NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/19/16
NFL Updates: News From Around the League, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 19, 2016
The NFL’s annual league meetings begin tomorrow, and there will be lots of interesting scenarios unfolding in those few days. This morning, however, there’s still plenty to talk about, so let’s visit with some of the notable players and situations out there in the news.
The Browns’ Joe Haden went under the knife for ankle surgery this week, and he will miss the off-season stuff in Cleveland.
Haden fought through numerous injury issues last season. Along with his ankle, he had a concussion, rib and finger injuries. He should be fine for training camp, and the Browns will need him at full strength in order to go toe-to-toe with the opposing teams’ No. 1 wide receivers.
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The Dolphins inked up WR Griff Whalen yesterday, which is a minor surprise. Whalen hasn’t been with any team since getting the pink slip from the Colts in January.
Whalen may be able to find a nice role with the Dolphins if he can catch on as their No. 4 receiver. He may also be able to catch on as the team’s kick returner.
While we’re in the AFC East, let’s check out a few Jets items. Team GM Mike Maccagnan hinted yesterday that LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson may not be back with the club next season. He carries a big cap number in 2017, specifically a hefty $14.107 million against the cap.
Maccagnan also said the team isn’t actively searching out a trade for DE Muhammad Wilkerson, who is currently franchise-tagged. It sounds like they’ll continue to try and work out a long-term deal, as a trade would cost a hefty sum most teams wouldn’t even be able to consider.
The Jets also have a goal of eventually signing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to another deal. He had a stellar season in 2015, but doesn’t really have a whole lot of leverage in free agency. The stare-down may end with the Jets getting their team-friendly deal.
Here’s an interesting little tidbit from the Big D. Free agent RB and former Redskin Alfred Morris is scheduled to visit with the Cowboys on Monday.
Morris is coming off a crummy 2015 and emerged to a tepid free agency market. He sounds like a good fit with Dallas, as their excellent O-line can maximize his potential. The team is also still expected to pick up RB Ezekiel Elliott with their No. 4 overall pick.
NFL Off-Season Schedule: It’s a long, slow crawl back to the 2016 NFL season, but the league has a lot of activities planned in the meantime to keep us busy. Let’s check out the upcoming schedule before that first game of 2016.
February 22: Teams can use franchise or transition tags on players
February 23-29: NFL Scouting Combine
March 7: Free agent negotiations can begin
March 15: 2016 league year officially begins; free agency officially begins
March 20-23: League meetings
April 4: Off-season workouts can begin for teams with new head coaches
April 18: Off-season workouts can begin for teams retaining head coaches
April 22: Offer sheet deadline for restricted free agent signings
April 28-30: NFL Draft (Chicago, Illinois)
May 6-9: Post-draft minicamps
Mid-July: Training camps open
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