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What we learned from NFL training camps Thursday

The city changed. The contract definitely changed. The drama surrounding Percy Harvin has not changed.

On a frenzied late July day of NFL news, Harvin's potential hip surgery could be the news item with the most lasting impact on the 2013 season. Like so many Harvin stories, this one doesn't sound simple.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the Seattle Seahawks' team doctor did not recommend surgery for Harvin after the wide receiver suffered a slight tear in his labrum during a workout last week. But Harvin has chosen to seek a second opinion, and coach Pete Carroll admits surgery is an option. The Seahawks want Harvin to rehab the injury.

A second opinion never is a good thing. Considering Harvin's often-contentious history with the Minnesota Vikings over medical treatment, this could be just the beginning of this story.

It's not normally like this


Within a short period Thursday, Harvin's hip surgery news leaked out, Matt Ryan agreed to a $103.75 million contract extension, John Abraham signed with the Arizona Cardinals, a few first-round rookies were signed and a former first-round draft pick (Jamaal Anderson) also signed. It's July 25.

This came on the same day Tom Brady addressed Aaron Hernandez's murder charge for the first time and surveillance photos were revealed that appeared to show Hernandez holding a gun. Two NFL players suddenly retired Thursday.

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I was a little late coming home from work and told my wife it was a crazy news day. She barely follows football but responded: "Guys always tear something on the first day of training camp. You always say it's busy."

But I swear it's not normally like this.

The retirements


1. Ryan Swope's story is a sad one. The sixth-round pick out of Texas A&M retired from the Cardinals without ever taking a practice snap in the NFL. The wide receiver suffered a setback from a concussion he suffered in college and chose his long-term health over big short-term risks. It's a new era in the NFL when it comes to concussions. We wish Swope the best.

2. Sedrick Ellis made more than $30 million on his rookie contract after being taken No. 7 overall by the New Orleans Saints in 2008. That's more than Andrew Luck will make on his rookie deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Perhaps that's why Ellis suddenly retired Thursday, rather than play this season for $1 million with the Chicago Bears. The Bears replaced Ellis with another disappointing first-rounder: Anderson.

Elvis Dumervil's agent is off the hook


Somehow, Dumervil's fax fiasco will not go down as the biggest agent blunder of the year.

The guys on the sideline


1. An incomplete list of players placed on the active/PUP list Thursday includes Houston Texans stars Arian Foster and Ed Reed. Foster isn't expected to be out too long, but he has been struggling with a calf injury. New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston is battling a foot injury. Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris remains out after surgery to remove a cyst.

2. Rapoport reported that Washington Redskins second-year pro Keenan Robinson is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The fourth-round draft pick from 2012 also missed nearly all of last season with an injury to the other pectoral.

3. Multiple reports in New York suggest that Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot) might not be ready for Week 1. Meanwhile, Jets running back Joe McKnight failed his conditioning test for the second time in his career. The McDonald's diet strikes again.

4. Bryant McKinnie showed up to Baltimore Ravens camp overweight and can't practice yet. I really could have copied and pasted these last two items from previous years.

5. Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones returned to the practice field after passing his conditioning test.

"I took it just about like when I took the ACT," Jones said, via the Ravens' official website. "Eventually, I passed it."

6. Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason (knee surgery) said he might not practice at all during training camp.

7. Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd technically isn't on the sideline because he's not in training camp at all. The unsigned franchise player does not plan to show up to camp on time, Rapoport reported.

And now, a word from Steve Smith


"I'm more at the point now where if I was a female and 35, I'm looking to get pregnant and married tomorrow," the Panthers wide receiver said, via The Charlotte Observer. "So sense of urgency is an understatement."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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