The LOS ANGELES RAMS are shipping DE ROBERT QUINN to the MIAMI DOLPHINS. Well, they will be shipping him off when the new NFL league year begins on March 14. The 27 year old is leaving the team that he’s played for since being drafted 14th overall in 2011. In 5 seasons in St Louis and 2 seasons in Los Angeles, Quinn accumulated 218 tackles, 62.5 sacks, and 20 forced fumbles. He had 3 straight years of double-digit sacks from 2012-14, including a career high 19 sacks in 2013. Since 2014, Quinn has totaled 17.5 sacks without playing a full 16 games during a season (he did play in 15 games last season).
For Quinn, this should be a good thing as he gets the chance to reinvent a career that’s gone a little stale with the Rams. He’s still a very good player and he will be joining a Miami defense that ranked 4th-worst in Points Allowed this season.
For the Dolphins, this move is a little surprising. Their defensive line is already pretty good with DT NDAMUKONG SUH and DE CAMERON WAKE on the roster, but DE WILLIAM HAYES is set to hit free agency, and Wake just turned 36 years old earlier this year. Young, talented pass rushers are difficult to come by, and the Dolphins just landed one in Quinn, who should help improve the Dolphins 16th-ranked pass defense, provided he can stay healthy.
For the Rams, not a shock. The Rams have some huge decisions coming with their upcoming free agents, most notably they have a tough decision to make in deciding to use their franchise tag on WR SAMMY WATKINS or S LAMARCUS JOYNER or neither. The extra cap space they get from unloading a player who has declined in production may allow them to entice both Watkins and Joyner to stay.
In addition to Quinn, the trade includes a mid-round draft pick heading to Los Angeles (which the Rams needed after trading a 2nd and 4th rounder to the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS in exchange for CB MARCUS PETERS), and the teams are swapping late-round draft picks.
The start of the new NFL league year is around the corner (March 14 at 4pm ET) and teams are really starting to feel the pressure of making the right moves in free agency to make a run at SUPER BOWL LIII. Oh, and the 2018 SCOUTING COMBINE is happening right now as well, so teams are starting to feel the pressure of drafting the right players to make a run at Super Bowl LIII and other future Super Bowls. Before that, teams need to decide what to do with their own players. Contract extensions could still potentially happen but more importantly, some teams will franchise tag their best players. Some teams have already done that (See: DETROIT LIONS DE EZEKIEL ANSAH and MIAMI DOLPHINS WR JARVIS LANDRY), and other teams have until March 6 at 4pm ET. So what’s going to happen?
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins– Landry would likely have been the most talented WR in free agency this year. The Dolphins have had disagreements with Landry over the last year or two, but they clearly put those on hold to ensure that they didn’t let such a talented player leave without any compensation. Maybe those disagreements will turn into a Super Bowl-winning trade for another team? If that does come to fruition, Landry probably won’t come on the cheap in terms of trade assets. He’s definitely not coming on the cheap salary-wise. Update: The Dolphins have given Landry and his agents the green light to seek a trade.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions– Yes, he’s dealt with some minor injury issues but let’s be honest: the Lions defense is…how to put this…ugh. While they have a couple of good pieces in the secondary in the form of CB DARIUS SLAY and S GLOVER QUIN, the unit is not close to championship caliber yet. They finished 6th-worst in total yards allowed and pass yards allowed, and they were also in the bottom half of the league in points allowed and rush yards allowed. The man preventing them from being last: Ziggy Ansah, who finished with 12 sacks last year. Considering the Lions have seven defensive players set to hit free agency, it was a good idea to keep the talented edge rusher around.
Will Get Done
From here on, we hit my personal predictions combined with research I’ve cross-checked between NFL, ESPN, and USA TODAY.
LE’VEON BELL, RB, PITTSBURGH STEELERS– If the franchise tag doesn’t come into play here, it may be the most shocking lack of franchise tag the NFL has ever seen. NFL and USA Today have him ranked #1 on the will-get-tagged list (ESPN has him on their list, too), and I’m not going to disagree with that. There’s just nobody that runs the way Bell does. Now or…ever.
DEMARCUS LAWRENCE, DE, DALLAS COWBOYS– The BOISE STATE alum is the most recent example of the classic ‘having a career year in a contract year.’ Lawrence tied for 2nd-most sacks this season and, like Ansah in Detroit, is one of the lone and uber-talented bright spots on an otherwise lacking defense.
