The Drop Back: Tuesday 07/13 - breaking: NFL Qb tries to be normal person; is on a basketball court; more at 11
Greg olsen's son gets heart transplant
Starting things off with a feel-good story: Eight-year-old TJ Olsen, son of recently retired tight end Greg Olsen, received a heart transplant over the weekend. He is currently still in recovery but is in good spirits.
TJ was born with a heart defect and has had multiple heart surgeries throughout his life. Olsen's foundation, The HEARTest Yard, focuses on care for children who have conditions like his son. You can find more info or even donate here.
jalen ramsey wishes rams went after julio jones
Los Angeles Rams corner Jalen Ramsey has never shied away from speaking his mind. Now he's questioning why his team wasn't more "in" on star wide receiver Julio Jones before he was traded to the Tennessee Titans over the weekend.
Many players (and fans) can probably relate to this sentiment, especially since the payback for Jones looks to be so cheap in terms of getting said "generational guy." In the Rams' case, they already have plenty of financial commitments to big-name players, including Ramsey. Newly acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford is one of them, along with Aaron Donald. Los Angeles did ask about Jones (likely asked the price, if I were to guess) early on, before saying, "no thanks, we're good."
ja'wuan james signs with ravens
This one is, for lack of better words, puzzling. After filing a grievance against the Denver Broncos for cutting him after he tore his Achilles working out away from the team's facility, the Baltimore Ravens have signed James to a two-year deal, even though he won't see the field this year.
Fans are raving about this and calling it "genius," but they do that with every move the Ravens make these days. I'm still filing this one under "a head-scratcher."
bills have no update on josh allen's contract
Buffalo Bills star quarterback Josh Allen is in the group of QBs due their first "big" contract extension following their rookie deals. While it's something Buffalo wants to get done sooner rather than later, GM Brandon Beane gave no updates on Monday when he was asked about a likely extension.
There are no doubts that this will get done, but I can't lie when I say I'm interested to see these Numbers. With a capital N.
aaron rodgers won't show up for minicamp, as expected
This was expected (at least for me), but Aaron Rodgers is not expected to attend Green Bay Packers minicamp, after no-showing at OTAs.
Everyone from the team to the coaches to the front office crossed all their fingers and toes that Rodgers will swallow it up and show up, but alas. It's a no-go. I'm not going to break down the entire feud between him and the team (if you're reading this, you likely already know), but basically, Rodgers is making a point here.
Green Bay can still fine Rodgers a pretty penny for not attending (over $90,000) minicamp, in addition to the $500,000 workout bonus that was voided when he didn't show up for OTAs. Rodgers is saying he's choosing winning over money and wants to be in on certain decisions and generally just wants to be heard.
marquise brown switches to no. 5
Another Baltimore Ravens player is switching his jersey number. Wide receiver Marquise Brown is switching from No. 15 to No. 5. Linebacker Patrick Queen announced he was changing numbers earlier this week.
Brown wore the No. 5 in college BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, elite quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joseph Vincent Flacco wore the No.5 for his career in Baltimore and is the basis of its legendary symbolism.
I'm not nearly as bothered by this as most people would assume I would be. It's just a jersey, and I'm sorry to say, but Hollywood Brown at this moment is not nearly the player Flacco was for the Ravens, so it's all good for me.
daesean hamilton clears waivers, is added to broncos nfi list
The Denver Broncos were planning on trading wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton last week until he, unfortunately, tore his ACL working out (away from the team's facility, might I add). The team ended up waiving him earlier this week. Hamilton was not picked up by any of the other 31 clubs, so he lands on Denver's non-football injury list.
This situation is eerily similar to the Broncos' other current player-gets-injured-away-from-team-facility-and-its-therefore-not-our-problem case. Tackle Ja'Wuan James faced a similar problem, except he was released from the team. James may file a grievance as well, and players are keeping an eye on this one.
courtland sutton hopes to be ready for broncos camp
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton tore his ACL in his first game in 2020, ending his season. Sutton hopes to be thoroughly ready for camp in 2021. Sutton says he has been training this offseason and taking the necessary steps to be sure he's prepared to start training camp.
