The drama appears to be cooling off in Oakland, but things could really start heating up in Dallas.
With one player nearing the end of his equipment dilemma, another is only digging himself into a deeper hole as he likely prepares to extend his contract holdout into the regular season.
Three things that matter
Antonio Brown helmetgate could be nearing an end
Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters the star receiver participated in Tuesday’s practice at the team’s facility with a certified helmet, which is a step in a positive direction considering Brown’s other headgear has either been removed from the NFL’s approved list or failed testing in recent weeks.
“He’s all in and ready to go,” Gruden said. “That’s my understanding. Really happy to have him out here. He’s a great player.”
If there are no further setbacks with his latest helmet, Brown could be ready to make his Oakland debut next month when the Raiders open the regular season against the Broncos.
Cowboys extend Jaylon Smith
Turns out, the first lucrative deal that Dallas is willing to give out ahead of the 2019 season won’t be to Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. Instead, the Cowboys agreed to an extension with Smith, who was in the final season of the four-year, $6.49 million contract he signed when he was drafted by Dallas in the second round in 2016. It’s worth noting the linebacker missed all of 2017 with a leg injury but Smith has since bounced back and started in 22 of his 32 career games, including all 16 in 2018.
Still, the news can’t be sitting well with Elliott amid his holdout.
Andrew Luck won’t practice this week
The Colts quarterback has been limited to just three practices since April and he won’t be getting any extra work this week, as coach Frank Reich said Luck will continue to be held out. Reich noted the issue remains a matter of “full speed movement vs. pain threshold,” though it doesn’t bode well for Luck considering the team wants to decide by the third preseason game whether he will be able to start. Given Luck’s latest setback, it’s looking like backup Jacoby Brissett will assume the opening-game starting role.
Two things that don’t matter
Demaryius Thomas activated from PUP list
The Patriots wide receiver took a big step in his rehab from an Achilles tear in December as he took the practice field Tuesday in a jersey and helmet. Thomas’ season was cut short after he was traded to the Texans from the Broncos last year, but he appears ready to turn around his production decline after reportedly being moved off the physically unable to perform list and onto the active roster.
Julio Jones could finally be on the verge of getting paid
The wide receiver’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, is in Atlanta to reportedly try to nail down a deal for his client this week. Jones, who is set to earn $9.6 million in 2019, has two years left on the five-year contract worth $71 million he signed in 2015.
“Yeah my agent is in town,” Jones said, per the team’s official website. “There’s nothing for me to report, just front office business with my agent.”
Jones had sat out amid his contract holdout in 2018 but took a different approach this year, and it seems to be paying off.
One video you have to see
Carli Lloyd stopped by Eagles practice and showed Jake Elliott how it’s done.
Have the @Eagles signed a new kicker? Not exactly, but world champion soccer player @CarliLloyd stopped by the Birds’ practice and showed off her leg with some impressive field goals. More coverage from camp –> https://t.co/W0jcOtic9G pic.twitter.com/sEgOMupWRb
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) August 20, 2019
Tuesday’s tweet of the day
Troy Polamalu is back, and he took down Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes with two fingers.
— Head & Shoulders (@Headshoulders) August 20, 2019