NFL scraps one-helmet rule effective in 2022

The NFL scrapped the one-helmet rule, effective in 2022. How will it impact Washington?

The NFL adopted the one-helmet rule back in 2013 as a means for player safety. The premise behind the rule was players would only use one helmet for both practice and the games.

This new rule eliminated several of the best throwback helmets for teams. So, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would wear the creamsicle jerseys, they couldn’t wear the matching helmet.

On Thursday, that all changed as the NFL scrapped the one-helmet rule, opening up all sorts of possibilities with throwback uniform and helmet combinations.

 

Teams are now allowed to have a second helmet of another color, but it must be of the same make, model and size. Players will be fitted for the alternate helmets in training camp.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t begin until 2022.

What does this mean for the Washington Football Team? Washington will obviously be somewhat limited due to the previous name and logo, but they can wear the alternate jerseys they wore against Cincinnati in 2020. It will be interesting to see what the team will choose for an alternate helmet.

Nov 22, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) attempts a pass as Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) rushes during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Since the rule doesn’t impact teams in 2021, Washington could have a new nickname and logo just in time for the 2022 season.

 

NFL sets salary cap ceiling for 2022 and Washington is in great shape

The National Football League and NFL Players Association reached an agreement this week to set the salary-cap ceiling at $208.2 million for

The National Football League and NFL Players Association reached an agreement this week to set the salary-cap ceiling at $208.2 million for the 2022 season.

The final number could be lowered depending on how COVID-19 impacts the upcoming 2021 season. However, many teams have already said they expect stadiums to allow full capacity in the fall.

With the maximum set at $208.2 million, the two sides have yet to agree to a minimum figure for 2022.

This is good news for players and teams as the salary cap for 2021 went down to $182.5 million due to COVID-19-related revenue shortfalls.

How will this impact the Washington Football Team? Unlike some of its division rivals, Washington has massive amounts of cap space in 2022. So, players like Brandon Scherff, Jonathan Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick are just some of the players who will come off the books. Washington, of course, would like to get a long-term deal done with Allen long before then.

The time to agree to a long-term deal with Scherff feels like it has passed.

According to Spotrac, Washington has $60 million in salary-cap space for 2022. But, of course, long-term extensions for Allen, wide receiver Terry McLaurin, tight end Logan Thomas and defensive tackle Daron Payne could also impact those numbers.

Instead of Washington spending big in free agency in 2022, retaining its young core is the most likely option for the WFT. Washington could also take a big swing at one of the top veteran quarterbacks in 2022.

Either way, Washington is in an outstanding position moving forward.

New single-digit jersey rule approved by NFL owners

For years, the NFL had a stringent policy on jersey numbers. Only quarterbacks, kickers and punters could wear single-digit numbers.

For years, the NFL had a stringent policy on jersey numbers. Only quarterbacks, kickers and punters could wear single-digit numbers. Now, thanks to a proposal by the Kansas City Chiefs, that is no longer the case, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

The Chiefs proposed the rule change earlier this offseason to increase the “flexibility in assigning jersey numbers.”

Kansas City, which has 10 jerseys retired — and another unofficially retired — ran into an issue in 2020 of not having enough usable jersey numbers.

Here is a look at what positions can wear which numbers under the new rule:

  • QB/P/K: 1-19
  • RB: 1–49, 80-89
  • TE/FB: 1–49, 80-89
  • WR: 10-19, 80-89
  • OL: 50-79
  • DL: 50-79, 90-99
  • LB: 1–59, 90–99
  • DB: 1–49

This new rule will allow several former college stars to possibly wear the jersey they wore in college. Or, veteran players like Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey could switch back to the single-digit number he wore in college.

How does the new rule impact the Washington Football Team? The most notable former college star on Washington’s roster who wore a single-digit number is Chase Young. Unfortunately, Young is a defensive end and can’t switch back to his former No. 2 jersey.

That’s unfortunate. Imagine how many No. 2 jerseys the team could sell with Young’s name on the back.

While this will help teams with an abundance of jerseys that are retired — or semi-retired, it will also be a big hit with players and fans.

