NFL News: Player News and Updates for 2/10/14
NFL Updates: Lions, Chiefs, Off-Season Schedule and More
February 10, 2014
We’ve just completed our first NFL-less weekend in quite some time, and the lack of on-field action is a little unsettling to say the least. Still, there are plenty of happenings out there around the league, so with that in mind let’s take a closer look at some of the players who are making headlines right now. Here’s the latest.
Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, New York Jets: It looks like Jets fans can cross one more thing off their 2014 list of off-season worries. Wilkerson, who just completed the third year of his rookie deal, said he’s not going to hold out for a contract extension despite rampant speculation that he may do so. He’s coming off a nice season in 2013, recording 64 tackles and 10.5 sacks as a near-miss Pro Bowl snub.
Wilkerson is eligible for contract renegotiations now, and is still signed with the Jets through next season and a club option in 2015. He’s become one of the team’s defensive cornerstones and a fan favorite, so we could see a renegotiation during this off-season. He’s set to make $1.2 million next year as of right now.
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Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: This time next year, will we be talking about the Chiefs’ high-flying offense of 2014? It’s possible, at least according to Kansas City QB Alex Smith. This past weekend, he speculated that the team may become more of a pass-oriented offense in the upcoming season, indicating that they were headed that way during the latter part of 2013. He reported his squad as feeling increasingly comfortable in the new system and earning increased responsibility by season’s end.
The numbers are mixed, as Smith attempted at least 38 passes during a three-game stretch during late November and early December (all losses, interestingly enough), but then reverted to no more than 28 in each of the final three regular season contests. There are tons of other factors influencing that number, however (KC’s record, game situations, the fact that they played Denver twice in that high-throwing span, etc.), so we won’t really know anything for sure until the offense steps onto the field in the upcoming season.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions: This past weekend, it was reported that the Lions will be turning their focus toward Pettigrew as their next order of business. The team just signed Dominic Raiola to a new deal, and now will concentrate on re-signing the free-agent-to-be Pettigrew.
The coaching staff in Detroit seems to be pretty amped up over Pettigrew, and see him as an essential cog in their new scheme. It’s likely they covet him more for his blocking skills than his value as a receiver, however, so it’ll be interesting to see how much money they throw his way in a new deal. Pettigrew, who will be 29 this month, is coming off a 41-catch, 416-yard effort in 2013.
NFL Key Dates: Now that we’ve finished up the season in the NFL, it’s now back to 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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