FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes news that one former Falcons player may be walking away from the NFL as well as another salary cap bump for the league.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
*Tampa Bay Times: *Joe Hawley eager to blog, travel in post-NFL life
Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Joe Hawley appears to be moving on from football and tackling new challenges, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. The Buccaneers opted to not pick up Hawley's $2.5 million option for the 2018 season, prompting him to begin thinking about his future. He's got some unique plans.
"When the season was over, I was thinking about what I wanted to do next, because I know my career is coming to a close," Hawley said during an appearance on iHeartRadio. "So I decided I'm going to get rid of everything I own, give it away to charity, families in need. I bought a van recently and I'm going to move into this van, travel the country and live out of it."
Hawley was drafted by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He played in 57 games during his time in Atlanta, making 23 starts for the Falcons in that time.
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BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL
NFL.com: NFL salary cap goes up for 2018 season
The NFL salary cap will get a bump ahead of the 2018 season, teams were informed on Monday afternoon. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the cap will increase from $167 million to $177.2 million next season.
This jump marks the fifth straight year the salary cap has increased by at least $10 million from the year prior, although it is not as high as the $12 million increase in 2017 from the 2016 season.
Free agency will begin at the start of the new league year on March 14. Now, teams know they have a bit more money available with which to target some new additions or reward their own players.
Here are some more articles from around the league: