Jimmy Smith practices for first time since Achilles injury

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith participated in team drills for the first time since his Achilles injury in December, Jamison Hensley of ESPN reports.

It already was a good sign that Smith didn’t have to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. But he took another step Thursday after being limited to individual drills during the team’s minicamp last month.

That bodes well for his availability for the start of the regular season.

Joyner’s situation is similar. He’s making $11.287 million this year, and it would cost the Rams $13.544 million to tag him again next year. And so by standing pat, Joyner’s looking at either $11.287 million and free agency in March or almost $25 million over two years, then free agency in 2020. The one mitigating factor that does help the team here is that the safety market collapsed this offseason, and Joyner turns 28 in November, so he may well want to cash out now.

Bell’s situation is clunky. He’s already on his second tag, and assuming the Steelers wouldn’t tag him a third time (that would come at the QB number, which will likely exceed $25 million, pending some new deals), he’s set to make $14.5 million this year and hit free agency next year. Meanwhile, the NFL’s next highest paid running back is Devonta Freeman at $8.25 million. But the market could change with deals for Todd Gurley and David Johnson. Then, you have the longevity question that every back faces. Yeah, there’s a lot going on here.

So these four guys and their teams have 18 days to find a middle ground on a deal. And if they decide to hold firm and bet on themselves, you can see that as a nod to the Vikings quarterback.

We mentioned in the lead of the column that what we’re seeing with offensive football is evolution, not revolution. And I made the call on that word after I ran it by Chip Kelly over the weekend.

There’s not much happening. The supplemental draft is in a couple weeks. The deadline for franchise-tagees Le’Veon Bell, Ziggy Ansah, DeMarcus Lawrence and Lamarcus Joyner to do long-term deals is a few days after that.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the Winston situation. And, of course, the dreaded news-dump potential of the Friday before July 4.

Full disclosure: I’ll be away for that one, so I’m not dreading it too much. But I will have a July 2 MMQB, so I’ll see you all then (and for the Thursday mailbag and the Friday podcast).

Steelers, Le’Veon Bell enter 48-hour home stretch

They say the NFL is a deadline-driven business. One of the most consequential deadlines in recent years arrives in roughly 48 hours.

If the Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell fail to agree to terms on a long-term deal by Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET, the veteran tailback almost certainly will become an unrestricted free agent in eight months.

But with the Steelers having their own set of rules regarding player contracts — including most importantly in Bell’s case no fully-guaranteed payments beyond the current year — it may not be easy to ensure Bell that he’ll get at least $32 million if he signs a long-term deal. Even then, it may take more than that to get him to give up his shot at whatever some other team may be willing to pay in order to not only help win games but also assist with ticket sales and the generation of buzz.

Ultimately, Bell needs to ask himself this question: What will it take to get me to trade in $14.52 million in hand plus a chance to strike it as rich as possible in March? If the Steelers aren’t willing to make that kind of an offer within the next 48 hours, the clock then will start ticking toward his potential exit from Pittsburgh.

It was the first American Century Championship title for Romo.

Romo, 38, turned down the $125,000 check to keep his amateur status. He won last weekend’s amateur championship in Wisconsin by nine strokes, becoming only the third player in the event’s 57-year history to shoot three sub-par rounds.

The CBS analyst made his PGA Tour debut in March after accepting a sponsor’s exemption into the inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. But Romo shot 77-82 to miss the cut and finish in last place. He also failed to make it through U.S. Open local qualifying in April.

A lot goes into teaching a coaching staff your system. For starters, coaches must know the purely schematic parts—in other words, the plays you call and the looks you give. These are written on the white board in the Raiders’ defensive meeting room, which doubles as Guenther’s office. The scheme features:

19 blitzes out of odd fronts, which have either three or five men across the D-line, with one aligned directly over the center