NFL News: Player News and Updates for 5/2/14
NFL Updates: Jaguars, Bears, Draft Speculation, Off-Season Schedule and More
May 2, 2014
We’ve finally reached the end of the workweek, which means there are just six more days left until the 2014 NFL Draft. We’re heading into the home stretch for all the speculation and opinion, and soon the real facts will start coming to light. In the meantime, let’s do some more speculating and opining in today’s look at the headlines from around the league.
Jaguars’ QB Plans: Make no mistake about it, the Jaguars are planning to have Chad Henne under center in 2014. He’ll begin the upcoming campaign as the team’s starter, even though Jacksonville is planning to pick up a QB in this year’s draft.
Henne was signed to a two-year contract extension back in March, so the team is building things around him for the time-being. That said, they will definitely be picking up a young gun in the draft, one who they hope they can mold and teach within their offensive system before putting him out onto the field.
The Jaguars pick third in the 2014 NFL Draft. There’s been all sorts of speculation as to them taking Johnny Manziel with that pick. Will it happen? It’s anyone’s guess, really. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
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49ers First-Round Plans: Here’s another draft rumor that’s been making the rounds and could become a big story on Thursday. The 49ers are reportedly “very interested” in LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. He’s widely regarded as the third-best WR in a very talented class, behind only Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M).
Both Watkins and Evans are projected to go in the top 10, so where does that leave Beckham? Well, even the pessimistic mock drafts have him going at No. 28 to the Panthers, which is a full two slots higher than the Niners’ current No. 30 position.
If San Francisco really wants him, they’ll have to trade up (like they did last year), likely higher than the Jets’ No. 18 position--New York will have some major interest if he’s there. We might see a swap with Baltimore at No. 17, and the Ravens have reportedly been talking about trading already with other teams.
Bears’ RB Plans: Let’s finish off today’s space with some additional speculation about the draft. We’ll move on to the Chicago Bears, who reportedly are actively seeking out some backfield help for their overworked No. 1 Matt Forte. He led the league in touches last season, rushing 289 times and hauling in 74 passes. That led to career-highs in rush yards (1,339) and receiving yards (594).
Chicago is without a true No. 2 RB on the roster right now. They’ve got Shaun Draughn and Michal Ford, neither of whom is a reliable name for the job. They’ll either add a new RB in free agency or the draft. If they choose to do the latter, don’t expect a first-round splash. Most mocks have the Bears going defense-heavy in this draft, starting with DT Aaron Donald from Pittsburgh at their No. 14 pick.
Week 1 Schedule: Now that the schedules have been released, we can start looking forward to the on-field action as we warm up for the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at the first week of the season, which begins September 4.
Thursday, September 4, 2014:
8:30 PM ET:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (NBC)
Sunday, September 7, 2014:
1:00 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (CBS)
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (CBS)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Washington Redskins at Houston Texans (FOX)
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (CBS)
4:25 PM ET:
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX)
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
8:30 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (NBC)
Monday, September 8, 2014:
7:10 PM ET:
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (ESPN)
10:20 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (ESPN)
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 Remaining:
May 8-10: NFL Draft
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season
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