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Bears signed TE Jesse James to a one-year contract.

26 July 2021

James has been on the open market since Detroit released him in March. The tight end played meaningful snaps for the Lions last year, with a 40% snap share or higher in 11 of his 16 games. Known for his run blocking in Pittsburgh, James disappointed in Detroit. He was graded as ProFootballFocus' 46th and 43rd run blocking tight end in his two seasons with the Lions, and produced a very poor yards per route run of 0.85. If James sticks on the roster, it could spell trouble for Jimm ...

Bears placed Dazz Newsome (collarbone) on the PUP list.

25 July 2021

Newsome suffered a broken collarbone on June 1st, and was expected to be ready for training camp. The wide receiver suffered a clean break, and despite starting on the PUP, he remains likely to be available for the start of the season. As a sixth round rookie however, he'll be missing valuable reps in the meantime. Best suited for the slot, Newsome is theoretically one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Anthony Miller trade, provided he can get on the field again quickly.

Rams hired Andy Benoit as assistant to head coach Sean McVay/Special Projects.

25 July 2021

Benoit, formerly of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and CBS Sports will work as a researcher and second opinion for Sean McVay. This will be Benoit's first position within the NFL. After the success of Brandon Staley, McVay's unconventional choice for defensive coordinator in 2020, this hire is a bit of a heat check.

Bears placed Tarik Cohen (knee) on the PUP list.

25 July 2021

Cohen is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in Week 3 of last season. Following previous reports that Cohen has been dealing with stiffness in his knee, this move doesn't come as a major surprise. Still, with Damien Williams now in Chicago and David Montgomery showing well as a receiver last year, we could see Cohen brought along slowly in his recovery. Cohen shouldn't be considered a lock to be active Week 1.

Eagles signed CB Steven Nelson to one-year deal worth more than $4 million.

25 July 2021

Nelson was viewed as one of the top cornerbacks on the open market, after ranking as Pro Football Focus' 36th ranked cornerback in 2020. He should help shore up an Eagles pass defense that ranked 24th in Football Outsider's DVOA against the pass last season. Nelson was released in March as part of Pittsburgh's salary cap machinations to keep Juju Smith-Schuster, but Nelson still just 28 years old and could have a meaningful impact in Philadelphia. 

Bengals signed DE Sam Hubbard to a four-year $40 million extension.

25 July 2021

Hubbard, Cincinnati's third round selection in 2018, has been a three-year starter for the Bengals. He has delivered solid play each season. While not a highly disruptive defensive force, Hubbard should be a steading presence for the Bengals defense going forward.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday that Chandler Jones has requested a trade from the Cardinals.

25 July 2021

Jones is evidently unhappy with his contract and future with the Cardinals. The Cardinals reportedly do not want to trade Jones, and expect him to report to camp. However, a trade would save Arizona $15.5 million in 2021, so it's entirely possible Jones is traded elsewhere prior to the start of the season. Jones is entering the final season his deal, his age 31 season. The pass rusher is coming off the worst season of his nine year career, with PFF grading him 68th ...

NewOrleans.football's Nick Underhill reports Michael Thomas (ankle) will "need about 6-8 weeks for the repaired [ankle] ligament to heal and then another 6-8 weeks to get it in shape to where he can run and cut effectively."

25 July 2021

Underhill, as plugged in as any NFL beat writer, said there remains a "possibility that Thomas could shorten the timeline but being on the field for the season opener against the Green Bay Packers seems unlikely." The worst case scenario, per the recovery timeline reported by Underhill, would put Thomas back on the field in late October. The best case would put Thomas in the Saints' lineup by the end of September, perhaps for their Week 3 game against New England. Underhill said Thomas saw a spe ...

The Athletic's David Lombardi expects Trey Sermon to play the role Tevin Coleman previously held, when healthy in 2019.

25 July 2021

This would technically make Sermon the 49ers starting running back. However, San Fransisco ran a true running back by committee in 2019 with Coleman seeing a 42% snap share, Raheem Mostert at 36% and Matt Breida at 31%. Lombardi expects that Sermon will be used early in the game to help soften defenses, like Coleman was. Mostert, and perhaps others, are expected to see more work as the opposition wears down. Sermon projects to have a valuable role in 2021, but given Kyle Shan ...

