It's all over Twitter, and the sports websites are starting to pick the news up. Redbird Capital (4b in assets), and their partner Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and his manager/ex-wife Dany Garcia, has purchased the XFL for $15 million, hours before it was slated to go on the auction block as part of it's bankruptcy proceedings.
Simply put, the XFL is now owned by an investors group that is 4x as wealthy as Vince McMahon is.
Assuming we get an NFL season, here is a fun little site that lets you predict the winner of every game for the 2020-21 season.
Here's what I came up with:
PLAYOFFS (predicted winners in bold italics)
#5 Steelers at #4 Texans
#6 Titans at #3 Bills
#7 Jets at #2 Ravens
#5 Buccaneers at #4 Vikings
#6 Cowboys at #3 Saints
#7 49ers at #2 Eagles
#3 Bills at #2 Ravens
#4 Texans at #1 Chiefs
#5 Buccaneers at #3 Saints
#7 49ers at #1 Seahawks
Conference Championship Game
#2 Ravens at #1 Chiefs
#7 49ers at #3 Saints
AFC #1 Chiefs vs. NFC #3 Saints
New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower is opting out of the 2020 season, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
Running back Brandon Bolden also is planning to opt out of the 2020 season, a source told ESPN. Starting offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale and reserve offensive lineman Najee Toran earlier decided to opt out for the Patriots.
Hightower, 30, became a first-time father on July 16 and told teammates Devin and Jason McCourty on their "Double Coverage" podcast this week: "I don't have any words to describe it. Asking what to look forward to and expect, it was that and then some."
Nicknamed "Mr. February" by head coach Bill Belichick because of his knack for delivering big plays in Super Bowls, Hightower was set to enter his ninth NFL season -- all with the Patriots.
A three-time Super Bowl champion and team captain, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Hightower traditionally calls the defensive signals and was going to be relied upon as much as ever this season after the free-agency departures of linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins.
This was the final year of Hightower's contract, and he was scheduled to earn a base salary of $8 million. The contract will now toll to the 2021 season.
Hightower's foundation annually raises money for the American Diabetes Association, which is a cause that has significant meaning to him as his mother, L'Tanya, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Hightower keeps a picture of his mother at his locker.
Bolden, 30, was set to enter his ninth NFL season, and eighth in New England. He is a core special-teams player who provides valuable depth on offense.
Bolden was set to earn $1.3 million in base salary in 2020, which was the final year of his contract. That will toll to 2021.
This is going to be an interesting NFL season this year. I think it is going to end up similar to the the strike season where you end up with a strange assortment of talent on the field that makes for sloppy play overall if baseball is an indication.
Under the circumstances, the New York Jets made a terrific trade. Joe Douglas the GM of the Jets must have pictures of the Seattle GM hanging out with Epstein and Prince Andrew.
Not only did they unload a me-first player whose poisonous attitude threatened locker room chemistry, but they parlayed Jamal Adams into one of the richest NFL hauls in recent years -- a package from the Seattle Seahawks that includes first-round picks in 2021 and 2022.
For a safety.
For a safety who doesn't intercept the football.
For a safety who wants to be paid like a pass-rusher.
Somehow, Jets general manager Joe Douglas managed to extract a quarterback-type return from the Seahawks, also acquiring a third-round pick (2021) and a middle-of-the-road safety, Bradley McDougald. The Jets never wanted to trade Adams, their best player, but sources said they would consider it if they were blown away by an offer.
This qualifies as blown away. That the Jets got this much is surprising, considering Adams jeopardized the Jets' leverage with his incessant public whining.
Consider: This marked only the eighth time since 2000 that a player was traded for two first-round picks, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. It has happened three times in recent years, with cornerback Jalen Ramsey (2019), tackle Laremy Tunsil (2019) and defensive end Khalil Mack (2018).
Notice a trend? All three play premium positions.
Adams is a strong safety -- a very good one, but not worth north of $17 million per year, which is what he wants on a contract extension. The Jets wanted to wait until 2021 to extend his contract; Adams wanted one now. When he realized it wasn't going to happen, he behaved like a spoiled teenager, taking to social media to rip the Jets organization.
Wonderful talent, bad leader.
