Tue Aug 9 12:19pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith speaks at a news conference in Lake Firest, Ill., April 20, 2022. Smith is requesting a trade, saying the team has not negotiated in good faith for a contract extension. Smith, who does not have an agent, wrote Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022 in a statement to NFL.com he has officially asked to be dealt and that it was deeply painful. He said he has been trying to negotiate an extension since April and accused the organization of trying to take advantage of him. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith is requesting a trade, saying the team has not negotiated in good faith for a contract extension.
Smith, who does not have an agent, wrote Tuesday in a statement to NFL.com that he has ''officially'' asked to be dealt and that it was ''deeply painful.'' He said he has been trying to negotiate an extension since April and accused the team of trying to take advantage of him.
''Unfortunately, the new front office regime doesn't value me here,'' he wrote. ''They've refused to negotiate in good faith. Every step of this journey has been `take it or leave it.' The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it.''
Smith, the No. 8 overall draft pick in 2018, was second-team All-Pro in 2020 and 2021. He is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract.
The Bears made big changes after going 6-11 last season and missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years. They fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy and replaced them with Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus.
Smith participated in voluntary and mandatory offseason workouts. He reported to training camp on time and was placed on the physically unable to perform list.
''I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a Super Bowl back to our city,'' Smith wrote. ''However, they have left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organization that truly values what I bring to the table.''
Smith said he hasn't talked to team ownership. He left the door ajar for the McCaskey family to ''salvage this.''
''But as of right now, I don't see a path back to the organization I truly love,'' he wrote.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' use of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca during an offseason retreat isn't considered a violation of the league's drug policy. Rodgers said he went on an ayahuasca retreat to Peru in 2020 before the third of his four MVP seasons. It's defined as a psychoactive beverage native to South America and is often used for religious, ritualistic or medicinal purposes. Rodgers said the retreat gave him "a deep and meaningful appreciation for life" and added that "I came back and knew I was never going to be the same." The 38-year-old finished as the QB8 in fantasy last year and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when all is said and done. However, with All-Pro receiver Davante Adams now with the Raiders, Rodgers ceiling and floor will be lower in 2022.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor won't put a timetable on quarterback Joe Burrow's (appendix) return to training camp practices after undergoing an appendectomy in late July. "He's starting to get better every single day," Taylor said. "Again, I don't want to put a timeline on when he gets out here and starts throwing and stuff, but it's been encouraging. He's back to himself in meetings so looking good." Taylor remains optimistic that Burrow isn't in danger of missing the Week 1 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 25-year-old returned from a left knee injury in his rookie year to lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988, throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns in the regular season. He'll be a strong QB1 target in fantasy drafts despite his appendix issue.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold struggled last season, prompting the team to acquire veteran Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. This led to speculation that the team might be interested in trading Darnold, especially if they believe Mayfield is their future. While it's hard to predict what kind of return they would get, they would certainly get something, as opposed to letting him leave in free agency next offseason. However, this now seems less likely after general manager Scott Fitterer told Darnold "not to worry" about the trade rumors after practice on Monday. There is always a chance another team inquires about him, either later in the offseason or during the regular season, but for now, Darnold will remain a Panther. The starting QB job is Mayfield's to lose, so Darnold is off the fantasy radar as things currently stand.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot, knee) injured his foot in practice on Monday. It was not believed to be serious at the time and was confirmed to be of little concern later that evening. In a post on Tuesday morning, the injury was described as "not serious," but it will keep Winston from participating in the Saints Week 1 preseason game against the Texans on Saturday. This will allow Andy Dalton and Ian Book to get more repetitions, neither of which are a threat to be the starter as long as Winston is healthy.
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has been an integral part of the team's defense since he was drafted eighth overall in 2018. The Bears have traded away some big names from their once fierce defense, including Khalil Mack, and it appears Smith could be next. Smith released a statement officially requesting a trade, reporting the new management regime "won't negotiate in good faith" and "doesn't value me here." Smith is one of the few remaining superstars on this team, so losing him would big a big blow.
