NFL News: Player News and Updates for 2/25/14
NFL Updates: Free Agent Rumors, Smith, Off-Season Schedule and More
February 25, 2014
The NFL Combine is winding down today, meaning we’re that much closer to the draft, which is the big off-season event that all football fans look forward to. That said, let’s take our daily look around the league at some of the noteworthy players and situations out there right now. Here’s the latest.
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens: We’ve got a bit of an update on Pitta this morning, which will directly affect his immediate future. The Ravens are reportedly working with a sense of urgency when it comes to locking up their favorite TE. The two sides hope to have a deal worked out by March 3 (the end of the franchise tag designation period).
If Baltimore and Pitta’s camp can’t come to an agreement on a contract, the team is expected to slap the franchise tag on him. Doing that will open up another can of worms entirely, as there will be debate as to whether he’s eligible to be paid as a TE or a WR. We’ll keep you posted.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Giants RB Situation: Let’s flip on over to the NFC and check out the Giants backfield. Here’s the scenario with them: The team is expected to be on the lookout for a new RB this off-season, whether through the draft or free agency.
New York definitely needs some insurance on their roster. Their most talented back is David Wilson, who faces some significant health concerns this season after coming off a neck injury. (For the record, he’s supposedly on track for training camp.) The team will probably also give a long look to Andre Brown, who will be a free agent. Sure, he’s got an injury history, but he knows the team and the system--and best of all he won’t cost a whole lot of dough.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers: By the time the season begins, the receiving corps in Carolina will probably look vastly different. The on-field dynamic will change as well, as the veteran Smith isn’t expected to be the star and go-to guy he once was.
You can bet on the Panthers grabbing at least a couple of new WR faces in the draft and free agency. By the time all that’s done, Smith will probably be relegated to a complementary piece. His career is entering its twilight--he’ll be 35 in May--and he’s coming off a pretty disappointing season (64 catches; 745 yards; four touchdowns).
Jets Looking at RBs: This comes as something of a head-scratcher, but the Jets have been linked to free agent RBs Ben Tate and Donald Brown. With Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell already on the team, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Still, this could just be a case of New York exploring every available option to improve their team. Tate would be an upgrade, but would come with a relatively high price tag and a sketchy injury history.
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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