The NBA is approaching the end of its regular season and MLB is ready for Opening Day. While there’s a lot going on in both, the NFL season is still months away. This doesn’t mean that there’s ever a slow day in the league, though.
Purdy Looks To Headline For The 49ers
Following the departure of Jimmy Garoppolo to the Las Vegas Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers will have young blood at quarterback next year. To serve as a starter, San Francisco has both Trey Lance, the third overall pick in the 2021 Draft, and Brock Purdy, the seventh-round pick in the 2022 Draft. Thus, both will compete to be the team’s starter for the season. For GM John Lynch, though, it’s Purdy who has the ropes in his favor.
Purdy, 23, was the last overall pick in the 2022 Draft, but was key for the 49ers last season by seeing action late in the season for Garoppolo’s broken foot. Lynch believes that Purdy, following a strong end-of-season performance, has earned the right to be the starter. However, he admits that the position is still open and the two candidates will fight to see who’s the best man for the job.
Lance started last season with the 49ers, but his role was quickly cut short by a fracture in his lower right leg, as well as damage to his ankle ligament. For his part, Purdy suffered an ulnar collateral ligament mishap in the elbow of his throwing arm in the 2022 NFC Championship. He just underwent surgery on March 10, and Lynch added that the team is optimistic that he will be available at some point in training camps.
While Purdy is expected to start for the 49ers next season, if he’s still in rehabilitation, it could be Lance or Sam Darnold, who recently joined the Niners. He’s getting ready and will participate in offseason training programs. By the time the season starts, there could be a change in the lineup at San Fran if Purdy isn’t fully recovered, but for now, Mr. Irrelevant has the backing of his GM.
Jets, Packers Talking About Aaron Rodgers
During this free agency, one of the movements that has been most anticipated is the possible exchange of QB Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets. He also hinted at it by recently mentioning that he intends to play for the Jets next season. However, time is running out, and both organizations have not yet been able to formalize an agreement. That may have changed on Monday.
As part of a possible trade, the rumor is that Green Bay asked for a first-round draft pick in exchange for Rodgers, but in the end, they folded their hand. Via NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, GM Brian Gutekunst admitted Monday in Phoenix, AZ, during the NFL Annual Meeting, that the Packers won’t necessarily get a first-rounder from the Jets in the Rodgers deal. He added that although there is no date to close the deal, they want to do it soon.
Thus, according to Yahoo Sports ‘ Charles Robinson, the Jets may be willing to give up a couple of second-round picks. More specifically, the Packers would get a second-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft and another for the 2024 NFL Draft. However, the latter could become a first-round pick based on how the Jets fares next season.
There’s also the possibility that Rodgers, who retired in complete obscurity at the end of February to clarify his immediate future, will spend just one season with the Jets before ending his career in this league. As such, New York would like some protection against such a possibility, and that would be done with a pick (which round was not specified in the initial report) coming back to them for the 2025 NFL Draft.
Lamar Jackson Wants Out Of Baltimore
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has been given the non-exclusive franchise tag, which allows him to talk to any team to find a restart in the NFL. He’s very happy about this and this Monday, in a letter published on his official Twitter account, Jackson admitted that he does not believe that Baltimore is willing to pay him what he thinks he is worth. Therefore he has requested to leave the franchise at the beginning of next month.
Jackson is currently a free agent, but since he has the non-exclusive franchise tag, if any team wishes to acquire him, they must offer him a new contract. They then have to hope the Ravens don’t match it and, if they do, the team would have to send two first-round picks to Baltimore.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said Jackson was “actively negotiating” with the Ravens as recently as last week. The player and franchise have until July 17 to negotiate a multiyear extension, and HC John Harbaugh is aware. Harbaugh was preparing to speak to the media Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting from Phoenix when Jackson simultaneously made public his trade request.
Mike McCarthy Leaves The Door Open In Dallas For Return Of Ezekiel Elliott
Running back Ezekiel Elliott became a free agent a couple of weeks ago when he was released by the Dallas Cowboys. It didn’t take long for the Jets, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals to appear on the radar. However, Dallas might not be willing to give up so easily.
HC Mike McCarthy told Pelissero on Monday that while parting ways with Elliott was difficult, it doesn’t seal the deal. The door to a possible return is still open.
At 27, Elliott, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 Draft, finished his time in Dallas with 1,881 carries for 8,262 yards, both the third-most in franchise history. Plus, by being designated a post-June 1 cutoff, the Cowboys have saved $10.9 million in cap space next season, with a $5.82 million hit in dead money. Thus, now Elliott must define his future, which is unknown despite McCarthy’s statements.