The Chicago Bears became the third team to sign all of their draft picks, inking first-round pick Kyle Long to a four-year deal with an option for a fifth. Long was the No. 20 pick, and getting him signed is just one fewer thing for him to have to worry about. He'll miss the rest of Chicago's offseason minicamp programs due to Oregon's finals schedule and won't return until June 14, so this was probably something the two sides were motivated to get done.
During the 2013 NFL Draft, it was big news when Griffin III was walking around and even jumping during the Washington Redskins' draft-day festivities. His recovery from injury will be the biggest news through training camp, preseason and possibly the first couple weeks of the regular season. That's why it's important to note that RGIII has been throwing since April and is on-pace to start the season opener.
Irvin, the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, was suspended for four games on Friday. Irvin violated the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. Given that Irvin immediately released an apology, it doesn't look like he's going to appeal the decision, either.
Field Gulls offered up some early analysis after the news broke:
Seattle starts the year on the road in Carolina, returns home to face the Niners and Jaguars, then heads to Houston to play the Texans. The Seahawks will now be without their two main defensive ends from 2012 in Chris Clemons (likely PUP) and Irvin. The off-season signings of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett are looking good right now, and Ty Powell may become a factor early on in the year.
Also on Friday, free agent safety Charles Woodson said that he would be open to playing for the Detroit Lions, provided the money was right. Woodson is well on the wrong side of 30 and can't have many seasons left in him, so he's looking for the best deal he can get. Of course, it seems unlikely that the Lions would be the team to give him the deal he's after, but at least Woodson is making it known that he's willing.
Gronkowski took the NFL by storm, but he's had some very significant injury issues this past year. On Friday, the news that he may require surgery on his back came out. This comes right after the news that he might need a fourth surgery on his left forearm. His back issue is considered "minor," but it's still a troubling trend for someone who might be the NFL's top tight end.
Over at Pats Pulpit, they take a step back from the ledge and add a helpful reminder:
The recovery time for both procedures will overlap, and it will likely still put him in line to return to training camp. Again, this doesn't mean he'll be ready for camp, just be ready around the time of camp. It's worth noting that back issues is what made Gronkowski slip so far during the 2010 NFL Draft, and allowed him to be essentially stolen by the Pats in the second round