big story: alex smith hangs up the cleats
Veteran quarterback and inspiring success story Alex Smith announced his retirement today. After a devastating leg injury in 2018 threatened not only his football career but his overall health, Smith returned to the field last season with the Washington Football Team. Smith also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is the correct decision for Smith by a mile. While I can't overlook his inspiration and the aspiration to return to what he loves doing to prove himself right, I also can't be alone in saying that I covered my eyes whenever someone came near him on the field. We all knew he was one injury away from never walking again.
That being said, Smith is an intelligent football player, is relatable, and has the knowledge to go into a new field -- coaching, perhaps? The Jacksonville Jaguars would be a top spot for that to occur, with Urban Meyer running the show over there.
You can see Smith's full announcement, which was posted on Instagram, here.
small story: bengals unveil new uniforms
If you're into this sort of thing (I am not) the Cincinnati Bengals unveiled their new uniforms today. Honestly they don't look that different to me, but if I had to pick one, I'm going with those all-whites. Clean.
tweet of the day:
big story: Sponsors dropping Deshaun Watson left and right
After a damning press conference where a statement was read by the first accuser, sponsors are dropping Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson amid accusations of sexual misconduct.
Nike announced earlier today they were suspending all endorsements with Watson and Beats By Dre was next, completely dropping him from campaigns. Reliant Energy, the company behind the naming rights to the Texans' stadium, NRG Energy also cut ties with Watson, saying they will no longer partner with him as an ambassador.
The dominoes are falling, and things like this are likely to continue. Reminder that Watson is innocent until proven guilty. Also reminder that women should be believed when it comes to reporting sexual assault. This situation is disturbing in every facet and there is no real winner in a situation.
small story: draft prospects to attend draft in-person
With things slowly getting back to our "new normal," the 2021 NFL Draft will be holding festivities in Cleveland this year. And that includes inviting prospects to the draft itself. While some have turned down the invite, most notably presumed first pick Trevor Lawrence, a good handful of those top guys are expected to attend.
tweet of the day
That's right y'all. Gettin vaxxed baby.
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Trevor Lawrence is rehabbing his shoulder
Presumed first pick Trevor Lawrence had surgery in early February on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, and is well into his recovery. Lawrence, who is likely to head to the Jacksonville Jaguars if all goes to plan, posted photos of his rehab process.
Lawrence is said to need up to six months of rehab before he's ready to play as normal and says he'll be ready for training camp this summer. His soon-to-be head coach Urban Meyer assisted Lawrence in timing his surgery and recovery process.
âHe better not cut that hair either.
Dolphins to release kyle van noy
The Miami Dolphins are set to release linebacker Kyle Van Noy this offseason from the four-year deal that he signed just last year. Van Noy is a likely cap casualty, saving the team almost $10 million in cap space.
Van Noy responded, saying he was "surprised and disappointed" by the move.
jj watt will wear no. 99 for cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have officially un-retired the No. 99, once held by Marshall Goldberg, so their newest member, JJ Watt can wear it. Watt says he spoke to Goldberg's daughter and she gave her blessing for him to use it.
All I know is NOBODY better be un-retiring No. 20 in Baltimore.
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.
justin fields declares for the 2021 nfl draft
As expected, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields declared for the 2021 NFL Draft on Monday.
The most popular landing spot for Fields is the New York Jets, if the Jacksonville Jaguars end up taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Jets recently hired Robert Saleh as their new head coach. The major question remaining is, what the hell are they going to do with Sam Darnold?
no NFL scouting combine in 2021
The NFL has canceled the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and the inability of people to listen to health professionals and quit being assholes. A memo sent to teams stated that there will be no in-person workouts for prospects, and all workouts will essentially be done Pro-Day Style.
Urban Meyer and the jags inch closer towards a deal
After about a week or so of constant rumors, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Urban Meyer are taking more steps towards making him the latest head coach of the team. The two parties met again on Wednesday, and it's looking like the rumors could morph into reality any minute now.
