Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Takeaways From Latest News and Rumors

Another NFL week is has passed and the news keeps on coming.  What are some takeaways to consider?

Cam Newton stuck in neutral at bad time with contract

Getting a big contract is next on the agenda for Cam Newton but the two-time Pro Bowler for the Carolina Panthers is not exactly in the best position to help himself.  His left tackle is gone and his wide receiving corps underwent a lot of changes since last year.  At this point experts aren’t sold on many of the moves, including 1st round pick Kelvin Benjamin.  If anything else the Panthers offense is stuck in neutral, which means Newton might not be able to maximize his dollar value as hoped.

Drew Brees picked bad time to minimize Jimmy Graham

Everybody listens when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has something to say.  He’s earned that right as one of the best in pro football.  However, even he can overstep his bounds from time to time with certain statements and that may have happened when he plainly stated the offense would be fine with or without All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.  Considering he accounted for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013, both easily team highs, that might be a quote worth retracting especially with Graham on the eve of a possible holdout.

Sean Weatherspoon injury continues scourge at linebacker position

Every NFL years there is always a position group that seems to bear the brunt of the losses.  The 2014 campaign may go down as the Year of the Linebacker.  Already prominent names like Daryl Washington (suspension) and Sean Lee (ACL) have been lost for the season.  The Atlanta Falcons now feel that same pain as their top linebacker Sean Weatherspoon went down with an Achilles tear.  In the immortal word of former Falcon Bill Goldberg, “Who’s next?”

Jon Bostic and Brock Vereen signal youth surge on Bears defense

One interesting thing to take note of on the defensive news circuit is the rumblings going on in the Windy City.  There the Bears, in an effort to improve what was the worst defense in franchise history last season, spent a considerable amount of coin in free agency on proven veterans.  Yet with practices in full swing it seems a youth movement is on the rise for Chicago.  Second-year man Jon Bostic is making a strong push for the middle linebacker position, putting 32-year old D.J. Williams on notice.  Meanwhile rookie Brock Vereen has worked his way up to the first team free safety position, outpacing veteran and former Packers starter M.D. Jennings.

Josh Gordon remains an ulcer to the Cleveland Browns

It’s impossible to deny the fact Josh Gordon is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL after what he accomplished in 2013.  However, after yet another series of head-scratching blunders that could land him a one-year suspension, it’s also fair to point out that he might be more trouble than he’s worth.  That was rammed home when head coach Mike Pettine added fuel to the Gordon Hater fire when he said the receiver didn’t go as hard in practice as coaches would like.  Given what he’s already put Cleveland fans through, the fact he isn’t working hard too could become the final straw.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Cam Newton Drew Brees Jimmy Graham Josh Gordon NFL Sean Weatherspoon

  • Scott

    Brees has earned the right to say whatever he wants as not only is he the heart and soul of the team he’s a big part of the community as well. He was right to say they put up big numbers before Graham and I’m sure they can do so without him. He’s an integral part of the Saints offense but I’m sure Brees can find someone else to throw to should Graham decide to hold out.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’m sure the Saints will adjust, but they won’t be nearly as explosive. That is the issue taken with the comment. Remember, they couldn’t beat Seattle with Graham. So is there any prayer without him?

      • Scott

        Graham wasnt a matchup problem for Seattle as their secondary is big and his “basketball skills” didnt come into play. I think Cooks will be more of a nightmare if they play again and Cooks can get off the line.

  • trinity

    I think Cam will get that contract regardless. He’s proven he’s a top 10 quarterback in my opinion, and I don’t see the organization punishing him for their failure to get him some help.

    As for drew, I actually don’t mind what he said. he said that he really hopes to have Jimmy there. but he pointed out that the saints were putting up big points even before he got there. Basically saying that he loves Jimmy, but the offense isn’t just about 1 guy. I don’t mind that.

    • Erik Lambert

      Cam will certainly get paid, it’s a question of numbers now. The trick is that a poor 2014 might save the Panthers some money, which may explain why they didn’t try a little harder to get him some help. Remember they’re in a financial bind as it is.

      There is no question Drew Brees can say what he likes, but the Saints offense is not as bulletproof as people claim. It can still humiliate the hapless but good teams have held their own against it. The point is if they struggled against a team like Seattle with Graham on the field, how would not having him possibly serve the greater good?

  • Cutler2Marshall312

    Read Broook has been holding his on with the 1′s..Seen on Bears rookie mini camp preview Chris Harris was working with Vereen in practice, I think how fast Vereen learns the play book will determine if he can beat out Conte..Plus a strong preseason..I think Bostic is a lot more comfortable in the defense and with the new coaching staff…if he can make some tweaks to his game and just play instead of react he could be the starting MLB by week 1..

    • Erik Lambert

      Vereen’s hold on the job is entirely based on how quickly Conte can get back. If he returns during training camp the battle should be even most of the way but if he can’t get back until late in the preseason, Vereen is enough of a talent where he can lock up the job by then. It’s all based on timing.