If you work at an office filled with sports buffs, then you probably have a fantasy football league going on. All offices are different, but most will have either some element of picking different NFL teams to win each week, or more a traditional fantasy league format where you will be picking individual players from the different teams in order to field a team that will score points based on how the different individual players perform each week. Whichever format your office picks, make sure to stay ahead of the game by having NFL Sunday Ticket at home, which will allow you to watch the most games, do the most research, and win your league.
If you are playing in a league where you need to make predictions as to who will win each week, then you want to focus your attention on the games between two mediocre teams. Most players are focusing on the games where the teams are well known, or the local teams. The statistic that will make or break your season is the games where two teams are playing at an average level. Most players will ignore those games, or just pick the home team. If you do your research then you will know which team has an edge. Watching the commentary from the experts delivered to you in HD will put you one step ahead of the competition.
Likewise, NFL Sunday Ticket is a good investment for folks whose office plays in a league whose format is a classical fantasy team style. In this case you will be able to listen to the latest injury updates and figure out who to start. If you are looking to win your league then you need to be really quick to act on picking up and dropping players in the middle of the season. If you have done your draft right, then you will start the year with a strong and balanced team. Unfortunately, as every football fan knows, over the course of the season your stars will start to get injured and you will need to have a backup plan. To grab the right player you need to make sure that you know who is available and when to grab them.
Ultimately, there is nothing that is better than winning the office pool. Being able to beat your boss and brag to your co-workers certainly livens things up around the office water cooler. In order to make sure that you are the winner, and not your annoying cubicle neighbor, you need to make sure that you have all of the right inputs for making your decision. Watching as many games as possible in high definition is the best way to make sure that you know what is going on.
Fortunately, this is not hard to get. Getting high quality HD games streamed directly to your home is easier and more affordable than ever. Acting today you can most certainly have the games that you need in time for Sunday.
As New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski weighs his future, sources close to him say he has recently expressed that he is now more likely to continue his football career rather than retire at 28 years old.
Gronkowski still hasn’t made a decision, but despite serious considerations since the end of the season to retiring because of physical and mental fatigue, sources say he is “pretty certain” he’ll come back as long as Tom Brady remains with the team.
However, this dose of good news for Patriots fans comes with some dilution: Lingering frustrations remain between Gronkowski and head coach Bill Belichick, along with others in the Patriots organization, according to sources close to each side. Whether those frustrations on either side will impact Gronkowski’s return to the team remains the final piece to this unfinished puzzle.
For Gronkowski, the physical anguish of the 2017 season, which led him late in the regular season to tell people he was likely going to retire, was paired with some mental fatigue from the high-strung culture within the Patriots organization, sources said. Nothing has occurred since the end of the season to convince him that’s going to change — and Gronkowski knows he’ll need to be ready for a similar toll on his mind and body if he returns in 2018.
For Belichick, since the season’s end, sources say he has expressed frustrations with those close to him about Gronkowski, specifically questioning whether he remains “all in,” a critical aspect of Belichick’s blueprint for success.
Examples of Belichick’s frustrations are as nuanced as his discontent with Gronkowski’s message in a recent Instagram post regarding former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who left New England to sign a contract with the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East. Beneath a video Gronkowski posted on March 14 of him hugging Amendola, he wrote, in part, “Be FREE, Be HAPPY (sic).”
But should the offseason continue to create a sense within Gronkowski that he’s fully committed to football, many close to Gronkowski and Belichick say they believe the existing friction between the two will ease. While the discord should not be discounted, as one source explained, it also should not be viewed as irreconcilable.
So for now, the situation surrounding Gronkowski continues to percolate behind the scenes while all sides remain generally vague in public forums. With the NFL draft still more than three weeks away, there is time for the situation to rectify itself.
Should the silence linger deeper into April, however, all possibilities remain on the table.
At first glance you might assume that takers do better in life, get more and achieve greater success and even wealth than givers. However, depending on how you want to define these four outcomes consider; givers live longer, are healthier, impact others in a more positive and lasting way, get sick less and have greater inner peace and happiness and takers have the opposites of all of these.
So, let me ask you – if you could choose which of the above group you would be in as you go through your life and its years and circumstances – what’s your decision?
Well, maybe you need a little more information before you decide – OK consider the following. Let’s look at three major life areas – careers, relationships and longevity.
