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NFL News and Notes: Roster Updates and Trade Talks
It may not be football season, but that does not mean there isn’t plenty of action in the NFL. With the draft scheduled for the end of this month, teams around the league continue to evaluate their rosters and make moves to give their teams the best chance to win in the upcoming season.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest news stories of the last week.
Bengals Part Ways With Bernard
It is the end of an era in Cincinnati. After eight seasons with the Bengals, the team has decided to part ways with running back Giovani Bernard.
Drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft, Bernard has made a living out of being a dual-threat on the ground and through the air.
Arguably his best season came in 2013, his rookie year when he rushed 170 times for 695 yards and five touchdowns while also catching 56 passes for 514 yards and another three scores.
Still, he has been a reliable threat out of the backfield for the Bengals. Even last year, with the injury to Joe Mixon, Bernard was a serviceable replacement rushing for 416 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in 47 catches for 355 yards and another three scores.
The decision likely came down to finances, though. Bernard was entering the last year of his contract, and by releasing him, the Bengals save about four million worth of cap space.
The writing was on the wall as the Bengals recently re-signed Samaje Perine. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, it appears that Bernard likely requested the release so that he could try to find a new team in free agency.
Still just 29 years old, Bernard can still be a serviceable back in the NFL, so it likely won’t be long before he has a new team.
The Bengals are currently +8000 to win the Super Bowl next season.
Browns Interested In Clowney
For the second year in a row, there seems to be mutual interest between defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and the Cleveland Browns. Unlike last season, when Clowney signed with the Titans, the Browns are hoping to land him this time around.
Clowney recently visited the Browns but left without a contract. Still, the two sides seem open to working something out if the fit is right.
Last season, Clowney played in just 8 games, but in that time, he had 19 tackles, a forced fumble, four tackles for loss, and six quarterback hits. It was just a few seasons ago, with the Texans, that he recorded nine sacks and 47 tackles, so there is likely more to get out of the 28-year-old.
The Browns are currently +2500 to win Super Bowl 56, and an addition like Clowney might only help those odds.
Bridgewater Is Able To Seek Trade
Elsewhere around the league, the Carolina Panthers were able to trade for quarterback Sam Darnold from the New York Jets last week in exchange for draft picks. This week, the team gave incumbent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater the opportunity to look for a trade.
In the deal to get Darnold, the Panthers gave up a sixth-round pick this year and a second and fourth next year. With so much draft capital moving, it only makes sense that the team envisions Darnold as the starter.
That means that the Bridgewater experiment is over after just one season. Darnold went 4-11 this season as a starter, throwing for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 279 yards and five touchdowns.
At just 28-years-old, there will likely be a lot of suitors for Bridgewater, especially in such a quarterback-starved league. Undoubtedly, Bridgewater will be under center again. It just appears it won’t be with Carolina.
The Carolina Panthers are currently +5000 to win the Super Bowl.
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