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  • NFL Commissioner’s Judy Battista reports, “there could be a proposal for a March vote on a version of the XFL model as a way to address the kickoff.”
    According to Battista, the Competition Committee “discussed at length the XFL kickoff” and added that the NFL wants to keep kick returns in the game, but there were “too few returns this season.” While some of this may be due to returners being concerned for their own health, the lack of returns can probably be more connected to the number of kickoffs being pinned deep into/out of the end zone by kickers. Regardless, the XFL’s kickoff rule has been proven to reduce high-impact collisions in recent years and could help further the NFL’s initiative to enhance player safety. The idea of the league adopting the XFL’s version of the kickoff has been floated around since the XFL returned in 2020 and appears to be gaining steam. It wouldn’t be surprising to see it (or something similar) adopted in the near future.
  • DEN Quarterback #3
    Speaking on the I Am Athlete podcast, Russell Wilson said he hopes to remain with the Broncos next season.
    Wilson, who was benched for the final two games of last season, said he has “more fire now than ever” to win but that he also wants to be in a place that wants him. While the Broncos and head coach Sean Payton haven’t officially laid out their plans for Wilson next season, early signs point to the team moving on from him one way or another. In two seasons with the Broncos, Wilson has thrown for 6,594-42-19 while going 11-19 as a starter. Wilson, 35, also said over the next five years he hopes to win two Super Bowls, suggesting he doesn’t plan on walking away anytime soon. Wilson remains a serviceable starter in the league and can undoubtedly elevate an offense in need of a quarterback. That said, he’s no longer considered to be the difference-maker many viewed him as when he was traded from the Seahawks back in 2022.
  • LAR Coaching Staff
    ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the Rams are expected to hire former Eagles DC Sean Desai “in a senior defensive role.”
    Desai was dismissed by the Eagles at the end of last season but fielded interest from the Bills and Falcons to fill their defensive coordinator vacancies. Now, the former defensive coordinator who lost play-calling duties to Matt Patricia in the middle of the season will head to the Rams to serve in a not-yet-specified senior defensive role. Desai has spent time with the Bears, Seahawks, and Eagles over the last 11 seasons and could be on the market for another coordinator role as early as next offseason.
  • LV Head Coach
    Raiders beat writer Vincent Bonsignore believes the Raiders “will be hyperfocused” on QB at this year’s NFL Combine.
    The Raiders are widely believed to be one of the more quarterback-hungry teams this offseason. With Jimmy Garoppolo expected to be cut early into the offseason and second-year quarterback Aidan O’Connell profiling more as a career backup, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier this month that they could make “a potential move up in the draft” to secure a young signal-caller, which will likely be required of the team that currently holds the No. 13 overall pick in April’s draft. If the Raiders don’t move up in the draft, they’ll want to make sure they go as in-depth as possible on quarterbacks outside the consensus top four to ensure they don’t take a massive reach on a quarterback they hope will be the cornerstone of their franchise for years to come.
  • NYJ Linebacker #47
    The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt said, “I don’t think it’s a lock the Jets lose Bryce Huff, though it feels headed in that direction.”
    Huff is set to enter free agency after posting a career-high 29 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 10 sacks in 2023. Huff joined the Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020 and has totaled 17.5 sacks in 54 games, showing steady growth over each season. The veteran pass rusher has earned a PFF pass-rush grade of 86.8 or higher over the last two seasons and will be 26 at the start of next year. He should fetch plenty of interest on the open market
  • FA Offensive Coordinator
    In an email sent to ESPN, former Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy said of his departure, “I was not fired. I actually just chose not to stay.”
    Bieniemy didn’t get into detail about what he was offered to do with the Commanders if he were to remain on staff, but the former offensive coordinator of the Commanders and Chiefs is now set to take his talents to the college game after accepting a job as UCLA’s associate head coach/offensive coordinator. Bieniemy also noted that he “had countless conversations and interviews with many teams” after he and the Commanders parted ways, which loosely confirms earlier reports from Adam Schefter, who said earlier this month that “a few teams” interview Bieniemy for their offensive coordinator vacancies. Bieniemy has familiarity with the college game, and last served as Colorado’s offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2012. How long he remains with UCLA could be dependent whether or not the NFL comes calling next offseason.
  • HOU Wide Receiver #12
    KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports, “There is definitely mutual interest” between Nico Collins and the Texans to sign an extension.
    Collins is now eligible for an extension heading into the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. The former third-round pick finally lived up to his potential in 2023, going for 80-1297-8 in 15 regular season contests while averaging an impressive 16.2 YPR. Collins said if a potential extension, “If [the Texans] want to negotiate, we can,” but it doesn’t sound like he’s pressing to get a deal done this offseason, also adding he will “let it ride” if that’s what the team wants to do. Regardless, it sounds like an extension between the two sides is more a matter of “when” than “if.”
  • FA Offensive Coordinator
    ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports former Chiefs and Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy has accepted UCLA’s offensive coordinator position.
    Per Thamel, new, first-time Bruins head coach DeShaun Foster wants to run an NFL system and was seeking a “splash hire.” Bieniemy is certainly that, though it’s stunning he couldn’t generate continued NFL interest after his one-year stint in Washington. Perceived as pass-happy and “old school” in his demeanor, Bieniemy has evidently worn out his NFL welcome for the time being. He has long been connected to college openings, but always as a head coach. It’s quite possible Bieniemy’s return to the college sidelines — he previously worked for UCLA and Colorado — is a one-year sojourn before returning to the pros.
  • FA Defensive Back #5
    Former NFL CB Richard Sherman was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Saturday morning.
    This marks the second time in three years that Sherman was arrested for driving under the influence. His previous case was dismissed following a guilty plea, resulting in two years’ probation and supervision in addition to court mandated courses. No further updates on the recent arrest were provided.
  • NO Defensive Tackle #93
    Saints restructured DT Nathan Shepherd’s contract.
    Per ESPN’s Field Yates, the move clears up just over $3 million in cap space. Shepherd is one of many Saints players who saw their contract restructured this week. New Orleans began the offseason projected at $75 million over the 2024 salary cap. They got some good news earlier this week when the NFL informed teams the cap would be $255 million this year. That is over $10 million higher than most analysts expected for the upcoming year. Between the cap boost and some contract reworks, the Saints are well on their way toward getting under the cap for 2024.