LAMARCUS JOYNER, S, LOS ANGELES RAMS– Joyner is a great safety on a team that is losing their top 2 CBs to free agency (though they are getting a new top CB in the form of MARCUS PETERS from the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS). I don’t think the Rams can afford to lose another member of their secondary, despite what NFL, ESPN, and USA Today all think. This move will come at the expense of SAMMY WATKINS.
KYLE FULLER, CB, CHICAGO BEARS– I don’t think the Bears necessarily SHOULD tag Fuller, but they should. Look, if Fuller was on any team in the top 75% of the league, he would absolutely walk into free agency. The Bears are not one of those teams and Fuller is just above average enough that they can’t afford to lose him and make their team any worse than it already is.
Won’t Get Done
ANDREW NORWELL, G, CAROLINA PANTHERS– The Panthers are constantly complaining about how the referees don’t protect QB CAM NEWTON. It’s about time the Panthers step up and PROTECT HIM THEMSELVES. The All-Pro former undrafted free agent signee has been helping with that and should continue to help with that, but he won’t. Reports indicate that the Panthers intend to let him walk.
ALLEN ROBINSON, WR, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS– NFL and ESPN both believe A-Rob will get tagged, but I’m going to have to side with USA Today on this one. Allen Robinson is an immensely talented receiver, but the Jaguars made their run to the AFC Championship game without his services last season due to him tearing his ACL in week 1. Also, the Jaguars have been pouring money into their defense and just gave QB BLAKE BORTLES a contract extension. I suspect that they will think they can make another AFC Championship game run without Robinson, and they might need to for cap space.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams– See: Lamarcus Joyner
SHELDON RICHARDSON, DT, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS– Richardson is a good player, but the Seahawks spend enough on their defense as it is, and Richardson is by no means the best player on Seattle’s defense.
CASE KEENUM, QB, MINNESOTA VIKINGS– If the Vikings are going to tag one of their three free agent QBs, it’ll be Keenum. However, coach MIKE ZIMMER sounded concerned when he discussed his team’s QB situation at the combine. I think Zimmer is one of the smartest coaches in the league right now. As such, I think SAM BRADFORD is definitely done in Minnesota because he has health issues and he’s the oldest. Case Keenum could come back, but I don’t think he will for two reasons: 1) His value is at a peak right now after leading his team to the NFC Championship Game so he and his agent know that he can get PAID and 2) This season was really the ONLY good season of his career and I doubt Zimmer will sell the farm for that, especially with all of the youth on the Vikes defense that will need to get paid in the coming years. TEDDY BRIDGEWATER makes the most sense because he was the one drafted by Minnesota and, because of his injury, his value will be at an all time low. The Vikings could sign him to a longer deal for cheaper and draft somebody (or pursue KIRK COUSINS, which seems to be a popular opinion coming out of the combine) to compete with him.
JIMMY GRAHAM, TE, Seattle Seahawks– Jimmy is just not as good as he used to be in New Orleans. That and injuries will probably result in the Seahawks letting him leave.
JUSTIN PUGH, G, NEW YORK GIANTS– …(…sigh…)…I almost put Pugh right next to Kyle Fuller for the same reason: he is a slightly above average player playing for a BAD team. I have watched more than enough Giants football to know that the o-line is…more like a d-line. That is, they seem more interested in the QB going to the ground than blocking for him (Poor Eli). So, why do I think the best player on that o-line should leave (that’s right, I actually want him to LEAVE, not sign a long-term deal)? Simple: It’s time to hit the reset button on the o-line. Trade down from the #2 pick and acquire multiple talented o-lineman in the draft. Besides, with all of his injuries he wasn’t doing much good for the line anyway.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, comments/likes/follows are all appreciated, have a pleasant tomorrow and make every day a new best day ever!
