The onset of NFL training camps around the league means that football is finally back.
Not that it was gone too long with the draft pushed back later than ever, but it has been an excruciating wait nonetheless for fans who want to see retooled rosters with new free agents and rookies in the mix for the first time.
The arrival of the camps also means merely the beginning of a massive wave of news, rumors, injuries and more for fans to monitor as the summer bleeds into preseason contests and the season itself.
Here is a comprehensive look at camp info and some of the hottest pieces of info making the rounds.
2014 NFL Training Camp Schedule
|Baltimore Ravens||Under Armour Performance Center||Owings Mills, Maryland||July 23|
|Buffalo Bills||St. John Fisher College||Pittsford, New York||July 18|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Paul Brown Stadium||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 23|
|Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns Training Facility||Berea, Ohio||July 25|
|Denver Broncos||Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre||Dove Valley, Colorado||July 23|
|Houston Texans||Methodist Training Center||Houston, Texas||July 25|
|Indianapolis Colts||Anderson University||Anderson, Indiana||July 23|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields||Jacksonville, Florida||July 24|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Missouri Western State University||St. Joseph, Missouri||July 23|
|Miami Dolphins||Miami Dolphins Training Facility||Davie, Florida||July 20|
|New England Patriots||Gillette Stadium||Foxboro, Massachusetts||July 23|
|New York Jets||SUNY Cortland||Cortland, New York||July 23|
|Oakland Raiders||Napa Valley Marriott||Napa, California||July 24|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Saint Vincent College||Latrobe, Pennsylvania||July 25|
|San Diego Chargers||Chargers Park||San Diego, California||July 23|
|Tennessee Titans||Baptist Sports Park||Nashville, Tennessee||July 25|
|Arizona Cardinals||University of Phoenix Stadium||Glendale, Arizona||July 25|
|Atlanta Falcons||Atlanta Falcons Training Facility||Flowery Branch, Georgia||July 24|
|Carolina Panthers||Wofford College||Spartanburg, South Carolina||July 24|
|Chicago Bears||Olivet Nazarene University||Bourbonnais, Illinois||July 24|
|Dallas Cowboys||River Ridge Playing Fields||Oxnard, California||July 22|
|Detroit Lions||Detroit Lions Training Facility||Allen Park, Michigan||July 27|
|Green Bay Packers||St. Norbert College||Green Bay, Wisconsin||July 25|
|Minnesota Vikings||Minnesota State University, Mankato||Mankato, Minnesota||July 24|
|New Orleans Saints||The Greenbrier||White Silver Springs, West Virginia||July 24|
|New York Giants||Timex Performance Center||East Rutherford, New Jersey||July 21|
|Philadelphia Eagles||NovaCare Complex||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||July 25|
|St. Louis Rams||Russell Athletic Training Center||Earth City, Missouri||July 24|
|San Francisco 49ers||Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Center||Santa Clara, California||July 23|
|Seattle Seahawks||Virginia Mason Athletic Center||Renton, Washington||July 24|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||One Buccaneer Place||Tampa, Florida||July 25|
|Washington Redskins||Bon Secours Training Center||Richmond, Virginia||July 23|
Eli Manning's Offensive Line Already in Trouble?
A year removed from being sacked 39 times and throwing a career-high 27 interceptions, the main objective of the brass in New York this offseason was to upgrade the pieces around 33-year-old Eli Manning.
That goal was somewhat accomplished with the additions of rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and Weston Richburg in the trenches, but part of the deal was veterans getting healthy, too.
Chris Snee is not upholding his end of the bargain, as noted by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com:
Nobody seems to know the answer. Not the Giants, not Snee, not those that are fully aware of his many physical ailments. They are hopeful, but any projection at this point is merely guesswork. The good news is that Snee is "still on track" and planning on being ready when camp opens next week, a person with knowledge of his thinking told NJ.com.
As Raanan goes on to explain, Snee is limping around on two surgically repaired hips and a bum elbow.
In a perfect world, Snee would be ready for the season and back to his 2012 form that saw him rank as the No. 13 overall guard in the NFL, as per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He played in just three games last season.
As it stands, Snee's immediate backup is John Jerry, a starter on Miami's travesty of a line a year ago that saw Ryan Tannehill as the most sacked quarterback in the league. At PFF, he ranked as the No. 44 guard last year.
So it's great that Manning is "re-energized" this year, as per Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News, but it will matter little if key cogs like Snee are unable to go. Stay tuned.
Taylor Lewan Still Without a Contract
The Tennessee Titans are begging to cement a bad reputation in regards to rookies.
In 2012, wideout Kendall Wright was the second-to-last rookie to ink a deal among first-round picks. Last offseason, guard Chance Warmack was the very last name called in the first round to ink a deal.
This year's No. 11 overall pick, Taylor Lewan, is one of two from the first round to still not have a deal.
Although, sources tell The Tennessean's John Glennon that the two sides are "making steady progress toward a contract and there is optimism a deal will be in place prior to training camp."
Fans would be wise to not sit around with bated breath. Bickering over offset language seems to be the way to go in Tennessee, which means Lewan has the look of the third first-round rookie in a row to miss the opening of the team's training camp.
In other words, if Lewan does not have a deal done by July 25, Michael Oher—whom PFF ranked as the No. 68 overall tackle last season on a list of 76—will take the starter's snaps.
This isn't to suggest the physically dominant Lewan cannot perform well without being at camp 100 percent of the time, but one would think an organization that has won a total of 13 games over the course of the past two seasons would have its ducks in a row by now.
The Status of Andre Johnson
The bubbling drama around Andre Johnson is set to be the headline story of the offseason.
Johnson has reportedly asked for a trade, according to ESPN's Tania Ganguli, which makes loads of sense for a 33-year-old wideout who does not want to waste his final years on a franchise that lost 14 games in a row last year and is embroiled in the infancy of a rebuild.
"I understand where he's coming from, I really do," running back Arian Foster said, as per Ganguli. "This is a business, and people forget that it's a business. He's at the point of his career where he doesn't want money now. He just wants to go win."
While nobody can knock Johnson for his desire to win the big one to cap off his outstanding career, it does not help that he is apparently unwilling to take a pay cut in the process, as per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Johnson is due in the neighborhood of $14-16 million over the course of the next three seasons, as per Spotrac. It's a hefty price to pay for an aging receiver, although nobody would argue based on his consistency in recent years that he is not worth the price:
What would it cost to get Johnson? The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein has heard a vast array of numbers:
If Johnson elects not to show up at camp, then things are going to get messy. If that's the case, it is safe to presume he will be shipped off, although his final destination is very much up in the air given his massive price tag and the unpredictable nature of how much Houston will demand in return.
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