The Los Angeles Rams are 7-0 for the first time since the Reagan administration. That may be the biggest story line in NFL as far as we are all concerned, but the rest of the league has their own headlines as well. Like, did you guys know that Jamaal Charles was still in the league? The Jacksonville Jaguars just cut him but I was surprised to see him on my Twitter feed. Crazy.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell remains a no-show after bye week
Despite reports marking this week w/ an x on the calendar, still no Le’Veon Bell return to the #Steelers. LG Ramon Foster: “I haven’t talked to him, nobody has. We’re in a wait-and-see situation like you guys.”— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 22, 2018
A case of no news being the news here. Steelers players and fans were under the assumption that Bell would be back after their Week 7 bye. This obviously didn’t happen and Bell remains fairly quiet, though he did “like” a tweet from Ian Rapoport that could telegraph his intentions moving forward.
There’s a lot of confusion involved with this story, and I’m sure it’s one that the Steelers can’t wait to have in their rear-view mirror. Some of the people in the organization are taking it in stride and have a few jokes as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose LB Kwon Alexander
The league’s worst scoring defense loses their man in the middle to a torn ACL. Alexander is a captain for the second straight year and was coming off a Pro Bowl season. After Alexander sustained the injury in the first half Adarius Taylor filled in and recorded a sack along with 6 tackles.
Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson demands trade, has a change of heart
A story in two acts:
Cardinals’ All Pro CB Patrick Peterson has asked Arizona to deal him by the Oct. 30 trade deadline, per league sources. Peterson feels as if the situation is deteriorating and continues to reaffirm to others that he “desperately” wants out, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2018
Peterson’s frustration is understandable. His initial trade demand comes after the Cardinals received a 45-10 beatdown at the hands of the subpar Denver Broncos. At 1-6, the Cardinals are going nowhere fast and Peterson’s talents could be utilized right away on a legitimate contender. This statement apparently came after a meeting with team president Michael Bidwill, who assured Peterson that the focus remains on winning. I don’t know how believable that is with a 1-6 record but the meeting placated Peterson, who is committed to the Cardinals for now.
Oakland Raiders trade WR Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys
I’m not entirely sure where to begin this one. While Cooper may have been a first round selection once upon a time, his inconsistent hands completely diminished his value. Earlier speculation about his trade was that he was probably worth a 3rd round pick. The Cowboys needed to add a playmaker. But this reeks of desperation. It’s a damn shame that the Raiders will probably squander their 3 first round picks in the draft next year.
New York Giants trade CB Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints
Saints traded a 4th-round pick in 2019 and a 7th in 2020 for former Giants’ CB Eli Apple, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2018
“Hey, you know what would be funny? If I said ‘the Giants just traded Eli,’ because then everyone would think I mean Eli Manning, but it’s really just Eli Apple.”-Everyone on Twitter.
In all seriousness, Apple is a former first rounder that had a pretty tumultuous tenure in New York. Safety Landon Collins even went as far to say he was a “cancer” to the locker room last season. While the belief is that those issues were smoothed over, a change of scenery might be best for Apple, who is going to a Saints team that badly needs help in the secondary.
Giants trade DT Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions
“Snacks” Harrison is one of the premier run stoppers in the NFL. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the #6 interior lineman this season. It’s hard to see this move as nothing more than a concession from the Giants. They’re a team that is rebuilding and will be forced to deal with some poor offseason acquisitions (see: trading for Alec Ogletree) that led them here.
Down judge fired by NFL after missing blatant penalty
Football Zebras exclusive: Down judge Hugo Cruz, who missed a clear false start in Week 6, has been fired by the NFL. This is the first midseason firing in the Super Bowl era. https://t.co/RfxSfqb6j8— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) October 25, 2018
The Football Zebras article indicates that it wasn’t just this play, but a larger body of work that led to Cruz’ immediate firing. The NFL Referees Association will likely fight the firing.