NFL training camps open later this month, but before they do, NFL teams continue to tie up loose ends. On Tuesday, that included progress in several contract negotiations, including another quarterback agreeing to a lucrative extension. There were also some updates in the Aaron Hernandez investigation released to the media. All of that and more from around the NFL.
You will soon be able to add Stafford to the list of quarterbacks who've signed extensions this offseason as Stafford and the Lions are reportedly close to a new deal. He had two seasons remaining on his rookie deal, but with exorbitant cap numbers. Stafford's new deal will run through 2017 and include $41.5 million guaranteed and $53 million in new money, according to Albert Breer.
Stafford comes out of the deal with the second lucrative contract of his career and will be just 29 when the deal expires, positioning him for a third mega-contract. The Lions also benefit, as Sean Yuille of Pride of Detroit noted. Detroit locks up its starting quarterback while also saving roughly $7 million in salary cap space over the next two seasons.
Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam is negotiating his rookie contract without an agent, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. Most players sign with an agent shortly after declaring for the draft, but Elam chose to go on his own. He'll have some help, however, as he's being advised by his older brother Abram Elam, a seven-year NFL veteran.
The move will save Matt Elam some money, as he won't have to pay an agent a commission and with the new CBA, the process should be relatively simple. The slotting system means rookie negotiations are minimal, and Elam is expected to sign a four-year deal worth $6.767 million.
With Reggie Bush now in Detroit, the Dolphins' starting running back spot is up for grabs. While many consider Lamar Miller to be the favorite, he said the job is still open and the players are competing for reps. Daniel Thomas is Miller's biggest competition for the starting job, but he may have a hard time keeping Miller off the field.
Miller didn't play much as a rookie last season, but performed well in limited opportunities. So well, that he's been been pegged as the running back likely to improve the most next season.
Vonta Leach has offers from Baltimore and Miami, but the former All-Pro fullback is holding out for a bigger offer, according to the latest reports. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami remains the favorite, but is apparently only interested if the price is right. Baltimore has also made an offer to re-sign Leach.
With fewer teams utilizing a fullback, Leach may struggle to find higher offers this late in free agency.
Several aspects of the Hernandez investigation became public knowledge on Tuesday when search warrants were released to the media. Among other things, the documents reveal a text message exchange between Hernandez and Odin Lloyd as well as a list of items seized by police.
Complete coverage of the Hernandez investigation can be found here.