Eagles

NFL Notes: Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. says missing OTAs not about contract

NFL Notes: Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. says missing OTAs not about contract

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. says his decision to skip voluntary workouts had nothing to do with his contract. The New York Giants star receiver simply wanted to train on his own, reflect on life and take time to "grow and mature."

The three-time Pro Bowl receiver joined teammates Tuesday for the start of a mandatory three-day minicamp. He saw limited action in the 1-hour, 40-minute workout and dropped one deep ball.

From the time he hit the field, it seemed his every move was studied by reporters, photographers and video crews. He was relaxed after practice and hedged several times when asked about his contract.

Beckham is one of the NFL's top receivers and he will earn $1.8 million in this his fourth season, much less than some receivers who are far less productive. The Giants picked up the option on his fifth year for $8.4 million in 2018.

"I have seen a holdout and all that stuff and I have really never seen it work, so that was never in my mind to: `I'm not going to go to OTAs to get a new contract,'" Beckham said. "I don't really think that proves a point in my opinion.

"So I was out there (on the West Coast) really taking the time for myself to reflect on life and values and what's really, really important," he said. "Like I said to grow and mature" (see full story).

Colts: Luck eager to start throwing
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck's message to concerned Colts' fans is simple: Don't sweat it.

He isn't worried about his throwing shoulder, the Colts owner doesn't seem to be and those inside the organization continue to believe Luck will soon be back to work.

Five months after undergoing surgery for a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder, Indianapolis' franchise quarterback said Tuesday he is eager to begin the next step in his recovery -- throwing a football.

"It's not fun to stand on the sidelines, but I understand when you have a surgery you understand what goes into that decision the consequences of that, especially with that you're going to miss parts of that for rehab," Luck said as the Colts opened a three-day mandatory minicamp.

"Certainly there's an urge (to throw), but that's not part of the protocol," he added later.

Coach Chuck Pagano and others inside the organization remain hopeful all that changes when training camp opens July 29 (see full story).

Patriots: Edelman not slowing down after extension
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Julian Edelman is a step closer toward playing his entire NFL career with the New England Patriots.

The 31-year-old receiver confirmed Tuesday that he has signed a contract extension that runs through the 2019 season.

Edelman was one of the heroes of New England's historic Super Bowl comeback win over Atlanta in February, hauling in a juggling fourth-quarter catch to keep the game-tying drive alive.

The play instantly went down in Patriots history, but the gutty 5-foot-11 Kent State player had long established himself as one of quarterback Tom Brady's go-to targets over eight years.

Edelman said he's happy to remain "a Pat" but insisted he isn't thinking about anything beyond the upcoming 2017 season.

"As lame as it sounds and as much as you guys hear it, it's really a mentality where you just keep it day-to-day," he said. "When you can do that, that's usually when you stay focused and you improve the most" (see full story).

Redskins: Williams named senior VP of player personnel
ASHBURN, Va. -- Once a Super Bowl MVP, Doug Williams waited his entire post-playing career to run a professional team.

"You want this day to come," he said. "When you get up every morning, you hope it'll come."

It's here. The former quarterback is now in charge of the Washington Redskins as senior vice president of player personnel. He's running the show, but Williams made it very clear he's not the general manager.

"We had a general manager -- it didn't work out that well," Williams said Tuesday, referring to the two-year tenure of Scot McCloughan, who was fired in March. "My job is to control (my) hallway. And I think if we do a good job, no matter what happens, we all get credit for what this football team does."

In announcing Williams' promotion from senior personnel executive, team president Bruce Allen said the 61-year-old stood out among more than a dozen internal and external candidates. Allen hired Williams in Tampa Bay and has known him for a long time but said his "plan" made it clear he was the right man for the job that has been done piecemeal for the past few months.

"I was proud of when Doug presented his plan because his vision was a team," Allen said at a news conference. "He was a quarterback again leading a team" (see full story).

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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AP Images

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

Several hours after an NJ.com report surfaced that the Eagles were unlikely to re-sign Trey Burton, the tight end denied it on Twitter.

Replying to a tweet about the report from former Eagles teammate Emmanuel Acho, Burton said he hasn't spoken to anyone.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo reported Friday that the Eagles made Burton an offer that the soon-to-be-free-agent "didn't consider serious."

"We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere," the source said.

It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever if Burton leaves in free agency. A team will likely pay him starter's money and offer him a chance to start, which he doesn't have here with Zach Ertz firmly entrenched.

The Eagles are over the projected salary cap, and while they could create space in numerous ways, they also have to worry about re-signing key linebacker Nigel Bradham.

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

The Eagles are coming off a thrilling season but there's a lot of work to be done. 

The NFL's new league year begins on March 14 and the Eagles must be under the salary cap by then. The problem is that based on projections, the Eagles are set to be more than $9 million over the cap, according to OverTheCap. So it's time for some maneuvering. 

The good news is that Howie Roseman's specialty has always been finding unique ways to get the Eagles out of cap trouble. There are ways for him to do it again.

Cut Torrey Smith 
Probably the easiest one. Smith was a great teammate and a solid addition to the Eagles' locker room, and he really stepped up his game in the playoffs, but it's probably not enough to bring him back. He just wasn't good enough last season, and cutting him would save the Eagles $5 million in cap room with no dead money. The Birds still have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, while Mack Hollins is entering Year 2. 

Cut Brent Celek
This one will hurt, but Celek can take away the sting if he decides to walk away as a champion. He's set to have a cap number of $5 million. That's just way too much for what Celek provides these days. By cutting him, the Eagles would save $4 million in cap space. So just between Smith and Celek, the Eagles will almost get back to zero ... but there's other work to do. They'll still need money to sign free agents and draft picks. 

Extend Brandon Graham 
Graham is entering the final year of his contract with a cap number of $8 million. He wants a new contract and deserves one. Good news: An extension would work for both sides. Graham would get more money long term and the Eagles could get his cap number down this season. 

Rework/cut Vinny Curry
Curry is coming off of probably his best season in the NFL but will have an $11 million cap number. That's tough to swallow, especially with Derek Barnett waiting for his chance to start. It seems likely the Eagles will ask Curry to take a pay cut or rework his deal. If not, cutting him would leave $6 million in dead money but would also save $5 million in cap room. 

Trade Mychal Kendricks
If you remember, Kendricks actually wanted a trade last offseason. Good thing that didn't happen. Kendricks ended up being a big part of the Eagles' success in 2017. Depending on what happens with Nigel Bradham in free agency and with Jordan Hicks' Achilles recovery, trading Kendricks might again be an option. A trade would save $4.4 million in cap space. 

Trade Nick Foles 
This is such a tough one β€” we explore it more here. But basically, Foles is a pretty amazing insurance policy until we know when Carson Wentz is going to be ready. If the Eagles do trade Foles, it would save them $5.2 million that they could certainly use. The problem is that by the time they know Wentz's status, free agency will be long gone and that cap space won't help this year. But it could help in 2019.