The Drop Back: Tuesday 07/13 - breaking: NFL Qb tries to be normal person; is on a basketball court; more at 11
greg olsen shares update on son's health
Recently retired tight end Greg Olsen shared an update regarding his son's health earlier this week. He shared that his son TJ may need a heart transplant.
Olsen previously played with the Chicago Bears, the Carolina Panthers, and, most recently, the Seattle Seahawks. Olsen's charity, the HEARTest Yard, focuses on helping children with heart defects get proper health care. You can find out more here.
bucs cut OTas to six sessions
Because Tom Brady said so. Brady urged players to negotiate with their coaches when it came to reporting for offseason work, and it seemed to work in Tampa (shocking). The team is now reducing their organized team activities down to six sessions.
The Bucs will still hold mandatory minicamp in early June, and it's likely a more relaxed schedule will be given for those exercises as well.
Other teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers also negociated offseason work. While the details aren't known, players were able to work virtually and in-person, and players, like Cam Heyward, are appreciative.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told the media on Tuesday that while most veterans stayed away and OTAs were more for the younger players, he also mentioned "for their protection" that players should work out together at team facilities. Aka, "we don't want a Ja'Wuan James situation.
first look at joe burrow's comeback szn
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow tore his ACL in late November of last season and is determined to be ready for training camp. While he's still not at 100 percent currently, Burrow still took to the field on Tuesday and even did some throwing. We love to see it.
I know it's only May, but this is still a good thing to see if you're a Bengals fan. But I'm still gonna be keeping an eye on that offensive line as well.
Arthur smith isn't talking about julio jones right now
There's still major drama surrounding Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and his (potential) trade, but the Falcons' personnel isn't going to give anything away at the moment. After famously (at this point) saying on Undisputed that he was "out of there" earlier this week, head coach Arthur Smith pulled the "conversations are private" card when speaking of Jones.
A reminder that a trade after June 1 will leave the Falcons with under $8 million in dead cap (before June 1, it would be over $20 million). It's May 26. Tick, tock.
aaron jones says he re-signed with packers regardless if rodgers will be there or not
The rumor mill was turning (and continues to turn) when it comes to the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rumors swirled about that Rodgers told teammates and free agents that he likely wouldn't be back in Green Bay, but running back Aaron Jones said that wasn't the case with him, and he likely would have been back regardless.
It's still up in the air whether Rodgers will be there come September, but another Aaron will be back.
all teams (sort of) cleared for full stadiums
30 of the 32 NFL teams are cleared to return to full capacity in stadiums this fall. The two lone teams are the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts, but their plans should be approved in time for the season to begin.
Masking and vaccination rules will be left up to the teams and local regulations, but things look to heading back to "normal" in the NFL world. NFL teams are still encouraging players, staff and fans to get vaccinated at their earliest convenience.
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.
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 signs with cardinals
Amidst several rumors, JJ Watt has finally found his new home. The Arizona Cardinals signed him to a two-year deal, worth $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed. And he made sure to report the deal himself.
Watt reunites with former Houston Texans teammate DeAndre Hopkins and former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. After being linked to the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills (which was my personal pick), and the Green Bay Packers, he chooses neither of them, with the Cardinals being the dark horse.
And the Cardinals play the Texans in 2021. Of course they do.
Joe Lombardi excited about expanding Justin herbert's skillset
One of the best stories of the 2020 NFL season was the arrival of Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. The Rookie of the Year winner was thrown to the wolves by accident after a self-inflicted injury of then-starter Tyrod Taylor and shocked the entire NFL world with how well he adjusted to life as a starter. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi had nothing but good things to say about Herbert and plans to expand his skillset heading into his sophomore season.
washington expected to move on from alex smith
The Washington Football Team is set to release quarterback Alex Smith soon, according to NFL Network.
As the winner of this year's Comeback Player of the Year Award, Smith defied all odds after returning from a devastating leg injury, almost losing his leg and life. No one is taking that away from him. However, there's also no denying that we all watched through our fingers when he took the field this season, hoping everyone just stayed the hell away and he stayed upright.
An intriguing spot for Smith, should he choose to continue playing, is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith could reunite with head coach Urban Meyer and serve as a mentor for probable first pick Trevor Lawrence.
washington hires jennifer king as assistant rb coach
On Tuesday, the Washington Football Team announced that they had hired Jennifer King as their new assistant running backs coach, making her the first black woman to be named an assistant coach in the National Football League. She is also the second woman to be an assistant coach behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust. The team released this statement announcing the hire.
King spent the 2020 season as a coaching intern for Washington. She also spent time with current head coach Ron Rivera while he was with the Carolina Panthers in 2018, where she worked as an intern.
While some still continue to live in the 1950s and (wrongly) think women do not belong in sports, hires like King will pave the way for many in the future.
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.
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