The start of the NFL preseason is still a little way out, but there is still a lot going on around the league these days. Let’s catch up on everything from the past week.
Make It So, Mr. Suh
It didn’t take the Buccaneers long to find a replacement after parting ways with longtime defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The team agreed to a one-year deal with Ndamukong Suh worth at least $9.25 million, although incentives could push that amount to $10 million. The former second overall pick spent last season with the Rams, accumulating 4.5 sacks and being a big part of the team’s success stopping the run in the postseason. While he has his downsides, Suh has started every game of his NFL career outside of the two games he missed due to suspension in 2011.
Found Your Replacement
The Redskins also moved quickly this week to fill a vacancy on their roster. After losing linebacker Reuben Foster to an ACL tear last week, Washington signed Jon Bostic. The six-year veteran started 14 games for the Steelers last season but was let go after Pittsburgh drafted Devin Bush sixth overall. Washington will become Bostic’s sixth team since entering the league in 2013, but he should be a solid addition to a team in need of a little help at linebacker.
Boy, Is Your Face Red
Soon after signing with the New England Patriots, presumably to end his career where it began, tight end Ben Watson was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season. Watson tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs that he took after the season when he believed he would retire. He says he complied with a late March drug test out of habit and didn’t realize his mistake until after he decided to return for one more year. Both he and the Patriots knew when he signed on May 9 that he would have to sit out four games.
Not the Only One
In addition to Watson, Bengals offensive lineman Alex Redmond will also sit out the first four games of 2019 for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Reports indicate Redmond took a banned substance after playing with a torn labrum and dealing with a hamstring injury last season. Redmond started 15 games for the Bengals last season in what was his first meaningful action. Once his suspension is over, Redmond could have trouble getting the starting job back after the Bengals signed John Miller this offseason.
The NFL won’t have Adam “Pacman” Jones to kick around anymore. The 35-year-old officially announced his retirement over the weekend via social media. Jones was the sixth overall pick in the 2005 Draft and ended up spending most of his career with the Bengals, who he joined in 2010 after a series of legal problems derailed the early part of his career. Last year, he played seven games with the Broncos before being released in November.
Just a Look
The NFL will reportedly look at a video of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott bumping a security guard in Las Vegas to see if it warrants punishment under the league’s personal conduct policy. The fact that Elliott was suspended for six games in 2017 for violating the policy makes it all the more necessary for the league to review the video. The security guard in question didn’t want to press charges against Elliott after the running back was put in handcuffs but not arrested after causing a disturbance at a Las Vegas music festival last week.
Oh no, Oklahoma
The NFL is asking teams to stop doing the Oklahoma drill, among other high-impact drills, during training camp in hopes of reducing the number of concussions around the league. The drill is being used less frequently these days, although it’s a classic that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s typically used early in training camp as a way to get players accustomed to full contact. However, data in recent years shows a high rate of concussions early in training camp.
The Setting Starr
Unfortunately, we have to close with the news of Bart Starr’s passing. Starr died Sunday at the age of 85. His health had been in decline for several years, especially after a stroke earlier this year. Starr is best remembered for helping the Green Packers to five NFL championships during the 1960s and being the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. He was also a four-time Pro Bowler and the 1966 MVP. Starr is a member of both the Packers Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His No. 15 is officially retired by the Packers.