NFL training camp 2020 – Brady locks in, Fournette’s out, Cam’s best life

It’s the last day of August, which means training camp is nearing its end and real football is on the near horizon. A day after one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ worst practices of the summer, Tom Brady and the offense were more dialed in Monday.

Here’s what you need to know from camps across the NFL:

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Jaguars waive Fournette after three seasons

The Jaguars have waived running back Leonard Fournette, the team announced Monday. The move ends a tumultuous three-year run in which Fournette rushed for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Jaguars didn’t pick up his fifth-year option during the offseason and actively pursued a trade without receiving any serious offers. Coach Doug Marrone said the move was strictly related to what he has seen on the field from Fournette during training camp and was not about any issues in the locker room. Fournette, the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, was suspended once by the Jaguars and deactivated for another game as a rookie, and he drew the ire of management for his attitude and behavior.

Kamara’s camp absence related to contract

Alvin Kamara appears to be making a late push for a contract extension. The New Orleans Saints running back has been an unexcused absence from training camp since Friday, and the absence is believed to be contract-related, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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What our NFL Nation reporters saw Monday

After arguably one of its worst practices of training camp Sunday with drops, lapses in concentration and turnovers, the Bucs’ offense rebounded Monday and were much more dialed in. “[Quarterback] Tom [Brady] was upset, probably as upset as I was. He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been, either,” coach Bruce Arians said. “Like I told him — in the middle of practice, if you have to start saying, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s go,’ it’s way too late. Today was a great practice [for] both sides. I thought the offense bounced back and had a hell of a day and defensively we had some moments, too.” As far as if there is going to be another scrimmage this week, Arians expressed some concern about the risk of injuries with live tackling, but said he did feel it was important to get Brady back playing in Raymond James Stadium with crowd noise. On Friday, Brady said it was difficult to communicate with teammates and coaches with the noise level, and face masks made him unable to read lips. — Jenna Laine

Linebacker Mark Barron, who has been in the Denver area since last Thursday going through the COVID-19 testing protocol so the team could sign him, was on the practice field and in the Broncos’ complex for the first time Monday. Barron was signed to a one-year deal and the Broncos hope he can fill a role in pass coverage in the defense they had hoped rookie Justin Strnad could handle. Strnad, however, will miss the season after wrist surgery. Asked Monday where Barron could fit in the defense, coach Vic Fangio said: “I don’t know, we’re going to find out … he’s obviously been a good player in the league, he’s a guy — we’ll see how he can fit in. Obviously he’s got a lot to learn in a short period of time.” Barron said he would try to get caught up on the defensive playbook as quickly as possible and added, “I would assume they want me to help in some coverage aspects, as far as covering tight ends and running backs, but I’m just taking it one day at a time, I’ve got a whole defensive playbook to learn and it’s a lot.” — Jeff Legwold

The Jets’ kicking competition is over, and incumbent Sam Ficken is the winner. On Monday, they released former Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher, who punctuated a so-so training camp with a shaky practice Sunday at MetLife Stadium. He went 2-for-4, missing from 48 and 52 yards. That was enough to declare Ficken the victor, but he shouldn’t get too comfortable. He was mediocre in all aspects of his job last season (field goals, extra points and kickoffs) and he will be on the hot seat if he misses a couple of big kicks. — Rich Cimini

Veteran running back Lamar Miller, who is returning from a torn ACL, made his debut on the practice field as he was officially removed from the physically unable to perform list. This adds a layer of intrigue to the Patriots’ RB corps, with Sony Michel, Damien Harris, James White and Rex Burkhead projected as locks to make the roster. Will there be room for Miller? Monday was his first day on the field to make his case. — Mike Reiss

On the same day that second-year cornerback Trayvon Mullen returned to practice for the first time in more than a week, the Raiders parted ways with veteran corner Prince Amukamara. He was expected to start at a corner spot opposite Mullen. But with the emergence of first-round pick Damon Arnette and with second-year corners Isaiah Johnson and Keisean Nixon flashing potential in camp, and the Raiders’ drafting of slot corner Amik Robertson, the team is going young at the position. In fact, with Nevin Lawson serving a one-game suspension to open the season, the only outside corner on the Raiders’ roster for the opener with a single NFL start could be … Mullen. And he started 10 games as a rookie. — Paul Gutierrez