The New York Giants drafted wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson 43rd overall in this year's draft, which was a strange pick at the time, considering the plethora of receiving options they had. It was initially speculated that Robinson would replace Kadarius Toney, who was rumored to be traded. However, this never materialized, leaving both to compete for a role as a starter. Robinson was taking first-team repetitions and is currently being listed as a starter on the Giants unofficial depth chart. The uncertainty of quarterback Daniel Jones and the murkiness of this receiving core as a whole make it difficult to trust Robinson. That being said, if he emerges as the lead receiver, he would have more upside and be well worth a late-round pick in fantasy drafts.
Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin is seeing his opportunity in the offense quickly fading. Gaskin was very involved last year, with 173 carries for 612 yards and three touchdowns, but the team added Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, and Sony Michel this offseason. Further adding to this concern, is the news that Gaskin is listed behind all three of those backs on the depth chart. Gaskin is not a player to draft for fantasy and would need multiple injuries to become relevant.
Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back), who previously went by Darius Leonard, watched training camp practice on Monday in street clothes as he recovers from June back surgery. There is no set timetable for his return, but the Colts expect him back at "some point" this year, according to a source. The Colts won't rush Leonard back onto the field, so it appears increasingly likely that he won't be ready to go in time for Week 1. The 27-year-old is typically one of the first linebackers off the board in IDP fantasy leagues, but that won't be the case this year. The three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro had 122 tackles (75 solo), four tackles for loss, three QB hits, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, a league-high eight forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 16 games in 2021. His absence to start the year will be a big loss for the Colts defense/special teams.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (foot) left training camp practice on Monday after injuring his foot, but one source said "he's doing well and feels fine. So nothing to really worry about." It was initially reported that Winston rolled his ankle, but it turned out to be a foot injury. The 28-year-old is also recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee suffered last year and isn't quite back to 100 percent, although he's fully expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. While he's likely to sit out of practice for a few days, Winston appears to have dodged a bullet with his foot injury. Expect veteran backup Andy Dalton to work with the first-team offense in camp until Winston is back on the field. He'll be a low-end QB2 in fantasy this year, although he could have streaming upside in the right matchups later in the year.
Dynasty | The Rams activated rookie Kyren Williams from the PUP list Dynasty Analysis: Recovering from a broken foot suffered early in minicamp, Williams fell during the 2022 NFL Draft after posting dismal speed scores though his tape shows a capable player. The Rams stopped his fall in the fifth-round, selecting the back as the projected replacement for Darrell Henderson who is in a contract season and not expected to return to the team in 2023. With two 1,000-yard campaigns to end his time at Notre Dame, Williams also shined as a receiver, reeling in 77 receptions in those same final two years. Soon to be 22, Kyren Williams isn't expected to have material production in his rookie year but should receive an upgrade in 2023. He's found as DLF's RB77.
Dynasty | The Ravens activated running back J.K. Dobbins from the PUP list Dynasty Analysis: Dobbins was pushing to return and was granted the green light on Monday and it's said he's on track to be ready for week one. It's been a year since Dobbins tore his ACL and his timeline for return was expected to allow for full-health by week one. It's great news for Dobbins, the Ravens and his dynasty coaches who badly missed his presence in 2021. The bruising runner rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie year on only 134 carries, good for an amazing 6.0 ypc. average. The question for Dobbins will surround his role within the teams committee rotation, including the impact of Lamar Jackson's rushing prowess. But as seen with his rookie year production, a healthy allotment of touches should provide for an even greater runway for increased 2022 production. Touchdown totals will be a concern inside the five yard line as fantasy coaches wait to see how the team will utilize Jackson's capable legs, perhaps at the expense of Dobbins. He's listed as DLF's RB14, showing that there's more than a little concern about Dobbins' injury when paired with Jackson under-center.
Dynasty | Ravens running back Gus Edwards is unlikely to return by week one of the regular season Dynasty Analysis: Edwards was one of the trio of running backs lost during the pre-season in 2021 and, like J.K. Dobbins, also tore his ACL. With Edwards staring down a start on the PUP list to start the season, Dobbins should work as the clear top back and receive a lion's share of the touches. In 2020, Edwards' last full season, he produced a 144/723/6 stat line as an early-down, between-the-tackles, chain-mover. Once healthy, he'd likely mix in with Dobbins on early downs but won't have a large role on down-and-distance situations. Edwards is in his age-27 season and is found as DLF's RB59.
