Much Like Almost Every Football Thrown in His General Direction the Last Three Years, 100 Million Dollar Mike Finally Secured His Bag
It might read like a weird thing to write about a contract negotiation that resulted in a star player’s absence from a Super Bowl contender’s training camp, but I don’t think there was a more fitting way for the New Orleans Saints and Michael Thomas to finally commit to each other for the next five years. Honestly, given everything we’ve come to know of a braintrust that’s always been bullish on their ability to replace skill position players who are up for a raise and a wideout who was aggressively and openly aware of his need for a massive one, it wouldn’t have felt right had the two sides been ready to break the bank immediately after breaking the proverbial bread. If it had been as easy as we were being led to believe prior to his holdout, I’d have spent more time trying to find a catch than the Saints’ offense when Michael Thomas wasn’t the intended target last season. Therefore, in the sense that some of Mickey Loomis' funny money was necessary in the making of a milestone extension, the extra time it took to get signed, sealed, and delivered really reinforced the belief that Michael Thomas is the perfect Saint, as he basically reflects the near-stubborn confidence of the front office that just rewarded it.
Please allow me a 50 mile head-start before telling him I said so, but Michael Thomas isn’t the best wide receiver in the National Football League. What he is, however, is close enough to that crown to quite easily justify leveraging the Saints’ over-reliance on his efforts in the passing game into an amount of zeros previously unmatched amongst offensive players that don’t wear a different color jersey at this time of year. What he might lack in game-breaking ability he makes up for in the proficiency of his efficiency. Never mind keeping happy the go-to guy that’s helped a first ballot HOFer age gracefully as he looks to add another ring to his finger before waving goodbye to the game. Think it might matter that when Drew Brees inevitably rides off into the sunset that his replacement will be lucky enough to throw to a reliable playmaker who is such a guarantee to catch everything thrown in his general vicinity that it makes you believe he can't possibly come as advertised without there being some tomfoolery in the fine print?
Historical precedent might say that paying top-dollar for receivers doesn’t result in a high level of organizational success, but all that history serves as to a player as profoundly prideful as Michael Thomas is a challenge...
We're talking about someone who is so self-motivated that I wouldn't be surprised if his biggest rival was his mirror. Someone who relies just as much, if not more so, on expertise as athleticism. Someone whose attitude and work ethic are infectious throughout the locker room. Position aside, Michael Thomas is the type of competitor you don't mind paying big money to because he makes everyone better and there is no amount of dollars that could pay away his undying desire to be dominant.
Of course, the Saints really had no choice but to pay him big money as the window to win a championship is closing by the day and they certainly weren't doing so without #13 on the field drawing attention and bullying open passing windows for Drew Brees. Still, the concerns that come with paying a premium for a pass-catcher aren't as worrisome when said pass-catcher has a chip on his shoulder than even surgery couldn’t remove and fully bought into a cohesive culture long before his annual salary allowed him to buy any damn thing he pleases.
Oddly enough, given the absurdity of the feat, I don't think the most impressive part about this clip is Myles Garrett going from flat-footed to jumping multiple feet in the air with the free-weight equivalent of a prepubescent teenage boy in tow. Rather, I think the most impressive part of this clip is that, somewhere along his path to NFL stardom, the Browns' quarterback crusher just assumed he was strong and agile enough to be able to do so.
Of all the exercises out there, I'd say a box jump is one of the few that you don't even consider attempting unless you're at least 90% certain of your ability to complete it. I imagine that also stands true for professional athletes who, while inherently more confident, are just as likely to fall backwards and bust their ass or bang their head if their eyes do happen to travel higher than their vertical. Therefore, there was a time when Myles Garrett instinctually knew himself to be capable of adding injury to injury, in the form of weight to body mass, while spitting on the laws of science and standing to tell the tale before even successfully doing so.
That time probably wasn't the one we just watched. After all, he seemed a bit too casual in his otherworldly athleticism, as if he were a seasoned vet of such superhumanity. However, with there being a first time for everything, the first time Myles Garrett circumstantially proved gravity a farce makes the umpteenth time seem just ever so slightly less impressive than the most impressive thing ever.
KC Radio Host Kevin Kietzman Went Full Shameless Shock Jock in Indirectly Referencing the Tragic Death of Andy Reid's Son to Criticize His Coaching
“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players. He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing. It did not work out particularly well in his family life. That needs to be added to this as we talk about the Chiefs. He’s had a lot of things go bad on him — He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline. That is not his strength. His strength is designing football plays.” - Kevin Kietzman
Ah yes, because why wouldn't Andy Reid's son tragically succumbing to a deadly addiction that's become an awful, awful epidemic throughout middle-to-upper class America "need" to be added to a conversation about his coaching? I mean, how else could we possibly question his leadership and put into context his inability to completely alter the instinctually erratic behavior of a grown ass adult like Tyreek Hill, whose dangerously destructive mind dates back to him choking out his then pregnant girlfriend in college?
