Trent Williams, 49ers restructure final season of contract

Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers have restructured the tackle’s final year of his 5-year, $68M contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Williams joined Rapoport’s “Rapsheet + Friends” podcast for an in-depth conversation, including an alleged misdiagnosed medical condition, a fresh start in San Francisco after the end of his relationship with Washington Redskins organization.

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"One thing that Trent Williams told me during the interview is that he did get an agreement on the restructured final year of his contract due to make $12.5 million," Rapoport said, via Yahoo! Sports.

Williams, 31, will receive a portion his $12.5M salary prorated, effectively becoming a signing bonus allowing the team to clear cap space this season and rolling over the portion into 2021 season.

"Still going to make about that sum, but the 49ers put some of this money upfront. A little help for a guy who remember didn't make anything in 2019,” Rapoport added.

While in Washington, Williams' representative Vincent Taylor denied reports, his client was demanding quarterback money that would align him with top-tier of linemen including former Oklahoma lineman Lane Johnson.

Last season, Johnson signed a record 4-year, $68M contract with Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, is currently the eighth highest-paid left tackle in the league, according to Spotrac figures.

In his conversation with Rapoport, Williams said he was prepared to return to the team after being fitted for a specialized helmet despite medical concerns.

However, the team’s front-office upended his return by placing him on NFI – voiding the remaining $6M of his non-guaranteed 2019-20 base salary.

"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams told Rapoport, via NFL.com.

“I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best they know how competitive I am, ” Williams said.

John Lynch, 49ers general manager, didn’t hesitate to acquire Williams despite not securing the All-Pro tackle to a long-term contract.

"I think the plan was to land him right now and then let the rest kind of work itself out,"  Lynch told ESPN in April.

Rapoport’s conversation with Williams will be available on Tuesday.


Free agent Tony Jefferson shows progression in workout

Safety Tony Jefferson showed off his agility on social media on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old free agent has been “waiting for this virus to settle down, ” Jefferson said in March, after being released by Baltimore Ravens in a $4.5M salary cap cost-saving move.

He suffered a torn ACL, LCL in his left knee in week five against Pittsburgh Steelers last season.

Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
Jefferson was due $11.2M in the final season of four-year, $34M-plus contract, according to Spotrac figures.

Jefferson has 451 tackles, 8.5 sacks in 66 starts after being signed by Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2013.


'It's time to work' – Baker Mayfield

Expect to hear less of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield this season.

"It's just time to work,” Mayfield said, in his first media availability on Wednesday.

“I think everybody who’s been interviewed on our team has hit the nail on the head over and over about ‘it’s time to work. It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it,’” Mayfield said during a video conference, via Cleveland.com.

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“This is the first media thing I’ve done just because there’s no need to be talking about it. It’s just time to go do it. Right now, it’s kind of moving in silence, which is fine with me.”

It’s a different approach for the vocal  quarterback, as he has reportedly turned down multiple interview requests, according to ESPN's Jake Trotter.

Mayfield is entering his third season with fourth different coach – Kevin Stefanski takes the reigns after the Browns posted a disappointing 6-10 last season.

The 25-year-old is reverting back to learning the fundamentals of football in preparation for the upcoming season, while the nation combats the COVID-19 virus.

“There’s been a lot of learning throughout this process,’’ he said, via cleveland.com.

“During all this, it’s kind of made everybody go back to the just shear fundamentals. You can’t do so many complex drills and all the stuff you might and everybody might not have the same equipment, but we can teach the very base fundamentals of what this new coaching staff wants to do and go from there.”

I think that has been the best thing is essentially just getting back to the basics.”

Mayfield, Browns open regular season against Baltimore Ravens, September 13.

Marquise Brown makes bold prediction

Marquise Brown predicts big things for Baltimore Ravens this season.

Brown appearing on FS1’s “First Things First, ” predicted the Ravens will represent the AFC in Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, Fla.

“I don’t know who we’re going to be playing,” Brown said, via OUinsider.com. “I just know we’re going to be there. So I’ll be ready to see who we face.”

Brown, 22, is entering his second season in the National Football League using his work ethic to land a scholarship at Oklahoma after attending College of the Canyons.

He would reach the league within three years after beginning his journey at the junior college in Santa Clarita, Cali.

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“I think it’s just, you know, coming into the league, everyone told me the locker room’s going to be different from college, it’s not that much excitement, it’s about business,” Brown said.

Brown has spent much of his offseason training improving his skill set.

“ [Sic] when it’s down to business, we fly around. When you’re at practice, you’re flying around and guys are giving you tips on how to get better, and it’s just a fun environment.”

