2024 NFL OTA highlights, Day 1: Kyle Pitts-Kirk Cousins connection looks lethal; Daniel Jones in 7-on-7 drills

Written by on May 21, 2024

The 2024 NFL offseason continues to roll along as 21 teams kicked off OTAs on Monday. This is the first time we will see rookies practice with veterans, and maybe the last time we will get to see players like Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence throw the pigskin around before they put pen to paper on what they hope will be lucrative, long-term extensions. 

Football is back, so let’s go around the league and break down some notable moments from OTAs. 

Bryce Young doing ‘fantastic’ in new offense

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft didn’t have a great first season. Young’s 2-14 record as starter ranked last in the league, as did his 5.5 yards per attempt and 73.7 passer rating. However, he may now have some stability with Dave Canales in charge.

On Monday, Canales told reporters that Young is really showing potential in Carolina’s new offense. 

“He’s doing fantastic with it,” Canales said, via ESPN. “So, for us the formations are pretty vanilla so we can just teach the concept we want out of each route, the depth, the footwork we want.

“As I expect him to do, he’s really mastered that part of it.”

Canales helped Geno Smith win Comeback Player of the Year in 2022, and helped Baker Mayfield have a career year in 2023. What will he do with Young?

Jerod Mayo and Drake Maye mic’d up

The New England Patriots are truly entering a new era in 2024 that includes a new head coach, new general manager and new quarterback. The Patriots gave us some insight into coach Mayo and Maye Monday, with a mic’d up video. 

Daniel Jones participates in 7-on-7 drills

The New York Giants passed on selecting a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, and will give Jones another shot to prove he’s the future of the franchise. Jones injured his neck in Week 5 last year, then returned in Week 9 just to tear his ACL. On Monday, he took a step forward in his recovery and participated in 7-on-7 drills, according to the Giants’ official website. The hope is that Jones will be 100% ready for training camp in July. 

Jones signed a four-year, $160 million deal last offseason, and will make $82 million from 2023-24. 

Kirk Cousins ready to unlock Kyle Pitts

The Atlanta Falcons went out and paid Cousins to be their new franchise quarterback, and with a supporting cast that includes the likes of Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Drake London and Kyle Pitts, maybe the Falcons could be a sneaky team in the NFC. 

Some are anticipating a big season from former No. 4 overall pick Pitts, who is now playing with the best quarterback he’s ever played with. Check out this catch he made on Monday. 

Aaron Rodgers throws TD to Garrett Wilson

Rodgers is back under center as the quarterback of the New York Jets after tearing his Achilles last September, and he’s looking pretty good out on the practice field. Imagine what a receiver like Wilson can do with a quarterback like Rodgers. More touchdowns to come in 2024. 

Justin Jefferson not present at OTAs

Minnesota Vikings star wideout Justin Jefferson is expected to break financial records when he signs his next contract, and he was not present at the start of OTAs this week, per ESPN. The 24-year-old pass-catcher skipped most of Minnesota’s voluntary offseason programming in 2023 before reporting to mandatory minicamp and training camp. We’ll see what happens this time around. 

Rashee Rice present at OTAs

Kansas City Chiefs wideout Rashee Rice is facing multiple charges related to a high-speed car crash plus a police investigation into an alleged nightclub assault, but he was reportedly present at OTAs on Monday. ESPN previously reported Rice is expected to receive a multi-game suspension due to his actions this offseason. As a rookie, the SMU product caught 79 passes for 938 yards and seven touchdowns while Kansas City won Super Bowl LVIII. 

Panthers respond to zero prime-time games

The Panthers were the only team in the NFL to receive zero prime-time games when the 2024 schedule was released last week. Quarterback Bryce Young was asked if getting no prime-time games was a slap in the face. 

“It’s out of our control …” Young said, via Steven Taranto. “If someone slights me or slights us, I don’t hold onto it.”

New Panthers head coach Dave Canales was also asked for his reaction to receiving zero prime-time games, saying, “You’ve got to earn it.”

Brian Thomas Jr. establishing chemistry with Lawrence

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have lost Calvin Ridley this offseason, but they gained a wideout with potential in Brian Thomas Jr. The LSU product led the FBS with 17 receiving touchdowns last season, and was selected by Jacksonville at No. 23 overall. 

Derrick Henry in his new threads

Tennessee Titans fans, look away. 

The Baltimore Ravens made a splash in free agency this offseason, signing running back Derrick Henry to a two-year deal to pair with Lamar Jackson. On Monday, he took the field with his new team, rocking the purple jersey.   

The post 2024 NFL OTA highlights, Day 1: Kyle Pitts-Kirk Cousins connection looks lethal; Daniel Jones in 7-on-7 drills first appeared on CBS Sports.

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