Sorry I’m not including money as I have learned that most of you know or have learned that money can buy travel, stuff, position, power, influence and convenience but it can’t buy longer life happiness, health and spiritual contentment. I know, we could argue these points for hours, but let’s save that for another time, for now – I just want to stick with the title – who over time wins in life – givers or takers?
First let’s define each of these two groups;
Takers – it’s all about them – what they have, what they get, what you owe them, what they deserve, their position in line, they shouldn’t have to wait for anything, they were put on this earth for you to serve them, they are always right, their time and agendas are more important than yours – had enough or should I go on? OK, they don’t have to say thank you or show appreciation, their goals, needs and desires are all that matters. Before I leave this group – one thing I have learned is that takers don’t see themselves as takers – they actually see themselves as givers because their self-definition is – I am – kind-hearted, caring and thoughtful – sorry folks that ain’t you and not even close.
OK, how about givers – they tend to put others first, they sacrifice time, effort and even possessions when others are in need. They don’t judge who deserves what, when, where or how – they give of their time, their effort, their care and their compassion even to strangers. They don’t judge, blame or get even. They don’t keep score and they always show appreciation even in the smallest ways. These folks according tom research get sick less, live longer, are happier and have greater inner peace. You might ask – can givers be wealthy? The difference between givers and takers is not money. There are poor takers and extremely wealthy givers. Money is not the measuring stick between these two groups. The one thing that separates them is their life outlook.
For givers life is about service, sacrifice, sharing and leaving a legacy of love. For takers it’s what I have, what I deserve, what you owe me (again not talking here about money) and what I can control.
Takers in business tend over time to lose respect, loyalty and even staying power.
Takers in relationships tend to over time spend more time alone. Conversely givers tend to have more real friends, not just acquaintances, better and happier relationships and more satisfying careers. Takers tend to have more conflict and tension in their lives while givers enjoy greater peace and contentment, even solitude.
During my life and global travels I have known many people in both camps including clients, friends, relatives, customers, employees and neighbors. Recently I decided to consider who of all of these people I have known have had the greatest influence on my life and its circumstances and outcomes – the givers I have known or the takers. Got a guess who have had the greatest positive influence and the greatest negative influence?
Well, if you’re not sure – the givers have helped me the most and the takers have taught me who to avoid – a lot more but it’s kinda personal.
How about you – first of all do you see yourself as a giver or a taker? If you asked several people who would be honest with you which group they would put you in – what would most of them or even all of them say?
Which group do you tend to have in your inner circle? Which group do you tend to get along best with? Which group have helped you the most or taught you the most? Which group do you tend to spend the most time with? Which group have you tended to attract into your life?
Enough with the questions – let me close with a recommendation. Years ago, I read a great book by Evatt called – Givers and Takers. Let me summarize one of the key premises.
Givers tend to attract takers into their life because they need people to give to. Takers tend to attract givers because they need people who will give to them. The worst relationships are two takers, a taker working for a taker, a taker buying from a taker and/or a taker married to a taker – got it? Why – because they never get what they want no matter how hard they keep trying. The best relationships are two givers
– two spouses that are givers, two friends that are givers, a giver employee working for a giver boss and why? Because they both get what they want or need but it’s not because they ask for it, deserve it or want it but because they both give to give not to get.
So – are you a giver or a taker? No – not what you think you are because it’s how you want others to define you – what are you really? If you are a taker – got the courage to admit it?
In 12 starts as a rookie last season, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky tossed just seven touchdown passes and registered a 29.2 Total QBR, which ranked 29th in the NFL. It was a severely limited offense under former coordinator Dowell Loggains, and Chicago had one of the league’s worst passing offenses.
With new coach Matt Nagy and coordinator Mark Helfrich installing a system that will cater more to the modern quarterback and the Bears adding weapons in free agency, however, Trubisky is in a position to take a major step forward in 2018.
Let’s break down why the Bears’ new system and personnel upgrades are a boost for Trubisky while also discussing nine more second-year players who can make the leap in 2018.
Here is my list of potential breakout studs — not rookies who already had stellar 2017 seasons, such as the Saints’ Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara — to keep an eye on:
Five who could make significant jumps
That 2017 Bears offense didn’t scare teams, and Chicago didn’t have the targets in the passing game to create stress for opposing secondaries. Load the box and play man coverage. Defenses could keep it simple.
