With less than a week remaining until the NFL regular season kicks off – five days, but who's counting – we have an abundance of important news from around the league to keep us busy this Saturday. As the busiest draft weekend of the year continues, this Saturday's edition of Rotowire Training Camp Notes will cover a devastating injury to the 49ers backfield, the trade of the league's (newly) highest-paid defensive player, and all the takeaways of final roster cuts.
Without further ado, let's get right down to business.
Chicago Bears: The Bears acquired Khalil Mack in exchange for first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-rounder in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019. Chicago also received a 2020 second-rounder and a conditional 2020 fifth-rounder in return, and quickly signed Mack to a six-year, $141 million extension – making Mack the highest-played defensive player in NFL history. Mack's contract eclipses the record for a defensive player set only a day earlier by Aaron Donald, when the Los Angeles rams signed him to a six-year $135 million extension. Chicago paid a steep price for the stud pass rusher, including a substantial amount of draft capital. However, if Mack can remain one of the game's top pass rushing options for the length of his contract, the move does bring the Bears one big step closer to competing in the NFC North. The No. 5 overall pick of the 2014 draft, Mack joins a Chicago defense which includes 2018's No. 8 overall pick Roquan Smith and 2016 No. 9 overall pick Leonard Floyd. The 2016 Defensive Player of the Year has accumulated 40.5 career sacks and 185.5 quarterback pressures since his 2014 rookie season, leading the entire NFL in that time. Chicago's defense ranked ninth in points allowed last season and stands to improve with Mack's presence.
San Francisco 49ers: Starting running back Jerick McKinnon went down on a cut on the last play of Saturday's practice, and was quickly scheduled to undergo an MRI. McKinnon's injury was quickly confirmed to be a torn ACL, ending the 26-year-old's season. Expected to have been the 49ers' workhorse back, McKinnon's ADP had settled around the early third round in drafts prior to the injury. This is regrettable news for McKinnon, who was primed to play the role of a feature back for the first time in his NFL career and looked locked in for the foreseeable future, having signed a four-year, $30 million deal earlier in the offseason. San Francisco cut running back Joe Williams days earlier, leaving Matt Breida, Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert to carry out the team's backfield. It's difficult to know which back to own here, especially given the likelihood that San Francisco brings in outside help at the position, and the 49ers' running game could very well end up a committee through 2018.
Oakland Raiders: In a bit of additional Raiders news, offseason acquisition Martavis Bryant was cut today. The 26-year-old was released in the face of a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, which could tentatively have forced Bryant to sit out the entire season. Bryant previously missed the entire 2016 season after violating the substance-abuse policy once before and accumulated a disappointing 50/603/3 statline in 2017. It remains to be seen whether the wideout will receive another shot elsewhere in the league, but it's certainly unlikely that Bryant achieves fantasy relevancy similar to his 2015 season.
Houston Texans: Running back D'Onta Foreman remained on the PUP list to start the regular season, meaning that the 2017 third-rounder will be forced to miss at least the first six games of the 2018 NFL season. Though Foreman seems to have made strong progress in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered last November, it's no surprise that the 22-year-old won't suit up for Week 1. Foreman had pressed starting running back Lamar Miller for carries prior to his injury in 2017, and averaged 4.2 yards per carry on the year. Once fully recovered, Foreman stands to retake his position as Miller's primary backup.
Buffalo Bills: 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman, whom the team traded a seventh-round pick for earlier in August, was waived Saturday. The 24-year old had a completely unremarkable preseason, reeling in three passes for seven yards across three games. If Coleman goes unclaimed on waivers the Bills will owe him $3.5 million of guaranteed salary. Buffalo looks to enter the 2018 season with a mundane receiver group, consisting of Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Andre Holmes and Jeremy Kerley. The lack of exceptional passcatchers could prove detrimental to the development of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who seems likely to start as some point in 2018.
Baltimore Ravens: Fourth-year wide receiver Breshad Perriman, the No. 26 overall pick of the 2015, was unable to make the team's 53-man roster and waived. The 24-year-old has managed only a 43/576/3 statline across 27 games, with only 77 of those yards coming in 2018. The Ravens desperately need options on offensive help based on their 2017 showing, so the fact that Perriman couldn't earn any sort of a role this year speaks volumes. Perriman can certainly be considered a massive bust for the Ravens at this point and will look to revitalize his career elsewhere around the league – but is a longshot for fantasy relevance this season.