Trade rumors are surrounding the controversial star receiver, and there has been strong speculation that Beckham will hold out during training camp because he doesn’t want to play the fifth and final year of his rookie deal without a new contract.
“All reports are he will be ready to go as we get going,” Shurmur said Tuesday morning at the NFL meetings. “There are steps he has to take. All indications are he will be back healthy by the time we start playing in September.”
Beckham is recovering from a broken left ankle that forced him to miss the last 12 games in 2017. Giants owner John Mara on Sunday expressed his disappointment in Beckham, saying no player is untouchable.
“That’s another way of saying we’re going to try to do everything we can to make our team better,” Shurmur said. “I understand that. It’s sort of refreshing to know that we’re going to look under any rock and turn over every stone that we can to make sure we make the New York football Giants the best team we can make it.”
Beckham recently was seen in a video in bed with a woman and what appeared to be white powder, though the timing of the video and its content is uncertain. Mara said Beckham uses “bad judgment” too often.
“I think it’s important that you get all the information,” Shurmur said. “Who knows how that video appeared? We all understand that there are certain ways we need to act and certain things we don’t want to be doing.”
Shurmur met with Beckham in Los Angeles earlier in the offseason when the coach went to California to visit college prospects.
“He’s a very charismatic guy. I think he really cares. I’m looking forward to working with him,” Shurmur said. “It’s important as coaches and players and anybody who is working together to visit and get a chance to know one another. I really don’t think you can know somebody by seeing reports, reading reports, hearing what people think and say. I think it’s important, especially in the player-coach relationship, to get to know him.”
Beckham was the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year and has been New York’s best offensive weapon when healthy. In his first three seasons, he had 288 receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns. But he is known not only for his highlight-reel catches but also for incidents that are distractions.
“We always want weapons,” Shurmur said. “He’s been an outstanding player, especially his first three years. We want really, really good players. We want guys who are passionate about playing the game. We want guys that understand the importance of relationships, which means they want to be coached. And we want guys that understand what it is to be a good teammate.”
Falcons’ Hayden Hurst shares support for Cowboys’ Dak Prescott speaking on mental health
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst said he approached Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after Sunday’s game to express his support in the wake of what Hurst called “disgusting” comments made by Fox Sports 1’s Skip Bayless about Prescott’s opening up about his mental health.
Prescott recently shared in an episode of “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that he sought help in the offseason for anxiety and depression brought on by the death of his older brother, Jace, and the coronavirus pandemic. Jace Prescott died by suicide in April. Dak Prescott also lost his mother to colon cancer in 2013.
In response to Prescott’s comments, Bayless said on his “Undisputed” show, “I don’t have sympathy for [Prescott] going public with, ‘I got depressed’ and ‘I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’ Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s team.” Fox later issued a statement condemning Bayless’ remarks.
Hurst, who has been open about attempting suicide and dealing with anxiety and depression, said he was appalled by Bayless’ words.
“To be totally honest with you, when I saw what Skip Bayless said, it just really upset me — that Dak had the courage to come out and talk about that and how it affected his family, how it affected him — and those [Bayless] comments, I thought, were just disgusting,” Hurst told ESPN on Tuesday night. “For a guy to come out and talk about that topic and use his platform to try and help and save lives, I’ve got nothing but respect for him because I know how hard it is going through stuff like that.
“It hit my family hard. My uncle killed himself. My cousin killed himself. And I had my own stuff with addiction and my attempted suicide. I know how much courage it takes to come out and talk about that. And for a guy like [Bayless] to blast Dak on his show, on national television, I think that’s just wrong. So I wanted to go up to Dak and talk to him and tell him how much I appreciated it.”
Following the Cowboys’ 40-39 win over the Falcons on Sunday, video captured Hurst stopping Prescott to say, “Hey, I’ve got a lot of respect for what did, came out and talked about. Me and my mom have a foundation about suicide prevention. Respect the hell out of you for talking about it, man.”
Prescott responded with a suggestion that they collaborate one day, to which Hurst replied, “Absolutely.”
