NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/7/14
NFL Updates: Cassel, Texans, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 7, 2014
We’re closing in on one of the most interesting and high-stakes periods in the NFL off-season. Tomorrow, teams can start negotiations with unrestricted free agents, and we’re sure to see a flurry of activity this weekend. In the meantime, let’s catch up on some of the notable happenings out there and see who’s in the news right now.
Matt Cassel, QB, Free Agent: Cassel opted out of his contract with the Vikings early last month, leading to speculation on where he’d be landing (if ultimately not re-signing in Minnesota). It appears we’ve got an answer to that particular question now, as we’ve got a connection in Houston.
The Texans are reported to have some significant interest in signing Cassel, and his arrival there would herald a reunion of sorts. Bill O’Brien worked with the Patriots as an assistant during Cassel’s time in New England, which lends some credence to the theory that he’ll be signing there. Stay tuned.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Contrary to a rumor that was making the rounds earlier this week, it appears the Eagles are not interested in unloading Jackson. There had been some reports and speculation out there in recent days that had claimed the organization wanted to trade him, but another report came out yesterday which debunked those claims.
Though that could just be PR talking, there’s no real indication that Jackson is going anywhere--at least not right now, anyway. He’s set to make $10.5 million in 2014, and is coming off an 82-catch, 1,332-yard, nine-touchdown season.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers: We’ve got an update on Finley’s status, and it seems to be good news for him. He’s expected to visit with a doctor in the next few days, which--if everything goes well--may lead to him being cleared for football activities. It could be just a matter of a couple of weeks before teams can start taking a hard look at him in advance of the 2014 season.
Finley is coming off spinal fusion surgery and may or may not end up back in Green Bay. He’s a free agent, and will draw at least some interest (the Giants have been mentioned as a potential landing spot) on the open market if he’s healthy.
Champ Bailey, CB, Free Agent: Late Wednesday, word broke that the Broncos had released 16-year veteran CB Champ Bailey. The move was financially motivated, as he would have been due a $1 million roster bonus on March 15, and would have cost $10 million against the salary cap this year. Now that he’s gone, rumors have started to swirl about Denver’s potential interest in free agent safety T.J. Ward. (Their secondary is in dire need of an upgrade.)
As for Bailey, he’s coming off a disappointing and injury-plagued year. He's recently said he'd consider moving to safety if it would help his value to another team. It remains to be seen if he’d be willing to take a short, budget-deal, or if he’ll opt to hang it up. Either way, he’s headed for the Hall of Fame.
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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