As we enter the one-month lifeless interval within the NFL, it’s mailbag time! Here’s a sampling of questions I’ve been requested not too long ago, with my solutions.
What did you consider Aaron Rodgers’s boycotting obligatory minicamp final week?
This was no shock. Financially, this subjected Aaron to a possible $90,000 high-quality, though my sense is the Packers is not going to levy that high-quality as they’ve the choice to take action. Come coaching camp, nevertheless, the $50,000 high-quality for lacking every day just isn’t elective; the brand new CBA made it obligatory for groups just like the Packers to levy that high-quality. I’m not certain Aaron cares, as he has already thumbed his nostril at a $500,000 offseason exercise bonus.
Deadlines spur motion and we appear removed from a real deadline. I don’t suppose that deadline is even coaching camp; a more true one could be late August or early September. As I have been saying, essentially the most regarding a part of this to me is that the coach, the overall supervisor and the staff president have all had face-to-face conferences with Aaron, but right here we’re.
Though the Packers would by no means admit it, my sense is they’re secretly happy that Rodgers stayed away from minicamp, giving them a top quality analysis interval for future quarterback Jordan Love. That is déjà vu: When Brett Favre spent the 2006 and ’07 offseasons in Mississippi, we had been capable of consider Aaron and listen to suggestions from receivers like Donald Driver, James Jones and Greg Jennings about what a discover he was.
This is a useful time for Love, the beginning quarterback for the Packers … in 2022.
What did you consider Packers president Mark Murphy’s calling Rodgers “a sophisticated fella”?
Communication and belief seem to be at the root of the problem between Rodgers and the Packers, and whereas it might not have been dangerous, it was actually not useful.
In making that remark, Murphy invoked the identify of the Packers common supervisor for whom I labored for a number of years, the late Ted Thompson. Ted was an elite expertise evaluator however admittedly poor in communication abilities, and relied on others (myself, John Schneider, Reggie McKenzie, and so forth.) for that. If Murphy is doing the speaking with Aaron, which it seems he has been, speaking to others about him on this manner is actually suboptimal.
Having stated that, Aaron and the Packers are going to do what they will do no matter these remarks. And past the noise, we’re on the similar place: The Packers aren’t buying and selling Aaron and he can’t commerce himself.
What did you consider Julio Jones’s going to the Titans for a second-round choose?
The truth that Jones stated he “needed out” of Atlanta in an interview that he didn’t know was being broadcast was a diversion; the Falcons had been purchasing Jones all offseason, solely ready till after June 1 to unfold out the cap affect (extra on that beneath).
The preliminary response of many was that buying Jones for a second-round choose was deal for the Titans, however many react to trades by picturing the participant in his prime. Jones had an injury-prone season final yr at age 31 and historical past tells us that it’s extra probably than not that he may have an injury-prone season at age 32. Keep in mind when the Titans acquired Jadeveon Clowney final yr and the affect that was going to have? Let’s wait and see on Jones, a participant whom the Falcons—whether or not for cap causes or in any other case—needed off their roster.
And as to the cap affect left behind, listed below are the cap costs for Jones for the following two years.
2021: Titans cap: $15.3 million; Falcons cap: $7.75 million
2022: Titans cap: $11.5 million; Falcons cap: $15.5 million
Notice the dramatic affect on the Falcons for the following 18 months. The NFL cap doesn’t forgive.
What do you consider NFL gamers’ selecting to not get vaccinated?
That is a kind of conditions, and there are various within the enterprise of sports activities, the place there may be idea and there may be actuality. In idea, all gamers needs to be handled equally no matter whether or not they select to vaccinate. In actuality, not being vaccinated offers NFL groups a simple excuse—one, in fact, that they’d by no means say out loud—to launch a participant. If a staff is deciding between two gamers for one spot, with one vaccinated and the opposite not, you’ll be able to work out who’s making the staff.
Two gamers who not too long ago spoke with hesitancy about the vaccine, Washington’s Josh Sweat and the Panther’s Sam Darnold, can accomplish that with out profession repercussions for the time being; their roster spots are safe. For a whole bunch of different gamers, nevertheless, vaccine hesitancy places the gamers at employment threat. It’s the enterprise of the NFL: So many gamers, so few jobs.
We haven’t heard something for some time about Deshaun Watson; what’s going to occur with him?
Earlier than off-field points arose with Watson this spring, the photoshopping of Watson into different groups’ uniforms was rampant, with breathless reporting about potential new touchdown spots. Now Watson is in a special area, with more than 20 women having filed civil claims and some criminal complaints as well. Absent a raft of settlements, and even with them, these allegations can be swirling round Watson past the 2021 season. The Texans have taken no disciplinary motion, selecting, it seems, to depart it to Commissioner Goodell to deal with, a typical tactic groups use to keep away from disciplining their gamers. They simply “go away it to Roger.”
Goodell can, in my view, do considered one of three issues.
1) Select to not get entangled and easily hope it goes away. Not occurring.
2) Place Watson on the commissioner’s exempt listing as soon as the season begins. This listing was introduced out of mothballs in 2014 when the NFL wanted to park Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy for home abuse allegations on the heels of the Ray Rice video. As an NFL senior government informed me on the time: “We’ll pay them, however there’s no manner our followers can see them on the sector.” This appears the identical course for Watson, permitting the league to keep away from the messy spectacle of a star participant competing whereas dozens of girls have accused him of sexual improprieties, in any case, or assault on the worst.
3) Droop Watson, bypassing the listing and heading straight to self-discipline. This transfer, though unlikely, wouldn’t be with out precedent. Ben Roethlisberger and Ezekiel Elliott had been each suspended six video games (Roethlisberger’s self-discipline was later decreased to 4 video games) for incidents with girls the place no legal costs had been filed. The arm of the regulation of Goodell reaches lengthy.
The NFL has been investigating and interviewing a few of Watson’s alleged victims, however my sense is witnesses aren’t saying a lot. Thus, the more than likely standing for Watson for not less than the early a part of the season is the commissioner’s exempt listing, because the league will instruct the Texans to pay him whereas not letting him play. Keep tuned.
Extra NFL protection:
• Breer: Carson Wentz Enjoying His Transition to Indianapolis
• Vrentas: What You Need to Know About the Deshaun Watson Lawsuits
• Orr: Six Losing Teams in 2020 That’ll Make the Playoffs in 2021