Just gonna come out with it and say what everyone else is thinking here: The Jacksonville Jaguars should hold onto their great players, because they're hard to come by. That's currently happening (again) when it comes to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. If you haven't heard of him, that's all good and fine, but you should because he's actually quite a swell player.
Jaguars mandatory minicamp begins on Tuesday, and Ngakoue let everyone know that he will not be there, due to a contract dispute -- aka the team hasn't paid him (yet) and he wants (and deserves) to get paid, so why waste his time showing up to workout for a team that may or may not know his worth?
Ngakoue, who is still on his rookie contract, did show up to some OTAs, probably hoping to get some kind of push and/or pull on a new deal. Since that hasn't happened, he's saying, "see ya when you pay me." Several of his Jaguars teammates have also backed the movement.
While Ngakoue may not be a "sexy" name, he's still one of the Jaguars' most consistent players, and should be paid as such. Like I said, "consistently good Jaguars players" isn't something you hear very often. Here's an example:
I don't think I have to say anything else -- pay him.
I don't even know how to start this honestly. I've debated writing about this a thousand times, and every time I decide against it, or I write the whole thing out and then just delete it. I don't want it to come across like I'm making it about me? Maybe I'll delete this. I try to keep my personal life separate from the black hole that is the Internet, but I also feel like it needs to be said.
Seven years ago today, I got a phone call from my mom that said, "Your dad just found [your brother] dead." I don't remember what happened after that. I remember calling my best friend in the parking lot, I don't remember what I said to her. I called the guy I was dating at the time, I don't remember what I said to him. I don't remember driving home. I do remember pulling up and seeing several emergency vehicles blocking the street. I think I even left my car running in the middle of the street. I don't think I parked it. I remember yelling at the neighbors for staring. Very on brand, but I just I think I was angry at the situation, not them, and didn't know how to process or handle it.
I had just assumed he killed himself. That's what I originally thought. It made the most sense -- he'd had a history of anxiety issues, and I'm not going to get into it all. I heard one of the first responders (or someone, I don't remember) say, "Be careful you don't get stuck with something." And then I went into the bathroom and threw up.
Drugs aren't something I was familiar with at all. The craziest thing I was around was weed, which the skater kids I hung out with in high school smoked. Maybe I was just oblivious? Not entirely sure. I'm someone who, I have to have the WORST headache of all time to even take an Advil. It's just how I am. I had weird reactions to medications when I was younger, and I just think I have a fear of that happening again? I don't really know, that's beside the point. The fact that my brother, who I had no idea did any of that stuff, died of an accidental drug overdose in my parents' house, was completely absurd to me.
No one had any idea.
He wasn't "addicted" to heroin. He had (probably) done it a few times, either socially or on his own, I have no idea. This one time he did it, the time that killed him, was because his body wasn't used to it and it was too much for his body to handle at the time. One. Time.
That's the whole point of this. It's more common than you think. It happens more often than you think, to people you would least expect. All it takes is one time.
My brother and I were never that close as kids, but as we started to get older we started to share some of the same friends -- when I moved out, he helped me move into college. I invited him to parties and over to watch football on Sundays. He never came -- but I feel like if he had the chance to get older, he would have, and our relationship would have evolved into an adult sibling relationship. And sadly I'll never know.
I question all the time if I could have done something, what if I just asked him if he was okay? Do you need any help? Would he have even told me? What would I have done if he did? I'm at peace with it now, but it's something that's on my mind all the time.
His birthday sucks, the anniversary sucks, holidays, especially Christmas sucks. Hearing NOFX sucks. Sometimes seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin on something sucks. It hits me at the weirdest times -- a loss of someone that you can't ever remember NOT being there, is just not there anymore. The last time I saw him was a time that was forgettable, but now I remember it down to what he was wearing. I remember telling myself that I had to be strong for my parents, all the while never really getting to grieve for myself. It never really gets easier, it just gets easier to deal with. You accept, you don't ever really heal.
He was so smart. Was really into literature, songwriting, writing in general. I remember a teacher in high school accused him of plagiarism on a paper he wrote because "a 14-year-old couldn't have possibly written this." He loved movies -- he watched really complex movies (and understood them) at a young age. He was able to carry a conversation that deeply made you think about the world and what happened in it and what could possibly happen next. He threw up in the front of the entire auditorium at one of my dance recitals. He set off the smoke alarm in our hotel on a family vacation once trying to cook eggs and didn't realize he should have put oil or butter in the pan first. He taught himself how to play guitar and bass.
