NFL news and notes: Jets say Darnold is stronger, Brady discusses situation

TomBrady - Cropped
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

Training camp is wrapping up and teams are preparing for the first official week of preseason games, yet plenty of questions remain unanswered.

Why are Tom Brady and the New England Patriots being so secretive about his contract? Is Ezekiel Elliott getting close to returning? Who is winning the quarterback battle in Washington?

And what has made Sam Darnold feel more confident going into his sophomore year?

All of that and more in Monday's NFL news and notes.

Three things that matter

Brady is locked in with the Patriots — for now

The six-time Super Bowl champion addressed his longevity with the team after he reportedly signed a two-year extension with New England. While Brady has not showed signs of slowing down at 42, he said his age puts him in a rare position.

"It's a unique situation I'm in — 20th year with the same team, I'll be 42 years old. So pretty much uncharted territory for everybody," Brady said after Monday's practice. "I'm going to go out there and do the best I can this year and see what happens."

The deal reportedly has void years for 2020 and 2021, meaning Brady and the Patriots will have to revisit the contract once the 2019 season is up.

Ravens release guard Lewis

Alex Lewis announced on Instagram that the Baltimore Ravens released him after three seasons with the team. Lewis had shoulder surgery in the offseason, so him being released from Baltimore means he was able to pass his physical with the team, though he has since been traded to the New York Jets.

This now leaves the Ravens' left tackle position on shaky ground. Baltimore likely was hoping to be able to work with Lewis after he started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but him training away from the team led to some issues. Now the Ravens will have to prime up either Jermaine Eluemunor, James Hurst or rookie Ben Powers as possible replacements.

Gase believes Darnold's arm is stronger

For Jets fans, this is a positive thing to hear after a rough 2018 season and tumultuous offseason. While the team has not clocked his velocity, changing the way Darnold trained has allowed him to throw more accurately and sustain less fatigue.

"I don't think I realised how strong his arm was," Gase said on Monday.

On top of that, Darnold is feeling more confident after rookie season that saw him heavily criticised.

"Last year, I still wasn't super comfortable with all of the guys, getting in the huddle, feeling timid. I wasn't really myself," Darnold said. "I think this year, now that I'm stepping into that leadership role, I could, you could say, I'm definitely more comfortable and confident in myself."

Two things that don't matter

McCoy tops Redskins' depth chart at QB

There is still a month to go before the regular season begins, and while the Washington Redskins have Colt McCoy on top in their first unofficial depth chart that was released Monday, it does not mean that much. McCoy was expected to be on top for now, since he has been with the team since 2014 and knows Jay Gruden's offense well.

Veteran Case Keenum will be his backup, while rookie Dwayne Haskins sits at third string. Of course, the Redskins have to get through four preseason games and McCoy could fall short, but those wanting to see Haskins start might have to wait a bit.

Prescott reveals he's talked to Elliott — on just a friendship level

Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott quarterback revealed he has been in contact with Ezekiel Elliott but said the two have not talked about his ongoing holdout. Prescott told reporters: "Friendship is friendship and business is business. You don't cross those."

Basically, Prescott shed no new information on Elliott's contract situation and simply said the team misses him. Meanwhile, Elliott reportedly still is in Mexico, where he is training independently.

Monday tweet of the day

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor got a shout out by a fan after the receiver made his son's day. The boy burst into tears of joy after Agholor signed gloves for him. Agholor tweeted his appreciation back.

Edited by Omnisport
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