The Los Angeles Chargers were also rumored to have contacted Meyer, but they had no formal interview with him for the position. Adam Schefter says above that the Jags seem to be the only choice for Meyer.
Meyer would get the chance to transform the Jacksonville franchise and (maybe) utilize the actual talent on the roster (and incoming talent) correctly, something the team has been missing for a long while.
kevin stefanski back with browns
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski missed last week's playoff game after testing positive for COVID-19 but is now back with the team on Thursday.
I'm just as surprised as all of you that the Browns could pull off a win last week without their head coach, who is my pick for Coach of the Year. They're up against the Kansas City Chiefs this week, which is a whole different ballgame as far as playoff games go.
The Browns also activated Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson off of the COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Will they win? Check out my picks for this week on Patreon.
Jared goff will start for rams on saturday
After not starting for the past two weeks, quarterback Jared Goff will start for the Los Angeles Rams in Saturday's divisional-round against the Green Bay Packers. Backup quarterback John Wolford is out with a neck injury that he suffered in last weekend's win.
Goff had thumb surgery a few weeks ago and played most of last weekend's game, despite not starting. With a full week of practice and is listed as a full participant, it looks like he'll be more prepared this week. Blake Bortles will serve as the backup.
trevor lawrence declares for the nfl draft
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has officially declared for the NFL Draft in the only way that's legit -- a video posted on Twitter.
Lawrence is pretty much guaranteed to be this year's No. 1 overall pick, and the newest Jacksonville Jaguar. The Jaguars are on the prowl searching for a new general manager and a new head coach, and Lawrence makes both of these jobs that much more attractive (mustache or no mustache).
jags fire doug marrone
As expected, the Jacksonville Jaguars have fired their head coach Doug Marrone on Monday morning after winning just one game in the 2020 NFL season. If it were up to me, he would have been fired the second he said he would start Mike Glennon. Owner Shad Khan released a statement, thanking Marrone for his "hard work over the past four seasons" in Jacksonville (if you want to call it that):
The Jags have been linked to Urban Meyer as a replacement and are likely to grab top prospect Trevor Lawrence, in the 2020 NFL Draft. Additionally, a slew of draft picks, and some nice weather should make Jacksonville one of the top spots for a new hire (behind the Los Angeles Chargers, imo).
anthony lynn and chargers part ways
Another one that's been brewing for a while: The Los Angeles Chargers have fired head coach Anthony Lynn on Monday morning, adding their name to the growing list of teams with an opening. The Chargers finished at 7-9, which isn't terribly bad, considering the Washington Football Team made the postseason with the same record. -confused emoji face-
The biggest 'plus' this season was the emergence of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, and Lynn does deserve credit for that. Herbert did kind of fall into his lap (flashback to the Tyrod Taylor injection situation where the team was forced at the last minute to start Herbert). Still, the decision to keep him going and his development can be credited to Lynn. Any head coaching candidate is looking at Herbert's abilities as a positive asset when taking the job.
carson wentz doesn't talk to reporters monday
The Philadelphia Eagles cleaned out their lockers on Monday after Sunday night's debacle, and Carson Wentz is just done with it all and refused to speak to reporters. I don't blame him one bit. Head coach Doug Pederson insisted that their relationship was fine (Wentz was a healthy scratch on Sunday and reportedly wants a trade), but I have some slight trouble believing that.
josh jacobs arrested for dui after game
Las Vegas Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs had too much fun celebrating their win on Sunday night. Jacobs was arrested for a DUI at 4:40 am after a single-vehicle crash.
Say it with me: Take. An. Uber!
john elway is giving up his gm role
Add the Denver Broncos to the long list of teams looking for a new general manager. John Elway is stepping away from the role, though he'll remain president of football operations.
Basically the final say in the roster, the drafting, the players signings (aka all the good stuff) is out of his hands now.