The NFL Draft is more than a week behind us, but with minicamps taking place over the weekend, there is plenty going on around the NFL, including some off-field drama. Let’s check out all of the headlines from the past week.
The off-field drama involving Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and allegations of child abuse appears to be just getting started. Hill’s lawyer addressed the accusations in a four-page letter he sent to the NFL last week, denying any kind of abuse. The letter confirms that it is indeed Hill’s voice on an audio recording released by a Kansas City TV station, confirming that some of the comments made by Hill on the record are “inexcusable.” Hill’s lawyer also says the wide receiver will cooperate with the NFL’s investigation.
The health of Cam Newton’s shoulder was an ongoing storyline in the NFL last season, and following his recent surgery, Newton says he’s “feeling great.” The Carolina quarterback said over the weekend that his rehab from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in January is going “unbelievable.” Newton has also adopted a new diet and is hoping to get down to the lowest playing weight of his career. Obviously, the Panthers are relying on a healthy Newton to lead them to a bounce-back campaign in 2019 after going 7-9 last season. However, the team drafted Charlotte native Will Grier in the second round, hoping to shore up their quarterback depth amidst Newton’s shoulder problems.
Sadly, Isaiah Crowell’s 2019 season is over before it even started. After signing with the Raiders earlier this offseason, Crowell tore his Achilles tendon during a team workout last week and will miss the entire 2019 season. Suddenly in need of a running back, the Raiders were quick to re-sign Doug Martin, who led Oakland in rushing last season. He’ll have a chance to become Oakland’s primary running back again this season.
Speaking of the Raiders, former Oakland wide receiver Martavis Bryant says he’s planning to apply for reinstatement into the NFL soon. Bryant has been suspended three times for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in the last four years. His lawyer claims the NFL doesn’t properly handle mental health issues, citing the fact that Bryant was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. He says the NFL should have sent Bryant to a counselor to deal with his ADHD rather than drug counseling, while also saying that Bryant has only been allowed to see doctors within the NFL’s network and not a physician he’s comfortable seeing. Bryant hopes that he can be reinstated and find a team willing to give him a chance in training camp.
One of the biggest stories coming out of the draft was the Giants selecting Daniel Jones 6th overall as the heir apparent to Eli Manning. However, Manning appears unmoved by the addition of Jones. Coach Pat Shurmur said over the weekend that Manning “had no response” to the Giants drafting Jones. Of course, Manning shouldn’t be too worried about losing his job right now. The Giants don’t appear eager to rush Jones onto the field, likely giving Manning at least one more season as the starter.
How to Find a Kicker
After Cody Parkey’s struggles late last season, the Bears have made finding a replacement kicker a priority this offseason. However, the process has turned into a bit of a circus. The team had eight kickers on its minicamp roster last week, four on contract and four in for a tryout. Following the camp, the Bears released two of them and then traded with Oakland for kicker Eddy Pineiro. They now have three kickers on the active roster, with Pineiro joining Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt. Of course, Matt Nagy did say that there was “a method to our madness,” with madness being the operative word.
Fortunately, we’re able to close with some good news. Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier hasn’t played football since suffering a serious back injury in December 2017. However, Shazier is progressing far better than anyone would have expected at the time of the injury. Shazier got married last week, with video surfacing of him dancing at the reception. It was just a few seconds of video, but it’s proof of how far he’s come since the injury. Shazier is still hoping to play football again, although the Steelers have already placed him on the PUP list, so we know he won’t be playing in 2019.