NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/5/14
NFL Updates: Graham, Pettigrew, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 5, 2014
With the franchise designation period in the rearview mirror (that ended on Monday), we’re now focused completely on the next big red-letter item on the off-season list in the NFL, which is the impending free-agency period. We’ve got lots to discuss in the lead-up to the negotiations, so with that let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy headlines out there right now. Here’s the latest.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Earlier this off-season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Bradshaw wouldn’t be returning to the Colts. Now it looks like he may remain in an Indianapolis uniform in 2014, as it was reported yesterday that the two sides have been talking in an effort to possibly re-sign the free-agent-to-be.
Bradshaw didn’t get to show the Colts a whole lot last season, as he was only able to play in three games before his season-ending neck injury. In that time, he rushed 41 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns, while grabbing seven passes for 42 more yards. It remains to be seen what Indy will do here (they have Trent Richardson and Vick Ballard under contract), but it’s worth keeping tabs on.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Cowboys Tame Salary Cap: The Cowboys have made some major financial moves this week in an effort to get under the league’s salary cap in this upcoming year. The most notable of those moves was a restructuring of QB Tony Romo’s mammoth deal yesterday. Specifically, they converted $12.5 million of his base salary into a signing bonus. Pair that up with re-workings of Sean Lee and Orlando Scandrick’s deals, and they’ve saved themselves $16.8 million in cap space right there.
Pushing this money back will create some financial woes down the road, but the Cowboys can cross that proverbial bridge when they reach it.
Garrett Graham, TE, Houston Texans: Let’s stay in Texas for a moment and take a look at Graham, whose status will have a huge effect on the upcoming TE market in free agency. A report came out yesterday claiming that the Texans were working with his camp in an effort to reach a deal, but it remains to be seen if the two sides will come to terms in time.
If Graham indeed does hit the open market, it may end up creating a domino effect. The Packers are said to be interested in his services, which might free up Green Bay TEs Andrew Quarless or Jermichael Finley to head to the Giants. There are a lot of ways this situation can play out, so stay tuned.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions: While we’re on the subject of tight ends, let’s take a look at one of the hot-topic players at that position. Although it seemed he would more than likely re-sign in Detroit, the most recent reports have the Lions brass and the Pettigrew camp far away from an agreement on a new contract.
Detroit’s interest in Pettigrew stems mostly from his blocking abilities and play knowledge, so they’re likely throwing a low-ball figure his way. He may want to test the open market in an effort to see a bigger contract, but it remains to be seen how high another potential suitor would be willing to go.
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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