Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer takes a look at Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict and TE Tyler Eifert‘s situations as they enter the final year of their contracts.
- Owczarski mentions that it’s possible the Bengals could allow Burfict to test the open market next year to see how he’s valued by other teams before hammering out a new deal. According to Owczarski, both parties would like to get a deal done, but his health this year could be a big factor in negotiations.
- League sources suggested to Owczarski that Burficts next deal could come in between or around Dont’a Hightower‘s four-year, $35.5 million contract with $17 million guaranteed and Christian Kirksey‘s four-year, $38 million with $20 million guaranteed. The floor for Burfict, according to Owczarski’s sources, could be Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso‘s three-year, $29 million contract with $18.5 million guaranteed.
- As for Eifert, Owczarski writes that the biggest question mark will be how the Bengals project him and his health moving forward. The two parties are interested in getting an extension in place, but it could be costly in the end.
- Owczarski says that league sources expect Eifert to be Zach Ertz‘s five-year, $42 million with $20 million guaranteed, but he could fall short of the $9.36 million APY being paid to Chiefs TE Travis Kelce and the $9.35 million APY being paid out Redskins TE Jordan Reed.
- A Chargers’ source tells Josina Anderson of first-round WR Mike Williams‘ back injury: “We’ll evaluate him when he gets here and then see how much we are going to do with him.”
- Anderson’s source added: “He feels better. If he can’t do conditioning test [July 29] he’ll continue rehab until we feel he’s ready.“
- Colts GM Chris Ballard told reporters that they’ve discussed bringing in a veteran quarterback, but they instead plan to move forward with their current options. (Bob Kravitz)
- Ballard confirmed that first-round S Malik Hooker (shoulder, groin) will be ready for the start of training camp. (Kevin Bown)
- Stephen Holder reports that there haven’t been any substantive extension talks between the Colts and G Jack Mewhort up to this point.
- Rich Cimini writes that the starting quarterback job isn’t Josh McCown‘s to lose as much as it’s Christian Hackenberg’s to take.
- One notable player who could be on the roster bubble this summer is veteran NT Steve McLendon, given that he’s just one of four players on the Jets’ roster over 30 and his due a non-guaranteed $2.75 million salary.
- The Jets have a young roster and Cimini believes safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, WR ArDarius Stewart, TE Jordan Leggett and OLB Dylan Donahue could all start for the team as rookies depending how they perform this summer.
- As for DL Sheldon Richardson, who is on the trading block, Cimini says he wouldn’t be a shock if he’s dealt by the midseason trading deadline.