Dolphins open to starting Tua Tagovailoa in his rookie season

The Miami Dolphins have the perfect bridge quarterback on their roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his presence should allow them to be patient with Tua Tagovailoa. But if Tagovailoa shows he is ready for the big stage, the Dolphins are not going to force him to take a redshirt year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that Fitzpatrick is likely to begin the 2020 season as the Dolphins’ starter, but the team is not opposed to playing Tagovailoa at some point. Fitzpatrick was impressive last season and has earned the trust of Miami’s coaching staff, but there will obviously be pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot if Fitzpatrick struggles at all.

As Jackson notes, the shortened offseason will work against Tagovailoa. The No. 5 overall pick has only been able to take part in virtual workouts, so there’s no way he will be as prepared as a rookie quarterback would be in a normal offseason.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/26/20

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo clears teams to open training camp

Professional sports in New York took a major step toward returning on Sunday, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that teams are free to open their training facilities.

Cuomo said teams across the state of New York can resume training as long as proper health protocols are taken. That clears the way for the Buffalo Bills to move from virtual workouts to in-person activities.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/24/20

Tom Brady holes out with incredible shot, splits his pants

Tom Brady played miserable golf for six-plus holes during “The Match” on Sunday, but the four-time Super Bowl MVP came roaring back just as many people were giving up on him.

After spraying the ball all over the course and looking completely overmatched, Brady holed out for birdie with an incredible approach shot on the 7th. The shot didn’t look lucky either. It took two hops on the green and spun beautifully into the hole.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/24/20

NFL VP: We’re ‘planning to have full stadiums’ in 2020

The NFL continues to forge ahead as if nothing is amiss. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is preparing to play games in full stadiums.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent appeared on “The Brian Mitchell Show” Friday. During his interview, he divulged that the league is preparing for full stadiums this year, “until the medical community tells us otherwise,” via NBC Sports Washington:

“We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise. Now remember when we’re talking — we’re talking about August, September. So there’s a lot that can happen here. So we’re planning for full stadiums.”

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/24/20

Report: NFL could lose $5 billion if season played without fans

The NFL has avoided any major setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in large part to timing. If things don’t improve in the next few months, though, the league could be on the brink of an unprecedented financial hit.

If a full 17-week regular season is played without fans in attendance, which remains a possibility, the league could collectively lose billions of dollars in revenue.

While the league is confident there will be an NFL season in 2020, there is no guarantee fans will be able to attend games. States across the country are opening up to sports, but there are also fears that there could be a second wave of COVID-19.

If that hits in September, right when the regular season begins, the economic fallout for every team would be staggering. According to estimates from Forbes’ Mike Ozanian, the NFL would lose $5.5 billion in stadium revenue this upcoming season, a 38% hit to the league’s total revenue, if games are played in empty stadiums.

The projection is even worse than earlier estimates for one of the NFL’s nightmare scenarios. At a time when many hoped the salary cap would skyrocket next season thanks to new television deals, a 38% revenue hit would send the cap tumbling down for years to come.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/20/20

Ravens will pay all stadium workers even if games are played without fans

The Baltimore Ravens are looking out for the people who work for them in a really big way.

The NFL is preparing for the potential that games may be played without fans in 2020. Regardless, the Ravens will pay all stadium workers, whether there are fans in the stands or not.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/17/20

Report: NFL coaches ‘really nervous’ about NFL’s plan for return due to COVID-19

The NFL is moving full steam ahead with its plan for the 2020 NFL season after releasing the full regular-season schedule. While everyone around the league anticipates football being played in 2020, some are quite concerned about the league’s plan.

The upcoming season is expected to start on schedule with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans to kick off Week 1 on Sept. 10. While few around the NFL expect delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are worried about what happens once the season starts.

According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, several coaches around the NFL are “really nervous” about their own safety and the health of the players once the season is rolling. The coronavirus can spread quickly among all demographics, putting everyone at an NFL facility in danger.

While most players are willing to play, those with risk factors or family members with risk factors could be in danger of suffering the serve side effects of the coronavirus. The concern is even more prevalent among coaches, with many in the age group that are at far greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/13/20

Report: NFL season could begin on Oct. 8

Even before the NFL released its schedule for the 2020 season, the league was confident it would play a full 16-game schedule on time despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with a second wave of the coronavirus looming, the NFL could be forced to change its schedule.

While the league released a full 2020 schedule this past week, officials crafted it to make the schedule portable. As a result, if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens or team owners decide they don’t want to play in empty stadiums, the NFL could make a major adjustment to the upcoming season.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the NFL’s portable schedule would move the first four weeks of the season into January. As a result, the 2020 season would start on Thursday, Oct. 8 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to face the Chicago Bears on “Thursday Night Football.”

League officials have already discussed delaying the season by a month to buy additional time during the COVID-19 pandemic. By delaying the season a month, teams in states with bans on mass gatherings through September, could potentially start their season with fans in attendance.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut – By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/11/20

ESPN makes huge changes to ‘Monday Night Football’ booth?

ESPN is making big changes to its “Monday Night Football” broadcasting team following an offseason in which the network missed out on all the top talent.

According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, Booger McFarland and Joe Tessitore will not return to the “Monday Night Football” broadcast for the 2020 season. 

While ESPN hasn’t announced their replacements, the network is expected to find successors from inside the building.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/9/20

Star agent Scott Boras blasts MLB for cutting down 2020 draft

As MLB continues to look for ways to grow the game and attract more fans to watch and play baseball, the league’s decision to shorten the 2020 MLB Draft might just do the opposite.

Superstar agent Scott Boras, who helped his top free-agent clients land more than $1 billion in contracts this offseason, is coming after MLB following the league’s decision to shorten the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft from 40 to five rounds.

MLB made the decision as part of a cost-saving measure for team owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the one-year policy, the draft will be just five rounds this year with organizations allowed to sign an unlimited number of players for no more than $20,000.

The one-year policy will reduce the number of players drafted from 1,200 to 150 this year with bonuses significantly limited. As part of an agreement MLB reached with players, teams can defer a majority of the payments to top picks into future years, and the new rules will save each club millions this season.

“We probably should have bought a billboard that said, ‘Go play other sports after Little League,” Scott Boras said, via The Athletic. “Goodbye.’”

Team owners have been pushing for years to cut down the size of the MLB Amateur Draft significantly, and they are currently working to reduce the size of MiLB. By shortening this year’s draft, a move that likely sets a precedent for future years, owners are getting what they hoped for.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/9/20