NFL News: Player News and Updates for 2/23/14
NFL Updates: Rice, Bradford, Off-Season Schedule and More
February 23, 2014
As the NFL scouting combine continues in Indianapolis this week, we’re hearing all sorts of interesting news items from around the league. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the headlines out there and see who’s in the news this morning. Here’s the latest.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens: Deciding what to do with free-agent-to-be Pitta is one of the key questions facing the Ravens this off-season. For what it’s worth, coach John Harbaugh said that he feels very optimistic about the prospect of Pitta staying with the team.
Whatever Baltimore decides to do, we’ll likely have an answer sooner rather than later. The expectation from sources close to the team seems to be that they’ll franchise Pitta if they can’t work out a contract extension by March 3. That in itself is a difficult proposition, however, as he could argue that his usage qualifies him for the wide receiver tag value, which would up his cost from $6.7 million to $11.5 million.
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Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams: We’ve got a bit of an update on Bradford’s status today, and the news seems to be pretty good. He’s expected to get back to a throwing program in late May or early June, which keeps him on track in his rehab from ACL surgery.
Bradford should be good to go by training camp, and this schedule would likely allow him to participate at St. Louis’ minicamp in June. He’s heading into a very important season, as the team will likely cut ties if he doesn’t put up some solid numbers.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos: John Elway talked a little bit about Moreno during the scouting combine last week, but didn’t provide much of a definitive update on the RB’s future in Denver. He said the team is still in the process of deciding whether or not to retain the impending free agent, as they’re trying to evaluate their team right now.
There’s been widespread speculation that the Broncos won’t be bringing Moreno back this off-season, and these comments don’t really do anything to dispel those thoughts. He rushed for 1038 yards and 10 touchdowns while racking up another 548 with three scores through the air last season.
Sidney Rice, WR, Free Agent: Now that Rice has been released by the Seahawks, it’s time to start speculating on his potential future in the NFL. He was cut this weekend after signing a five-year, $41 million deal in 2011, then following that up by missing 15 of 48 regular-season games due to injury.
The move saves Seattle $7.3 million in cap money, which they’ll gladly use elsewhere. As for Rice, he’s supposedly outpacing his recovery timetable from a torn ACL and looks to be on track for 2014. We’d imagine he’ll catch on somewhere without much difficulty, but will have to ink a one-year “prove it” deal for the upcoming season.
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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