Extra Points: Saints, Bears, Gore, Eagles

Earlier tonight, franchise player Jimmy Graham tweeted that he’s “shocked and disappointed” about everything that’s happened in New Orleans this offseason. Graham is likely referencing the Saints’ decisions to cut offensive weapons Lance Moore and Darren SprolesAccording to John Breech of CBSSports.com, there’s a chance the team could release running back Pierre Thomas as well. Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweeted that the decision to cut Moore and Sproles likely stemmed from the large cap numbers of Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Marques Colston, and Brodrick Bunkley.

Let’s look at some other news tidbits from this Friday evening…

  • Lance Briggs expressed similar frustrations to Graham with the Bears‘ front office on Friday, saying that if he ran the team, he would “trade all the draft picks and bring my brothers back.” Briggs was presumably referencing players like Charles Tillman, Devin Hester, and Brian Urlacher. While Urlacher retired after last season, the team seems ready to cut ties with Hester and Tillman. It is widely expected that the Bears will also part ways with Julius Peppers due to the eight-time Pro Bowler’s huge cap figure.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke has said that, considering Frank Gore “had a A++ season” in 2013, the team doesn’t feel it needs to restructure the five-time Pro Bowl running back’s contract this offseason, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).
  • Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks that the Eagles should pursue safety Malcolm Jenkins in free agency. McLane argues that the new free agent would be a better schematic fit for the Eagles than more prominent free agent safeties such as Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward. He thinks the Eagles could also pursue the Panthers’ Michael Mitchell and the Dolphins’ Chris Clemons, among others.
  • Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune (via Twitter) thinks that because of the departures of Sproles and Moore, the Saints will be looking for a return specialist this offseason. Duncan speculates that the team could address this void by targeting Devin Hester, New Orleans native Jacoby Jones, or perhaps even a prospect like LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham.
  • Desmond Bryant, defensive end for the Browns, says he’s been medically cleared to play after a health scare, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com and Bryant’s personal Twitter account.
  • Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group identifies six free agent offensive lineman that could interest the Browns, including San Diego’s Chad Rinehart and Kansas City’s Geoff Schwartz.
  • Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody, whose contract situation is currently up in the air, has signed with Authentic Athletix NFL agent Peter Schaffer, according to a tweet by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journalism. Cody had been previously represented by Athletes First.
  • Ben Tate told Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston that he can become an “elite” running back next season. Tate has not been shy about his plans to test free agency and finally step into a starting role on another team.
  • Darnell Dockett called free agent tackle Branden Albert his teammate in a tweet earlier today, according to Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride. While Albert’s response to the tweet, which was quickly deleted, deflected Dockett’s comments, it did not directly dispute the teammate comment.
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