Alex Smith may not be able to play at any point in 2019 after he suffered a devastating knee injury last season, but the veteran quarterback is still making an effort to spend time with his teammates.
On Thursday, the Washington Redskins shared some photos of Smith at organized team activities. He chatted with teammates and coaches and even threw some passes, which was a welcome sight.
Alex Smith at day 3️⃣ of OTAs supporting his teammates. pic.twitter.com/vompSPRgxY
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 23, 2019
It’s possible that Smith will never play for Washington again after they drafted former Ohio State star quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the first round, and he obviously know that. Smith turned 35 this month, which means he’s entering the twilight of his career even without the questions surrounding his recovery from a horrific injury.
Smith being around the team is a good sign, and there have been reports that his injury is not considered career-threatening. Hopefully he’s able to play again in 2020, whether it’s in Washington or somewhere else.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase says he was not against the team giving Le’Veon Bell a massive contract in free agency.
After the Jets fired former general manager Mike Maccagnan, there were reports that Gase wanted him out and disagreed with a number of moves Maccagnan made, one of them being the decision to sign Bell. On Thursday, Gase tried to put some of that talk to rest.
Adam Gase on Le'Veon Bell's contract: "The contract was what it was. Everybody can criticize the contract all you want, but he's here. I'm excited he's here … When you get a chance to coach a great player, I'm excited for that opportunity."
But did the Jets overpay? "No."
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) May 23, 2019
Gase also addressed the speculation that the Jets could try to trade Bell now that Maccagnan is gone.
Jets coach Adam Gase asked about idea that Le'Veon Bell could be dealt …
Gase: "That's ridiculous."
Reporter: "So that's not gonna happen?"
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 23, 2019
The Jets have already paid Bell a signing bonus and a bunch of guaranteed money, so trading him was never really an option. That doesn’t mean Gase agreed with signing him to a huge contract.
If what was reported about the way Gase acted during the draft was accurate, the issues between him and Maccagnan had to do with a lot more than just the Bell signing. Even if Gase thinks the money would have been better spent elsewhere, he might as well get the most out of Bell while he has him.
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said publicly last year that the team did not sign Odell Beckham Jr to a massive extension just to turn around and trade him, and the message he sent to the media is apparently the same one he relayed in the locker room.
Former Giants safety Landon Collins, who signed a six-year contract with the Washington Redskins back in March, said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” Thursday that Gettleman lied to the team about his intentions with Beckham.
"That's one of the best receivers in the game and for [Giants GM Dave Gettleman] to do that and lie to everybody, it wasn't a good look."@Redskins safety @TheHumble_21 on the @obj trade. pic.twitter.com/KUQyt9l4iY
— GMFB (@gmfb) May 23, 2019
“He said he wasn’t gonna trade the man, and he traded him,” Collins said. “We were all surprised by that because that’s one of the best receivers in the game. For him to do that and lie to everybody, that’s not a good look.”
Collins made similar remarks to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan earlier in the week when he said Gettleman “never talked to me” about a contract extension during his final months with the Giants. He also defended Beckham against Gettleman’s assertion that the star receiver created a culture problem in New York.
Gettleman’s explanation for why he decided to trade Beckham seemed a bit suspect, and Collins obviously isn’t buying it. Time will tell if the controversial moves he has made will work out.
The Oakland Raiders are thrilled about the addition of Antonio Brown to their team, and they want to make the most of his presence.
According to Las Vegas Review-Journal Raiders reporter Michael Gehlkin, the Raiders plan to use Brown in multiple ways this season. That includes having him work in the slot.
Antonio Brown TD from practice today. Came vs. nickel CB Lamarcus Joyner. Raiders want to move Brown around field. Not just a Z. His versatile role to include work in slot. https://t.co/C1IJ6GTBrj
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 23, 2019
Brown is a true No. 1 receiver and typically has operated as the “X” receiver during his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The X receiver lines up on the outside, at the line of scrimmage, is often the primary option on passing plays, and tends to draw the opposing team’s best cornerback. Prior to becoming as dominant as he did with Pittsburgh, Brown served as a slot receiver — the “Z” position, also known as a flanker. That receiver lines up behind the line of scrimmage and typically in between a tight end and another receiver split further out wide. Slot receivers often draw nickel cornerbacks in coverage, which can create the opportunity for a mismatch.