“I thought it was awesome,” Hurst told ESPN. “I’m sure Dak Prescott doesn’t really know who I am. But I know the courage that takes, because a lot of people don’t like talking about mental health. They’re afraid to talk about it. They’re embarrassed. If guys like Dak Prescott can come out and talk about it, I think he’s going to save a lot of lives. I think that’s cool. I admire him. And I’ll be a Dak Prescott fan forever. I think he’s an awesome guy.”
Hurst previously shared his story about attempting suicide in January 2016 when he was in college at South Carolina. He had an unsuccessful stint in minor league baseball as a pitcher due to a throwing condition known as “the yips,” started using drugs and drinking heavily, then tried to slit his wrist. He survived what he called his “come to Jesus moment” and now tries to educate others about dealing with depression.
Hurst established the Hayden Hurst Foundation with his mother, Cathy, to raise awareness of mental health issues in children and adolescents by funding mental health services and programs through donations and fundraising events. The foundation will host a charity golf event Oct. 19 in Atlanta.
New York Giants adding Devonta Freeman on 1-year, $3 million deal
Freeman and the Giants agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, Freeman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday. Freeman will sign the contract Wednesday morning, practice with the Giants later Wednesday and could play as soon as Sunday.
“Devonta turned down more money from other teams because he likes the opportunity with the Giants best,” Rosenhaus told Schefter.
Freeman, 28, spent the first six years of his career with the Atlanta Falcons. He has two 1,000-yard rushing seasons (2015-16) and has averaged 4.2 yards per carry throughout his career.
But Freeman had 656 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 184 carries (3.6 ypc) last season. The Falcons let him walk as a free agent this offseason and instead signed Todd Gurley.
But the Giants currently offer Freeman the best opportunity for touches with Barkley lost for the season. They have Lewis and Wayne Gallman on the active roster. Veteran Rod Smith is on the practice squad.
“Wayne and Dion are definitely guys that will factor in,” coach Joe Judge said Monday. “We’ll work to their strengths, they are two different types of backs. Both of them have a degree of toughness. Wayne’s got that long speed, get him ranging out and get him really moving. Dion’s got that real good short area quickness and burst to get going. He does a great job of finding small seams and getting through the hole. They are both different guys, we’re going to have to work with what they do well to give them an opportunity to be successful.”
Now add Freeman, who visited the Giants on Tuesday, to the mix.
Barkley was placed on injured reserve earlier Tuesday. Cornerback Ryan Lewis was added to the active roster.
Raiders’ Jon Gruden, Saints’ Sean Payton fined $100K for violating mask protocols
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton have both been fined $100,000 by the NFL for not wearing masks on the sideline during Monday night’s game, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Raiders and Saints also have each been fined $250,000, the source said.
The fines are the same that the NFL levied Monday against the Denver Broncos and Vic Fangio, the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll and the San Francisco 49ers and Kyle Shanahan for similar violations this past Sunday of the league’s COVID-19 game-day protocols.
“I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game, [running backs coach] Chad Morton was on my ass the whole night. He was reminding me the whole time,” Carroll told the Seahawks’ website on Tuesday. “I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up. Sometimes you have to admit that that you screwed up and have got to do better.”
“We wear masks all day at practice, we wear them around the building,” Carroll said. “I know it’s extremely important to wear masks. Sometimes you’ve just got to be reminded.”
Gruden, who revealed after Monday night’s victory over the Saints that he had previously contracted COVID-19, said Tuesday that he did not want to get into specifics about how he dealt with the virus.
“It wasn’t pleasant,” he said, “and it was reported that I made up that I had the virus and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that.
“But it’s a very serious matter and, you know, obviously, I’m sensitive about it. But yeah, it was a tough ordeal, that’s for sure. Just like everybody else that had it.”
Payton also battled COVID-19 over the summer.
Gruden was asked after Monday night’s game about being mask-less on the sideline.
“I’m doing my best,” he said at the time. “I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it. … I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations and if I get fined, I’ll have to pay the fine. But I’m very sensitive about that and I apologize.”
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