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NFL News and Notes – Friday November 9, 2018

Take a look at some of the most recent news from the National Football League as we enter Week 10!

Dez Bryant Signs With Saints

The Saints have already shown that they are one of the scariest teams in the NFC, especially after beating the Rams (undefeated at the time) 45-35 last week.  On Wednesday, they added another weapon to their arsenal. Dez Bryant, the former Dallas Cowboy who has been waiting to sign with the right team, found his new home when he signed a one-year contract with the Saints after they hosted him for a workout Tuesday morning.  For the Saints, he will add another receiving option for Drew Brees, who already has Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith and Cameron Meredith at his disposal. After an injury to Ted Ginn Jr. earlier in the year, though, the Saints have been on the lookout for a solid number two.  Even though he is not nearly the receiver that he used to be, the Saints are still confident that they found their guy in Bryant.

Le’Veon Bell Watch

It has been quite the soap opera this year when it comes to Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Initially he wanted traded, then he didn’t want to be traded, then he planned on showing up at the bye week and now no one really knows whether Bell will show up for the Steelers or not.  One thing is for sure, though, the soap opera will have some closure come Tuesday. Bell has until Tuesday night to sign his franchise tag and report otherwise he is out for the rest of the season for sure.  The interesting part is there is still some doubt as to whether Bell will do it or not. Because of a loophole in the franchise tag system, even if he doesn’t play he would still get another percentage bonus if he was tagged again, essentially making it guaranteed that he would hit free agency (with the emergence of James Conner, it is highly doubtful they would want to pay Bell upwards of $25 million).  So, the question is whether he will try to get some of his salary this year and return for the Steelers’ home stretch leading into the playoffs or whether he is perfectly content just sitting out this year to ensure his health for free agency.

For what it is worth, the Steelers owner, Art Rooney II, anticipates that Bell will be joining the team before Tuesday.  Ultimately, though, it is Bell’s call.

For his part, Le’Veon has fueled some of the soap opera over the last week.  Via his twitter account, Bell has indicated that he has left Florida and is in Pittsburgh. There have even been rumors that he has played pickup basketball games at a local gym over the last week.  Also, on Thursday night, he basically live tweeted the Steelers game, giving his input on what was happening throughout the blowout. So, once again, if he is in Pittsburgh is that to eventually show up, possibly even on Monday or Tuesday, to sign his franchise tag, or will he simply enjoy the rest of this season to get ready for next season.? Only time will tell.

Steelers Win Big At Home

Speaking of the Steelers, one disadvantage for Le’Veon Bell is that the Steelers have shown that they are just fine without him.  That was never more clear than Thursday night. Going against the 6-2 Carolina Panthers, the Steelers absolutely obliterated them Thursday night 52-21.  Ben Roethlisberger had an amazing night going 22 for 25 for 328 yards and 5 touchdowns. The most amazing thing is that when you take into account James Conner’s touchdown run, six different Steelers had touchdowns in this game.  Now at 6-2-1, the Steelers are showing that they are just fine without Bell, but if he does return, watch out, because that offense will be scary.

Larry Fitzgerald Set To Move Up To Number Two

Larry Fitzgerald has had an amazing career with the Arizona Cardinals. On Sunday, that amazing career might become even a little more special.  If Fitzgerald can bring in at least 33 yards worth of receptions, he will move into second place on the NFL yards receiving list of all time. It is a pretty special name that he would be passing, too, as it would mean that he would surpass Terrell Owens on the list. At 35, Fitzgerald still seems to have some left in the tank.  On the season, he has 34 catches for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns. That isn’t too shabby especially when you consider the difficulties that the Cardinals’ offense has had this year. While he very well could move into second in the near future, first place will likely remain out of reach for Fitzgerald. Currently he has 15,902 receiving yards for his career, Owens is in second with 15,934, but first place belongs to Jerry Rice, with an unreal 22,895 yards.  Still, moving into second would be pretty special and there are other records in sight for the long-time Cardinal.

Bears Getting Healthy

The Bears‘ schedule has afforded them the opportunity to rest a couple of their ailing stars over the last two weeks.  Playing the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, the Bears were able to win both of those games without star defensive lineman Khalil Mack or number one wide receiver Allen Robinson.  The Bears have not needed the two over the last couple weeks as they have moved into first place in the NFC North with a 5-3 record; however, with division games coming up against the Lions (for two out of the next three games) and Minnesota, they will need all the weapons they can get to try to hold onto their lead.

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