Teams around the league have wrapped up their rookie mini-camps, and now the focus turns to the OTAs. It's here where the veteran roster is asked to integrate with the rookies -- and where we see the biggest news, as long-standing veterans are cut in favor of younger players. Final roster moves are still being made by some teams prior to the OTAs, and here is your news from around the league on Monday.
Buffalo's plan was to always transition from Buddy Nix to Doug Whaley, but that move is happening earlier than expected. The team announced today that Nix would take a smaller role inside the Bills' organization, where he'd remain as a 'special assistant'.
Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings outlined the extent of the changes under Nix's watch.
He has also been in charge of four separate Bills drafts - first-round picks include C.J. Spiller, Marcell Dareus, Stephon Gilmore and most recently EJ Manuel - and re-tooled the front office completely during his tenure, hiring a chief aide (Doug Whaley) and new coordinators for pro personnel (Tom Gibbons) and college scouting (Chuck Cook).
Justin Blackmon came on mid-season, and finished with an impressive rookie campaign. Finishing with 865 yards and five touchdowns, it looked like Blackmon was ready to take the next step. Unfortunately, he was suspended for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Despite the suspenseion, he denies there's any problem.
"No, I would say I don't. Out of this whole thing one of the main things I would say that I had a problem with was just making a poor decision, making a selfish decision at that and not thinking about the long-term of it and just thinking about at the time. If you want to ask if I have a problem? I have a problem with making a poor decision."
The Carolina Panthers invested heavily in selecting defensive tackles in the NFL draft, but they weren't content with stopping at the borders of the United States. Despite selecting Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in the first and second round, they went to the CFL to select their #1 overall pick, Linden Gaydosh.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected Gaydosh, acquiring the lineman who played his college ball for the University of Calgary Dinos. With the Dinos, a team that competes in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, Gaydosh compiled 90.5 tackles and six sacks in four years.
Standing 6'3 and weighing in at 305 pounds, Gaydosh has decent size for an NFL lineman. He participated in rookie minicamp at Carolina's Bank of America Stadium last week, and his impressive performance earned a contract from the Panthers.
Arizona had too many passers on the roster after acquiring quarterback Carson Palmer via trade, today cutting backup Brian Hoyer. With the depth chart full, he couldn't separate himself from the pack -- making him too expensive, according to Jess Root.
Hoyer was due to make $2 million on a restricted free agent tender. Originally it looked like he would be considered part of the team's future plans at quarterback, but the acquisitions of Carson Palmer via trade and Drew Stanton via free agency made it so that he was simply too expensive to keep as a third string player.
Justin Blackmon wasn't the only news out of Jaguars' OTAs, as Maurice Jones-Drew continues his rehabilitation from injury. Running at 3/4 speed today, the timeline before MJD is back on the field is drawing closer. This is a contract year, and he'll need to have an excellent showing for the new-look Jags.