PICK SIX – The Merry-Go-Round Never Stops

Whilst other businesses are winding down for the festive season, the NFL is merely gearing up for another couple of money-spinning weekends. Which means that the money spinning  merry-go-round isn’t about to slow up yet. 

1. Cut

There’s no room for festive sentiment in the NFL and, whilst Jeff Fisher might be the first coach out of the door this season, player movement is far more common. Three notable names found themselves out of work this week. Cardinals’ receiver Michael Floyd only has himself to blame, being let go after being arrested for drink driving. Meanwhile, Baltimore dispensed with the services of legendary kick returner Devin Hester, a curious decision given that none of their alternatives are better than the future Hall of Famer. Finally, the Bengals finally parted ways with long time kicker Mike Nugent. Nugent has been strangely off-form this season, and his departure opens the door for another few weeks of childish giggles at Randy Bullock.

2. Back

A couple of welcome returns to the NFL this week, as Adrian Peterson and AJ Green both returned to action after long injuries. Whether either will suit up this weekend is still in doubt, but at least the Vikings and Bengals will have their franchise players back as they wind up their ultimately disappointing seasons. Also returning, somewhat more unexpectedly, is former Texans QB TJ Yates, signed by the Dolphins following Ryan Tannehill‘s knee injury and likely to back up Matt Moore this weekend.

3. Hurt

A couple of big names headed to injured reserve this week, neither of them a huge surprise. Percy Harvin‘s return from retirement lasted just two games (and six yards) before a recurrence of the headaches which plagued his first NFL stint ruled him out for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, the Dolphin’s offensive woes were compounded by center Mike Pouncey finally giving in to the hip injury which has already seen him miss half of the season.

4. Convicted

In New Orleans, Cardell Hayes was convicted of the manslaughter of former Saints’ tackle Will Smith in a road rage incident earlier this year. The case was far from being as clear cut as was first assumed, with Smith allegedly the aggressor in the incident. Sentencing is set for February.

5. Staying

According to Roger Goodell, neither the Raiders nor the Chargers have yet put forward acceptable or credible proposals for new stadia. This is despite Oakland’s courtship of the Las Vegas authorities for much of the year and the obvious unsuitability of the stadium options in San Diego. This is far from the end of the matter, but it does suggest that there isn’t the appetite amongst the NFL’s top brass for another franchise to up sticks just yet.

6. Insulted?

Life in the NFL can be hard. And cruel. So it doesn’t really help when your own coach turns on you. Which is precisely what Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians did to cornerback Justin Bethel, calling him a ‘failure in progress‘. Still, Bethel probably prefers that to the fate which befell Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who was compared to a garbage can by the Bengals’ Adam Jones. Even at this time of year, there’s no love lost in the NFL!

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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