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:
big story: hulu is the new home for nfl redzone
My dad has had Direct TV for YEARS, for one reason and one reason only: The NFL Sunday Ticket package, which includes NFL Redzone. My favorite invention of all time is probably Redzone. And now it has a new home -- Hulu. The NFL and the streaming service reached a multi-year agreement today, which will bring my favorite invention to Hulu + Live TV subscribers.
Also, the platform is also including NFL Network year-round, meaning subscribers will have access to all NFL Network shows, such as Good Morning Football. They'll be available just in time for the NFL season, on August 1.
small story: jordan reed retires
Tight end Jordan Reed officially announced his retirement today, despite a comeback-worthy season last year with the San Francisco 49ers. Reed also didn't do too horribly for himself with the Washington Football Team before suffering from various concussions.
Those concussions were what eventually led to his retirement, he told ESPN.
tweet of the day:
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:
One of the top free agents is off the market. Offensive lineman Trent Williams signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers, early on Wednesday morning (very early), making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. The deal sits at six years, $138.06 million with $55.1 million guaranteed AND a $30.1 million signing bonus.
Williams came to the Niners from the Washington Football Team via trade last season, reuniting him with Kyle Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator. He went on to start 14 games. San Francisco plans to keep him as their left tackle for a long time based on this deal. Williams also discussed deals with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears before deciding to stay with the 49ers.
Williams sat out the 2019 season amid drama with Washington, and returned to Pro Bowl-form with his new team, prompting the signing. Williams has eight Pro Bowls under his belt, the most for any offensive lineman since 2012.
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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.
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.
derek carr's groin injury is 'significant'
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback lasted only 11 plays in Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers before pulling his groin and heading to the locker room. Head coach Jon Gruden said in his post-game press conference that the injury is 'significant' and we should expect Carr to be sidelined for some time. The Raiders have the Miami Dolphins coming up next, and backup QB Marcus Mariota will likely start.
The next game for Las Vegas is December 26, meaning Carr has a little over eight days to get up to speed. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he sits.
drew brees will start against chiefs on sunday
After missing four games with broken ribs and a punctured lung, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be getting the start this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team cleared him to return to practice this week, indicating that he had a chance to play. This big (or, if you're like me, the only good game this week) game just got a little bigger, as each team is playing for home-field advantage during the playoffs. It's also not out of line to dub this one a potential Super Bowl preview.
julio jones is out, again
If you're playing the Julio Jones drinking game, you're probably drunk by now. The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver will miss yet another game this week due to a hamstring injury that has lingered and kept him out of two of the past three games. Jones still has a chance to play in the final two games, although I'm not sure what the point of that would be.
matthew stafford out of practice again, not ruled out (yet)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has missed three straight practices this week, and the team is still unsure of his status for this weekend's game against the Tennessee Titans. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell said Stafford would travel with the team, as his rib injury has been feeling better than earlier this week. Backup QB Chase Daniel will get the start if Stafford can't go.
49ers to stay in Arizona through week 17
The San Francisco 49ers have played their past two home games in Arizona, and they'll remain there through Week 17. Santa Clara County, where the 49ers' stadium and facility are located, extended their contact sports ban through January 8. The Niners play at the Dallas Cowboys this weekend and host the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona the following week.
Alex Smith is out this week
Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith injured his calf during last week's game and will not play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Smith hasn't practiced all week. Backup-to-the-backup QB Dwayne Haskins will start in his place. Haskins was benched after the first four games of the season, and it feels like we're stepping into a time portal at this point.
The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers are still set to play Thursday night, despite a handful of positive COVID-19 tests, and both teams missing huge chunks on offense.
For the Packers, running back AJ Dillon tested positive this week and is out. Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were listed as Dillon's "close contacts" and are also out.
Kendrick Bourne tested positive this week on the Niners' side, and offensive lineman Trent Williams, wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel were his "close contacts."
The NFL has proven that they'll do their best to get these games off regardless of who is playing them. They could sign Bob from the deli counter at the grocery store to play QB and the NFL will not bat an eye.
"Should be a fun one," I say as I pour wine into my eyeballs.
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