NFL notes: Seahawks hold ceremony to receive Super Bowl rings
The Seahawks ended minicamp with a 90-minute workout in the sun Thursday, the last time they will be on the field until training camp begins July 25.
Fittingly, they celebrated their pending summer vacation with a party.
This was far from just any normal party, however, as players, coaches and other team officials headed to a private ceremony Thursday night where they were to receive their Super Bowl rings.
Quarterback Russell Wilson said the affair figured to be equal parts celebration and motivation.
“Tonight when we get that ring, and put that heavy ring on our finger and you realize that we actually won the Super Bowl, it makes you want to do it again,” Wilson said. “And that’s what we have, that’s the itch that we have – how we can do it again and how we can do it that much better.”
As minicamp ended, there was a feeling around the team that for as good as the Seahawks were in 2013, they might be better now.
“I definitely believe we are way further ahead and it’s exciting,” Wilson said. “It’s something that you have an itch because you know how to do it at a very high level. And the best part about it is we can continue to do it better. There are a lot more ways that we can be better.”
Kelly visits Bills
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly felt strong enough to huddle up and visit his former team Thursday, making a surprise appearance at the Buffalo Bills’ practice.
Kelly made his way to the sideline as players warmed up for their final practice until training camp.
Coach Doug Marrone gathered his team at midfield before introducing Kelly, who spoke to the team in a brief, two-minute address.
Kelly thanked the team for its encouragement throughout his battle with jaw and sinus cancer and said he was touched by the outpouring of support from both the Bills and the Buffalo community.
“One thing I noticed about Buffalo, New York, was how everybody comes together,” Kelly said. “If somebody’s struggling, there’s always somebody there to pull them together whether it’s on the football field, whether it’s after a tough year or whether it’s when I was in the hospital, they always seem to rally.”
The bidding for the Buffalo Bills is set to begin now that prospective ownership groups are being contacted by a law firm representing late owner Ralph Wilson’s estate. Among the interested parties are Sabres owner Terry Pegula and real estate mogul Donald Trump. … Panthers quarterback Cam Newton practiced for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery on March 19. Newton worked in 7-on-7 drills during the team’s final day of minicamp practice Thursday. … The Atlanta Falcons have acquired reserve quarterback T.J. Yates in a trade that sends linebacker Akeem Dent to the Houston Texans. … The Jacksonville Jaguars have released defensive end Jason Babin, parting ways with the veteran for the second time in three months. … Andrew Furney is at minicamp with the New York Jets. Furney, who starred at kicker for Washington State, is one of two kickers invited to a tryout at the camp. … Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin’s NFL career is over after a neck injury he suffered last year.