NFL teams are entering the fourth week of training camps, as they’ve reached the deadline to cut preseason rosters down to 85 players. Here’s what’s going on around the league this week.
Flacco Could Start for Jets in Week 1
The New York Jets are waiting to see how long starting quarterback Zach Wilson will be sidelined after his scheduled knee surgery on Tuesday. Wilson suffered a non-contact injury in the recent preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles and was diagnosed with a meniscus tear and bone bruise, which will require arthroscopic surgery.
Depending on what is discovered during the surgery, he could be out of the lineup for two to four weeks or longer. That means veteran QB Joe Flacco could get the start in Week 1 against his old team, the Baltimore Ravens. After signing with the Jets as a free agent in 2020, the former Super Bowl MVP started four games. He came back to the Jets from Philadelphia in a trade midway through last season, starting in one game, and is 0-5 as a starter in New York.
Nassib Returns to Tampa on 1-year Deal
DE Carl Nassib is returning to a place he knows very well as he signs a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started his career as a Cleveland Brown, who cut him in 2018, and then joined the Buccaneers the same season. He played in 17 games while recording 12.5 sacks, 63 tackles, and three forced fumbles. He’ll also be reunited with head coach Todd Bowles, who was the team’s defensive coordinator during his second season in Tampa.
After his outstanding performance with the Bucs in 2019, the Raiders signed him to a three-year, $25-million contract in 2020, but he soon found himself lowered on the depth chart after the addition of Yannick Ngakoue. He played 11 games in his first season in Vegas but didn’t see any action in 2021 before being cut in March. He will play a backup role in Tampa this time around and will be playing behind second-year standout Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, who replaced Jason Pierre-Paul this season.
NFL Issues Warning Over Roquan Smith
It was reported last week that an individual claiming that they were representing Bears linebacker Roquan Smith was calling teams to initiate trade talks to move him from Chicago. The problem is that Smith doesn’t currently have an agent representing him and also doesn’t have permission from the team to shop for a trade. That means that contact between Smith and any franchise violates NFL tampering rules, and the league sent a memo to all teams clarifying that on Monday.
The NFL takes tampering seriously and recently punished the Miami Dolphins by taking a first and third-round draft pick and issuing a fine after the owners were found to be engaged in tampering while trying to land Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton. The league also said in the memo that there would be more stringent discipline placed on teams for tampering than in prior years.
Smith is in the last year of his rookie contract and requested a trade from Chicago after they failed to reach a new deal in the offseason. Last week he was activated from the physically unable to perform list and has not attended any practices during this season’s training camp.