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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/6/14

NFL Updates: Decker, Talib, Off-Season Schedule and More

March 6, 2014

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We’ve reached the latter part of the week, and every day we’re inching closer and closer to the free agency period in the NFL. The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, so with that said let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy players out there and see who’s making headlines right now. Here’s the latest.

Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears: If Hester is going to surpass Deion Sanders for the most return touchdowns of all time, he’ll likely have to do it in a different zip code. The Bears have made no effort to re-sign Hester, who is an impending free agent, and it’s looking like the team is going to let him walk. He’s spent his entire nine-year career in Chicago.
Hester has 19 combined return touchdowns (tied with Sanders), and shouldn’t have too much trouble landing somewhere else for a budget salary. Tampa Bay would be a good fit; Hester’s former coach Lovie Smith has taken the reins down there and is a big proponent of special teams.

NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/6/14

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Aqib Talib, CB, New England Patriots: Now lets move over to the AFC and check in on the latest from Talib and the Pats. The seven-year veteran CB reportedly wants “top-of-the-market” money for his position, which runs an extreme risk of being too rich for the notoriously frugal Patriots’ blood. Miami’s Brent Grimes is the latest barometer for the corner market right now: $32 million over four years with $16 million in guaranteed money.
Talib and the Patriots have until Saturday to agree upon terms, or else he’ll be walking. One major sticking point would likely be the guaranteed money, as New England would prefer to break that up over a handful of seasons.

Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos: Let’s move on to another free-agent-to-be in Decker, who is probably the most-talked about and coveted name out there. Word is that he’d like to return to Denver, but his price tag would probably be heavier than the Broncos could handle.
Decker will command somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 to $9 million per year (for multiple seasons). He’ll see what he can get on the open market, then likely give Denver a chance to match. There will be several parties interested in his services, and we should hear names like the Colts, Chargers and Jets being mentioned as potential landing spots.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: If the report listed on the Bengals’ official website holds true, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Bernard in this upcoming season. He’s now listed as the team’s official starter at RB, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis in line at No. 2.
Not only that, the report said Bernard would likely be getting around 300 touches in 2014, which would mark a significant shift toward the young back. He had 170 carries and 56 catches last season, which was only two more than Green-Ellis got.

NFL Key Dates: Now that we’ve finished up the season in the NFL, it’s now back to anticipation mode for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy dates from this off-season period that should keep us occupied until the league kicks off again.

Important 2014 Dates:

February 3: Waiver System Starts (Teams can make transactions, cuts, etc.)
February 17-March 3: Franchise Tag Designation Period
February 19-25: NFL Combine (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN)
March 8: Contract Negotiations for Unrestricted Free Agents Can Begin
March 11: League Year Officially Begins (4:00 PM ET)
March 23-28: Annual Owners Meeting (Orlando, FL)
May 8-10: NFL Draft
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

 

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