Posted by Matt Olson

NFL News Summary for Friday, July 21th, 2023

July 24, 2023

Baltimore Ravens

According to James Jones, he had a conversation with Todd Monken who revealed that the team plans to revert Lamar Jackson to his Louisville style of play, emphasizing a four-wide receiver set and allowing Jackson to make more throws. Additionally, there’s a buzz in the camp about Zay Flowers. He’s reportedly outperforming all other wide receivers, including the likes of OBJ. 

The Ravens have made a new addition to their roster by signing veteran free-agent Melvin Gordon. The deal is for one year and could be worth up to $3.1 million. However, this signing shouldn’t be seen as a direct response to JK Dobbins‘ potential holdout. For weeks, there have been predictions about the Ravens bringing in a veteran running back, especially given the absence of both Dobbins and Gus Edwards during the offseason. Both players are recovering from serious injuries, and the Ravens are likely to be cautious about rushing them back into training camp. Gordon, now 30 years old, had a challenging previous season, being released mid-season by the Broncos and struggling to find a regular spot with the Chiefs. If the Ravens were genuinely concerned about Dobbins holding out for the season, there are arguably better replacements available in the market. Regardless of Gordon’s signing, it seems unlikely for Dobbins to hold out this season, especially considering his recent injury history.  Expect Gordon to play a role similar to what Mike Davis was in 2022. 

In other team news, the Ravens have placed five players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as they commence their training camp. The list includes J.K. Dobbins, Patrick Ricard, Pepe Williams, Rayshad Nichols, and Mike Thomas. Additionally, wide receiver Rashod Bateman has been placed on the reserve/did not report list due to a foot issue. However, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta expects him to join the team soon.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are also making strides in their training sessions. During a 7-on-7 drill, after an initial drop by Rashee Rice, he made a commendable recovery with back-to-back catches. The second of these was particularly impressive, with Rice managing to evade several defenders. The connection between Buechele and head coach Andy Reid seems to be strengthening, as they went right back to Rice after his initial drop, showcasing their trust in the player.

New York Giants

The Giants signed wide receiver Cole Beasley, bringing him into the fold for his 12th NFL season. This move reunites Beasley with Brian Daboll, his former offensive coordinator from the Bills. This addition is expected to provide another experienced target for quarterback Daniel Jones.  And unfortunately another addition to an already very crowded WR room.  This will definitely be worth keeping an eye on through camp.

In another move, the Giants have signed running back James Robinson. This decision comes in light of Saquon Barkley’s anticipated absence from both the training camp and the preseason. Robinson’s addition will provide the Giants with another potentially viable option in the backfield.

New York Jets

The New York Jets are gearing up for the new season with some notable performances in their training sessions.  Impressively, Breece Hall seems to have retained his straight-line speed even after recovering from an ACL tear. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson shared a unique approach to his off-season training. He’s been playing a lot of basketball, which he believes helps him work on different muscle groups that aren’t typically engaged during the football season. He feels this training method sets him apart from his peers.

Aaron Rodgers is showing commitment to the Jets, indicating that he’s in for the long haul and sees potential in the team’s young talents. During a recent practice, Rodgers completed 8 of 13 passes, although some were dropped. He showcased his exceptional throwing ability with a sharp pass to Corey Davis. Zach Wilson also had moments of brilliance, making some accurate throws, particularly a notable one to Zack Kuntz. Wilson is focusing on improving his pocket presence, and recent plays indicate positive progress in that direction. The team drills had a shaky start with two false starts and a drop by Izzy Abanikanda. However, Michael Carter has been getting significant playtime and is showing that he can be a compliment to Hall in this offense. 

Stock Up:

  1. Zay Flowers: He’s reportedly outperforming all other wide receivers in the camp, which is a significant endorsement of his talent.
  2. JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards: Both are expected to be in full form soon, indicating their recovery is on track.
  3. Breece Hall: Retaining his straight-line speed after an ACL tear is a positive sign.
  4. Garrett Wilson: His unique off-season training approach might give him an edge in the upcoming season.
  5. Aaron Rodgers: His commitment to the Jets and his performance in practice sessions indicate he’s in good form.
  6. Michael Carter: Getting significant playtime and showing promise.
  7. Rashee Rice: Despite an initial drop, his back-to-back catches and the trust shown by the coaching staff suggest he’s in good form.
  8. Cole Beasley: His signing indicates the team’s trust in his abilities, and his reunion with Brian Daboll might boost his performance.
  9. James Robinson: His addition provides depth to the Giants’ backfield, suggesting they see value in his capabilities.

Stock Down:

  1. Melvin Gordon: While he’s been signed by the Ravens but is not seen as a direct replacement for JK Dobbins or Gus Edwards workload.
  2. Rashod Bateman: Being placed on the reserve/did not report list due to a foot issue is a setback, even if temporary.
  3. Zach Wilson: While he had moments of brilliance, there were mentions of inaccurate passes. However, it’s worth noting that he’s showing signs of improvement.
  4. Izzy Abanikanda: The mention of his drop during team drills might be a minor concern.
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