The 2023 NFL Draft is just 10 days away, and NFL news and rumors are becoming more scattershot as most teams look to keep things tight-lipped moving forward. But the news cycle keeps churning, and bits and pieces of exciting information keep seeping through the cracks.
NFL News and Rumors
Monday in the NFL started off calm, but with NFL teams meeting for voluntary workouts, that was bound to change.
Massive contracts have been handed out. High-value players aren’t reporting for voluntary workouts, and an NFL owner is tweeting.
Eagles Make Jalen Hurts Highest-Paid Player Ever
The Philadelphia Eagles made Jalen Hurts the NFL’s highest-paid player ever. It is a title he will own until Joe Burrow’s deal is announced.
Nicole Lynn negotiated the deal on Hurts’ behalf, securing him $179.304 million in guarantees and the addition of a no-trade clause, which is reportedly the first in franchise history.
Hurts’ trajectory is astonishing. He began as a developmental second-round pick behind Carson Wentz. He won the job late in his rookie season, led Philadelphia to the playoffs the next year, and then a Super Bowl the next season.
Brock Purdy ‘Not Sure’ About Playing in 2023?
There were several things said and reported on in Jori Epstein’s piece chronicling the steps in Brock Purdy’s recovery from UCL surgery in March. Purdy has his robot-like brace off, and his mobility is improving.
Twitter handle @_MLFootball, a news aggregator, tweeted that Purdy’s “not really sure” if he’ll play in 2023. That comment was also one made practically as a transition in Epstein’s piece.
It seems as though Purdy was declining to look into the future, taking a one-step-at-a-time approach instead. Others, predictably, are running with the idea that we now have to worry about Purdy’s availability for 2023. With that said, Purdy is expected to start throwing again in June.
Quinnen Williams Won’t Report to Jets Voluntary Offseason Program
Quinnen Williams is not mucking about concerning his future with the New York Jets. He knows the history. The Jets are the only team in the NFL not to retain any of their first-round picks from 2012-2018 to second contracts.
“I’ve seen the stat that they haven’t re-signed a first-round draft pick in the last seven to 10 years, something like that,” Williams told reporters at the end of the season.
ESPN Staff Writer Rich Cimini reports that Williams isn’t thought to be seeking Aaron Donald money. However, coming off an All-Pro season as a former top-five pick, the defensive lineman is probably targeting somewhere between $23-25 million.
It will be interesting to see how the Aaron Rodgers situation affects Williams and his future with the team.
Jim Irsay Tweets NFL Draft Options
“For the ’23 draft, we have many options, Indianapolis Colts owner Irsay tweeted. “With the #4 pick, we could stay put and take a QB—-or trade up and take a QB—-OR trade down and MAYBE take a QB—-Or NOTAll options on the table, but we like our position and are very excited. Fire up!”
Four photos accompanied the tweet. The order was Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Will Levis. What are the chances that an owner who has clearly shown in the past that he’s in control of his own Twitter would give us some unconscious messaging with the tweet?
The picture isn’t in alphabetical order by last name, first name, school name, or school mascot name. Maybe the Colts’ owner gave us his wish list without knowing.
Jalen Carter Visiting Lions Monday
Many believe that trading Jeff Okudah locked the Lions into a cornerback with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, but that’s not necessarily so. Detroit owns four picks in the top 55, and the draft is deep at the cornerback position.
If Detroit believes they’re getting the best player in the draft with the sixth pick, there’s no reason to pass on Jalen Carter at that point. Pairing him alongside an already impressive defensive front could make for a devastating unit, and Detroit’s chances of drafting a fantastic CB prospect at 18 are still relatively high.
The Lions may or may not simply be doing their due diligence with a talented but potentially immature player. But since Dan Campbell’s interesting comments about Carter during the NFL Combine, it’s felt as though Detroit was trying to plant a seed of doubt into the Seahawks and Cardinals picking about them.
“We talked to a teammate of his the other day, and man, he told us some things we didn’t know,” Campbell said. “That nobody probably would’ve known. It was like, oh, that’s interesting.”
When asked whether it was good or bad, Campbell reiterated that it was interesting.
With the visit to Detroit, Carter will have officially visited the Seahawks, Lions, Raiders, Bears, and Eagles. He’s also rumored to be visiting the Atlanta Falcons after Detroit.
Meanwhile, Carter’s draft stock may have stabilized to the point where is a near-lock to become a top-10 pick, according to Peter King of NBC Sports. Carter will attend the draft in Kansas City next Thursday.
