The NFL community was shocked to learn Wednesday that free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman was arrested and being held with a bail request denied at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle following an alleged burglary and domestic violence incident.
ESPN has released more details about what reportedly occurred early Wednesday morning.
A police spokesman told ESPN a person placed a 911 call from a residence at 2 a.m. PT claiming an adult male family member who did not live there was attempting to force his way into the home. Police met the suspect outside of the residence upon responding to the call, and the male “fought with police” before he was arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
It has been a historic week for professional sports in the United States, and President Joe Biden has taken notice.
Biden praised two professional athletes, Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama, for coming out on Tuesday via Twitter.
To Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage. Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today.
With minicamps approaching, the most interesting parts of the NFL’s offseason have taken place. From coaching hires, to free agency additions and subtractions, to trades, to draft picks, which teams fared the best during the latest NFL offseason?
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32. Houston Texans
Nick Caserio will be given more time than ex-Patriot right-hand men-turned-decision-makers Josh McDaniels or Scott Pioli, in all likelihood. He inherited a brutal situation before Deshaun Watson’s trade demand and off-field trouble became known. The Texans hired a 65-year-old coach (David Culley) who had not been a coordinator since the 1990 season (at UTEP) and used their only top-80 pick on a midlevel QB prospect (Davis Mills). One of the Texans’ bevy of one-year contracts went to the underrated Phillip Lindsay, but the post-Bill O’Brien Texans appear to be punting their rebuild to 2022 and beyond. 2021 prognosis: bleak.
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31. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers’ Kenny Mayne tribute added more fuel to the NFL’s defining offseason story. This potential era-ending impasse between the MVP and management dwarfs everything else Packers presently. Rodgers has seen peers’ franchises cater to them and build Super Bowl rosters through various means; Tom Brady’s Buccaneers — with Lambeau Field as a key backdrop — used the latest such plan to win a title. The less flexible Packers did well to re-sign Aaron Jones, but non-Green Bay residents would be wise to read up on this franchise’s 20-plus years between Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The Pack’s astray-at-QB 1970s and ’80s may be relevant again soon.
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30. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders could use some good inside-the-box thinking. Their zags have not pushed a wayward franchise onto the contender map. Jettisoning three proven O-linemen (expensive blockers, but still) could have Derek Carr set to play behind three first-year starters; the O-line overhaul could set back the less mobile starter’s recent progress. The Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock regime’s latest off-radar first-round pick (Alex Leatherwood) continued a strange path that could keep undercutting Gruden’s coaching. The Raiders need an experienced personnel man, as it has become difficult to believe in anything the current regime does.
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29. Pittsburgh Steelers
Every team that rostered a golden-generation QB has moved on or formed a succession plan; the Steelers are the last ones standing. The cap reduction hurt them more than most, due to their annual can-kicking financial strategy. Their roster worsened this year. Pittsburgh said goodbye to starters Maurkice Pouncey, Alejandro Villanueva, Mike Hilton, and Bud Dupree. They drafted a talented running back (Najee Harris), but their offensive line looks like one of the NFL’s worst. Not ideal for an immobile Ben Roethlisberger, who still has no true heir apparent. The Steelers are vulnerable at a few spots, looking a year out from a rare rebuild.
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28. Tennessee Titans
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
The Titans are paying an awful lot of money to a supporting cast edge rusher who tore an ACL in November. Bud Dupree should be an upgrade on Jadeveon Clowney, but instead of a post-injury prove-it deal, the ex-Steeler capitalized on the Titans’ historically bad third-down defense. Tennessee also will count on 33-year-old Janoris Jenkins and first-round injury risk (Caleb Farley) in coverage. The defensive play-caller responsible for last year’s woes, Shane Bowen, is back with a title bump. The exit of the OC in charge of Ryan Tannehill’s revival, Arthur Smith, will leave a void. And unless the Titans land Julio Jones, their aerial attack lacks depth.
