The Latest Buzz Around Every NFL Team as Camp Season Nears

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJuly 14, 2021

The Latest Buzz Around Every NFL Team as Camp Season Nears

0 of 32

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Did the NFL lose your attention? Even for a week or two? That would be fair considering that this is undoubtedly the slowest period on the calendar for professional football. 

    Still, there's always something to chat about, and we're here to get you up to date as training camp season looms. 

    Here's a look at the latest buzz around every team in mid-July. 

Arizona Cardinals

1 of 32

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Chase Edmonds leading the pack at running back?

    The details: Pro Football Network's Adam H. Beasley reports that the fourth-year back has an edge over James Conner to become the top option in the Cardinals backfield now that Kenyan Drake has moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders. 

    Our take: Edmonds has just four career starts under his belt but has averaged 4.8 yards per carry the last two seasons and is a strong receiver. He should be on your fantasy radar, especially since it's hard to be fired up about Conner (who suffered a toe injury in an ATV incident this offseason). 

    Other buzz:'s Josh Weinfuss believes linebacker Jordan Hicks "could either be moved through a trade or be released at the end of camp despite his veteran leadership." That's because the Cards have used first-round picks on linebackers two years in a row.

Atlanta Falcons

2 of 32

    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Will Josh Andrews start at left guard? 

    The details: Who? The 30-year-old journeyman started four games last year for the New York Jets but might actually enter camp as the preferred candidate to replace the departed James Carpenter. That's what Beasley's hearing, anyway. 

    Our take: The Falcons would probably prefer to see rookie third-round pick Jalen Mayfield win that job, while Matt Gono could factor in as well. Regardless, they have to get this right for Matt Ryan's sake in what could be a make-or-break season for the veteran quarterback's future there. 

    Other buzz: The Falcons recently released linebacker Barkevious Mingo after the vet was arrested on a charge of indecency with a child/sexual contact. Mingo's lawyer, Chris Lewis, has called the accusation "a lie" and says the team made a "rush to judgment."

Baltimore Ravens

3 of 32

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Despite offseason losses, Patrick Queen says the Ravens aim to have a top-five defense.

    The details: "We lost some key pieces," the sophomore linebacker said on NFL Network. "But I feel like, it's the Ravens defense, so you know how we're gonna come. We've got those new guys up front in the draft. So there's a lot of stuff to look out for. And we just want to be that same defense we were, a top-five defense. All the pieces that we've got, all the coaching that we've got added to the team—it's going to be a big season. And I can't wait."

    Our take: They might miss Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue, but Queen himself should be expected to keep improving, cornerback Marlon Humphrey is a star, and don't count out Tyus Bowser yet on the edge. Top five is unlikely, but it's always a possibility with Baltimore. 

    Other buzz: Quarterback Lamar Jackson continues to negotiate his next contract sans agent, while offensive coordinator Greg Roman says they'll be adding more wrinkles for Jackson and Co. in 2021.

Buffalo Bills

4 of 32

    Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Could Jerry Hughes and/or Cole Beasley get cut?

    The details: Both veterans were listed as potential surprise camp cuts in a recent article by Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. Other notable players who made the list: Mario Addison, Matt Breida and Cody Ford. 

    Our take: Hughes and Addison are a combined 65 years old and coming off a season in which they tallied just 9.5 sacks in 30 games, and Buffalo has three promising young pass-rushers in rookies Gregory Rousseau (first round) and Carlos Basham Jr. (second round) and sophomore A.J. Epenesa (second round). If any of those guys emerge this summer, cutting Hughes or Addison makes sense. They could save $5.3 million by releasing Beasley, who is a solid safety valve but has received backlash for his stance on COVID-19 vaccines. I doubt that's enough for Buffalo to move on from a key target for quarterback Josh Allen. 

    Other buzz: Speaking of Allen, Bills head coach Sean McDermott told the NFL Network recently that "these things handle themselves" in regard to contract negotiations for the 2020 MVP runner-up. 

Carolina Panthers

5 of 32

    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Derrick Brown says he has to play a lot better.

    The details: "I've got to play a lot better," the 2020 first-round pick said, per Darin Gantt of the team's official website. "I've got to be more consistent. At everything, every situation. I don't think it's one thing. It's a focus. Last year, with everything going as fast as it was through my rookie year, it was trying to juggle everything. Now being able to sit down and focus and learn is the biggest thing."

