Here's a look at some of the top rumors for Tuesday, July 28:
With New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension upheld by the league on Tuesday, NFL.com's Jeff Darlington offers an update on backup Jimmy Garoppolo's progress. According to Darlington's source, Garoppolo "was much more confident in calling plays and running the offense" this offseason after transitioning slowly as a rookie. The source noted that Garoppolo will need to focus on adjusting to defenses this year, now that he understands the Patriots' offense. Any amount of time with Garoppolo as the team's starter instead of Brady will set New England back, but if the second-year pro from Eastern Illinois keeps making progress, Bill Belichick's squad could survive Brady's absence.
Not yet ten months removed from tearing his patellar tendon, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz "looks faster now than he did before," according to teammate Prince Amukamara, who gave a glowing review of Cruz on NJ.com's Talk is Cheap podcast. History has proven Cruz's injury a tough one to recover from, but Amukamara's observations have to be a good sign for Giants fans. With Odell Beckham Jr.'s emergence and Rueben Randle's steady development, the Giants' receiving corps could be very dangerous with a healthy Cruz.
A name to add to the list of players who could potentially receive an extension soon is Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport suggests that Levy, who the Lions view "as essential," could sign a new deal during camp. Levy's situation is similar to that of Lavonte David, as both are 4-3 outside linebackers who have proven extremely valuable at a position that rarely earns big money. Levy is older than David and blossomed on his second contract rather than his rookie deal, but an extension for either player could help set the market for the other.
In other extension news, St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins is in talks with the Rams and hopes to get a deal done before the season starts, according to NFL.com's Rand Getlin. Pro Football Focus ranked Jenkins 61st among cornerbacks in 2013 and 50th last year, but the 26-year-old does have seven interceptions and six defensive touchdowns in three NFL seasons. A reasonable deal seems like it would fall in the No. 2 cornerback range ($6-8 million per year) rather than paying Jenkins like a top cornerback ($9 million or more per year).
Also from Getlin, former Tennessee Titans and New York Jets running back Chris Johnson may not play this season, but his agent has been in contact with the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson was shot in the shoulder in March and will turn 30 in September, but he has missed just one game in his NFL career and averaged 4.5 yards per carry in a limited role for the Jets last season. The Cowboys released Ryan Williams on Tuesday and signed minicamp tryout RB Gus Johnson. Their top three backs are Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar.
In a Q&A with USA Today, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said that Adrian Peterson will receive a heavy workload this season. Zimmer told Tom Pelissero that Peterson will get "as much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we're doing." Peterson had 23 touches in his only game last season, and Zimmer is pleased with Peterson's ability to block. That should keep All-Day on the field plenty.
Zimmer also spoke about former first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson, noting that the receiver's consistency is the most important factor in his improvement. "Does he want to be 'Flash' or does he want to be a great receiver?" Zimmer said, according to Pelissero. "I'm not trying to dog him or anything, but that's really what it is." Patterson had 637 total yards and nine touchdowns (four receiving, three rushing and two returning) as a rookie but saw his role diminished in his second season. Patterson must refine his receiving skills to get reps behind Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Jarius Wright.