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27. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles hired Frank Reich’s right-hand man, Nick Sirianni, before trading the quarterback Reich has championed (to Reich’s current team). Their previous Carson Wentz-Doug Pederson-Howie Roseman plan blew up, revealing organizational strife. Wentz’s exit/Eagles dead-money bloodbath sets up a begrudging rebuild. Philly’s roster features several pieces from the 2017 Super Bowl team; those 30-somethings may be playing out a depressing string. The Eagles added a 2022 first-rounder (possibly two, if Wentz stays healthy), outflanked the Giants for diminutive DeVonta Smith, and signed a bargain safety in Anthony Harris. Other than that, this is a clear transition year.
Contracts are an oft-debated topic in sports, and finding great values while avoiding bad contracts is especially important in the NFL due to the salary cap. These players have the “honor” of being the most under- and overpaid players at their respective positions in the league going into 2021. Salaries are based on cap hits from Spotrac.com.
Baltimore has picked up Jackson’s fifth-year option in 2022 when he will make over $23 million. However, he remains a bargain for now, with a cap hit of just over $3 million for Baltimore in 2021. The 2019 MVP has emerged as a superstar on one of the AFC’s best teams.
San Francisco gave Garoppolo a huge contract extension after acquiring him from New England in 2017. He led the team to a Super Bowl in 2019 but missed most of the 2018 and 2020 seasons due to injuries. His hold on the starting job this season is shaky after the 49ers selected Trey Lance third overall, yet Garoppolo’s cap hit is over $26 million, sixth-highest among quarterbacks.
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Underpaid running back: James Robinson, Jaguars
Robinson went from undrafted rookie to legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate last season, with over 1,400 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in 14 games. His salary-cap hit is below $800,000, but Jacksonville still used a first-round pick on Clemson running back Travis Etienne this year.
Elliott remained productive last season but clearly seemed to lose a step in his fifth season. He averaged a career-high 4.0 yards per career and failed to reach 1,000 yards rushing. The Cowboys could regret the big contract they handed Elliott two years ago, which includes a $13.7 million cap hit in 2021, the highest at the running back position.
Metcalf dropped to late in the second round of the 2019 draft due to injury concerns, but he’s become a true superstar in his two-year NFL career. Still on his rookie deal, Metcalf will count only $1.25 million against the cap this season despite recording over 1,300 receiving yards and 10 scores last season.
“We have great appreciation and respect for Julio, what he’s done here, and for all the players that have been a part of this Falcons organization. Look, this is a tough business. We all signed up for it, coaches and players, we understand that. But everything we do here is going to be well-thought-out and it’s going to be handled behind the scenes with dignity with the players. As long as I’m here, that’s the way it’ll be done.”
Jones recently said on live TV that he wasn’t coming back to the Falcons, and news has surfaced that he’d requested a trade months ago, hoping to play for a team that’s ready to win. Atlanta is transitioning to a new coaching staff and front office, so despite the presence of quarterback Matt Ryan, lots of work still needs to be done.
Now that it’s a matter of “when” not “if” Jones will be traded, let’s take an updated look at which suitors best fit his desire to win and have the means and ammunition to cut a deal with the Falcons.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts should be doing all they can to ensure that Carson Wentz succeeds. One big reason why this might not work out is because Jones may lack faith that Wentz can be the QB he finishes his career with on a high note.
Wentz was horrendous in 2020 with the Philadelphia Eagles and is a wild card reclamation project at this point. Jones would indubitably step in and be Indianapolis’ No. 1 receiver right away, and Indy has a roster definitely ready to be in the playoffs aside from the uncertainty at quarterback.
General manager Chris Ballard is generally conservative when it comes to making splash moves and likes to build predominantly through the draft. He’s had a lot of success with that. The Wentz trade marked his first big move, and it was a massive risk.
Dealing for Jones to supplement the investment in Wentz is a savvy move that could help vault the Colts over Tennessee this year for AFC South supremacy.
