NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/8/14
NFL Updates: Sproles, McCown, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 8, 2014
Today’s a big day in the NFL off-season. Teams can begin negotiating contracts with unrestricted free agents, and in the coming days we’re sure to be hearing all sorts of interesting things from around the league. That said, let’s take our daily look at the headlines and see who everyone’s talking about right now. Here’s the latest.
Pat McAfee, P, Indianapolis Colts: It’s not often we talk about punters (or kickers, for that matter) in this space, but McAfee is a different breed. It was announced yesterday that he signed a five-year contract with the Colts, and the deal is worth $14 million with $5 million guaranteed.
McAfee is now one of the highest-paid punters out there, but we’d say he’s definitely worth it. He’s got a very talented leg and is something of a fan favorite in Indianapolis, so locking him up makes sense for the organization.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Saints News: We’ve got a few updates from the Saints this morning, and they all concern a potential roster makeover. Late this week, word broke that the team was actively shopping both Pierre Thomas and Lance Moore, likely due to their strapped cap situation. Unloading both those players would free up over $5 million in cash and clear up some roster space for their plethora of talents.
It was also announced that Darren Sproles would be on the move as well, as the team is getting ready to cut him, according to a report that came out last night (though that hasn’t been verified by the team just yet). Even though Sproles is one of the most dynamic and explosive players in a Saints uniform, he was underutilized last season and came away with some pedestrian numbers.
Josh McCown, QB, Chicago Bears: Now it’s time for our daily McCown update (it seems like we do it daily, anyway). The market for the Bears’ backup has ratcheted up a notch in the past day or two, with both the Buccaneers and the Vikings rumored to be highly interested in acquiring his services.
McCown was electric for the Bears last season in relief of Jay Cutler, tossing 13 touchdowns and only one interception. He was only able to go 3-2, however, thanks largely to the Bears’ deficiencies on defense. McCown has been a hot topic player in this thin QB market, though it remains to be seen whether or not he could succeed outside of the Bears’ offensive scheme.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers: Finley still has some hurdles to clear during his recovery from neck fusion surgery, but he’s already getting some interest from a handful of teams. Interested parties are said to include the Chiefs, Seahawks, Jets, Steelers and Giants--along with the Packers, if they decide to pursue him as well.
Finley has connections with former Green Bay coaches in both Kansas City and the New York Giants, so we’ll give them the tentative lead in landing him right now. That said, he’s still got to prove he’s completely healthy and ready to play before anyone makes a significant move.
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
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.