The Dallas Cowboys have work to do if they want to retain star defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, but they appear to be ready to do it.
According to Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys likely won’t use the franchise tag on Lawrence at this point, preferring instead to try to negotiate a long-term contract extension. The deadline to use the franchise tag is March 5, and the Cowboys will do it if they must.
The Cowboys will reportedly keep Lawrence “at all cost,” but a second consecutive franchise tag would make him unhappy and risk him skipping offseason activities and potentially even regular season games.
Lawrence had big demands of Dallas last season in talks over a long-term deal. After a second straight season with double-digit sacks, it’s unlikely that price has gone down.
- Demarcus Lawrence
Talk of the New York Giants potentially trading Odell Beckham Jr. will not seem to go away, and that could be because they explored doing just that as recently as last offseason. If they entertain offers again heading into 2019, football fans may be terrified to learn which team has expressed the most interest.
Chris Simms of Bleacher Report said on Monday that he was told by multiple sources that the New England Patriots were “most aggressive” in pursuing Beckham a year ago. Simms said the Patriots worked all offseason in an attempt to acquire him, and he thinks the Giants got cold feet when one of the most respected organizations in sports wanted the star wide receiver.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) February 18, 2019
There are plenty of teams that do not want to be responsible for helping the Patriots continue their insane run of success, and the Giants are probably one of them. Plus, New England rarely ever overpays for star players, so it would stand to reason that New York could get a better deal elsewhere.
In any event, the fact that the Giants were reportedly close to trading Beckham could be an indication that this reporter’s prediction is going to come true. With the Eli Manning era looking like it will come to an end in the near future, the Giants could enter a full-blown rebuild. Trading Beckham makes some sense if they decide to go that route.
Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown, a projected first-round draft pick, will not get the chance to prove himself to teams at pre-draft workouts.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown had surgery to correct a Lisfranc problem last month, and will not be able to participate in the NFL Combine or Pro Day. He is, however, expected to be ready for summer camp with his new team.
Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown, a projected top 15 pick in April’s NFL Draft, underwent surgery for a LisFranc injury last month that will prevent him from participating in the combine and his Pro Day, but he still is expected to be ready for summer training camp, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2019
Brown was hurt in the Big 12 Championship and played through the injury in the College Football Playoff semifinal, but clearly wasn’t himself. It doesn’t sound like the issue will significantly impact his draft stock.
- Marquise Brown
Antonio Brown has clearly been using social media as a means of trying to pressure the Pittsburgh Steelers into trading him, but it’s fair to wonder if those antics could backfire on the star wide receiver.
In his weekly column for NBC Sports, Peter King said he has been told that at least one team has been scared off by the controversial tweets Brown sent over the past week or so. While that could be strategy from a team that actually wants to trade for the veteran wideout, it would not be a surprise if certain teams would prefer to not deal with the headache and the salary Brown is owed.
Brown wants the Steelers to trade him, but he is making that more difficult by taking his issues public. Interested teams know it is highly unlikely that Pittsburgh will bring him back in 2019, which means they could try to acquire him for pennies on the dollar.
As for which tweets have turned at least one potential trade partner off, it could be the recent ones Brown sent about his conflict with Ben Roethlisberger. If there’s a belief that Brown has trouble getting along with his coach and quarterback, that probably hurts his trade value as well.
- Antonio Brown
The NFL offseason is expected to be a busy one, and some big names are likely to find new homes next season. There will inevitably be some players hit with the franchise tag or retained by their teams, but there are plenty of high-profile players who will be traded or allowed to leave their current teams for a new home elsewhere.
Here are ten big names who could be in a new uniform when the next NFL season kicks off.
10. Jordan Hicks, LB, Eagles
Drafted by Philly in 2015, Hicks’ rookie deal with the Eagles is expiring. He emerged as a force on the team’s defense last season, recording 91 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits and 5 passes defended in 12 games. Injuries are a question with Hicks – he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in 2017 and missed a month this season due to a calf injury. Still, when he’s on the field, he makes things happen. He even has 7 interceptions in 43 games. He’s expected to test free agency.
The AAF is in its second week of play and has received a strong reception among sports fans, with many appreciating the improvements they’ve made from the NFL. But one area where the league failed was the uniform matchup in Sunday’s San Diego Fleet-Atlanta Legends game.
Atlanta’s colors are purple and yellow, while San Diego’s are black and yellow. The gold in the Legends’ pants and the yellow socks worn by the Fleet made things all the more confusing.
The first touchdown in @AAFFleet history is an 8-yard run by Ja'Quan Gardner!
San Diego Fleet 15
Atlanta Legends 12
9:04 4th Quarter pic.twitter.com/k9xhGtS91q
— San Diego Football Network (@sdfootball) February 18, 2019
— The Alliance (@TheAAF) February 18, 2019
The uniform combination led to many of the same observations from fans:
Atlanta and San Diego’s uniforms are awfully close to each other in color.
— Justin Prochaska (@JustinRPro) February 18, 2019
Atlanta and San Diego uniforms look too much alike
— Jb (@JohnnyBFromTN) February 18, 2019
The AAF might want to look into more uniforms lol Atlanta and San Diego look so similar on the field.
— dartanion. (@BakersChubb) February 18, 2019
I am enjoying the @TheAAF but they need to have a dark team and white team with the uniforms. San Diego and Atlanta look too similar.
— Chris Kucharski (@Chris_Kucharski) February 18, 2019
Please tell the league they should spring for some away jerseys so we can avoid situations like this. It was not pleasant to watch on TV, and probably was difficult for the quarterbacks trying to target teammates.
It was a rough weekend for NFL players on the roads, as both wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen revealed that they got into car accidents.
On Sunday, Rosen took to Instagram to show the extensive damage to his Tesla. It looks like the quarterback was T-boned, though he fortunately said he is “okay.”
Word of Rosen’s collision came a day after Thomas was reportedly involved in an accident where his car hit a median and flipped over. He and two other passengers were treated for injuries.
Both Rosen and Thomas avoided serious injuries, but one passenger in Thomas’ vehicle was reportedly treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The biggest casualty in Rosen’s accident looks like it was his very expensive car.