July 26, 2019
The Philadelphia Eagles conducted their first training camp practice of 2019 on Thursday, and the rest of the league will be up and running by Friday, at the latest. The rest of the NFC East teams are off to less than ideal starts, so let's take a quick peek around at the Birds' divisional rivals.
Technically, Elliott can still report on time to Cowboys camp in Oxnard, CA, if he gets there on his own today, but he missed the team's flight there yesterday, which surely wasn't by accident.
The Cowboys would be smart to run Elliott into the ground over the next two years while he's still on his rookie contract (plus his fifth-year option), and then evaluate whether to franchise tag him or not when he is set to become a free agent in 2021. Conversely, Elliott is right to hold out and get paid now, as opposed to allowing the Cowboys to run him into the ground, like they did with DeMarco Murray back in 2014. (We covered this in more detail a couple weeks ago, in case you missed it.)
Elliott reportedly wants to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL:
On Ezekiel Elliott and the #Cowboys, I'm told the extension Elliott is looking for would exceed Todd Gurley's four-year $57.5 million deal. Which means Dallas could eventually have 3 players (including QB Dak Prescott & WR Amari Cooper) among the top 3 salaries at their position.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) July 26, 2019
And why shouldn't he? Since Elliott has been in the league, he has 600 more rushing yards than Gurley in five fewer games.
As Robinson alludes to in his report above, the Cowboys are also going to have to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper sometime between now and March, or they'll become free agents. Prescott will likely cost more than $30 million/year, and Cooper should land somewhere in the high teens.
It doesn't end there. The Cowboys already gave DeMarcus Lawrence a $21 million/year deal earlier this offseason, making him the highest-paid 4-3 DE in the NFL, and they have eight-figure deals for LB Jaylon Smith and CB Byron Jones looming on the horizon as well.
UPDATE: Zeke is officially a holdout.
Shepard may or may not be ready for the start of the regular season.
The X-ray on Sterling Shepard’s thumb revealed a fracture. Shepard will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.— New York Giants (@Giants) July 25, 2019
With Odell Beckham gone, Shepard is probably the Giants' best receiver. If he misses any time, their best receiver would then be Golden Tate, and their other starter would be... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
UPDATE: Corey Coleman, Shepard's likely replacement in the starting lineup, tore his ACL today.
As expected, Williams is holding out, and his replacement, for now anyway, is Ereck Flowers.
Jay Gruden still has not talked to Trent Williams and Williams has not reported for the first day of actual practices. The plan is to use Ereck Flowers at left tackle, abandoning the hope to play him at guard... for now.— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) July 25, 2019
Oh God. Washington seems to realize they can't actually go into real games with Flowers starting at LT, so they're bringing in help:
Sources: Free agent LT Donald Penn is heading to Richmond to meet with the #Redskins about a possible signing. They have a big need with Trent Williams’ holdout and up-in-the-air status, and the former Raiders starter may fill it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 26, 2019
Can Penn still play? Well, he's available in late July in a league where good offensive tackles are scarce, so, probably not. He's also 36.
As a reminder, the Eagles' Week 1 opponent is Washington, in Philly.
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