I didn't know how to start this, and I don't really know how to end it, either. It's one of those things that I obviously wish had never happened, but it also gave me a whole new outlook on life. From now on, I always try to find something positive out of something negative. I don't want this post to be a downer, especially on a Friday night. I'm not sitting here crying while I type this (I did write this all in one sitting with a glass of wine and didn't stop), so please don't do that. This was therapeutic for me. Cheers.
And some people wanted to say this dude wasn't classy? I'll give you someone who wasn't classy about this.
New Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen said on Tuesday that he still hasn't heard from the guy who drafted him in 2018, only to draft his replacement the following year, Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim. “The only thing that really did kind of frustrate me through this whole process was like I still haven’t heard from my old G.M. I hadn’t talked to him for months before. Still haven’t talked to him after. That was kind of frustrating, but for the most part, I’m just ready to put that whole chapter behind me and keep pushing on and playing football.”
Fuuuuuuuck this dude. How are you gonna do your starting QB (who took a legit beating last season for your trash team) so dirty, after he was nothing but cool to y'all? Rosen showed up to work the day you knew you were drafting another quarterback and you still aren't gonna talk to him months later?
Rosen went on to say that new Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was the one to call him and let him know beforehand what was happening and that they were drafting Kyler Murray, and they wished each other well, etc. Rosen even texted Murray to wish him luck -- I would have been like "yo good luck with THESE fucking idiots bro."
I don't think Keim owes Rosen an explanation per se (it is what it is), but I think he should at least wish him good luck? Right? Either way, this is more bulletin board material for Rosen.
I don't really know the ins and outs about how sports betting and oddsmakers work, and I'm not going to pretend to. But I do know that Vegas oddsmakers are having a tough go at deciding the odds for this year's Cleveland Browns. And they have a reason to.
For the first time in a very long time, the Browns are a legit threat -- not just in their division, but in the entire league. The AFC North has always been known as one of the toughest divisions in football, but things are even starting to take a turn on that front. The Pittsburgh Steelers, the offseason front-runner almost always, has a declining quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger (who, in a state of decline, is still better than over half of the quarterbacks in the NFL), and the Baltimore Ravens are basically in a wait-and-see mode, with a second-year QB in Lamar Jackson, who has a ton of work to do and a defense that just lost three gigantic playmakers in CJ Mosley, Eric Weddle, and Terrell Suggs. And the Cincinnati Bengals are the Bengals. No worries there.
Basically I'm saying that things aren't like they used to be. The Browns got a facelift last season, drafting star QB Baker Mayfield, having him shock the world and turn them into a potential threat pretty much on his own. Add the trade of all trades from this offseason (of course I'm talking about Odell Beckham Jr.), and this team looks great on paper. The haters are furious. Mayfield didn't even start the entire season (also didn't have OBJ) and still threw for 27 touchdowns.
Plenty of people are skeptical, and they have a reason to be. The Browns haven't won a playoff game in seventeen years, haven't had a legit QB since about then as well, and haven't been all-around a competitive threat for as long as I can remember. I've made so many "Omg we get three bye weeks since we play the Browns twice" jokes over the years, but good times come to an end, and that time is now. This is one of the teams that I'd like to see do well for once.
Dare I say it? Go Browns?
My notes and thoughts on the first night of the 2019 NFL Draft. Save these takes ~~~ to slap me in the face with during the season and show me you care.
1. Cardinals - qb kyler murray
God dammit, what a mistake. Future HOFer Josh Rosen will be on the move to my new favorite football team. Not a knock on Murray, he's an extremely talented athlete, but with so many other holes to fill, and there's already a perfectly good quarterback on the team, I can't help but see this one as a mistake. I also hate to be that person, but you're also risking a complete bust with his height (5'10") here. Not everyone can be Russell Wilson.
2.49ers - DE Nick Bosa
This guy looks like he definitely sends "u up?" texts. That being said, he is the best rusher in this particular draft class and the Niners are a team that the league needs to watch out for next season. With QB Jimmy Garoppolo healthy, and the next star tight end in George Kittle, this added boost on defense is a definite start.
3. jets - dt QUINnen williams
The Jets got the best player in the draft here. All around solid and dominating player, and going to a team who needs it.
4. raiders - DE Clelin Ferrell
The Raiders were this secretive all week for.... this???
This has Jon Gruden written all over it, there's no way this was a Mike Mayock pick. Not only did they take Ferrell too early, but they passed on so much talent that could have filled what they miserably lost (Mack).
5. bucs - lb devin white
This was their favorite all along -- Bucs need a playmaker desperately, and White has the potential to be it.