Ravens, Brown open the regular season against Cleveland Browns, September 13.


Analyst: Trent Williams among 'the best' tackles in league

San Francisco tackle Trent Williams is still amongst the elite in the league.

‘If he's healthy, “ Brian Baldinger, a former veteran lineman in the league, said of Williams, “he’s the best left tackle in football.”

Washington Redskins traded Williams to the 49ers, who ranked second in rushing last season, for multiple draft picks in April.

Mark Tenally/Associated Press

“With Trent Williams, there are maybe two or three other players in the league who can run block like that, " Baldinger told The Athletic's Davis Lombardi, via NBCSports.com.

Williams was ranked the third-best left tackle between 2016-18, according to advance metrics released by Pro Football Focus, last offseason.

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, held out much last season with Washington after over concerns regarding an alleged misdiagnose tumor on his scalp that led to tension with the front office.

“That’s why I think this team, as good as they were running the football last year, if Trent is on his game -- and with a year off, there’s no reason to think he won’t be -- if he’s on his game, they’ll be a much better run-blocking offense,” Baldinger added.

Williams, 31, is entering the final season of 5-year, $68M contract.


'Moment is now' for Cardinals, Kyler Murray says GM

It’s time.

Cardinals added All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins in the off-season ahead of Kyler Murray’s second season in the league.

“Philosophically, you have to say: ‘The moment is now. Let’s strike, ’” Arizona General Manager Steve Keim said, via Washington Post.

Murray is in-store for hefty pay raise after signing a 4-year, $35.1M rookie contract, and Hopkins is entering the third season of 5-year, $81M contract this season, according to OverTheCap figures.

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“You have to be extremely aggressive. You can’t sit back and wait. As long as everything pans out, you’re hoping that you’re paying this quarterback an exorbitant amount of money in three years, ” Keim added, who is 57-53 as team manager.

RelatedKyler Murray ahead of Mayfield, Bradford in NFL Draft rankings

After being drafted first overall in last year's National Football League draft, Murray threw 64.4%, completing 349 of 542 passes for 20 touchdowns and throwing 12 interceptions leading the Cardinals to 5-10-1.

“To me, looking at our offense, being able to add a perimeter receiver like him in the prime of his career is something that is pretty unusual, to say the least,” Keim said.

Cardinals, Murray are scheduled to open training camp in July.

Adrian Peterson's goal is to pass Barry Sanders in record book

Adrian Peterson has his sights on Barry Sanders' mark on the career rushing leaderboard in the National Football League.

Barry Sanders, who played for Oklahoma State 1986-88 and nine seasons in the league, is fourth in total rushing yards accumulated over 15,269 yards while with the Detroit Lions.

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Peterson, 35, has 14,216 yards in his 13 seasons in the league – 1,053 yards behind Sanders to tie the Hall of Famer in the record book. However, Peterson wants to achieve “something better than Barry Sanders,” Peterson told NFL Network, via Pro Football Talk.

“That’s definitely one of the goals, passing Barry Sanders would definitely be one of the highlights of my career. What he accomplished, and how I’ve looked up to him, I’ve always wanted to say I did something better than Barry Sanders,” Peterson said, via PFT'S Michael David Smith.

Related: Mack Brown: Adrian Peterson is recruit that 'got away'

Washington Redskins, Peterson open their season hosting Baltimore Ravens September 13.


WR CeeDee Lamb among those in best position to succeed

Former Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb is among those in the best positions to succeed in the 2020 rookie class.

Lamb drafted 17th overall by Dallas Cowboys in April's National Football League draft, the third receiver taken behind Alabama wide receivers Henry Ruggs III (Las Vegas Raiders, 12th), Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos (15th).

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However, NFL.com's Dan Parr predicts Lamb as the most likely among them to succeed, at ninth, this season among a talented pool of receivers, including Ruggs (10th), Juedy (11th) and Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (12th).

Parr writes regarding Lamb on NFL.com:

Dallas had the No. 1 pass offense in the league last season, and while there are mouths to feed in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, there still should be plenty of opportunities for the rookie to catch passes from two-time Pro Bowl QB Dak Prescott. Randall Cobb and Jason Witten departed this offseason, and they accounted for 166 targets last season, per Pro Football Reference. That's nearly 30 percent of the team's targets that need to be filled by someone. Enter Lamb, who averaged an eye-popping 21.4 yards per catch (most of any FBS receiver with more than 30 receptions) for the Sooners last season.

