NFL Notes: Deshaun Watson, CBA, Panthers, Patriots, Ravens


Deshaun Watson

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson dismissed a recent rumor that he does not want to play for the Browns due to not participating with the team’s staff at the 2017 Senior Bowl.

That’s wrong. That’s false information,” Watson said, via Chase Goodbread of “I talked to Hue Jackson, we had a great conversation right after the national championship game and I told him, ‘Hey, this is what I’m thinking about’ and he understood everything. I talked with my family, my agent, my trainer, all the coaches at Clemson, and it was just best for me to go ahead and get started in the draft process.


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said there will be no extension of the current collective bargaining agreement, but there “might” be a renegotiation of the deal at some point, per Jason Cole of B/R.

Smith went on to say that the NFLPA is “comprehensively” examining marijuana and it’s potential use as an alternative pain reliever to opioids for players.

We want to look at the issue of opioids, but we also want to make sure we’re looking at the issue of how and to what extent players may be self-medicating if they can’t get medication elsewhere,” Smith said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.  “As a subset of the Mackey-White (Health and Safety) Committee, we will be looking and asking the people who have looked and researched the issue of cannabis, are there legitimate medical uses, under what circumstances could they be used and what circumstances may it make sense that this union would support a therapeutic use exemption. We’re not there yet. We’re looking at the issue comprehensively when it comes to medical marijuana, but we’re looking at it as an issue of pain.”

Smith said their examination will be presented to the NFLPA’s executive committee before being shown to the full board in March.


  • Panthers HC Ron Rivera said LT Michael Oher is still going through the league’s concussion protocol after sustaining the injury four months ago. (Joseph Person)
  • Additionally, Rivera mentioned the Panthers will look to add depth to the offensive tackle position since Oher and RT Daryl Williams missed multiple weeks due to injury last season.


  • According to Jason Cole of B/R, several experienced analysts believe Patriots HC Bill Belichick could implement some old defensive schemes against Falcons WR Julio Jones and have S Devin McCourty initially cover him in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
  • Cole mentions that McCourty has not played a single down at cornerback this season, but has done so in previous years.
  • Meanwhile, Cole notes that Belichick sometimes likes to play his safeties as the primary cover man against larger receivers like Jones, while a cornerback defends over the top.


  • According to Jeff Zrebeic of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens view impending free agent NT Brandon Williams as a “top nose tackle” in the NFL and a “centerpiece” for their defense, making him a clear candidate for an extension.
  • Zrebeic writes there is a “confidence level” from the Ravens’ staff that they would be capable of finding a serviceable and cheaper replacement for RT Rick Wagner, should they allow him to test the open market.
  • As for a possible free agent addition at wide receiver, Zrebeic views Redskins WR Pierre Garcon as a good match for the Ravens if he becomes a free agent.
  • Additionally, Zrebeic writes Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome should pursue Jets WR Brandon Marshall if he ends up being released by New York this offseason.
  • Zrebeic could see some of the following nine players possibly end up being cap casualties for the Ravens: WR Mike Wallace, TE Dennis Pitta, TE Benjamin Watson, C Jeremy Zuttah, OLB Elvis Dumervil, CB Lardarius Webb, CB Shareece Wright, CB Kyle Arrington, and S Kendrick Lewis.
  • In the end, Zrebeic does not expect the Ravens to change their philosophy towards free agency, writing that the team will focus on re-signing a few of their own free agents, signing veteran free agents at positions of need, and adding depth through the draft.

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply