NFL minicamp updates: Bears' Caleb Williams up and down; Colts' Mitchell impresses


The NFL’s 2024 mandatory minicamps kicked into full gear Tuesday, with the 49ers, Bears, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Lions, Texans, Titans and Vikings all scheduled for spring session work this week. ESPN’s NFL reporters could be found at each location, providing information on position battles, notable appearances from new faces, compelling quotes from coaches and players and updates on injuries and holdout situations.

We will have updates every day of camp to keep you informed on all the latest. Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league:

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CHI | DAL | DET | HOU | IND
MIA | MIN | PHI | SF | TEN

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Top NFL news of the day

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Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb, seeking extension, not at minicamp

Lamb, who is seeking a contract extension, was not at the team’s mandatory minicamp that opened Tuesday. Lamb also has not attended the team’s OTAs, which are voluntary. The wide receiver will be subject to fines by missing the team’s minicamp. Lamb is set to play this season on the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, worth $17.991 million fully guaranteed. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season without an extension.


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Sources: 49ers give Christian McCaffrey 2-year, $38M extension

McCaffrey, the NFL’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, once again has reset the running back market, signing a two-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers, averaging $19 million per year, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday. McCaffrey will receive an additional $8 million over what he was scheduled to make in the first two years while adding $24 million in guarantees.


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Patriots OC praises QB Drake Maye, but stresses patience

When the Patriots ultimately will turn to rookie quarterback Maye as their starter is one of the top storylines for a team coming off a 4-13 season and led by first-year head coach Jerod Mayo.

Alex Van Pelt, in his first year as offensive coordinator, is stressing patience.


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Stephon Diggs opens up about trade to Houston, Josh Allen for first time

Receiver Stefon Diggs opened up about a trade that sent him to the Texans from the Buffalo Bills after a four-year stint. He said he was “happy” when Houston acquired him, but he admitted he has “a lot of love” for Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

“When I got to Buffalo, Josh was, and still is, my guy,” Diggs said. “People don’t really understand what it’s like to be out there. He really embraced me. We spent a lot of time together, and I probably wouldn’t be right here if it wasn’t for him.”


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Tua Tagovailoa not concerned yet about contract

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said he’s confident he and the team will reach an extension before the start of the regular season, although the process has taken longer than expected.

Speaking to the media after the Dolphins’ first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday, a noticeably terse Tagovailoa said he has taken note of the recent contracts other NFL quarterbacks have received, although he stopped short of admitting concern about any offers the team has made.

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What our NFL Nation reporters saw today

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The last team with a pair of players with 1,000 rushing yards in a single season, neither of which was a QB, was the Carolina Panthers in 2009 with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. However, Detroit Lions duo Jahmyr Gibbs (945) and David Montgomery (1,015) were close last year as they look to hit another notch this upcoming season. Lions RBs coach Scottie Montgomery believes the tape shows this tandem can reach another gear as they’re striving to go from good to great, while cleaning up areas in the running and passing game.

“What makes us like peanut butter and jelly and I guess what makes us work is we’re so different, but we’re very good in our own way,” Montgomery said at Tuesday’s minicamp. “It’s hard for teams to prepare for us, but we’ve got high expectations for ourselves and both of us together, we didn’t think that was good enough. So, we want to be better this year and we will.” — Eric Woodyard


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Former All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry IV appears to be in line for a position switch. Coach Nick Sirianni revealed before the start of Tuesday’s practice that Bradberry would see some time at safety starting in minicamp. “You’ve seen a lot of good corners in this league — the first guy that comes to my mind is Charles Woodson. He went from being an elite corner to an elite nickel to an elite safety. So I’m excited about that for James — that he’s able to do more,” Sirianni said.

Bradberry, 30, had one of his best seasons as a pro in 2022 but fell off significantly last season. The Eagles drafted corners Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean in the first two rounds of April’s draft to help a secondary that finished second to last in passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed. This gives Bradberry an opportunity to find a new role. Bradberry didn’t have a chance to work at safety Tuesday, as an injury early in the session left him sidelined. — Tim McManus


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The Titans had some new faces at gunner during special teams period when former first-round picks Caleb Farley and Treylon Burks lined up at the position.

Injuries have kept Farley from being in the lineup over the past year and a half. The addition of veteran free agent Chidobe Awuzie and trade for L’Jarius Sneed will likely keep Farley out of the starting lineup. Burks was relegated to a backup role after the Titans signed free agent receivers Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd. They’ll have to find a new role if they plan to suit up on Sundays.

“If you’re not one of the top two or three guys, you’re going to have to contribute on [special] teams,” coach Brian Callahan said. “If you’re trying to get a hat on game day and be one of the 46 active, you got to play a role on special teams, especially as a skill player.” — Turron Davenport


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There’s no concern for the Texans’ offensive tackle duo. On the first day of mandatory minicamp, the Texans had full attendance as their highly touted playmakers in receiver Nico Collins, Tank Dell and Stefon Diggs were on display. However, the Texans’ highly paid right tackle (Tytus Howard) and left tackle (Laremy Tunsil) weren’t practicing. Both are recovering from knee injuries. Tunsil had offseason surgery on his left knee even though he played 14 games in 2023. Howard played in seven games because of injuries before suffering a season-ending knee injury in late November.