Despite passing for more than 200 yards in just three of those 12 starts, however, Trubisky showed flashes of his athleticism and arm talent. He showed the ability to anticipate throwing windows. And with Nagy & Co. installing a system that will better cater to Trubisky’s talent, the arrow is pointing up on the former No. 2 overall pick.
During free agency, the Bears added a top target for Trubisky in wide receiver Allen Robinson, who’s a technician in the route tree with the ability to make plays over the top and produce in the red zone. The former Jaguar, who tore an ACL in Week 1 last season, racked up 18 red zone touchdowns from 2015 to 2016. Tight end Trey Burton is the new “move” guy in Nagy’s offense, a matchup piece who can align in multiple spots. And wide receiver Taylor Gabriel brings some real speed to Chicago with the change-of-direction skills to break down defenses in the open field.
These are major upgrades for Trubisky compared to the lineup he worked with last season, and Nagy’s offense — a modern twist on the West Coast passing game — should jump-start Trubisky’s development. Just look at Jared Goff and the Rams hiring Sean McVay as a potential blueprint.
Mixon entered the league with the most raw talent of the 2017 running back class, in my opinion, with the power, speed and ability to impact the passing game. And we saw those traits pop on the film at times as Mixon rushed for 626 yards and added 287 yards receiving while sharing touches. With veteran Jeremy Hill leaving via free agency and the Bengals making a move to land offensive tackle Cordy Glenn in a trade with Buffalo, Mixon is in line to see an increased workload behind a better offensive line.
Mixon carried the ball 15 times or more in six games and had more than 20 carries in two games. He can handle high-volume touches, and he has the ability to rip off chunk gains on the ground or as a receiving target on screens and underneath throws. After showing some hesitation early in the season when working through the wash to find daylight, he hit the hole with more speed as the season progressed. The upside is there if the Bengals can develop more consistency up front in 2018.
McKinley’s energy level jumps out on tape. This guy plays hard on the edge. He’s s a relentless pass-rusher who produced six sacks while playing 381 snaps in a rotational role on the Falcons’ defensive line.
But when we look ahead to 2018 and the uptick in snaps McKinley should see after defensive end Adrian Clayborn left in free agency, I expect the former UCLA star to elevate his game as a pass-rusher with more technique at the point of attack.
For the majority of edge rushers in the league, that developmental jump comes in their second seasons. With tape to study, and game reps to lean on as teaching tools, this is when we see real growth in counter moves and the ability to set up offensive tackles. McKinley already has displayed the burst to get off the ball — and his motor never stops. Now, add in the core fundamentals to pair with that 4.59-second 40 speed on the edge? Look out. McKinley is in a spot to boost his profile as one of the top young edge defenders in the NFL.
Limited to just 11 games due to injury, Davis caught 34 passes for 375 yards and didn’t reach the end zone during the regular season. If you watch the Week 16 tape against the Rams or take a look at his two touchdown grabs in the divisional-round playoff loss to the Patriots, however, Davis looked much improved. He has the frame (6-foot-3, 209 pounds), body control and big-play talent to produce consistent numbers in 2018 as the Titans transition to new coordinator Matt LaFleur’s system.
Davis can run deep in-cuts and win on isolation routes, and he has the footwork to set up defensive backs, as he displayed on this double move to beat Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler for six points. Plus, Tennessee’s 2018 offensive system will create more opportunities for Davis, with LaFleur putting quarterback Marcus Mariota in a better position to attack throwing windows. Lots of movement, stack and bunch to get receivers open in the route tree. And with that size at the catch point, Davis should become one of Mariota’s top red zone targets.
When free agency opened, the Chiefs surprisingly paid a premium price to land wide receiver Sammy Watkins. But when we look at the Kansas City offensive system under coach Andy Reid, Watkins is yet another weapon — in an offense loaded at the skill positions — to build around Mahomes. And the young quarterback brings the big-time arm, the ability to make off-schedule plays and the movement skills that mesh with Reid’s playcalling.
Mahomes got one start as a rookie, in Week 17 against the Broncos, completing 22 of 35 passes for 284 yards and an interception. But this is much more about projecting Mahomes’ talent base while he’s surrounded by a core group of weapons in Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs’ creative system will feature the West Coast route tree, play-action, run-pass options and even some QB-designed runs for Mahomes, and he has players around him who will get open.
