Monday’s NFL: Anderson ‘excited’ to be free agent
C.J. Anderson is leaving Denver with a million memories, a Super Bowl ring and no hard feelings.
“It’s business, I understand it,” Anderson told the Associated Press on Monday after he was released by the Denver Broncos. “I’ve been here five years and it came to an end. So, I’m excited for the next opportunity.”
Where that is, “I don’t know,” Anderson said. “I have no clue.”
Possible landing spots include Miami, where Dolphins coach Adam Gase offered him a four-year, $18 million deal in 2016 that Denver matched, and New England, where Patriots coach Bill Belichick is also a fan.
Anderson hits free agency at an opportune time.
He’s 27, has just 683 career carries and is coming off his best season, one in which he played in all 16 games for the first time and ran for a career-best 1,007 yards.
Anderson’s resume includes a Pro Bowl, two dozen TDs, a pair of playoff touchdowns and numerous game-sealing runs, none bigger than his TD plunge that capped Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.
Harrison retires again
Longtime Steelers linebacker James Harrison is giving retirement a second try.
Harrison, a five-time Pro Bowler and 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, announced on Instagram that he is stepping away following a 15-year career.
Harrison played nearly his entire career with the Steelers and the 84.5 sacks he collected while wearing black-and-gold are a franchise record. He spent the 2013 season in Cincinnati and signed with New England late last season, appearing in all three playoff games for the Patriots, including their Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia.
This is the second time Harrison has called it quits. He retired briefly in September 2014 only to be lured back to the Steelers. He remained productive into his late 30s, registering at least five sacks from 2014-16.
Posluszny reluctantly exits
Sitting with his wife and two young daughters, Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny got blind-sided like never before in his NFL career.
A guy known for his meticulous preparation wasn’t ready for teammate Telvin Smith’s heartwarming speech.
So Posluszny started to cry as soon as Smith paused to collect himself. A few minutes later, both of them had tears rolling down their cheeks.
Posluszny formally and reluctantly retired Monday after 11 seasons in the league, including the last seven in Jacksonville. He finished his career with 1,381 tackles, 41 pass breakups, 16 sacks, 15 interceptions and eight forced fumbles.
“I don’t want to do this,” said Posluszny, who enjoyed one winning season during his time in Buffalo and Jacksonville.
“I want to keep playing. But what was more important for me was I didn’t want to go back on the field and be a step too slow or miss a play. If I’m out on the field with Telvin and Myles (Jack) and they expect me to do something and I miss that play because I held on a year too long, I don’t know how I look at them.
Some helmets prohibited
The NFL for the first time is prohibiting certain helmets from being worn by players.
In notifying the 32 teams Monday, the league has sought to have players stop using 10 helmet varieties. Some, particularly those manufactured by Rawlings, no longer are being made and don’t have support from the company. Others were found to be inferior to many of the 34 helmets the NFL and the players’ union examined.
Previously, NFL players could choose any helmet as long as it passed certification standards. Six of the substandard helmets are prohibited immediately, while the other four may be worn by players who used them in 2017 but not by new players.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen some dynamic changes in the helmet industry, both from new innovators as well as new helmets and models from incumbent companies,” said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy.
“The purpose of the continuation to rank helmets and the joint decision with the players’ association to prohibit is to increase that movement into better performing helmets. We are encouraged this is an important step for better player safety.”