Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley sees no controversy at quarterback in Cleveland. Tyrod Taylor is the clear starter over No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield.
“He has a long way to go,” Haley, the first-year offensive coordinator, told reporters when asked about Mayfield as minicamp ended Thursday. “I’d say it’s clear that Tyrod is the leader of this team. That is a big component of that position, also.”
Mayfield did not object to Haley’s comments, telling reporters that Taylor “sets the bar high” and offers “a great situation for me to come into.” The 23-year-old Mayfield threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns at Oklahoma last season and hopes to learn behind Taylor.
Cleveland acquired Taylor, 28, from the Buffalo Bills this March in exchange for a third-round pick. He has started 43 games over the past three seasons, and he has passed for 9,056 yards, 51 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 58 career contests.
—New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder tweaked his right knee after being rolled up on during a minicamp scuffle.
Solder said the knee “hurts a little bit” when he met with reporters after the workout, while Giants first-year coach Pat Shurmur said Solder was “fine.” The Giants’ marquee offseason signing appeared to suffer the only injury in the scuffle that saw defensive tackle Damon Harrison swing the helmet of rookie guard Will Hernandez at Hernandez’s head.
The 30-year-old Solder signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in April to become the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. He spent the previous seven seasons with the New England Patriots.
—As the 2018 season nears, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is backing off his assertion that it will be his last in the NFL.
The 35-year-old told NFL Media in January “this will definitely be my last year coming up.” At Panthers minicamp this week, however, Davis said he is “very open” to the idea of playing in 2019. He will begin this season serving a four-game PED suspension.
Davis has started 146 regular-season games (out of 164 played) since breaking into the NFL in 2005 and has career totals of 1,015 tackles, 28 sacks, 18 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions. He has posted more than 100 tackles in six different seasons.
—The Arizona Cardinals signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year contract extension.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lee, who was entering the final year of a two-year, $3.9 million deal, is now under contract through 2020. The 35-year-old set a franchise record with a gross average of 47.3 yards in 2017.
Arizona also signed wide receiver Greg Little and released wideout Cobi Hamilton.
—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Ronald Jones II to complete the signing of their eight-player draft class.
Jones was one of three second-round picks by the team. He was the 38th overall draft pick, which carries a slot value of just over $7 million over four years.
Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns for USC last season and was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation’s top running back. Overall, Jones rushed for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 301 yards and three scores in three seasons with the Trojans.
—The New England Patriots agreed to extensions with fullback James Develin and long snapper Joe Cardona, according to multiple reports.
Both players were entering the final year of their respective contracts. Develin’s deal is reportedly for two years and $3.8 million with a $600,000 signing bonus, putting his annual average sixth in the league among fullbacks. Cardona’s deal is for four years, per ESPN.
Develin, who turns 30 next month, earned his first career Pro Bowl nod last season, his sixth year in New England since going undrafted out of Brown in 2012. He finished the year with six catches for 38 yards on 346 offensive snaps (30.3 percent), more than every other fullback in the league except the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Juszczyk (397, 36.1 percent).
—The New York Jets signed defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw and waived fellow defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Upshaw, 28, has seven career sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 90 games (56 starts) during six NFL seasons. He spent his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before playing his last two for the Atlanta Falcons.
Jones signed with the Jets on June 5. The soon-to-be-28-year-old entered the NFL in 2013 and has played in 41 games (28 starts) over four seasons with the Patriots, Miami Dolphins and 49ers, last playing in 2016.
—Field Level Media