“We definitely would have skipped it if I thought there was the potential of him falling out of the top 10,” Carter’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, told King. “I’m not concerned in the slightest about that.”
DeAndre Hopkins’ ‘Doesn’t Want a Raise’
The Arizona Cardinals aren’t necessarily in the best spot heading into 2023. Their starting quarterback will likely miss significant time coming off a torn ACL, and it’s the first year of a new regime. There will be kinks to work out.
DeAndre Hopkins and Budda Baker could be on the way out, and for Hopkins, it wouldn’t be about the money. In true receiver fashion, the three-time All-Pro tweeted in the third person, “Hopkins doesn’t want a raise.”
The 30-year-old is set to make just shy of $20 million in 2023 and another $15 in 2024. But confirming that he doesn’t want more money is not the same as saying that he’s happy in Arizona, and newly minted head coach Jonathan Gannon is aware.
“We’ll see. I’ve been in communication with D-Hop,” Gannon told reporters on April 11. “I want to do what’s best for him and us, at the same time. When he’s ready to come, he’ll come and improve his game, too.”
Josh Uche Supports Mac Jones
For all the talk there has been about a potential mutant in the New England Patriots locker room regarding the QB position, all of the public-facing support has been levied toward the current starter, Mac Jones. Budding pass rusher Josh Uche was the latest to offer encouraging words to the Patriots’ former first-round pick.
“When it comes to Mac, I love Mac,” Uche said. “I mean, he’s a competitor. Somebody who I’ve gone to war with and practiced with,” Uche said. “I’ve seen his work ethic and his tenacity. I think he’s a dog. That’s me personally, having worked with Mac and knowing what I know about him. Listen, he’s a dog. That’s all I can say, man. He’s our quarterback.”
And while there could be a quiet minority in the locker room that would rather see Bailey Zappe under center, publicly pining for the backup QB feels like something that would violate The Patriot Way conventions.
Late Commanders Bid Raises Red Flags
Indemnification. $7 billion. Cash offer. What could go wrong?
Brian Davis, former Duke and Minnesota Timberwolves player, has been in business with Christian Laettner for a long time now.
Josh Jacobs, Evan Engram Not at Voluntary Offseason Program
Neither Josh Jacobs nor Evan Engram signed their franchise tenders. They will not report to the Raiders and Jaguars, respectively, for offseason workouts. Four players have not signed the franchise tender, including Saquon Barkley and Lamar Jackson.
Danielle Hunter Not Present for Voluntary Workouts
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter is one of the league’s most feared pass rushers when healthy. The 28-year-old pass rusher is coming off a 10.5-sack season. In 2018 and 2019, he had over 14 sacks in each season and posted six in only seven games in 2021.
Despite the production, he’s set to make only $4.9 million in the final year of the contract extension he signed in 2018.
Syracuse RB Sean Tucker Cleared for April 24 Pro Day
In 2021, Tucker ran just shy of 1,500 yards and had 12 touchdowns and followed that up with over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022.
Bryce Young Cancels Remaining Pre-Draft Visits
Bryce Young is the odds-on favorite to be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Confidence in that inevitability must be sky-high for the Crimson Tide passer because he has canceled all other pre-draft visits. Young has already visited the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.
Dolphins Sign Chosen Anderson
Maybe the Miami Dolphins didn’t already have enough speed with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Maybe Mike McDaniel saw what speed did for his offense a season ago and thought more couldn’t hurt. Chosen Anderson doesn’t move the needle much after a few underwhelming seasons in Carolina and Arizona, but his length and speed should be welcome in McDaniel’s offense.
Titans Hosting Zay Flowers
Flowers has a chance to become the first receiver off the board. While the Titans’ pick at No. 11 might feel a bit early for Flowers, Tennessee arguably needs more pass-catching help than any team in the league. While 2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks flashed in his rookie campaign, the rest of the Titans’ WR depth chart features weak options in Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Kyle Philips.
Steelers Meeting With Broderick Jones, Bryan Bresee
While the Steelers have augmented their OL interior by signing James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo over the past two offseasons, they still have a problem at left tackle. Former fourth-round pick Dan Moore Jr. has struggled over two NFL campaigns, and Jones could represent a significant upgrade on Kenny Pickett’s blindside.
Pittsburgh, which holds the No. 17 and No. 32 picks, has never been afraid of adding defensive line depth, and Bresee could make sense at either selection. The 33-year-old Cameron Heyward has flirted with retirement in the past. Bresee could join 2022 second-rounder DeMarvin Leal as a long-term piece of the Steelers’ front.