NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/1/14
NFL Updates: Jets' Off-Season Moves, Playoffs Schedule and More
January 1, 2014
With this morning’s flip to a new calendar year, hope is renewed around the NFL. The majority of the league is in off-season mode already, but the draft and the start of the 2014 campaign don’t seem too far off. Likewise, the postseason hasn’t officially begun, so there’s plenty of optimism to go around with the remaining teams. With that in mind, let’s take our daily look around the league and see who’s making headlines this morning.
Jets to Look at QBs: After an up-and-down--and ultimately mediocre--8-8 season, the Jets have a bit of retooling to do. One of their glaring weaknesses this season was on the offensive side of the ball, where the lack of weapons and an oft-struggling rookie QB took a lot of the heat for their losses.
There’s some truth to the criticism--Smith posted just 12 touchdowns to 21 interceptions, but was hamstrung by his injured and sub-par supporting cast. That said, the team announced yesterday that they’d be open to considering an upgrade at the QB position, which would possibly relegate Smith to clipboard duties.
It should be an interesting off-season in New York. The team has a stockpile of draft picks and will have some salary-cap flexibility with Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes (presumably) coming off the books next year. Couple that with another strong defensive campaign and they could emerge as contenders in the division.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: It would be difficult to imagine Jones-Drew in a uniform other than Jacksonville’s, but that very scenario could be coming true next season. The team will be allowing their veteran RB to hit free-agency, presumably as a way to see what his market value is.
We’d imagine the Jags will decide amongst themselves how much they’d be willing to pay Jones-Drew to remain in town, and it doesn’t sound like they’d be averse to cutting ties. A lot of things can happen between now and then, and it all depends on what the market looks like when free agency hits. MJD has been a Jaguar since he came into the league in 2006 and has racked up 8071 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: Those fans hoping their team will be able to make a run at the free-agent-to-be Cutler probably won’t even get a chance to see the situation develop much further. Yesterday, Cutler made some comments on his radio show indicating he expects to re-sign with the team--and that’s starting to seem like a likely scenario.
While he was injured, there were some rumblings in Chicago about who should be the team’s quarterback moving forward. Josh McCown made a great impression in relief, but realistically he’s too old to build a team around--the Bears would have to go back to the drawing board in the draft.
Cutler is the team’s best play--he’s a franchise talent in a QB-driven league and will only get better in the second year of this potent offense. With a few tweaks on defense, Chicago will be quite a force in their impending campaign.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s almost playoff time, and the anticipation is running high. Here’s a look at the complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.
Saturday, January 4, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
Sunday, January 5, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
4:40 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
Saturday, January 11, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Lowest NFC Seed at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
8:15 PM ET:
Highest AFC Seed at New England Patriots (CBS)
Sunday, January 12, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
Higest NFC Seed at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
4:40 PM ET:
Lowest AFC Seed at Denver Broncos (CBS)
Other Notable Dates:
AFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (CBS)
NFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (FOX)
Super Bowl XLVIII: February 2, 2014 (FOX)
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