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NFL News and Notes for Friday, July 1, 2022

With the NBA free agency beginning and MLB in full swing, the NFL has taken a bit of a backseat to some of the other sports in terms of its news cycle. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t stories worth monitoring, though, as teams look to improve their roster ahead of training camps.

Here are some of the biggest stories from around the league over the last week.

McLaurin Gets Big Extension

While many wide receivers, including Deebo Samuel and D.K. Metcalf, are still waiting for new contracts; one receiver was able to secure a long-term deal this week. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin is signing a three-year extension with the Washington Commanders that is worth as much as $71 million.

First reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, $28 million of it comes in the form of a signing bonus, and about three-quarters of it is guaranteed.

Like Samuel and Metcalf, McLaurin has largely been absent from offseason activities as he has looked for a new deal, but with the extension complete, McLaurin will look to continue his high level of play for the Commanders.

Last season, the 26-year-old McLaurin played in 17 games, hauling in 77 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. The fourth-year receiver has caught at least 58 passes and 919 yards in each of his first three seasons.

The Commanders have just the third-best odds to win the NFC East this upcoming season at +500. In terms of the Super Bowl, they are +7000 to win it all.

Mayfield Ready To Move On?

Amid the speculation of a lengthy suspension for new Browns’ quarterback Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield was recently asked about his willingness to return to the Browns if Watson is suspended.

While he did not completely rule it out, it does seem that he is ready to move on to a new opportunity. While nothing is imminent, the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks continue to be rumored to have the most interest.

Last season, Mayfield threw for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. While he said a return would require the Browns to have to “reach out,” it still seems more likely that his time in Cleveland is done.

In terms of Watson, his hearings finished up on Thursday; however, it could still be weeks before a decision is made by disciplinary officer Sue Robinson. After that, he is still likely to appeal the decision dragging this on even further.

The NFL and NFLPA have tried to discuss what a possible punishment could look like, but it does not appear that the two sides are close to a decision. One thing is for sure; the outcome could have a direct correlation with both the Browns’ odds of winning the Super Bowl (currently +3400) and potentially the future of Baker Mayfield.

Kareem Hunt Healthy

On a positive note for the Cleveland Browns, it appears that running back Kareem Hunt is healthy and ready to go for the upcoming season.

According to Akron Beacon Journal’s Chris Easterling, Hunt has indicated that he is 100% heading into training camp.

Hunt suffered a myriad of injuries, including an ankle injury, a calf injury, and a trip to the COVID list. In total, Hunt played in eight games, carrying the ball 78 times for 386 yards and five touchdowns. Through the air, he had 22 receptions for 174 yards.

In comparison, in 2020, Hunt rushed 198 times for 841 yards and six scores. He also added 38 receptions for 304 yards and five touchdowns.

While it remains to be seen who is under center, at least the Browns’ offense should have Hunt at their disposal to start the season.

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