Obviously, the big news is the Josh Gordon saga finally reaching some closure with the league upholding his one-year suspension. What’s notable is that the suspension is actually being reported as a one-season suspension in at least one NFL.com article—and there’s a big difference. Because Gordon can’t be around the club during his suspension, a one-year suspension means he wouldn’t be able to return to the team until three weeks into the 2015 training camp. If it’s truly a one-season suspension, Gordon is out for 2014 but could rejoin the club when the official league calendar flips over and OTAs begin next spring. ESPN is reporting that Gordon can apply for reinstatement after the 2014 season, which would free him up to participate in offseason workouts prior to next year—assuming, of course, he stay’s clean. Lots can happen between now and January, but for now at least we know no Gordon for the Browns in 2014.
Brandon Merriweather is upset about his two-game suspension for his cheap shot of Wes Welker in last weekend’s preseason game, but not as upset as Welker’s fantasy owners are about Welker’s third concussion in the past two seasons. The good news is that Broncos coach John Fox reported Welker has entered “exercise mode” of his recovery, a stage that can’t be reached until the concussion symptoms have begun to subside. That said, he’s still no lock for Week 1 and the prospects of another bell-ringing ending his career feel that much closer. It certainly puts a damper on drafting one of Peyton Manning’s most reliable targets.
- Be sure to check out today’s “Balancing Your Wide Receivers.“
With the Logan Mankins-for-Tim Wright trade already under their belts, is it only a matter of time until the Patriots make a similar move with Ryan Mallett? New England intends to use the preseason finale as a proving grounds for Jimmy Garoppolo; if he holds up to scrutiny and the Pats feel comfortable rolling into the season with him as Tom Brady’s primary backup expect Mallett to be wearing a new uniform by next week. The early favorite is Houston, where Bill Belichick’s former quarterback whisperer Bill O’Brien would love some raw material to work with.
The kicker carousel is firing up in earnest. Apparently dissatisfied with Maikon Bonani and Travis Coons, the Titans have worked out former Cardinal Jay Feely and reportedly extended the same courtesy Wednesday to journeyman Rian Lindell. Neither carries as much fantasy import as Brandon McManus, who will tack on points for the Broncos while Matt Prater serves his four-game suspension.
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And finally, by this time tomorrow we may be talking about the extremely-well paid and Cowboy-for-life Dez Bryant. Multiple sources suggest negotiations between the team and Bryant are nearing their conclusion, and in a good way. Doesn’t hurt that Bryant has sparkled in the preseason, and it certainly doesn’t hurt Dez’s potential bank account when you think that lesser talents like Mike Wallace and Percy Harvin have secured deals in the $12 million per year range. Back up the brinks truck to Bryant’s house, courtesy of Jerry Jones and the Cowboys!