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AP source: Cowboys agree to deal with pass rusher Griffen

Wed Aug 12 10:26pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer

File-Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen celebrates a sack during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a contract with longtime Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen, a person with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. Griffen is the latest addition of a pass rusher with a pedigree for the Cowboys, who signed former San Francisco end Aldon Smith during the offseason. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, File)


The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a contract with longtime Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen, a person with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday.

Griffen is the latest addition of a pass rusher with a pedigree for the Cowboys, who signed former San Francisco end Aldon Smith during the offseason.

Griffen is getting a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement hasn't been announced.

The deal with Griffen comes two days before the first practice of training camp while the Cowboys await word on a possible reinstatement of suspended defensive end Randy Gregory, whose return is appearing less likely.

In February, Griffen opted out of the final three years of his contract with the Vikings and became a free agent. The 32-year-old spent his first 10 seasons in Minnesota.

Griffen is 15th among active players with 74 1/2 sacks. He didn't become a starter until his fifth season in 2014, then averaged nearly 11 sacks per year over four seasons.

The unsurprising move to opt out by Griffen cleared more than $13 million in salary cap space for the Vikings this year. And it came after he agreed in 2018 to a restructured contract to avoid being released coming off his lowest sack total in five years.

Griffen had a decent bounceback season last year with eight sacks following a troublesome season when he took five games off to treat his mental health.

Griffen was taken by ambulance to a hospital the day before a game in 2018, after a scary series of incidents around the Twin Cities when he threatened gun violence in a hotel lobby and made repeated comments about believing people were trying to kill him.

Smith has had off-field issues as well, having recently been reinstated from a nearly five-year suspension over substance-abuse issues and other legal problems. Smith was one of the NFL's best pass rushers when issues started affecting his career in 2013.

Player Notes
Everson Griffen Aug 12 9:20pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen to a contract on Wednesday evening. Griffen had spent over a decade with the Minnesota Vikings and had multiple suitors during free agency. The veteran lineman has recorded 74.5 sacks across his past 77 games and adds an extra pass-rushing element to the Cowboys' defense. The unit gave up the 11th-fewest points per game last season, but also lost Robert Quinn and Byron Jones over the summer. The Cowboys project to be a middle-of-the-pack DST unit in 2020.

From RotoBaller

John Ross Aug 12 12:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross III has left camp to be with his son after both his son and his son's mother tested positive for COVID-19. Ross missed Tuesday's practice and has no timetable for a return. The speedy wideout is clearly prioritizing his family over football, rightfully so, at this point of the preseason. Ross will be placed on the Reserve/COVID list while he is away from the team.

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Tavon Austin Aug 12 12:20pm ET

The San Francisco 49ers are bringing free-agent wide receiver Tavon Austin in for a workout. The team is hoping to sign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver if the workout goes well. San Francisco is looking to bolster their pass-catching corps after speedy wideout Travis Benjamin opted out of the 2020 season last week. Austin caught 13 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown in 14 games with the Cowboys last season.

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Antonio Gibson Aug 12 12:10pm ET

Washington running back Antonio Gibson has been doing all he can to learn an NFL playbook amid the coronavirus pandemic, which includes sitting in on wide receiver meetings in the early part of camp. Gibson played receiver in college, but also had 33 carries and is expected to primarily be a running back in the NFL, especially with the team releasing Derrius Guice following his arrest. Last season at Memphis, Gibson scored eight receiving touchdowns and added four on the ground so the "Swiss Army Knife" player will be a matchup nightmare for defenses. It will take Gibson time to learn everything about the RB position, but he is electric with the ball in his hands so expect Washington to get creative finding ways to get him involved. Gibson is a high-upside sleeper to target late in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Aug 12 11:40am ET

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will look to take a step forward in his second NFL season, and will be doing so with a new offensive coordinator in former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. In his first public comments since being hired in January, Garrett raved about the sophomore-signal caller's work ethic and the work Jones put in to learn the offense without the two being able to meet face-to-face due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jones showed huge upside last season with five-300 yard passing games and three games with four-plus touchdowns. His main issue was turnovers as he threw 12 picks and fumbled a league-leading 18 times. Garrett had great success with Dak Prescott, so expect him to help Jones improve in year two making him a good QB to target if waiting on the position in drafts.

