Veterans are starting to land on the chopping block around the league as teams try to open up cap space. Several NFL players are finding themselves out of work this week as the league’s 32 teams have begun to trim high-priced players from their rosters. Cap casualty season is underway in full force as of Tuesday, with a handful of players being informed of their release.
Every NFL team must be below the 2018 salary cap number as of the start of the new league year on March 14th and although that number has not been confirmed officially yet, most estimates put it at about $178 million. With that deadline just about three weeks away, teams are beginning to make those moves to set themselves up for flexibility in the free agent market.
Players released in this manner need not wait for March 14th to sign with other teams, however.
The Lions have a new coach who specializes in the running game. The Detroit Lions added yet another coach to their staff on Tuesday afternoon. The team announced that Brian Picucci will be their next offensive assistant coach/quality control.
Lions have hired Brian Picucci as an offensive assistant coach/quality control— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 20, 2018
For much of the offseason, Lions fans were clamoring for the addition of a running game coordinator to fix Detroit’s huge problem in the running game. While Picucci won’t hold that title in Detroit, that’s exactly where his background lies. From 2000 to 2008, Picucci held the position of run game coordinator/offensive line coach for Amherst and Umass. He held the exact same position in Maine last season, too.
Last season the Texans had two different football teams. A team with Deshaun Watson starting at quarterback, and a team without Deshaun Watson starting at quarterback. The team with DW4 starting averaged 34.6 points a game. The team without him starting averaged 13 points a game. The team without him was led by Tom Savage, who was the worst quarterback in football aside not named DeShone Kizer and was somehow worse than [NAME REDACTED], and T.J. Yates, who I never want to see throw a football in Houston again. One of the important goals this offseason, behind addressing the offensive line and secondary, is finding a backup quarterback to improve the team when Watson isn’t available. Heaven forbid if something happens, this team can’t have another season lost because the backup offense can only score 13 points a game.
Recently Jon Gruden popped over to the famous Ricky’s Sports Bar in San Leandro to get a bite, accompanied by a writer from Sports Illustrated. One particular exchange was very interesting. The subject matter was that of running back Marshawn Lynch, who is entering the second year of a two-year deal to play for his hometown Raiders.
Though setting up meetings with players is not allowed per the CBA, players can stop by the facility and simply meet their new head coach if they like. Such was the case for Marshawn. Here the writer recounts the exchange Gruden had with a fan at the bar.
But now I look over, and Gruden is telling superfan Ahmed, in an open bar, “I met Marshawn today at the facility. He and Josh Johnson [a Texans backup and Lynch’s cousin] came in.