That’s pronounced [fee’-nay]: the musical term marking the end of a composition. Just a little play on his last name which is also a musical term. Anyway…
One of my friends is a CHICAGO BEARS fan and I can only assume his day yesterday was completely normal when the news broke of…
MATT FORTE‘s retirement. It’s not that he doesn’t like Matt Forte, it’s just that he’s one of those people who’s under the impression that, “It’s not what you have done for me, it’s what you can do for me.” (I confess, I have this opinion when it comes to most players. Unless they win a championship for my team. Yes, that means I hope ELI MANNING never retires. He could play a LOT longer if he didn’t get hit all the time. C’mon o-line!) Alas, Forte never won a Super Bowl (in fact, he only made it to the playoffs once), so he was basically just another player to my friend when he left Chicago after the 2015 NFL season.
One of the best pass-catching running backs in the league throughout his career, Forte played 10 seasons in the NFL, the first 8 of which were in Chicago before he spent the previous 2 seasons with the NEW YORK JETS. The 2-time pro-bowler racked up 9796 yards and 54 touchdowns on the ground, in addition to 4672 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, comments/likes/follows are all appreciated, have a pleasant tomorrow and make every day a new best day ever!
They are finally here. After many hours of contemplation and frustration, I present these 2017 NFL Win Projections for you to laugh out loud at. A couple of notes:
There were few mid-level teams in my projections as most were either really good or really bad. This presented an interesting scenario come playoff time, where 6 teams with winning records did not secure playoff spots.
Nearly half of last season’s playoff teams failed to make it back in my projections, including last season’s NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
Both of the #1 seeded teams find themselves in highly unfamiliar territory, as the Detroit Lions last appeared as a #6 seed (2016 season) and the Tennessee Titans have not made a playoff appearance since their #1 seeding 9 years ago (2008 season). Neither franchise has ever won a Super Bowl.
Ultimately, I pitted the New England Patriots against the Detroit Lions in Super Bowl LII. I’m sure Lions fans would be excited to see their team make their first ever Super Bowl appearance (they haven’t won a playoff game since 1991), but I don’t see them being much of a match for the battle-hardened, QB Tom Brady-led Patriots. There are only two teams that have a realistic chance to stop Brady from getting another Super Bowl ring: the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants. That said, the projected AFC Championship Game would be the most interesting game of the playoffs.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on my win projections and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to help make my blog as dominant as the New England Patriots. (I don’t like the Patriots either which makes that last sentence absurd so I’ll just skip the smiley face here.) Have a pleasant tomorrow!
Ever since it was announced that QB Colin Kaepernick would be leaving the San Francisco 49ers, people have been speculating about his fate. Obviously he would get signed in free agency, right? He’s the best QB option available, isn’t he? Then, March 9, the official start of NFL free agency, passed. Then the rest of March…April…May…June…and now July has almost concluded and Kaep has still yet to find a new football home. I read an article today about the Baltimore Ravens needing another QB option with Joe Flacco sustaining a back injury that is projected to keep him out for at least three weeks. Of course, Kaep’s name came up because Ravens HC John Harbaugh knows about Kaep from his brother, Jim Harbaugh, having coached Kaep in San Fran. Oh, and they played against each other in a Super Bowl, so there’s that.
I decided, what the heck, I’ll project what will happen with Kaep, too. So here are a few spots I think he might end up:
7. Denver Broncos– I HIGHLY doubt GM John Elway would sign a guy with Kaep’s antics. And the salary cap probably isn’t conducive to a Kaep signing in Denver. And Elway seems to see something in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch that the rest of the world doesn’t see. But I don’t see what Elway sees so screw it, I’m putting Denver in here anyway.
6. Las Vegas Raiders– I know that they are still the Oakland Raiders for the next couple of seasons but I put Las Vegas there for a very specific reason: Kaep played his college ball in Nevada, and he was good (good enough to beat what was probably the best Boise State football team to ever take the field in 2010). Even though he would only be a backup to Derek Carr, I’m sure the Raiders could bring in some extra revenue by having the local boy ride the bench and play in preseason.
5. Arizona Cardinals– If there is one thing that we all learned from the Cards’ 2016-17 season, it’s that Carson Palmer is not getting any younger. Granted, part of the reason he looked so bad last year was because he looked so good in the 2015-16 season. Regardless, he is 37 years old and I don’t think he is on the Tom Brady diet and workout routine that will allow him to play well into his 40s. Also, Bruce Arians is known as a QB whisperer (see Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and…well…Carson Palmer). What’s wrong with this possibility? Blaine Gabbert is listed as the 3rd QB on the Cards depth chart and there were several times where he looked better than Kaep in San Francisco. So this one probably isn’t very likely. But it would be fun to see Kaep playing for (theoretically) a contender again.