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Kenjon Barner Aug 12 11:03am ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Baltimore Ravens Wednesday, Aug. 12.

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Nick Chubb Aug 12 11:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb told reporters during a Zoom session on Tuesday that he is "ready to share work with (Kareem) Hunt and play alongside him in the same backfield." Chubb and Hunt played eight games together in 2019 after Hunt served an eight-game suspension to begin the season. Chubb told reporters, "Last year, it was just half a season (with Hunt), and this year, he's here and ready. I look forward to it." While Hunt's presence in the backfield will affect Chubb in the passing game, the Browns figure to skew run-heavy under first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski. That, along with a revamped offensive line, should lead to more than enough fantasy production for both Chubb and Hunt in 2020. Draft Chubb as a low-end RB1 in all formats this season.

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Vic Beasley Aug 12 10:53am ET

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans LB Vic Beasley (undisclosed) failed his physical and was placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

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T Y Hilton Aug 12 9:33am ET

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 12, and was activated from the active/Non-Football Injury list.

Fantasy Spin: Hilton has been plagued by soft-tissue injuries, and this hamstring injury adds more trepidation. He's a WR3 that you need a backup plan for, but he has upside there as well.

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Matthew Stafford Aug 12 12:30am ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been cleared to play football after a COVID-19 test resulted in a false positive. Stafford commented, "I want to play football. I want to be out there", in addressing a situation he referred to as "scary". The veteran quarterback was on his way to one of the best seasons of his professional career last year, passing for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns in only eight games. But a fractured back ended his season Stafford and his fantasy value will be weighed down by the specter of that injury heading into fantasy drafts.

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Equanimeous St. Brown Aug 11 11:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle) will be ready for the first practice Saturday, Aug. 15, according to general manager Brian Gutekunst.

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Evan Engram Aug 11 11:13pm ET

New York Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) said he is ready for training camp thanks to 'a very strong and aggressive rehab' this offseason.

Fantasy Spin: Engram has delivered TE1 production when on the field, but he has played just 19 games over the past two seasons because of various injuries. He could be a Top 5 player at his position, but you need to have a quality backup plan in place.

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Boston Scott Aug 11 11:03pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Scott flashed his upside late last season, piling up 151 rushing yards, 199 receiving yards and scoring four times over the final four games. Miles Sanders is the lead back in Philadelphia, but his owners may want to grab Scott as a handcuff.

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Malik Turner Aug 11 11:00pm ET

For the second day in a row, the Green Bay Packers have added a wide receiver. This time, it's former Seahawks wideout Malik Turner, who had 15 catches for 245 yards last season. Turner's much more likely to play a role on this team than the other addition, Travis Fulgham, but he still faces an uphill battle to be a fantasy-relevant part of this roster in 2020. Still, Green Bay is fairly shallow at receiver, so Turner could end up as the team's No. 3 wide receiver by the time the regular season rolls around.

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Jimmy Garoppolo Aug 11 9:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer wearing a knee brace in practice this year.

Fantasy Spin: Garoppolo had previously said his knee is back to 100 percent following his 2018 injury, and shedding the brace is further confirmation. A more mobile Garoppolo could lead to a few more big plays, but he should probably still be viewed as more of a high-end QB2 than a every-week fantasy starter.

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Mike Daniels Aug 11 8:03pm ET

Updating a previous story, free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $2.7 million with the Cincinnati Bengals Tuesday, Aug. 11, according to a source.

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Updating a previous story, free-agent CB Ross Cockrell (Panthers) will remain a free agent after failing to come to terms on a contract with the New York Giants.

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Free-agent DT Darius Kilgo (Lions) signed with the New England Patriots Tuesday, Aug. 11. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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P.J. Hall Aug 11 6:13pm ET

Free-agent DT P.J. Hall (Raiders) visited the Houston Texans Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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Xavien Howard Aug 11 4:23pm ET

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