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There was a time when I would have wagered $255 million that Jalen Hurts would never be the highest paid player in NFL history. Now I’m glad I couldn’t find somebody to take that bet. The history-making five-year contract extension Hurts landed Monday represents a career vertical liftoff that rivals anything ever witnessed at Cape Canaveral.

I’ve always liked Hurts as both as an athlete and a person dating back to his college days at Alabama and Oklahoma. Even before that, in high school, Hurts earned a reputation as a fierce competitor and an inspiring leader. But I had tremendous reservations about Jalen as an NFL starting quarterback when the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2020 draft.  To a degree, so did the Eagles, who slotted him for a backup job behind—wait for it—Carson Wentz. Job One for an NFL QB is, and will always be, to throw the ball like an NFL QB. And three years ago, he could not do that.

Now three years later, his new deal will earn him an average of $51 million annually, rocketing past Aaron Rodgers. Hurts’ guarantees total $179.304 million.

“We have liftoff!. And the tower is cleared…”

This story is not just rare, it’s unprecedented. This just doesn’t happen. Hurts, while retaining and refining his electrifying running skills, is now not just a “chucker.” He’s an NFL passer, and a top-flight one at that, as anyone who saw Super Bowl LVII attests.

Elite passing skills almost always come under the heading of, “You either got ‘em or you ain’t.” Nobody “becomes” a top-drawer passer.

Except Jalen Hurts. The Eagles just forked over $255 million. And they know they got a bargain. The agents for Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert just lit up Aeurbachian-sized cigars.

Now let’s see what happens contractually with the “other” QB in Super Bowl LVII. You know, the winning one. Patrick Mahomes is woefully underpaid, at least by the NFL’s current stratospheric standards. The Chiefs will make it right. I was not the least bit surprised Monday when Mahomes disclosed that he’s still not 100 percent following that ugly high ankle sprain that he fought through in second half of the divisional win over the Jags, followed by the entireties of the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. He’ll still be feeling that on rainy days 30 years from now.

It was good to see Matthew Stafford wearing a relaxed smile at a Rams news conference. I don’t think I saw him smile one time in 2022 as he dealt with a severe elbow injury as well as post-SB pressure and expectations.

Are you certain you know what the Texans will do with that #2 overall pick? I’m not. And I don’t think Houston G.M. Nick Caserio knows yet either, even as he had to spend a large part of his Monday denying rumors that he will resign after the draft to return to the Patriots, from whence he came.

Remember when running back was a coveted and showcased position in the NFL? Yeah, me, too…

First, he was Robby Anderson. Then he changed his name to Robbie Anderson. Then the WR changed his name to Chosen Anderson and Monday was “chosen” by the Dolphins who signed him to a one-year contract. I’ll say this for Anderson. You gotta be pretty secure to legally change your first name to Chosen when you’re coming off a season in which you caught a total of seven passes for a total of 76 yards in ten games with the Cardinals.

I keep trying to like Draymond Green. He keeps on making it difficult, both on me and on his Warrior teammates, who are down 0-2 to the Kings and may be without him in Game 3, thanks in large part to Green’s childish petulance and lack of self-control. Never press down hard on a person’s chest unless you are administering CPR.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.