4. New York Jets– Nothing can save the 2017-18 New York Jets. NOTHING. If this team wins more than 2 games, with or without Kaep, I would be SHOCKED. That said, Kaep could be the interesting, controversial player that the Jets need to get any sort of fans to show up to view their train wreck in person.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars– I honestly feel as though this scenario hasn’t been talked about at all even though it’s a pretty interesting scenario. Maybe it’s because the Jags have been dumping so much money into their defense that they likely don’t have enough for Kaep. But follow me for a second: Let’s say the Jags decide to finally give up on “franchise QB” Blake Bortles. Kaep would join an offense with 2017 first-round pick RB Leonard Fournette, promising young WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, and a solid o-line with 2017 second-round pick Cam Robinon, up-and-comer AJ Cann, veteran Branden Albert, and the highest-paid C in NFL history, Brandon Linder. That, plus the part about the money that the Jags have been pouring into their defense would make for an easy job for Kaep. But, then, that job is supposed to be easy for Bortles, too. He makes it look IMMENSELY difficult.
2. Baltimore Ravens– (see the first paragraph of this article) He’d mostly be a temp in this scenario.
1. Retirement– Let’s be honest, this is far and away the most realistic scenario on this list. The league has turned his back on him because of his controversial pregame national anthem antics. The National Football League prides itself on being patriotic (hence the annual “Salute to Service” week), and Kaep certainly isn’t. The anti-Kaep sentiment doesn’t just run amongst NFL front offices, either. Fans of teams who have been working out Kaepernick have been protesting against his signing, including his most recently visited team (just a couple days ago), Baltimore.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on your thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s fate and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. As always, respectful, constructive criticism is welcome. If you are not yet a follower, join Team TheHaysWay so you can say that, unlike Kaepernick, you are on a team. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!
I realized that the NBA Awards are not the only interesting sports awards happening tonight because NFL Network‘s Top 100 Players of 2017 concludes tonight at 8 pm ET on (you guessed it!) NFL Network. Although the NBA Awards are a little more official and have flashier trophies that come with them, the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players is always interesting to see because it gives an inside look at what NFL players think of their peers. Today, the list of names in the Top 10 was released in alphabetical order, so let’s reorder them in order of greatness as a guess for how the ranking will shake out this evening:
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (16 games: 69.9 completion % for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 3 fumbles for a 117.1 passer rating)
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (16 games: 65.7 completion % for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 104.2 passer rating)
Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (16 games: 78 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles with 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns)
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (12 games: 67.4 completion % for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 112.2 passer rating)
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 games: 261 carries for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns with 3 fumbles; 75 catches on 94 targets for 616 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders (16 games: 73 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles with 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 1 touchdown)
I have Khalil Mack ranked last because all the Derek Carr fans seem to think that Carr does everything by himself on CARR’S team. Apparently, despite statistics indicating the contrary, Carr outperformed Dak Prescott last year just because the Raiders have a lesser RB, O-line, and defense. If the Raiders have a lesser defense, so be it. So, I ranked Mack pretty much solely on resentment for all Oakland Derek Carrs (I mean, Oakland Raiders) fans, Derek Carr fans, Fresno State fans, and people from the city of Oakland.
You’ll notice that the other 9 players are first organized by number of games played. For those of you who read my NBA Awards post last night, you’ll remember that I said I value most the players that stay injury and suspension free to be there for their team when their team needs them. That rings true for the NFL, too.
Tom Brady is ranked above Le’Veon Bell in the “12 games” category because Brady once again led the New England Patriots to their most thrilling Super Bowl victory yet.
In the “15 games” category, I ranked Antonio Brown over Ezekiel Elliott because Brown didn’t have any turnovers. The two most important things for an offensive player are holding on to the ball and scoring. Brown was +5 in the holding on to the ball category and Zeke was +4 in the scoring category. 5>4, so Brown edges Zeke.
The “16 games” category was the trickiest because there were four players (not including Khalil Mack, of course) who fell into that category. Ultimately, I put the two QBs at the top because QBs are the most valuable players for a franchise. The two Super Bowl teams were both led by QBs on this Top 10 list (Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots), while the teams without definitive starting QBs include the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams, etc. The one anomaly was the Houston Texans, who got to the playoffs (and defeated the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, by the way!) on the arms of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.
