NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/30/14
NFL Updates: AFC East Notes, Off-Season Schedule and More
January 30, 2014
Just a few more days left until the Super Bowl, and by now most of us are in “just kick the ball already” mode. That said, let’s kill some more time by taking our daily look across the league at some of the news-making players out there and see what everyone’s up to. Here’s the latest.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots: Is Blount going to be taking his talents to South Beach this off-season? Some in the Miami media certainly believe so. A report emerged yesterday saying that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dolphins pursue Blount in free agency.
That’s got some fans and pundits concerned, as Blount isn’t believed to be a viable long-term option in the Miami backfield. He had a nice year in New England this past season under Bill Belichick, but the Dolphins aren’t believed to possess the sort of leadership structure Blount needs to flourish.
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Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos: Let’s stick in the AFC East for a moment and check out the Jets, who are anticipated to be heavily pursuing the impending free agent Decker. He’s completely focused on the Super Bowl right now and hasn’t given any thoughts or indications on his upcoming off-season, but is expected to command a healthy salary in the open market.
New York desperately needs capable wide-outs, especially with the anticipated departure of their No. 1, the oft-troubled Santonio Holmes. Decker would provide an immediate boost to the position, but we won’t know how much until we see if he can come close to his 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 scores without Peyton Manning under center. Geno Smith (or whoever ends up as the Jets QB) is quite a significant downgrade.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos: While we’re talking about Broncos receivers, we might as well visit with Thomas, who has a big test ahead of him in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks defense has already faced a pair of elite tight ends in these playoffs, and the results weren’t good for the opposition. Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis, who normally bend pass defenses to their will, were all but completely shut down against Seattle, with just three catches for a measly 24 yards between the two of them.
We don’t expect Peyton to shy away from Thomas just because of the intimidating Seahawks defense, but they could still affect his numbers. It’s been three games since Thomas has found the end zone, but he still has 18 targets in the two playoff outings so far. He’ll get his looks, but we’ll have to wait and see what he can do with them.
NFL Playoffs and Key Dates: There’s just one more game left in the NFL season, and after that it’s back to anticipation mode for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at the remaining schedule, along with a few important upcoming dates we’ll be seeing soon.
February 2, 2014:
Super Bowl XLVIII: 6:30 PM ET (FOX)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
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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