The NFL is scheduled to begin training camp at the end of the month. With only a few weeks to go until then, here are some news and notes from around the league.
Washington Redskins to Change Name and Logo
Last week it seemed as if Washington Redskins Owner Dan Synder had planned to fight to keep the Redskins name according to reports. As large corporations began to remove their affiliation with the D.C. franchise, Synder switched gears.
The announcement, which came on Monday, July 13th, came days after a review of the team name was conducted. The name has long been associated with Native Americans and has been denounced by groups as an ethnic slur.
Head Coach Ron Rivera and Synder are said to be working closely with each other to develop a name that honors both the military and Native Americans. After weeks of protests across the country denouncing racism and oppression, Washington was the first team in professional sports to retire their name tied to Native Americans.
Myles Garrett, Browns to Ink Long-Term Deal
The 2017 first overall draft pick and the Cleveland Browns are reportedly close to inking a long-term deal. Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett and his team, the Cleveland Browns, are expected to agree on a 5-year, $125 million contract with $100 million of that guaranteed.
Garrett, who was suspended indefinitely last season after a newsworthy brawl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, specifically Mason Rudolph, had two more years left on his rookie contract. The extension will now keep him in Cleveland through the 2026 season.
The contract makes Garrett the highest-paid non-quarterback in the National Football League. In total, the deal is worth $144 million over seven years. Prior to his suspension last season, Garrett had registered 10 sacks in 10 games.
NFL Unveils Mouth Shield
In an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus and keep the players healthy, the NFL, in partnership with Oakley, revealed an all-new look on Tuesday.
The Oakley Mouth Shield is a product designed by Oakley with collaboration from doctors and engineers to mitigate the spread of the virus from player to player. The doctors and engineers contributing to the collaboration were members of the NFL and NFL Players Association.
The plan is to role out the product to all 32 teams over the next week to begin a test drive on a larger scale. Currently, there are no mandates to wear any type of face shield during gameplay.
The league’s medical experts are advocating for that to change, arguing for the use of protective equipment, which has sparked safety negotiation talks between the league and its players.
The shield would extend from a player’s visor, typically a clear, protective piece of plastic that protects the player’s eyes. The additional plastic sheet would extend down from the visor and be attached to the faceguard.
On the mouth shield would be openings that would allow for the player to still breathe with ease but not allow the direct transfer of air droplets. The mouth shield is already currently being tested by the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.