NFL mandatory minicamps 2022: Minkah Fitzpatrick gets rich, Mekhi Becton makes a statement

What does Minkah Fitzpatrick bring to the Steelers' defense? (0:48)

Dan Orlovsky breaks down why Minkah Fitzpatrick is such an important part of the Steelers' defense. (0:48)

Wednesday saw minicamps continue for much of the NFL, as many teams performed for the last time before training camps start in late July. But the big news of the day came from teams that already concluded minicamps, 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 safeties, as Khari Willis is retiring after three seasons.

But there was plenty of action on the practice field Wednesday, too, as the Cleveland Browns made a roughly hourlong trip south to work out at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, right next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton also came up with a compelling way to respond to his critics.

This week is the busiest of the minicamp season, as 17 teams are working out. Last week saw 12 teams participate in minicamps, with the Miami Dolphins going earlier and the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles choosing not to have mandatory minicamps.

Here are some snapshots, many from ESPN's NFL Nation reporters who are on the scene at this week's activities, from Wednesday's minicamps:

Jump to the best of the day:
Photos | Videos | Quotes

Top news of the day

Steelers make Minkah Fitzpatrick highest-paid safety in NFL history
Fitzpatrick is starting his summer vacation with a nice payday after securing a deal to become the NFL's highest-paid safety. The Steelers and their star safety agreed to a four-year extension that will pay Fitzpatrick over $18.4 million per year, WME Sports, Fitzpatrick's agency, confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Fitzpatrick was also given $36 million guaranteed at signing, Schefter confirmed.

Becton wary of critics, set 'to make them eat their words'
Becton, nicknamed "Big Ticket," delivered a big message Wednesday to his critics. "I'm going to make them eat their words," he said at the conclusion of a two-day minicamp. Becton, who has battled injuries and a weight problem since his promising rookie year in 2020, sounded determined to change the narrative. In his first media availability since last September, he showed up wearing a blue T-shirt that read: "Big Bust."

Ron Rivera says Commanders not trading holdout WR Terry McLaurin
Rivera expressed optimism that a deal would get done with holdout receiver Terry McLaurin, adding that they're not going to trade their top wideout just because nothing has been signed yet. McLaurin missed the first two days of Washington's mandatory minicamp. He attended workouts earlier in the spring but skipped the voluntary OTA sessions the past three weeks. McLaurin's rookie contract expires after the season. He's seeking a new deal in line with what other top receivers have received this offseason.

Colts starting safety Khari Willis announces retirement after three NFL seasons
Willis announced Wednesday that he is retiring after three seasons in the NFL to pursue a future in ministry."With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Willis, 26, wrote in an Instagram post. "I thank all of my family, friends and those who have supported me on this journey thus far and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. ... I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose. Thank you all for your support over the years..."

Saints' Marcus Davenport had half of pinkie amputated this offseason
Davenport had the top portion of his left pinkie finger amputated this offseason after breaking a plate from a previous surgery and experiencing an infection. Davenport, who also had surgery on his right shoulder in January, is hoping to be healthy by training camp, but the finger issue threw an unexpected wrench into his timetable. Davenport said his pinkie has been a nagging issue since he first tore ligaments in it during his junior year at Texas-San Antonio in a 2016 bowl game.

More NFL headlines:

Best videos

Cuteness overload: Check out the Chargers with puppies

Check out some Chargers, including Joey Bosa and Derwin James, as they interact with puppies.

Quotes of the day

"I don't think that's an option. You're paying someone $30 million and someone else $2 million. You're paying this guy $30 million to play. I hope [Wentz] succeeds. My job is to back him up." Commanders backup QB Taylor Heinicke, on Washington's QB competition
"I didn't realize how big he was." Jets rookie RB Breece Hall, on meeting left tackle Mekhi Becton for the first time

Best photos