So, 3 and 4 were between Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. I chose Miller over Beckham because, although I love OBJ as a fan of Big Blue, a defensive player usually manages to crack the top 3. Also, OBJ’s stats dropped off this year from last year. Also-also (yes, I meant to put two “also”s there), 13.5 sacks in the NFL is very impressive, especially on a defense that almost carried the Denver Broncos to the playoffs despite Trevor Siemian (don’t get me started on Northwestern) starting at QB.
1 and 2 were easy from there. Matt Ryan a higher completion %, more yards, fewer fumbles, and a higher passer rating than Aaron Rodgers. Oh, Ryan also won the MVP award and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, so there’s that.
That’s all for TheHaysWay for now, please leave a comment with your thoughts on my Top 10 ranking and/or on your own Top 10 ranking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome to help me improve my blog. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to improve your greatness ranking (and mine, too) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who voted online about whether or not I should shave my beard. The majority of you voted that I should shave (or at least trim) my beard, however, you were outnumbered by the people here at DU, who recommended that I continue to grow the beard. In fact, I don’t think one person that I asked on campus said I should shave it. As such, my beard remains in its current, lush state.
Second of all, I finished my second 2017 First-Round NFL Mock Draft a couple of days ago, and it is posted on the ‘Mock Draft’ page. I also realized that I never posted my FIRST Mock Draft for this year, and that is linked at the bottom of the ‘Mock Draft’ page. For your convenience, both documents are also linked below:
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the beard status and/or on my Mock Drafts and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to get more cool updates like my Mock Drafts. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
By now, I’m sure most of you have heard that the OaklandRaiders are going to be the Las Vegas Raiders in two years time. I REALLY want to hear your thoughts on this subject because there seem to be mixed reviews EVERYWHERE. I have a friend who is a Raiders fan who is pissed that they are leaving behind the “best fan base in the world” in Oakland because he’s a little unrealistic when it comes to his passions. Case in point: He is under the impression that the Raiders had the best chance of any playoff team of beating the New England Patriots this postseason. (He also thinks that Raiders owner Mark Davis will get stabbed by somebody if he returns to Oakland…) But, I personally think that Mark Davis is a genius because Las Vegas is a tourist town. Their fan base will be inconsistent, but they should always have people filling the stands. Plus, gambling, right? This was definitely a money-motivated move. But above all, I think Oakland Raiders fans need to stop being such babies. Idaho doesn’t have an NFL team, so my favorite NFL team has been ACROSS THE COUNTRY from me for my ENTIRE LIFE!!! I’ll try to stop ranting, just please leave a comment with your opinion on the Raiders relocation.
This is just perfect. I can’t even believe how amazingly true and applicable this quote is. Now, I’ve often been pinned with the stereotype of “ginger’s got no soul“. I assume you’ve all heard that one before (some of you have probably even used that one before…SHAME! But it’s ok, I forgive you 🙂 ). Anyway, I will confess that in high school I fit the stereotype because I DID have an ego, mostly in regard to my French Horn playing abilities and my intellectual prowess. Through 2 quarters of college, I can tell you that this quote is spot on. I’ve learned how to step away from the ego (it helps that most of the people in college are about as intelligent as I am, some even more so. It also helps to take 3 months off from playing any French Horn) and do what I want to do to feed my soul. I can’t say that I have achieved true happiness (society makes that MUCH harder to achieve than it should be), but I CAN tell you: It’s nice. When you are feeding your ego, you feel as if you’re better than everyone around you (btw, you’re also WRONG). When you are feeding your soul, you just feel…better. Regardless of what it is that feeds your soul (singing, dancing, writing, reading, exercising, gaming, calculating, engineering, experimenting, laughing, acting, politicizing, speaking, storytelling, observing, helping, and whatever else because there’s a lot that I’m forgetting), I urge you to do that. Set some time aside for you. Those jerks at work who walk around like they’re the best are usually inferior to those who save time for themselves. Be yourself and you will be happier and…better…in whatever way that means to you.
