NFL NEWS

NFL Notes: Thomas to sit out Seahawks’ minicamp

The Sports Xchange

June 10, 2018 at 8:54 pm.

Nov 7, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (29) celebrates with safety Kelcie McCray (33) after a Buffalo Bills incomplete pass on fourth down with 13 seconds left as Bills receiver Robert Woods (10) reacts during a NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Bills 31-25. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 7, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (29) celebrates with safety Kelcie McCray (33) after a Buffalo Bills incomplete pass on fourth down with 13 seconds left as Bills receiver Robert Woods (10) reacts during a NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Bills 31-25. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas announced Sunday that he will not attend this week’s mandatory minicamp “until my contract situation is resolved.”

Thomas is set to make $8.5 million entering the final season of a four-year, $40 million deal he signed in 2014. The six-time Pro Bowl selection has skipped the organized team activities of the Seahawks, who begin minicamp on Tuesday.

Thomas would be subject to up to $84,435 in fines if he were to skip the entire three-day minicamp, though teams can decide against imposing them.

When Thomas signed the contract in 2014, it ranked first among safeties in terms of annual average. Now, it is sixth, according to Spotrac.com.

— Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hinted at a return to his former team while playing in a charity softball game hosted by New York Giants safety Landon Collins.

“Y’all might see me again,” Rodgers-Cromartie told Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record. Stapleton reported that it was just a quick comment, but Rodgers-Cromartie did accept a pay cut to stay with the Giants before being released in March.

Rodgers-Cromartie started five of 15 games last season and had no interceptions for the second time in his career. He played the last four seasons with the Giants.

The 32-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl selection had 30 interceptions in 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Giants.

— Tight end Rob Gronkowski dismissed rumors of being the subject of a potential trade by the New England Patriots.

“It just shows how much fake news is out there. Hashtag fake news,” he said Saturday, via CBS Boston. “That’s all I know. It’s true. It exists. See it all the time about me.”

A rumor gained steam Friday after former Boston Herald reporter Adam Kurkjian tweeted that coach Bill Belichick wanted to trade Gronkowski to the Tennessee Titans or San Francisco 49ers. Kurkjian added that Belichick met with owner Robert Kraft before Tom Brady reportedly threatened to retire if Gronkowski was traded.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran reported that the Patriots have placed calls to gauge interest in Gronkowski, but that’s all.

Gronkowski initially raised doubts about his playing future after Super Bowl LII, with rumors circulating of a career in acting, wrestling and even dirt-bike riding. He had 69 catches for 1,084 yards with eight touchdowns in 14 games in 2017.

— Former 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson faces a misdemeanor battery charge in Florida stemming from an incident in April.

Johnson, a free agent, pleaded not guilty to the charge in a Tampa, Fla., court on Thursday, according to Tampa television station WFTS.

Johnson is accused of assaulting a valet at The Lodge, a restaurant on South Howard Avenue in Tampa’s Hyde Park section. The alleged victim suffered a bloody nose and a cut lip. Video was captured on a parking-lot surveillance camera. The restaurant owner identified Johnson, and he was picked out of a police lineup.

Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards with 14 touchdowns for the Tennessee Titans in 2009. He played in four games for the Arizona Cardinals last season.

— New York Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie learned an extremely expensive lesson about making sure he had all of his belongings before driving away.

While DeOssie presumably had his keys and wallet on one such occasion last month, what he didn’t have were his two Super Bowl rings. Those were left on top of his car as he drove away, with only one being returned thus far.

DeOssie hosted a charity event with his wife on May 2 in which he showed the rings that came as a result of the Giants’ two Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots. The 34-year-old DeOssie returned home, realized the rings were not in his possession and promptly called the Summit (N.J.) Police Department.

In a police report obtained by Deadspin, DeOssie had one of the rings returned after a man who had been out walking his dog on May 3 noticed shattered glass on the ground. The man saw a small box with the Super Bowl XLVI ring inside, noticed the name on the bling and returned it to authorities. While that ring had an estimated value of $19,000, his other one remains missing.

— Tight end Delanie Walker said he would have no qualms about welcoming fellow three-time Pro Bowl selection Dez Bryant to the Tennessee Titans.

Walker said he believes there’s more in the tank of the 29-year-old Bryant, who was released on April 13 after spending eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.

Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with Dallas in 2017. He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.

— Two of Eli Manning’s former teammates said the New York Giants haven’t done the quarterback any favors of late.

“They’ve wasted the last few years of Eli’s career, they’ve wasted his prime,” former center and current NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara said, per Big Blue View. “It’s been hard to sit and watch that happen. I’m glad to see that they found a way to correct it, but Eli can still play the game.”

Defensive end Justin Tuck concurred with the assessment of O’Hara.

“I agree with him,” Tuck said. “We all know what Eli can do when he is healthy and when he has comparable athletes around him. I don’t think he had those. Anything other than that, you are just lying to yourself.”

New York staggered to a 3-13 record last year as Manning, 37, threw for 3,468 yards — his lowest total since 2008 — with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

— Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham told reporters that he’s willing to play out the final season of his four-year, $26 million contract.

Graham is coming off a season in which he had a career-high 9.5 sacks to go along with 47 tackles and two forced fumbles. He made his mark in Super Bowl LII after stripping quarterback Tom Brady of the ball with 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, helping the Eagles preserve a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots.

Graham has collected 277 tackles and 38.5 sacks in 111 career games.

— Fox Sports NFL studio analyst Terry Bradshaw sides with the Philadelphia Eagles in their dispute with President Donald Trump over the national anthem.

Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback, told TMZ on Sunday that Trump was wrong to cancel an event honoring the Super Bowl champion Eagles.

Fewer than 10 Philadelphia Eagles players were expected to be in attendance at the White House last Tuesday before Trump elected to cancel the ceremony.

— The attorney for former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II said his client did nothing wrong when he was arrested Thursday for suspicion of burglary in California.

His attorney, Harvey Steinberg, told NBC News that Winslow “emphatically denies committing any burglary.” Winslow, who was charged with one felony count of first-degree burglary, is due in court Monday. The alleged incident happened at a trailer park in northern San Diego County.

Winslow’s agent, Denise White, told NBC News that Winslow was house hunting for his mother-in-law and that the mobile home is owned by friends of Winslow’s wife.

A resident at the trailer park told San Diego television station 10news.com that when he confronted Winslow, the former NFL player said he was looking for his dog.

— Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is attempting to light a fire under defensive end Shaq Lawson.

Lawson said recently that he is approaching “every day like my job is on the line.” Given McDermott’s recent comments, perhaps it is best that the 2016 first-round selection is a bit on edge.

“Like most of our guys, and in this case Shaq, this is a time for us to grow, to learn, and this case for Shaq, it’s time that he steps up,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News.

Lawson was the 19th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Bills after a star-studded career at Clemson. Yet the 23-year-old has appeared in only 21 of 32 games in his first two seasons.

— New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon will take a different approach this season with his stance during the national anthem.

Vernon was the lone Giants player to kneel during the “The Star Spangled Banner” in 2017. The 27-year-old said he has not decided if he will remain in the locker room this year for the national anthem, but will abide by the new NFL rules.

“I mean, I ain’t trying to get fined. So, no,” Vernon said Saturday when asked if he would kneel this season.

Despite the change, Vernon said he is not thrilled with the situation.

“I mean, you never want to be told what to do, really, especially when it comes to your freedom of speech,” Vernon said. “But, it is what it is. We haven’t really gotten too in depth into the rule.”