Last season, Lamb earned All-American honors as a junior before forgoing his senior season  – recording 62 receptions for 1,327 yards, 14 touchdowns.

RELATED: CeeDee Lamb predicted as breakout player

Defensive end Chase Young selected second overall by Washing Redskins is the rookie in the best position to succeed, writes Parr.

Mack Brown: Adrian Peterson is recruit that 'got away'

Adrian Peterson was the recruit that ‘got away' says Mack Brown, Texas head coach 1998-2013.

Peterson, a five-star prospect, was the top prospect in country heavy recruited by Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Miami, USC.

“I would say it was probably Adrian Peterson. He was a great running back at Oklahoma. He was from East Texas. That’s probably one that got away that I thought we had a chance to get,” Brown told Charlotte Observer.

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Ultimately, he would announce his commitment to Oklahoma at the 2004 Army All-American Bowl after rushing 2,960 yards and 30 touchdowns in his senior season at Palestine High School (Palestine, Texas).

RELATED: Washington Exercises Option on Adrian Peterson

“One of the reasons I love recruiting is you get to offer these families a scholarship," Brown added.

Peterson, 35, is entering his 14th season on the National Football League – ranking fourth (111) in career touchdowns and fifth in career rushing yards (14216).


CeeDee Lamb predicted as breakout player

CeeDee Lamb as a breakout?

Nate Burleson believes the former Oklahoma All-American will be a breakout wide receiver this upcoming season.

Lamb, drafted 17th overall by Dallas Cowboys in April's NFL Draft, is among “Top 5 breakout WR’s in 2020,” according to Burleson.

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Burleson, an NFL Network commentator and panelist on NFL Today on CBS, ranked Lamb third behind Seahawks wideout D.K. Metcalf and Deebo Samuel of Clemson.

Burleson on NFL Network says Lamb, via 247Sports.com.

“Think about the guys that are now gone. Jason Witten, gone. Randall Cobb, gone. This is a guy that averages close to 22 yards a reception in college. That means he’s a big-play wide receiver, big frame, little different skillset than Amari Cooper. So you know that they’re going to be a good balance together. Then you have a great running game. When you have a great running game, it makes the receiver's job that much easier.”

Last season at Oklahoma, Lamb had 62 grabs for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Lamb, Cowboys, open the regular season against Los Angeles Rams, Sept. 13.

Correction: This article incorrectly stated Lamb was drafted 16th in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Baker Mayfield considered dark horse for league MVP

Coming off a 21 interception sophomore season –  Baker Mayfield is a dark horse for the league's MVP in 2020.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is ranked No. 1 in Adam Schein's “Dark-horse NFL MVP candidates in 2020” on NFL.com.

Schein writes, Cleveland Browns quarterback, “Last offseason, I ranked Mayfield as the No. 3 candidate for MVP. Not the No. 3 dark horse -- No. 3 overall. Whoops”
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He added on NFL.com:
Enter the buttoned-up Kevin Stefanski, the right guy -- with the right play-action-heavy scheme -- at the right time. The offensive line is now bookended by a pair of talented newcomers in first-round pick Jedrick Wills and big-ticket free-agent acquisition Jack Conklin. The pass-catching weaponry is eye-popping, with Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper joining the fray and Odell Beckham Jr. returning to good health.

The 25-year-old threw 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns (-5 prev. season), 21 INTs (+7) at 59.4 completion percentage last season.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, hired in the offseason, says the staff is, “gonna work our hardest, ” to improve Mayfield after disappointing 6-10 season.

Cleveland is tentatively scheduled to open training camp late June.


Kyler Murray ahead of Mayfield, Bradford in NFL Draft rankings

Kyler Murray was the highest-ranked of three former Oklahoma players taken first overall in the last decade.

Murray, taken first in 2019 by Arizona Cardinals, was ranked the fourth top overall draft pick by NFL.com's Ali Bhanpuri, No. 1 overall draft picks of the 2010s ranked, based on weighed career production, career achievements.

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Sam Bradford, the first-overall selection of the decade taken by St Louis Rams, was ranked 10th.

Bhanpuri notes:
He finished his nine-year career with 103 touchdown passes (tied with Blake Bortles for 24th since 2010) and without a single winning record in any given season (sorry, Bradford Stans, I'm not counting his 2-0 start to the 2017 campaign).

Baker Mayfield, taken first-overall in 2018 by Cleveland Browns, was ranked seventh.