4. San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan was once the Falcons’ offensive coordinator and had them so close to winning a Super Bowl. He elevated Ryan to an MVP level, and Jones put up monster numbers.
Now the 49ers head coach, Shanahan is such a genius play designer who he can scheme up ways for his best playmakers to get the ball even when coverage is rolling toward them. He’s done that throughout his time climbing the NFL coaching ranks and knows how to get it done with Jones.
San Francisco has a couple of excellent young wideouts in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Not only would Jones’ mentoring be invaluable, but he’d also create a mutually beneficial dynamic in terms of drawing favorable matchups between himself and the Niners’ dynamic young duo.
The big catch here: The 49ers just traded two future first-round picks to move up for Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’d probably need to part with another first-round selection to land Jones, which may be too steep and too far out to pique Atlanta’s interest.
It’s no secret that all NFL teams do their own prospect evaluations leading up to the NFL Draft. Those ratings give a window into what teams thought of potential draftees, but they almost always stay secret.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, whether intentional or not, didn’t really care about keeping some of their own ratings secret. The team’s behind-the-scenes video series “The Hunt” included video from inside the team’s war room, and unusually, the finished product does not blur out any of the draft grades, even for players not selected by the team.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports pointed out that Trevor Lawrence, the team’s first overall pick, received an 8.0 under the team’s grading system. Interestingly, that’s the same grade the Jaguars assigned to Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who went No. 6 overall to the Miami Dolphins. For context, while we don’t know the exact system the Jaguars use, the typical scale goes from 3.0 or 4.0 up to 9.0, suggesting the Jaguars viewed both Lawrence and Waddle as high-level prospects. Had Jacksonville’s quarterback need not been so great, one has to wonder if Waddle may have even been in contention for the top pick.
Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 5/16/21
There are some absolutely huge games on the early portion of the 2021 NFL schedule. It starts with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys looking to make a statement against the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This is going to be a statement game for Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys. A loss against the defending champion Buccaneers would make a statement that these Cowboys are not back after an ugly six-win 2020 season. On the other hand, if Dallas were able to go in on the opening Thursday night of the season and come away with a win over Tom Brady and Co., it would change the dynamics in a big way.
As for the Buccaneers, they return all 22 starters from last season’s championship team. Anything less than a convincing win over a lesser team could tell us a story of regression on Tampa Bay’s part. That’s especially true with Raymond James Stadium expected to be at 100% capacity and absolutely rocking for this NFL opener.
Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half in an AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns are coming off their best season since Bill Belichick was their head coach all the way back in 1994. They are also expected to be one of the biggest threats to knock off the two-time defending AFC champions. Wanting to get off to a good start in this Week 1 afternoon affair at Arrowhead, this is a huge early season game for Cleveland.
Speaking of the Chiefs, they were not done many favors by the NFL schedule-makers. After going up against Cleveland in Week 1, Kansas City must contend with Lamar Jackson and Co. on the road during this “Sunday Night Football” matchup. We’re highly intrigued to see how the Chiefs’ offensive line, former Ravens Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr. included, holds up here.
As for Baltimore, talk about an early season statement game around the NFL. Most expected these two teams to do battle in the AFC Championship Game this past January. However, a brutal overall performance against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Playoffs put that to rest. Can Baltimore hold serve at home with a huge win?
Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Fitzgerald | Last updated 5/15/21
A number of NFL futures bets can be placed well in advance of the 2021 NFL season, but Super Bowl odds are where the real market value is in sports betting.
Yes, trying to pick the Lombardi Trophy winner out of 32 teams is a difficult task, yet a lot of clubs can be ruled out from the jump. Consider that a $100 bet on the No. 1 favorite, the Kansas City Chiefs, would yield a $525 profit at +525 odds.
Let’s take a look at the latest Super Bowl odds from DraftKings, and then break down several teams whose odds present the best value while the numbers are still rather raw.
Can Tom Brady lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl repeat? Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Brady completely changed the culture in Tampa Bay in just one season. From the chaotic Jameis Winston era to the greatness of TB12, the Bucs came together late in 2020 and won eight straight en route to a Super Bowl LV triumph.
