Thu May 23 2:51pm ET
By MARK FARINELLA
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) wears a Boston Bruins hat as he heads to the field at NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman catches a pass during a drill at NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) On the day after his 33rd birthday, a newly enriched Julian Edelman was doing what he loves best: practicing with his fellow New England Patriots.
''We got something done,'' the veteran wide receiver said Thursday after the Patriots concluded an organized team activity on the practice field behind Gillette Stadium. ''Business is business, and we're done with that, and all I know is that we're here and I'm going to be here for a few more years. I couldn't be any more happy.''
The Patriots gave Edelman a three-year contract extension worth $21 million with an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million in guaranteed money. The new pact should allow Edelman, entering his 11th NFL season out of Kent State, the opportunity to conclude his career with the team that selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. The Patriots converted him from college quarterback into one of the most effective slot receivers in the league.
''I was born here in my football career and I'm going to have a few more years here,'' Edelman said. ''I love being here. I don't want to be anywhere else. I'm excited for this upcoming year, and I'm excited about this spring and to work on our fundamentals and mold our team and keep it going.''
Edelman enters 2019 with 499 career catches in the regular season for 5,390 yards and 30 touchdowns. Last season, despite serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, he finished with 74 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns. He capped a strong playoff run with a 10-catch, 141-yard performance in the Patriots' 13-3 triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, earning the game's MVP award.
''I've accomplished goals in the past, and when you do that, you set new goals,'' he said. ''I've been blessed and fortunate to attain and reach a lot of my dreams, but I still have a lot of other things that I want to go for. So I've got a big chip on my shoulder still, and I'm looking forward to coming out here and to contribute to this team, and working hard each day, helping younger guys and doing what I have to do to contribute.''
The Patriots went through the paces of the noncontact workout for about two hours Thursday, acclimating themselves to new teammates and new assistant coaches following an offseason of considerable turnover. Veteran special teams coach Joe Judge has also taken on the responsibility of coaching receivers this season.
''Yeah, we've had some coaching changes,'' Edelman said. ''But just like every other team, there's always turnover. Coaching staff, players . that's part of this business. Now we're more focused on who we have here, and who's here right now, and who's going to help us.''
The Patriots generally take an all-business approach to their practices, but they still were able to show support for another Boston-based team beginning a championship quest. Edelman and several other Patriots wore caps or other attire emblazoned with the logo of the Boston Bruins, who will start their Stanley Cup Final series with the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
''It's exciting, man,'' Edelman said. ''The city has just always got some crazy sports vibes going. Right now it's the Bruins' turn, and it's exciting to see a young team, a new team, go out there with some of the older guys that have been around, and compete at the highest level. I'm excited for them and I'll be at the games.''
July 5th: Tightend Preview
Free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) was informed that his agent, Kristin Campbell, has terminated their relationship Sunday, July 12.
Fantasy Spin: Freeman still looks to be holding out for more money than his market value is dictating at the moment. He might have to wait for an injury to sign, but he'll be a potential RB3 in fantasy when he does.
Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and the team are reportedly 'not close' to agreeing to a contract extension as of Sunday, July 12, according to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News via a source. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement or Prescott will be forced to play the 2020 season under the $31.4 million franchise tag he signed recently.
San Francisco 49ers CB Richard Sherman has allowed a completion rate of 47 percent to receivers in his coverage since 2010 - the best mark in the NFL over that span per Pro Football Focus.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was recently ranked as the 11th best at his position by an anonymous NFL offensive coach. The coach would go on to state that the 24-year-old "doesn't look as strong anymore. Feels like he's about 60 to 70 percent of what he was." Elliott was quick to dismiss these comments, but some fantasy managers may pay attention to these remarks, especially if they are drafting after the selections of Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. The fifth-year back did have one of the most productive years as a professional in 2019, finishing with 1,357 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns off of 301 attempts. He also added 54 catches for 420 yards and two additional scores. While those numbers don't indicate a downward trend, the former Buckeye will be without the guidance of former head coach Jason Garrett in 2020, who is now the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants.
San Francisco 49ers CB Jamar Taylor has a chance to make the final roster because he has experience at outside cornerback as well as slot cornerback and plays on special teams, in the opinion of NinersWire's Kyle Madson.
