Two players were suspended for substance abuse violations on Monday, while Desmond Bishop found a new home and a handful of quarterbacks made headlines. Still, the ongoing murder investigation involving Aaron Hernandez was the biggest NFL story of the day.
Aaron Hernandez and his representation were quiet during the early stages of the investigation into the death of Odin Lloyd, but that changed on Monday when Hernandez's attorney, Michael Fee, issued a statement criticizing the media for "misinformation and false reports." Here is the complete statement (via Wesley Lowery of the Boston Globe):
Over the past week, our client, Aaron Hernandez, has been the subject of a relentless flood of rumors, misinformation and false reports in the media. These include the repeated publication of a supposedly confirmed report that an arrest warrant had been issued for Aaron, a report that was exposed as untrue. None of these false reports come from official sources and we appreciate the professionalism, and restraint shown by the Bristol County District Attorney's Office to date with regard to its public statements while its investigation is underway. Out of respect for that ongoing investigation, we will continue to refrain from commenting on its substance.
A pair of second-year wide receivers were suspended on Monday as New York's Brandon Collins and Indianapolis' LaVon Brazill were each suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Brazill, a sixth-round pick in 2012, showed promise as a rookie, but may now have an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue wrote: "Brazill's chances of even making the 53-man roster took a significant hit with the suspension."
The suspension may have done even more damage to Collins' chances to make the Giants roster. Things aren't looking good for the former undrafted free agent, as Sam Spiegelman of Big Blue View wrote that the suspension may "destroy" Collins' chances of making the team.
Desmond Bishop drew interest from a few teams after being released by Green Bay but ended up staying in the NFC North as he signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday. Bishop signed a one-year deal with the team but there are still questions as to how he will fit in with the Vikings.
Although he will have to prove he's healthy and settle into a role on the team, it's hard to argue the Vikings didn't get better on Monday. Eric Thompson of the Daily Norseman isn't sure if the Vikings just got a free agent steal or not, but likes the idea a linebacker unit of Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson and Bishop.
Quarterbacks, quarterbacks and more quarterbacks
If you like quarterback news, you're in luck, as there was a lot of it on Monday.
In a very early prediction, ESPN's John Clayton predicted Kevin Kolb, not E.J. Manuel, would open the season as the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback. Rookie quarterbacks took the NFL by storm last season, but Clayton said he thinks the Bills will ease Manuel into the starting role.
Matt Flynn is currently penciled in to start for the Raiders, but ESPN's Ron Jaworski didn't come away impressed after evaluating Flynn's film. Arm strength, or the lack of it, is the big issue.
"The more throws I watched, the more his arm strength limitations were evident," Jaworski said. "... In fact, I was concerned that his few deep balls lost energy at the back end. They had a tendency to die."
While Flynn and Kolb are likely temporary solutions, Geno Smith may be the future for the New York Jets. The rookie quarterback talked to the NFL Network on Monday and said he's already made a "giant leap" in his development.
"Coming from a spread system where the biggest transition for me is going to be the footwork. It's not as if I can't do it, it's the fact that I haven't done it enough. The good amount of reps that I got in rookie camp, minicamp, OTAs has helped me make that leap and transition, and make giant strides."
"I have an opportunity to fight for a starting job in a great place right now, so I look forward to it."