August 2014

The New York Giants have added running back Michael Cox and six other players to their practice squad. Six of the seven, including Cox, were cut by the Giants on Saturday before rejoining the team on Sunday. They include cornerbacks Bennett Jackson and Chandler Fenner, linebacker Dan Fox, defensive end Jordan Stanton, and wide receiver Julian Talley. Cox was the Giants' seventh-round draft pick last year.
The Houston Texans acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots on Sunday in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. ESPN reported that the Patriots will receive a sixth-round draft choice. It also reported that the Texans will waive quarterback Case Keenum. The teams reportedly discussed a Mallett trade before the NFL Draft in May -- Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is a former Patriots offensive coordinator -- but were unable to agree on terms.
The desired plan for the New York Giants all along was to go with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. That's exactly what they were able to do this year after having to carry three in 2013, the first time they did so under head coach Tom Coughlin since the 2007 season. The extra roster spot was made possible thanks to the major steps taken by second-year man Ryan Nassib in his development this summer. "Ryan Nassib made big strides," Coughlin said.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Second-year wide receiver Josh Boyce, who entered training camp favored to be New England's No. 1 kick returner, and long snapper Danny Aiken were among those cut Saturday as the Patriots got to the 53-player limit.
Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham isn't going to get a second chance with the New York Giants, and neither is backup quarterback Curtis Painter. The Giants on Saturday placed Manningham on injured reserve along with fellow receiver Trindon Holliday, and released Painter in reducing their roster to the NFL's 53-man limit. Three other members of last year's team - fullback John Conner, running back Michael Cox and receiver Julian Talley - were among the 22 roster moves. Manningham's legacy with the Giants will be his spectacular, late fourth-quarter sideline catch to ignite the Giants' win over the Patriots in the 2012 Super Bowl.
While 31 teams try to derail the Seahawks' attempt to repeat, there are plenty of other challenges facing players, coaches and owners heading into opening week of the NFL. The NFL and its partners have been ahead of the curve in technology on television, but coaches were stuck using antiquated photo prints and cardboard play sheets. ''The sideline of the future is where we're going,'' says Troy Vincent, the league's overseer of football operations.
The New York Giants will place wide receiver Mario Manningham and kick return specialist Trindon Holliday on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, according to ESPN. Manningham strained a calf muscle during Thursday's exhibition win against the New England Patriots while Holliday had a hamstring injury throughout training camp. Manningham has also struggled with knee injuries over the past two seasons when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. Now, Manningham's career is in doubt at 28.
The Detroit Lions accomplished everything they needed offensively this offseason. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson looks healthy, quarterback Matthew Stafford improved his footwork, running back Reggie Bush appears fast and new receiving weapons Golden Tate and rookie Eric Ebron look like great fits at wide receiver and tight end. On defense and special teams, though, questions remain, and those two units will likely determine the Lions' ceiling in 2014. Penalties could also remain an issue as the Lions had 25 combined in the final two preseason games.
Despite their 5-0 preseason record, the New York Giants are far from perfect. While the Giants' rushing game is showing marked improvement over last year by averaging 134.6 yards per game, the passing game is not a pretty sight. The Giants' passing offense finished the preseason ranked 28th at 179.6 yards per game. Quarterback Eli Manning, who is expected to complete 70 percent of his passes in this new offense, finished preseason with a dismal 48.8 completion percentage and a woeful 70 passer rating.
The newest New England Patriots player seems to be fitting right in. Tight end Tim Wright caught four passes for 43 yards in the Patriots' exhibition finale on Thursday night, about 48 hours after he was traded to New England from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots gave up offensive captain and six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins for Wright, who is competing for a spot as backup to oft-injured Rob Gronkowski. ''I think the big thing for Tim last night was just the opportunity to be in our system and play in our system,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call with reporters on Friday.

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