Lions placed DL Austin Bryant on the active/PUP list. 

25 July 2021

Bryant, who opened last year on reserve/PUP, has appeared in just 10 games the last two seasons. The Lions also placed WR Javon McKinley on active/NFI and OL Evan Heim on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Colts placed LT Eric Fisher (Achilles) on the active/PUP list.

25 July 2021

This was expected with Fisher six months removed from a torn Achilles. Fisher should avoid reserve/PUP, but there's a chance he won't be ready until October. Colts DE Dayo Odeyingbo (Achilles) was placed on the active/NFI list, with DT Rob Windsor being sent to IR.

Joe Burrow (knee) was cleared for training camp.

25 July 2021

Burrow said his knee wasn't 100 percent last month. He was limited at OTAs but will be full-go for the start of camp. Burrow, who struggled on throws over 20 yards as a rookie, focused on improving his downfield accuracy this offseason. The addition of first-round WR Ja'Marr Chase should help open up the offense for Burrow in Year 2.

A.J. Brown (knees) was cleared for the start of training camp.

25 July 2021

Brown missed Tennessee's offseason program recovering from surgery in both knees. The Titans may limit his reps early but this puts Brown on track for Week 1. Titans LT Taylor Lewan (knee) also avoided the active/PUP list.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reports "at least one team that has interest" in Aaron Rodgers believes he wants $90 million guaranteed over two years.

25 July 2021

It explains why Rodgers rejected a five-year contract that would have made him the highest-paid quarterback. The upfront guarantees would prevent the Packers from moving on from Rodgers until at least 2023, giving him a better structure than his current deal. There continues to be conflicting reports on Rodgers, with some suggesting he wants years taken off his deal. Sitting out 2021 also remains in play for the reigning MVP.

Saints signed CB Brian Poole to a one-year contract.

25 July 2021

It's a needed depth signing with Marshon Lattimore facing a possible suspension. Poole, 28, was limited to nine games before landing on IR with a knee injury but graded out positively from the slot at PFF the past two seasons. Even if Lattimore avoids suspension, the 28-year-old should open the season in a sub-package role.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Deshaun Watson is expected to report to Texans' training camp.

25 July 2021

Watson, who's avoided the Commissioner's Exempt List, is showing up for testing with the rest of the quarterbacks. His trade demands and stance on playing for the Texans "remains unchanged," according to Rapoport, with the potential for a Watson deal still in play. The Dolphins haven't ruled out a trade for Watson if his legal issues are resolved. There should be some clarity on Watson's 2021 status in the coming weeks.

Bucs TE O.J. Howard (Achilles) wasn't cleared for the start of training camp.

25 July 2021

Howard is at Bucs camp but not practicing as he recovers from last year's Achilles injury. It's a good sign the Bucs didn't place him on the active/PUP list. With Howard and Cameron Brate sidelined, Codey McElroy is repping behind Rob Gronkowski in 11-on-11 drills.

Giants placed WR Kadarius Toney on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

25 July 2021

Toney reported to training camp on Wednesday and underwent COVID-19 testing along with the rest of the Giants rookies. Toney is now isolating as part of NFL/NFLPA protocols. Toney was absolutely electric for Florida in 2020 but, especially in light of reports that Giants were already planning to bring him along slowly, this is an unfortunate development for the first round wide receiver.

In a now-deleted tweet, DeAndre Hopkins said the NFL's COVID-19 vaccination policy is "making me question my future" in the league. 

25 July 2021

Hopkins quickly took down the post -- one of several from NFL players unhappy about the league's new policy forcing teams to forfeit if a game can't be rescheduled following a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players. Hopkins said the league's policy put him "in position to hurt my team because I don't want to partake in the vaccine." He posted a one-word tweet shortly thereafter: "Freedom?" One of the game's premiere wideouts vaguely threatening to retire instead of getting the COVID vacc ...

Giants placed Saquon Barkley (knee) on the PUP list.

25 July 2021

Barkley was expected to begin camp on the PUP list, with the Giants not rushing him back from his 2020 ACL injury. Barkley still looks likely to play in Week 1, although he may not be ready to handle his typical workload from the outset. His status will be monitored closely throughout training camp.

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