NFL News and Notes: League Offers No Preseason Games To Players
According to ESPN, the NFL has reportedly offered players a deal that would mean no preseason games prior to the 2020 NFL season. This comes on the heels of the NFL saying that players would be tested daily for the first to weeks of training camp for the coronavirus to ensure that all players are healthy and not spreading the virus.
This step is an interesting one in regards to not only this season but for seasons to come. For years, it has been thought that a four-game preseason was excessive, and on July 1, it was announced that the 2020 preseason would be shortened from four weeks to just two. The Hall of Fame Game was also a victim of the pandemic as the league joined other sports in cancelling games.
As the NFL tries to lengthen the season to capitalize on the league’s popularity, it makes sense from a player’s health perspective that you shorten the preseason. If the quality of play does not suffer from the transition to zero preseason games and a longer training camp, that would go a long way with the players union in terms of being receptive to lengthening the season under those conditions.
Jones To Sign $85 Million Deal
Chris Jones, who was named the second-best defensive lineman in football by CBS, has signed a long-term deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. The deal is worth $85 million with $60 million in guaranteed money, per a report by NFL Insider Adam Shefter. The deal was completed just prior to the deadline at 4 pm ET on July 15.
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It had been speculated all along that Jones was seeking a deal similar to the one that Rams’ defensive star Aaron Donald had signed in 2018. Donald received $135 million over six years. While Jones’ contract is not as long as Donald’s, the per year salary is comparable at $21.25 million to Donald’s $22.5 million.
Jones, 26, is a four-year NFL veteran, all of which have been with the Chiefs. In 2019, he recorded nine sacks and eight tackles for loss in 13 games (12 starts).
His breakout came in 2018 when he recorded 15.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 16 games (11 starts). The 6-6, 310-pound behemoth was a second-round selection out of Mississippi State in 2016.
Bennett Announces His Retirement
Three-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl champion Michael Bennett announced his retirement via Instagram on Tuesday morning.
Bennett, who entered the league in 2009, played 156 games in the NFL with five different teams. His best seasons came while playing for the Seattle Seahawks from 2013 to 2017, where he recorded all three of his Pro Bowl seasons. He recorded 39 of his 69.5 career sacks during his five seasons in Seattle.
Bennett remained productive after leaving the Seahawks in 2018 via trade to Philadelphia, recording nine sacks in 16 games for the Eagles but only stayed for a single season. In 2019, Bennett played for both the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, recording 6.5 sacks in 15 games.
Bennett was also one of the most outspoken players during his time in the league, speaking out about injustices suffered by the black community and frequently calling out Roger Goodell for his lack of compassion when it came to the NFL’s stance on police brutality. In 2017, Bennett claimed to have been racially profiled in Las Vegas. There was significant blowback in that case after bodycam footage did not fully support his claim on what happened.
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