NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Cam Newton, Eagles' WR Trade Interest, More
There are only 15 days until the start of the 2021 NFL season. Training camp and the preseason are winding down, and before we know it, games that matter will be taking place.
But the next two weeks will be an important time for the league's 32 teams. There's still one more week of preseason games to play, which could be useful in helping to determine which players on the roster bubble will make teams and which will be cut.
It'll also be crucial for starters to stay healthy as they put in their final preparations for the start of a new season. And there's always the potential for a late trade or free-agent signing that could end up impacting the league in some way just before the beginning of the regular season.
As the start of the 2021 campaign approaches, here's some of the latest buzz from around the NFL.
Patriots Frustrated by Current Newton Situation
Cam Newton has been battling to keep his starting job during New England Patriots training camp, trying to hold off rookie quarterback Mac Jones. But right now, Newton isn't even in camp.
That's because Newton will miss five days after he left the New England area for a team-approved medical appointment. Despite testing negative on his daily COVID-19 tests, Newton has to sit out a handful of days before returning to the Pats' facility because of NFL-NFLPA protocols. And although the team called it a "misunderstanding" in its official statement, it appears it may not be pleased with the situation.
"Per sources, there is a level of frustration internally with the Cam Newton situation. One important member of the organization believes this has 'opened' a window of opportunity for rookie Mac Jones," NFL Network's Michael Giardi tweeted on Tuesday.
Both Newton (12-for-16 for 152 yards and one touchdown) and Jones (26-for-38 for 233 yards) have played well during New England's first two preseason games. And while Jones is the future franchise quarterback, considering he was a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, it's always been possible that Newton could get a second chance to lead the offense after a tough first season with the Patriots.
This was a close battle even before this Newton situation, so it should be interesting to see how things unfold over the next two weeks and whether it will be Newton or Jones under center in Week 1.
Could Eagles Still Trade for a Wide Receiver?
There's some uncertainty surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles' receiving corps heading into the 2021 season. DeVonta Smith has a ton of potential and talent, but there could be growing pains during his rookie year. Jalen Reagor struggled during his rookie season in 2020, and while he could break out this year, he's far from a sure thing.
Beyond Smith and Reagor, the Eagles have an assortment of unproven receivers such as Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins and others. It's a unit that Philadelphia could still improve, especially if it completed a trade for a reliable playmaker.
If that happens, don't expect the Eagles to part with draft picks, though. According to NJ.com's Mike Kaye, Philadelphia "isn’t expected to trade future assets for upgrades at the position" and that "a move involving 2022 assets isn’t likely."
That doesn't rule out the Eagles acquiring a wide receiver via trade, though. Kaye also reported that there's still a chance they "could deal a player at another position for a wideout on another team." And while it isn't clear who Philadelphia may have interest in, Kaye shared that the Arizona Cardinals' Andy Isabella and the New York Jets' Keelan Cole "could be available for the right price, despite neither team openly shopping the players on the trade block."
The Eagles' offense would get a big boost with the addition of a solid receiver, giving quarterback Jalen Hurts another weapon to utilize as he looks to break out in his second NFL season.
Raiders Reached out to Bears About Potential Mack Trade
It's been nearly three years since Khalil Mack was traded to the Chicago Bears. Since then, he's continued to be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, and he's now preparing for the start of his eighth season.
However, there was one team that apparently wanted to change where Mack would be playing in 2021. According to The Athletic's Vic Tafur, the Las Vegas Raiders reached out to the Bears when free agency began in March to see if they would be interested in a Mack trade, but they were not. Instead, Las Vegas went and signed Yannick Ngakoue to a two-year, $26 million deal.
Mack spent his first four NFL seasons with the Raiders, who traded him to the Bears just before the start of the 2018 season. It makes sense why the Raiders would have wanted to bring him back, as they needed to boost their pass rush and Mack had 70.5 sacks and never missed a game over his four seasons with the team.
Instead, Mack will begin his fourth season with the Bears. And unless they change their mind about a potential trade at some point, Mack isn't leaving Chicago anytime soon, considering he's signed until 2025.