Pads were popping in the NFL on Tuesday, as teams really get into the heart of training camp. That wasn't the only popping off Tuesday, as New York Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett responded to Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton's pointed criticism, quarterback Aaron Rodgers discussed taking a pay cut and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan stopped by.
In non-Jets news, New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas said he's further along in his quest to recapture his All-Pro form from 2019, while there were several show-stopping catches (highlights below). Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin also intercepted a pass as he continues his return after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during a game in January.
Here's what you need to know from camps across the league:
Top NFL news of the day
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said he was "90% retired" before entering his celebrated darkness retreat in February, now is talking like he wants to play not one ... not two ... but at least three more years. "This is going to be a few-year partnership," Rodgers said Tuesday, explaining his rationale for taking a historic $35 million pay cut in a newly restructured contract.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas isn't ready to say he's back at 100% after missing a significant portion of the past three seasons because of ankle and toe injuries. But Thomas, who said he's "addicted to perfection," won't settle for anything less.
Without mentioning Sean Payton by name, New York Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett responded Tuesday to Payton's scathing criticism, saying the comments about his coaching performance last season violated an unwritten "code." Hackett said he wasn't surprised by Payton's remarks, claiming his Denver Broncos successor has been blasting him publicly for a year.
Per a source, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Calijah Kancey, the team's first-round pick, is expected to miss four weeks because of a strained calf injury suffered over the weekend. That puts Kancey in position to possibly play in the Bucs' opener Sept. 10 at the Minnesota Vikings.
The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ronald Jones for two games for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy. On Tuesday, Jones said the failed test was for a heart medicine that has been prescribed since he entered the league. While acknowledging he is responsible for what he puts in his body, he said he is disappointed in the NFL's decision.
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
New England Patriots: Attention fantasy football managers: TE Hunter Henry might be a worthy later-round investment based on the Patriots' first six training camp practices. On Tuesday, Henry caught another red zone TD pass from QB Mac Jones, which continues a theme. He has been a go-to guy for Jones in money situations. Henry was also one of the Patriots' offseason award winners. -- Mike Reiss
Washington Commanders: Receiver Jahan Dotson, who caught 35 passes last season with seven touchdowns, had another strong day in training camp. Quarterback Sam Howell connected with Dotson on a handful of throws, in both 7-on-7 work and full-team sessions. On one third-and-2, Dotson aligned in the slot and sold the corner on a deep seam route before cutting outside -- leaving the corner's feet tangled and creating an easy throw for Howell. It would not be surprising at all to see Dotson have a big season. Even in games last season when he didn't have many catches, he could be seen creating separation with his route running. -- John Keim
Jacksonville Jaguars: Tuesday was one of the hottest days of training camp (heat index of 100, per weather.com), and it impacted WR Calvin Ridley and DT Roy Robertson-Harris. Ridley left the practice field roughly midway through and spent time in the cool-down tent before going inside to the locker room. He eventually returned in full pads at the end of practice. Robertson-Harris participated in the entire practice and the autograph session with fans, but trainers were pouring ice water into his lap at the table following the session. Right tackle Anton Harrison didn't participate in team drills Tuesday, but that was because of a sore shoulder. The 27th overall pick said he expected to be fine. -- Mike DiRocco
Philadelphia Eagles: The Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown connection caught fire Tuesday. The play of the day came late in practice, when Hurts threw a dime downfield that hit Brown in stride for the touchdown. Brown was productive all morning despite facing off mostly against standout corner James Bradberry. His back shoulder snag along the left sideline during team drills provided another highlight. -- Tim McManus
