NFL news roundup: Richard Sherman objects to people using 'thug' label, Scott Pioli finds new job

Christian Petersen

Only two teams remain alive for the championship, but all 32 teams have work to do 365 days a year. Here is the NFL news roundup for Wednesday.

We are less than two weeks away from the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos meeting in the 48th edition of the Super Bowl for the right to call themselves champions of the league, but every other team must carry on with business as usual on Wednesday. Hopefully so that next year they can be the ones prepping for the Super Bowl.

Of course, that didn't stop Richard Sherman from making headlines again. Sherman told reporters that being called a "thug" by people is "the accepted way of using the 'N' word."

Here is your roundup of that interview, as well as all the other pertinent NFL news for hump day.

Richard Sherman objects to being called a "thug"

It seems like everybody in the country has had something to say this week about Sherman's post-NFC Championship tirade against San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, but on Wednesday, Sherman got his chance to speak out about it. Sherman confessed that it was probably "bad timing" to go up to Crabtree right after the play, but that people on the Internet had "time to articulate" their responses; time that he didn't have when Erin Andrews approached him for the interview.

Falcons hire Scott Pioli as assistant GM

Atlanta added a familiar name to its front office, hiring the former Kansas City Chiefs general manager to assist current GM Thomas Dimitroff. Pioli served as Kansas City's GM from 2009 to 2012, but was fired following a 2-14 season. Though he played a large role in the New England Patriots success in the early 2000s, he failed to recreate that same magic with the Chiefs, despite bringing with him a host of familiar faces from New England, like quarterback Matt Cassel, and eventually head coach Romeo Crennel. He will try to help turn the Falcons around from a surprising 4-12 record in 2013.

Bills want to sign safety Jairus Byrd to new contract

Buffalo let Byrd's contract issue stay up in the air last offseason, which ultimately led to a lengthy holdout, and eventually the Pro Bowl safety signing his franchise tag tender. This time around, Bills general manager Doug Whaley says that the team will be sending Byrd a contract offer soon in the hopes of keeping him around long term. Byrd is playing in his third Pro Bowl this weekend.

Mark Sanchez still viewed as starter by at least one coach

The Jets performed about as well on offense this year with rookie Geno Smith as they had in the past with Sanchez, so it makes sense for them to release the veteran who is due a hefty paycheck in 2014. Though he's had issues in the past with efficiency and turnovers, leading to quarterback controversies involving everyone from Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy, one anonymous coach told the New York Post that Sanchez would be his team's starter "as soon as he walked in the door for us."

Remember that last year the Arizona Cardinals named Drew Stanton the starter when he walked in the door, before they went out and acquired Carson Palmer.

Cowboys not expected to use franchise tag

Dallas' executive vice president Stephen Jones said that he does not foresee his team using the franchise tag this year, and that could cost them one of their top defensive players. The Cowboys are projected to be considerably over the salary cap unless they start releasing some players, and that could also restrict them from tagging star defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. Dallas has tagged linebacker Anthony Spencer in each of the last two years.

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