If I were to justify such an idiotic criticism with a response, that response would be to wonder when we started demanding that NFL Head Coaches become licensed therapists and round-the-clock babysitters to the dozens-upon-dozens of professional athletes assembled by those higher than them in the organizational hierarchy. Luckily, I don't feel the need to have to dive head first down the deep, black hole where Kevin Kietzman's heart is supposed to be, as the most shameless of shock jock doesn't even deserve to be debated on such an inexplicably stupid take. Exploiting a coach's most heartbreaking moments as a human in basically blaming him for the passing of his one son and/or the imprisonment of his other son as a plea for "any publicity is good publicity"-type attention in sports talk is just unspeakably tasteless.
While we're on the topic of needing help, Kevin Keitzman's current employer should let him use the last of his medical benefits, prior to unemployment, to hire a medical professional to find what exactly has him so fucked in the head. The parallel between disciplining football players and making sure those football players aren't terrible people away from the field is only even slightly existent relative to the parallel between disciplining football players and parenting someone with the disease that is drug addiction. Anyone that can even find any correlation whatsoever between the latter, even if doing so entirely disingenuously, has no place to be judging anyone for being unable to "fix" others, as if people can be "repaired" as easily as a leaky facet, since they quite clearly can't even fix them-fucking-selves. As evidenced by this blubbering line of unapologetically misdirectional bullshit below...
Cam Newton Offered Another Passenger on His Flight $1,500 to Switch to a Seat With Less Leg Room and Got Reminded of What It's Like to be Regular
Just given the...shall we call it...tumultuous history of the player in question, there will likely be no shortage of people scoffing at Cam Newton trying to throw money at a rich person problem in trying to pay his way into a more comfortable spot in coach. I'd venture to guess the one thing that all those people have in common is a somewhat normal-sized human body that can be crammed uncomfortably into a uniformly-sized seat without a single concern regarding the profitability of their professional career. Point being, even though I am the furthest thing from a Cam Newton apologist, I can sympathize with his plight of being a 6'5 professional athlete who was willing to give a more than gracious gift to not have to jam his long legs, that are made even more precious by an arm of questionable accuracy, into the back of stranger's seat for ten hours on end. Even if it was a product of his own careless booking.
That being said, I am even more empathetic to a much more relatable plight, which is that of the passenger that told a high-end NFL quarterback straight to his face that his pride plus his traveling convenience couldn't be bought. I won't take umbrage with Cam Newton for his offer, but I will say that he re-learned a valuable lesson that he may have forgotten over the course of his career. That lesson, of course, being that going about the painstaking process of commercial travel, never mind a flight spanning multiple countries, without being unnecessarily bothered is priceless.
As far as I am concerned, negotiations on both sides were more than fair. I'd say going into said negotiations wearing sunglasses and a particularly pretentious hat made for an asshole-ish look that was easy to say "no" to out of principle, especially considering the shortness of one's patience when preparing to spend damn near a full day trapped in a steel tube thousands of feet in the air. Still, in my opinion it was an entirely understandable question and, to anyone that understands the inherent irritability of travel, an even more appreciable answer.
The Saints Sound Willing to Pay Top-Dollar to Keep Michael Thomas Happy, As They Know Better Than Anyone That He's Not Someone You Want to Make Mad
Money. If you've been paying any attention whatsoever to Michael Thomas' social media presence, two themes were mistakable. The first being an unrelenting adoration of all things New Orleans, and the second was...you guessed it...money. After both statistically and aggressively proving every team that passed on him wrong, multiple times over, a higher grade of fuel was needed to keep accelerating his eternally dissatisfied drive to remain dominant, and what motivator throws more gas on a competitive fire than money?
Unfortunately, being on an insatiable search to secure the bag meant that the adversary most likely to become the target of Michael Thomas' immutable irritability was the franchise for which he has become an emotional leader. For that reason, this surprise that Mickey Loomis and New Orleans Saints are, for the first time in a long time, more than willing to break the bank on a skill position is a pleasant one that serves as precautionary damage control to what could have pretty easily become a distraction.