The Falcons might want to consider line depth on both sides as they draw closer to cutdown day. During Monday’s practice, the team was without top pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr., who started wearing a brace on his left knee last week after apparently tweaking something in practice. Rookie defensive lineman Marlon Davidson continues to be working with his way back from a left knee strain, while veteran defensive end Steven Means didn’t practice after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the weekend. Also not practicing Monday was rookie third-round draft pick Matt Hennessy, who banged his right knee in Friday’s mock game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The offensive lineman wore a heavy knee brace, although the injury is not believed to be serious. Veteran guard James Carpenter, who replaced Hennessy at left guard during the mock game, was nowhere to be seen Monday. Instead, the Falcons had backup center Justin McCray working at left guard in place of Hennessy, who seems to be the favorite to win the starting job. Carpenter was the starting left guard at the start of last season but his status right now remains unknown. — Vaughn McClure

The actual training camp portion of the Niners’ preseason is over as they have switched to regular-season mode this week. But it’s worth noting that they’re still dealing with a lot of injuries, and many key players were unavailable for the portion of Monday’s practice open to the media. Among those missing were defensive end Nick Bosa, tight end George Kittle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, linebacker Fred Warner, tight end Ross Dwelley, linebacker Dre Greenlaw, center Ben Garland, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and defensive end Dee Ford. Offensive tackle Trent Williams was also not participating, the first practice he’s missed in this camp. The good news for the Niners is that they can reasonably expect most or all of those players back for the Sept. 13 opener against Arizona, but it would still be beneficial to get them back soon as they begin installing the game plan for the Cardinals. — Nick Wagoner

Running back Darrynton Evans and cornerback Kristian Fulton, both rookies, missed their sixth consecutive practice Monday. Wide receiver A.J. Brown wasn’t out there, either. It was Brown’s second missed day after jogging into the building during practice on Friday. The Titans focused on end-of-game situations and struggled without Brown. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the first-team offense completed only one pass the first situational team period. — Turron Davenport

So far the Chiefs have had a hard time evaluating defensive end Taco Charlton. But they hope he is capable of being an every-down player as opposed to a situational pass-rusher. “Hard to tell right now,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “Haven’t seen him in a game. It’s going to take a while before we figure out exactly where Taco fits in. But I love his length. I love a lot of things he does. Hopefully we can get him to a point where he helps us on all downs.” — Adam Teicher

Washington used its first trip to FedEx Field this summer as a run-through for what to expect during the season. There was one hiccup with the headsets, but quarterback Dwayne Haskins called a play and it wasn’t a big deal. Later, Haskins, who had a solid day, was picked off by cornerback Ronald Darby in what turned into a key lesson for him. On the play, he tried to hit receiver Dontrelle Inman running a deep out against a Cover 2 look. But the corner on that side, Darby, dropped into the throwing lane. Yes, it turned out negative, but it’s one Haskins says will be key. “I had never thrown that in camp,” Haskins said. “I can get it out a little higher and further so he can’t undercut it.” Coach Ron Rivera said Haskins still has a way to go “but it’s promising.” — John Keim

File this in the love-to-see-it category for the Giants: Running back Sandro Platzgummer got popped in a no-tackling drill by linebacker Devante Downs. Flew to the ground. Who came from the sideline to the defense of the international pathway player from Austria? Saquon Barkley! The star running back chirped in Downs’ ear for a few seconds before center Nick Gates joined in Platzgummer’s defense. The sign of a leader. — Jordan Raanan

On what was the final open practice of camp, Michael Gallup had perhaps the play of the summer. In red zone work early in practice Gallup made a catch that was reminiscent of Dez Bryant in his prime. Gallup appeared to levitate over Anthony Brown on a fade pass from Dak Prescott for an extra second and plucked the ball with his left hand for the touchdown. Gallup has made Bryant-like plays in his first two seasons and this might have been his best. For those teammates involved in the drill it drew high praise. The Cowboys will begin their focus on season opener against the Los Angeles Rams at the end of the week. — Todd Archer

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