Denver's offense struggled last season, but the bright point was the addition of receiver Jerry Jeudy. Having Sutton back and Jeudy in his sophomore season should be a significant boost.
Matt Ryan speaks on his future and julio jones
While I, personally, still believe the Atlanta Falcons should have drafted a quarterback in this year's draft, they did not. Still at the helm is good ol' Matt Ryan. Ryan just turned 36 this week, and while it's clear he's not going to play much longer, the Falcons believe they can still get something out of him. What that is, I'm not sure. But Ryan explained that he thinks the team made the correct decision.
Um, ok. Onto more important things -- Julio Jones. There have been rumors aplenty about a potential trade of the star wide receiver, which were only strengthened when the team recently left him off their schedule release calendar, photos, etc. (and included the kicker). Of course, Ryan was asked about this too, and what he thought of potentially playing this upcoming season without the guy who has bailed him out many times.
Um, ya think?
darius leonard is due for a new deal soon, and he hopes the colts notice
The Indianapolis Colts got a solid steal in linebacker Darius Leonard in 2018, and now he's in the final year of his rookie contract and ready for that big one.
Leonard was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and was an All-Pro two out of his first three seasons. I'd say that's reason enough for an upgrade, but watching him play, it's apparent the Colts would benefit from keeping him around.
patrick queen switching numbers
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen is the latest player to switch his jersey number. He's switching from No. 48 to No. 6. On a linebacker. In Baltimore. This seems... wrong.
This really doesn't affect me in any way, other than the fact that I know it will be difficult for the opponent to pull positions... but a single-digit does not belong on a linebacker. SORRY BOUT IT.
Jonathan Taylor on board with marlon mack re-signing
The Indianapolis Colts added to their offense last season by drafting running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor got way more than his originally desired workload in 2020 when Marlon Mack tore his Achilles in Week One. Taylor impressed with almost 1200 yards rushing in his rookie year but is still excited about sharing the field with Mack in 2021.
patrick surtain ii signs rookie deal with broncos
The Broncos agreed to terms with their first-round draft pick in 2021, CB Patrick Surtain II.
I hope he got a bonus for that pink suit on draft night. All I gotta say.
big story: Ravens trade orlando Brown Jr. to kansas city
The Baltimore Ravens are sending their Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs in a long-awaited trade that has seemed inevitable for months. Brown aired to the world that he was a LEFT tackle, and the writing was on the wall ever since then.
Here are the trade details:
The Ravens get some picks, and Brown likely wasn't going to sign there next season anyway when he became a free agent, so it's beneficial for them to get something for him now. However, trading a Pro Bowl player (a young one) to one of their biggest rivals and, in turn, making them even better is ... questionable for me. I'll leave it at that.
Going forward, the Ravens have significant holes in their offensive line, which is concerning considering their offense is exceptionally reliant on that position being solid. They'll likely sign former Pittsburgh Steelers OL Alejandro Villanueva in May, draft some younger linemen, and hope everyone stays healthy. On the optimistic side, Baltimore could pick up another Pro Bowler with one of those draft picks used in this trade, but that's to be determined.
small story: Browns exercise baker Mayfield's fifth-year option
This is important because it's an extreme rarity for Cleveland Browns quarterbacks. How rare?
tweet of the day:
kansas city chiefs
las vegas raiders
los angeles chargers
los angeles rams
new england patriots
new orleans saints
new york giants
New York Jets
san francisco 49ers
tampa bay buccaneers
washington football team
JJ Watt says pump the break when it comes to picking new team
Everyone is sitting on the edges of their seats, waiting for JJ Watt to pick his new team after demanding his release from the Houston Texans. (Funny how that only works for some people.)
