NFL News: Player News and Updates for 6/29/14
NFL Updates: Manziel, Fantasy, Off-Season Schedule and More
June 29, 2014
That’s another week down in the NFL off-season as we continue our march toward the training camp period and ultimately the beginning of the 2014 season. Even though we don’t have any games to look forward to in the immediate future, there are still plenty of headlines and happenings to check out around the league. Let’s take our daily stroll around the NFL and see what’s going on out there.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: It’s looking like we’re going to be getting a decision on the Jimmy Graham situation this week, according to the latest reports. He and the team are currently locked in a franchise-tag dispute that required an arbitration hearing.
Here’s what it boils down to: Graham wants to be labeled as a wide receiver, and thereby get paid like one, and the Saints want him to remain designated as a tight end. By the letter of the rules, Graham has a case, since there’s evidence he was lined up as a wide receiver during a good chunk of the Saints’ offensive snaps.
Whatever the outcome here, we’ll probably have to slog through an appeals process before everything’s over with, and that will ultimately affect the two sides’ contract talks.
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Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland Browns: We had a Johnny Football sighting after the Browns’ first off-season training program, and you can cue the rumors to start flying. Manziel was reported as saying he “absolutely” expects to start during Week 1 of Cleveland’s 2014 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which is a stark contrast to his relatively muted comments about being the No. 1 guy when he first arrived with the Browns.
Manziel went on to say positive things about Cleveland’s current No. 1 QB Brian Hoyer, which would lead us to believe that there’s not quite a locker room divide or distraction that some thought there would be by now.
Still, Manziel won’t be reining in his flashy attitude for anyone, and if the Browns truly want to make him the starter of the future, they’re going to have to take the off-the-field character with the on-field play. We could be seeing that change sooner rather than later as well: Hoyer’s lead over Manziel for the starting spot isn’t quite insurmountable.
Fantasy Corner: Let’s turn our attention to the upcoming fantasy season, which has already piqued many owners’ interests as they prep for the draft and the new year. We’ll go in a different direction today and check out a few potential busts at the quarterback position who you may want to steer clear of. These guys may not be out-and-out flops, but could end up being overvalued.
We’ll start with the always controversial Matthew Stafford. Lots of places have him at No. 4 just behind the Big Three, and that seems a little high. Sure, he’s got the best WR in the game and what should be an improved offense, but he’s never quite reached those lofty fantasy standards we always set for him.
Nick Foles is another to be wary of. We’ve seen him as high as the No. 7 range, and with the loss of DeSean Jackson he may not reach those heights.
Matt Ryan is another potential disappointment. A healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White will go a long way toward his success, but we don’t see the running game keeping pace to coax all those defenders into the box.
Week 1 Schedule: Now that the schedules have been released, we can start looking forward to the on-field action as we warm up for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at the first week of the season, which begins September 4.
Thursday, September 4, 2014:
8:30 PM ET:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
Sunday, September 7, 2014:
1:00 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (CBS)
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (CBS)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Washington Redskins at Houston Texans (FOX)
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (CBS)
4:25 PM ET:
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
8:30 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (NBC)
Monday, September 8, 2014:
7:10 PM ET:
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (ESPN)
10:20 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (ESPN)
NFL Off-Season 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 Remaining:
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season
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