When the Chiefs traded up to get Mahomes in the 2017 draft and then traded away veteran Alex Smith this offseason, it was easy to see they were going all-in on the Texas Tech product. And the skill set is there, along with the system fit, for Mahomes to play big on the pro stage in his first year as an NFL starter.
The next five
After snatching two touchdown catches in Week 1, Golladay battled through injuries and was limited to 11 games as a rookie, finishing with 28 receptions for 477 yards and 3 scores. The NIU product averaged 17.0 yards per catch and produced six receptions of more than 30 yards.
He has the frame (6-4), speed (4.50 40 at the combine) and ball skills to get into the end zone. With new coach Matt Patricia retaining offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, look for Golladay to settle in as the No. 3 option behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones in the Lions’ three-wide receiver personnel.
King had some up-and-down moments as a rookie. But he has the size/length/speed combo (6-3, 200 pounds) to elevate under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and he already has shown the ability to play press-man coverage and the physicality to challenge routes.
Think more man coverage where King can get up in the grill of opposing wide receivers and track the ball like he did on his college tape at Washington. The talent is there. And so is the toughness. King will play hurt and tackle, and he’s a solid fit for Pettine and a Green Bay defensive identity that needs to change after Dom Capers, who had been in charge of the unit since 2009, was fired.
Cohen checked in with 723 yards from scrimmage and three scores in 2017, coming on 87 rushes and 53 catches. But Cohen’s electric talent wasn’t fully exploited — he didn’t see the consistent touches or scripted matchups I expected to see.
Look for that to change in Nagy’s system. Cohen can be the joker in the offensive game plan, a chess piece to expose opposing defenses. Along with his ability as a zone runner, Cohen can be featured on jet sweeps, misdirection plays and screens. He can be flexed out from the formation as a receiver. With a 5-6, 181-pound frame, Cohen can put defenders on skates in the open field.
Due to a Lisfranc injury, Allen played in only five games and had 10 total tackles and a sack. But the former Alabama star showed us glimpses of his athleticism and plus-technique.
Allen has the traits of a veteran when he rushes, showing lane discipline and the hands to win on contact. Plus, as a base defender, he has the strength to battle in the run game. Healthy again, I see a high ceiling for the former No. 17 overall pick heading into his second season as a key piece of the defensive front in Washington.
The fifth-round pick caught 43 passes for 515 yards with two scores as a rookie, but I expect improvement from the former Hawkeye in Year 2. Due to his fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense as a versatile pass-catcher, Kittle could near the 60-catch mark in 2018.
With 4.5 speed, and the formation flexibility to bump into the slot, Kittle has the ability to work the middle of the field, catch the ball off play-action and serve as an inside matchup piece for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Think of Kittle as a “move” tight end/H-back who can block in the run game and also slip out of the backfield to give Garoppolo a high-percentage target underneath.
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers started free agency strapped for cash (around $6.5 million in cap space) but looking to improve. While most of their needs were met on offense, the loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier to a spinal injury and the release of safety Mike Mitchell created two glaring holes that only one first-round pick can solve.
Two weeks later, as Steelers officials rolled through the halls of the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida, for the NFL owners meetings, they were satisfied with the additions of linebacker Jon Bostic and safety Morgan Burnett and teasing more moves thanks to more than $3 million in leftover space.
“I wouldn’t say we’re done with free agency, because stuff changes,” said general manager Kevin Colbert, citing the need to be ready if talented players become available via release.
Here’s how the Steelers filled out their defense with minimal money:
Patience in linebacker/safety markets: The Steelers showed interest in many free-agent inside linebackers early in the process, including Denver’s Todd Davis and Cincinnati’s Preston Brown. But as several linebackers earned deals worth $5 million to $9 million per year, some of whom are considered two-down players, the Steelers decided they couldn’t spend that much.
Enter Bostic, who wasn’t a splashy free agent because of injuries and mostly backup production in his first three seasons. But getting a player fresh off a 97-tackle season for two years and $4 million made sense to the Steelers.
Once they secured Bostic, they circled back with Burnett, whom they had called the week before. Tyrann Mathieu‘s signing for one year and $7 million with the Houston Texans signaled a weak safety market. The Steelers took advantage.
“We just let it play out,” Colbert said about their free-agency approach. “We knew when we looked at the market we knew that we were only going to be able to do certain things within our own limitations, again, after we made the reductions on our own roster. So as the market unfolds we reacted to it and we were happy to get Burnett and John Bostic from the picks.”