 

The NFL is still evaluating the one-helmet rule ahead of the 2021 season

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians got many NFL fans excited last year when he said the team’s creamsicle throwback uniforms could be making

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians got many NFL fans excited last year when he said the team’s creamsicle throwback uniforms could be making a comeback in 2021 in an appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show.

The reason this is exciting for fans is that the NFL is currently under a one-helmet rule, which means players can only wear one helmet per year. It was established in 2013 as the “one-shell rule” with player safety in mind.

With the 2020 season in the rearview mirror, the NFL is currently reviewing the rule, although no decision has been made, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

When the rule was established, the NFL argued that one worn-in helmet was much safer than breaking in new helmets throughout the course of a season. With technology rapidly improved since 2013, and with so many companies focused on making safer helmets, now feels like the right time to review the rule.

Some prominent players have advocated for a change, with Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry most recently pleading his case.

Changing the one-helmet rule would allow a team like the Titans to wear the old Houston Oilers’ throwback jerseys with the matching helmet.

This would also create an interesting situation for the Washington Football Team. Washingon has many throwback helmets, some of which would be off the table due to the name change, yet others that would be wildly popular with longtime fans.

This change would not only be popular with players and fans, but it would create another source of revenue for the league. That’s what matters.

It’s time, NFL. Make the change.

 

Todd Gurley’s looking good in his new Falcons threads

Check out new Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley in his team jersey.

It was a busy offseason in the NFC South. The Carolina Panthers said goodbye to Cam Newton and hello to Teddy Bridgewater, while the Buccaneers opted not to re-sign former number one pick Jameis Winston, instead going with Tom Brady.

Brady, along with the acquisition of Rob Gronkowski, headlined the biggest offseason moves in the division, but one signing that shouldn’t be overlooked was one made by another NFC South team — the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta landed former Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who will look to revive his career with the Falcons. Whether Gurley still has anything left in the tank remains to be seen, but at least he looks good in the Falcons’ new jerseys.

Take a look.

And, we also have a first look at quarterback Cam Newton, who is competing to be the starter in New England now that Brady is with the Buccaneers.

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Cam Newton in his new threads! (via @patriots)

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Take a look at Jameis Winston in his full Saints uniform

Jameis Winston will be suiting up for the New Orleans Saints this year. See how he looks in his new uniform.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers said goodbye to former number one overall pick Jameis Winston this offseason after they managed to land six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in free agency.

Winston had hoped his 5,000-yard passing season would be enough to convince the Bucs to bring him back on a new contract, but the 30 touchdowns he threw in 2019 seemed to have sealed his fate.

Now a member of the New Orleans Saints, Winston will look to fix his game while sitting and learning behind future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. (And don’t dismiss the idea of Winston learning behind Brady down the road.)

Take a look now at Winston in his New Orleans threads.

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Former Bucs DE Michael Bennett calls it a career

NFL defensive end Michael Bennett announced his retirement after 11 seasons.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had their fair share of defensive stars over the years, including Hall of Famers like Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.

This year’s Bucs squad will look to make their own mark as the team has championship aspirations in 2020 with new quarterback Tom Brady under center. At 42, Brady is still chugging along, defying Father Time again and again. The Bucs hope that Brady can continue to perform at a peak level  and help deliver the city another Super Bowl trophy.

One former Buccaneer, however, has decided to call it a career, as defensive end Michael Bennett announced his retirement yesterday.

Bennett was claimed off waivers by the Buccaneers in 2009 after he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks. He played four years with the Bucs, having his best season with them in 2012 when he recorded a then-career high 9.0 sacks. Bennett returned to the Seahawks in 2013, the year they won the Super Bowl.

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RB Devonta Freeman is in the market for a new agent

Free-agent RB Devonta Freeman will need to find a new agent to represent him after his former one terminated their relationship Sunday.

Free-agent running back Devonta Freeman has been looking for a new team to call his own ever since the Atlanta Falcons released him earlier this offseason.

For a time, it seemed the idea of Freeman coming to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some legs to it, with the running back even telling the Bucs on Twitter to reach out to him directly.

