NFL Off-Season update: News and analysis

We’re currently deep into the quietest period of the NFL calendar, the gap between post-draft mini camps and the start of training camps across the league in early August. It’s a time when mediocre free agents (hello, Tim Tebow) are able to find a 75-man roster spot and players already safely in a job let their hair down. Some do so by going traveling, others go to baseball games and hit women like Adam “Pacman” Jones. I’m sure Jones is in the minority with his actions, but keep reading to find out more about the temperamental cornerback and other vaguely interested news that’s surfaced recently in the National Football League.

– I’ve already mentioned him, and it really does seem there’s no escaping Tim Tebow. Not only has he been picked up by a team, he’s been picked up by the most successful coach in the league. Bill Belichick knows more than I do about football so I’m not going to question his judgement. And at near or at the league minimum the Patriots have hardly made a large investment in the former Jets and Broncos QB. In fact, I rate Tebows chances of making the opening day roster as being 50/50 at best. If he does however make the roster then it will be interesting to see how BB uses his unique skill set. Perhaps he’ll line up as a H-back or full-back and carry the rock occasionally. Maybe he’ll even have his own wildcat package and see a few snaps per game. I highly doubt he’ll be used as a genuine backup QB, and it’s important to remember that the more snaps he receives the fewer opportunities one of the greatest QB’s of all time, Tom Brady, gets to handle the ball. It’ll be fun to see how the situation plays out, although I suspect the game time to media attention ratio will become quickly irritating.

– Looking to the future, Superbowls L and LI were handed to San Francisco and Houston, respectively. Superbowl L, to be held in 2016, will actually be staged at the 49ers new home in Santa Clara, not Candlestick Park (or whatever commercial name it goes by these days). It continues a trend of awarding the big game to brand new stadiums, the most recent example being 2012 in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. Should the 49ers remain competitive down the line it could lead to San Fran competing in a home Superbowl, which as I’m sure you already know has never happened. SB LI in Houston sees the second time Reliant Stadium has been awarded the game, following Superbowl XXXVIII where Belichick and Brady won their second rings by defeating Jake Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers. I seem to recall a slight issue during that particular game with the grass becoming slippy because of the atmospheric effects caused by having the retractable roof closed, to it’ll be interesting to see if that happens next time around. While San Fran and Houston were celebrating their fortune, Miami were left empty handed in the Superbowl stakes. Miami has actually hosted the joint most amount of Superbowls with New Orleans, the 2013 venue, including the 2010 game. With the league opening up new avenues with regard to the game (most notably by giving the 2014 game to a cold weather venue, New York, for the first time) Miami could face a long wait for the chance to host their eleventh Superbowl. It’s likely that the condition of Sun Life Stadium in comparison the newer venues contributed heavily to Miami missing out, and it’s easy to see why. Originally built to host baseball as well as football the stadium lacks the state of the art design features and amenities of other modern stadia.

– I don’t want to slam Adam Jones too much before the full details of his arrest are revealed and the consequences felt. But his agent has revealed that two women at a Cincinnati Reds game asked for a picture with Jones, before throwing beer all over him. Jones then proceeded to slap one of the women, leading to his arrest. When I read the incident Jones’ previous misdemeanors came to mind and unfortunately when you’ve previously been arrested on multiple occasions your reputation proceeds you. I hope the whole thing blows over, but with Jones you never know when the next incident is around the corner.

– QB Tavaris Jackson has been released by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills drafted E.J Manuel in the first round of the draft so the warning signs were there, along with their signing of free-agent Kevin Kolb from the Arizona Cardinals. Kolb and Manuel are likely to be in competition for the starting gig, while Jackson searches around for his next back-up role. Jackson was once pretty serviceable in Minnesota, although he was helped by having Adrian Petersen to hand the rock to. Other than that, he mainly springs to mind because one of my friends thought he was called ‘Travis’. If only. Good luck finding a job, Travis.

That’s about it for noteworthy news in the league at the moment. While there’s no action on the field to report the off the field news is still slowly trickling in, so I’ll try to keep posting regularly on the latest news and rumours that surface. As always, keep checking back and if you have anything to say just leave a comment!