5 Key NFL Stories: 2/11/18 – 2/18/18

Colts find a head coach. Less than a week after Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels rejected their head coaching offer, the Colts decided on Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich to lead their club. Indianapolis will keep defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus — who inked a contract when McDaniels was the presumptive hire — and hire ex-Chargers wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni as offensive coordinator. Before the Colts’ second head coaching search concluded with Reich’s hiring, general manager Chris Ballard also interviewed Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell.

A.J. McCarron will hit the open market. An independent arbitrator ruled last week that McCarron’s contract will not toll, meaning he’ll become an unrestricted free agent rather than a restricted free agent. The Bengals stashed McCarron on the non-football injury list for most of his rookie campaign, but the arbitrator decided Cincinnati won’t get to use that roster trick to keep its backup quarterback for an extra year. The Browns, Vikings, Jets, Broncos, and Cardinals are among the teams that could express interest in McCarron now that he’s available.Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald to play in 2018. After agreeing to a one-year contract extension in November, the 34-year-old Fitzgerald will return for at least more season with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald had maintained that he’d only play for Arizona, and he’ll now be suiting up with a new head coach (Steve Wilks) and a new quarterback (to be determined). As the NFL’s oldest wideout in 2017, Fitzgerald posted a career-high in receptions (109) while managing 1,156 yards and six touchdowns. With a healthy 2018, he’ll move ahead of Terrell Owens for second all-time in receiving yardage.

Raiders part ways with Sea Bass. After 18 years, Sebastian Janikowski will no longer kick for Oakland in 2018, as the Raiders announced last week that the soon-to-be 40-year-old will not be re-signed. Janikowski still plans to continue his career, however, and will join Adam Vinatieri and Matt Bryant as aged kickers on the open market. Because Janikowski spent last season on injured reserve, the Raiders turned to Giorgio Tavecchio, who converted 76.2% of his field goal attempts.

Chiefs land a free agent cornerback. David Amerson will stay in the AFC West —after being released by the Raiders, Amerson agreed to one-year, $2.25MM deal with the division rival Chiefs. Although Amerson is still only 26 years old, he’ll now join the third team of his career. The former second-round pick is the second ex-Redskin defensive back to land in Kansas City this offseason, as the Chiefs also acquired Kendall Fuller in the Alex Smith trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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