The Bears are expected to be in the market for wide receivers when free agency opens next week and they’ll hope to find the kind of success with those choices that they’ve missed from Kevin White.
Asked to identify the areas he’s looking to improve this offseason, Lewis pinpointed three:
I need to improve on leadership,” Lewis said. I was pretty laid back last year, especially when I played. The Michigan State game I wasn’t taking control of the offense like I should have. I still gotta work on my patience. 1, 2, 3 (seconds) I’m out (running). I just gotta work on my patience, stay in the pocket and get the ball off. And also I have to work on my accuracy.”
The latter area may be the biggest hurdle keeping him from winning a wide-open quarterback competition that also includes fifth-year senior Giovanni Rescigno and walk-ons Tom Flacco and Rob Nittolo.
In his most meaningful action of the season, Lewis completed just nine of his 34 passes (34.6 percent) in losses to Indiana and Michigan State to end a 4-8 campaign.
Considering the average completion percentage for the top-10 passers in the Big Ten last season was 60.6 percent, Lewis knows he’ll need to improve on his 36.8-percent accuracy.
To that end, Lewis is punishing himself every time one of his passes is off the mark this spring.
The Steelers are near the bottom of the NFL in available salary cap space, but they’ve made a move that will help.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown revealed today that he has restructured his contract. Brown posted a video of agent Drew Rosenhaus saying that the restructure will guarantee Brown’s pay this year but push some of the cap hit to future years to give the Steelers more cap space this year.
Brown is the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, and highly paid players often agree to restructure their deals to create more cap space while not actually reducing the amount of money the player receives that year.
The Steelers still don’t have a lot of cap space and aren’t likely to be major players in free agency, but the Brown deal at least gives them some wiggle room to get below the salary cap.
Via ESPN.com, Thomas said at an event on Tuesday night that he’ll announce whether he’ll be continuing his career or retiring by the time free agency begins.
It’s kind of like picking a college, Thomas said. One day you think it’s this school, the next it’s another.