I just wanted to throw out the reason I chose the quote above: I really wanted a quote that I could give a high school example to. Why? In my first college writing class of the quarter (which was a matter of hours ago), I walked in right as class started and the classroom was split directly in half: one half was the boys, and the other half was the girls. SERIOUSLY?! We’re in college now! We are men and women, not boys and girls! Why do we have to bring back something that represents everything that is wrong with high school?! I was one of the TWO people in the class of FIFTEEN that was sitting next to a person of the opposite gender.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Oakland Raiders and/or on the Las Vegas Raiders and/or on the best things in life and/or on burger king and/or on soul-fed happiness (-ticityism) and/or on college students behaving like high schoolers and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to feed your soul…or to let me feed your soul…? 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
So, I realized that I have been SUPREMELY inconsistent with my posts ever since…a while. So, I wanted to release another post today. I was actually inspired by another friend, who posted on his blog for the first time in a month (for the record, it’s only been five days since my last post…which is…still too long…). He’s got some really cool NBA stuff, so I would HIGHLY recommend checking it out. Anyway, what will I talk about now?…
First of all, University of Washington WR John Ross broke the 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine yesterday. The previous record (4.24 seconds) was set by RB Chris Johnson in 2008. John Ross’ new record is 4.22 seconds. So what exactly does this mean? Well, in 2008, Chris Johnson was projected as a 2nd-3rd round NFL Draft pick heading into the 2008 NFL Combine. After his record 40-yard dash, CJ2K ended up becoming a 1st round NFL Draft pick. John Ross was already projected as a 1st round NFL Draft pick going into the 2017 NFL Combine. So, my projection is that John Ross moves up in the 1st round, from the 14th-18th overall NFL Draft picks (as projected by NFL.com analysts) to the 3rd overall NFL Draft pick. Why? The 2017 3rd overall NFL Draft pick belongs to the Chicago Bears this season, who just so happen to be parting ways with WR Alshon Jeffrey this offseason. Oh, the Chicago Bears are getting rid of WR Eddie Royal, too. Somebody needs to fill those shoes, as long as they’re Nikes, of course. I bring up the Nike point because John Ross DID NOT win an island for his record-breaking 40-yard dash. John Ross wore Nike cleats, and the offer of the island was through Adidas, so he would’ve had to wear Adidas in order to have won the island. I get the feeling that being the fastest player EVER at the NFL Combine is far superior to winning an island, especially with all of the amazing athletes that have been there over the years.
I can’t believe Selection Sunday is only ONE WEEK AWAY! March Madness is almost OFFICIALLY here. Don’t worry, I will post my bracket here when I have filled one out. I’m waiting for the pool of 68 teams to become final, first. I’m not one of those guys that projects the bracket BEFORE it happens. So, you can expect it to come around next Monday. Anyway, while the bracket has yet to become finalized, the trickle of teams clinching spots to the Big Dance is starting to come in. Here are the teams who have already won their conference tournaments to clinch a spot in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament:
Ben Okri is a Nigerian author. His is a phenomenal writer. I read The Famished Road during my IB years in high school, and it was one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read in school. It was remarkably surreal for one book, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. But, if you enjoy thinking when you read, I HIGHLY recommend it. Anyway, in regard to the quote: I like it. I think this quote is a statement about how what we do NOW is so much more important than what we have done in the past. Regardless of the mistakes that we have made in our lives in the past, we can move past them by making the right choices now to succeed in the future (the idea of choice in the past vs the present vs the future also comes up in The Famished Road). So, don’t let people hold define you by what you DID, including yourself. Force people to define you by what you’re DOING and WHERE you are GOING.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on John Ross and/or on the impending March Madness 2017 Edition and/or on the importance of the future vs the past vs the present and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to make your future greater and filled with my posts. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.
Just typed in the old domain out of habit. Lol. Anyway, in honor of the new domain that took the “nfl” part out, I’m going to start out talking about the NFL. Today was the deadline for teams to use their annual franchise tag, so here are the players who were franchise tagged, and some players who weren’t franchise tagged who maybe should have been:
Players With Franchise Tag
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers– This was an easy decision for the Steelers to make. Bell is the top RB in the NFL and many have claimed that he has created a new running style. He does everything asked of an NFL RB: runs, catches passes, blocks, etc. I also think it was smart not to give him a long-term deal YET because he has had a couple of substance-related suspensions. The tag is telling him, “Hey! You are an AMAZING RB, but you’ve got to take the right path.”