The wide receiver that proved, time and time again, that you can't guard him has earned a payday unprecedented at his position, and giving Michael Thomas the ability to flex on every last one of his peers by offering him what he earned is the best way to keep his eyes laser-focused on a much more elusive prize. The thing that made him so great, with that being hyper-competitiveness, is also one of the only things that could have caused a rift in an otherwise cohesive culture if he, rightfully or wrongfully, felt disrespected within his own organization. Said organization appears ready to reinforce what's been an insanely productive relationship in approximately 100 million different ways, and the negotiating table was exponentially more likely to be the place where it went awry than the football field or the locker room.
Now, I do have a slight hesitancy towards setting the market for a pass catcher when they haven't proven to be a time-honored piece to the championship puzzle, but Michael Thomas is the type of irreplaceable playmaker that can help ease an inevitable transition from an elite quarterback. He's a prominent member of a young, talented core, and if the Saints are going to keep open their window after they, Lord willing, send Drew Brees off into the sunset with a second Super Bowl then they are going to need to both retain and lean heavily on said core.
To put it another way, I can promise you that this implication that a deal is all but done sits well Teddy Bridgewater, so it stands to reason that it should also set well with the fans who expect to see him starting under center sooner rather than later. Michael Thomas has proven too money not to be paid handsomely, and doing so now should keep happy a guy who, as opposing corners can attest, you certainly don't want to see mad.
Yankee Stadium Greeted Giants' Daniel Jones With a Rousing Chorus of Boos, As it Has Become Pretty Hard Not to Feel Bad for the Kid
Leave it to nauseatingly insufferable New York sports' fans to ruin a great thing with their entirely unjustified entitlement. First it was a laundry list of overpaid yet under-appreciated superstars that didn't quite account for the rampant toxicity of the fly-by-night human fleas that the limelight attracts. Now it's the pleasure the rest of us were deriving from watching the Giants do backflips in trying to secure Eli Manning's starting job until his AARP card arrived in the mail.
Honestly, watching Daniel Jones take the stage on draft day, and - more importantly - listening to the bitching and moaning of a fickle fanbase that had not one reason to expect a more rational pick before he did was absolutely delightful. Ever since, unfortunately, I can't help but feel bad for a rookie who isn't even being given a real chance by a city that is trying to self-fulfill his prophecy with failure before their first round pick even steps on an NFL field in any sort of meaningful way. To feel better about pointing and laughing at Giants' fans for their feces-flinging front office, I'm going to need them to start believing in the shit their team has thrown against the wall. I just don't feel right being a part of the world that is clearly against a young, talented player who certainly didn't idiotically draft himself at 6th overall when that world is also inhabited by a bunch of (up-their-own) assholes dressed in Eli jerseys and cloaked in nonsensical superiority complexes.
I genuinely hope David Gettleman made the mistake of all mistakes when he trusted misinformation and highly-opinionated anecdotal evidence to make a selection that no one else in their right (or wrong, for that matter) mind would have. However, I'm going to need the Giants' fans of the greater New York area to get on board with that potential mistake so that I can take comfort in knowing that Daniel Jones will have some support on the ship while I mock its General Mismanager as he inevitably navigates it directly into a goddamn iceberg.
Congratulations to Everyone That Had Mid-June in the 'First Time Aaron Rodgers Gets Pissy About the New Playbook' Pool
Mini-camp. Fucking mini-camp. I thought I was a little too skeptical of Aaron Rodgers' ability to maintain a professional relationship and compromise with a new Head Coach by having productive back-and-forth conversations about the playbook behind closed doors. Yet, even I had my first "told ya so" tentatively scheduled towards the end of training camp.
That's not to say that the most irritable arm in the NFL doesn't make a fair point about winning games by way of winging it, as he's done just that an entirely inconceivable amount of times over the course of a career that wasn't exactly maximized with Mike McCarthy having the adaptability of AOL. It is, however, to say that getting passive aggressive about play calls before even running them in pads is a precursor to a pretty familiar type of petulance. Matt LaFleur is is still getting used to gimping around on a torn Achilles and he's already got his superstar starting quarterback undercutting him out of nowhere in handicapping his hold on the philosophy that got him hired in the first place.
I don't want to give too much benefit of the doubt to someone whose last gig had him teasing what ended up being an endlessly impotent Titans' offense, but it stands to reason that more than a quick summer fling with Matt LaFleur's style would breed a little freedom within it. Kind of feels like Aaron Rodgers hit 'Install' on a new operating system, saw the loading bar have a quick hiccup around 12%, slapped the entire fucking computer off the table, and immediately went back to drawing up plays in the dirt. Spent all offseason discrediting any and all reports of an entire era of undeniable agitation atop the Packers' organization only to start massaging his own ego, at the expense of his new progressive play-caller's peace of mind, the first time he had an audible abolished.