Privately, the Jets fumed, especially when Adams ripped team owner Woody Johnson on Twitter for allegedly making racist and sexist remarks recently in his role as a United States ambassador. Then Adams went after coach Adam Gase, an easy target, questioning his leadership in an interview with the New York Daily News. Isn't is funny that Adams seemed OK with Gase in late January, when he tweeted how much he wanted to remain in New York? The tantrums started when Adams realized that contract extension wasn't coming.
With two first-round picks in each of the next two drafts, Douglas has the ammunition to rebuild a roster bereft of talent. The downside is the picks probably will be in the bottom third of the round, assuming the Seahawks continue to win.
Another concern is the short term.
The Jets' defense probably will slip a notch without Adams, a dynamic safety whose versatility allowed coordinator Gregg Williams to cook up so many effective schemes. McDougald is a longtime starter who recorded five interceptions over the past two seasons -- three more than Adams -- but he lacks ideal speed and has battled knee issues. There was a chance McDougald wasn't going to make the Seattle roster. At safety, the Jets will have to make due with him, Marcus Maye and rookie Ashtyn Davis.
Douglas could have helped his 2020 team by dealing Adams before the draft, which shows a lack of foresight on his part. Douglas had no intention of signing Adams to an extension this offseason, and the GM had to know the volatile safety wouldn't handle it well. Chalk it up to inexperience, but Douglas saved face -- and then some -- with Saturday's haul.
However, this does continue an alarming trend for the Jets, who traded five of their six first-round picks from 2013 to 2017. It's certainly fair to wonder, "What are they doing wrong?" They haven't made the playoffs since 2010, and now you know why. But don't blame Douglas for that; he has been on the job for only one draft. It's his responsibility to clean it up and reverse the trend.
Lastly, this nasty breakup doesn't help Gase's reputation as a coach who has encountered problems with some star players, dating to his years with the Miami Dolphins. This isn't to suggest Gase is the reason Adams went into super-diva mode, but it's certainly something that bears watching as the coach prepares for his second season.
Unlike at Miami, Gase doesn't have the final say on the roster, which is a good thing. That job belongs to Douglas, who used the Seahawks as aspirin: They cured a major headache for the Jets, who set themselves up for the future. Now the trick is to get the picks right.
Peyton Manning took a little shot at the Chargers when asked about pro sports being played in empty buildings.
Manning was asked to address the Denver Nuggets over video conference, and one player asked him how he’d prepare for playing in an arena without fans, which the Nuggets will do when the NBA resumes play in its “bubble” in Orlando. Manning responded with a joke about the Chargers so often having so few fans in their stadium.
“He was like, ‘I’m just not the one to answer that question,’” Nuggets player Mason Plumlee told the Denver Post of the team’s meeting with Manning. “’You’d probably have to ask somebody with the Chargers or one of these other teams.’ . . . It was like talking to somebody in the locker room, which was really cool.”
This year the Chargers may have no choice but to play in empty stadiums, in which case they’ll feel right at home.
This is why I steadfastly support Matthew Stafford as a Lions fan, despite no post season victories.
The truth of this video is obvious. Matt Stafford has made throws that are beyond ridiculous, and he just doesn't get the credit.
This is not a discussion about who the GOAT players are, what I am looking for, are your personal favorite players at each position. Whether they are Hall of Famers or not is entirely irrelevant, just list the guys you love/loved watching the most, or have the deepest respect for, based on their career...
You can use any valid offensive or defensive formation for your list, just change the positions as needed...
I am sure you have all heard that, or something just like it, from people questioning how Cam Newton could EVER have agreed to such a low contract with the New England Patriots. How, it's unfair, how disrespected he is, etc.
Well, is that particular claim actually true? Have no former NFL MVPs ever had to sign contracts that were...low? Well, let's see...
(All contract details from spotrac.com)
- 2x NFL MVP Kurt Warner (99/01): In 2004, signed 1 year deal with Giants for $3 million. In 2005, signed 1 year deal with Arizona for $4 million. No bonuses/incentives for either deal.
- NFL MVP Shaun Alexander (05): in 2008, signed 1 year contract with Redskins for $730k. No bonuses/incentives.
- NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson (06): 2 year contract with Jets, $5.2 million total, $1.025 million first year, $1.125 million second year, plus bonuses/incentives.
- NFL MVP Adrian Peterson (12): In 2018, signed 1 year deal with Redskins for $1.015 million. Signed 2 year extension for only $5.03 million. $1.03 million first year, $2.25 million second year, plus bonuses/incentives.
