A look back at some of the NFL’s biggest stories from the past week:
Giants’ DeAndre Baker, Seahawks’ Quinton Dunbar Arrested For Armed Robbery: Baker and Dunbar, two high-profile cornerbacks, were allegedly involved in a disturbing incident at an illegal dice game on the evening of May 13. According to the arrest warrants, Baker held participants at gunpoint while Dunbar looted them. Further, Baker allegedly directed a third man to shoot someone who entered the party in the midst of the robbery, though no shots were fired. Both players surrendered to police over the weekend and have been released on bond. They are both facing four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, and Baker is facing an additional four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.
Bills’ Ed Oliver Arrested On Gun, DWI Charges: The crime blotter was not kind to the NFL this week. In addition to the Baker and Dunbar allegations — and the felony charges that Redskins WR Cody Latimer is facing — Oliver, the No. 9 overall pick of the 2019 draft, was arrested on Saturday night. A Houston citizen observed Oliver driving dangerously, which prompted police to pull him over. When they did so, they noticed an open beer container and a pistol, and Oliver failed a field sobriety test. The Buffalo D-lineman, who turned in a promising rookie campaign and who looked primed for a 2020 breakout, will forfeit his remaining $6.8MM in guarantees if he is suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Team Facilities Allowed To Reopen: The league took a small but important step in its efforts to return to normalcy in the wake of COVID-19. Teams are permitted to reopen their facilities on Tuesday, May 19, provided that the state those facilities are in is not imposing lockdown measures. Players undergoing medical treatment are permitted to be at team sites, but otherwise, no players or coaches are allowed to be at facilities at this time. That will probably remain the case until all states have relaxed restrictions or until teams find alternate solutions. Certain clubs are already exploring out-of-state options for training camp, and states like Florida and Arizona may end up playing a key role in that regard. Despite some promising developments, the league is preparing for a major financial hit and perhaps a decrease in the 2021 salary cap.
Changes To The Rooney Rule May Be Forthcoming: In its efforts to promote fairness in the hiring process for minority coaches and executives, the league is considering drastic changes to the Rooney Rule. Part of those changes would see certain draft incentives for teams that hire minorities for prominent coaching/front office positions, and even teams that lose a minority coach or exec to another club would stand to receive a compensatory draft pick. Additionally, the proposed changes would scrap a team’s rights to block its assistant coaches from taking interviews for other coordinator jobs between the end of the regular season and March 1. A vote on the proposal, which many regard as a well-meaning but ultimately short-sighted gambit, will take place soon.
Aaron Rodgers Discusses His Future: After the Packers made the surprising decision to trade up for Utah State QB Jordan Love in the first round of this year’s draft, most fans and pundits knew that Rodgers would not be happy that the team — which advanced to the NFC Championship Game in 2019 — invested so heavily in his potential replacement instead of a weapon that would aid in a 2020 Super Bowl run. And Rodgers concedes that he was not thrilled about the decision, and he also noted that it may not be feasible for him to finish his career with the Packers. From a salary cap perspective, it makes the most sense for Green Bay to move on from the two-time MVP after the 2021 season if Love is ready, but the timeline is always subject to change.