Freeman’s presence in a young Bucs backfield would’ve provided some veteran experience behind quarterback Tom Brady, but no deal ever materialized.

Now, with training camp set to get underway in a few weeks, Freeman may have an even tougher time finding a new team after his agent terminated their relationship over the weekend.

Per NFL.com:

“NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that Freeman’s agent, Kristin Campbell, notified the free-agent running back that she’s terminating their relationship. Campbell notably negotiated the five-year, $41.25 million extension Freeman signed with the Falcons in 2017 that made him the highest-paid RB in the game.”

Freeman just turned 28, so may have a few more good years left in him if he can find the right team to join. For now, he may have to wait until training camp begins and a running-back needy team needs some extra insurance in the backfield.

Hopefully, he can find a new agent to represent him before then.

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Matt Ryan says he’s the best QB in the NFC South, and the numbers might prove it

Bucky Brooks over at NFL.com tries to back up Matt Ryan’s claim to being the best QB in the NFC South right now.

Tom Brady’s arrival to the NFC South this offseason had fans giddy about the prospect of watching Brady and the Bucs face off twice this season against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

The Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks have established themselves as two of the greatest quarterback to play the game, so you can be sure that when they play against each other the ratings will be big.

But there’s another quarterback in the NFC South who seems to be getting lost amid all the Brady-Brees frenzy, and that’s Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, had this to say during a recent interview on the Pardon My Take podcast when he was asked if he was the best quarterback in the division: “I think currently, yeah, I’ll go with myself.”

You can chalk up his response to just a quarterback showing confidence in himself, but as Bucky Brooks points out, Ryan’s numbers seem to back up his case.

Here’s part of Brooks’ reasoning:

“Before you light up my Twitter mentions with Tom Brady memes and Drew Brees GIFs, I’m well aware that the Bucs and Saints’ QB1s have had distinguished careers as gold-jacket players, but we’re not talking about a lifetime achievement award. The crown should be awarded to the quarterback with the best skills at the position right now, and it’s clear that Matty Ice is that guy.

“The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback throws with outstanding touch, timing and anticipation, while also displaying pinpoint accuracy. He routinely threads the ball through the needle on tightly contested throws, while also displaying the range to utilize every area of the field. Although Ryan’s arm wouldn’t grade out as an A+ in a bullpen session, he has more than enough arm strength to make every throw in the book as a 35-year-old quarterback still in his prime.

“From a numbers standpoint, Ryan is coming off a year in which he posted 11 300-yard games, which is tied for the third-most such games in a single season in NFL history. He surpassed the 4,000-yard mark for the ninth straight season, which is the second-longest streak in NFL history (Drew Brees holds the record with 12) and the longest active streak. Given that his 2019 campaign was considered an off year by his standards, the Falcons’ QB1 is positioned for a bounce-back season that should see him reclaim his spot as a top-five quarterback.”

Ryan is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL today, and having a guy like Julio Jones to throw to will certainly help his numbers. The Falcons could very well be a sneaky good team this season. Arthur Blank felt confident enough in how this squad ended the season to bring back head coach Dan Quinn. Ryan will play like he’s got something to prove in 2020, and you know that loss to Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LI still haunts the Falcons to this day. I’m sure they’ll relish the chance to get two games against Brady.

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Patriots sign QB Cam Newton as potential replacement for Tom Brady

The New England Patriots have signed former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to be Tom Brady’s potential replacement.

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After losing Tom Brady to the NFC South this offseason, the New England Patriots decided to sign a former NFC South MVP to be his potential replacement. The Patriots caused a frenzy yesterday when they signed quarterback Cam Newton.

It’s the biggest quarterback signing this offseason since… well, Brady.

Newton played just two games last season before going down with a foot injury and landing on injured reserve. While he hasn’t been the Newton of old since his 2015 MVP season, in which he led the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl 50, he just turned 31 last month and will now be playing for perhaps the greatest head coach in NFL history.

Maybe, like Brady, a change of scenery is all Newton needs to reignite his fire.

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