NFL Notes: Odell Beckham Jr. Putting on a Show, Having Fun at Giants Camp

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After a miserable end to the 2016 season and the brouhaha about his desire to be the NFL's highest-paid player, Odell Beckham Jr. is having a great time at training camp with the New York Giants.

The 24-year-old wide receiver, social rock star and fan favorite is putting on a show every time he steps on the field.

The entertainment this week has been either a couple of one-handed catches, dancing to the music between segments of practice or playing up to the fans running down the sideline after a catch.

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His smile is as bright as his gold cleats and his mood reflects that. Walking in the team's indoor field house after practice Monday, Beckham leap-frogged a stunned reporter, jumped over an upside-down garbage can and then turned to safety Landon Collins and quipped `that something was you,' referring to the can.

Entering his fourth season, Beckham said he is very comfortable in coach Ben McAdoo's offense.

"Personally, the way that I feel mentally, physically, spiritually right now, I am just in a better place," Beckham said. "I'm in a real good place. Things are flowing; just continually pushing them in the right direction" (see full story).

Seahawks: Bennett expects backlash over protest
CARSON, California -- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett plans to sit during the national anthem this season to protest social injustice -- and expects a backlash over an issue that is "bigger than a sport."

He sat on the visiting bench during "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, a decision he made before weekend protests by white supremacists at the University of Virginia.

The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, including the death of a young woman struck by a car deliberately driven into a group of counter-protesters Saturday, solidified Bennett's decision.

"With everything that's been going on the last couple of months and especially after the last couple of days, seeing everything in Virginia, seeing what's going on out there earlier today in Seattle, I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continue to speak over injustice," Bennett said (see full story).

Falcons: Freeman out with concussion symptoms
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has concussion symptoms and has been ruled out for this week's preseason game at Pittsburgh.

Freeman left Sunday's practice with heat-related issues. Coach Dan Quinn said Monday that Freeman reported the concussion symptoms after leaving the field and has been placed in the concussion protocol.

Tevin Coleman took over first-team snaps at running back on Monday as the team held its final practice of training camp. Coleman's playing time likely will be limited in Sunday's game as Quinn focuses on the competition between Terron Ward and rookie Brian Hill for the third running back spot.

The Falcons agreed to terms Wednesday on a five-year, $41.25 million extension with Freeman. The deal makes Freeman the league's highest-paid running back in terms of the overall package (see full story).

Titans: Henry learned a lot from being backup
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry has a basic approach to backing up a Pro Bowl running back in DeMarco Murray with the Tennessee Titans.

Feel, and work, as if he is a starter in the NFL.

Even if he did happen to win the Heisman Trophy in 2015.

"It was different coming off the year that I had in college coming in being the second guy," Henry said. "But it was a growth year, an experience year, helped me learn a lot. Prepared me for this year to get better."

Henry had quite an adjustment from college to the NFL. He went from setting both the Alabama and Southeastern Conference rushing record with 2,219 yards and racking up a bunch of awards and accolades to Tennessee where he started only two games as a rookie while Murray led the AFC in rushing. Henry carried the ball 110 times for 490 yards, his fewest rushing attempts in a season since his freshman year at Alabama.

Browns: Parkey battling rookie for job
BEREA, Ohio -- Kicker Cody Parkey thought he had shown the Browns he could handle anything during a topsy-turvy 2016 season.

Through the highs, lows, makes and misses, he was steady.

And then draft day arrived.

After missing three field goals in his debut last season, Parkey, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie for Philadelphia in 2014 only to be waived two years later, rebounded and converted 20 of 22 attempts. His personal comeback was lost in the mess of the Browns' horrendous 1-15 season.

When it ended, Parkey was confident the Browns believed in him, and the 27-year-old assumed his job was secure -- at least for another season.

That all changed when the team selected Arizona State All-American Zane Gonzalez, the most prolific kicker in college history, in the seventh round of this year's NFL draft.

49ers: Hall of Famer Rice practices with team
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers made a big-time acquisition at wide receiver -- at least for one practice.

Hall of Famer Jerry Rice put on the cleats and took part in practice with the 49ers on Monday, running patterns and doing stretches in individual drills, dishing out tips to young receivers and even shadowing the wideouts during team drills.

"Oh man, that was pretty exciting," undrafted rookie Kendrick Bourne said. "Kind of had me kind of nervous but definitely very excited. Being out here practicing with him and seeing how much older he is and he can still move well. It was good learning. I learned a lot from him."

Rice has plenty of knowledge from a 20-year career that featured NFL records with 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards receiving, 208 total touchdowns and three Super Bowl titles.

He even showed he still has some moves at age 54, nearly 13 years removed from his final game, with the way he ran patterns during individual drills.

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