Sensible contracts: Burnett’s $14.35 million deal over three years seems hefty for a cash-strapped team, but the structure of the contract works for Pittsburgh. The signing bonus of $4.25 million spread over three years, coupled with a $1 million base salary in Year 1, equals a modest $2.416 million cap hit in 2018. That leaves nearly $10 million of salary on the final two years, but those are not guaranteed.
Add Bostic’s $1.5 million cap hit and the Steelers just got two starters for less than $4 million this year.
“We obviously had to make some cap adjustments to get in compliance, and in doing that we had to look at all alternatives,” Colbert said. “Fortunately, there was a guy available to us we felt was a good alternative, and Morgan Burnett, he was affordable. And again, we were able to get the deal done with both sides being agreeable.”
No star power, but flexibility: For a team not spending big, the best course is getting positional options in the second wave of free agency. The Steelers typically prefer this process, knowing they can walk away from any deal after Year 1 with minimal recourse.
But Burnett was one of the top safeties available because of his hybrid ability. He can play slot corner, dime linebacker or both safety spots. Bostic might have lost a step but has adequate speed (4.61 40 at the 2013 combine). He should be able to help cover running backs in the flat.
“They’re capable veteran players who are solid guys, guys that we had knowledge of in terms of how they entered the league,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “We researched those guys when they came into the league, so it made the research of them in the free-agency market a less daunting task. So, we’re excited about having those guys. We’re excited to get them in, but we’re also excited about the experience and expertise that they’re going to bring as well.”
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As the Denver Broncos make plans for their newly signed quarterback to flourish in the kind of offense that has brought the team some of its greatest successes, it is a good time to check in with a former player who once walked in those exact shoes.
For while Case Keenum is the Broncos’ quarterback of choice to lead the climb out of last year’s 5-11 finish, while he is a player the Broncos believe has even more to give than the career-best 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns he posted last season, it is Jake Plummer who knows both the weighty expectations and the potential for football glory that await Keenum.
Because Plummer has been that guy for the Broncos.
“You’ve got to have someone pulling the trigger that’s a fearless competitor, who no matter what will fight hard for everyone on the team, everyone in the organization,’’ Plummer said. “Find that kind of a player who has that kind of mentality. Case Keenum is that kind of guy. He’s a fiery competitor, who even if he makes a mistake, goes back out there and pulls the trigger again.’’
In the cascade of historic numbers that came out of Peyton Manning’s time with the Broncos, including the highest-scoring season in league history and two Super Bowl trips, it can be easy to forget where Plummer fits.
Until Manning’s arrival, no quarterback in team history had helped lead the Broncos to a higher percentage of wins in his starts than Plummer’s .722 mark. Plummer’s 4,089 passing yards in 2004 were a franchise single-season record at the time and he still holds the franchise record for consecutive passes without an interception. Plummer was, as a player, fiery and irreverent, and at times he swam against the current convention.
But Plummer believes emphatically in the offense he thinks John Elway and coach Vance Joseph plan to run with Keenum at quarterback, because he ran a version of it. He calls the Broncos, even after his somewhat messy benching by Mike Shanahan in 2006, when Jay Cutler was a rookie and the Broncos were 7-4, “a team with people that will do anything and everything you need to win a Super Bowl.’’ Plummer also believes the quarterback has to do his part and understand what he’s getting into.
Elway has often said that simply handling all the intangibles that come with the job of quarterback can be more difficult than the football part. That maintaining confidence through the rough spots, handling criticism and leading a locker room impacts how a quarterback plays after the ball is snapped.
Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler were all cycled through the starting job last season, and none of the three could rise above an often ill-fitting offense or stop the flood of turnovers. Both Elway and Joseph have routinely used the word “grit’’ to describe an important attribute Keenum brings to the table.
“Rebounding from mistakes, that’s all this league is sometimes for a quarterback,’’ Plummer said. “Everybody, of course, wants Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but watch their film, they have days, they have times, when they suck. But when it matters most, those guys don’t remember that, all they do is ball out and make the plays now. You have to be a consistent badass. That’s what you’re looking for, a consistent badass.’’
