Taylor Lewan becomes the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history after signing a 5 year $80M dollar deal:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Tennessee Titans standout Taylor Lewan is now the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history after signing a mega-deal with the team. Lewan will now set the bar for all the other lineman in the league and it’s a huge win for the former University of Michigan alum. Lewan is known for his never back down mentality on the football field. This guy can drive block defensive tackles to the second level and then pick off a linebacker. That skill set wasn’t expendable and that’s why Tennessee made sure they have Lewan under contract for at least half a decade. The idea is Taylor Lewan will be a strategic advantage upfront in the trenches. He’ll have to open holes for Derrick Henry and win at the line of scrimmage against some tough AFC South opponents. Jacksonville and Houston are both a huge threat to Lewan and the Titans. However if Taylor Lewan wasn’t in the equation Tennessee would really struggle and take a huge step backwards. Another reason the front office handed the 27 year old (Lewan) a new contract is because Jack Conklin is banged up and struggling to return. So Lewan must minimize that loss and coach up the other lineman at the same time. Therefore the leadership aspect played a key role in re-signing Lewan and it’s something that can’t be overlooked. This franchise is coming off a playoff appearance but it’s not going to be easy at all to make it back. In order for that to happen the running game must thrive because then the Titans can at least control the time of possession. Lewan is such a big factor in those game plans and he also does a great job of protecting Mariota’s blind side. There’s no doubt this is the best lineman on Mike Vrabel’s roster and one of the premier blockers in the NFL.

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Malcolm Butler looked great at Titans training camp. You can tell he is ready to bounce back from that Super Bowl disaster:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Tennessee Titans went back to work and the former New England Patriot Malcolm Butler had a great performance. Butler showed some impressive cover skills completely clamping down on Corey Davis. This is exactly what the Titans had in mind when they signed Butler to a 5 year $61M dollar deal. From the looks of things that might be money well spent and Butler really did a good job of jumping routes and trying to beat receivers to the ball. Any slants or drags over the middle Butler can anticipate so well. We saw those talents on display when Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass back in Super Bowl XLIX. It’s the ability to break on the ball that makes this guy so special at the cornerback position and there’s no doubt he’s using last year’s Super Bowl benching as motivation heading into the new season. Some people will say it’s only training camp and it doesn’t mean anything but everything starts early on in these preseason practices. It’s a good sign that Butler has been so effective out of the gate because it proves he’s serious about continuing to build his legacy. Tennessee committed a lot of money to the newly acquired defender and that’s because they believe in him as a player. Now Butler has to do his best Champ Bailey impersonation and cut off one half of the field. The other big factor for Butler will be how many interceptions does he end up recording this year? Defensive Backs are measured by their ability to pick off passes and Malcolm Butler will be no different. Five interceptions would be a great goal for this guy and it would prove to the Titans that he’s willing to fulfill his end of the bargain. We’re not that far along yet but everything seems to be heading in the right direction. Give credit to Malcolm Butler he’s definitely put in some work during his time away from football.

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Malcolm Butler looked great at Titans training camp. This appears to be a big acquisition for the Tennessee.

Anthony Miller has been a standout at Bears training camp. Not many players have improved their stock like Miller has:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Well it didn’t take long for the Bears second round pick Anthony Miller to make a name for himself. No player has improved their stock more than Miller and it’s starting to look like this guy will be a huge contributor from day one. That’s surprising considering how many wide receivers have struggled coming out of the draft lately. However Miller has always been known as an individual who goes the extra mile when it comes to preparing himself. During his time at the University of Memphis that was always what Miller’s reputation was built on. Maybe the most surprising thing about the 23 year old is the fact that he’s only 5’11 190 pounds. What Miller lacks in size though he makes up with sheer determination. There was times on film that Miller would go up and high point the football over a taller defender. So it’s obvious the skill set is there and the Bears might have got a steal with this selection. Keep in mind Chicago’s front office already added Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton to load up on talent around Mitchell Trubisky. With that being said it really feels like Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller will be the top two targets on game day. Maybe Kevin White can put things together and make a push but if not Miller will most likely get the nod. It seems Miller is an overachiever and this start to his career couldn’t be going any better. Now we’ve seen stories like this in the past where a player is on fire but then they get hurt or fade away. Those will be the challenges Miller must avoid but you have to love this kid’s will to compete. At the moment that’s what really sets him apart.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

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Anthony Miller has been very impressive at Bears training camp.

