Do you want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with a positive story from around the NFL this week. On Wednesday, we learned that long-time New York Giants QB Eli Manning would retire, ending his 16-year career. Manning is expected to hold a press conference later today.
Although the past few seasons have been a struggle and disappointment for Manning, which led to the Giants using the sixth-overall pick on QB Daniel Jones a year ago, there is much to celebrate in the veteran’s career. Most notably, obviously, are the two Super Bowl wins Manning led his Giants teams to, both coming over the New England Patriots. Manning completed passes to David Tyree and Mario Manningham in those respective contests to clinch the wins, with each of those passes becoming among the most celebrated in league history.
Manning finished with a .500 record at 117-117 and never missed a game due to injury. He ranks seventh in NFL history with over 57,000 passing yards and 366 touchdowns. We now begin the great debate about Manning’s Hall of Fame status. Pssst…he’s getting in.
As mentioned earlier, not all of the news of the week was positive as embattled former Steelers, Raiders and Patriots WR Antonio Brown once again found himself in trouble. On Tuesday, police were called to Brown’s Hollywood, Florida home after an incident involving a moving truck driver. The driver was set to make a delivery to Brown, but the receiver refused to pay the $4,000 bill, leading to the driver attempting to leave the residence without unloading Brown’s property. Brown and his trainer Glenn Holt reportedly threw rocks at the truck, causing damage.
The driver ultimately returned to make the delivery and collect the payment but was then assaulted by the two men, who entered the cab of the truck. Holt was arrested on battery charges while Brown locked himself into his residence, refusing to speak to police. Later, police issued an arrest warrant for Brown on charges of felony burglary and battery. Late Thursday, Brown turned himself in to the police.
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers continue to prepare for the upcoming Super Bowl. Both teams are expected to be mostly healthy for the game. The 49ers are still without RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) at practice while LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral) was limited. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce sat out of practice with a knee injury while DL Chris Jones is confident he’s ready for a full allotment of work in next week’s championship contest.
While these two teams look forward to battling for the ultimate prize, 30 other teams are preparing for the 2020 season as contract concerns, coaching news and injury updates dominate the news cycle.
Veteran coach Jim Caldwell will not return to the Miami Dolphins but is interested in continuing his coaching career. Caldwell missed the entire season after he took a leave due to a medical issue. … Chiefs QB coach Mike Kafka is expected to remain with the team in 2020. The Eagles were reportedly interested in Kafka and he could be in line for a promotion with KC. … New Giants HC Joe Judge has added former Browns HC Freddie Kitchens to his coaching staff. … The Jaguars hired former Washington HC Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator. The Redskins had little offensive talent and the Jags don’t have much more. … The Packers will retain embattled DC Mike Pettine. … The Eagles expressed interest in veteran QB Josh McCown for a coaching position but the backup quarterback is not ready to retire. … The Giants added former Cowboys OL coach Marc Columbo in the same role, following his former boss Jason Garrett to the Big Apple. … The Vikings have made it official, naming Gary Kubiak their new offensive coordinator, taking the place of Kevin Stefanski.
Browns WR Odell Beckham underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury that slowed him all season. OBJ is expected to be healthy for training camp. … Browns WR Jarvis Landry is expected to avoid hip surgery this offseason. … WR Julian Edelman, who recently underwent shoulder surgery, is expected to be ready for the Patriots offseason workouts. … Packers CB Jaire Alexander suffered a broken thumb in the NFC title game, but is hoping to avoid surgery. … Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch underwent neck surgery earlier this month but is reportedly doing well and should be ready for OTAs. … Ravens RB Mark Ingram said his injured calf is feeling good and he should be fully healthy for offseason workouts.
Steelers' ownership recently suggested they are not ready to discuss the contract status of WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, which might be a good thing for the young wideout coming off the worst season of his career. … Packers NT Kenny Clark said he hopes to engage in contract talks soon. Clark is entering the final year of his current contract with Green Bay. … Bengals HC Zac Taylor suggested re-signing WR A.J. Green was a priority this offseason but the veteran wideout admitted he hoped to avoid the franchise tag from the team. … RT Bryan Bulaga is uncertain if he will re-sign with the Packers. … Impending free agent RT Jack Conklin hopes to re-sign with the Titans. He’s the top free agent option at his position. … Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said a contract extension for QB Dak Prescott is the team’s top priority this offseason. … The Jaguars and GM Dave Caldwell are hoping to re-sign DE Yannick Ngakoue to a new long-term contract. … Free agent S Devin McCourty plans to continue playing in 2020. … LB Shaq Barrett has shown interest in returning to the Buccaneers in 2020. … Both veteran QB Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints seem to have an interest in a new contract to keep the free agent. … Dolphins GM Chris Grier said he fully expects veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to be back with the team in 2020. … Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said contract talks with TE Austin Hooper are “trudging along”. … The Cowboys are expected to allow DB Byron Jones walk in free agency. … Impending free agent WR Amari Cooper said he wants to play for the Cowboys for a “long time”. … Impending free agent T Laremy Tunsil has shown interest in re-signing with the Texans.