July 2016

Veteran NFL receiver Hakeem Nicks decided this offseason that persistently lobbying New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton for a job gave him the best chance at salvaging his career. The 28-year-old Nicks, who participated in his first practice of Saints training camp on Friday, is coming off several seasons in which his production dipped far below the standard he set early in his career with the New York Giants. ''If you look at the offenses I was in when I had most of my production throughout my career, I felt like this offense fit my skill set the best,'' Nicks said.
Victor Cruz is back a lot sooner than anyone expected. After missing all of last season and being limited to six games over the past two, the New York Giants receiver was a full-go as the team held its first practice at training camp Friday under new coach Ben McAdoo. With the Giants indoors because of overnight rain, the workout looked more like a slow-speed organized team activity.
Now that they're in the same division, Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. can start talking trash again. After Beckham told GQ Magazine that his catch made the new Washington Redskins cornerback ''relevant,'' Norman responded to the New York Giants receiver on Friday with some amusement. On the second day of Redskins camp, Norman chuckled at the mention of Beckham and his comments and brushed them off.
Case Keenum was pretty sure he hadn't been on a bicycle since he was about 12 years old. The quarterback struggled to get his bike over the low curb as he rolled up to the Los Angeles Rams' training camp at UC Irvine on Thursday. With HBO cameras filming their every move for the ''Hard Knocks'' documentary series, they've begun roughly five weeks of camp in Irvine while their training complex is finished in Thousand Oaks.
After missing the playoffs the past four seasons, the New York Giants have a right to be optimistic. The NFL's worst defense has been bolstered by off-season signings. It was all there to see on Thursday as the Giants reported to training camp.
Eleven weightlifters, including three Russian medalists, have tested positive for banned drugs in the latest retests of samples from the 2012 London Olympics, the International Weightlifting Federation said. Four of the 11 are Russians, who all tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid. MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin hit out at ''discrimination'' against the country's banned track and field athletes at a Kremlin send-off ceremony for its depleted Olympic team.
Tom Coughlin will be joining the NFL's football operations staff, a person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press.
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell says he was doing his ''homework'' on Greg Hardy when he brought in the polarizing defensive end for a two-day workout and interview session last week. Caldwell said he has ''no imminent plans'' to sign Hardy, a free agent who spent last season in Dallas. ''We want to take calculated risks and we'll take chances, but we're not going to do this at any cost, either,'' Caldwell said.
The Giants spent about $200 million in upgrades this offseason. That splurge might not be enough for a playoff spot.
Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams as we get ready for the NFL season, counting down the teams one per day in reverse order of our initial 2016 power rankings. When these rankings were set, I had no idea what to do with the New York Jets. The Ryan Fitzpatrick standoff is one of the stranger ones I can remember.

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