6. giants - qb daniel jones
The Giants are just.... really something aren't they? This might be the strangest thing I've ever seen in how ever many years I've been doing this. Taking Jones here (and I'm not even talking about how they said he could sit for THREE years), in this spot, with this team, I just got nothing. No idea.
7. jags - de josh allen
Had the Jaguars going offensive line here, but Josh Allen's talent is too large to pass up on. Good pick for them.
8. lions - te TJ Hockenson
Lions have needed this player for like the past 10 years -- obviously filled a big need. They did it again with a TE, but picking him at eight is a little high - he's not gonna be Gronk.
9. bills - dt ed oliver
Oliver is good, but Buffalo needed offensive lineman. Another team that went talent over need, which is fine if they work out. I just hope he never tweets how cold it is there.
10. steelers - lb devin bush
This was a given. Lamar Jackson should be worried. This is their Ryan Shazier replacement, and a guy they wanted all along. This team gave up a lot for him, so they should hope he pans out.
11. bengals - t jonah williams
Devin Bush was who Cincy really needed here, and the Steelers swooped in. Williams is a good pick, and will probably be a solid and consistent starter for them, but at the end of every day, Andy Dalton still sucks.
12. packers - de rashan gary
Not where I thought the Packers were going to go, but it's not a bad pick. They better cross their fingers for his shoulder situation though.
13. Dolphins - dt christian wilkins
First thought - is this where Rosen lands? Wilkins is a great player and is a guy who can boost any team. Could be a great building block for a team that desperately needs to be rebuilt.
14. falcons - g chris lindstrom
Should have taken an actual good QB here.
15. redskins - qb dwayne haskins
Is it happening? Are the Redskins having an actual good draft? I think Haskins was the best QB in this draft, so naturally, I can't wait to see how the Redskins fuck this up. RIP Alex Smith, we hardly knew ye.
16. panthers - de brian burns
Panthers beef up defense and get some speed. Good pick, and a good replacement for Julius Peppers, who retired.
17. Giants - dt dexter lawrence
I still really, just, I don't know. Ok, I guess? Idk. I'm lost.
18. vikings - OL garrett bradbury
Kirk Cousins needs all the help he can get. Bradbury was a guy I hoped would fall to the Ravens, but this is an excellent pick for the Vikings.
19. titans - DT Jeffrey simmons
Not a sexy pick, but a solid starter that you can get some solid production out of. You could have argued a weapon (Marquise Brown) for Marcus Mariota to work with, but Simmons can give you some breathing room on the defensive line for a long time.
20. broncos - TE noah fant
Perfect fit for Joe Flacco. Imagine a team building around their quarterback's strengths, it's like I've never seen this before.
21. packers - s darnell savage
This guy is from Maryland, and he's an explosive back, and a good one to be the first off the board here. Solid pick for Green Bay, who couldn't do much of anything at the position last season.
22. eagles - ot andre dillard
They need this help so Carson Wentz doesn't spontaneously combust next season. Nice Jason Peters protege.
23. texans - t tytus howard
Did not see Howard going in the first round, but the Texans need OL help desperately. Deshaun Watson got creamed last season. But I'll ask -- what did Jawaan Taylor do?
24. raiders - rb josh jacobs
The first RB off the board. I love Jacobs, but not sure I love him for the Raiders. Would have liked to see him go elsewhere.
25. ravens - wr marquise brown
Not sure if I can handle another first round receiver. I still have PTSD from Breshad Perriman. This kid is a great player, I just don't know if the Ravens are the right fit for him. He's a deep threat receiver and Lamar Jackson can't exactly throw deep at the moment. This team couldn't get John Brown the ball last season.
26. redskins - lB Montez sweat
Again -- the Redskins are having a good draft, so I need to file a Missing Persons report for Dan Snyder immediately because I'm worried. Washington got the biggest steal in the draft with Sweat.
27. raiders - db johnathan abram
What the fuck are the Raiders doing?
28. Chargers - dt jerry tillery
Solid pick. The Chargers needed to improve on the defensive line, we all cringed while watching the Patriots game last season.
29. seahawks - de LJ collier
Good pick for the Seahawks, who need some help on defense. You could argue that they picked him a little early, but he has a good upside.
30. giants - cb deandre baker
An actual good pick for the Giants. Really good suit also.
31. falcons - Ol kaleb mcgary
More offensive line for the Falcons. If they wanted to get Matt Ryan some protection, they should have just given him some sunscreen.
32. patriots - wr N'Keal Harry
I fully expected the Patriots to trade back here, and they could have used someone faster. But they're the Patriots, so who am I to critique them? Congrats on the Super Bowl ring, Harry.
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