he won't go away
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.
packers reiterate they want Aaron Rodgers to stay in green bay
Amidst all the rumors and reading between the lines during this Aaron Rodgers versus Green Bay Packers gauntlet, head coach Matt LaFleur finally spoke to the media after the first rookie minicamp meeting. If LaFleur thought he would be asked about just the rookies and not this whole thing, he was mad wrong. LaFleur stated that the team still wants Rodgers as their quarterback (who wouldn't) and that the team is working through the situation.
This sounds like someone who is being broken up with and told that they have to "learn to love themselves before they love someone else," no?
LaFleur has a point, and really, what else is he supposed to say? But also, actions speak louder than words in this situation. Rodgers deserves to speak his mind and be consulted regarding certain decisions (like Tom Brady was in Tampa Bay). I'm in the camp that believes the two will come to some sort of agreement eventually, but crazier things have happened.
fully vaxxed players and staff no longer have to wear masks in team facilities
Hallelujah! While we folks who believe in science are getting vaccinated and doing the right things to get this horrible past year and a half behind us, the NFL is also incentivizing players and staff who do the same. The NFL sent a memo to teams on Friday, stating that fully vaccinated personnel (which means two shots and two weeks following the second shot) are no longer required to wear masks in team facilities. The memo also mentioned that teams will have to adhere to any local regulations.
broncos release ja'Wuan james
This is an odd one. The Denver Broncos placed offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James on the non-football injury list last week after he tore his Achilles while working out away from the team facility. They released him from the team over the weekend.
Long story short: The NFLPA was urging players to not show up to in-person workouts because it worked perfectly fine for everyone last year doing it virtually. However, there was a snag in that line of thinking which was: What happens if you get injured (and/or are declared out for the season) and it happened away from the facility because they chose not to show up, is the team still inclined to pay said player? Now, James is that example.
James sent a tweet stating his thoughts on the situation (which I agree with, by the way):
James is also considering filing a grievance against the team, so this will be something to keep an eye on.
giants give kelvin benjamin a shot.. maybe at tight end
If this sounds familiar, it's because there seems to be an influx of older players trying to convert to tight end and sign with a team. The New York Giants are signing free agent wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin after a tryout this weekend, but there's a catch. Benjamin may be playing tight end.
He has the size at 6'5" and 245 pounds. But, converting to a new position after not having played in the NFL in three seasons isn't an easy task.
big story: panthers trade for sam darnold
Another blockbuster trade falls for the 2021 NFL offseason. The Carolina Panthers are trading for current New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. The Jets are picking second in this year's draft and are pretty much guaranteed to take a quarterback. With many questions surrounding the fate of Darnold -- including a situation where they would keep both him and the rookie -- this one is answered, at least for now.
I had thought the Panthers were pretty much a lock for Deshaun Watson, but that situation is up in the air right now. Last year's starter Teddy Bridgewater remains on the roster, and while he wasn't god awful, the Panthers knew they needed an upgrade. Darnold has the perfect opportunity to revive his career with a new coaching staff (and one that knows what they're doing) in a new place.
The Jets are getting a sixth-rounder in 2021 and a second and fourth-rounder in 2022 in return for Darnold.
small story: Aaron Rodgers to host his first night of jeopardy!
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is fulfilling a lifelong dream and hosting one of his favorite shows, Jeopardy! starting today (Monday). His stint will last the next two weeks. I'm sure he'll do well; this is totally his style.
While I was about 95% positive at various points throughout the 2020 season, Rodgers was on his way to retirement, the question is still coming up with this new project. Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show earlier today that he would love to take the permanent hosting job.. so does that mean he'll retire from football if it's offered to him?
tweet of the day
The Panthers' social media team is undefeated.
KJ Wright won't take a discount to stay in seattle
The Seattle Seahawks have a decision to make with linebacker KJ Wright. Pay him, let him "test" free agency, or let him walk altogether? Wright told Jim Rome that he wouldn't hate staying in Seattle but also will not be taking a discount.
My guess is he'll test free agency and end up taking the best offer -- whether the Seahawks are willing to give him, that is up to them.
Mike Tomlin says his symptoms of covid-19 are 'minimal'
Reports out of Pittsburgh on Monday stated that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was one of a group of staffers sent home from the team's facilities last week due to positive tests. Tomlin tested positive for COVID-19 but remains in good spirits, with "minimal symptoms."
isaiah wilson tweets and deletes that he's 'done as a titan'
First-round draft pick Isaiah Wilson may no longer be with the Tennessee Titans if we believe a tweet he sent late Monday night. The Titans definitely have a decision to make on him, but he may have made that decision for them?
