NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/30/14
NFL Updates: Martin, Jones-Drew, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 30, 2014
It seems like the draft is a long way away (and really, it is), but in the meantime we’ve got plenty of NFL news happening each day to keep us occupied. With that in mind let’s take our daily look around the league and see what’s happening out there. Here’s the latest on some of the current news-making players everyone’s talking about.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Oakland Raiders: Nine-year vet Jones-Drew signed a brand-new, three-year contract with the Raiders last week, but that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically receive the keys to the backfield.
According to reports that came out earlier this weekend, Jones-Drew will have to compete for playing time, not just with incumbent starter Darren McFadden (who himself inked a fresh one-year deal with the club very recently), but with youngster Latavius Murray, who is coming off an ankle injury that caused him to sit out last season. The Raiders are reportedly very high on Murray, for what it’s worth.
Regardless, the Oakland backfield takes a big step forward this year, and with the addition of Matt Schaub, things should be on the upswing for the Raiders in 2014.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Now let’s move on to Blount, who was the other big-name RB signing late last week. According to the latest word out of Pittsburgh, the Steelers will likely have grander plans for him as opposed to simply serving backup duty to incumbent starter Le’Veon Bell.
Blount is making almost $4 million dollars over the course of his two-year deal, so we’d imagine he’ll have a pretty good-sized role in the Steelers’ running game. Meanwhile, Bell should be happy for the reduced reps, as it should serve to keep him healthy and fresh for what will hopefully be a postseason run in Pittsburgh.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: Let’s make it a running back trifecta today and take a look at a possible scenario involving Johnson. If he is indeed released by the Titans (which seems to be the most likely outcome), the New York Jets are reported to have some interest in acquiring him.
The Jets already have an established starter in Chris Ivory, but the addition of Johnson would make for a potent one-two veteran punch coming out of the backfield. If the New York offense can maintain their strong running presence and couple it with improved play through the air, they could do some damage in the AFC East in 2014.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rounding out our RB quartet this morning is Martin, who received some encouraging news recently. It was reported yesterday that he expects doctors to give him the A-Ok in time to participate in organized team activities beginning next week.
Martin is coming off a torn labrum, a condition that required season-ending surgery. 2013 was a downer for him in more ways than that, as he amassed just 456 yards on 127 carries.
NFL Off-Season 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 Meetings (Orlando, FL)
May 8-10: NFL Draft
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season
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