NFL: Darnold a holdout as camp begins


There was no sign of Sam Darnold as the New York Jets opened training camp in New Jersey.

The No. 3 overall draft pick from USC officially became a contract holdout when the team began its first practice of the summer Friday without its prized rookie quarterback.

“He’s not here,” coach Todd Bowles said, “so I’m coaching the other [89] guys.”


Under the NFL’s labor agreement, contract holdouts by rookies are uncommon because deals are slotted based on draft position. Darnold will receive a four-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $30.247 million, including a $20-million signing bonus.

The dispute seems to hang on contract language. If a player is cut during his rookie contract, offset language provides the team with financial protection. Not having offset language allows a player to receive his salary from the team that cut him, as well as get paid by another team that signs him.

Offset language is common in rookie deals. Both Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland, and Josh Allen, seventh overall by Buffalo — the quarterbacks drafted before and after Darnold — have offsets in their contracts.

Lee: I’m no snake

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee fired back at free-agent receiver Dez Bryant after his former teammate called him a “snake” on Twitter while suggesting Lee played a role in the club’s decision to release its career leader in touchdown catches.

“First thing, to say that I can get anybody off the team and have any input on a roster is absurd,” Lee said. “The second thing, I love Dez and I want the best for him.”


The Titans locked up left tackle Taylor Lewan with a deal making him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. Reports say it’s a five-year deal worth $80 million with $50 million guaranteed. ... The Falcons agreed to a five-year, $75-million contract extension with left tackle Jake Matthews. ... The Cardinals signed former Chargers safety Tre Boston to a one-year contract. ... The Titans and tight end Delanie Walker agreed to an extension through the 2020 season. ... The Redskins signed backup quarterback Colt McCoy to an extension through the 2019 season.