The Broncos, since Pat Bowlen bought the team more than three decades ago, have had more Super Bowl trips than losing seasons. Their current GM happens to be a Hall of Fame quarterback whose picture is scattered all over the team’s complex. Manning’s unprecedented four-year run, which included a 55-touchdown season as well as a Super Bowl win, is still fresh in the minds of most everyone in the seats on game day. In short, Broncos quarterback is a gig that comes with a cargo plane’s worth of baggage in tow.
And beyond game plans, arm strength and creativity on the playcalling, Plummer sees the ability to handle that legacy as one the most important items for Keenum or anyone else who tries to fill the job.
“Watching their games is the most important thing and I would like to sneak down on the sideline and watch him come off after an interception and see what they do,’’ Plummer said. “Does he sulk on the sideline? Oh, pity me, I’ve got to answer for a mistake. Or are they over yelling at their defense to gimme the damn ball back so I can go score.
“But so much is expected and if you can’t handle that, don’t come here … Even Peyton took some flak when he didn’t win it all. But this is a place where you have everything you need to win, they’ll do every single thing in the world that needs to be done. It’s up to you to make the plays when it’s time to make the plays. But if you don’t want that, don’t come.’’
The weekly New York Jets mailbag focuses on a couple of hot-button issues surrounding the team:
@RichCimini why are so many people scared of J. Allen heading to the jets? Completion % means nothing. Look at Favre and Montana’s completion % in college. Absolutely comparable! I think he would be a great fit for the jets. #jetsmail
@RichCimini: Matt, you sound like Mel Kiper Jr., who recently said “stats are for losers” when referring to Josh Allen‘s 56.2 career completion percentage at Wyoming. Mel is a huge Allen supporter, as you probably know.
For the record, Brett Favre was 52.4 in college, Joe Montana 52.0, but the game has changed a lot since then. The game is made for passing and completion percentages should be higher nowadays. So, yes, I disagree with your comparison. By the way, neither Favre nor Montana was a top draft pick. Favre was a second-rounder, Montana a third. When you’re picking as high as the Jets (No. 3), every blemish becomes magnified and deserves intense scrutiny.
Allen’s percentage is concerning. Mel believes it’s due, in part, to not having as many “layups” (short passes) as the other top prospects. I did the research via ESPN Stats & Information, and that is not true. In fact, Allen had more short passes than the others. Consider: 30 percent of his attempts traveled zero to five air yards, more than UCLA’s Josh Rosen (29 percent), USC’s Sam Darnold (28 percent) and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (18 percent).
Did Allen take more downfield shots than the others, lowering his completion percentage? Not really. The breakdown of attempts that went 25 or more air yards: Darnold (12 percent), Mayfield (12 percent), Allen (11 percent) and Rosen (five percent).
Was Allen victimized by a lot of drops? Not really. Wyoming’s drop percentage was 4.2 percent, a fraction higher than the national average (4.1). The guy who really got burned by drops was Rosen; UCLA’s drop percentage was 6.3. Oklahoma was 3.6 and USC was 3.0.
I will say this about Allen: His accuracy was sharper in the postseason, meaning the Potato Bowl, the Senior Bowl and his scouting combine/pro days workouts. He’s been working with quarterback guru Jordan Palmer, and scouts believe he has cleaned up his mechanical issues. That is encouraging for the Jets, who absolutely love his arm talent.
Oo oo pick me!!! With the contracts the free agents have signed the Jets could of had (cutting Skrine too)…. T. Johnson, M. Butler, T. Matheiu, Suh, Sheldon, Seferian, Pugh, Richburg and Jensen. So my question is why do we only have one of these players? #jetsmail
Mike what r your thoughts on a guy like Manziel? Bill’s done a very good job of keeping things under control distractions like with Tebow & Hernandez don’t become a circus.He’s only 25 still young from QB standpoint and could really learn a lot from Brady and Josh. Cheap deal too
Jesse, I wrote on the reasons I could see the Patriots signing quarterback Johnny Manziel, and the reasons I think they might shy away from it, last week. Here is that piece. The more I’ve thought about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens, with one huge caveat: The team would have to be at a high comfort level with him off the field as it relates to allegations of domestic violence (a 2016 domestic violence charge was dismissed). If there is a high comfort level by the Patriots with that, I see limited risk for the team in bringing Manziel aboard at a time when there are 90 players on the roster and there is still a need for a third/developmental quarterback. At the least, Manziel could be part of the offseason program, he’d be on a minimum-level contract, and who knows if he would even make it to training camp? But it wouldn’t hurt to take a closer look at him on a day-to-day basis in the offseason program to determine if there was something there to work with further. It could potentially provide an insurance policy if the Patriots decide not to draft a quarterback (or if the quarterback they like doesn’t make it to them). Furthermore, while I don’t think this is the main reason to do it, I also believe the presence of a once highly touted player who has hit rock bottom and is trying to work his way back can also potentially have a positive trickle-down effect on others.
