Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin (23) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 34-30. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Takeaways From Latest News and Rumors


News never stops or wavers in the NFL.  As the headlines keep rolling, here are some takeaways to consider.

Cam Newton injury only cloud Carolina offensive issues further

While not so much doubt, it’s fair to say there’s been some misgivings about the potential ceiling of the Carolina Panthers offense in 2014.  Despite the addition of 1st round pick Kelvin Benjamin, the team doesn’t look much better at the position on paper.  This on top of the fact they lost their Pro Bowl left tackle to retirement and have a backfield overcome with age and injury concerns.  Now throw in the cloudy health status of quarterback Cam Newton, who is recovering from a left ankle injury, and the optimism is stretched to the breaking point for an NFL team expected to improve upon their 12-4 season in 2013.

Richard Sherman continuing to make enemies

Being the world champions affords a team and its players to say what they like regarding why they are the best.  Richard Sherman has done nothing but that since he joined the Seattle Seahawks.  It’s part of his DNA, but for all his success the cornerback just can’t seem to stop himself from creating more and more enemies both on and off the field.  That includes players from his own offense, as a recent scuffle at practiced pointed out.  It will be brushed off as part of the everyday life during off-season workouts but at some point Sherman is going to have to answer for his actions, much like Isaiah Thomas did for those “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons teams back in the 1980s.  How he handles it may be what ultimately determines his legacy, not his play on the field, which is a shame.

Chicago Bears refuse to value family over performance

It all started when Brian Urlacher, the face of the franchise for over a decade was let go.  He was upset, fans were upset and more than a few teammates were upset.  At the same time, the message was clear.  The Chicago Bears are no longer paying for past performance.  As much as the family-owned franchise values the familial spirit, their new brass won’t let that lead them into awarding roster spots to players who no longer deserve it.  That was hammered home yet again when Israel Idonije, a one-time starting defensive end and team leader for the Bears, was cut before the start of training camp.  Though he is a fan favorite, his lack of impact in practice was what concerned coaches the most.  The Bears have been all about embracing former players, but have not shrunk from their stance that no amount of glorious history matters in the present of winning games.

Johnathan Franklin made the right call to retire

There are few things harder to watch in the NFL than a young player coming to grips with having to retire.  It just has that feel of a dream being crushed, something that goes against the very fiber of the “American spirit.”  That reality came home for running back Johnathan Franklin, who chose to hang up the cleats after just one season with the Green Bay Packers due to a neck injury that remains a real concern.  He might not feel it at the moment, and it’s understandable, but years down the road Franklin will realize he made the right decision.  Despite the glamour and allure of football with its camaraderie and money, it can’t compensate for being paralyzed the rest of ones life.  To a man it’s likely that any player would say he’d rather have the use of his body in old age over lots of money and piece of jewelry.

Tags: Cam Newton Chicago Bears Johnathan Franklin NFL Richard Sherman

  • David A Maupin

    Coming from a Bears fan since birth I wish all the best to Franklin. I loved watching him in college and he was a hell of a player although didn’t get the chance to prove it yet in the NFL. It is sad he had to retire so soon in his career. But one has to do what one has to do. Best of luck to him

  • trinity

    You’re right, it’s not worth it for Franklin to risk his body that way. I hope he has a successful career doing something else he likes.

    As for Richard Sherman, I’ve tried hard to like him, but I just can’t. I tried to sympathize with his upbringing and how he made it to be one of the best in the game. He’s intelligent as well. But he is just so damn abrasive and flat out unlikable. I just wish he would not talk and just play. It seems like rarely anything good comes from him speaking.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’ve often compared him to Reggie Miller. He revels in being able to get under a guys’ skin. The unfortunate part of it is he doesn’t have to talk. He’s got the ability. I think he just likes to rub it in.

      • trinity

        Out of all the top cornerbacks, i like the way Joe Haden goes about things the most. He seems to be a more quiet guy who is hanging in the with a franchise that’s struggling. I thought it was cool the way he said he was happy to be there so that he could help build it. He doesn’t play for Seattle or Arizona, and I think his job is more difficult because of it. But he goes out, plays elite just like those guys do, and I never hear him trash people or act as abrasive as Sherman.

        • Erik Lambert

          That’s a big part of why he’s #2 on my top corners list. The guy does his job and nothing more. He doesn’t need to talk because his ability does that for him.

  • Trakar

    Personally, with Sherman, I love the talk. The play is essential, without it, the talk would be off-putting and bizarre, but given the level of his play, the talk just adds the cherry on top. Hopefully he can string together four or five more years at the very top of the league cornerbacks. The more he can turn games against the Seahawks into something more than just a typical weekly game for players from other teams the more success he helps bring to the team.
    Go ‘Hawks

    • Erik Lambert

      Of course you like it, Trakar. You like it because he’s on your team and helps you win football games. Believe me, that’s not a surprise because it happened with Chicago fans with Dennis Rodman, Detroit fans will Bill Laimbeer and so on. The agitator isn’t doing anything wrong in the eyes of the people he plays for. That’s doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything wrong. Seahawks fans turn a blind eye to it because they can, not because they should. So much more deserved love and respect from the rest of the country would’ve been bestowed on that outstanding 2013 team if it weren’t for Sherman. That’s all I’m saying.

      • Trakar

        You, are welcome to your opinion, evidence indicates, however, that “the rest of the country” more closely resembles my considerations than yours, not that this means much.