nfl 2014 News and Updates
4/15/14 - Say "aloha" to Arizona! The 2015 Pro Bowl will be held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ—on the same field that will host Super Bowl XLIX just one week later! This is the third time the league has arranged for the Pro Bowl to be held at the same site as the Super Bowl, and always attracts more media attention and fan accessibility. Speaking of the press, they've had a field day with Jim Harbaugh's team: in the last week, Aldon Smith was jailed for a false-bomb scandal at LAX, and Quinton Patton and Colin Kaepernick were involved in a potential sexual assault case that has thrown the 49ers in hot water. In other news, Chris Johnson is the most recent star to land in free agency; the former Tennessee Titans running back was released from the club last week. The NFL 2014-2015 schedule was initially slated to release today ("mid-April"), but considering the Draft was pushed back two weeks, the schedule will likely surface towards the end of the month.
4/8/14 - With NFL Draft a month away, scouts, fans and owners alike are watching college players like hawks. Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr are visiting the Jaguars later this week, while Johnny Manziel will be with the Oakland Raiders over the next two days (the team holds the #5 overall pick). The Vikings are reportedly interested in landing QB Zach Mettenberger after choosing a linebacker in round one (Khalil Mack preferably), and the deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft has taken over recent headlines (led by buzz-generating Cody Latimer of Indiana). With Draft Day in mind, and the initial free agency blast subsided, teams are in the early stages of roster building. Now, those free agents left on the market (from Earl Bennett and Miles Austin, to Santonio Holmes and Anthony Spencer) could offer up bargain deals, veteran expertise and much needed depth for franchises in need.
3/31/14 - During last week's owners meetings, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue of bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles, stating: "We are going to do it right, if we are going to do it…but not one [proposal] that we are focused on and can say that we have the right solution yet." Though the situation seems as stagnant as ever, there are six teams most likely looking for a new a home base: Bills, Panthers, Jaguars, Raiders, Rams and Chargers. Will the NFL place a team in the nation's second-largest market? Only time will tell. For now, we have another hotly debated subject to mull over: Johnny Manziel. The college star's pro-day workout has left people as polarized as ever, with one NFL scout grading Manziel as a third-day pick who is not up to par with the likes of RG3 as a prospect and Jerry Rice revealing "it's a no-brainer" for the Texans to pick him up. The NFL Draft is just over one month away—bring on the rumors! In the pros, there are also a few top players up for grabs including DeSean Jackson, Miles Austin, Jermichael Finley, Davin Joseph and Champ Bailey. Stay tuned to see where they end up!
3/25/14 - While the initial explosion of the free agent market has subsided, here are a few headliners to keep you in the know: Mark Sanchez, pending a physical, will replace Michael Vick on the Philadelphia Eagles as their No. 2 quarterback behind Nick Foles. The Raiders have picked up Houston Texan Matt Schaub, prompting Terrelle Pryor to request a trade, as he hopes to secure a starting position elsewhere. Despite talk of Desean Jackson leaving the Eagles, the wideout is reportedly staying with the franchise after posting a picture with Chip Kelly and speaking with several teammates about his intentions to remain in Philly. Sadly, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr, has passed at the age of 95; he was the last living founder of the American Football League. The NFL looks to suck more fun out of touchdown celebrations, making dunking on goal posts a penalty in 2014—Jimmy Graham's post-bending dunk that could have potentially ended in disaster prompted the new ban.
3/17/14 - It's been less than a week since free agency commenced, and a number of big-time headlines have already set the NFL world spinning. John Elway is hard at work building up Denver's defense: safety TJ Ward, cornerback Aqib Talib, defensive end DeMarcus Ware should provide Peyton Manning and the offense some long-awaited aid. The Patriots have made the second biggest wave in free agency: losing Talib, but gaining the biggest CB on the market, Darrelle Revis. In a cutting move, the Green Bay Packers picked up Julius Peppers from their division enemies, the Chicago Bears (Josh McCown signed a 2 yr. deal with the Buccaneers, where he'll be reunited with former coach Lovie Smith). In the world of wide receivers, two made 5-year deals: Eric Decker to the Jets and Golden Tate will leave the Emerald City for Motor City, signing with the Lions. Some big names left on the market are Knowshon Moreno, Michael Vick and Jermichael Finley. As far as trades go, the Eagles acquired Darren Sproles from the Saints, and the 49ers picked up Jonathan Martin and QB Blaine Gabbert. Are you a Steelers or Cardinals fan? This news may come too-little too-late, but the NFL is considering implementing playoff expansion (to 14 teams), and this possibility will be the primary topic of discussion at the owners meetings next week. Keep an eye on this exciting offseason, as the NFL gives the public their version of March Madness!
3/4/14 - The deadline to apply a franchise tag to players closed this Monday, and six players were granted deals before free agency. The Redskins used theirs on LB Brian Orakpo, the Panthers on TE Greg Hardy, the NY Jets on kicker Nick Folk and the biggest tag was placed by the Saints on Jimmy Graham. Still, Graham is expected to file a grievance on his non-exclusive tag, as he hoped to be tagged as a wide receiver and not a tight end (there is a $5.277 million difference between the positions). New Orleans is likely to lock-in their TE who is looking for about $12 million per season, while other players now on the open market after the deadline are Buffalo's Jairus Byrd and Seattle's Michael Bennett. Another player looking for a better deal is Colin Kaepernick, who feels his two playoff wins in less than two years should award him a seriously pay increase: the QB is interested in more than the $18.2 million annual that Cutler received in January, and is willing to play out his 2014 season with his current $973,766 salary and cashing in as a free agent next year. With free agency less than a week away and the NFL salary cap growth to $133 million (much higher than anticipated), make sure you stay updated during this exciting offseason!
2/28/14 - The always highly-anticipated NFL Combine is complete with the biggest newsmakers being Jadeveon Clowney’s 40-time of 4.53 wowing scouts, Johnny Manziel not measuring up to the 6-foot mark he said he would (he measured in at 5’11 ¾”) and the great offensive tackle class. Missouri DE Michael Sam made headlines of his own just before the combine by announcing that he is gay and will look to make history as the first openly gay NFL player. Important dates are May 8-10 draft, July 24th for training camps, and regular season kickoff September 5th. Fans are eagerly awaiting the 2014 regular season schedule which is due out in April.
2/19/14 - With a record-breaking 2013 season in the books, we move on into an exciting offseason that's filled with expectations, questions and concerns. The NFL is currently in franchise-tag mode, where teams can choose from three different tags (exclusive, non-exclusive, transition) to apply to players entering free agency. The franchise tag window is open from 2/17-3/3, see which team locks their key player in for the next year! All eyes are on the Saints to see if they secure their athletic TE, Jimmy Graham.
The pros aren't the only ones making headlines this offseason, as the NFL Combine has officially begun. Top prospects from the NCAAF will start practicing this Saturday, and give their all through team interviews, rigorous on-field drills, and health evaluations, with hopes of impressing some of the hundreds of scouts who will determine their future come Draft Day. Of the 331 NFL hopefuls invited to the Scouting Combine last year, 109 went undrafted and 32 went in the first round. This year, the QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Jadeveon Clowney, CB Loucheiz Purifoy and QB Johnny Manziel are just some of the remarkable athletes who will partake in the Combine. The NFL Draft commences May 8- 10, and the Houston Texans will be the first team to select.
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