NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/18/14
NFL Updates: Rodgers-Cromartie, Jones, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 18, 2014
Another day of NFL free agency has passed us by, and we’re seeing all sorts of news items coming in from around the league. We’re that much closer to the annual owners’ meetings as well (which are less than a week away), so the NFL news will be coming in fast and furious from here on out. For now, let’s take our daily look at some of the notable news items out there. Here’s the latest.
Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens: After signing with the Ravens this past weekend, Smith has brought some renewed hope for an offensive surge in Baltimore. It’ll be a while before we see the finished product on the field, but Smith is expected to serve as a complementary piece to No. 1 Ravens receiver Torrey Smith (a situation which could lead to some confusion to those referring to them by their shared last name only).
Along with what’s expected to be a slimmed-down and healthy Ray Rice (who reportedly will be coming into the season at around 205--a full 20 pounds lighter than 2013) we should see a big step forward from the Baltimore offense.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Vick, QB, Free Agent: It’s looking like Vick’s days in the NFL may be numbered. The free agent QB hasn’t visited with any teams yet and the market for his services is reportedly very tepid. His former team, the Eagles, appear to have moved on and the handful of QB-desperate franchises out there seem to be exploring other options.
Vick’s name has been mentioned as a potential candidate alongside a few teams, but apparently nothing has come of that. It appears he won’t be finding a starting job, and should lower his expectations toward simply making an NFL roster in 2014. We’ll keep you posted on his progress.
Sidney Rice, WR, Free Agent: On the flip side of the free agent coin, there seems to be quite a bit of interest in free agent WR Sidney Rice. Both the Saints and the Jets are reportedly interested in acquiring his services, and the possibility of him re-signing with his former team the Seahawks still exists, as Seattle would still like him on the roster.
Rice was cut this off-season in an effort to save $7.3 million against the salary cap. He’s coming off an ACL injury but reportedly will be all healed up by next month when workouts begin.
James Jones, WR, Oakland Raiders: The latest WR domino to fall yesterday was Jones. He’ll reportedly be inking a three-year contract with the Oakland Raiders. Other teams had shown some interest, including the Jets and the Panthers.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, New York Giants: Rodgers-Cromartie was in a New York state of mind over the weekend, and he’ll be calling the city home for the foreseeable future. The best CB left on the market agreed to a deal with the Giants for five years and a max of $35 million. Rodgers Cromartie also visited with the Jets during the weekend.
NFL Key Dates: We’re now back to full-on 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
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