We discussed some of the possible rule changes on deck for the NFL in 2018, but Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reports the league isn’t considering rule changes regarding fumbles that go through the end zone.
My sincerest apologies to John Fox and Benny Cunningham regarding this rules update. I suppose there is always next year.
- If you were hoping for a reunion of ex-Jaguars 1,000-yard receivers, I’m afraid I have some bad news. The Dallas Cowboys have signed free agent Allen Hurns, who garnered interest from at least a half-dozen teams after being released by Jacksonville earlier in the week. The Bears were among the teams Hurns said showed interest upon reaching free agency, but it’s possible the team’s interest was overstated during Allen Robinson’s recruitment efforts. Good try, good effort. Hurns joins Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and one-time member of the Bears Deonte Thompson as part of the pass-catching group Dak Prescott will be targeting in 2018.
- Bryant will try to rebound from a disappointing 2017 by working on his route-running. The Pro Bowl wiedout plans to train with a personal wide receivers coach, according to Jane Slater of the NFL Network. David Robinson is a highly acclaimed receivers coach who has worked with Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Bryant should welcome every bit of help he can get, especially considering he hasn’t recorded a 100-yard receiving day in his last 23 regular season games.
- Another receiver off the market is Mike Wallace, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. At his best, Wallace is a playmaking receiver and a constant threat to burn a defense deep. His best days are probably behind him, but Philadelphia is probably a great place to go for receivers looking to flash one last time. To that end, Wallace says his decision to join the Eagles was “99 percent” about stud quarterback Carson Wentz. Hopefully, receivers are saying similar things about Mitch Trubisky next time the Bears are in the market for free agent help at the position.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets the Packers have received a visit from free agent Jordan Matthews. The Eagles drafted Matthews in the second round in 2014, but the team traded him to the Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby before the season. Green Bay could be looking to replace Jordy Nelson with a younger, more cap-friendly receiver.
- And since we’re talking Packers, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports they have brought back cornerback Tramon Williams on a two-year deal. After missing out on Kyle Fuller, Rashaan Melvin, and others, Green Bay has gone back to a familiar face. Williams played two years in Cleveland and spent a season in Arizona since leaving Green Bay after the 2014 season. Williams was a Pro Bowler in 2010 and had 32 career interceptions during his first stint with the team from 2007-14.
- The Packers might not be done addressing the cornerback position. ESPN’s Mike Triplett tweets Delvin Breaux plans to visit the Green Bay, as well as San Francisco as his free agency tour continues. Breaux has already visited the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Breaux has been a bit injury prone, but has tremendous coverage skills if he can stay healthy.
- The Super Bowl MVP isn’t going anywhere:
— NFL (@NFL) March 25, 2018
- The Minnesota Vikings will have a new starting center in 2018. Joe Berger, who started all 16 games for the team in 2017, has called it a career. Berger, who has his eyes on life after football, was a 13-year veteran who was receiving interest from the Vikings, Lions, and Panthers before deciding to hang ’em up. His retirement opens up a spot where Minnesota could have a camp battle that includes former Bears reserve lineman Tom Compton.
- Jordan Schultz of Yahoo! Sports tweets that Pernell McPhee has told Atlanta that he will sign with Washington. McPhee visited the Falcons earlier in the week and the team seemed to make him a free agent priority, but the former Bears outside linebacker is now reportedly Washington-bound. The Bears released McPhee in February and he’ll help fill a role as a pass rusher vacated when Trent Murphy left to sign with the Bills in free agency. McPhee picked up six sacks in his first 13 games with the Bears, but added just eight more in the 23 games that followed. He appears to be suited for a role as a situation pass rusher moving forward.
- Martellus Bennett confirmed to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero that the following tweet is Bennett’s retirement announcement:
I’ve decided to move on from the world of football and into the fantastical and wondrous world of creativity. I’m beginning what I believe to be my life’s work @ImaginationAgcy pic.twitter.com/7asa7ARXZX
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) March 24, 2018
- Bennett played 10 years in the NFL with the Cowboys, Giants, Bears, Patriots, and Packers. He came away with 433 catches, 4,573 yards, and 30 touchdowns. One could argue his most productive years came in Chicago, with his peak performance coming in 2014. That year, Bennett caught 90 passes for 916 yards, and six touchdowns en route to being named to the Pro Bowl. No wonder Jay Cutler ranked higher than Eli Manning or Tony Romo among the quarterbacks Bennett played with in his career.