Running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract on Wednesday, ending his five-week holdout and making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.
Elliott is in line to receive $50 million in guarantees, trumping the $45 million Todd Gurley received from the Los Angeles Rams, according to ESPN. Gurley’s deal averages $14.4 million annually, compared to $15 million for Elliott.
“Zeke has been arguably our best player,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who added, “Zeke has a big heart. Now he’s got a thick pocketbook, too.”
Elliott was expected at practice on Wednesday, but coach Jason Garrett might not know until late in the week what role the running back will play Sunday in the season opener against the New York Giants.
--Wide receiver Antonio Brown voiced his displeasure on social media over fines levied by the Oakland Raiders on the same day he announced a new helmet deal.
Brown expressed his annoyance over being fined $53,950 by the Raiders for skipping a mandatory walkthrough on Aug. 22 as well as a training camp session four days earlier. But at least the ongoing saga of his helmet has been solved after his former helmet had been ruled out of code by the NFL this season.
No longer allowed to wear a Schutt Air Advantage helmet, Brown now will don Xenith Shadow headgear this year.
--Le’Veon Bell doesn’t want to be a spectator in his first NFL game in nearly 20 months. He wants to see the ball a lot.
Bell makes his debut for the New York Jets on Sunday when they face the Buffalo Bills, and he declared himself ready to go after sitting out last season due to a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I can carry 50 (times) if you ask me,” said Bell, who signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in the offseason. He refused to sign the franchise tender of $14.5 million with Pittsburgh last season and ended up sitting out the entire year.
--The Tennessee Titans placed Ryan Succop on injured reserve and signed kicker Cairo Santos.
Succop began training camp on the physically unable to perform list after having offseason knee surgery, but returned for Tennessee’s final two preseason games. The 32-year-old will be ineligible to play until Week 9.
Santos spent the offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was cut in favor of rookie Matt Gay.
--Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was left off the team’s first official injury report entirely, less than two weeks after an injury scare in the team’s third preseason game.
Though Newton exited the Aug. 22 game against the New England Patriots in a walking boot, coach Ron Rivera said last week there was “no doubt” the quarterback would be ready for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. On Wednesday, Rivera added that Newton won’t be limited on Sunday.
--The Denver Broncos officially renamed their stadium Empower Field at Mile High, ending a period of more than a year without a naming-rights sponsor.
The team announced the deal, which is subject to approval by the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and covers 21 years through 2039. The venue had previously been called Broncos Stadium at Mile High since June of 2018, following the bankruptcy of former naming-rights sponsor Sports Authority.
--Field Level Media
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