NFL News from 02/12 to 02/13/2018
49ers LB Reuben Foster arrested on charges of domestic violence (via The Mercury News)
Yuck. This one looks really bad for Reuben Foster, as he allegedly dragged the victim across the floor to get her to leave his apartment. The officers also found an illegal firearm in his house. All of this comes a month after he was arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession. Foster was considered one of the top prospects in last year’s draft, but had a few character concerns when he failed a drug test with a diluted sample at the Combine and fought with the doctor who administered the test. Because of that (and other shoulder-related issues), Foster fell in the draft to Pick 31, where the 49ers took a chance on him.
He showed up big in Year One on the field, where he was a Top Five Inside Linebacker for the entire league, but this incident is going to cost Foster big time. Although it has proven to be hard to predict what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to decide, I would expect at least an 8-game suspension, and probably more. It has yet to be decided what the 49ers will do with the maligned Foster, but they now have a void to fill at a position they thought would be secured for the next half decade at least.
Cardinals extend GM Steve Keim through the 2022 season (via Dan Graziano)
This new contract will align Steve Keim with new Head Coach Steve Wilkes, who is replacing the now-retired Bruce Arians. Since being promoted to GM in 2013, the Cardinals have been relatively successful with Carson Palmer at QB and Arians as Head Coach, but now both have retired and Palmer still needs to be replaced. This draft is extremely important for the Cardinals if they want to stay afloat while their team is in this transition and it’ll be fun to see which direction they’ll go.
Colts hire Nick Sirianni to be their Offensive Coordinator (via Field Yates)
Sirianni coached receivers in San Diego/Los Angeles the past few seasons, including when Frank Reich was there as Offensive Coordinator, so this hire makes sense. Although mostly an unknown name in the coaching ranks, Sirianni is a fresh 36 years old, and his receiving units with the Chargers have had pretty good success. This will be his first chance coordinating an NFL offense under the primarily offensive-minded Reich, who will still likely have his hands all over the Colts offense next season.
Giants hire Mike Shula to be their Offensive Coordinator (via Kim Jones)
Mike Shula was the Offensive Coordinator for Carolina the past few years, where he had moderate success, especially in 2015, when the Panthers went 15-1 and Cam Newton won MVP. Since then he has been criticized for lack of creativity in playcalling and he was fired from the Panthers at the end of last season. For the Giants, new Head Coach Pat Shurmur is already the playcaller and main offensive man, so Shula will take on a more complementary role in game-planning and scheme. Although this move came out of left field, the connection between Shula and Giants GM David Gettleman makes sense, as both were in Carolina together as recently as last year.
Earlier this week, there were rumors that the Giants were interested in Eagles RB coach Duce Staley for their Offensive Coordinator position, but a lot has changed since then. Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo is now the Vikings OC and Eagles OC Frank Reich is now the Colts Head Coach. Both of those hirings happened within days, leaving the Eagles without an OC. Ultimately, the Eagles have decided that they’ll leave their Offensive Coordinator spot unfilled, meaning offensive minded Head Coach and playcaller Doug Pederson will absorb that title as well. Although Staley isn’t getting the promotion in title, both he and WR coach Mike Groh should see their roles heavily increased to fill the voids of the departing coaches. The Eagles will be defending their Super Bowl title next season for the first time in franchise history.
Chiefs void final year of Derrick Johnson’s contract (via Chiefs.com)
Derrick Johnson will hit the open market when the new league year begins in March. The exodus continues in Kansas City as they let go of another veteran to clear cap space. The Chiefs will be looking to get younger at linebacker this offseason, and have already stated they do not plan to bring Johnson back. Even at 34 years old, Johnson was a very solid contributor to the Chiefs’ front seven, and he will be looking to play for a different team for the first time of his career. He would be a good veteran presence wherever he lands.