Former first-round Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman Troy Hill Jersey , who at only 30 is still younger than many of the NFL’s current starters, has retired amid a comeback attempt in Canada.
鈥淲e would like to thank Josh for his work and dedication. He was a consummate professional throughout camp,鈥?Montreal Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed said. 鈥淲e respect his decision and we wish him the best in the future.鈥?/p>
Less than three weeks ago, Freeman’s return to football provided an unexpected offseason feel-good story. The guy who once had a 4,000-yard season was giving it another go, more than two years after his last NFL action.
Someone asked me the other day, 鈥楧ude, are you out of money? Why are you playing in the CFL?鈥?鈥?Freeman told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times in early May. 鈥淚 said, 鈥楤ecause I like playing football.’鈥?/p>
Freeman’s quick exit from Canada is a reminder that the CFL features great athletes and significant competition. Former CFL and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, who arguably was the greatest CFL player of all time, recently explained during a visit to PFT Live the challenges presented by playing in Canada.
It’s important to keep this in mind at a time when many are assuming that Johnny Manziel’s ascension to the starting quarterback job with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be simple or automatic.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (16-3)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia
LAST YEAR: Won first Super Bowl title and franchise’s first NFL championship since 1960, defeating Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Patriots. Overcame losing several key players to injury, including QB Carson Wentz, LT Jason Peters Marvin Harrison Jersey , LB Jordan Hicks and others. Backup QB Nick Foles led way after Wentz tore ACL in Week 14, earning Super Bowl MVP honors. Coach Doug Pederson’s offense was balanced yet aggressive. Players bought into team-first attitudes. Defense thrived under coordinator Jim Schwartz. DT Fletcher Cox anchored deep line that included Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham. Special teams were solid despite losing PR Darren Sproles. Rookie K Jake Elliott showed strong leg.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: DE Michael Bennett, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Mike Wallace, LB Corey Nelson, TE Richard Rodgers, rookie TE Dallas Goedert.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Offensive coordinator Frank Reich, QB coach John DeFilippo, TE Trey Burton, RB LeGarrette Blount, DE Vinny Curry, CB Patrick Robinson, LB Mychal Kendricks, WR Torrey Smith, DT Beau Allen, TE Brent Celek, P Donnie Jones.
CAMP NEEDS: Wentz will be closely monitored but there’s no urgency to rush him with Foles still on team. His rehab will be biggest story this summer. Other key players returning from injury include Peters Chuck Howley Jersey , Hicks, Sproles, special teams ace Chris Maragos and DT Tim Jernigan. Defense needs LB to emerge as replacement for Kendricks and CB to replace Robinson at nickel spot. Both QBs need to build chemistry with new Nos. 2-3 TEs.
EXPECTATIONS: Trying to become first Super Bowl champs to repeat since 2003-04 Patriots, and anything less will be considered disappointment. Wentz, Peters and other star players who missed playoffs last year are determined to win it all and won’t let teammates get complacent. Overall, team improved on paper but it’ll be difficult to match unique bond last year’s group had.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-7)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, Oxnard, California
LAST YEAR: Cowboys missed playoffs year after dynamic rookie tandem of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott fueled Dallas to NFC-best 13 wins. Elliott’s six-game suspension during season over domestic violence allegations was big reason. Prescott’s performance dipped after winning NFL Offensive Rookie of Year in 2016. Offensive line was less consistent than usual. Defense was solid but not spectacular.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Leighton Vander Esch, WR Allen Hurns, G Connor Williams, WR Tavon Austin, WR Michael Gallup, TE Dalton Schultz, T Cameron Fleming, secondary coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: TE Jason Witten, WR Dez Bryant, LB Anthony Hitchens Daeshon Hall Jersey , CB Orlando Scandrick.
CAMP NEEDS: Cowboys need to sort out jumbled picture at receiver and tight end after dumping Bryant in cost-cutting move and somewhat surprising retirement of Witten, who went into broadcasting. WR Terrance Williams broke foot and was arrested during tumultuous offseason when Cowboys needed to know if he could take Bryant’s place atop receiving depth chart. Barring unexpected resurgence from six-year veteran, replacing Bryant will fall to Hurns and collection of rookies, other young players. Geoff Swaim likely to get first crack at replacing Witten, but Dallas likes Blake Jarwin. LB Jaylon Smith needs to show explosiveness in second season since recovery from major knee injury in college. Sean Lee needs to stay healthy. Without those developments, heavy responsibility could fall on Vander Esch as rookie.
EXPECTATIONS: Coach Jason Garrett has two playoff appearances and one postseason win in seven full seasons. Elliott saga and untimely injuries, particularly to offensive line, gave him pass last season. Hard to imagine owner Jerry Jones sticking with him if Cowboys miss playoffs again, particularly after offseason overhaul of coaching staff. Healthy and eligible Elliott figures to be factor in NFL rushing race after leading league as rookie two years ago. Elliott still led league in yards rushing per game during suspension-marred season. Prescott wasn’t as good at protecting ball year after rookie record for passer rating. Cowboys want him to feed off Elliott-powered running game. Dallas believes young talent in secondary can help defense make difference. Cowboys could use repeat from DeMarcus Lawrence, who finished second in NFL with 14 sacks last season and will play on franchise tag. Lawrence needs help, and prime candidate would be Taco Charlton, last year’s first-round pick.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-9)
OPEN CAMP: July 26, Richmond, Virginia
LAST YEAR: Injuries, ineffective running game and porous run defense derailed playoff hopes. Nine starters were on injured reserve by end of season, including left tackle Trent Williams, tight end Jordan Reed Sam Acho Jersey , and linebacker Mason Foster. Quarterback Kirk Cousins surpassed 4,000 yards for third straight year, threw for 27 touchdowns and ran for four, but had three interceptions in season finale that turned out to be final game with team. Blowing 31-16 lead at New Orleans in November ended realistic postseason hopes before Thanksgiving. Receiver Josh Doctson showed hope for future with 35 catches for 502 yards and team-high six TDs. First-round pick Jonathan Allen flashed elite ability on defensive line before foot injury halted season five games in. Defense allowed 348 yards and 24 points per game. Offense couldn’t keep up while down several key weapons.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QB Alex Smith, WR Paul Richardson, LB Pernell McPhee, CB Orlando Scandrick, rookie RB Derrius Guice, rookie DL Daron Payne.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Cousins, WR Terrelle Pryor, WR Ryan Grant, TE Niles Paul Authentic Womens Sam Darnold Jersey ,