Bruce Feldman confirms the reports that the University of Illinois is expected to hire former Bears and Buccaneers HC Lovie Smith as their new head coach.
This just hours after the news that they fired HC Bill Cubit.
- Ryan Baker of CBS 2 Chicago, citing credible sources, first reported that Smith will, in fact, be the next head coach of the Illini.
- Former Chargers LB Donald Butler said the expected to be released by San Diego once they drafted LB Denzel Perryman last year. (Alex Marvez)
- Butler added that he’s hoping to sign with a contender and views himself as a three-down linebacker. (Alex Marvez)
- Wendall Williams of the University of Cumberlands broke the Regional Combine 40-yard dash record by running 4.19 on Saturday. (Regional Combine)
- According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets are unlikely to be very active in free agency next week.
- Instead, Mehta expects them to focus on re-signing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and either restructuring a few contracts or releasing some players to boost their cap space.
- Mehta writes that RB Chris Ivory “appears to be a goner.”
- Mehta believes it would make sense for them to re-sign RB Bilal Powell, but also doesn’t rule out him signing elsewhere in free agency.
- Free agent NT Damon Harrison will likely have plenty of interest once he can begin meeting with teams on Monday, and Mehta could see him securing $4-$5 million annually on a multi-year deal.
- Chris Tomasson reports that there’s mutual interest between the Vikings and free agent RB Matt Asiata regarding a return to Minnesota.
- However, Tomasson adds that if the Vikings aren’t offering him the kind of money he’s looking for, he’s prepared to test the open market next week.