Despite currently not actively involved in any games, there is still a lot going on in the NFL. There have been a number of trades, signings and other negotiations, not to mention the Deshaun Watson drama. As the league announces a new game schedule for the upcoming season, things are going to get interesting.
Darnold On The Move
Sam Darnold might soon be changing uniforms. The New York Jets are reportedly considering a deal with the Denver Broncos to send the quarterback away in exchange for a draft pick in next month’s NFL Draft. It’s not just any pick, though, as the right conditions of the trade will allow the Jets to go after Zach Wilson.
Joe Thuney was almost going to be seen in a New England Patriots uniform in the upcoming season. He ultimately went to the Kansas City Chiefs, but not before the Pats tried to entice him with a better deal. Thuney was also under consideration by the Cincinnati Bengals and the LA Chargers, but the Chiefs arrived first and with a fatter wallet.
The Bengals are happy with what they have. They drafted linebacker Jordan Evans in 2017 and have decided to keep him around after he became a free agent in the offseason. However, he’s only onboard on a one-year contract, which will give the Bengals a little wiggle room. Since joining the team, he has played in 60 games, only nine as a starter.
Love Isn’t Lost After No Interest
Kyle Love is calling it quits. The defensive tackle was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last September and hasn’t found any interest from other teams since then. He announced on Instagram that he is going to retire from football and open a new chapter in his life.
Across the league, a number of teams have run into problems this season because of changes to the salary cap. Most have resorted to working with some of their players to renegotiate existing contracts, a move the Atlanta Falcons have just completed with Deion Jones. The linebacker has reportedly agreed to a rework of his contract in order to defer $4 million of his $8.2-million base salary in order to keep the Falcons from getting fined. In return, Jones will pick up the money as a guaranteed roster bonus in a year.
Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be headed for a reunion with the Pats. The quarterback was a possible bargaining chip being used by the San Francisco 49ers, but New England has decided it doesn’t need his services and will hold onto Cam Newton for another year. The Niners also didn’t appear to be too enthusiastic about trading him, but that could be because he has a no-trade clause in his contract.
17-Game Season Coming
The new NFL regular season is likely to have 17 games. This is just part of a string of new initiatives being introduced to compensate for lost time from last year, a string that also includes a reduction in the number of preseason games. The Super Bowl will have to be pushed back a week, as the season will now span 18 weeks, and four games could be played overseas beginning next year as the NFL continues to look at international expansion. This is the first time since 1978 that the league has expanded the number of regular-season games.
The changes, which were partially authorized when the NFL and the NFL Players Association signed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last year, aren’t popular with many players. The CBA was only approved by a vote of 1,019-959, showing the level of opposition, and Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints summed up what most players think of the extended season. He said on Twitter, “Sh-t dumb as hell.”