    Our take: Last year's rookie class barely had an offseason and lost the entire preseason, and Brown was joining a brand-new coaching staff in Carolina that was also adjusting under difficult circumstances. But he still flashed at times during a decent debut campaign. Watch for him to explode with more support in 2021. 

    Other buzz: Per Gant, veteran tight end Dan Arnold says he's ready to "take on a bigger role" with Carolina. The team is also still trying to iron out a long-term deal with franchise tag recipient Taylor Moton ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. 

Chicago Bears

6 of 32

    Amr Alfiky/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Matt Nagy believes Eddie Goldman will show up for training camp.

    The details: The strong 27-year-old defensive tackle opted out in 2020 and was an unexcused absence at mandatory minicamp last month, but his head coach said this on the Under Center podcast: "He's a really special person, and I really don't have concerns of him not showing up to camp. I really believe that he'll be there. If he's not, we got to continue to move forward and we'll have a plan in place to make sure that we help get him here."

    Our take: Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this month that Goldman could be considering retirement, which would really stink for the Bears this late in the game. But they do have depth at the position thanks to the presence of Bilal Nichols and Mike Pennel. 

    Other buzz: Nagy said on the same podcast he wants to get rising star running back David Montgomery 20 carries per game, while NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports the team is unlikely to sign franchise tag recipient Allen Robinson to a long-term deal before Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. 

Cincinnati Bengals

7 of 32

    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    The top buzz: C.J. Uzomah could catch 50 passes? 

    The details: The Athletic's Jay Morrison noted quarterback Joe Burrow "established an immediate connection" with the tight end in 2020, and the expectation is that'll continue as Burrow returns from a torn ACL and Uzomah comes back from an Achilles injury. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan thinks 50 receptions is a realistic target. 

    Our take: That could put Uzomah on fantasy football radar as a TE2. Burrow targeted him 11 times in two games before he went down in September, and more of that could mean a lot of fantasy points as the Bengals spread the ball around. 

    Other buzz: On that note, Callahan said that "the idea is for each of the three starting receivers to end up with about the same number of targets and catches," so don't look for Ja'Marr Chase to necessarily jump ahead of Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd at that spot. 

Cleveland Browns

8 of 32

    David Dermer/Associated Press

    The top buzz: More on Baker Mayfield's plate?

    The details: Mary Kay Cabot of wrote earlier this month that Browns coaches "won't hesitate to put more on [Mayfield's] plate because they know he can handle it."

    Our take: Don't expect the Browns offense to suddenly become a consistent aerial attack in 2021 because it makes no sense to suddenly take the ball out of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt's hands. Still, recent history indicates you likely need your quarterback to take the reins to win a Super Bowl and that's gotta be the goal now for this stacked Cleveland team. 

    Other buzz: Odell Beckham Jr. believes "it's going to be a special year" in Cleveland, while Mayfield himself is focusing on managing expectations.

Dallas Cowboys

9 of 32

    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Dan Quinn says Leighton Vander Esch is "on a mission."

    The details: "I've been really impressed, not just from the OTA time," the defensive coordinator said of Vander Esch, per the team's official website. "Every once in a while you can just see a person that's on a mission, and I think that's what I've seen from Leighton from the time I arrived. You could just feel the energy and intensity that he's putting into his workouts to change his body, to get as strong as he could. From then on, the questions, in the meetings, you could feel the urgency to go."

    Our take: The 2018 first-round pick was a Pro Bowler as a rookie but hasn't been able to consistently remain on the field ever since. If he can finally put it all back together in 2021, the Cowboys could have the best linebacker corps in the league with a healthy and productive Vander Esch teaming up with Jaylon Smith and rookie first-rounder Micah Parsons. Oh, and Keanu Neal's also in the picture. 

    Other buzz: Sports Illustrated's Mike Fisher believes star wide receiver Amari Cooper will be "cutting it close" to start camp off the PUP list as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. 

Denver Broncos

10 of 32

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Von Miller believes this is the best Broncos team in a long time.

    The details: "This is the best team we've been able to field in a long time," Miller said, per Mike Klis of 9News. "The offense is going to be ridiculous. We've got Courtland [Sutton], Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Albert [Okweugbunam]—I don't want to go through the whole thingMelvin Gordon and all these other big-time guys. The defense is just as stacked."

    Our take: They actually are in great shape at practically every position and could surprise in 2021, especially if Miller and Sutton can excel coming back from injuries. That said, the quarterback position remains the elephant in the room. Nothing is guaranteed with Drew Lock and/or Teddy Bridgewater. 