In fairness, he has earned the right to be more of an arrogant asshole than most. That, however, doesn't make him any less of an arrogant asshole for going out of his way to create a little tension in the locker room before going out of his way to put a name to every new face in it.
The Saints and Michael Thomas Have Begun Talks on an Extension, So Cue the Cautious Optimism of What is a Prematurely Positive Development
PFT- Payton said that the team and Thomas “probably have already begun discussions” about an extension. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis confirmed that was the case during an appearance on Mad Dog Sports Radio without saying much else about where things stand.
“Yeah, listen, we’ve had some conversations, and I like keeping that close to the vest until there’s something to report,” Loomis said. “Look, we love what Mike’s done for us. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best at his position in the league, and hopefully we can keep him as a Saint for a longtime as well.”
Thomas, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, said last month that he’s “pretty certain that everything will get taken care of” in time to ensure he stays in New Orleans.
Realistically, the only thing to take away from this relatively meaningless morsel of information is that both the New Orleans Saints and Michael Thomas are interested in prolonging what only the incredibly cocksure Ohio State product could have predicted to be as mutually beneficial a relationship as it has been. Seeing as it's not all that surprising that a player who has embraced all things New Orleans and a team that is currently at its most promising due in large part to his productivity are interested in lasting the long haul, I can't put too much stock in the fact that contract talks have commenced. I suppose it's a good sign that said contract talks haven't sent Michael Thomas into one of his infamous Twitter tirades, but I'd imagine that things are still quite far from a done deal.
Simply put, when it comes down to brass tacks, there's not one single reason to believe that an athlete who has made no bones about being in search of a secure bag will waive any sort of tax on behalf of anyone. In order to get Michael Thomas to legitimately listen, the money is going to have to talk. That same money has been hesitant to speak to other prominent playmakers that have, to varying extents, been a product of Sean Payton's offensively-friendly system. I don't doubt that it will actually raise its voice this time around, as Michael Thomas has both the tools and early resume to be far and away the best wide receiver in Saints' history. I do, however, wonder whether it'll boast loudly enough to out-annunciate the entirety of a market that Michael Thomas might very well envision himself setting, despite it being one that hasn't historically returned too many titles from the top down.
Someone who has backed up his moniker in proving pretty damn unguardable has already made as great a case to break the bank on the field as he has on social media, so time will tell if two, at times, temperamental sides can come to terms. However, barring a sizable concession one way or the other, I can't exactly see that time being upon us.
An NFL Reporter Taught His Son a Powerful Lesson (About Taking Yourself Far Too Seriously) by Destroying His Tee-Ball Participation Trophy and Posting it Online
I don't want to act as though I don't get the premise of pulverizing a pity prize for participation, because I do. Society as a whole has become increasingly concerned with making children feel like winners, as if legitimate winners are even possible without a hell of a lot more losers. There are definitely lessons to be learned from the disappointment of going home empty-handed, and those lessons aren't being taught as often amongst sports.
Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing that breaking the smiley-face of a baseball off an award that was given for showing up to play a sport in which success is quite literally placed on a tee for all children to repeatedly swing wildly at, without limit, is the best way to teach those lessons. After all, we are talking about kids who still need to be helplessly directed around the base paths with an urgency that would put my father's oft-ignored GPS to shame. Therefore, whether Albert Breer's 5(ish?)-year-old son is eventually MLB material or not, I have serious doubts that he fully understands the "lasting" impact of his dad destroying his otherwise attic-bound piece of crap for the greater good of attention on Instagram.
I genuinely hope this is an example of an NFL reporter showing a sense of humor in mocking the type of former NFL player that it goes ill-advised to mock, in James Harrison, but it being posted with complete sincerity âis neither anywhere near out of the question nor at all rational.
Mike Vrabel Admitted to Hating Lines and Always Being in a Hurry, As if That Makes Him Special or Something
First and foremost, I have very little doubt that Mike Vrabel is a highly competitive person. I think that much is supported by him carving out a 14-year NFL career during which he was entrusted as a jack-of-all-trades by one of the greatest coaches in sports' history for a team that won three Super Bowls in four years. If, for some strange reason, that isn't enough proof of his aggressive ambition then his ability to transition to the sidelines with enough success to work his way up through the entirety of the ranks and snag a head coaching gig as a spry 42-year-old certainly should be.