Bhanpuri adds:
So while I ripped Baker a few times in our weekly QB Index, just know that I was only trying to be like Mike. It was tough love -- a well-meaning push to help the Heisman Trophy winner reach his true potential. I still believe Mayfield has the arm, accuracy, athleticism and relentless confidence to be a winning QB for the Browns.
As for Murray, Bhanpuri writes:
Murray's uneven Year 1, while littered with growing-pain performances, mostly left me mesmerized by his ability to process information, execute throws and innovate under duress. He already has as many turnover-free starts as Baker Mayfield (8) and as many full seasons with a passer rating of 87 or better as Sam Bradford. 

Cam Newton taken by Carolina Panthers in 2011 was ranked the first top overall draft pick followed by Andrew Luck in 2012.

Baker Mayfield hosts teammates for workouts

Baker Mayfield kick-started his 2020 campaign after a disappointing 6-10 record last season.

Mayfield hosted Browns' receivers and tight ends in Austin, Texas. Tight end Austin Hooper initiated the workouts, an unnamed source told ESPN’s Jake Trotter, after signing with Cleveland in the offseason.

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The 25-year-old quarterback hosted receivers Rashard Higgins and Damion Ratley and tight ends David Njoku and Austin Hooper, Trotter added citing league sources.

Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both recovering from offseason surgeries, didn’t travel for the workouts.

The organization hired Kevin Stefanski to replace fired head coach Freddie Kitchens after a season. Stefanski says his coaching staff will ‘work’ with Mayfield to ensure his development.

"I think we added some pieces to the offensive side of the ball which can only help the development of a young quarterback. We're gonna work our hardest with this kid. We're gonna keep our thumb on him,” Stefanski told ESPN Cleveland.

Mayfield told the Browns' radio network, he is 'excited' and looks forward to practicing with other teammates once facilities reopen.

“It’s kind of driving me crazy that we’re not able to get there and all be together. It’s for the better of everyone, for their health and safety, But yeah … we’ll be ready to get back to work, ” Mayfield added, via Cleveland.com.

Browns are scheduled to open the preseason against Chicago Bears on August 15th.


Marquise Brown continues offseason workouts

Baltimore Ravens WR Marquise Brown showed his quickness in his latest workout video.
Photo Courtesy: Eric Espada/Getty Images
The 22-year old continues to improve his agility and dexterity despite not having access to team facilities.

Brown, who has previously ran a 4.32-40, is using a JUGS machine to throw football balls to himself – improving his awareness and hands.  He has previously worked out with teammate Lamar Jackson and his cousin Antonio Brown this offseason.

In his rookie season, Brown recorded 46 receptions for 586 yards and 7 touchdowns in 14 games.


Aaron Colvin re-signs with Washington

Washington Redskins have re-signed cornerback Aaron Colvin, the team announced on Thursday.

He appeared in six games recording ten tackles, last season, for Washington following his release from Houston Texans in week two.

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Colvin, 28, has 30 career starts accumulating over 211 tackles in 65 games since being drafted in fourth-round of 2014 NFL Draft by Jacksonville Jaguars.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

This article has been updated with the correct number of games with Washington Redskins after a previous inaccurate total.


Joe Mixon, Cincinnati meet about extension

Cincinnati Bengals have reached out to running back Joe Mixon regarding an extension.

Mixon has ‘shown a lot of ability,’ says Duke Tobin, director of player personnel, adding the team has ‘visited' with him.

“He’s in a year that he can be extended, and he is a guy that we visited with, ” Tobin told 700 WLW's Lance McAlister via Pro Football Talk.

Mixon, 23, is in the final season of four-year, $5.4M rookie contract with the organization.

Photo Courtesy: Sam Greene/The Enquirer
“We’ll go through those discussions and see if there is a fit or a match for a long-term contract with him, obviously a guy we value quite a bit. The great thing about Joe is he goes about it the right way . . . He’s the type of guy you want to lock up to a long-term deal.”

Around the league, Mixon is widely-regarded as an up-and-coming talent. He'll likely be in line for a massive contract after Carolina Panthers signed running back Christian McCaffrey to a league record 4-year, $64M contract over the offseason.

He has hinted that he's prepared to holdout if the team doesn't sign him to an extension this offseason.

Mixon has 515 carries for 2,305 yards, 17 touchdowns without a fumble in the last two seasons.

Bengals' starting running back told Cincinnati Enquirer ahead of the offseason, “I want to be a Bengal for life.”

Courtney Paris joins Oklahoma as assistant

Former Oklahoma standout Courtney Paris has returned to Oklahoma women's basketball program as an assistant, coach Sherri Coale announced on Wednesday.