    Other buzz: Speaking of that position, former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning doubts the team acquires Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

Detroit Lions

11 of 32

    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Anthony Lynn is loving Jared Goff.

    The details: "It's been an absolute pleasure to work with Jared," the new Lions offensive coordinator told the Compas on the Beat podcast. "Just giving him some input and watching him grow as a leader on our football team, that's been really cool to see. But he's had some really good practices and hopefully that carries over to training camp and the regular season. But I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far."

    Our take: Lynn and Goff both come to Detroit from Los Angeles, where Lynn coached the Chargers and Goff quarterbacked the Rams offense. Now, the former is overseeing the latter's transition to the starting role that Matthew Stafford held down for more than a decade, and it's a good sign that he's enthusiastic. Goff hasn't been himself since bombing in Super Bowl LIII, but let's remember he's still just 26 and was a No. 1 overall pick who made two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons. 

    Other buzz: Per Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports, it also appears Goff has taken Lions fourth-round rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown under his wing and is looking for him to serve in a Cooper Kupp-like role in Detroit.

Green Bay Packers

12 of 32

    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Aaron Rodgers needs a couple weeks.

    The details: "I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this week," the disgruntled reigning MVP said at a golf tournament Saturday, per Pro Football Talk, "and then I'm going to get back to working out, and figure things out in a couple weeks."

    Our take: By "figure things out," Rodgers presumably means he'll decide whether to report to training camp or not after skipping mandatory minicamp in hopes of being traded. Rodgers didn't opt out and it probably makes the most sense for the two sides to just come together for at least one more season. 

    Other buzz:'s Rob Demovsky lists receiver Devin Funchess as a veteran cut candidate, while The Athletic's Matt Schneidman believes rookie wideout Amari Rodgers can break out right off the bat as a rookie.

Houston Texans

13 of 32

    JOCE/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Investigations into claims against Deshaun Watson continue.

    The details: The Texans star quarterback is facing 22 lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct. A representative from the Houston Police Department told Pro Football Network's Adam H. Beasley this week that their investigation is ongoing, while the league continues to investigate as well. Meanwhile, Watson has been training with Jordan Love and Justin Fields.

    Our take: The Texans were smart to at least implement a backup plan by adding veteran Tyrod Taylor. 

    Other buzz: Defensive lineman Brandon Dunn tells Texans reporter Aaron Wilson he's fully recovered from a broken hip.

Indianapolis Colts

14 of 32

    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Is the receiving corps actually a strength?

    The details: That position is often listed as a potential weak spot for the 2021 Colts, but general manager Chris Ballard told The Athletic Football Show (h/t the Indianapolis Star) that he believes veteran T.Y. Hilton "can still play." He added that Michael Pittman has "a chance to be really good," that "everybody just ignores Zach Pascal, but all he's done is catch touchdowns over the last two years," and that "getting Parris Campbell back is a big bonus and he's looked great during the offseason."

    Our take: In summary, Ballard stated that "we think we're a little better than other people do" at that position. And he makes a pretty convincing point. Now, can head coach Frank Reich get Carson Wentz back on track with that new group of weapons? That's the big question this summer in Indy. 

    Other buzz: Wentz was spotted recently working out in Texas with Pittman, Pascal and several other new Colts teammates. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

15 of 32

    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Will Trevor Lawrence be ready?

    The details: Last we heard from new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, he told USA Today that his team's top pick "isn't ready yet" before adding that he "doesn't have to be." But that's about to change when the Jags start training camp on July 27. 

    Our take: Lawrence spent much of the offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and was then hampered by a hamstring injury. The Jags aren't winning the Super Bowl this season, so there's absolutely no reason to force anything. Still, it's hard to imagine anyone but him starting under center for Jacksonville in Week 1. 

    Other buzz: Fourth-year first-round pick Taven Bryan's roster spot could be in danger, according to's Mike DiRocco. Plus, Tim Tebow is just one big buzz machine right now. 

Kansas City Chiefs

16 of 32

    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Could they bring in Melvin Ingram III?

    The details: With veteran edge defender Frank Clark facing a felony weapons charge, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggested on The Pat McAfee Show recently that the Chiefs could sign the veteran Ingram to help shore things up on the edge.  

    Our take: Not sure what Ingram has left after recording zero sacks in seven games last year. I'd prefer to see them bring back Justin Houston, who has put up at least eight sacks in each of the last four seasons. 