That being said, him (over)valuing his time as an impatient person who hates lines enough to silently race other adult men to them does not make him special. That's not to say that he's not special. It's just to say that being an anxious and irritable asshole that wants to be where he wants to be when he wants to be there without anyone, his own family included, slowing him down or standing in his way only makes him as special as every non-special ingrate that spent a significant portion of their life living in the Northeast.
Perhaps instilling in his team the "kill or be killed"-type attitude that one develops when dealing with Massholes daily for nearly a decade could coincidentally inspire a sense of urgency that breeds winners on the football field. Sort of sounds like a big load of Belichickian bullshit, but I suppose I could see that being the case.
On the other hand, I could also see how forcing those around him to adopt the same socially abrasive mindset might make life less stressful for someone who has probably found himself biting his tongue while being inconvenienced by one too many tedious acts of Southern hospitality since his arrival in Tennessee. Judging by how taken aback the local media was by what is standard operating pissyness above the Mason-Dixon line, I'm leaning towards the latter, as strictly enforcing a speed minimum greatly reduces the road rage of those living life in the fast lane.
This isn't a particularly surprising viewpoint from a player who has appeared fairly care-free in taking things as they come throughout a rocky (top) ride to the peak of his profession. In a lot of ways, Alvin Kamara's public persona comes off as the polar opposite of Michael Thomas', in that he remains pretty low-key in taking anything he may or may not take personally in a familiarly smooth stride. For that reason, I hardly envisioned him bashing those that were laughably far-sighted in not being able to see clearly an unprecedented playmaker while he was directly under their nose.
That said, can you imagine being one of the coaches that so poorly mismanaged the otherworldly talents of someone who went on to become the NFL's Offensive Player of The Year that said talents waited until the second day of the draft to get selected? Butch Jones has since been humbled, as he was interning as Nick Saban's most trusted window washer while Alvin Kamara was turning in a studly sophomore season...
However, I wouldn't be surprised if his original reality check came in the form of watching #41 make a stage out of every single Sunday. In fact, I don't even know how you don't look in the mirror after one of your offensive afterthoughts immediately becomes the NFL's ultimate X-factor, and question your entire life's work as a coach. Alvin Kamara is so preposterously versatile that you have to actively try harder to underutilize him that badly than you do to utilize him to the best of his abilities. We're talking eating steak with a spoon levels of stupid. If the former brain trust at Tennessee couldn't figure that out over the course of one single New Orleans Saints' offensive series then merely telling them how dumb their depth chart was when Jalen Hurd was a top it certainly isn't going to do the trick.
During an Old Radio Appearance That is Now Making its Rounds, Dabo Swinney Referred to Himself as the 'Osama Bin Dabo' of Alabama Recruitment
Ah yes, the old "compare myself, by both name and overall animus, to the mastermind behind the deadliest and most tragic terrorist attack on American soil" move. As an age old joke amongst the comedy community, who could have predicted that such a quirky analogy would fall on deaf ears until it was later stumbled upon by those who, oddly enough, don't exactly find the person most responsible for the national nightmare of 9/11 to be a laughing matter?
I mean, when you really think about it, the similarities between a persuasive recruiter of regional athletic talent that won a National Champioship and a persuasive recruiter of radical suicide bombers that ended/forever altered countless innocent lives become too stark to ignore. All Osam....scratch that...Dabo did was make the unfortunate, albeit tooootally hilarious, connection before the rest of us inevitably put our collective finger on it. Pretty selfless on his part to finally put himself in the same sentence as one of the most evil assholes in all of history in terms of operational secrecy. After all, the endless parallels were really starting to become an elephant in the room.......where two older white guys struggled to discuss the intricacies of their respective sports without the wildly unnecessary use of taboo topics like politics and terrorism in kickstarting the conversation.
Now this, this is how you resurrect a franchise. In saying that, I am quite obviously not talking about a decidedly dysfunctional NFL franchise that needs another distraction about as badly as they need a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) asshole. Rather, I am talking about a 'Hard Knocks' franchise that's set to do numbers while covering every level of an organization that was basically built to be viewed from the outside in as a guilty pleasure of football fans everywhere.
From a front office that is headed by a grown ass man with a bowl cut, to a sideline that is run by a head coach with a penchant for preaching the patently ridiculous more profoundly than a blind guy standing on a city sidewalk screaming towards the heavens, to a roster that reads like role call at an athletic asylum. The Raiders were made for this moment as their volatile cast of characters makes those of even the most ridiculous reality shows seem more shameful than shameless. Seeing as their chances of competing for a Super Bowl are about the same as the odds of Vontaze Burfict playing a suspension-less 16 game season, this feature is their Super Bowl. Therefore, I suspect they'll make of it a spectacle that makes the actual Super Bowl look about as entertaining as a forced training camp storyline by comparison.