It's been over a week, and "reports" have started to arise of which teams are interested, which teams are not interested, which spots he wants to consider/not consider, which spots would be best for a ring -- we've heard about every single scenario by now.
Watt says to chill, and in the words of Cher Horowitz -- "You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet."
Watt clearly wants to play for a contender (who doesn't) and my pick for him is still the Buffalo Bills.
Steelers begin to restructure players' contracts
The Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning to restructure players' contracts to fit under this upcoming season's salary cap, which is expected to be lower than usual. The first one is defensive tackle, Cam Heyward.
The other looming contract that the Steelers absolutely have to restructure in the coming weeks is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's, which is abnormally large (over $41 million for a large aging man seems like a stretch to me).
lots of cam newton quotes today
A lot of Cam Newton quotes are floating around today. He has talked about his bout with COVID-19, his time with the Carolina Panthers, and the likeliness of him re-signing with the New England Patriots. Rather than regurgitating all of those quotes separately, they all pretty much come from this I AM ATHLETE video.
Mike tomlin tests positive for covid-19
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday. There were reports last week of the team closing their facilities and sending staffers home due to positive tests. My guess is Tomlin was one of them.
Obviously, I'm wishing the best for my personal top rival team's leader, as well as one of my favorite coaches in the league.
texans re-sign dontrell hilliard
The Houston Texans are actually bringing someone back instead of making them run for the hills. The team is re-signing running back Dontrell Hilliard to a one-year deal.
Hilliard joined the Texans last season after being waived by the Cleveland Browns.
eagles will release alshon jeffrey
The Philadelphia Eagles are clearly working on getting younger at the wide receiver position this offseason. The team will release WR Alshon Jeffrey closer to the new league year. They also cut vet receiver Desean Jackson.
Jeffrey is 31 and should still be able to garner some interest from a team looking for receiver help or depth. Cough cough BALTIMORE. He fits them perfectly -- older guy, cheap. Match made in heaven.
ravens will part ways with morgan cox
We have LONG. SNAPPER. NEWS. According to The Athletic, the Baltimore Ravens are not expected to re-sign long snapper Morgan Cox this offseason.
Cox has spent 11 seasons with the Ravens, heading to four Pro Bowls, and was elected an All-Pro this season. Cox is also one of the last remaining players still on the roster who were also on the Super Bowl team, their last successful run.
The Ravens are expected to go younger at the position -- Nick Moore has been on the practice squad this season and will likely step up in his spot.
bills up first, justin tucker misses
No, we're not dreaming, but Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed a kick. In the postseason. An easy one, and no, I don't want to talk about it. We are moving on.
Baltimore had a strong first drive, aside from that miss. The Buffalo Bills were able to get down the field thanks to a roughing the passer call but couldn't pull in a touchdown. Kicker Tyler Bass kicked one in from the 28-yard line, putting the Bills on the board, 3-0.
this is ugly
Normally there would be highlights by now, but there are literally none. It is abysmal. The game is tied 3-3 at halftime and that's all I have to say about that.
We have a touchdown!
Bills receiver Stefon Diggs scored the game's first touchdown -- a three-yard pass from quarterback Josh Allen to give Buffalo a 10-3 lead over the Ravens.
a 101-yard pick-six? sure, why not
Long story short, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tried to hit tight end Mark Andrews in the end zone and was promptly picked off. Taron Johnson took it to the house in a 101-yard touchdown run bringing the score to 17-3.
lamar jackson ruled out with concussion
As if things could not get any worse for Baltimore, Jackson was ruled out with a concussion, after banging his head on the turf in the end zone. Backup Tyler Huntley replaced Jackson.
If you couldn't tell from the one worthy highlight, the Bills are moving on to the AFC Championship Game, beating Baltimore 17-2. Neither team played particulary well (or up to their standards), but the Bills seemed to be able to make some halftime adjustments while the Ravens continued to struggle. The Ravens have an interesting offseason on deck, while Buffalo is waiting to see if they will face the Cleveland Browns or the Kansas City Chiefs next week.
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