While many NFL teams decided to end their mini-camps on Wednesday, a few teams practiced until Thursday, using the final day of mandatory mini-camps to have some fun and pay homage to the past.

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The Chicago Bears did the latter on Thursday, as each player wore number 41 in memory of quarterback Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer on June 16, 1970 and was the subject of the movie Brian’s Song. In terms of fun, the New Orleans Saints unveiled a brand new alternate helmet, and the Carolina Panthers celebrated the end of mini-camp with some fun.

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This week was the busiest week of the mini-camp season with 17 teams training. Last week, 12 teams took part in mini-camps: the Miami Dolphins departed early, while the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles decided not to hold mandatory mini-camps.

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Here are some shots, many of which were taken by Sportzshala NFL Nation reporters in attendance at this week’s events from Thursday’s mini-camps:

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Bears players wearing Brian Piccolo t-shirts at a mini-camp on the anniversary of his death

On the final day of the mandatory mini-camp, all 90 Chicago Bears players wore the #41 jersey to practice in honor of Brian Piccolo, who died 52 years ago Thursday of cancer. Piccolo, who played for the Bears from 1966 to 1969, was 26 at the time of his death in 1970. their friendship as the first interracial roommates in the NFL. The Bears originally planned to honor Piccolo on the 50th anniversary of his death, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 offseason.

Lamar Jackson won’t say how he’ll train, season without new contract

Jackson said he spoke to the Baltimore Ravens about his contract situation this week, but the former NFL MVP was evasive about whether he would show up for training camp or play early in the season without a new contract. However, Jackson expressed confidence when asked if he believed he would play in Baltimore for the rest of his career. “I’m looking forward to it,” Jackson said Thursday. “So yes, I know.

Patrick Mahomes says he was “surprised” by Tyreke Hill’s critical comments.

Patrick Mahomes said Thursday he was surprised by comments made by Tyreke Hill on a recent podcast that were critical of him and executives. “I’m a little surprised just because I feel like we love Tyreke here,” Mahomes said as the Chiefs ended their off-season program. “We have always loved him. We still love him. I saw him in Formula 1 in Miami. I’m sure it has something to do with trying to make his podcast and launch it.”

Minka Fitzpatrick of the Steelers: My duty to fulfill the contract after signing a new major contract

After just weeks of negotiations, the Steelers made Fitzpatrick the highest paid defenseman in the NFL with a four-year extension worth over $18.4 million a year. Not only is Fitzpatrick, 25, the highest-paid player in office, but the Steelers’ defense is one of the most expensive in the league, both in terms of money and capital. But that money doesn’t motivate the defense to act, Fitzpatrick said on Thursday. Instead, it reaffirms their duty to work to the standards expected with such a large salary.

Other NFL headlines:

  • Chris Jones of the Chiefs wants to be Defensive Player of the Year

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Quotes of the Day

“Money is a blessing, money creates opportunities for everyone around us and in our families, but it’s more about what it says to money. They trust you to be the best and prepare to be the best and compete with being the best and consistently playing at the A++ level.”

Steelers safety Minka Fitzpatrick on becoming the highest paid safety in NFL history

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