Hey Mike, good article overall. I agree with the grade of a B. I really like the Shleton and Clayborn additions. You mentioned LB as a need in the draft which I agree with. But don’t you think the team still needs a top end pass rusher still? Clayborn is more of a rotation piece.
The way I view the pass-rushers/end-of-the-line players in the scheme is that the Patriots have had some notable success when they’ve had a solid rotation. In 2016, for example, the foursome of Rob Ninkovich, Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard and Trey Flowers was more than capable. They didn’t have that last year, in part due to some personnel decisions that didn’t work out. In 2018, Flowers and Adrian Clayborn are part of that mix, and Deatrich Wise Jr. could develop into even more of a contributor. I’m curious to see where 2017 third-round pick Derek Rivers (who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL) fits as well, as rushing the passer was his forte at Youngstown State, where he set the school record with 41 sacks. There are some other potential developmental players as well, such as Keionta Davis, who will get a look in camp. So while they could always add another piece there, the development of the younger players will also be key.
Which position should Patriots strengthen with priority? QB(find successor)? TE(still use D-Allen)? RB(satisfied with Jeremy Hill)? O-line(need to protect Brady)? LB(If we miss Hightower again…)? CB(left Butler and Bademosi)? anything else?
If I had to make a list of priorities, assuming everything was equal, it would look like this: a franchise-caliber left tackle, an off-the-line linebacker who runs well and could factor on all three downs, and a developmental quarterback would be my top three. A lot depends on how the draft unfolds, and they could never go wrong with adding more speed at running back, another defensive back, a pass-rusher or a tight end, but those first three pieces are the ones that stand out to me the most.
Still no defensive coordinator? Belichick making all the defense draft decisions too? Wow!
Amin, the Patriots are going to have linebackers coach Brian Flores run the defense, but without the title of coordinator. That is similar to how the team did it with Matt Patricia, Bill O’Brien and Josh McDaniels in years past. As Bill Belichick said, there might be an addition or two to the defensive staff in the future.
Hey @MikeReiss – I don’t understand this “Robert Kraft the fan” approach. He’s the owner whether he says he’s thinking as a fan or not. Isn’t he still sending a message as an owner?
Shimon, when Robert Kraft references “putting his fan hat on,” I take that to mean when he reacts with emotion about a decision. Then when he steps outside of that, and looks at things from an owner’s perspective, it’s less about emotion and more about management skills and supporting the people he’s put in place to make challenging decisions, knowing they are doing so with more information than fans. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t challenge them on things. So in essence, it’s his way of taking the emotion out of the equation and being able to separate and look at the big picture.
@MikeReiss Hey Mike, Happy Easter. You see them bringing Harrison back? I’m sure they will see how the draft goes. Nice insurance policy to have.
Paul, this has been a frequent question in recent weeks, specific to James Harrison. My sense is that if it happens, it would be later in the process. I don’t sense urgency from either side to push something through right now.
Mike, do you think this is an effort to achieve more parity? Have to believe this hurts good teams making playoff runs, it’s a potentially major distraction and could allow for significant outside influence on a playoff team’s activities
Mike, the NFL was considering a rule to allow assistants to sign contracts with other teams to become head coach in an attempt to protect teams who stop their coaching search thinking they have it completed, only to have the coach back out. The feeling among some is that it is a bad look for the league when that happens. Don Banks of Patriots.com wrote on this last week and shared the perspective of some NFL folks.
Wilson stands alone after Seattle waived Trevone Boykin earlier this week in the wake of a domestic violence allegation that resulted in a charge of aggravated assault. The Seahawks got to work on finding a backup quarterback by bringing in Geno Smith for a free-agent visit, sources told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
Really, though, the Seahawks were already going to be in that market before moving on from Boykin. Last year’s No. 2, Austin Davis, remains unsigned. And Boykin was so erratic during his first two seasons — on and off the field — that there was no way the Seahawks were going to feel content with him as their lone backup option. They were going to add at least one more option by the time organized team activities begin in late May, be it a low-cost veteran and/or a rookie.
