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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Xavien Howard, Dolphins close to a compromise?

The 2021 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Xavien Howard practiced for the Dolphins. Will he play for them? His participation Saturday is a positive sign. The All-Pro cornerback took the field in pads for the first time during training camp, which NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted is an important development for Howard and Miami to potentially agree on a restructured deal. "It does sound like they've been moving forward, moving closer to doing that," Rapoport said on Inside Training Camp. Howard reported to camp on time last week but has been nursing a minor ankle injury and staging a hold-in after publicly requesting a trade amid a contract dispute. Head coach Brian Flores was adamant Friday that the Dolphins "don't want to trade X." Time will soon tell whether Howard's return to action solidifies his future in Miami.
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will trot out about the same receiving corps as they did a year ago. It was easily one of the best in the league in 2020. Mike Evans believes it will be better in 2021. "This is the best receiver room I've been around, top to bottom," the three-time Pro Bowler said, per the Tampa Bay Times. To be fair, the collective is a bit different than it was in training camp last year. Evans and Chris Godwin were just getting acquainted with Tom Brady. Antonio Brown didn't join the team until late October. The Bucs also spent a fourth-round pick on Jaelon Darden, who caught 31 touchdowns in his final two seasons at North Texas. Moreover, Scott Miller emerged last fall after a modest rookie campaign and Rob Gronkowski was coming off a one-year sabbatical. Tight end O.J. Howard has rejoined the ensemble after suffering a season-ending injury last October. The Bucs are absolutely loaded at receiver now, if they weren't already.
  • Packers receiver Randall Cobb is glad to be back at Lambeau Field. There really is no place like home.
  • After Josh Allen reset the non-Patrick Mahomes market for quarterbacks, attention quickly turned toward Lamar Jackson. The fellow fourth-year quarterback has also been seeking an extension this offseason. Per Rapoprt, don't expect Allen's terms, a six-year deal worth $258 million with $150 million in guarantees, to impact Jackson's. "The Ravens are in a fine position here, communication is good, but I wouldn't expect it to drastically affect where things are with Lamar," Rapoport said. He pointed to Baltimore's negotiations with Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley for context. After Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil became the highest-paid players at their respective positions last year, Humphrey and Stanley agreed to extensions paying them less per year. Allen just signed for $43 million a season, topping Dak Prescott's $40 million annual bill. Jackson might land somewhere in between.
  • A.J. Green turned 33 years old last week. He is a seven-time Pro Bowler and on the short list of best receivers of the last decade. But his age and last two years are causes for concern. After missing all of 2019 with an ankle injury, he recorded just 47 catches for 523 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. Will relocating from Cincinnati to Arizona change his trajectory? Green told NFL Network's Willie McGinest that a change in quarterback will pay immediate dividends. He cited a snap from his first practice with Kyler Murray, who hit him on a deep post. "I was like, man I haven't seen one of those things in a while," Green said. "His arm talent is unbelievable." Green believes pairing up with DeAndre Hopkins will prove just as formidable. When McGinest asked if they're the best wideout duo in the league, Green didn't hesitate. "Yeah, of course. Of course," he said. "I'm putting that out there. Nobody has done what me have D-Hop have done, and been on the same team. Nobody has done what we've done personally. Bring us together, I think it's going to be fun."
  • After a decade of dominance, Julio Jones is no longer gracing the Falcons practice field. But Matt Ryan still is, and so is Russell Gage. The fourth-year wideout emerged last season as Jones battled injuries. Now Gage is a full-time starter. He appears ready.

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