Wilson basically didn't play his entire rookie season, but he still had an eventful one. He was arrested for DUI, suspended, put on the COVID-19 list twice, and ended his season on the NFI list. As of now, Wilson doesn't seem like playing football for the Titans is his top priority, but I'll wait for confirmation from the team on this one.
shailene woodley confirms engagement to aaron rodgers
File this one under "Non-Football But Still Offseason News." Actress Shailene Woodley confirmed her engagement with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Jimmy Fallon. We all knew it, but the most intriguing element about this conversation is that she literally does not care that he plays football.
I know this, but this is a good reminder that athletes are more than just athletes... they also like to host Jeopardy.
nick bosa confirms he'll be better next season
San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa tore his ACL in Week Two of last season and was one of several injuries on that team. If there is any good thing to come from a brutal injury so early on in the season, it's that there's ample time to prepare for the next one. Bosa confirms that he'll be back, and he'll be better.
Bosa also tore his ACL in high school.
chris godwin talks about free agency
One of this offseason's most notable players eligible for free agency is Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin. Not only did he win a Super Bowl, but he seemed to be in sync with QB Tom Brady almost all season. Godwin discussed free agency here, acknowledging his want to stay with the team he just won with and the need to get a paycheck.
packers restructure david bakhtiari's contract
The Green Bay Packers create more cap space after restructuring a portion of tackle David Bakhtiari's contract. This move saves the team about $8.3 million against the cap, which is a pretty good chunk of change.
We'll likely be seeing more of these types of moves with the expectation that this year's salary cap will be reduced.
For the Packers specifically, get your "JJ Watt to Green Bay" takes ready to fire off.
stefon diggs is riding the 'jj watt to buffalo' train
While I stated yesterday that the spot that fits Watt best was the Buffalo Bills, it seems that wide receiver Stefon Diggs agrees with me.
jalen hurts plans to work with eagles receivers
New (??) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (I'm talking like Carson Wentz is gonna be up and outta there sometime soon) is getting started on the 2021 season early, by planning to work out with his wide receivers in the coming weeks.
That seems like confirmation enough that Hurts will be Philly's "guy" going forward. Now, we sit and twiddle our thumbs waiting on Wentz' future destination.
packers get on the board first
The Los Angeles Rams began Saturday's game going three-and-out, but the Green Bay Packers got on the board first. The Rams' defense held them to three points, as linebacker Troy Reeder broke up a touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to receiver Allen Lazard.
Davante Adams has the first td of the day
And it's a pretty one. Rodgers fired off a quick one to receiver Davante Adams, a play perfectly designed to keep Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey away from the ball.
This touchdown gives the Packers a 10-3 lead.
Rodgers has yet another one for the highlight reel, and an MVP play if I've ever seen one. This pump fake turned rushing touchdown put the Packers up yet another score, for a 16-3 lead.
packers up on rams at halftime
The Packers have dominated the first half so far and are up on Los Angeles 19-10 at the half. The Rams answered with a score of their own late in the second quarter but are gonna have to do more than that going forward. Green Bay gets the ball at the start of the second half.
turns out everyone is named 'aaron' in green bay is good
The Packers got the ball in the second half, and running back Aaron Jones made sure to make the most of it with a 60-yard run.
Jones ran it in for a touchdown a few plays later to give the Packers a 25-10 lead.
the Rams have some fight in them
The Rams were able to march down the field, completely obliterating Green Bay's defense in the process. The result? A Cam Akers touchdown, where he lined up in the wildcat formation. Los Angeles tried this two other times so far during this game, and this situation was the perfect time for it to work.
The Rams went for two after this and cut the Packers' lead to 25-18.
packers keep their foot on the gas
Rodgers-to-Lazard kept things rolling in the fourth quarter with this 58-yard touchdown, making it look easy once again.
This beauty put the Packers up 32-18 and put the icing on the cake.
packers move on, rams go home
The Packers are moving on to the NFC Championship game, defeating Los Angeles 32-18. The next round will feature 37-year old Rodgers, and either Tom Brady or Drew Brees, and I don't think we need to talk about how old they are. It's been drilled into our heads all week.
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.
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