NFL News: Player News and Updates for 8/31/14
NFL Updates: News From Around the League, Off-Season Schedule and More
August 31, 2014
The official start of the 2014 NFL season is just four short days away, which means that at this time next week we’ll be just a few hours removed from our first dose of Sunday football action. That’s certainly encouraging, so let’s take things a little further by checking out some of the notable players and headlines across the league this morning.
Harrison Retirement: Yesterday, we learned some disappointing news: Longtime Steeler and NFL vet James Harrison announced his retirement, a decision which came only a few days after a workout for the Cardinals.
Harrison’s career almost didn’t happen. He played 10 years in Pittsburgh, but that only came after being released multiple times. After finding his groove as a backup for four seasons, he burst onto the starter scene at 29 years of age.
Harrison has plenty of accolades on his résumé: He’s a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro and won the Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Does he deserve to make the Hall of Fame? Maybe not quite, but we’ll have plenty of time for that conversation in the coming years.
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Smith Suspension: We haven’t been able to touch on this one just yet this weekend, so let’s cruise on over to San Francisco and check out the situation there.
After quite some time in a holding pattern over troubled linebacker Aldon Smith, the Niners finally have some closure to the situation. Late last week, the NFL announced that it would be suspending Smith for nine games for violating the league’s policy on personal conduct and substances of abuse.
One bright spot here is that Smith will be able to visit the 49ers’ facilities while he’s serving his suspension.
Smith has quite the laundry list of troubles in his past, and this will be the second consecutive year he’ll have to serve a suspension.
Burleson Outlook: There were many cuts around the NFL yesterday, as teams pare down their rosters and get closer to that magical number 53. One of the more notable casualties was 12-year veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson. It had appeared that he’d found a home in Cleveland among the receiver-needy Browns, but that simply wasn’t to be.
Burleson’s figurative Achilles heel has been his injury issues over the past couple of seasons. He wasn’t able to play in the preseason until the Browns’ final game, and in the past two campaigns he’s only been healthy enough to appear in 15 total contests.
Burleson has shown some flashes in his career (1,006 yards in 2004; 73 receptions in 2011), but this could very well be the beginning of the end for him.
Week 1 Schedule: The regular season is (finally) upon us, and we can start looking forward to the on-field action as we anticipate the 2014 campaign. Here’s a look at the first week of the season.
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)
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