The NFL offseason is a lot more interesting than people give it credit for. Rosters are bloated with potential obscured by character issues and nagging injuries.
Hope abounds: Hope that Rolando McClain will see the light, hope that Julian Edelman can stay healthy, hope that Felix Jones can somehow become the exciting player he was once purported to be. Nothing is guaranteed, which makes the May/June doldrums a good time to speculate without caution about what these players and others will or won't do next season. Enjoy it, because come July it's back to serious business.
So without further ado, here's your news roundup for Tuesday evening:
Linebacker Rolando McClain was released from the Oakland Raiders after a rocky 2012, and later arrested nine days after signing a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. No one would have blamed the Ravens for promptly giving McClain the axe, but assistant general manager Eric DeCosta told the Baltimore Sun that the team isn't giving up on the former No. 8 overall pick.
"If you asked him, he would probably admit to making some mistakes. We think he warrants a second chance. Obviously, he's an Alabama guy.
"We have a relationship with a lot of Alabama players. We get a lot of good information from Alabama because of Ozzie Newsome's relationship with the school. So, we think he deserves a second chance."
Apparently being an "Alabama guy" carries a lot of weight in Baltimore. Perhaps more importantly, the Ravens need the depth at inside linebacker after losing Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe after the Super Bowl. McClain should stick with the team at least through training camp, where he'll compete for playing time with Jameel McClain (no relation) and second-round 2013 NFL Draft pick Arthur Brown.
Julian Edelman is in danger of missing the start of training camp with the New England Patriots. After landing on injured reserve last season with a right foot injury, he has reportedly suffered a setback in his recovery that has placed him back in a walking boot, according to reports.
Edelman will fight for playing time among Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones, and 2013 second-round pick Aaron Dobson. Edelman is on a one-year contract, so he'll have to get healthy and contribute or perhaps be forced to ship out of a suddenly crowded Pats receiver corps after the season.
The Philadelphia Eagles worked out Felix Jones on Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter. Jones could be a change-of-pace back behind LeSean McCoy, assuming he can stay healthy. Jones struggled with knee injuries last season.
Felix Jones has had trouble even getting a whiff from NFL teams this offseason. Outside of workout with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jones has had little known contact with suitors. He averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per carry last season on 111 attempts. His skillset could fit Chip Kelly's offense very well, however. Jones has the speed and agility to thrive in space as a ball carrier or receiving threat.
Marcus Trufant will join a young Jacksonville Jaguars secondary as a veteran presence, according to reports. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but Trufant, 32, likely didn't cost much. His skills have been in steady decline in recent years.
Trufant can still expect to play an important role next season, however. He is very familiar with new head coach Gus Bradley, who was the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks during Trufant's final four seasons with the team. Trufant has spent all 10 of his NFL seasons in Seattle.
Be sure to check out Matt Ufford's long-form piece on the Trufant family.
Detroit Lions second-round pick Darius Slay underwent knee surgery last Friday to repair a torn meniscus. Slay's knee issue was known when he was drafted, but general manager Martin Mayhew initially believed that the speedster could participate in rookie minicamp. That's no longer the case.
Slay is expected to be ready for training camp, however, giving him an opportunity to contribute Week 1. Slay was the fastest defensive back and fifth-fastest overall player at the 2013 NFL Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds.
Mike Iupati dealt with shoulder injuries throughout December and through the San Francisco 49ers' playoff run to the Super Bowl. He finally underwent shoulder surgery recently to repair what's ailing him. The injury does not appear to be severe, and the All-Pro left guard should be available for training camp.
Niners Nation suggests that the recent signing of Adam Snyder may have something to do with Iupati's lack of availability. The 49ers are loaded with bodies along the interior offensive line this offseason, setting up what should be some spirited competition in practice.
John Kasay signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Panthers to announce his NFL retirement Tuesday. Kasay is eighth all-time in the NFL in scoring. Cat Scratch Reader had kind words that you should read:
At this point I'm really struggling to find words to say about John Kasay, because he's a man who transcends kind words. He's the kind of man you want your son to grow up to be - a man, who even though he shined in the spotlight, dared not allow that spotlight to take away his humility, grace, and kindness towards others. John Kasay was, is, and will always be a Carolina Panther, and we as Panthers fans are fortunate to have been able to share some of his best (and worst) moments throughout his illustrious career.
John, I think I speak for all of Panthers Nation when I say this: from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you did for us, and thank you for being a Carolina Panther.
Philadelphia Eagles left guard Evan Mathis has undergone a minor ankle procedure and will miss the team's remaining offseason training activities. Mathis was one of the Eagles' most consistent offensive linemen last season, so the loss is a big blow. He'll be ready for training camp, however, so Eagles fans shouldn't fret too much.
SB Nation blog Bleeding Green Nation believes that the injury could open the door for former first-round pick Danny Watkins to enter the lineup. Watkins should see snaps with the first-team offense while Mathis is out. He isn't likely to unseat Mathis, but the extra reps can't hurt.