NFL News: Player News and Updates for 6/30/14
NFL Updates: Browns, Jolly, Off-Season Schedule and More
June 30, 2014
It was a pretty quiet weekend around the NFL, as most players and teams are busy preparing for the upcoming training camp season. That said, there’s still plenty to talk about while we’re waiting on our favorite teams to get back to business, so let’s check in on a few of the ongoing stories out there right now.
Browns Backfield: Here’s some interesting (non-Manziel) news that came out of Cleveland this weekend. The Browns will be using a committee approach at the running back position this season, according to Mike Pettine. Even though we don’t know exactly how things will play out, we can speculate at how the carries will be divided up.
Cleveland signed free agent Ben Tate this off-season, and he’ll likely shoulder the bulk of the load as the team’s No. 1 back. Behind Tate, there are a couple of guys to watch. The Browns have rookie third-round pick Terrance West, who has been turning a lot of heads in his camp work. There’s also Edwin Baker, who himself has looked pretty good as well.
Behind all of them, we have dark horse carry candidate Dion Lewis. He was out last year due to a broken leg, but if he’s completely healed and ready to go he could have a measurable impact on the running game.
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Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: This season will be a big one for Cutler. He’s coming off a pivotal season under new head coach Marc Trestman and OC Aaron Kromer, but was hit by injury as well in 2013 and didn’t play a full year of games.
The Bears certainly believe in Cutler’s abilities. He signed a contract extension this off-season worth $54 million in guaranteed salary. That’s a lot to live up to, and he’ll have to prove his worth on the field by staying consistent and healthy.
To his credit, Bears QB coach Matt Cavanaugh has been raving about Cutler’s progress during camp, saying that he’s taken the coaching staff’s suggestions and applied them to his mechanics.
If that talk is true, we should be seeing another exciting year from the Bears offense as they try to retake their place in the playoffs.
Jolly Gets Cleared: This weekend, former Packers DL Johnny Jolly gained medical clearance from his doctors, which is a big step in his recovery from last season’s neck injury. The next stage of his return to an NFL field will be getting evaluated by any potentially interested team’s doctors before he gets an offer.
It’s unclear what the market will be like for Jolly, but he’s expected to gain some interest on the free agent tour. He may even return to the Packers, who currently have a roster spot open.
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:
July 24: Training Camp Opens
September 4: First Game of the 2014 Season
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