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NFL training camp notes

By Democrat-Gazette Press Services

This article was published July 31, 2014 at 3:12 a.m.


Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith signed an eight-year contract extension that includes a $10 million signing bonus and $40 million in guaranteed money.


Smith locked up to '23

OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys have signed Tyron Smith to an eight-year contract extension that locks up the Pro Bowl left tackle through the 2023 season.

The extension signed Wednesday is worth $98 million, pushing the total value of his deal to 10 years and $110 million. Smith gets a $10 million signing bonus and $40 million in guaranteed money.

The extension includes a $10 million signing bonus and $40 million in guaranteed money. Smith joins quarterback Tony Romo as the only Cowboys with contracts valued at more than $100 million.

The long contract means Smith will likely be the most important blocker for Romo and whoever replaces the 34-year-old quarterback.

Smith was just 20 when Dallas drafted him ninth overall in 2011. He has started all 47 games in his career, missing one game with a sprained ankle in 2012. He played right tackle as a rookie before moving to the left side.

Lawrence fractures foot

The Dallas Cowboys defense has suffered another blow. Rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has a fractured right foot and is expected to miss at least eight weeks, according to a source.

Lawrence underwent X-rays after being injured in practice Tuesday evening.

The second-round pick went down to the ground and grabbed his right foot during a drill against left tackle Tyron Smith, and Lawrence had to be carted off the field.

Said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli: "You don't like to see that. You wait and see what it is, but a guy goes down for a little bit, it's not good. But you just have to go on. It's next man up."

The Cowboys traded up in the draft to get Lawrence, who had been expected to fill the Cowboys' void at defensive end after DeMarcus Ware went to the Denver Broncos. He stated lofty expectations for his rookie season, as well, saying he'd like to have at least 10 sacks.

Lawrence was working with the second team behind veteran free agent Jeremy Mincey in camp, but would have been given every opportunity to become a starter.

"None of these things we're going with our depth chart are etched in stone by any means," Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett said. "We have a number of defensive linemen, a lot of defensive ends in the mix right now. We'll just move guys around."


No deal yet for QB Smith

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said the time is approaching where he will shelve all talk about a contract extension and focus solely on football for the remainder of the season.

The Chiefs have been discussing a new deal with Smiths' representatives for months, though the sides remain far apart. Smith said after practice Wednesday that he's yet to set a date to break off negotiations, but he acknowledged that "at some point mentally it'll come to me."

Smith is due $7.5 million this season, the final year of his contract, and many expect him to get an extension similar to what Colin Kaepernick received from the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick signed a six-year, $126 million deal that includes $61 million guaranteed.


Atkins OK to practice

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals cleared defensive tackle Geno Atkins to rejoin practice Wednesday, completing his comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Atkins hurt his knee during a game Oct. 31 at Miami and had hoped to be ready for the start of training camp last Thursday, but coach Marvin Lewis wanted to be cautious. Atkins was limited to drills on a side field for the first week.

Atkins was a 2012 All-Pro and a two-time Pro Bowl selection. He had 12 1/2 sacks in 2012, the most by an NFL interior lineman, and led the team with six sacks when he was hurt last season.

Cornerback Leon Hall was cleared to start the first day of camp. He has returned from a torn Achilles tendon.


Pair returns to practice

DENVER -- Demaryius Thomas and Chris Harris Jr. participated in limited drills Wednesday as the Denver Broncos practiced in a steady cool rain at Sports Authority Field.

Harris passed his physical Tuesday after getting medical clearance from Dr. James Andrews, who repaired his left ACL in February, a month after he was injured in the playoffs against San Diego.

He lined up for the team's walk-through Wednesday as did Thomas, who missed the first week of camp following the death of his grandmother in Georgia. He returned Monday in time for the team's evening walk-though.

Both are expected to participate in individual and noncontact drills but won't do any 11-on-11s as they ease their way back into the mix.


LB Bradham suspended

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham has been suspended by the NFL for the team's regular-season opener for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The suspension is yet another setback for Buffalo's defense.

With linebacker Kiko Alonso out for the season because of a knee injury, Bradham worked with the starting defense at weakside linebacker during the first week of training camp.

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus may also face NFL discipline following arrests for drug possession and a street racing incident this spring.

Bradham, a fourth-round pick of the Bills in 2012, had 51 tackles in 2013. He remains eligible to participate in preseason practices and games.


Two rookies injured

Two of the Baltimore Ravens' most promising defensive rookies suffered injuries Wednesday at training camp.

Defensive end Brent Urban, a fourth-round draft pick out of Virginia, was carted off the field into the training room, unable to put weight on his right leg.

Urban will have a magnetic resonance imaging exam on his right knee to determine the severity of the damage. Urban had ankle surgery in February following the Senior Bowl, but had fully recovered from the procedure.

Meanwhile, second-round defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan limped into the training room under his own power. It's unclear what the injury was, but it didn't appear to be nearly as serious as what happened to Urban. Jernigan appeared to be favoring his back.

Jernigan has drawn heavy praise from defensive coordinator Dean Pees for his ability to disrupt plays. Jernigan was an All-American last season at Florida State before declaring early for the draft.


Griffin focuses on pass

RICHMOND, Va. -- The read-option isn't a major part of the playbook under new Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden, and that's just fine with Robert Griffin III.

Gruden said there will be "sprinkles" of the read-option this season and that he's focusing more on developing Griffin as a drop-back passer.

The read-option helped propel Griffin to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, but he's always he stated a preference for being known more for his arm than his legs.

"I made my name throwing the ball in college," he said.

Sports on 07/31/2014

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