NFL Updates: News From Around the League, Off-Season Schedule and More
February 20, 2016
The franchise-tag period in the NFL off-season comes up in just a couple of days, so there’s plenty to go over this weekend. Let’s check out some of the notable players and situations out there in our daily wrap-up.
Let’s start out this morning with Gang Green in New York. The Jets have three running backs hitting the free agent market (Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley) this off-season, so they’ve got a lot of decisions to make.
It’s too early to tell if the Jets will retain any of these guys, but it’s looking like Ivory at least will test the open market. He’ll likely want to get as much money as he can (and that probably won’t be in New York) as he’s almost 28. A deal in the $3-4 million range sounds about right for him.
The Jets could also be in the tight end market, as young Jace Amaro hasn’t panned out as expected. He’s had trouble adjusting to the NFL level, and suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during last year’s preseason. If the team can find some low-cost help somewhere else, Amaro might not even make the roster in 2016.
The Bengals and Mohamed Sanu are virtually guaranteed to be parting ways, according to sources close to the team.
Sanu is reportedly getting interest from Cleveland, Atlanta and the Giants, and should land a fat contract in the WR-weak free agency market this off-season. Look for him to sign for $5 million a year and possibly more.
In other WR news, the Dolphins are reportedly trying to talk with Rishard Matthews about a potential new deal.
Matthews could probably get paid more by leaving town in free agency, thanks to his 43-662-4 line in 2015 (11 games), but might want to try things out with new ‘Phins coach Adam Gase.
The Bears still aren’t sure if they’ll use the franchise tag on WR Alshon Jeffery. That means he could potentially become a free agent.
The Bears are likely hesitant due to Jeffery’s calf and hamstring issues in 2015, but it’s still a little unexpected that the team might not franchise him on name alone. He’ll get vastly overpaid in free agency if he hits the market.
The Bears are also expected to be cutting ties with TE Martellus Bennett. They can save over $5 million in cap space by dropping him after a rocky season.
NFL Off-Season Schedule: It’s a long, slow crawl back to the 2016 NFL season, but the league has a lot of activities planned in the meantime to keep us busy. Let’s check out the upcoming schedule before that first game of 2016.
February 22: Teams can use franchise or transition tags on players
February 23-29: NFL Scouting Combine
March 7: Free agent negotiations can begin
March 15: 2016 league year officially begins; free agency officially begins
March 20-23: League meetings
April 4: Off-season workouts can begin for teams with new head coaches
April 18: Off-season workouts can begin for teams retaining head coaches
April 22: Offer sheet deadline for restricted free agent signings
April 28-30: NFL Draft (Chicago, Illinois)
May 6-9: Post-draft minicamps
Mid-July: Training camps open
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