Fair or not, raw sack totals play a big part in how NFL pass rushers are perceived publicly. After signing a massive five-year extension worth more than $100 million, Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence recorded the third-lowest sack total of his six-year career with just five quarterback takedowns in 2019. While Lawrence had shoulder surgery before the season, he said he wasn’t that impacted from it and he still found ways to affect the game.
“Nothing happened to me last year,” Lawrence said on FOX Sports One. “I know I ended the season with five sacks, but I also helped other players boost their numbers back up to double digits. It’s not a one-man game, and I know how to play the game the right way. I know how to make plays when plays come my way. And I also know how to make sure my teammates are making their plays. You don’t have to worry about nothing. Trust me, the sack number will be back up.”
- ESPN’s Field Yates reports that Cowboys undrafted DE Ron’Dell Carter received one of the largest guarantees in his contract, which included $145,000 guaranteed and a $20,000 signing bonus
Giants HC Joe Judge said he doesn’t expect them to hold training camp outside of New Jersey and is not comfortable asking players to get on planes right now.
“I have a tough time right now asking a player to fly across country from California when I probably wouldn’t be the first one most willing to throw my two sons on the plane to go the other way,” said Judge, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.
As for the Giants’ offensive system going forward, Judge said they will have “some similarities” to new OC Jason Garrett‘s scheme with the Cowboys.
“I think schematically the easiest way to describe (the offense) to the outside world right now is you know it’s going to be similarly based on what Jason’s done in Dallas,” Judge said, via Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated. “There’s going to be some similarities, but it’s got to cater to the players we have on our roster.”
Judge also said that they will try to keep a similar approach with second-year QB Daniel Jones this season.
“There’s going to be similarities in some regards to Daniel. I can’t tell you concrete wise what that’s going to be. But there’s a lot of ‘cousin concepts’ in every offense,” said Judge.
- Regarding the Giants’ plans for training camp, Vacchiano mentioned that although their staff is considering contingency plans, Judge said they will “almost certainly” hold camp in New Jersey or “not at all.”
- Giants’ recently claimed QB Cooper Rush‘s restructured one-year, $1.25 million deal includes $50,000 guaranteed of his $900,000 base salary, a $100,000 signing bonus, and can earn up to $250,000 in per-game active roster bonuses. (Aaron Wilson)
- Giants RB Saquon Barkley acknowledged he was paying attention when the Panthers reset the running back market with a four-year, $64 million extension for Christian McCaffrey. But he’s not pushing the issue with his contract: “I’m a big believer in taking care of the little things first. I’m going to be the best player and leader I can be. If I take care of that, the rest will take care of itself.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
- Barkley was also paying attention when the Rams cut RB Todd Gurley just a couple of years after signing him to a market-setting extension: “Definitely shocking. … But no, I don’t need Todd Gurley getting cut to remind me how the NFL is. That’s just the NFL. It’s a business. That’s why you’ve got to take advantage of it when you can.”
- ESPN’s Matt Bowen says the Redskins make sense as a landing spot for former Eagles LT Jason Peters as they still don’t have a reliable projected starting left tackle.
- Per the Athletic’s Ben Standig, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was telling associates he was impressed at the smooth communication between HC Ron Rivera and VP of player personnel Kyle Smith, indicating a synergy between the coaching staff and front office that’s been a struggle for Washington
- Standig mentions it’s worth monitoring Redskins DE Ryan Kerrigan‘s usage. His job should be safe despite his large cap hit entering the final year of his deal because he’s a strong leader and is still productive, but if young pass rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young seize starting spots, it could make an extension for the almost-32-year-old Kerrigan tricky.
- Former Redskins RB Chris Thompson said he was disappointed to leave Washington as he could tell things were starting to turn around under Rivera: “That’s what makes it harder. I truly feel that things are about to change there and in a really good way. I always wanted to be part of this team when it all turned around. … I wanted to be with one team for my entire career — not only on the team, but to make a big impact.” (John Keim)
- Redskins UDFA TE Thaddeus Moss says the Bengals and Patriots were also interested in signing him but he chose Washington because they called first. (JP Finlay)