Richie Incognito is probably already crafting conspiracy theories for a camera that Antonio Brown is planning to shove up his own ass so that it can get a better look at his shit-eating grin while Jon Gruden can be heard evangelizing the sweet, sweet nothings of 1980's-inspired cliches in the background. Honestly, the biggest concern HBO should have is not producing quality content, but rather editing an amount of must-see footage that would overwhelm Mike Mayock during draft season.
This Raiders have the potential to make Hue Jackson's last hurrah seem stable, and in doing so they have the potential to produce a documentary that needs not dramatization in making 'Hard Knocks' back into the exact opposite of an intervention as the type of sports' soap opera that makes for the preseason's only appointment television. Get ready Las Vegas, for this show could make for such a perfect Sin City audition that there might eventually be a strip-side adaptation.
Cam Jordan's Wish is New Orleans' Command, As He Officially Signed the Extension That Should Make Him a "Saints' Lifer"
There's one thing that the Saints can cross off from the top of their to-do list, and considering Cam Jordan's unwaveringly elite impact on the field and his leadership off of it, they can do so with a shit-eating grin on their collective face.
As proven by Mark Ingram's dumbfounding departure, nothing about the cutthroat business of the NFL is inevitable. So, while this extension felt as though it was only a matter of time, it's comforting that said time has already come. As expected from someone who made his intentions to be a "Saints' lifer" known, Cam Jordan - who had every right to break Mickey Loomis' bank as the most versatile of All-Pro pass-rushers - agreed to leave a little money on the table in exchange for the majority of that which he will take home being almost as guarantee as (::knock on wood::) his dominant presence on the defensive line...
With the negotiations of Sheldon Rankins, Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore, and especially Michael Thomas looming all-too-rapidly, it's nice to put any order of business in the rearview. Even if it is just business as usual with a player who, quite frankly, has been too understanding in offering up (adopted) hometown discounts for performances and production that are consistently above his pay grade.
New Orleans' defense might as well revolve around Cam Jordan with how reliably revered he's been throughout his career, and he more than deserved to get compensated for his role as its brightest star until he retires as an absolute shoe-in for the Saints' Hall of Fame.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Certainly Isn't Short on Confidence, As He Randomly Challenged LeBron's Receiving Prowess on Twitter For Some Reason
I can't imagine it's all that important to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson's impending NFL journey that he is willing to test his coverage capabilities against one of the most transcendent athletes playing an entirely different sport, while he is on the downside of his career in said sport, free of charge. After all, he's actually being paid to lock up actual football players, so it stands to reason that should be pretty far ahead atop the list of his priorities.
Nonsensical cross-sport competitiveness aside, however, I absolutely love the level of self-contained cockiness he's shown, both on and off the field, since his suspiciously belated selection. I'd certainly hope he could mirror the rudimentary and rounded-off routes of a 34-year old NBA player, no matter how freakish his athleticism, but that's not really the point. The point is that the Saints' 4th round pick will fit right into the collectively confident culture of New Orleans' secondary as he has a 1st round grade when it comes to unabashedly believing in his talent.
Considering the dynamic versatility of said talent, as well as the quickness with which he flashed it during practices that far and away favor the offense, there's reasons to believe that we'll be seeing it trusted in far more important circumstances than lined up opposite LeBron sooner rather than later.
Clutch those pearls, Josh Rosen! It appears there's still quite a bit of magic in that Ivy League-educated arm!
In all seriousness, let me first say that I very much enjoyed this clip. In fact, the only thing that's stopping me from saying that I loved it from the deepest depths of my heart is that it has yet to be placed side-by-side with a clip of that same no-look pass resulting in either a pick-6 or a concussed spectator when the magic wears off and Ryan Fitzpatrick inevitable turns back into the quarterback equivalent of a pumpkin.
That might come off as condescending, but I genuinely appreciate that, in a league that claims to value consistency yet constantly finds itself imprisoned by any optimistic moment under center, exists a player who knows not mediocrity at a position with which it's most prominent. Ryan Fitzpatrick has seen himself pull off the incredible just often enough to continue attempting it, even though it's just as often he's been made to look like a damn fool by doing so. Speaking as someone who doesn't have to live and die with his performances, it actually makes for spectacular theatre. Will it be a tale of triumph or tale of tragedy? A show inspired by Pat Mahomes or Pat White? Might as well flip a coin, but let him confidently slinging the rock outside his line of sight while on the run serve as a reminder that this particular "coin", almost without fail, makes for one entertaining flip.
