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First-year general manager Nick Caserio and the Houston Texans are listening to trade offers for quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to multiple reports.
The shift comes after Watson reported to training camp on Sunday. Caserio and head coach David Culley said during the offseason, even after sexual assault and misconduct allegations arose against Watson, that the Texans had “no interest” in trading the franchise quarterback.
Watson signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension last year but frustration from a losing season, the trade of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and not being involved in discussions surrounding the team’s decisions on a new head coach sparked Watson’s request.
Watson’s personal quarterback coach, Quincy Avery, told ESPN he expected Watson to be traded not long after reporting to camp.
However, the Texans have not yet received any trade offers they consider “serious,” according to ESPN.
The team begins training camp on-field practice work on Monday.
How the Texans move forward at quarterback and if they allow Watson to take part in those practices while on the trade block is unclear.
Watson also faces 21 active claims of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior from women he largely met through massage therapy sessions.
The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent tight end Jesse James, NFL Network reported Sunday.
James was released by the Detroit Lions in March in the final days before the start of free agency.
James joins veteran Jimmy Graham and youngster Cole Kmet, a second-round pick in 2020, among the tight ends who will compete for snaps atop the Bears depth chart at training camp.
The 27-year-old James spent the previous two seasons with the Lions after spending his first four with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His production slipped in Detroit, where he combined for 30 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns in 32 games (18 starts) with the Lions.
In 88 career games (54 starts), James has 150 catches for 1,460 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Steelers originally drafted James in the fifth round (No. 160 overall) out of Penn State in 2015.
The Chicago Bears placed running back/return specialist Tarik Cohen on the physically unable to perform list on Sunday.
Cohen sustained a torn ACL in his right knee in Week 3 of last season.
Cohen, who turns 26 on Monday, has 1,101 rushing yards in 51 NFL games (22 starts) but is a force as a returner.
Cohen is averaging 10.3 yards with one touchdown on 96 career punt returns and 20.9 yards on 30 kickoff returns. He was a Pro Bowl selection as a punt returner in 2018 when he averaged 12.5 yards on 33 returns.
Rookie receiver Dazz Newsome also was placed on the PUP list. Newsome injured a shoulder during organized team activities in June.
Newsome was a sixth-round draft choice out of North Carolina.
Chicago’s first training camp practice is slated for Wednesday.
The Cleveland Browns announced Sunday that rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was placed on the COVID-19 list.
It wasn’t immediately known if Owusu-Koramoah tested positive. If so, he would have to miss 10 days due to NFL protocols.
Owusu-Koramoah was a second-round pick (52nd overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. He won the Butkus Award as college football’s top linebacker last season.
Owusu-Koramoah was billed as a first-round pick but his stock dropped for reasons still not clear. ESPN reported the drop was due to a heart condition but Owusu-Koramoah disputed the report.
The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with cornerback Steven Nelson, who was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in March.
Nelson brings experience to a revamped Eagles secondary.
Nelson, 28, has started 68 of 82 games played in his career. He spent the past two seasons in Pittsburgh after he was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and played in Kansas City for four seasons.
He has seven interceptions, 291 tackles, a fumble forced and four fumble recoveries in his career. He had four interceptions in 2018 for the Chiefs.
In April’s draft, the Eagles selected Zech McPhearson out of Texas Tech in the fourth round to help shore up the cornerback position.
Arizona Cardinals star pass rusher Chandler Jones is unhappy with his contract and requested a trade during the offseason, ESPN reported Sunday.
The three-time Pro Bowler is slated to make $15.5 million in the final season of a five-year, $82.5 million deal. Jones will be an unrestricted free agent following the season.
The Cardinals have been reluctant to trade Jones as they are eager to team him with offseason acquisition J.J. Watt. They are expecting Jones to report to training camp on Tuesday.
Jones, 31, was limited to just five games last season due to a torn biceps that required surgery. He had one sack.
Prior to last season, Jones recorded 60 sacks in a four-season span, including a career-best 19 in 2019 and an NFL-best 17 in 2017.
Overall, Jones has 97 career sacks with 36 coming in four seasons with the New England Patriots (2012-15) before he was traded to the Cardinals.
Jones also tied for the NFL lead with eight forced fumbles in 2019. He has recorded 27 during his career. He also 432 tackles, nine fumble recoveries (returning one for a touchdown) and one interception.