    Other buzz: The Athletic's Nate Taylor reports that Mecole Hardman will start camp in the No. 2 receiver role left open by Sammy Watkins' departure, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes recently told NFL Network he should be fully recovered from toe surgery in time for camp.

Las Vegas Raiders

17 of 32

    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Lots of targets coming for Henry Ruggs III?

    The details: "[Head coach Jon] Gruden hears the criticism of the Ruggs pick," writes The Athletic's Vic Tafur, "so he is the one receiver we can lock in for a lot of targets."

    Our take: The speedy Alabama product was targeted just 43 times in 13 games as a rookie in 2020. That trend has to change in 2021, and it almost certainly will now that Nelson Agholor has skipped town.

    Other buzz: But could incoming back Kenyan Drake put somewhat of a dent in those targets? Per ESPN's Mike Clay, Drake told SiriusXM NFL Radio last week that he expects to play some receiver in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Chargers

18 of 32

    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Brandon Staley won't make it easy on Justin Herbert.

    The details: "I don't want to make it easy for Justin; I want to make it right for him," the team's new head coach said of the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, per The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue. "And so on the front end, I'll say, 'Hey, man, we're going to challenge you. We're going to push you.' Because ultimately, I know that for us to be as good as we can be, [he] has to be the one running the show for us. And [him] just knowing that, as his head coach, I have his back and we're going to work through it during the week together and hopefully I can give him that full perspective where he can become a complete player."

    Our take: Herbert is used to change, and this one could help him avoid resting on his laurels after a fantastic rookie season. It's hard not to be excited about what Staley and new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi will get out of the 23-year-old in 2021. 

    Other buzz: Sports Illustrated's Fernando Ramirez is under the impression running back Justin Jackson is "on the bubble" entering camp. Austin Ekeler is the top gun in that backfield, but L.A. also has Joshua Kelley and rookie sixth-rounder Larry Rountree III.

Los Angeles Rams

19 of 32

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    The top buzz: High expectations for Van Jefferson?

    The details: "You can see he's really put the work in," Rams head coach Sean McVay said of the 2020 second-round pick, per's Lindsey Thiry. "He's come back establishing himself as a legitimate dude, a guy that we're counting on for big things and I think the future is so bright for this guy."

    Our take: The deep threat out of Florida caught just 19 passes as a rookie, but dropped just one of the 31 throws that came his way. Josh Reynolds is gone, rookie second-rounder Tutu Atwell could need time and it's not a given incoming veteran DeSean Jackson will hold up, so there's definitely a potential path for Jefferson in 2021. 

    Other buzz: In case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, stalwart Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth told Chris Long on the Green Light podcast that this season will "probably" be his last in the NFL. 

Miami Dolphins

20 of 32

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Allen Hurns in trouble?

    The details:'s Cameron Wolfe reports that Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant "might have an early edge over" the veteran former 1,000-yard receiver in the battle for a roster spot in Miami. 

    Our take: Hurns caught 32 passes for 416 yards in 2019 but opted out last year and is approaching his age-30 season. Wilson is a tad younger and more dangerous with the ball in his hands, and Grant is a weapon in the return game. It might be time to move on from Hurns, even if doing so won't save the team any money. 

    Other buzz: Frankly, it's extremely quiet in the Dolphins realm right now, but a knee injury suffered by linebacker Elandon Roberts earlier in the offseason is worth monitoring.

Minnesota Vikings

21 of 32

    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Anthony Barr believes the Vikings have a Super Bowl-winning squad.

    The details: "I really do believe that we have a Super Bowl-winning team this year," the veteran linebacker said on KMSP. "Obviously there's a lot of steps to get to that point, and I've been through good seasons and bad seasons with this team. But every time we've had a tough year, we've always bounced back. I really feel like this year is going to be special."

    Our take: Do they have the pass rush? Can quarterback Kirk Cousins deliver on a consistent basis? They've certainly addressed the secondary and the offensive line, and the ceiling is quite high, but there's a reason they aren't favored in the NFC North. For what it's worth, Barr's claim that they bounce back is supported by the fact they've made the playoffs every other year since 2014.

    Other buzz: Speaking of that pass rush, veteran Everson Griffen tells Paul Allen of KFAN that he wants to return to the Vikes. Meanwhile, KSTP's Darren Wolfson reports that extension talks continue between the team and five-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith.

