With no OTAs on the schedule, Monday's NFL news focused on a few issues off the field. Offseason rehab, contract situations and team meetings were among the highlights. While the headlines may not sound glamorous, the news involved a few NFL stars who could have a major impact in 2013.
The Giants have plenty of uncertainty at wide receiver and they may not resolve it all this offseason. New York is currently engaged in contract negotiations with Victor Cruz, but Hakeem Nicks is reportedly willing to wait until after the 2013 season to discuss an extension. Nicks is entering the final year of his rookie contract and by waiting for a deal, he could add leverage if he's able to prove his injury woes are behind him. Neither Nicks or Cruz reported to New York's recent OTAs, leaving the Giants without their top two receivers in practice. While not ideal, their absence allowed some younger players more reps with Eli Manning, via Big Blue View:
Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan replaced Nicks and Cruz as starters in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills, with newcomer Louis Murphy also seeing plenty of action. It was a chance for Murphy in particular to get acclimated with his new quarterback, Eli Manning, and while the reps were important to the replacements, Manning is going to need his starters back in camp sooner rather than later.
When Cruz and Nicks return, the Giants should once again have a potent offense, something Norv Turner is trying to create in Cleveland. The new Browns offensive coordinator said the Browns will attack in 2013. The Browns finished last season 25th in total offense and 24th in scoring. The scheme changes under Turner and head coach Rob Chudzinski could help, but the addition of Davone Bess may also be a big boost. Mike Krupka of Dawgs By Nature labeled Bess a "first down machine":
With Little and Gordon on the outside; a stout pass blocking offensive line; and an attack style offensive scheme, Bess should continue to be a "First Down Machine" as long as Weeden can read the defense and get the ball out quickly to the open man. In this installment, we will be looking at several catches that resulted in first downs for Bess and the Dolphins.
When Seattle's Bruce Irvin was suspended for a violations of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances earlier this month, he became the fifth Seahawk to be suspended for a PED violation since 2010. Seattle leads the league in PED violations during that time, and now the veterans on the roster are working to avoid any further issues. Seattle safety Kam Chancellor said the players held a team meeting recently where they addressed the issue.
"We have to grow up and move past that," Chancellor said during an appearance on SiriusXM radio. "That's pretty much the message right now, growing up and not making the same mistakes over and over."
Robert Griffin III's recovery from offseason knee surgery has been one of the biggest topics of the NFL offseason. After Adrian Peterson's comeback from a similar injury a year ago, many have compared the two players this offseason. If Peterson can return ahead of schedule, play the entire season and win MVP, why can't RG3? Griffin said he spoke to Peterson recently, but noted it's impossible to compare recoveries, even if the injuries are similar.
"I'm not all-knowing about the injury so I listen to guys," Griffin said. "You know, Adrian said what everyone else said. I'm not Adrian. Adrian's not me. Everybody's body heals a little bit differently. Rex [Grossman, the Redskins' third-string quarterback] also tore an ACL in his career. He's talked to me about the uncertainties that he had with the injury."
While Griffin won't compare the two, he does appear to be recovering extremely well. Hogs Haven has a detailed report on Griffin's recovery, including what phases he's accomplished thus far and what's next.