Cincinnati Bengals fans can breathe a little easier, as franchise quarterback Joe Burrow reached another target in his comeback from the torn ACL that ended his rookie campaign prematurely.
The 2020 No. 1 overall selection avoided the PUP list and is cleared to be in uniform when the club opens training camp Tuesday.
Burrow completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions before his rookie season was derailed by a knee injury on Nov. 22 against the Washington Football Team. He tore his left ACL and MCL and also suffered partial tears to his PCL and meniscus.
Burrow, 24, told ESPN last month that he was at 85 percent with a target return date of the start of training camp.
“The knee still has a little ways to go, but my upper body, my right leg, everything else feels better than it ever has before,” Burrow said at the time. “When I’m on the field and executing, I’m playing better than I ever have before. So, I’ll continue the program we were on and get back to 100 percent before camp.”
One thing to watch with Burrow at training camp will be his throwing velocity. In the offseason, he worked with former Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer to improve his mechanics, and Palmer told The Athletic those changes are expected to bear fruit.
“You gotta give Joe a thing to chase, whether it’s a team or a record, it’s just a challenge. That’s all he needs,” Palmer said. “He found a way to create more energy on the ball.”
The Bengals open their preseason schedule on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 14. They kick off the regular season at home against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12.
The Cincinnati Bengals and defensive end Sam Hubbard have agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract extension, multiple outlets reported Sunday.
He’ll play the fourth year of his rookie deal in 2021, earning $2.18 million before the extension kicks in.
The Bengals selected the Ohio State product in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his first three seasons, Hubbard has appeared in 44 games (28 starts), tallying 177 tackles, 16 1/2 sacks, 33 quarterback hits, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Hubbard, 26, will play on the opposite side of Trey Hendrickson, the former New Orleans Saints defensive end. The Bengals signed Hendrickson to a four-year, $60 million deal in the offseason.
In a since-deleted tweet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said Thursday that he didn’t want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Vaccine I can’t do it…..,” he wrote.
On Sunday, after the first practice of training camp, he said he is still learning about the vaccine and mulling it over.
The Buccaneers, who begin the defense of their Super Bowl championship on Sept. 9 against Dallas, are bringing in doctors to answer players’ questions.
“I’m going to talk to them, and just see what’s the best decision, for myself and for the team,” Fournette said.
Vaccinated players and staff members won’t be subject to wearing a mask at team facilities or while traveling, won’t have physical distancing rules and are allowed to visit with friends and family during travel. They won’t be subject to daily COVID-19 testing, either.
Players who violate the COVID-19 protocols could be subject to a fine of $14,650 per infraction.
Fournette said he was willing to live by the regulations if chooses not to be vaccinated but will listen to the information.
“I just don’t know too much about it,” Fournette said after the team’s first training camp practice.
The fourth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fournette was a key contributor for the Buccaneers in their playoff run in 2020.
Fournette, 26, totaled four touchdowns in four postseason games, including one in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. He had a franchise-best 448 scrimmage yards in the playoffs and led the team in rushing yards (300), rushing touchdowns (three), scrimmage touchdowns (four) and receptions (18).
He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Buccaneers on Sept. 2, 2020, just days after he was waived by the Jaguars. He had a career-worst regular season in 2020, finishing with just 600 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games before his sterling playoff run.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said his surgically repaired left knee is “feeling great” on the eve of training camp.
“Everything’s feeling great. For being at the eight-and-a-half, nine-month mark (since his Oct. 25 injury), I’m doing very well in all the progressions,” he told reporters Sunday at his youth football camp in Gates Mills, Ohio.
Beckham, 28, who missed the last nine games and the playoffs last season with a torn ACL, stopped short of saying he would be ready by the Sept. 12 season opener at Kansas City.
“At this point we’re just running our race,” he said. “I feel like in the past I’ve been caught up in this question. I’m just not really here for it anymore. It’s whenever I’m ready to get on the field, that’s when it will be. Whenever the team, the docs, my team, everything gets cleared, we’ll be ready to go. So whenever that is, Week 1, Week 17, I don’t know. Whenever we’re ready we’ll be ready.”
The Browns, coming off an 11-5 season and their first playoff win since the 1994 season, have their first practice of training camp on Wednesday.
Beckham caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns in seven games in 2020. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has five 1,000-yard seasons since the New York Giants drafted him 12th overall in 2014.