NFL Top 5 News of the Week:
1. Lions risk defensive line by not signing Ndamukung Suh
As one of the league’s best defensive lineman this season, Ndamukong Suh is likely to receive many attractive offers coming next season, as he enters his last year of his contract with the Detroit Lions, a team that has invested a lot in him over the past four years.
Lions have reportedly ended contract talks with DT Ndamukong Suh; will likely resume negotiations after season is done
— Detroit Lions (@Lions_Insider) July 28, 2014
By ending negotiations, the Lions have put themselves at a disadvantaged leveraging position with Suh, which is striking compared with other teams who are eager to restrict negotiating power of their star players before they enter free agency.
The San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is trying to sign wide receiver Michael Crabtree and offensive guard Mike Iupati before their contracts run out next year – in order to secure their offensive line for the next few years – a sentiment not shared by the Lions.
The Lions have declined the fifth-year team option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s rookie contract, threatening the future of the Lions’ defensive line.
2. Eric Winston signs with the Seattle Seahawks
Eric Winston, the reigning president of the NFLPA, signed with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks this past week.
Season finally starts for me today! Looking forward to chasing a ring with the Seahawks!! Time go to work! — Eric Winston (@ericwinston) July 29, 2014
The 30-year-old right tackle has started 119 games in his eight seasons in the league, having played for the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.
Despite a lackluster 2013 season with the Cardinals, his health will be a welcome relief for the Seahawks, having started all sixteen games for his teams in seven straight seasons.
The Seahawks had health concerns with its offensive line last season, and in arguably the most competitive division in the NFL, the Seahawks will be looking to add Winston’s veteran presence to its weakest group on the team.
3. Cowboys’ Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence out 8 to 12 weeks with a broken foot
The Cowboys’ No. 34 pick overall in the NFL 2014 Draft, Demarcus Lawrence will be out eight to 12 weeks with an broken right foot.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 30, 2014
Lawrence grabbed his right ankle after going down, while trying to get around Tyron Smith in 1-on-1 drill on Tuesday.
The lost of the defensive end puts him out of action for, at worst, the first half of the season, spelling more trouble for an already shaky Cowboys’ defense. The rookie was expected to make an immediate impact following the loss of Sean Lee (torn ACL), DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher (both to free agency).
While there’s still time before the start of the season, Lawrence’s injury puts the already vulnerable Cowboys’ defense in an even more precarious position.
4. Cardinals sign CB Peterson for a record $70M
The Arizona Cardinals have signed a five-year contract extension with CB Patrick Peterson worth $70 million, with $48 million guaranteed.
This makes Peterson the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, surpassing extensions signed by the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Haden (five years, $68 million) and Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman (four years, $56 million).
Peterson is a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro with 12 career interceptions. The first round draft pick in 2011, Peterson made his mark during his rookie season as a punt returner and tied an NFL record with four touchdowns.
5. Giants offense plagued by injuries
Both Giants’ rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and running back David Wilson’s health are uncertain, threatening the Giants’ offensive plans next season.
Beckham was drafted 12th overall in May, with the hope that his speed would be an immediate boost to the offense, allowing him to beat press coverage and stretch the field for Eli Manning’s offense.
Since then, he has been held back by a right hamstring injury that he sustained on the first training camp practice, causing him to miss the next six practices with “heavy inflammation and blood in the hamstring”.
Running back David Wilson had been cleared last week to return to the field following a successful neck surgery.
But on Tuesday, he left practice with what coach Tom Coughlin called a “burner”. With Wilson’s season-ending “burner” in Week 5 last year, an injury that required spinal fusion surgery, this doesn’t inspire much confidence in his ability to contribute significantly to the Giants’ offense, at least thus far.
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