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.
jags announce trent baalke as new general manager
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the hiring of Trent Baalke as their new general manager on Thursday.
Baalke was named the interim general manager when Dave Caldwell was fired in November and will take on the full-time role. He was also the GM for the San Francisco 49ers 2011 to 2016, with some winning under his belt -- something the Jags aren't quite used to.
The challenge for Baalke will be to recreate the culture in Jacksonville and potentially start the transition from a "losing team" to a "winning one." Baalke will have a lot to work with (and high expectations) with new head coach Urban Meyer and (probably) quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
dwayne haskins visiting pittsburgh
Former Washington Football Team and 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday. An interesting potential home for him.
Haskins was let go (I'll put it nicely) by Washington earlier this season, after a mix of not playing well and a video surfacing of him partying mask-less ended up being the final straw. Haskins also visited with the Carolina Panthers.
Pittsburgh has an opening at third-string quarterback, with Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph taking up the top two spots. Devlin Hodges and Josh Dobbs are likely no more (not dead, just out of Pittsburgh). Haskins is a guy with a lot of baggage that will probably get him a low-type deal -- low risk if he doesn't work out, high reward if he ends up genuinely turning over another leaf and proving people wrong. I'm in the camp that this is the perfect opportunity for Haskins to learn something from his time in Washington and salvage his career if he wants to.
UPDATE: Haskins is expected to sign with Pittsburgh. How about that.
eagles hire nick sirianni as head coach
The Philadelphia Eagles have found their head coach. Former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni gets the nod in Philly.
Sirianni has spent the past three seasons with the Colts as their offensive coordinator. The Eagles fired Doug Pederson at the end of the 2020 season after attempting to tank (don't act like this isn't the real reason). The only remaining head coach opening in the NFL is the Houston Texans, and ain't nobody wanna go there. Let's be honest.
falcons hire terry fontenot as general manager
The Atlanta Falcons have hired their new general manager, as they announced on Tuesday.
This is the second big hire for the Falcons' front office -- they also hired new head coach Arthur Smith this month. After tons of blown leads and a myriad of disappointment, the team fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn earlier this season.
Fontenot spent the past 18 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans will receive third-round compensatory picks in the 2021 and 2022 NFL Drafts under the new rules that organizations will reward teams for minority hires.
Fontenot has a lot of work to do this offseason (-cough JulioJonesandMattRyan cough-).
washington is hiring marty hurney for gm role
Another team in need of a severe change: The Washington Football Team is set to hire Marty Hurney as their new general manager as early as Tuesday, as things are currently in the stages of being finalized.
Hurney was the Carolina Panthers GM from 2002 to 2012, and then again from 2017 to 2020. Hurney joins former colleague Ron Rivera, who was head coach of the Panthers during his time there.
Washington had a bombshell pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with Chase Young, and the hope is that sort of stuff will continue. Although, in my opinion, nothing will change about that franchise until Dan Snyder is out.
sarah thomas to be first woman to ref a super bowl
Say it with me: "QUEEN SHIT." Referee Sarah Thomas will be the first woman to work a Super Bowl as part of Carl Cheffers' crew.
Thomas was also the first woman referee in general, but it's a huge barrier broken on such a large stage.
the bills started things off with a perfect first drive
Buffalo Bills quarterback and MVP candidate Josh Allen did what Josh Allen does in marching his team down the field to open up the night against the Denver Broncos. Allen completed seven out of ten passes in this drive, finishing it off with a touchdown to tight end Dawson Knox.
Buffalo made the broncos call them daddy the entire first half (until the end)
Denver scored at the very end, but the Bills mostly controlled the first half. Allen had two touchdown passes and this methodical touchdown run.
And it wasn't just Josh allen piling on, either
Bills linebacker Jerry Hughes took a turn at making a mockery of Denver. Hughes grabbed a fumble from Lock, and it resulted in a 21-yard touchdown run.
Bills beat broncos, grab AFC East title
If you couldn't tell already by the highlights, the Bills wiped the floor with Denver, 48-19. They also clinched the AFC East division title for the first time since 1995. I was wearing my Dorothy ruby slippers to bed every night and playing with Barbies. Allen had himself a game, and inserted himself into the MVP conversation. Buffalo has a lot to celebrate -- and can do it at their first home playoff game in over twenty years.
Packers start off with a quick seven
Shockingly, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are making it look easy, once again. The MVP-candidate quarterback marched his team down the field and hit tight end Robert Tonyan for an early touchdown on their first drive, giving Green Bay a 7-0 lead.
green bay continued to dominate at halftime
It wasn't perfect for the Packers on Saturday night, but it sure seemed like it at half-time. The Panthers struggled to contain Green Bay's offense as they headed into the second half, down 21-3. We even got the belt celebration back.
Carolina tried to come back in the second half
The Panthers went into the second half down 21-3, but showed some semblance of life in the second half. QB Teddy Bridgewater ran the ball in for a touchdown in the third quarter, while kicker Joey Slye hit a field goal in the fourth, bringing Carolina's score up to 21-13.
green bay got the w
It seemed like it would be a blowout in the first half, but the Panthers rallied, and kind of (maybe?) tried to come back in the second. It didn't work, though, and Rodgers and company showed that they mean business and are a clear Super Bowl contender with a 24-16 win. Green Bay moves to 11-3 so far this season, with two to go.
Teams are beginning to get their rosters down to 53 players, and one of those players is Carolina Panthers linebacker Andre Smith.
As mentioned above, Smith is mostly a special-teams player, which unfortunately doesn't always equate to job security.
Smith will likely catch on somewhere else, and quickly, as more waves of cuts should be announced over the next week.
Update: Panthers trade Andre Smith to Bills
Just to keep us on our toes, instead of cutting him, the Panthers are now trading Smith to the Buffalo Bills.