NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/17/14
NFL Updates: Britt, Sanders, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 17, 2014
Over the weekend, we saw plenty of important free agent signings in the NFL. There are plenty of big fish still out there, however, and we’re sure to be seeing many more signings this week. With that in mind, let’s take our daily look at the headlines and see who’s making news around the league. Here’s the latest.
Devin Hester, WR, Free Agent: It’ll be weird seeing Hester in a different uniform other than the Bears’ this season, but we’re getting some indications as to what that that uniform might be. No less than 13 teams have reportedly been in contact with Hester’s camp, each kicking the tires on the owner of 19 return touchdowns.
One of those teams is the Dolphins, and there seems to be mutual interest on both sides here. It makes sense: Hester played his college ball at the University of Miami, so he’s got ties to the area. We may see him taking his talents to South Beach very soon.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: The news became official yesterday; Sanders is now a Bronco. He’ll receive a three-year deal worth a max of $18 million with $6 million guaranteed. The dynamic WR will bring a new dimension to an already potent Denver receiving corps, and his maneuverability will make him extra dangerous on bubble screens and the like.
One negative story that’s come out about the signing is the shady negotiating tactics employed by Sanders’ agent. He allegedly agreed to a verbal deal with the Chiefs (which, for the record, he denies), then used that as a ploy in negotiations with the Buccaneers before singing with the Broncos. Sanders also reportedly blew off a meeting with the 49ers during the process.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: During the off-season, there’s usually no shortage of stories involving players who are improving physically. One such player this year is Rice, who has reportedly dropped 15 pounds already after a pretty disastrous 2013 campaign. He weighed 225 at the end of the year, and will try to lose five more pounds in an effort to start out 2014 at 205 pounds.
Those close to Rice say he was definitely too heavy last season, which may have contributed to his hip flexor issues that plagued him much of the year. He averaged a league-low 3.1 YPC among those with at least 160 carries, so he’ll definitely be looking to get back to form this season.
Kenny Britt, WR, Free Agent: Although he’s coming off a pretty crummy campaign in 2013, Britt has earned some legitimate interest on the free agent market. So much so that he’s currently on a “tour” of sorts; After visiting with the Rams this past week, he’s now headed to New England to see the Patriots today. After that he’ll be off to D.C. to check in with the Redskins.
Britt had just 11 receptions for 96 yards this past season but has shown some real promise in years past. He could show that he’s sill got some miles in the tank if he lands in the right system this year (and if he stays healthy, obviously).
NFL Key Dates: We’re now back to full-on 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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