But waiving Boykin brings the backup quarterback conversation to the forefront.
And that conversation includes buzz around whether Colin Kaepernick could be an option. The Seahawks brought the former 49ers starter in last May for what remains his only known visit since he became a free agent earlier that offseason. They opted not to sign him for reasons that still aren’t completely clear and instead signed Davis a week later.
Also uncertain is whether the Seahawks would entertain the possibility of signing Kaepernick now, but indications are that another veteran, such as Smith or Davis, is more likely.
That wouldn’t preclude the Seahawks from drafting a quarterback or signing one as an undrafted rookie. Surprisingly, Wilson is the only quarterback the Seahawks have drafted under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. But given the current situation, this might be as good of a year as ever to do it. That Wilson is a year away from what has the potential to be a tricky extension negotiation could only give the Seahawks more incentive to have a young quarterback in the pipeline.
As far as veterans, something to keep in mind is that Wilson has been remarkably durable in his career, never missing a game in his six seasons. Because of that, the Seahawks may not feel compelled to spend as much on a backup as a team less certain in its starter’s availability might. It would be a surprise if they spent much more than $1 million on one, especially with the bargain-shopping approach they’ve taken in free agency this year.
Here are four names to keep in mind, three of which have strong ties to new Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer:
Geno Smith. The 2013 second-round pick threw 28 touchdowns and 36 interceptions during a four-year career with the Jets that never really got off the ground. He spent last season backing up Eli Manning with the Giants on a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. His minimum salary for 2018 would be $790,000. Smith, 27, hasn’t worked with Schottenheimer in any of his five NFL seasons, but he does have one connection to Seattle’s offensive coaching staff in new line coach Mike Solari, who was with the Giants the past two years.
Austin Davis. He spent his first three seasons with the Rams while Schottenheimer was the team’s offensive coordinator. The 28-year-old Davis made eight starts in 2014, one of which was a victory over the Seahawks. He beat out Boykin to be Wilson’s backup last season after a strong and steady performance over the summer. His deal with Seattle was worth $855,000.
Mark Sanchez. Schottenheimer was the Jets’ offensive coordinator when they drafted Sanchez in 2009 and made consecutive AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons. Carroll was Sanchez’s college coach at USC, and while there may have been some awkwardness over Carroll publicly disagreeing with Sanchez’s decision to turn pro early, that hardly seems like something that would get in the way of a reunion almost a decade later. Sanchez, 31, has bounced around since his time with the Jets. He made 10 starts with the Eagles between 2014 and ’15 and has been with the Cowboys and Bears since then. His deal with Chicago last season was worth $2 million.
Kellen Clemens. He spent his first five seasons (2006-10) with Schottenheimer in New York and two more (2012-13) with the Rams, meaning they’ve been together for seven of Clemens’ 12 years in the NFL. Clemens, 34, made nine starts for the Rams in 2013 and hasn’t started a game since then. He has spent the past four seasons with the Chargers and made $1 million in 2017.
Shaquille O’Neal is more often known simply as ‘Shaq’, the basketball player who is famous across the world and one of the most renowned players in the United States. He is well known for his large size and people often ask what his shoe size is.
Shaquille O’Neal has a shoe size of 22 but he is 7 feet and 1 inch tall and weighing 325 pounds, he makes a perfect basketball player. Even many of the world’s other basketball players who are also popular are relatively dwarfed by him.
Some people put Shaquille O’Neal’s shoe size to be as great as 23 but is generally considered to be 22. The currently plays for the team known as the Cleveland Cavaliers although he has played with a number of teams over the impressive stretch of his career.
He has earned a number of achievements throughout his extensive career and is currently earning a salary of twenty one million dollars with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also appeared with his past team, the Los Angeles Lakers, with which she won three NBA world championship awards, at the White House with George Bush.
His other and most recent NBA world championship award occurred in 2006 when he was playing with the team Miami Heat.
Shaquille O’Neal has also participated in a number of other ventures throughout his career. He is also into rap music and has released five studio albums plus a compilation album. On top of he has appeared in a number of reality television shows and various other programs on the TV. He has also dabbled in the world of martial arts and even got involved in law enforcement. Reportedly, he also asked for a role in the hit film X-Men but this was apparently turned down. His image is also appeared on the covers of numerous basketball video games.