Although it seemed like a slow week in the NFL, the most popular sport in the U.S. never takes a breather. Check out what happened in the National Football League this week! And also be sure to check out the latest NFL odds for the upcoming season!
NFL Updates of the Week – May 24th Edition
Buccaneers sign Ndamukong Suh and Chris Long retires
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with Ndamukong Suh. One of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in the last decade, Suh started his career with the Detroit Lions. He played at Miami before a 1-year stint with the L.A. Rams last season.
Los Angeles decided to allow Suh to leave in free agency. It took a while, but a team finally decided to give Ndamukong a contract. Suh will play for a year at Tampa. At first, it looks like a great pickup. However, Suh’s presence could be a one-year band aid.
The Bucs cut Gerald McCoy on May 21. McCoy is one of the top interior defensive lineman in the game. He was due $13 million and became a cap casualty. Suh probably won’t produce better numbers than McCoy would have.
Suh’s still a very good player. If he works hard, he can disrupt some things opponents try on offense. After this season, he could be on the hunt for his next one year deal, or he might retire. Who knows?
Earlier in the week, Philadelphia defensive end Chris Long retired. Long, the son of hall of fame player Howie Long, had his hey days from 2008 through 2013 when he started for the Rams. Long only started a single game in his two years with the Eagles.
Chris did play for a decade, though. That’s a rare accomplishment in such a physically demanding sport.
NFL asks teams to stop concussion-related drills
The NFL has asked teams to stop concussion-related training excercises like the famed Oklahoma drill. The Oklahoma drill is a high impact exercise where players butt heads and hit each other while either in a two-point or four-point stance. It’s meant to get NFL players ready for the rigors of the upcoming season.
The NFL also asked that teams no longer participate in the Bull in the Ring, or the King of the Hill drill during training camp. The King of the Hill puts two players into a ring. Like sumo wrestlers, each player tries to force the other out of the ring. Unlike sumo wrestlers, football players go helmet to helmet in the drill.
The final drill the league asked teams to stop is the half-line. The half-line drill practices with half of an offensive line and half of a defensive line. It again forces helmet to helmet contact.
Suggesting teams no longer participate in all three drills should stop concussions from happening in training camp. That’s progress.
New pass interference replay tweak
The league decided to change the pass interference replay rule. The new rule allowed replay officials in the booth to automatically take a look at any possible pass interference that happened in the final two minutes of any half or any game. Now, coaches must challenge possible pass interference non-calls before the replay booth will look at them.
That’s a great tweak. Replay officials shouldn’t bear the burden for pass interference non-calls. If coaches want to challenge any potential pass interference non-calls late in a game, they should probably hang on to one of their two red flag challenges, right?
Also, there was a chance of extending games well past four hours with the way the NFL had previously set up the rule. Replay officials hoping not to make a mistake might have spent a Kentucky Derby like 18 minutes on every possible pass interference non-call.
NFL will air fewer Super Bowl commercials
This is a small change, but all of us should notice it. Instead of 5 commercials during every quarter in the Super Bowl, the league has dropped it to 4. Again, a small change, but one that we should most definitely notice come the 2020 Super Bowl.
Jets coach Adam Gase commits to Le’Veon Bell…sort of
Ever since the Jets fired GM Mike Maccagnan, NFL fans have wondered if Adam Gase wants to trade Le’Veon Bell. Maccagnan brought Bell over from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Le’Veon didn’t play a single snap last season.
Although there’s some reason for Gase to consider dropping Bell, the Jets head coach called the idea “ridiculous”. Gase did hint he wasn’t happy paying Bell so much to put on a Jets uniform. But, he went on to praise Bell for a being a “great football player” and a “good human being”.
Sounds copasetic, right? Not really. Gase’s system revolves around a strong running back. Gase’s RB must not only carry the football, but he must also block and catch it out of the backfield. The coach will use Le’Veon as much as he can, but if the system flounders with the prized free agent behind quarterback Sam Darnold, Gase will turn to Elijah McGuire or Trenton Cannon.
Bell has a history of injuries. That’s what Gase is worried about more than anything. There’s also the chance that Le’Veon has lost a step. Like it or not, Adam Gase is in charge in New Jersey. He’ll make the call on how much playing time Le’Veon Bell gets no matter how much the Jets paid to get him to change addresses.
Have a great week!