A Far Too Trusting Le'Veon Bell Had Over 500K in Jewelry Ransacked From His Apartment by Two "Girlfriends" While He Was at the Gym
PFT- Jets running back Le'Veon Bell apparently has plenty of jewelry. For now, he has more than $500,000 less of it.
Via the Associated Press, two women allegedly robbed Bell of a more than a half million in jewelry last month.
Per the report, two female acquaintances — described in the police report as girlfriends of Bell — absconded with the jewelry. Bell claims that he returned from the gym on May 25 to find the women gone, along with the jewelry.
The New York Post reports that Bell claims to have lost via the theft two gold chains with diamonds, a black panther pendant with black and white diamonds and a Rolex. The total value amounts to $520,000.
The theft happened in Hollywood, Florida. Bell has joined the Jets this week for the first time, to participate in the team’s mandatory offseason minicamp.
Unlike most Steelers' fans, I presume, I do feel bad for Le'Veon Bell here. Surely he'll be able to restock the old jewelry closet with those incredibly elusive fat ass checks he'll finally be collecting from the New York Jets, but - no matter your means - it always stings more when stung by people you even temporarily trust.
That said, seeing as those people were simultaneous "girlfriends", or something close enough to be both described as such in a police report and offered unsupervised access to his place, I do feel as though it's fair to question his street smarts. I don't have one significant other, but even I know that if you have two concurrently that it's only a matter of time before they become closer to one another than they are to you. Somewhere in the fine print of 'Girl Code' is a stipulation binding all sexual partners of common man to bond over the shared experiences. When said experiences are shared with a professional athlete who clearly isn't the world's most loyal lover, it's only a matter of time before he becomes the target of the gossip when gone.
Now, I think it goes without saying that such situations don't always end in a half a million dollar jewelry heist. However, that's risk you run as a rich man when you accept the reward of "dating" two chicks from Florida who are crazy enough to be cool with it. Especially when you don't have the foresight to lock them the hell out whenever it is that you leave. When in doubt, which Le'Veon Bell absolutely should have been, it must always be remembered that these hoes ain't loyal, which is true to the tenth power when offered absolutely no reason to be.
TL:DR version: Typical Jets.
Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfield Were Having None of Duke Johnson's Trade Request, Which is Odd Given That They Acted as Though He Wasn't Even on the Team Last Year
Free of context, I don't hate those answers from the first-time head coach and the second-year quarterback of a team that should be prioritizing cohesiveness, discipline, dedication, and loyalty throughout an organization that has suffered from a lack there of throughout multiple decades of doomed dysfunction.
I just think they'd make a hell of a lot more sense if they weren't in reference to a previously productive, longer-tenured player who, up until this point, hasn't said boo despite being treated like a complete afterthought throughout last regular season and this offseason. As a versatile back who is in his prime as a reliable runner and the perfect complimentary playmaker in the age of pass-happy offenses, Duke Johnson Jr. somehow had all of one single game with double-digit touches last year. That year, mind you, was one in which Baker Mayfield (mostly) served as his quarterback and Freddie Kitchens served as his position coach turned offensive coordinator. Enter Kareem Hunt alongside Nick Chubb, and there is next to no reason for someone whose position doesn't allow him many lost seasons to believe that he'll be a oft-utilized beneficiary of the ball distribution in a backfield that has just as many mouthes to feed.
If the Browns didn't make it crystal clear how they felt about Duke Johnson Jr. when they offered him 2-3 pity carries a week then they sure as shit did when they floated his name on the trading block as of March. Therefore, it feels rather hypocritical of their leadership committee to start talking tough and playing hardball as if they aren't well aware of who slapped the 'For Sale' sign on him in the first place. Especially since one of the members of that leadership committee had to transfer schools to get an optimal opportunity and motivated himself to become a quality pro by taking far less legitimate slights personal since.
Contract be damned, since NFL teams have insured themselves a pretty penny by treating those as though they're as binding as a pinky promise with a used-car salesman. Put Baker Mayfield in Duke Johnson Jr.'s shoes and he'd have already been stomping them in hopes of ending up in a situation that better suited what was, objectively speaking, a woefully wasted skill-set. And honestly, it would take someone speaking selfishly in carefully walking the company line to blame him if he did.
Think You Can Still Be Racist if You Watch BET? This High School Football Referee Who Was Suspended a Year For Gratuitously Using the N-Word Begs to Differ.
HoustonChronicle- Mike Atkinson, one of the state’s longest-tenured high school football referees, has been suspended for the 2019 season by the Texas Association of Sports Officials after making racist comments.
