Clayton’s Takeaways: Latest NFL news, including Clowney and Hyde
The NFL announced on Thursday the virtual offseason will continue until mid-June.
While it’s possible head coaches – not players – would be allowed to go to the team headquarters next week, no final decision has been made. There is an outside chance teams might be able to squeeze in a short minicamp before the end of June, but don’t count on it.
The NFLPA would have to approve it and the union might want to put everything into just starting everything at training camp instead of a minicamp. Under the current rules, all team activities for players must end by June 26. Thinking that the virtual offseason continues until mid June leaves less than two weeks to pull teams together.
The Seahawks head into June with most of their work done with the roster. Their roster is at 90. The only true need is a run stopping defensive tackle. If Josh Gordon gets reinstated he would a bonus signing.
Let’s look at a few odds and ends as May ends.
• The Carlos Hyde deal came in cheaper than what the Seahawks reportedly offered Devonta Freeman. Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported the Seahawks offered Freeman a one-year $3 million contract. He’s holding for a much higher demand.
Hyde signed a one-year $2.75 million deal that had a $1.5 million base and a $750,000 signing bonus. That’s a bargain for one of the 16 running backs who gained over 1,000 yards rushing last season. The plan is for Chris Carson to come back from his hip injury and start. Hyde would be the backup, particularly on dearly downs.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Hyde turned down a two-year, $10 million offer so the Texans moved on and traded for David Johnson.
Hyde strengthens a running game that now has two 1,000-yard rushers.
• Speaking of running backs, how special was the running back class of 2017? Seven drafted backs from that year had 1,000-yard seasons – Christian McCaffery (1,387), Carson (1,230), Leonard Fournette (1,152), Joe Mixon (1,137), Dalvin Cook (1,135), Marlon Mack (1,091) and Aaron Jones (1,084). McCaffery signed a $16 million a year extension.
The other six, including Carson, are free agents after the season.
• It’s a young man’s league for running backs in today’s NFL. Of the 15 backs who ran for 1,000 yards or more last year, Hyde (29) and Mark Ingram (30) are the only backs older than 25 years old.
• Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Jadeveon Clowney turned down an offer from the Cleveland Browns that was the highest he has on the table. The question is whether that was an offer in March or something that was done recently.
If the Browns land Clowney, they might likely would have to release Olivier Vernon. The Browns have Vernon and Myles Garrett at defensive end and also added Adrian Clayborn, who signed a one-year $3.75 million contract. Clowney has said he wouldn’t sign with a team that he didn’t think could win.
• Very little came out of Thursday’s NFL owners meetings in which owners voted on rule changes and bylaw changes. The Sky Judge concept was pulled. There were only 16 votes for having a fourth-and-15 as a better option than the onside kick. Teams can now designate three players who are injured return instead of two. Other than that, the few changes affect very few plays in games.
The league will experiment in the preseason with replay officials being able to help the referees on plays that aren’t replayed. That’s a start in having an extra set of eyes available, but the referees will make the final decisions.
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