July 27, 2018 / 12:35 AM / a year ago

NFL notebook: Donald reportedly willing to risk FA status in holdout

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was not with the team when training camp opened Wednesday, as was the case last season. But unlike last season, Donald’s holdout could impact his free agency status in 2018.

Dec 17, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) brings down Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) after forcing a backwards pass during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently that’s a risk he’s willing to take.

Last season, Donald didn’t join the Rams until the day before the season opener in September. Because of that holdout, Donald would not attain an accrued season for 2018 if not in camp by Aug. 7 and would instead be a restricted free agent next offseason.

But the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 draft and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year says he will not play another down on his current contract, according to an ESPN report Thursday. The report added that Donald is unconcerned about any bearing a holdout would have on his free agent status or accrued fines.

—Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he expects running back LeSean McCoy to remain in camp with the team despite an ongoing police investigation into his possible involvement in a home invasion in an Atlanta suburb.

According to police reports, the July 10 incident took place at a home McCoy owns. His ex-girlfriend alleges she was beaten and jewelry McCoy had allegedly asked her to return to him was taken.

Police in Milton, Ga., have not named any suspects in the invasion of the house. The alleged victim said through an attorney she thinks McCoy was involved in some way, but stopped short of accusing McCoy of being the ringleader.

—Kam Chancellor is out for the 2018 season after the Seattle Seahawks placed the safety on the reserve/physically unable to perform list at the outset of training camp.

Seattle also parted ways with defensive tackle Malik McDowell, a second-round pick in 2017 out of Michigan State who never took the field in a game due to injuries incurred in a July 2017 ATV mishap.

Chancellor, who tweeted earlier in the month that his career was over, has not yet filed official retirement paperwork. However, his neck injury was presumed to be career-threatening, and the heavy-hitting safety is making no attempt to get on the field.

—New York Giants team president John Mara says the team is ready to start discussing a contract extension with receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham, 25, was the Giants’ first-round selection — No. 12 overall — in the 2014 NFL Draft. He will make $8.46 million in 2018 in the final year of his rookie deal. He is seeking a contract that would pay him in the range of $18 million to $19 million per season.

Beckham was sidelined by injury much of 2017 and saw limited action in four games, catching 25 passes for 302 yards. For his career, he has 4,424 yards on 313 receptions with 38 touchdowns.

—The Julio Jones holdout saga is officially over, as the Atlanta Falcons’ All-Pro wide receiver officially reported to camp a day after he and the club agreed to a restructured contract to end his planned holdout.

Jones had been away from the team during the offseason, which began with him causing consternation in Atlanta by deleting references to the team on his social media accounts.

Despite the angst surrounding the situation, Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn told the media gathered at Flowery Branch, Ga., that he sensed Jones would report to camp when he joined Matt Ryan and other offensive teammates for workouts in California last week.

—First overall pick Baker Mayfield says he isn’t ready to concede the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback job to Tyrod Taylor as he begins his first training camp.

“I would never get my mind right to be a backup,” Mayfield told reporters prior to his first training camp practice, knowing Taylor is penciled in to start the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 9. “That’s the second that I would be complacent.”

Browns coach Hue Jackson has declined to put a timetable on Mayfield’s potential debut as he prefers to make sure the focus is on the Heisman Trophy winner’s development, saying Mayfield when play “when he’s ready to play.”

—Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Chance Warmack is about to receive nearly $3 million from Lloyd’s of London on a loss-of-value insurance policy, becoming the first NFL player to collect on such a policy, ESPN is reporting.

Warmack, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Tennessee Titans, took out an insurance policy that would allow him to collect if his second NFL contract was less than $20 million.

After the Titans declined his fifth-year option of $11.09 million in March 2016, Warmack’s next contract was a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Eagles, signed in March 2017. So he filed a claim with Lloyd’s of London and the insurance company approved the payout earlier this week, per the report.

—The Green Bay Packers say right tackle Bryan Bulaga could be ready to return to the starting lineup for the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 9, despite being on the PUP list to start camp.

Bulaga was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL in his right knee in November. He was hurt Nov. 6 against the Detroit Lions. Bulaga also torn his left ACL in 2013.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said he didn’t see a threat that Bulaga and linebacker Nick Perry (ankle) — also on the PUP list — would not be ready for Week 1. Veteran right tackle Byron Bell signed as insurance at tackle.

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston spoke for the first time about an incident that landed him a three-game suspension to start the season and vowed to do better for his teammates, fans and his family.

In June, the NFL suspended Winston after an investigation found he inappropriately touched a female Uber driver. The incident occurred in Arizona in March 2016 after Winston’s first season in the league and added to his checkered reputation. As a student at Florida State, he was accused of but never charged with raping a fellow student in 2012. He later settled that matter in a civil suit.

“I’m very disappointed,” Winston told reporters about the suspension. “I know a lot of fans are disappointed. But at the end of the day, the league made their decision and I have to put this behind me and grow and learn from it. I just learned you can’t put yourself in these situations. This happened after my rookie year. I think I’ve made a lot of positive changes since then.”

—Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert was placed on the PUP list after his chronic back issues kept him sidelined for most of the offseason.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also was placed on the non-football injury list for undisclosed reasons. He last played a full 16-game schedule in 2013 and will start the 2018 season on the suspended list for four games due to a violation of league rules regarding performance-enhancing drugs.

Head coach Marvin Lewis said during minicamp the Bengals are being extra cautious with Eifert practicing on turf. He had back surgery in 2017 and signed a one-year deal with the goal of staying in the Cincinnati offense while upping his value and returning to the market next offseason.

—Doctors for the Dallas Cowboys are performing tests on reserve safety Kavon Frazier to determine if he is facing a serious issue that could impact his career, according to a report.

The team said the 23-year-old Frazier was being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Wednesday. Hours later, the Dallas Morning News reported the 23-year-old was undergoing blood tests to find out if he has a condition that could prevent his blood from clotting.

—Field Level Media

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