What a week we’ve had here. My sincerest thanks to Michael and Brett for helping me push through what is always a busy first few days of the league’s new year. And a tip of the cap to you, our wonderful readers. You guys and gals make this thing go. As long as you’re keeping it friendly in the comments, I say keep on doing what you’ve been doing. And if you’re not, well, do better. Please.
- Kareem Hunt’s suspension has finally been handed down from the league offices. The NFL announced Hunt will be suspended for eight regular-season games for violations (yes, plural) of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com has the details of the suspension, which will keep the Browns running back out of game action for the first half of the season. Hunt will not appeal the suspension.
- There is no smooth transition from one topic to the next, so I’ll just give it straight: Brooke Pryor and Steve Vockrodt of the Kansas City Star report that Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill is being investigated for alleged battery of his child. And according to reports from CBS affiliate KCTV News, authorities are investigating Hill for a pair of child abuse incidents. Prior to being drafted into the league back in 2014, Hill was arrested and accused of hitting and choking his pregnant fiancee. Hill later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and strangulation. But because that happened before Hill was in the NFL, the league did not discipline him. The Chiefs released a statement to the Kansas City Star saying the team was aware of the investigation, but had no further comment. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story as it could have wide-ranging league implications.
- Changing gears, a source tells Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports that Colin Kaepernick has expressed an interest in the Dolphins’ quarterback job. La Canfora hears that Kaepernick is “training hard and ready to play,” which would make for an interesting bit of news. Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016 and will play in his age 32 season if he suits up. The Dolphins were trying to sign Teddy Bridgewater before he turned them down to stay in New Orleans as Drew Brees’ backup. It’s a cushy gig for Bridgewater, a first-round pick whose career has been side-tracked by injuries. He’ll continue to sit and learn behind Brees and could be in line to replace the living legend whenever he decides to hang ’em up.
- Speaking of Brees ….
A free agent QB coming off labrum surgery…
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) March 14, 2019
- Look at baby-face Drew Brees. Time flies.
- Free agency can be a franchise-altering experience. Do you folks remember what the Saints were before the Brees signing? They certainly weren’t a model franchise known for winning. Brees and Sean Payton changed the culture in New Orleans and built a winning environment. If that organization can create a sustainable winner for the long-term, then it’s possible that any team can do it – so long as they have the right ownership, general manager, head coach, and quarterback.
- But seriously, that Dolphins gig is open for the taking:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2019
- Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Oakland Raiders will play in Oakland in 2019 as the city and the team have come to a lease agreement, which also includes an option for 2020 in case the team’s Vegas digs aren’t ready for the world. The Bears play the Raiders on the road this year, but it won’t be in Oakland. The two teams will square off in London.
- It’s a new day in Cleveland:
Browns with the glow-up 💪 pic.twitter.com/Ta43ltfXWA
— ESPN (@espn) March 13, 2019
The Cleveland Browns are a star-studded unit all of a sudden. pic.twitter.com/gRZ0k90AYi
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 15, 2019
- The kicking market for free agents hasn’t taken shape, but Saints kicker Wil Lutz has a new five-year deal.
- An old friend visits a team that could present his next opportunity:
Free agent OT Jermon Bushrod visited the Panthers, per source. He started 6 games for the Saints this season and was named the team’s Ed Block aware winner.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 15, 2019
- Rob Reischel of Forbes dissects the Packers’ free agency spending spree, which represents their biggest haul since signing Reggie White.
- Feelings earlier in the week when the Antonio Brown trade went down were all over the place, and nothing captures that like this:
Antonio Brown is finally gone, and Steelers fans are feeling all kinds of feelings pic.twitter.com/aMbHOQ19df
— Pick Six Podcast (@picksixpod) March 10, 2019