New England Patriots

22 of 32

    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    The top buzz: N'Keal Harry's future is in limbo.

    The details: The third-year wide receiver has formally requested a trade through his agent, but Josina Anderson of Undefined reported Monday that the "current plan" is for Harry to show up for training camp. 

    Our take: Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald reported last month that Harry could be fighting for a roster spot this summer, and the trade request makes sense considering that and New England's past troubles developing wideouts. An unproven young first-round pick holding out would also be a really bad look, and it could be pretty costly for Harry. He's better off showing up and busting his behind in an attempt to convince somebody he's worth the investment. 

    Other buzz: Anderson reports that star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was already potentially on the trading block as he seeks a raise, is unsure if his surgically repaired quad will healthy enough for him to be a full go at the start of camp. 

New Orleans Saints

23 of 32

    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Sean Payton believes both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill will rise to the challenge.

    The details: "I think both of the players we’re talking about have had the benefit of training, being in meeting rooms with him, and seeing the daily grind. And I think we go from there," Payton said on NFL Network (h/t Pro Football Talk). "Obviously, there's a high bar for our team. … And I think both of those guys will rise to the challenge. They both understand the importance of the reps that we’re going to have in this upcoming training camp. And there is a little bit of a standard and it’s kind of high, and so that's OK."

    Our take: So the buzz is that there's still no obvious lean on the brink of camp, although general manager Mickey Loomis did remark last week on the Adam Schein Podcast that they're "high on Taysom" and emphasized that Winston will have to win the job. He just might because his inaccuracy might not be as glaring in July and August when he's facing a lot of reserves, but I'd look for both quarterbacks to get plenty of action in 2021.  

    Other buzz:'s Mike Triplett views New Orleans as a potential landing spot for free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman.  

New York Giants

24 of 32

    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Still no timetable for Saquon Barkley.

    The details: Ten months after tearing his ACL, the star Giants running back told The Rich Eisen Show last week there's still no defined timetable for his return to regular action. He could start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which could cast doubt on his status for Week 1.  

    Our take: Fantasy peeps have to be on high alert here, because at this point he's coming along at a slower pace than many might have expected. Maybe the Giants are just moving slowly to be safe, but Barkley has to get some work in this August. 

    Other buzz: Ironically, The Athletic's Dan Duggan expects the team to bring first-round rookie receiver Kadarius Toney along slowly, while's Jordan Raanan believes veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder will have to fight for a roster spot in camp.

New York Jets

25 of 32

    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    The top buzz: No long-term deal for Marcus Maye?

    The details: "Despite the Jets publicly stating their efforts to 'relentlessly' re-sign team MVP Marcus Maye," tweeted NFL Network's Ian Rapoport Tuesday, "the team has not responded to his last proposal and that offer has been pulled off the table, sources say. With 48 hours until the tag extension deadline, no deal is expected."

    Our take: Maye is 28 and has yet to make a Pro Bowl. He's a strong player who has room to improve, but he's not a superstar. A lack of a long-term deal ahead of Thursday's deadline isn't a disaster. 

    Other buzz: Rookie fourth-round running back Michael Carter tells DJ Bien-Aime II of the New York Daily News that he expects "a great competition" with Lamical Perine, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams at that position. 

Philadelphia Eagles

26 of 32

    Tim Tai/Associated Press

    The top buzz: DeVonta Smith has impressed Lane Johnson early on.

    The details: "We call him the 'Slim Reaper,'" the veteran offensive tackle told NFL Network. "He's impressed early on in camp, his change of direction, his ball skills. He doesn't say a whole lot, but he does show a whole lot of what he's capable of. I think when you have a guy that high caliber, I think he does nothing but bring everybody else along in the receiving corps. So we're excited about him. I think he's going to do tremendous things this year."

    Our take: It's fair to wonder if it'll take the 170-pound rookie first-round pick some time to get acclimated, so the praise is promising. The Eagles desperately need Smith to lift the rest of that receiving corps as well as college teammate Jalen Hurts at quarterback. 

    Other buzz: Smith says "it feels like old times" between him and Hurts, while The Athletic's Zach Berman expects tight end Dallas Goedert to be "featured" in new head coach Nick Sirianni's offense. That's yet another sign veteran Zach Ertz could be on his way out. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

27 of 32

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Ben Roethlisberger on a Tom Brady diet?

    The details: "Ben camp says biggest concern is weight loss," broadcaster Ryan Burr tweeted this week. "He has been so driven since season ended. Source says his diet is stricter than Brady."