Carolina Panthers: Rookie quarterback Bryce Young was intercepted Tuesday, the fourth straight practice in which he threw a pick as the Panthers focused on red zone offense. But the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft wasn't concerned and neither was coach Frank Reich, who said Young had a good day. Young was 8-for-13 on red zone team drills, with one interception and no touchdown passes. His only red zone touchdowns came on 7-on-7 drills. Reich wasn't concerned about the interception because he wanted to see Young take chances. Young wasn't concerned because nothing fazes him. "I'm big on controlling what I can control and turn the page," Young said. -- David Newton
Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders' first day in pads was as physical a training camp practice as seen in many years. They were tackling to the ground to end practice, including semi-barrel roll takedowns, and chirping at each other -- LB Curtis Bolton and G Jordan Meredith skirmished -- and Pro Bowl DE Maxx Crosby continually gave rookie TE Michael Mayer the business. Indeed, a knock on Mayer, a second-rounder from Notre Dame, is he needs to improve his blocking skills, and going up against the relentless Crosby in full pads is a good learning lab going forward. -- Paul Gutierrez
Green Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt had a relatively quiet rookie season last year, especially for a guy who was the 28th overall pick. The defensive lineman has been anything but that so far in camp. On Tuesday, he was a wrecking crew during the one-on-one pass rushing drill. He used a spin move to cast aside center Josh Myers to win that rep and then he flashed his power by shoving tackle Jean Delance so forcefully that the offensive line toppled over. During a team period, he beat guard Jon Runyan for what would've been a sack of Jordan Love. "I feel a lot more comfortable, a lot more confident with plays," said Wyatt, who played only 224 snaps all of last season. "I'm a lot more focused, not much stress. I hit the rookie wall about the beginning of the year, but it's gone now. Now it's just time to take that next step." -- Rob Demovsky
San Francisco 49ers: In the spring, Niners WR Deebo Samuel lamented his play in 2022, calling the season "awful" for him and vowing to come back in the best shape of his career. Samuel has been putting in the work and returned to this camp feeling faster and lighter while also maintaining his physical approach. Fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk has, rightfully, gotten a lot of the early camp attention, but it shouldn't go unnoticed that Samuel looks poised for a big bounce-back season. Over the past two days, Samuel has been making plays in the run game and down field as a receiver. San Francisco's offense fired on all cylinders down the stretch last season after adding running back Christian McCaffrey, but there could be another level to reach if Samuel, McCaffrey, Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle are all rolling at the same time. -- Nick Wagoner
Los Angeles Chargers: Through two practices in pads, the Chargers' secondary is standing out. On Monday, second-year cornerbacks Deane Leonard and Ja'Sir Taylor, 2022 sixth- and seventh-round selections, respectively, made several impressive plays to break up passes. On Tuesday, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. and safety Alohi Gilman followed suit, with Gilman going a step further to jump a route and intercept quarterback Justin Herbert on a pass intended for 6-foot-8 tight end Donald Parham Jr. Following the departures of veterans Bryce Callahan and Nasir Adderley, each of these players will be expected to play significant roles in a position group that includes All-Pro safety Derwin James Jr. and cornerback J.C. Jackson, who continues to steadily increase his workload as he returns from a season-ending knee injury. -- Lindsey Thiry
Buffalo Bills: For a second straight day, quarterback Josh Allen finished a play dealing with an apparent injury, but then was able to resume practice normally. On Tuesday, Allen had the pocket close in on him during a play and would have been sacked if contact was allowed. He walked away from the play clearly frustrated, and quarterback Kyle Allen came in to finish the first-team offense's reps for that series. Josh Allen was looked at briefly, and general manager Brandon Beane and wide receiver Stefon Diggs checked on him. Josh Allen received what appeared to be tape on his right foot and did not miss any additional reps. Coach Sean McDermott was not at practice as he was attending to a personal family matter. He was expected to return to camp in the afternoon. -- Alaina Getzenberg
Chicago Bears: The competition to fill the cornerback spot opposite Jaylon Johnson is in full force between rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith. One day after Stevenson recorded an interception against the first-team offense, Smith tipped a pass from Justin Fields that landed in the hands of Eddie Jackson during 7-on-7. Stevenson noted that he had a "couple slipups" early in coverage that -- along with Smith making plays with the second-team defense -- paved the way for the second- and fifth-round picks, respectively, to enter a competition for the role of CB2. -- Courtney Cronin
