NFL Training Camp News -2021

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Football fans, rejoice! NFL training camps are opening across the league this week, and the news coming out of the NFL is fast and furious. 

Aaron Rodgers? 

What in the world is happening with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? Reports have surfaced that Green Bay actually offered him a two-year extension that would have made him the highest-paid player in the league, but he said no. So this offseason saga is not about money, as some people have said, and some people had hoped. If that were the case, it would at least be fixable.

Over the weekend, the talk shifted from “will he report” and “will he be traded” to “will he retire?” Las Vegas sportsbooks thought it a possibility and removed the Packers over/under win total from the board.

Other reports say that Rodgers did complete his normal offseason training program this weekend — a six to seven-week routine with Proactive Sports Performance that includes weight training, flexibility training, and on-field work — and that he is in football shape. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he will report to training camp on Wednesday when he is due.

It’s worth remembering as we count down to his reporting deadline, every day missed from camp costs the player $50,000, and that fine cannot be waived by the team. If a not-yet-retired Rodgers decides to hold out, he will begin to lose money immediately. 

Deshaun Watson is Reporting to Texans Camp 

One of the most unusual offseasons in recent memory is ending for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but the season ahead remains unclear.

Watson’s offseason began with him asking for a trade and immediately becoming the biggest named quarterback on the market. That was derailed when 22 different civil lawsuits were filed by massage therapists accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct. It’s worth noting, however, that so far, no criminal charges have been filed.

Watson reporting to camp is not surprising. He wants to avoid the fines but also keep working toward a possible trade. What is noteworthy is that the NFL hasn’t put him on the exempt list. The league has been conducting an investigation into the allegations but has made no statements regarding the investigation or Watson’s status for 2021. 

With no criminal charges, no action by the NFL, and Watson’s intention of taking the civil suits to trial, instead of agreeing to a settlement, he may be on the field this season. Whether it is in Houston or somewhere else remains to be seen. 

Full Speed Ahead for Joe Burrow 

Prior to the Bengals opening training camp this week, they made a number of injury moves to their roster. Notable in his absence from the injured list is quarterback Joe Burrow, just eight months removed from a serious knee injury that ended his rookie season.

According to NFL Network, that means that Burrow is cleared to begin training camp with Cincinnati, making him a shoe-in to be ready to start by Week 1. As little as a month ago, there was some question about his immediate availability at camp and if that might mean he’d miss the beginning of the season.

That possibility is closer to reality with Burrow reportedly going to miss all of the preseason. But with two new offensive lineman and his college teammate Ja’Marr Chase on the team, it’s all systems go for the Bengals’ upgraded offense. 

Chandler Jones Wants Out of Arizona 

It was a very good offseason for the Arizona defense. J.J. Watt was added to the pass rush, Malcolm Butler was added to the secondary, and first-round draft pick Zavon Collins is going to team with last year’s top pick Isaiah Simmons to lock down the middle of the linebackers. Add in a healthy Chandler Jones, and this is one solid unit.

One big problem with Jones is that Jones is quite unhappy with his contract situation and is asking for a trade. He’s in the final year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract, and he wants a new deal. But he’s 31, coming off a season in which he played in just five games, and we just saw the below market value of Melvin Ingram, another 30+ edge rusher coming off an injury.

Because of that, don’t expect a new contract, don’t expect a trade, and do expect to see him when training camp opens even though he will still be unhappy.

The Cardinals currently project as a slightly winning team according to the sportsbook’s regular-season win totals at 8½ wins for the 2021 season.

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