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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Contract extension in hand, Edelman can get down to business

Thu May 23 2:51pm ET
By MARK FARINELLA
Associated Press

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.''

Player Notes
Quinnen Williams May 23 3:40pm ET

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (calf), the third overall pick of the draft, is being held out of organized team activities on Thursday with a calf injury. The Jets are just being cautious with him. The former Alabama star is freakishly athletic for a 300-pounder that can win with power and balance at the three-technique. He should clog running lanes and rush the passer with regularity for Gang Green.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant May 23 3:30pm ET

The Denver Broncos are signing rookie tight end Noah Fant, the No. 20 overall pick of the first round, to a four-year rookie deal with a fifth-year option on Thursday, according to a source. The deal will include a $7.17 million signing bonus. Poor blocking and problems with drops could hurt Fant early in his career, but he has intriguing long-term upside and could put up some decent numbers in his first year in Denver with quarterback Joe Flacco often leaning on his pass-catching tight ends. Still, he'll have to compete with Jeff Heuerman, Troy Fumagalli and Jake Butt, so don't overvalue him in redraft leagues in his rookie season.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen May 23 3:30pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (knee), who signed his four-year rookie deal on Thursday, is out of organized team activities on Thursday with a knee contusion and will work on the side with the training staff. He won't practice on Friday either, but head coach Doug Marrone said the knee isn't expected to be a big problem moving forward. The No. 7 overall pick suffered the bruised right knee in practice on Tuesday and is being held out as a precaution. Allen is a long, athletic edge rusher that should immediately boost Jacksonville's pass rush in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd May 23 2:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd is coming off a breakout 1,028-yard season and is entering the final year of his rookie contract looking for a long-term contract extension. The 24-year-old doesn't want to leave Cincinnati after generating five games of 90-plus yards in 2018. Boyd is set to make just $981,000 in base salary this year, but he won't hold out this offseason before he gets paid. He is looking at Sterling Shepard's four-year, $41 million deal with $21.3 million guaranteed as a comparison for his skill level. Alongside A.J. Green, who is also entering the final year of his deal, Boyd should be able to be very productive again in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman May 23 2:30pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (groin) has looked like his usual explosive self during organized team activities this week. Freeman was a huge bust last year, playing in just two games and carrying the ball 14 times for 68 yards before being shut down for the season. He's still just 27 years old, though, and should see more of a workhorse role in the backfield with Tevin Coleman now in San Francisco. Ito Smith will spell Freeman here and there, but there is bounce-back potential for Freeman if he can stay on the field. He could be a nice value pick as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Paul Perkins May 23 2:24pm ET

New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (pectoral), who missed all of last season, remains on the roster and said he is back to 100 percent health. He will fight for a backup role behind Saquon Barkley with Wayne Gallman and Rod Smith. Perkins, a fifth-round pick in 2016, averaged 4.1 yards per carry on 112 attempts in his rookie season and was named the starter in 2017, although that lasted only four games. I feel really good, Perkins said. Thats probably what makes it even more special, because I feel 100 percent. Body feels good, mind feels good. Perkins can be ignored for fantasy purposes if he makes the final roster.

Ezekiel Ansah May 23 2:20pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said there's a chance that defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) is ready for Week 1, but they won't know for sure until training camp begins. Ansah has always had plenty of pass-rushing potential, but he was never able to capitalize on it in Detroit due to various injuries. The 29-year-old played in only seven games in 2018 and hasn't played in a full season since 2015. Ansah has reached double-digit sack totals twice in his career, but those in IDP leagues will want to see him prove his health first. Seattle is hoping he can fill in for the loss of Frank Clark, who was traded to Kansas City.

Cameron Brate May 23 2:19pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (hip) said he continues to rehab and is on schedule to be ready to practice when training camp starts in two months. Brate is not practicing at organized team activities this week after playing through a hip injury for much of last year. There should be a role for Brate alongside O.J. Howard in Bruce Arians' offense, but Brate's ceiling might be capped as a touchdown-dependent TE2 unless Howard misses time with an injury. The 27-year-old caught 30 passes for 289 yards and six touchdowns last year and has at least six scores in each of the last three seasons.

Kyle Rudolph May 23 2:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph confirmed on Wednesday that the team offered him a five-year contract extension, but he has not accepted it. The extension would keep him under contract through his age-35 season in 2024. He is scheduled to make $7.275 million in the final deal of his contract, but none of it is guaranteed and the Vikings are looking to gain salary cap space. Rudolph has been told that other teams are also interested in trading for him. Head coach Mike Zimmer believes that Rudolph will remain with the team, but Minnesota also drafted tight end Irv Smith in the second round, so they have some insurance. Rudolph's 2019 fantasy value will depend on whether he sticks in Minnesota or lands somewhere else, but he's become a touchdown-dependent, low-end TE1 in recent seasons.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman May 23 1:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (knee, groin, foot) is participating in OTAs Thursday, May 23.

