Training camp is wrapping up and teams are preparing for the first official week of preseason games, yet plenty of questions remain unanswered.
Why are Tom Brady and the Patriots being so secretive about his contract? Is Ezekiel Elliott getting close to returning? Who is winning the quarterback batttle in Washington?
And what has made Sam Darnold feel more confident going into his sophomore year?
All of that and more in Monday’s NFL news and notes.
Three things that matter
Tom Brady is locked in with the Patriots — for now
The six-time Super Bowl champion addressed his longevity with the team after he reportedly signed a two-year extension with New England. While Brady hasn’t showed signs of slowing down at 42, he said his age puts him in a rare position.
“It’s a unique situation I’m in — 20th year with the same team, I’ll be 42 years old. So pretty much uncharted territory for everybody,” Brady said Monday after practice. “I’m going to go out there and do the best I can this year and see what happens.”
The deal reportedly has void years for 2020 and 2021, meaning Brady and the Patriots will have to revisit the contract once the 2019 season is up.
Ravens release guard Alex Lewis
Lewis announced on Instagram that the Ravens released him after three seasons with the team. Lewis had shoulder surgery in the offseason, so him being released from Baltimore means he was able to pass his physical with the team.
This now leaves the Ravens’ left tackle position on shaky ground. Baltimore likely was hoping to be able to work with Lewis after he started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but him training away from the team led to some issues. Now the Ravens will have to prime up either Jermaine Eluemunor, James Hurst or rookie Ben Powers as possible replacements.
Adam Gase believes Sam Darnold’s arm is stronger
For Jets fans, this is a positive thing to hear after a rough 2018 season and tumultous offseason. While the team hasn’t clocked his velocity, changing the way Darnold trained has allowed him to throw more accurately and sustain less fatigue.
“I don’t think I realized how strong his arm was,” Gase said Monday.
On top of that, Darnold is feeling more confident after rookie season that saw him heavily criticized.
“Last year, I still wasn’t super comfortable with all of the guys, getting in the huddle, feeling timid. I wasn’t really myself,” Darnold said after practice Monday. “I think this year, now that I’m stepping into that leadership role, I could, you could say, I’m definitely more comfortable and confident in myself.”
Two things that don’t matter
Colt McCoy tops the Redskins depth chart at QB
There is still a month to go before the regular season begins, and while the Redskins have McCoy on top in their first unnofficial depth chart that was released Monday, it doesn’t mean that much. McCoy was expected to be on top for now, since he’s been with the team since 2014 and knows Jay Gruden’s offense well.
Veteran Case Keenum will be his backup, while rookie Dwayne Haskins sits at third string. Of course, the Redskins have to get through four preseason games and McCoy could fall short, but those wanting to see Haskins start might have to wait a bit.
Dak Prescott reveals he’s talked to Ezekiel Elliott — on just a friendship level
The Cowboys quarterback revealed he’s been in contact with Elliott, but said the two have not talked about his ongoing holdout. Prescott told reporters: “Friendship is friendship and business is business. You don’t cross those.”
Basically, Prescott shed no new information on Elliott’s contract situation and simply said the team misses him. Meanwhile, Elliott reportedly still is in Mexico, where he is training independently.
One video you have to see
This isn’t something that happened on the field, but Odell Beckham Jr. pulled a Browns fan over to sign his license plate. Not exactly something you see every day.
OBJ really pulled over his car to sign this Browns fan’s license plate. Real one ✊ @brgridiron
(via cantstick.2/IG beautifullu13/IG) pic.twitter.com/jhDJRO4uDq
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 4, 2019
Monday tweet of the day
Nelson Agholor got a shoutout by a fan after the receiver made his son’s day. The boy burst into tears of joy after Agholor signed gloves for him. Agholor tweeted his appreciation back.
Appreciate y’all support 🦅 https://t.co/18Dcs83eAX
— Nelson Agholor (@nelsonagholor) August 5, 2019