NFL News: Player News and Updates for 3/31/14
NFL Updates: Jackson, Austin, Off-Season Schedule and More
March 31, 2014
Even though it’s the off-season, there’s still plenty happening in the NFL right now. Before we get into OTAs and eventually the draft, let’s take our daily look around the league and see which players and teams are making headlines out there. Here’s the latest news on some of the big-name guys.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Free Agent: Just about every day since his release, several new headlines emerge about Jackson. Today’s installment of “DeSean Watch ‘14” contains several teams who are thought to be involved in the race to land him.
First off, Jackson will be visiting with the Redskins today, which will be his first trip since his release. Needless to say, if he ends up in DC, it’ll really enrage the Eagles.
Elsewhere, you can count the Chiefs out as potential suitors. Yesterday word broke that they were no longer interested in acquiring him. That leaves the ‘Skins, Jets, Raiders and now the Bills as some of the potential landing spots for the embattled WR. This remains a fluid situation, and we’re sure to hear a lot more gossip before it’s resolved.
Speaking of which, the aforementioned Jets have been making news over the last day or so concerning their internal struggle over whether or not to pursue Jackson. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg gave the team the thumbs-up on the ex-Eagle, saying he wouldn’t be an issue in the locker room (which is the last thing the Jets need). Still, GM John Idzik apparently isn’t convinced, and the team still hadn’t been in touch with Jackson’s reps through Saturday. We’ll keep an eye on things.
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: We’ve got another potential entrant in the race to land the Titans’ Chris Johnson (if he is indeed released as anticipated, that is). The Falcons are now considered serious contenders to land him.
A Johnson addition in Atlanta would make for a potent one-two punch alongside Steven Jackson. The two vets would complement a solid passing game that should be much improved in 2014 when everyone’s healthy.
Still, they’ll have to contend with some other teams interested in acquiring Johnson, namely the Jets, who would like to form their own one-two punch alongside Chris Ivory.
Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams: The Rams see big things coming for second-year WR Tavon Austin, so you may be hearing his name quite a bit in the season to come. Head coach Jeff Fisher said recently that the team expects him to take a step forward this year, now that the staff is familiar with his skill-set.
Austin showed some flashes of brilliance last season, but ultimately fell short of his lofty goals as a rookie. He finished with 40 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns receiving, nine rushes for 151 and a score, with one punt return TD.
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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