Picking one of the top two favorites admittedly isn’t the best value, but in Tampa’s case, it’s worth a flier. After all, Brady has played in four of the last five Super Bowls, and the Bucs roster is far more talented than anything he was working with toward the end of his time with the New England Patriots.
Tampa Bay somehow kept all its starters on offense and defense, not to mention its top coordinators. That continuity, and a fuller offseason program in 2021, is going to help the Bucs be more consistent this season.
A longer, 17-game season and the fact that Brady had rather serious knee surgery in the offseason are causes for concern. That said, Brady is the ultimate iron man, and until the wheels actually fall off, history tells us it’s never wise to doubt the GOAT.
Nothing lasts forever, particularly in the sports world. Player careers are usually short, and coaches, general managers, and team presidents are regularly hired and fired. Despite that, several big names have managed the prove that they have a rare degree of staying power. Which ones might be nearing the end of the line, either overall, or at their current stop? Let’s take a look at how much time is left for some coaching and front office legends.
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Ainge followed a 14-year NBA playing career with a stint coaching the Phoenix Suns but has achieved most of his post-playing notoriety as the Celtics’ general manager and president of basketball operations. Ainge has been on the job in Boston since 2003, and while his trades for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett after the 2006-07 season sparked a 42-win improvement, the biggest in league history, and led to the Celtics winning the 2007-08 NBA title, his recent work has fallen flat. Ainge has plenty of job security, so even though the Celtics are languishing in seventh place in the east, if he leaves the job, it will be on his terms.
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Auriemma has nothing whatsoever to prove in women’s basketball. Connecticut’s head coach since 1985, he has compiled a 1,119-144 record, hasn’t lost a conference game since the 2012-13 season and has won 11 national titles. Connecticut hasn’t won one since 2015-16, including a Final Four loss to Arizona this year, but the Huskies are almost always the betting favorite to win the title in a given season. He can stay on the job as long as he wants, and at 67 years old, it’s fair to wonder if the time for him to take on new challenges has passed.
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Belichick’s 7-9 season in 2020 was his first losing campaign with the Patriots since his first year on the job in 2000. Belichick’s job security is ironclad, and he’ll be allowed to coach the Pats for as long as he desires. He’s about to turn 69 years old, and currently sits 48 wins behind Don Shula for the all-time record. With Tom Brady around, the Patriots would have been a good bet to match that number in four seasons or five tops. With Brady gone, Belichick has had to figure out how to retool New England. Shula’s record is the only thing he has left to chase, and given his obsession with football, it stands to reason that he’ll stick around long enough to get it done, but perhaps not long past that.
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To hear Boeheim tell it in 2015, he had three more years left on his coaching clock. His son Buddy committing to play for the Orange in 2018 changed things, perhaps aided by Syracuse’s surprising NCAA Tournament success. The Orange made a surprise Final Four run in 2015-16, and have qualified for the Sweet 16 in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments, despite playing as a double-digit seed both times. Boeheim recently said he would coach until he “couldn’t win anymore,” which means that even at 76, he figures to be around for at least two or three more seasons.
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Brown owns the Cincinnati Bengals, of course, but since 1991, he has also acted as the team’s de facto general manager, much to the chagrin of Bengals fans. Brown is 85 years old and, though he has delegated some responsibilities to others, still has the final say on personnel; while Joe Burrow was promising until his rookie campaign was cut short by injury, Brown’s total control over the franchise has been negative. His health has by and large held strong, however, so as long as Brown is physically and mentally able, it seems likely that he’ll keep the status quo in place.
Despite winning his third MVP and nearly reaching his second Super Bowl with Green Bay last season, Aaron Rodgers is reportedly not interested in returning to the Packers for the 2021 season.
Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Rodgers is “so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team.”
According to Schefter, the team is “aware of his feelings,” with team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur all flying out separately to meet with Rodgers to discuss his frustrations.
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