Dynasty | No Giants player has fallen further this offseason than that of receiver Darius Slayton Dynasty Analysis: Even with injuries sidelining three receivers above him on the depth chart, Slayton still didn't mix in with the first-team. Running with the second and third teams, he remains inconsistent and is in danger of missing the cut. As an added incentive to send the receiver packing, the team can gain $2.5M of cap savings be trading or releasing him. Now 25, Slayton showed promised in his first two years with the Giants before turning in a disappointing 2021 campaign. He's now all but fallen from the dynasty radar and is listed as DLF's WR104. Look for Slayton to be released in the coming weeks or perhaps traded (CHI?) into a better situation.
Dynasty | Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks has been running with the second and third teams at camp Dynasty Analysis: Burks got off to a poor start in OTAs and was diagnosed with asthma earlier this off-season. As such, the rookie is still getting his legs under him and will have to work his way back with the starters. Rookies tend to hit the "rookie wall" near week 10 of the regular season and this could be an issue to watch with Burks here in his first season. The full expectation is that he'll eventually take the spot vacated by the traded A.J. Brown, but it won't be handed to him. Burks is listed as DLF's WR21 and possesses a fair amount of premium as a rookie.
Dynasty | Broncos running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon will both be on pitch count this season Dynasty Analysis: Ugh. All indications were that the re-signing of Melvin Gordon would mean another 50/50 shared load between the two backs but there has been growing optimism that Williams would garner the lion's share of touches given his current status in camp. Instead, it's another wet blanket thrown over both backs for 2022. As it stands, a 60/40 share of touches in favor of Williams is about the best we can hope for and dynasty coaches will need to look to 2023 for the next opportunity for anything more unless injury bug should bite in 2022. Javonte Williams is found as DLF's RB4, lofty value for a back within a significant committee role.
Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (foot) has been activated from the active/PUP list on Monday. The Rams have little draft capital, but were able to snag Williams in the third round of this year's draft. He was expected to give Darrell Henderson Jr. a run for the backup gig in Los Angeles. At this point, it sounds like Williams will be battling for the RB3 spot on the roster. Although, he'll be an interesting option for dynasty league managers.
Free-agent defensive tackle Danny Shelton had a workout with the Las Vegas Raiders. The former first-round pick has struggled to make much of an impact over the last two seasons. Before that, Shelton recorded 61 tackles and three sacks through 16 games with the New England Patriots. Lately, the Raiders have made it a habit of signing former Pats players. That being said, it wouldn't be shocking to see them add Shelton to their roster. Although, the veteran tackle would likely just be rotational depth for the organization.
Free-agent tight end MyCole Pruitt has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. The former fifth-round pick has bounced around the league since entering it in 2015. Pruitt appeared in 16 games last season, but finished with 14 receptions for 145 yards. He has mainly been depth and a blocker throughout his career. Pruitt will be nice depth for the rebuilding Falcons, but fantasy managers shouldn't expect him to make an impact.
The Dallas Cowboys have decided to bring in some more kickers for added competition. They hosted kickers Brett Maher, Cole Murphy and Matt Ammendola for workouts. Cleary, the organization isn't happy with the results they're getting from Lirim Hajrullahu and rookie Jonathan Garibay. The team might add another kicker to the mix, but that remains to be seen. Maher spent two seasons with Dallas earlier in his career before joining the New Orleans Saints. The 32-year-old made 16-of-18 field goal attempts through eight games with the Saints last season. Possibly, Maher can earn himself the kicking gig in Dallas. However, fantasy managers can wait this one out before jumping on the waiver wire.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (appendix) was seen at training camp practice on Monday doing some very light throwing. It's the first time that Burrow has done anything since having an appendectomy on July 26. The Bengals are easing their star quarterback back onto the field at camp, and he has plenty of time to heal up before Week 1 of the regular season, so fantasy managers shouldn't have any concerns with drafting him as a strong QB1 option this year. The 25-year-old outperformed expectations in his second season after coming off an ACL tear in 2020, throwing for 4,611 yards (a league-high 70.4 completion percentage), 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 16 regular season games. With one of the better receiver duos in the NFL, Burrow will have a high ceiling and floor in Year 3.