Coale welcomed the addition of Paris, a four-time Associated Press All-American, saying she’ll be a ‘valuable' asset to the program.
Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images)
"Courtney Paris loves Oklahoma women's basketball," Coale said in a statement, via SoonerSports.com.

While at Oklahoma, Paris became the first player to record 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds in NCAA regardless of division or gender.

"She has a heart for the journey of the collegiate athlete and a tremendous vat of basketball knowledge to share as, professionally, she has played with and for some of the greatest minds in our game.

"Courtney will be an outstanding recruiter, a pivotal mentor and guide for our post players, and a valuable addition to our sideline. She's a proven winner and we are thrilled to welcome her home."

Paris remains the school's career (2005-09) all-time leader in scoring (2,729) and rebounds (2,034) – graduated with a degree in journalism.


Columnist: Trae Young would energize Knicks franchise

Could Trae Young be the next star in the Big Apple?

Young is widely regarded as a rising star in the National Basketball Association, earning a starting role in the 2020 All-Star game for the Eastern Conference in his second season.

Mark Brown / Getty Images
Stefan Bondy, a NY Daily News sports columnist, suggests the fledgling New York Knicks franchise should consider pursuing Young to energize Madison Square Garden.

Bondy writes ...
It’s not difficult to imagine Young’s logo shots and electrifying dribbling displays setting MSG aflame. New York City hasn’t produced any basketball championships in over 45 years but its stars always get extra attention (good and bad).

Young, 21, has a season remaining in his 3-yr, $18.2M rookie contract with Atlanta Hawks, per Spotrac figures.

The guard has been fond of the New York market, "If I'm able to get drafted by the New York Knicks, it would be a blessing," Young said on ESPN's First Take ahead of 2018 draft, via NYDailyNews.com.

Young will become a restricted free-agent in 2021.

Hue Jackson: Some in Browns organization didn't want Mayfield as starter or backup

Baker Mayfield thought as a third-stringer?

Cleveland Browns invested the first-overall pick in 2018 National Football League draft months after Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

While inside the organization, according to Hue Jackson, the then-head coach of the Browns, some didn’t want Mayfield as starter nor backup.

“People don’t know [this, but] there was a people that at one time didn’t want Baker to be the backup, ” Jackson said on The Zach Gelb Show, via Radio.com.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Team manager John Dorsey, Jackson signed free agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the offseason after he parted ways with Buffalo Bills.

They would open training camp with four quarterbacks –  Taylor, Mayfield, Drew Stanton, Brogan Roback.

Taylor earned the nod over Mayfield to start week one against Pittsburgh Steelers, Jackson would name Mayfield the backup ahead of Stanton, as seen on HBO's Hard Knock series.

 “I made that decision that Baker Mayfield was going to be the backup quarterback because I could see him emerging in practice and getting better [with] each and every opportunity.

“No way was I going to have him not dressed as the No. 3 quarterback, which, that’s what he would have been doing. There’s no way. I made sure that this young man was the backup quarterback for our football team,” Jackson said, via Radio.com.

Mayfield would ultimately lead Cleveland to their first victory in two years after a mid-game injury occurred to Taylor against New York Jets (21-17) in week three.

The organization later dismissed Jackson midseason after 2-5 start; assistant Freddie Kitchens would fill the vacancy in the offseason.

However, Kitchens, too, would be fired after a disappointing (6-10) season, where the Mayfield-led offense struggled under the rookie coach.

Jackson says he still believes in the 25-year-old he drafted despite a disappointing season.

“Obviously last year is behind them. I think he’ll work his tail off, and I’m sure the coaching staff will do everything they can to put the right offense and the right pieces around him to give him a chance to be successful,” Jackson added, via Radio.com.

Kevin Stefanski will be Mayfield's third head coach in three seasons.


Baker Mayfield among favorites to win Comeback Player of the Year

Three players Sooners are among the favorites to win the National Football League’s comeback player of the year.

Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon, Trent Williams are among the favorites, according to BetMGM, a New Jersey-based Sportsbook.

Mayfield (25-1) leads the way with the best odds among the three Sooners after a disappointing sophomore season in the league. Last season, Mayfield threw 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns (-5 prev. season), 21 INTs (+7) at 59.4 completion percentage.

Mixon (50-1) looks to overcome a disappointing 2019 season with first-year Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zach Taylor. In 15 starts, Mixon reached the end zone only five occasions, averaging 4.1 yards-per-carry after a career-high 4.9 in 2018.

After holding out, last season, Williams (80-1) joins San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl runner-ups, after ending a nine-season tenure in Washington.

Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have the best odds at 4-1.