Atkinson, who owns Atkinson Farms in Spring and has been a high school football official for 45 years, admits to using the N-word several times in conversations, audio clips of which were provided to the Houston Chronicle by the person who made the recordings.
“I thought these were private conversations between friends,” Atkinson said. “I promise you with my life, using the N-word by me is true, but I will promise you with my life, my wife's life, my kids’ life and everything I do, (the person who taped him) also used that word.
“We were back and forth. I understand what it sounds like, but I was baited into it.”
In one of the clips, Atkinson addresses a “Chapter and Crew Mixer” hosted by the Houston Football Chapter of TASO, held at Kirby Ice House on Feb. 10.
“I just went to the mixer the other day … a bunch of f------ n-----s wanting a free meal,” Atkinson said.
The context isn’t clear in the other clips, but they include the following statements:
“He would find a way to n----- it up.”
“There probably was some of them … (a black official) thought he had, ’cause he wanted to be the big n-----.”
Atkinson told the Chronicle he had no issues with having a black person on his crew if he could find a good one. Brian Raines, who is black, was on his 2018 crew.
“They’re putting all this out there that I’m a big-time racist and all this,” Atkinson said. “For the people that know me, they know that’s not true.”
Atkinson said he does not regularly use the N-word.
“I know what it sounds like when you hear those clips,” he said. “But I’m talking to (the person who made the recordings) in a private conversation, and he’s using the word, and I said it a couple times.
“I’m a jokester. I like to listen to things. I watch Black Entertainment Television all the time because I think it’s hilarious. I may have picked up something … I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Aside from the obvious, which was the casual and repetitive use of a slur that's meant to undermine the entire existence of black people as equals, I sneaky think one of the biggest clues that Mike Atkinson is a racist who thinks of his whistle as a weapon of white power is that he referred to BET as "Black Entertainment Television". Finding an objectively funnier race to be humorous wouldn't help his argument anyway, as he was apparently dropping n-bombs like they were set to explode on the tip of his tongue, but I can't help but find myself wondering what old, TV Guide-subscribing Texan fed him that elongated acronym as a defense. As far as dead giveaways that someone doesn't watch BET are concerned, they don't get more fatal than pronouncing the channel's every single syllable as though you're surprised such a thing even exists.
Now, I suppose that's hardly the only aspect of this story that has his hands looking as red as his neck. Proudly pointing to the ONE black guy he worked alongside over the course of a 45 year career in officiating football, as if he pardons damn near half a century of perceived prejudice, doesn't exactly paint a multi-colored picture of progressiveness. Mike Atkinson running the ringer in blaming everyone from the person he was on the phone with to his allegedly African American-influenced choice in television for serving as inspirations for "jokes" that read a hell of a lot like dehumanizing insults probably tells you more about what type of person he is than what he calls BET. That said, speaking as someone who grew up watching BET, what he calls BET is more likely have been heard while binging Fox News than uttered by someone who has watched even 5 minutes of BET.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Made a Guest Appearance at a High School Prom and Boogied Down to a Resounding Chant of "F*ck AB"
I'll tell ya what. If your favorite team absolutely has to move on from an absolute infant of an All-World wide receiver due to him demanding a trade and immediately tanking his value in said trade by acting like an outlandish asshole, it's at least nice to have a replacement that serves as his amicable antithesis already on the roster.
In terms of production, I don't know how well JuJu Smith-Schuster will fill the large and incessantly stomped shoes of his predecessor as the Pittsburgh Steelers' go-to pass catcher, but I do know that - if for absolutely no other reason - their fans will always appreciate him for not being Antonio Brown. Whether that be in attitude, personality, or both, the only way that JuJu could possibly be seen as more selfless amongst a fanbase with which he's proven generous with his time was to be compared to one of the biggest sociopaths currently in sports.
AB will undoubtedly try to spin this into a continuation of their beef, as if anyone can quiet hyped-up high school kids, and treat it as some slight against the character of his former teammate, as he is one to nonsensically do. However, the truth is that all JuJu had to do was dance like no one was watching to remind those attending a Pittsburgh prom of how much they hate the social media whore who stopped at no amount of lunacy in crazying his way out of town.
With Ben Roethlisberger still being the world's biggest brat and Mike Tomlin still having about as much control over his room as a substitute teacher, JuJu Smith-Schuster is a fittingly fan-friendly figure for the Steelers' faithful to rally around. Especially as they try to get over a player-turned-pariah who was the polar opposite whenever he didn't have the football in his hands.