Fans around the country are rejoicing as we enter the first week of the 2021 NFL regular season. While teams have made the majority of their roster decisions ahead of their Week 1 game, there is still plenty of news around the league.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in the NFL this last week.
Saints Acquire Cornerback Roby From Texans
In a bit of a surprise move, the Houston Texans are sending cornerback Bradley Roby to the New Orleans Saints, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Last season, in 10 games, Roby had 37 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception for the Texans. He was limited to just 10 games as he was hit with a six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. That suspension still has one game to serve, meaning Roby will be out this weekend.
At 29-years-old, Roby will try to help a Saints’ defense that ranked fifth in passing yards allowed last year at 214. Roby joins the likes of Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley, Paulson Adebo, and Desmond Trufant.
The Saints are currently +440 to win the NFC South and +3000 to win the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Parts Ways With Latavius Murray
In other Saints’ news, the team announced this week that they have parted ways with backup running back Latavius Murray. The 31-year-old Murray has served as Alvin Kamara’s backup in recent years. Last season, he rushed 146 times for 656 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 23 receptions for 176 yards and another score.
The Saints recently approached Murray about taking a pay cut, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. That request was rebuffed, which ultimately may have led to the release. Instead, the Saints will turn to Tony Jones Jr. to take over as Kamara’s backup. While his NFL experience is limited, he has impressed during both offseason workouts and the preseason.
Brian O’Neill Agrees To Extension With Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings signed a key piece of their offensive line to an extension this week as they agreed to a five-year deal with Brian O’Neill worth $92.5 million. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal that holds an average value of just under $19 million.
The 25-year-old was a second-rounder in 2018 and now will help to solidify the Vikings’ offensive line alongside recently drafted Christian Darrisaw for years to come.
Minnesota is currently +4400 to win the Super Bowl this year.
Le’Veon Bell Joins Baltimore Ravens’ Running Backs Room
A pair of season-ending injuries to running backs J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill, have had the Baltimore Ravens on the lookout for depth at the position.
On Tuesday, Adam Schefter reported that the Ravens may have found that depth piece. Baltimore will be bringing in Le’Veon Bell.
Last season, with the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs, Bell rushed 82 times for 328 yards and two scores.
Long ago are the days of Bell being able to rush for over a thousand yards. In fact, the last time he did so was in 2017, when he rushed 321 times for 1,291 yards and nine scores. Still, he is a nice veteran piece to add to the running backs room.
The current starter for Baltimore is Gus Edwards. Last season, Edwards rushed 144 times for 723 yards and six scores. The 26-year-old will look to fill the big shoes left behind by Dobbins’ injury.
Baltimore is currently the favorite to win the AFC North at +115 and are +1400 to win the Super Bowl this year.
Raiders Bring In Linebacker K.J. Wright
The Las Vegas Raiders are bringing in one of the most notable defensive free agents remaining on the market. According to Josina Anderson, linebacker K.J. Wright is signing a one-year deal with the team.
The 32-year-old had played his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks prior to this signing. In 16 games last year, he had 86 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and an interception.
Wright will try to help a Las Vegas team that ranked 30th in scoring defense, allowing 30.8 points per game to opponents.
The Raiders have the worst odds to win the AFC West at +1700.