NFL Notes: Giants clear cap space by cutting Victor Cruz, Rashad Jennings

NFL Notes: Giants clear cap space by cutting Victor Cruz, Rashad Jennings

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants cleared roughly $10 million in salary cap space by releasing long-time fan favorite Victor Cruz and starting running back Rashad Jennings.

The team announced the moves on Monday after the two helped the Giants get back into the playoffs for the first time since playing in the Super Bowl in 2012.

The 30-year Cruz joined the Giants as a free agent in 2010 and his game-breaking ability as wide receiver helped them win their second Super Bowl under Tom Coughlin. A knee injury and a calf problem caused him to missed most of the 2014 season and all of the following season. He made a remarkable return this past season but was limited to 39 catches and one touchdown, which was the only time he got to celebrate with his traditional salsa.

Jennings joined the Giants as a free agent in 2014, after four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and one with the Oakland Raiders. In three years, he played in 40 games and rushed for 2,095 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 94 receptions for 723 yards and two scores (see full story).

Chiefs: Reid makes minor moves to coaching staff
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs have promoted Brad Childress to assistant head coach and announced that Matt Nagy will take over as the sole offensive coordinator in a minor shake-up of Andy Reid's staff.

Childress and Nagy served as co-offensive coordinators last season. Their new roles were announced Monday.

Childress takes over from David Culley, who served as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach last season. Culley left in the offseason to be the quarterbacks coach in Buffalo.

The Chiefs already have hired Greg Lewis to work with wide receivers.

Nagy began his coaching career with Reid in Philadelphia, then followed him to Kansas City as the quarterbacks coach. Last year was his first as co-offensive coordinator.

49ers: Shanahan adds 3 more coaches to staff
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has added three new members of his coaching staff.

Shanahan announced Monday that Mike McDaniel will be the team's new run game specialist, Mike LaFleur will be wide receivers coach and Taylor Embree will be offensive quality control coach.

McDaniel and LaFleur both worked in Atlanta with Shanahan when he was offensive coordinator for the Falcons.

Embree is the son of 49ers assistant head coach and tight ends coach Jon Embree.

Packers: Allison pleads not guilty to marijuana charge
MANITOWOC, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers receiver Geronimo Allison has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

Allison's attorney, Brian Maloney, entered the plea on his client's behalf Monday. WLUK-TV reports Allison was not in court and was not required to be there.

The charge against Allison stems from a traffic stop in September in Manitowoc County. The next hearing is set for April 25.

Allison emerged in the last couple of weeks of the regular season with eight catches for 157 yards and a score while filling in when Randall Cobb was hurt. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Illinois played with a hamstring injury in the Packers' 44-21 loss to Atlanta in the NFC championship game.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie rails against political polarization in Washington

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie rails against political polarization in Washington

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie isn't often very outspoken on football or political matters. 

He has apparently made an exception. 

Just a few days before Lurie is tentatively scheduled to speak to Philadelphia reporters while in Phoenix for the league's annual meetings, the Eagles owner authored a story for Time Magazine railing against political polarization in Washington.

Lurie has not spoken to reporters publicly since last March in Boca Raton, Florida, at the 2016 owners meetings. 

The owner's essay was published just hours after House Republican leaders pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Friday afternoon. Lurie, for the record, donated money to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year.

Lurie, the Eagles' 65-year-old billionaire owner, in the story, uses football as an example for which Washington should strive. 

Here's how Lurie begins the piece:

"What do football, political polarization and autism have in common? They all illuminate aspects of the human condition, explaining who we are, where we are headed and the hurdles along the way. As a sports team owner I rarely publicly discuss politics, but as a member of a family touched by autism, I often think about the unspoken millions of people who live with the daily challenges of this disorder."

Lurie then goes on to explain why football can act as a guide for Washington when it comes to united for the common good:

"What I have learned from football can be applied to society at large. Just as we intensely game-plan against an opponent in sports, we need to game plan for the reality and consequences of polarization. Extreme polarization is the opponent -- not each other. A football team is made up of players from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and political viewpoints. What unites them is grit, determination, and the desire to win. They join in a common goal and do what is necessary to transcend their differences for the greater good of their team.

"What unites Americans is far more negative. We are now in an age where communicating verifiable information becomes secondary to the goal of creating a common enemy that unifies people in fear, negativity and opposition. This masks our inability to solve serious domestic problems (poverty, violence and institutional racism to name three current examples) and diverts our attention from obvious suffering."

Lurie then writes that we, as Americans, have the "necessary resources" to tackle serious problems, like autism, but lack the leadership to put aside differences. 

The whole piece isn't very long and is worth reading in full to gain a better understanding of its context. 

Next week while in Phoenix, Lurie will surely be asked about what motivated him to write the piece. 

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

As the annual NFL meetings get set to kick off next week, the Eagles originally proposed four playing rule changes and a resolution that could have eventually led to bringing back Kelly green uniforms as an alternate option. 

But after getting feedback from the NFL's competition committee, the Eagles are withdrawing all but one proposal, according to league sources. 

The only one left would prohibit players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on kicking plays. For now, players are allowed to leap line as long as they don't make contact. That proposal, which the NFLPA has previously supported, seems likely to pass. 

That means the other three playing rule changes and the proposal to allow teams to wear helmets that would match their alternative jerseys won't be specifically discussed. 

Translation: No Kelly green jerseys yet. 

Among the 15 proposed playing rule changes the league released on Friday, teams were responsible for seven of them and the Eagles accounted for four of the seven. 

Just because a specific proposal won't be directly discussed, it doesn't mean that topic won't be discussed by the committee in Phoenix during next week's annual league meetings. 

For instance, one of the Eagles' proposals would alter the current replay system. While the Eagles' individual proposal won't be discussed, replays will be a topic of discussion during the meetings.