Julio Jones will report to training camp after coming to an agreement with the Falcons. Atlanta might have saved their season by reeling in the star wide receiver:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Just when all hope seemed lost between Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons Thomas Dimitroff found a way to bring Jones to the negotiation table. Together the two sides were able to come to an agreement that will pay Julio Jones a salary similar to Antonio Brown’s. Which is going to be huge for Jones’ individual morale and you better believe that’s big for the Falcons as a whole. Atlanta depends on Jones for so much of their offensive output and the last thing they needed was their top weapon missing training camp. It almost seemed like the Falcons and Jones were about to go their separate ways but give the front office credit for making something happen. Now Matt Ryan will have some of the best pass catchers he’s ever had with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, and Julio Jones all in the fold for the foreseeable future. Believe it or not Jones might be better off staying with the team that drafted him too. Ryan and Jones have a rapport that they’ve developed over several seasons. By staying together Jones has a chance to optimize his stats and set himself up for another payday once his current contract runs out. The importance of keeping this offense intact can’t be stated enough because it helps build continuity. It seemed like Jones wanted to push his way out of Atlanta but things took a complete 180 instead. Which means the Falcons will have a shot to compete in the NFC South. Carolina and New Orleans are really good but at least the dirty birds have all their guys buying into the same goals. For a while there we didn’t know what was going to happen with this team? It’s clear now Steve Sarkisian will have a lot of talent and he has to find a way to make the most of it.

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Julio Jones will report to training camp thanks to the Falcons front office. A huge turn of events for Atlanta.

The Browns are considering adding Dez Bryant to their receiver group just in case Josh Gordon has any setbacks:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Josh Gordon will not report to training camp due to personal reasons and because of that the Cleveland Browns have considered signing Dez Bryant. We don’t know exactly what’s going on with Gordon but Cleveland can’t afford to be down a receiver once game day gets here. Bryant could come in and minimize the loss of Gordon and keep this team afloat until they get the troubled receiver back. Imagine Cleveland’s four WR sets with Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, and Corey Coleman. That would definitely be the best group of pass catchers in football and that’s an advantage that the Browns seriously need to consider. It’s the front office’s responsibility to put as much talent on these field as possible and committing to Dez Bryant ensures John Dorsey is doing his job. Not to mention Hue Jackson is an offensive minded coach and should be able to get the best out of all those guys. Bryant put up 838 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2017 so he can clearly contribute something. Why not sign him to a one year deal and give Tyrod Taylor the best weapons you possible can? It’s all about having that winning mentality and when you make an investment in a player like Dez Bryant you can expect to see some fireworks. Some people doubt whether or not Bryant can still get separation from defenders but that’s highly unlikely. To be honest Bryant might completely revive career his now that’s he’s in a new environment and not being blamed for the all the Cowboys problems. It’s a fresh start for 3x Pro Bowler and Cleveland is hoping if they do sign Bryant he can still be a reliable contributor. The big name acquisition will also be great for the fan base and get people excited about watching this team.

Charity of the day: Seva Foundation

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Demario Davis was a big addition for the Saints defense. New Orleans plucked one of the Jets best defenders when they signed the free agent linebacker:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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We all know the New Orleans Saints have an outstanding offense with Drew Brees commanding the attack and that’s why the Saints front office wanted to strengthen the weak point of this team. Obviously that’s the defensive side of the ball and one key addition will definitely be Demario Davis. The former Jets linebacker had a great season a year ago and New Orleans swooped him up at just the right time. Davis’ game is still ascending and he’ll mesh perfectly with everything Dennis Allen is trying accomplish down there in the Big Easy. When you look at what makes Davis so good it’s apparent that he’s a great athlete. The 29 year old ran a 4.49 forty yard dash and it shows when he rushes the passer. Expect to see Demario Davis on a number of blitzes because he has a relentless pursuit even when he is fighting through blocks. The combination of Cameron Jordan and Davis could end up being lethal for Allen’s group. You have to believe the Saints are better than last year’s team defensively and that should yield some favorable results on game day. If Marcus Davenport gets it going too look out because there’s going to be a lot of firepower upfront. The moves this front office made put this team in a better position to succeed and that’s all you can really ask from management. Now Davis and company must put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and get some stops. Davis is also coming off a 135 tackle performance in 2017 and he’s going to control one whole half of the field run support wise. Which means opposing offensive coordinators will have to game plan quite a bit to pose a threat to New Orleans. It’s getting to the point where the Saints defense must be feared. When’s the last time you could say that?

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Demario Davis is ready to make an impact for the Saints defense. He’s definitely a big addition.

Ezekiel Ansah’s injury problems continue to be a concern for the Detroit Lions. Ansah will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Detroit Lions knew it was somewhat of a risk when they franchise tagged Ezekiel Ansah and so far things haven’t been exactly ideal. Ansah will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list due to a knee surgery he underwent this off-season. When Ziggy Ansah is healthy he’s a freak of nature and one of the most gifted pass rushers in the league. However the Lions are worried about Ansah’s health and this has become a common problem throughout his career. In fact 2016 was the defensive end’s worst year missing three games and never really getting up to speed. Despite all of these setbacks though Ansah has still recorded 44 sacks over five seasons. That tells the real story of how explosive this guy is off the edge but when you’re paying a player $17M dollars annually you would also like that individual to be less risky health wise. It’s very possible we’ll be raving about Ansah’s abilities in a couple of months but for the time being he has to focus on getting healed up and ready to compete. This situation also has to be frustrating for Matt Patricia because he’s implementing a new scheme and Ansah needs those reps to get familiar with the system. All of this will be water under the bridge though if Ezekiel Ansah comes out and puts together a 10 sack campaign. We know if Ansah suits up for 16 games that shouldn’t be any problem for him. If Ziggy Ansah misses a majority of training camp and a few games of the regular season though that’s when things could completely unravel. Detroit can’t afford that considering how much they’re paying the former Pro Bowler. Without number 94 in the line up you can pretty muck kiss the Lions chances of success goodbye.

