RICHMOND, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says it will take two to three weeks to get Robert Griffin III into full football shape and that it “doesn’t make sense” to play the quarterback in any preseason games.
Griffin sat out 11-on-11 drills Thursday during the first day of training camp. He did take part in the rest of practice, wearing a black brace on his right knee.
Shanahan says preseason games are “overrated” as far as the type of work Griffin would get. The coach says it’s more important to see Griffin practice at full speed.
Griffin is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his right knee. Doctors cleared him to practice last week, but Shanahan says there’s a difference between being cleared by a doctor and being cleared by a coach.
“Even though he’s cleared, I’ve got to see it on the football field,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “It just doesn’t happen like that. If you’re dealing with trainers, you’re dealing with doctors, they can tell you when that knee’s ready to go, but they can’t tell you when he’s ready to play.”
Griffin will therefore be restricted to individual and 7-on-7 drills, at least initially and will sit out the team’s preseason games.
Defensive end Adam Carriker is out another four to five months after a third surgery on his right knee. Carriker was placed on the active physically unable to perform list Thursday, the opening day of training camp. He tore the quad tendon in his knee early last season.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys announced a multi-year, multimillion-dollar branding deal Thursday that will change the name of Cowboys Stadium to AT&T Stadium.
Team owner Jerry Jones said he wants his $1.2 billion showplace to be a building “more familiar than the White House.” The name change takes effect immediately.
Team officials declined to reveal terms of the deal, including cost and how many years are included. Marc Ganis, a sports consultant with SportsCorp Ltd. in Chicago, estimated the deal could be worth as much as $20 million annually for 20 to 30 years, or from $400 million to $600 million.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The Chicago Bears have signed veteran defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson to a one-year contract with defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis deciding to retire rather than report to training camp. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Anderson has started 48 of 77 games played in six seasons with the Falcons (2007-10), Indianapolis (2011) and Cincinnati (2012).
CINCINNATI — All-Pro receiver A.J. Green twisted his left knee while trying to make a sideline catch during Cincinnati’s first practice of training camp on Thursday.
Green planted his left foot and and twisted the knee while reaching for the ball. He went down hard, rolled on his back and immediately grabbed the knee. After a trainer examined the knee, he got up and walked off the field without assistance to get treatment.
Coach Marvin Lewis said the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Offensive tackle Eric Winston says he has agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
The 29-year-old lineman started all 16 games for Kansas City last season but, when the team underwent a change at head coach and general manager, was released in March. He played just one season for the Chiefs after playing the first five years of his NFL career with Houston.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts cut tight end Weslye Saunders on Thursday, one week after he was suspended by the NFL for eight games for violating the performance enhancing drugs policy.
Saunders signed with the Colts last October and played in 11 games (four starts), making two receptions for 15 yards. He served a four-game suspension for violating the same policy earlier in 2012 while with the Steelers, who subsequently released him.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Carolina coach Ron Rivera said linebacker Jon Beason has restructured his contract, helping the Panthers free up salary cap space this year.
It’s unclear how much salary cap space the move creates for the Panthers or if they’ll use the money to sign another free agent. Rivera said the team has spoken with at least two free agents — offensive lineman Travelle Wharton and safety Quintin Mikell — but have not signed either player.
Beason was going to earn $5.25 million this year, $6.5 million in 2014, $7.5 million in 2015 and $8.75 million in 2016.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver’s top draft pick, Sylvester Williams, signed a four-year, $7.6 million deal Thursday, completing an unlikely path from 19-year-old factory worker to NFL riches at 24.
Williams’ deal includes a $3.9 million signing bonus and another $2.2 million in guarantees.
The 313-pound defensive tackle from North Carolina will vie for a starting job with veterans Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton.
Williams started just one football game in high school in Jefferson City, Mo., and was working at a factory making radiator parts when he decided to give the gridiron another chance and walked on at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
After two years there, he went on to star for the Tar Heels, and Denver made him the 28th overall pick in last April’s draft.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have signed first-round draft pick offensive tackle Justin Pugh and his Syracuse teammate, quarterback Ryan Nassib, a fourth-rounder. All seven of the team’s draft choices now have signed contracts.
Pugh, something of a surprise choice at 19th overall, has played right tackle during offseason workouts. He started 34 games at left tackle for the Orange. He made the Big East’s all-conference team three straight years, twice as a first-teamer.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers have signed top draft pick defensive end Datone Jones and safety Ryan McMahon on Thursday.
Jones was selected 26th overall in April out of UCLA, where he made a career-high 62 tackles (45 solo), including 19 tackles for loss, and a career-best 6½ sacks in 2012.
NAPA, Calif. — Oakland has signed first-round pick cornerback D.J. Hayden to a contract before the first training camp practice.
The team announced the deal on Thursday, assuring that the entire 10-player draft class will be on hand when practice begins today.