NFL news and notes: Tom Brady takes a breather; Giants lose another receiver as training camps open

NFL news and notes: Tom Brady takes a breather; Giants lose another receiver as training camps open

All 32 NFL teams have reported to training camp signaling another key hurdle on our way to the 2019 season.

And no time has been wasted getting the NFL news cycle to a torrid pace. Friday brought franchise quarterback injury updates, season-ending injuries and heated contract discussions for Pro Bowl players.

Three things that matter

Giants lose two receivers during opening day of camp

The Giants’ wide receiver depth took a huge hit during the team’s first practice of training camp Thursday as Corey Coleman suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire 2019 season, the team announced Friday. 

Coleman’s injury came on the same day that Sterling Shepard, the Giants’ top receiver, broke his left thumb.

New York still has veteran wideouts Golden Tate, Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler to help fill the void, but the G-men probably really miss Odell Beckham Jr. right about now.

49ers clear QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The NFL’s most handsome quarterback is back.

49ers star Jimmy Garoppolo will be fully cleared for training camp and preseason action after a physical, general manager John Lynch said Friday.

Hopes were sky-high in San Francisco after Garoppolo won his first five starts with the team after coming over in a trade with New England. But his 2018 season was cut short when he tore his ACL in Week 3 against the Chiefs.

Now we’ll all get to see him back in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s system and see if he truly is the golden boy everyone thought he would be.

Saints veterans address Michael Thomas’ holdout

Electric wide receiver Michael Thomas still hasn’t joined the Saints at training camp as he awaits a new contract.

Defensive leader Cameron Jordan told reporters he isn’t concerned about Thomas’ absence yet and said (via “I’m not worried until Drew (Brees) is worried.”

And for what it’s worth, Brees doesn’t seem worried as he simply said the team would “be ready to roll” when Thomas shows up.

Well, Drew, you should be worried. Thomas’ numbers last season show not only how efficient he was leading all wide receivers with an 85 percent reception rate, but Brees relied heavily on Thomas on third down and late in games.

Michael Thomas — 2018 stats

Stat Number NFL rank
Receiving first downs 75 3rd
1st Down Catches, 3rd Down 23 2nd
TD Receptions, 4th Qtr 5 2nd
Catch % 85.0 1st
Targets 147 9th

Brees is an all-time great quarterback, but that type of production and trust will be hard to find with Ted Ginn Jr. and Cameron Meredith.

Two things that don’t matter

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes take a breather

Tom Brady is 41 years old. Patrick Mahomes is 23. Though the two stellar quarterbacks have nearly 20 years between them, both need to stay fresh for the regular season.

The six-time Super Bowl winner and the reigning league MVP both got the day off Friday, and team reporters for the Patriots and Chiefs made sure to temper any potential concern about the QBs.

NBC Sports Boston noted Brady was merely enjoying ” just a day off,” while Mahomes was one a handful of Chiefs to enjoy a leisurely Friday alongside Travis Kelce and Cam Erving.

Training camp is important, but Mahomes and Brady build their legacies in January and February — not July.

Cowboys vow contracts for Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper

Another day, the same message.

The Cowboys have a sticky, and eventually, very expensive situation on their hands as quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are all nearing the end of their deals.

Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones and owner Jerry Jones said Friday in Oxnard, California that they’d like to get deals done with both Cooper and Elliott, though the message all offseason has been that Prescott is the top priority. 

Prescott’s and Cooper’s deals expire at the end of the season, while Elliott has two years remaining. However, the Pro Bowl back has yet to show up to camp.

One video you have to see

Antonio Brown knows how to make an entrance. And in an era of wild training camp arrivals, he made sure he stayed on the Mount Rushmore by floating over to Raiders camp in a hot air balloon.

Friday tweet of the day

We’ve all been in those situations where you have to change the brakes on your car, fix a leaky faucet or simply make a new recipe. And in the spirit of saving a few bucks, you head over to YouTube for a quick DIY tutorial. 

Well, that’s how your new favorite Jet Quinnen Williams handles his offseason workout regiment as he told reporters Friday he didn’t work with any performance specialist in the offseason “because I can YouTube everything.”

Williams had an even better moment Friday — putting pen to paper on his rookie deal.

Now Williams should be able to afford a performance guru in the event his wifi goes on the fritz.