    Our take: Could he really be in the "best shape of his life?" That's big if it's true. Big Ben did not sustain his early-season pace in 2020 and has never been a model of perfect physical fitness at the quarterback position. It's hard to imagine that suddenly changing for the 39-year-old, but it's possible the prospect of his NFL demise could be providing inspiration. 

    Other buzz: Running back Benny Snell Jr. is in danger of not making the roster, according to's Brooke Pryor. The Steelers drafted Najee Harris in the first round and they also have Anthony McFarland Jr. and Kalen Ballage at that position. 

San Francisco 49ers

28 of 32

    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Even more ground and pound coming?

    The details: Per The Athletic's Matt Barrows, the 49ers want to run the ball 500 times in 2021, with rookie third-round pick Trey Sermon likely to be a significant factor. 

    Our take: Only three teams ran it 500-plus times last year and two had extremely mobile quarterbacks (Baltimore and New England). Still, the 49ers did run the ball an NFC-high 498 times when they went to the Super Bowl in 2019, so it's easy to see why that's the plan, and it doesn't necessarily indicate we'll see a lot of rookie quarterback Trey Lance. However, with so many backs on the roster, including Raheem Mostert, there won't be a great fantasy option at that position in San Francisco. 

    Other buzz: Barrows believes second-year wideout Brandon Aiyuk "has the makings of an excellent accomplice" for Lance down the field. 

Seattle Seahawks

29 of 32

    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    The top buzz: Long-term deal for Jamal Adams isn't close?

    The details: According to John Clayton of ESPN 710 in Seattle, Adams and the Seahawks were "not close to a contract extension" last week, and no new reports have emerged to indicate that has changed. 

    Our take: Clayton suggests that deadline deals for franchise tag recipients Marcus Maye or Marcus Williams could shift the dynamics in the negotiation process. We'll see, but's Jeremy Fowler has suggested talks could linger until camp opens. I get the feeling this isn't getting done anytime soon, which could make the Seahawks look pretty foolish for trading two first-round picks for a player who isn't happy with his contract.

    Other buzz: Per Fowler, the legendary Richard Sherman is "still open to returning" to Seattle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 32

    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Chris Godwin stuck on the franchise tag?

    The details: NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that "nothing is imminent" when it comes to a potential extension for the star wide receiver ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for teams to sign tag recipients to long-term deals. 

    Our take: With Mike Evans already making big bucks and a lot of depth behind him, it might not kill the Buccaneers to drive a hard bargain and force Godwin to prove it one more year. There's a bit of risk involved, of course, but let's keep in mind the championship window might not be open too long anyway considering the age of the team's star quarterback. 

    Other buzz: The Athletic's Greg Auman believes 2018 fifth-round pick Justin Watson is "squarely on the bubble in a deep receiving room."

Tennessee Titans

31 of 32

    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    The top buzz: It's "unclear" when Caleb Farley will be on the field for the Titans. 

    The details: "I don't expect him to be out there for Day One of training camp," wrote Jim Wyatt of the official team website. "I do expect him to be out there at some point in camp, however. It just depends on how his rehab continues to go. I hear he's making good progress."

    Our take: Tennessee gutted the secondary in the offseason and needs the promising cornerback to make an impact this season. He's coming off March back surgery and was a 2020 opt-out, though, so it may take time. The Titans are in win-now mode, so they could inquire about Xavien Howard or Stephon Gilmore or reach out to Richard Sherman. 

    Other buzz: They're also waiting on prized free-agent addition Bud Dupree, who tells NFL Network he's making progress in his return from a torn ACL. 

Washington Football Team

32 of 32

    Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

    The top buzz: Ryan Fitzpatrick believes WFT offense will be difficult to defend.

    The details: "The biggest thing with his offense, is we're able to spread the ball around to everybody and get everybody involved," the 38-year-old quarterback said recently, per JP Finlay and Mitch Tischler of NBC Sports Washington. "It's going to be a tough offense to defend just because of all the pieces we have."

    Our take: The widely-held belief is that if Washington makes a run in 2021, it'll be because the stacked defense dominates. Fitzpatrick is correct that they're deeper on offense now than they have been in a while, but there isn't a whole lot to get excited about beyond Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson.

    Other buzz: Team president Jason Wright tells Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post that a new name and logo will be revealed for the organization in early 2022, and "the Warriors" will not be considered.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.