Fantasy Spin: Freeman only played in two games last season due to multiple injuries, but is set up to be the main man in the Atlanta backfield with Tevin Coleman now gone. Value him as a low-end RB2 with some upside and also, of course, some injury risk.

Keke Coutee May 23 1:50pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been impressed with wide receiver Keke Coutee and says he is "playing a lot faster." "You never know what hes going to do with the ball in his hands," Watson said. In his rookie season, the 22-year-old Coutee was dogged by a nagging hamstring injury and caught only 28 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown in six regular season games. He should easily be able to top those numbers if he can stay healthy in his sophomore campaign, and Coutee will be in high demand in fantasy drafts in a potent offense under Watson.

From RotoBaller

Amara Darboh May 23 1:40pm ET

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been impressed with wide receiver Amara Darboh at organized team activities. "Darboh looks great. He's back in the fold now, so he goes right back into the competition of it," Carroll said. Darboh, a 2017 third-round pick, didn't play at all last year due to a knee injury. There are more opportunities in the receiving corps in Seattle now that Doug Baldwin is gone, but Darboh will still be fighting for repetitions with rookie D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, David Moore, Jaron Brown and Malik Turner.

From RotoBaller

JJ Arcega-Whiteside May 23 1:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has seen some time in the slot during organized team activities this week. It helped that Alshon Jeffery wasn't at practice, but it's still notable nonetheless. Arcega-Whiteside should be a weapon for the Eagles in the red zone, but you shouldn't expect him to make an impact in redraft leagues while behind Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor on the depth chart unless an injury occurs.

From RotoBaller

Erik Swoope May 23 1:30pm ET

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent tight end Erik Swoope to an undisclosed deal on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound tight end spent his first five seasons with the Colts. He has made six starts in 24 career games, catching 23 passes for 384 yards (16.7 average) and four touchdowns. He appeared in seven games for the Colts last year (two starts), catching eight passes for 87 yards and a career-high three scores. The Raiders released quarterback Landry Jones in a corresponding move. Oakland has Derek Carrier, Luke Willson, rookie Foster Moreau and Darren Waller on their tight end depth chart, so Swoope could certainly carve out a significant pass-catching role with his new team. He'd strictly be a deep sleeper at tight end in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Gerald McCoy May 23 1:23pm ET

Free-agent DT Gerald McCoy (Buccaneers) has six teams -- the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints -- with some level of interest in him , according to league sources.

Dallas Goedert May 23 1:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert stood out in the team's organized team activities on Tuesday and was catching everything thrown his way. The team's top draft pick in 2018 caught 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season and has emerged as the team's best blocking tight end. Goedert's goal in the offseason was getting bigger, faster and stronger. He added muscle, reduced fat and feels faster. The Eagles have made it clear that they want to feature him more in the offense in 2019, so Goedert could have more opportunities. Still, it might be a stretch to think that he'll become a TE1 in his second year while having to battle for targets with Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, DeSean Jackson and the running backs.

From RotoBaller

Richard Sherman May 23 1:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is feeling back to his old self during organized team activities. Last year at this time, Sherman was recovering from Achilles surgery and wasn't a full participant during the offseason program. He's calling the difference this year "night and day." He managed to play 14 games last year, but he still felt the effects of his Achilles surgery. Sherman also dealt with a calf injury last year, but that's also in the past. The All-Pro cornerback isn't at the level he was in his prime with the Seahawks, but Sherman can still lead this secondary and make plays if he can stay healthy in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Nick Bosa May 23 1:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (hamstring) tweaked his hamstring during team drills at organized team activities on Tuesday and watched the rest of the practice from the sideline. It doesn't sound like the injury is too serious, but the Niners will surely play it safe with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft. Bosa does have an extensive injury history much like his brother, so don't be surprised if they keep him out for the rest of OTAs. His presence on the defensive line will immediately boost San Fran's pass rush in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo May 23 1:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) took part in individual 7-on-7 drills on Tuesday in organized team activities but didn't take part in team drills. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Garoppolo won't be cleared for full team workouts until training camp because the team doesn't want to risk having defenders around the QB's legs. Garoppolo has impressed the coaches and teammates with how well he's moving while wearing a titanium knee brace. The QB tore his ACL on Sept. 23 and missed the final 13 games of last season. He hasn't dealt with swelling in "a long time." Garoppolo has been pleased with his ability to push the ball down the field and is also making strides in the weight room. He'll have QB1 upside if he's fully healthy in 2019, but fantasy owners should probably play it safe and take him as a QB2 with upside.

From RotoBaller

Ndamukong Suh May 23 12:53pm ET

Free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh's pending signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is being delayed by Suh's previously planned trip to France.