1 » In addition to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey (who is expected to be released from his contract) and Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson (a restricted free agent), six other former Florida Gators currently under contract with NFL teams will be unrestricted free agents the day after the Super Bowl. Those players include Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Louis Murphy, Kansas City Chiefs LB Brandon Siler, Oakland Raiders guard Cooper Carlisle, Pittsburgh tackle Max Starks and Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.
On rosters for Super Bowl XLVII are San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald and Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson. The end result and may very well come down to which quarterback stands out and makes as few mistakes as possible.
2 » Speaking of Rainey, the former Gators running back had his recent simple battery charge reduced to disorderly conduct by Alachua County Judge Walter Green after the State Attorney’s Office decided it did not have enough evidence to pursue the more serious offense. The judge withheld adjudication and fined Rainey $200 to go along with court costs of $300 for the offense, effectively ending the legal issue, according to Florida Today. The alleged victim in the case denied that Rainey hit her the day after his arrest and contradicting statements from witnesses made the state’s case inconclusive. The Steelers announced the day of Rainey’s arrest that they had decided to waive him; however, NFL transactions made during the postseason cannot be completed until after the Super Bowl. With the charges being significantly reduced, Pittsburgh could theoretically have a change of heart or consider bringing Rainey back on a cheaper free agent contract.
Check out four more BITS of Gators news…after the break!
3 » Three former Florida players in the NFL that are entering the final year of their rookie contract with their respective teams will hit major salary escalators once the 2013 season officially begins. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin will see his salary go from $1.55 million to $2.9 million next season, Chicago Bears safety Major Wright’s salary jumps from $575,000 to $1.32 million, and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap will earn slightly more as his salary moves from $575,000 to $630,000. All three players – and their respective teams – will be discussing extensions in the offseason; agreements would prevent teams from being forced to either pay top dollar or slap the franchise tag on them in 2014.
4 » Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been dealing with an injured wrist for the last two weeks and is now being forced by a specialist to miss time as he recovers. Beal, who was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for Dec. 2012 and was playing the best basketball of his young career over the first three weeks of January, has hit a rough patch since injuring himself on Jan. 18. “I’m a tough kid. I feel as though it has to be broke in order for me not to play,” he said this week, according to the Washington Post. “At the same time, I want a long career in this league and I have to take care of my body and I have to do what’s best for myself and my team.”
5 » Gators redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 Baloncesto Superior Nacional de Puerto Rico Draft on Wednesday. The Ponce Lions chose Rosario but are unlikely to ever see him suit up for the team. Should he not be selected in the 2013 NBA Draft, Rosario would likely first look to play somewhere in Europe or Asia where the money and benefits are much better than the Puerto Rican league. He could also decide to play for the Puerto Rican league, which begins on April 1, and look at his options at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
6 » Florida track & field’s men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams each set 2013 world-leading times at the Razorback Invitational last week. The men’s team registered a time of 3:05.93 and were named SEC Men’s Runner of the Week for the accomplishment, while the women’s team posted a time of 3:31.68 at the same event. The times were the seventh- and second-best in Gators history for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.