So, Cam Newton's deal is 1 year, $1.05 million before bonuses/incentives...that's already more than Adrian Peterson and Shaun Alexander signed for. Then, if he gets all of his incentives, he will make more this year, than 2x MVP Kurt Warner did his year in New York and his first year in Arizona, combined.
That is, yes, former MVPs actually have signed contracts for very low amounts of money. That particular criticism about Cam Newton's contract is simply put, not true.
The Washington Redskins basically just announced Dan Snyder changed his mind, and will in fact, change the team name.
This is simple. You don't announce a review of the team name, unless you are planning on changing it. The Washington Redskins will be rebranded, it's only a matter of time. May take a few years, but the "Washington Redskins" as an NFL team name, doesn't have much time left. This marks a MASSIVE change from owner Dan Snyder's previous statements regarding the Redskins name, where he was adamant that the team would never change its name, as long as he was the owner. Even after the US Trademark office refused to renew the Redskins trademark, allowing anyone to make merchandise using the logo, Snyder didn't budge.
The timing of this is somewhat suspect though. The Redskins release this statement today, July 3rd...and just yesterday, not only did FedEx, who owns the naming rights to the stadium, request they change the team name, but the Washington DC mayor's office also told him they would never approve a request for Snyder to purchase the RFK campus as long as he kept the name "Redskins". Dan Snyder wants to reclaim the land RFK Stadium stood on, build a new stadium and move the team back to DC, instead of being split between Virginia and Maryland.
Basically, it's a trade. The "Redskins" name, for RFK. Washington DC figured out the one offer they knew Dan Snyder couldn't refuse.
Bobby Bonilla, and the deferred contract
Today is July 1st, otherwise known as Bobby Bonilla day. But, why mention a retired baseball player in an NFL related discussion? Well, as you may recall, rather than take a huge contract up front from the New York Mets, the two sides agreed to defer his contract payments for 10 years, and then pay him over 1,000,000 bucks a year, starting in 2011, and ending in 2035.
So, why mention it here?
Honestly? Because I think every NFL contract should be structured that way. We always see stories of players who are broke just a few years after retiring, because they couldn't stop blowing the millions and millions they earned upfront. How many of those players would have been far better off, if their contracts were deferred? If the payments (not the number of years) were stretched over a few decades, so that long after the player retires, he still has a steady, stable income?
Cam Newton signs with the New England Patriots
Honestly, I am surprised it took them that long. It was clear, at least to me, that New England would be the best possible fit for Cam Newton, and that Cam Newton would be the best fit for New England...
It's an incentive-laden contract, the Patriots didn't really take much of a risk at all. If Newton never plays, they only pay him like a million bucks. (I forget the actual amount). If Newton plays and hits all of his incentives, the contract is only for $7.5 million. He is a free agent again next year, so if Cam Newton demonstrates he is 100% healthy again, starts over Stidham, and has a good year, he stands to get a much more substantial contract next offseason. If he struggles, NE is barely out any cash. Cam gets the chance to prove he is healthy, gets to play for a future HOF coach, and NE gets a backup/potential starting QB with all kinds of NFL experience, on the cheap. It's a WIN/WIN.
Florida's entire legal case against Bob Kraft is in jeopardy
In a nutshell, the Florida Solicitor General, Jeffrey DeSousa, the guy whose job it is to argue the state's case in front of the Court of Appeals regarding the whole solicitation of prostitution case against Patriots owner Bob Kraft after the state got demolished in court last year by the circuit court, may very well be looking at 0-2 against Mr. Kraft. The presiding judge in the 3-judge appeals court panel, Robert M. Gross, just eviscerated the prosecution on 4th Amendment grounds. Not only on the 4th Amendment itself, but on decisions that the US Supreme Court has made regarding the 4th Amendment. If he is representative of the general opinion of the other two judges on the panel, Florida has exactly no chance in hell at winning their appeal.
ESPN being ESPN when it comes to Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Articles posted on the same day:
MVP, but 0-2 in the playoffs -- Is there reason to worry about Lamar Jackson?
What makes Lamar Jackson such a special player
NFL punishes Patriots for Spygate 2.0 (the Browns/Bengals thing, I know, I forgot completely about it too)
1.1 million dollar fine, loss of 2021 3rd round draft pick, and their TV crew isn't allowed to shoot any games during the 2020 season.