NFL News: Player News and Updates for 7/2/14
NFL Updates: News From Around the League, Off-Season Schedule and More
July 2, 2014
It’s Wednesday, and the off-season NFL news continues to trickle in. It won’t be too much longer now before training camps around the league will begin, and then it will officially feel like football season. That said, let’s take our daily look around the league and see who’s making news out there.
Giants Backfield: One of the ongoing storylines we’ve been following this season is the Giants backfield--specifically, what it will look like once the year begins. Here’s what we know so far.
New York signed one of the better free-agent RB names on the market this off-season in Rashad Jennings. When he came to Big Blue, most people assumed he’d be the team’s No. 1 bell-cow back, since the team really didn’t have anything else to work with.
Now things look a little brighter depth-wise for the Giants, who now believe injured dynamo David Wilson will be able to gain clearance to play before the season begins. He’ll get an exam of his healing neck on July 21, and if all goes well he may be able to participate in training camp.
Throw rookie Andre Williams into the mix, and it’s hard telling exactly what will happen with the Giants’ backfield as far as carries go. It seems they’ve improved their depth issues, however, so it’s a good problem to have.
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Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: Tomorrow will be a big day in not only Graham’s career, but in the careers of many TEs around the league modeled after him.
Tomorrow we’ll be getting a ruling on whether or not Graham should get a franchise tag as a tight end or a receiver, which will drastically affect his salary capabilities.
The point of contention here is the exact spots the Saints normally line Graham up. He’s outside the traditional slot of a TE 67 percent of the time, which gives him grounds to argue that he’s a wide receiver, and thus can earn more money with that designation. It’s a difference of about $5 million just for this year alone, so there’s a lot riding on this decision.
Dolphins’ Deep Ball Issues: We’ve touched on this issue before this off-season, and now there’s a new angle developing around it. Much has been made of the Dolphins’ inability to connect on long passes last season, which shows evidence of a disconnect between QB Ryan Tannehill and deep threat speedster Mike Wallace.
The two only connected on five grabs of 40-plus yards last year, with the four legitimate deep passes all being slightly under thrown. Miami has reportedly spent lots of energy trying to fix that this off-season, and the Wallace-Tannehill connection was reportedly gaining steam.
According to some new reports, however, no one in the media noticed an improvement between QB and WR during the team’s minicamp sessions. The pair failed to hook up when the reporters were present, but still maintain things are going well.
It seems we won’t get a fitting conclusion to this issue until the team hit’s the field and actually tries out a long pass.
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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