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Ezekiel Ansah has to overcome all his injury problems if he wants to have a big season.

Tom Brady reports to training camp early which is a good faith gesture to Bill Belichick and a warning sign to the rest of the league:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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New England Patriots training camp doesn’t officially start until July 26th but Tom Brady has already reported and the 40 year old quarterback is ready to go. It’s clear this was Brady extending an olive branch to Bill Belichick. There was rumors all off-season that those two were at odds and it feels like Tom Brady wanted to squash all of that speculation. By showing up early Brady and Belichick will have some time to iron out their personal differences and get on the same page heading into the next chapter. It’s the Patriots way to a tee and this is a prime example why this organization has been so successful. They’re able to block out the noise and do what’s best for the team. Which is clearly a selfless championship winning formula. Brady reporting early is also a warning sign to every other team in the NFL. He’s letting everyone know they’re on notice and when the best player in all of football is setting the tone like this, New England’s opponents are usually in for a long day. Tom Brady is so good at getting the ball out of his hands quickly that even when teams blitz he still finds a way to make some magic happen. Nobody in pro football plays at the same level as the future Hall of Famer and Brady is aiming for his 6th Vince Lombardi Trophy. We know the Patriots will be right there competing for it all the question is whether or not they’ll actually win the Super Bowl? It doesn’t feel like the team did enough to address the defense but if Brady keeps putting together 500 yard performances anything is possible. Ultimately it will come down to whether not New England gets some breaks in their favor? If they do then they could be back on top before we know it.

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Tom Brady extended an olive branch to Bill Belichick by showing up to training camp early. That good faith gesture will be huge for the Patriots.

Jimmy Garoppolo comes off as a guy who’s not afraid to be bold. The 49ers quarterback has to avoid being too outlandish though:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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It’s been an interesting off-season for Jimmy Garoppolo after going 5-0 as the 49ers starting quarterback. Since then Garoppolo has dated an adult film actress and told the media he felt like he was better than Tom Brady. While this bold behavior has certainly helped Garoppolo on the field, he is definitely walking a fine line between excellence and chaos. If Garoppolo comes into 2018 and continues to light it up everyone is going to look at this guy likes he’s a legend. If he flops people are going to point to Garoppolo’s arrogance and say he got too full of himself. Obviously Jimmy G believes he is betting on himself and he’ll do that every single time. You almost have to wonder if everything is going about to come crashing down though? That perfect 5-0 record is almost impossible to repeat. It’s much more realistic that San Francisco starts the year off 3-2 or 2-3. Which means Garoppolo will have to face adversity at some point and the last thing you want is your starting quarterback celebrating the wins of yesterday. The only thing that should be on the emerging star’s radar is week one against the Minnesota Vikings. That defense is coming to light Garoppolo up and hopefully he’ll be ready. The other thing that needs to be addressed is how will Jimmy Garoppolo respond when he does get punched in the mouth? There’s going to be times during this upcoming season that the former Eastern Illinois signal caller feels overwhelmed by some of the best NFL defenses. We’ll really see what Garoppolo is made of when that moment comes? To be fair though Garoppolo has somewhat earned the opportunity to be braggadocios. He has the world in his hands right now and there’s a chance he could take his brand to new heights with another big year.

Charity of the day: Team Rubicon

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Jimmy Garoppolo is not afraid to take chances . He has to be conscious of how he handles himself though.

Tyreek Hill’s numbers could shoot through the roof now that the deep ball thrower Patrick Mahomes is the Chiefs’ quarterback:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Tyreek Hill has made a splash over his first two years with the Kansas City Chiefs recording 1,776 yards and 13 touchdowns. All of that was done with Alex Smith as the Chiefs starting quarterback and that’s why things could be even better for Hill now that Patrick Mahomes is taking over at the helm. Smith was a smart quarterback but his arm strength isn’t no where near Mahomes’. The second year passer out of Texas Tech (Mahomes) can make deep throws downfield look effortless and that really plays to Tyreek Hill’s strengths. Mahomes is the type of player who will loft it over the top and trust his receivers to run under those throws. Who better than Hill to make those type of plays and that’s why the speedster could be headed for the best year of his career. Kansas City has some emerging threats in Los Angeles and Oakland but if Mahomes and Hill light it up anything is possible. Expect Andy Reid to have plenty of WR screens and drag routes over the middle of the field to also get Hill going. Those play calls are designed to be second and third options for Tyreek Hill. Obviously the bread and butter is the vertical route concepts and the 24 year old (Hill) excels in that part of the game because he can outrun everyone else. You’ll notice him throw up the peace sign as he blows past the secondary and struts into the end zone. Football fans are really starting to appreciate everything Hill brings to the table because he changes the outcome of games with his explosiveness. It’s exciting to see all the ways they incorporate him into the offense too and this guy still has a lot of great football ahead of him. Maybe even the best days yet.

Charity of the day: Prevent Cancer Foundation

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