The good news for the Texans is coach DeMeco Ryans says he expects Howard and Tunsil to be ready for training camp. “Those guys are battling back,” Ryans said. “They both had surgery, so they’re in our return to play group, and they’re on the right track to be back and be ready for training camp.” — D.J. Bien-Aime


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Rookie receiver Adonai Mitchell had an impressive day in the first of three minicamp practices, catching a pair of red zone touchdowns from quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Mitchell blew by a defender for the first score, catching a ball over his shoulder in the corner of the end zone. On the second score, Richardson left the pocket while Mitchell stayed alive. Richardson found him on the back line of the end zone, where Mitchell made a leaping catch while tapping both feet in bounds for the touchdown.

Mitchell is competing with third-year player Alec Pierce for the No. 3 receiver spot. Mitchell, a second-round draft choice, was the 11th receiver drafted, but feels like he’s wound up in a good spot.

“I just feel like I’m living my dream,” Mitchell said. “I come here every day, I do what I love doing. I’m in an environment that I really enjoy.” — Stephen Holder


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There is a fine line between a big receiver and a pass-catching tight end, and the Minnesota Vikings are taking some time this spring to see if N’Keal Harry can bridge it. Harry, drafted No. 32 overall as a receiver by the New England Patriots in 2019, was working Tuesday with the Vikings’ tight end group.

Coach Kevin O’Connell acknowledged it’s “unique” to initiate a position change at this point in a player’s career, but added: “We’re hoping we’re developing a guy that can grow into a real third-down weapon, a red zone weapon with his skill set. The more he can do from an all-down standpoint will only help his value as we continue to really put together that tight end group.”

The Vikings are unlikely to have starter T.J. Hockenson at the beginning of the season as he continues to recover from multiple torn ligaments in his right knee. They recently added free agent Robert Tonyan to a group that also includes veterans Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt. Harry, listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, spent three seasons with the Patriots and one with the Chicago Bears before signing in 2023 with the Vikings. He appeared in nine games, getting 23 snaps on offense and 49 on special teams, but did not have a catch. — Kevin Seifert


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While there was plenty of contract talk Tuesday surrounding McCaffrey’s extension and the one receiver Brandon Aiyuk is still awaiting, there are many other key Niners entering the final year of their deals. Aside from Aiyuk, cornerback Charvarius Ward is the most notable pending free agent. He has not been participating in the minicamp or OTAs because of offseason core muscle surgery. But Ward did speak Tuesday and made it clear he would like another big payday following his second-team All-Pro nod in 2023.

“I’m just gonna do my job, go out there and ball, put the pressure on them and hopefully they give me a bag,” Ward said. “If they don’t, I know it won’t be like any bad blood between me and them. It’s just like it’ll be a business decision, but I’m pretty sure they would like to have me. I’d like to stay here for sure.” — Nick Wagoner


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The Bears had full attendance for Day 1 of minicamp, which included the first look at wide receiver Keenan Allen, who was not with the team during OTA practices the last two weeks. Allen lined up primarily in the slot during team drills, which allowed the Bears to see what the offense will look like with their three top receivers on the field: Allen, DJ Moore and first-round pick Rome Odunze.

Allen said his chemistry with quarterback Caleb Williams, this year’s No. 1 overall pick, is a work in progress and expects they will “really start to understand each other” at some point during training camp.

With the full complement of his weapons around him, Williams completed 13 of 16 passes but struggled against the Bears starting defense during the two-minute and blitz period. An interception he threw to safety Kevin Byard III in 7-on-7 came when Williams took an extra hitch, which resulted in the ball being thrown late over the middle.

“That’s always dangerous when you do that,” coach Matt Eberflus said, “but that’s the learning experience in the process that a young quarterback has to go through.” — Courtney Cronin


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Larry Allen was one of the most decorated players in Cowboys history, with 10 Pro Bowl selections in Dallas and 11 overall, seven All-Pro selections, a Super Bowl, a spot in the Ring of Honor and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His death Monday hit many inside the organization, such as defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who was on the staff when Allen played, and assistant defensive line coach Greg Ellis, a former teammate. At the team meeting, a video of Allen was played to show the current Cowboys his greatness.

Right guard Zack Martin already knew. With a Pro Bowl selection in 2024, Martin would equal Allen’s 10.

“I had a little bit of interaction with him when I first got here out at training camp a couple of times and he’d shoot me some texts before games,” Martin said. Obviously thoughts with his family. I got to play with his son there for a year during training camp, Larry III. When you say offensive lineman and the NFL together, Larry Allen is, if not the guy, then one of the top couple guys you think of over the history of our league and our position.” — Todd Archer



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