Wednesday saw small camps continue for most of the NFL, with several teams performing one last time before training camps began in late July. But the big news for the day came from teams that had already wrapped up small camps, as the Pittsburgh Steelers made Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest-paid safety in NFL history with a four-year extension worth $18.4 million per season. The Indianapolis Colts lost one of their starting safety points, as Khary Willis slipped back after three seasons.
But there was plenty of action on the field on Wednesday, too, as the Cleveland Browns took a roughly hour-long trip south to practice at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The New York Jets attack also came in a convincing way to respond to his critics.
This week is the busiest of the mini-camp season, with 17 teams working. Last week saw 12 teams participate in small camps, with the Miami Dolphins participating early and the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles choosing not to have mandatory small camps.
Here are some snapshots, several of ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters on the scene at this week’s activities, from small camps on Wednesday:
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Today’s top news
The Steelers made Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest safety spot in NFL history
Fitzpatrick begins his summer vacation with a nice payday after securing a deal to become the best safe in the NFL. The Steelers and their star safety have agreed to a four-year extension that will pay Fitzpatrick more than $18.4 million annually, WME Sports’ agency, Fitzpatrick’s agency, confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Shifter confirmed that Fitzpatrick also received a guaranteed $36 million upon signing.
Picton’s War for Critics, Aiming to ‘Make Them Eat Their Words’
Becton, nicknamed “The Big Ticket,” delivered a big message Wednesday to his critics. “I will make them eat their words,” he said at the conclusion of a two-day mini-camp. Pickton, who has struggled with injuries and a weight problem since his promising rookie year in 2020, is heard intent on changing the narrative. In his first media appearance since last September, he appeared wearing a blue T-shirt that read “Big Bust”.
Ron Rivera says leaders don’t trade rejectionist Terry McLaurin
Rivera expressed optimism of a deal with holdover receiver Terry McLaurin, adding that they would not trade at their highest just because nothing has been signed yet. McLaurin missed the first two days of mandatory Washington junior camp. He attended rehearsals earlier in the spring, but has skipped the volunteer OTA sessions in the past three weeks. McLaurin’s junior team contract expires after the season. He’s looking for a new deal in line with what the other top receivers have received this season.
The safety of the ponies begins: Harry Willis announces his retirement after three seasons from the NFL
Willis announced Wednesday that he is retiring after three seasons in the NFL to pursue his future in the department. “With much prayer and deliberation, I have chosen to officially retire from the NFL as I seek to dedicate the rest of my life to further progress on the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Willis, 26, wrote in an Instagram post. “I thank all my family, friends, and those who have supported me in this the journey so far, and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. …I am excited and humbled to follow the holy calling that God has in my life and that brings me so much joy and purpose. Thank you all for your support over the years…”
Saint Marcus Davenport amputated half of his pinky this off season
Davenport had the top of his left pinky finger amputated this off season after breaking a plate from a previous surgery and developing an infection. Davenport, who had surgery on his right shoulder in January, is hoping to be healthy through training camp. But the finger issue threw an unexpected switch into his timeline. Davenport said his pinky finger has been a nagging problem since he first ruptured a ligament during his freshman year at Texas-San Antonio in a 2016 game.
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Check out some of the chargers, including Joey Bosa and Derwin James, where they interact with the pups.
Count the days until we do it for real. ️
Highlights of Minicamp Day 2: pic.twitter.com/lxIkCbUBKM
Denver Broncos June 15 2022
Target locked pic.twitter.com/5U4rojUDNx
Houston Texas June 15 2022
A look at the second day of Ravens mini camp, including a deep throw from Lamar Jackson pic.twitter.com/7x6Urbarl9
– Jamisonhensley (@jamisonhensley) June 15 2022
– TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) June 15 2022
Zach Wilson in his last off-season training. Expectations will be higher in the second year, although Saleh tried to manage it by saying that Wilson just needed to continue his progress and not be a superstar. # Planes pic.twitter.com/55qjK4al0i
RichCimini June 15 2022
– New Orleans Saints June 15 2022
Kyler Murray went 5 for 5, money ball included. pic.twitter.com/yJa306YiSG
– Joshweinfuss (@joshweinfuss) June 15 2022
Cleveland Browns June 15 2022
– Michael Rothstein (@micerothstein) June 15 2022
“I don’t think that’s an option. You pay someone $30 million and another $2 million. You pay this guy $30 million to play. I hope [Wentz] succeed. My job is to support him.”
Leaders support QB Taylor Heinicke in the QB competition in Washington
“I didn’t realize how big it was.”
Jets rookie RB Breece Hall, in a left-handling encounter with Mekhi Becton for the first time
RichCimini June 15 2022
– New Orleans Saints June 15 2022
Great time pics at minicamp pic.twitter.com/APZX3KbOJw
– New York Jets (nyjets) June 15 2022
One delegate at a time pic.twitter.com/KChjYHm2XN
– Kansas City Chiefs June 15 2022
non-stop grinding pic.twitter.com/GXLj1DhKDi
Arizona Cardinals June 15 2022