New Orleans Saints: The Saints scheduled the second part of their practice inside for the first time this camp after temperatures reached almost 100 degrees. Several Saints players appeared to struggle with the heat and had to walk to the locker room or briefly be attended to by trainers. The Saints still managed to have a lively indoor session of 11-on-11 drills and heavily involved their tight ends, with Juwan Johnson making one of the better plays of the day. Johnson caught a pass from Derek Carr and streaked down the right sideline untouched. Foster Moreau also caught two passes from Carr during that set. Saints guard Andrus Peat was not at practice, as expected, after he left Monday's practice because of what Dennis Allen called a quad strain. -- Katherine Terrell
Baltimore Ravens: Rookie first-round wide receiver Zay Flowers continued a strong start to camp with his most impressive practice yet. Flowers won all three of his one-on-one battles, getting wide open a couple of times with his fine route running. Then, he caught two red zone touchdown passes from Lamar Jackson. The pecking order of the Ravens' wide receiver group remains uncertain, but Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. are solidifying themselves as the top two wide receivers in Baltimore. Rashod Bateman, a former first-round pick, remains on the physically unable to perform list with a foot injury. -- Jamison Hensley
Tennessee Titans: ILB Azeez Al-Shaair flashed during the Titans' practice Tuesday. Al-Shaair diagnosed an end-around and made a tackle for a loss. He knifed into the backfield on the next play to stop running back Tyjae Spears in the backfield for another negative offensive play. Al-Shaair showed his range when he tracked down Spears for a minimal gain on a pass out of the backfield. Rookie quarterback Will Levis also had a solid day. Levis missed a blitz pickup but responded with back-to-back big plays. He connected with Reggie Roberson Jr. on a go route for a big gain then found him in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Levis also threw a touchdown to Mason Kinsey. -- Turron Davenport
New York Giants: It was a relatively quiet start to training camp for Saquon Barkley since he surprisingly reported. That wasn't the case during the first day in full pads. Barkley was heavily involved and even caught a pair of passes that would have been big plays. Barkley was wide open in the flat on a play-action pass for a chunk play and then would've gained plenty of yardage on a well-executed screen. As coach Brian Daboll said several days back on how Barkley looked: "Normal Saquon." That meant strong, fast and explosive. It was apparent Tuesday. -- Jordan Raanan
Seattle Seahawks: With the pads on and his brief holdout in the rearview mirror, rookie Devon Witherspoon is starting to show off one of the traits that made him the No. 5 pick -- his physicality. The cornerback was the standout of Seattle's second padded practice of camp, mostly because of his aggressive tackling and willingness to play downhill in run support from the nickelback spot. Witherspoon, who missed the first two practices amid a dispute over his $22.17 million signing bonus, is still behind Tre Brown on the depth chart at left cornerback and is competing with Coby Bryant at nickelback. He allowed a late catch to fellow first-rounder Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but earlier made a nice play to defend an end zone throw to Tyler Lockett and also had a sack on a blitz. -- Brady Henderson
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Every rep George Pickens goes against Joey Porter Jr: 🍿🍿🍿pic.twitter.com/fy36VvuJX3— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2023
Some 2-on-2 with Falcons RB Bijan Robinson pic.twitter.com/lDdtjMqpeG— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 1, 2023
one-hander??? more like one-palmer pic.twitter.com/3smoLoLUNa— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) August 1, 2023
This throw by Mills was on the money. pic.twitter.com/JMIGWX2sf7— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) August 1, 2023
if terry has a million fans, i am one of them— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 1, 2023
if terry has ten fans, i am one of them
if terry has only one fan, then that is me
if terry has no fans, then that means i am no longer on earth
if the world is against terry, then i am against the world pic.twitter.com/nOa2krpfla
Trevon Diggs pic.twitter.com/ggHF5duJGF— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 1, 2023
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Woke up a month closer to gameday 😎 pic.twitter.com/T48597QGGg— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 1, 2023
Padded up. pic.twitter.com/VCsOMvLvb5— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 1, 2023
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On birthday No. 99, she meets player No. 99. Melba Jacobsen and Chase Young... and then the rookies sing. Jacobsen has attended practice on each birthday since she turned 90. pic.twitter.com/VUPVcXOAFm— John Keim (@john_keim) August 1, 2023
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We have pads on. pic.twitter.com/in49ut4ak5— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) August 1, 2023