The Arizona Cardinals under Bruce Arians moved their best receiver — Larry Fitzgerald — to the slot to take advantage of such mismatches and help extend his career. If the Raiders are thinking about doing the same with Brown, they are thinking creatively and looking for ways to get the most out of him.
The 7-time Pro Bowl receiver is coming off a 104-catch, 1,297-yard season for Pittsburgh. Brown’s 15 receiving touchdowns last season led the league.
- Antonio Brown
The Dallas Cowboys have decided where their priorities lie when it comes to discussing contract extensions with their star players.
The Cowboys boast talent at their offensive skill positions in the forms of Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott. The first two players are reportedly at the front of the line for extensions, though Dallas has also had contact with Elliott’s representatives about an extension as well, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
While the #Cowboys have made clear Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are at the front of the line, they’ve also been talking contract with Ezekiel Elliott‘s reps … and everyone seems to be on the same page. @nflnetwork @NFLTotalAccess pic.twitter.com/phBOJkseqV
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 21, 2019
Prescott is the face of the franchise so it only makes sense the Cowboys would want to lock him up long term. Cooper established a rapport with Prescott and had 725 yards and six touchdowns in nine games after being traded from the Oakland Raiders. Elliott has become one of the NFL’s premier running backs.
Prescott is 25 years old and set to become a free agent after the season. The reports about how much money he could make are astounding. Cooper is 24 and also set to be a free agent after the year. He is making nearly $14 million in the upcoming season. Clarence Hill Jr. reported this week that contract talks with him are at a stalemate. Elliott is 23 and under team control through 2020, so the Cowboys are not in danger of losing him as soon as they could lose Prescott and Cooper.
That’s an impressive core to build an offense around. It will likely also be expensive. However, that will be money well spent if each can duplicate their 2018 production going forward.
The New York Jets on Monday waived tight end Jordan Leggett, and the reporting that’s followed indicates they may have missed an opportunity to trade him.
The New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta reported on Tuesday that five teams submitted a waiver claim for Leggett. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up with him because of their position on the waiver wire. The Bills, Packers, Steelers and Titans were the other teams to submit claims for him, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. That much interest in a player indicates there could have been a market to trade the tight end for a conditional pick.
I mentioned yesterday that five teams put in a waiver claim for former Jets TE Jordan Leggett. That’s a lot of interest. Probably could have traded him for a conditional pick, as @RossTuckerNFL noted.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) May 22, 2019
Leggett was a fifth-round pick by the Jets out of Clemson in 2017. He was drafted by previous GM Mike Maccagnan, who was ousted last week in favor of head coach Adam Gase, who was also given interim GM responsibilities. Gase is wasting no time making moves, as he also traded Darron Lee last week.
Leggett only played one game as a rookie due to a knee injury. He had 14 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown last season.
- Jordan Leggett
The New York Jets’ convoluted GM search continues to get more complex, this time due to issues surrounding ownership.
According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, some GM candidates have concerns about the clarity of owner Woody Johnson’s role going forward. Johnson is currently serving as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom and cannot be involved in the team’s day-to-day operations, but it’s unclear whether that role could change at any point.
Given Adam Gase is allegedly open to surrendering the 53-man roster, the next big hurdle in #Jets interviews is Woody Johnson’s role. Realistically, candidates should interview directly with Woody. If they don’t, people I’ve spoken to are very concerned to know Woody’s intentions
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) May 22, 2019
I’m telling you guys the reality. Some #Jets GM candidates don’t want to hear that there’s no clarity on Woody. They know it’s possible he’s back in play sooner than later. They know he could alter plans. If some answers aren’t coming from Woody’s lips, it’s going to be a hurdle. https://t.co/fGJ6mwuyZY
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) May 22, 2019
Johnson’s brother Christopher is currently running the team as chairman and CEO. If Woody Johnson is replaced or resigns, there is no reason he could not retake control over the team and potentially change the organization’s direction.
Right now, it’s Christopher Johnson giving the somewhat strange rationale behind the Jets initiating a GM search now. Clearly, some candidates want to know who they’ll be answering to in two or three years if they get the position.