.

Adams had 75 tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Jets last season. That’s the kind of production the Seahawks will be looking for at the very least in 2020.

Alex Smith likely to begin training camp on active/PUP list

Alex Smith

Alex Smith reached a major milestone recently when doctors cleared him to resume all football activities, but the Washington quarterback is not returning to the practice field with his teammates just yet.

Smith is expected to begin training camp on the active/PUP list, according to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. That means he will be able to take part in team meetings and be around the facilities but cannot practice.

Players who are placed on the physically unable to perform list before or during training camp can be removed at any time. If Washington decides to place Smith on the reserve/PUP list for Week 1, he then must sit out at least the first six weeks of the season.

The fact that Smith has been cleared for football activities is remarkable in and of itself. The 36-year-old suffered a tibia and fibula fracture during Washington’s loss to Houston on Nov. 18, 2018. Not only was he carted off the field after having his leg broken, but he suffered a spiral fracture that caused more complications. On top of all that, Smith had a serious infection that threatened his career.

While Washington is committed to Dwayne Haskins as its starter, having Smith in the mix could be valuable for them.

Mike Evans fires back at Keenan Allen over WR ranking talk

Keenan Allen is not pleased with his place on this year’s annual NFL Top 100 rankings, and he could be making some enemies with the way he is choosing to complain about it.

After NFL Network revealed on Sunday that Allen was ranked No. 77 on the list, the Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver took to Twitter to express his frustration. He mentioned three receivers who he says are not better than him — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Tyreek Hill. Evans responded on Monday morning and said he respects the confidence but told Allen “you not on my level bro.”

Allen can certainly make a strong case that he should be higher on the list. He has posted three consecutive seasons of at least 97 catches, 1,196 yards, and six touchdowns since tearing his ACL in 2016. However, Evans has never had fewer than 1,000 receiving yards in any of his six NFL seasons. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star also has 48 career touchdowns compared to Allen’s 34 despite playing one less season (not accounting for injury) than Allen.

Godwin is coming off a career year in which he had 86 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. Hill only had 860 yards, but he missed four games.

Again, Allen may be able to argue that he should be higher than No. 77. Convincing people he should be ranked above any of the three receivers he mentioned would be a tougher task. This isn’t the first time Allen has complained about rankings, so Evans shouldn’t take it too personally.

Keenan Allen feels disrespected by his NFL Top 100 ranking

Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen is not happy with his place on the NFL Top 100 rankings.

The Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver is ranked No. 77 on the NFL’s Top 100 players list. After learning about his ranking, Allen expressed his frustration over Twitter. He was so exasperated that he wondered if he did something to someone to get such a low ranking.

He then proclaimed that receivers like Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were not better players than him.

Allen also declared himself the best receiver in the AFC West “without question”.

The 28-year-old receiver’s frustration is understandable.

Allen came on strong as a rookie in 2013 with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns, but then he had three consecutive down seasons, which included being limited to one game in 2016 due to a torn ACL. Since then, Allen has been a beast, posting three straight seasons of at least 97 catches, 1,196 yards, and six touchdowns.

The more he continues to put up big seasons like that, the more he’ll gain respect. Of course, complaining about rankings are nothing new for him, though.