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins– I was disappointed to see this as a New York Giants fan because Kirk Cousins is an above average NFL QB. The Washington Redskins eventually have to cave and just give Kirk Cousins his long-term deal. He has yet to perform in the clutch, but Kirk Cousins is a capable starting NFL QB, and that’s hard to come by in the NFL.
Melvin Ingram, LB, Los Angeles Chargers– Between Melvin Ingram and DE Joey Bosa, the Los Angeles Chargers have a scary young pass rushing duo. Great decision, and I think Melvin Ingram will get his long-term payday once QB Philip Rivers decides to retire (which will free up cap space for the Los Angeles Chargers).
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams– The Los Angeles Rams are lost. Trumaine Johnson is good and young, which is why the Los Angeles Rams felt compelled to tag him. From that Los Angeles Rams perspective, I understand the decision. After all, they don’t have too many good players to pay.
Chandler Jones, LB, Arizona Cardinals– This was a decent decision. Chandler Jones is a very good player, and he’s still on the right side of 30 (27 years old). Chandler Jones gives the Arizona Cardinals a quality pass rush. I look forward to seeing Chandler Jones team up with a healthy (hopefully) DE Robert Nkemdiche (who was oft-injured this season) next season. That will be another scary, young pass rush duo.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants– I was thrilled when I read about this one. JPP was the reason that the Big Blue defense worked last season. His excellent pass rush ensured that the secondary wouldn’t get out of position due to opposing QBs having too much time. It’s just too bad the G-men decided to give DE Olivier Vernon a MASSIVE deal last offseason because that will make it more difficult to give a similar deal to JPP, who deserves it more.
Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers– Kawann Short is the second most important player on the Carolina Panthers defense behind MLB Luke Kuechly. Kawann Short is the run-stuffer in the middle of the d-line, which is very important. Of course, with the Carolina Panthers lackluster secondary, opposing teams can afford to be forced to pass.
Key Players Without Franchise Tag
Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills– OK, WHERE IS THE BUFFALO BILLS MONEY GOING?! Stephon Gilmore may not be the best CB in the NFL, but he is still a great CB. Seeing as the Buffalo Bills refuse to pay QB Tyrod Taylor, I don’t know why they wouldn’t ensure that Stephon Gilmore doesn’t go anywhere else (which they should’ve been able to afford to do).
Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots– I get it…the New England Patriots are paying A LOT of players to get them to the Super Bowl on a consistent basis. That said, Dont’a Hightower is the heart and soul of the New England Patriots Super Bowl-caliber defense, and his play inspired the Pats comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Also, Dont’a Hightower is one of the best pass-rushing inside LBs in the NFL. Of course, Bill Belichick could play LB himself for the New England Patriots and he’d still be the best LB ever because that’s just how the system always seems to work…:(
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears– The Chicago Bears need to focus on paying a QB to be able to get the ball to receivers like Alshon Jeffery. Plus, Alshon Jeffery has missed something like 11 games in the last two seasons. With the MANY areas of need that the Chicago Bears have, they can’t afford to pay a player who misses that much time.
Dontari Poe, DT, Kansas City Chiefs– Dontari Poe was outperformed by rookie DT Chris Jones. Great move by the Kansas City Chiefs to choose the younger and less expensive player in Chris Jones. I’m sure Dontari Poe is also thrilled because he’s one of the best DTs available in free agency this offseason, so he should make bank.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns– The Cleveland Browns are in a similar situation to the Chicago Bears with WR Alshon Jeffery: they need to focus on paying a quality QB who can get the ball in the vicinity of talented WRs such as Terrelle Pryor. Here’s the difference: Terrelle Pryor used to play QB, and he’s probably better than the current Cleveland Browns QBs. The Cleveland Browns should have payed Terrelle Pryor WR money to move back to QB!
Brandon Williams, DT, Baltimore Ravens– I’m really not sure why the Baltimore Ravens opted not to tag Brandon Williams, who is a great player on the right side of 30 (28 years old). Who else are they paying? FS Eric Weddle…MLB CJ Mosley…Is there anybody else that I’m missing?
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the players who were franchise tagged and/or on the players who were not franchise tagged and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower of the newly-renamed thehaysway.wordpress.com. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.