NFL News: Player News and Updates for 7/4/14
NFL Updates: News From Around the League, Off-Season Schedule and More
July 4, 2014
The Fourth of July weekend marks the beginning of the final dry patch in the NFL off-season. It’s now less than three weeks until training camps around the league get going, and after that it’s full speed ahead to the 2014 campaign. In the meantime, let’s take our daily look at the headlines and see what’s happening out there right now. Here’s the latest.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: Graham has been ruled a tight end after a tense arbitration battle, and that’s driven him and the team back to square one in their contract negotiations.
Graham and the Saints need to play nice in a hurry, as they’ve only got until July 15 to work out a long-term contract extension. That’s the deadline for franchised players, and if a new deal isn’t reached by then, a whole new can of worms could open up.
After Graham was ruled by an independent arbitrator to be designated as a TE instead of a WR, his one-year franchise tender would be $7 million instead of the $12 million he believes he’s owed. That could lead to his refusal to sign his tender, and maybe even a training camp holdout.
Graham still has a little time to appeal if he so desires, which would muddy the waters even further. This situation is bound to get uglier before it’s resolved, and we doubt the two parties’ relationship will ever be the same.
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Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Panthers fans got some good news late this week, as Newton announced that he’d been cleared to begin workouts. He’s coming off ankle surgery this off-season that has had him in recovery mode for quite a while.
Newton practiced during one day of minicamp last month, and understandably looked pretty rusty. That said, he’ll have training camp and preseason to get back up to speed, and it’s looking like he’s going to be on track to be healthy for both of those periods.
Preston Brown, LB, Buffalo Bills: The Bills’ dynamic LB Kiko Alonso is most likely out for all of 2014 due to a torn ACL. His absence has many fans and pundits wondering who will step in to fill his shoes within the Bills defense.
Sources close to the team report that Buffalo wants rookie third-round pick Preston Brown to fill the void, as they’ve been thoroughly impressed with him so far this off-season.
We likely won’t know what the Bills’ plans are for sure until they’ve gotten a good look at the team in training camp, but if Brown is going to play Alonso’s role this season, he’s going to have a lot on his plate. Buffalo’s defensive scheme features a lot of action for the weak-side linebacker, so Brown would immediately become an impact player within the system.
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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