Free-agent DEs Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks), Everson Griffen (Vikings) and DE Markus Golden (Giants) likely will not receive interest from the New York Jets because the team wants to move their unspent salary cap space to next season, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has plenty of hype entering the 2020 campaign and should continue to be the No. 1 fantasy selection in the majority of fantasy drafts heading into September. However, according to a poll conducted by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, more than 50 percent of league executives view Saquon Barkley as the top back in the league. As claimed by one anonymous AFC executive, McCaffrey is "not as sturdy as Saquon. Not the same speed-and-power combo." While this declaration may not hinder fantasy managers from taking McCaffrey first overall in drafts, it could give many something to think about.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) is no longer wearing a walking boot on his surgically repaired foot.
Fantasy Spin: Michel will be ready for training camp and should receive most of the carries this season but will have to share snaps with several other backs. He should be considered at least a No. 3 running back in fantasy leagues.
Free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor (Jaguars) said he is looking to play in 2020 and has talked with five teams this offseason. He said he would like to play for the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers.
It remains unknown if Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green will sign his franchise tag or agree to a long-term deal before the NFL deadline for contract extensions Wednesday, July 15, at 4 p.m. ET, according to multiple sources.
The Dallas Cowboys remain optimistic that QB Dak Prescott will accept their best contract extension offer before the NFL deadline Wednesday, July 15, at 4 p.m. ET. However, multiple league sources believe that no long-term deal will be completed by the deadline because he has already signed his franchise tag tender.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. will compete with veteran WR Chris Conley during training camp to be the team's No. 2 receiver behind WR DJ Chark.
Fantasy Spin: Shenault is fully recovered from core muscle surgery and is expected to play an integral role in the Jacksonville offense this season. He has a great deal of upside and is worthy of consideration as a WR5 option in this year's fantasy drafts.
Free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) could show interest in the Philadelphia Eagles because he wants to join a winning team, according to 710 ESPN's John Clayton.
Jacksonville Jaguars DE Rodney Gunter and DE Dawuane Smoot could receive some snaps at defensive tackle this upcoming season.
Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) reached a settlement with the New England Patriots regarding the compensation grievance Brown filed against the team.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry isn't expecting a long-term contract extension before the deadline of Wednesday, July 15, so he expects to play the 2020 season under the $10.6 million franchise tag. The 25-year-old doesn't seem to be too worried about it, though, and he's focused on the 2020 season. He views this year as a prove-it deal because he hasn't played a full season in his four-year career due to injuries. Henry spent May and June working out with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert and recently had throwing sessions with Tyrod Taylor. Henry had career highs with 55 catches and 652 receiving yards in 2019. Among tight ends, Henry has the best passer rating when targeted at 132.3 since 2016. He's surely a top-10 fantasy tight end, but injuries and a downgrade at QB limit his overall ceiling.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Friday that they fined wide receiver DeSean Jackson "for conduct detrimental to the team," which included controversial posts on Instagram and sharing an image of a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler earlier this week. Jackson has since offered multiple apologies, but he "must also commit to supporting his words with actions" in order to remain with the team. The 33-year-old missed all but three games in 2019 because of an injury and is now desperately trying to repair his image before the season. If healthy, D-Jax should be the team's primary deep threat, but as usual, he'll be a boom-or-bust WR3 for fantasy owners.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell had a "great talk" with disgruntled All-Pro safety Jamal Adams on Thursday and came away with the impression that Adams wants to stay in New York if he gets a new contract. Bell doesn't oppose Adams' hard-line stance in negotiations. Adams formally requested a trade last month and has two years remaining on his rookie contract. He's making $3.6 million in 2020 and $9.9 million in 2021 under the fifth-year team option. Adams is believed to be looking to become the highest-paid safety in the league, and the Jets continue to say they want to make him a "Jet for life," but they aren't putting a timetable on it. Bell doesn't want Adams to be traded and doesn't think he will. Adams hasn't had a ton of interceptions, but his ability to play the run and rush the passer makes him unique and the top overall IDP defensive back.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee had a 33-percent target rate when the Rams were trailing in 2019. That matched San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle for the highest percentage in the league, according to Pro Football Focus data.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee closed out 2019 with a stellar five-game run and has placed himself squarely in TE1 territory for 2020. He's a tight end to target if you miss out on the top five.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams is the only wide receiver with 4,000 receiving yards and 40 touchdown receptions since 2016.
Fantasy Spin: Injuries limited Adams to a career-low 12 games in 2019, ending a run of three straight top-12 fantasy wideout finishes. With any kind of better health fortune, expect a WR1 bounce-back season for Adams.