Deep breath. It’s on. All engines running leading up to the NFL’s 104th season. The Big Dog again takes the stage through Super Bowl 58 February 14 in Vegas. Woof!
But just when you thought the Cowboys might open camp without a major distraction, they now have a major distraction. Anybody seen Zack Martin? The eight-time Pro Bowl guard is not in Oxnard because he says he is “woefully underpaid.” And he’s right. On Tuesday Dallas locked up cornerback Trevon Diggs on a new long-term deal. And the club was right to do that. But now Jerrah and Stephen better make the Big Fella happy, because that offensive line does not work without him. Yes, this is a big deal…Git ‘er done.
I thought the Giants and Saquon reached a rational decision. The club gave him a little bump on his franchise tag in the form of incentives and a signing bonus and Saquon got into camp on time. Understand, we’ll likely do this same dance next summer, but for now there’s peace in the swamplands.
Josh Jacobs? Different scenario. He is genuinely pissed. The Raiders won’t be seeing him anytime soon.
Jonathan Taylor starts camp on the PUP list as he comes off ankle surgery. This was not unexpected, but it’s still a bummer for the Colts. The team says he won’t be out for long. We’ll see.
Justin Herbert’s new contract with the Chargers is the latest new QB contract, so naturally it is the biggest–$262 million—the largest in NFL history. This is truly a Golden Era for NFL quarterbacks, at least in the AFC. True confession: Herbert is probably my current man-crush in the league. I love watching that guy play football.
On the hoop side, Tuesday also proved to be a profitable one for the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown. Five years, $303.7 million, an NBA record. “Supermax,” indeed…
Ruh-roh. A federal judge Tuesday ruled that Brian Flores’ lawsuit charging the NFL with systemic racism will go to trial. This is the NFL’s worst nightmare. The league had hoped it could reach a quiet settlement or refer the issue to arbitration–where The Jolly Roger would be the arbiter. Nope. Get ready to be covered up in dirty laundry. I’ll state it again. This is the league’s worst nightmare.
Jimmy Graham back with the Saints after eight years? That’s a nice story. Let’s see how much he has left in his tank.
Brock Purdy has been medically cleared. Now let’s see what, if anything, that elbow surgery has done to his arm strength. The ‘Niners will be keeping a close eye on that. Consider this. If Purdy is not fully ready to go for the opener, I’ve got a fiver that says Sam Darnold—and not Trey Lance—will be SF’s interim starter.
The Texans say their new offense looks a lot like the 49ers’, schematically. That’s fine with me. That is a gorgeous system, in a brutal way.
Jim Harbaugh, Perpetual Line-Stepper. Four-game NCAA suspension for being a recruiting cheater and a lying crumbcake. Have I mentioned that I dislike that guy almost as much as I like his brother, John?
It’s down to one. The Astros are within one game of Texas in the AL West after winning another one-run game over the Rangers. Kyle Tucker and Martin Maldonado homered for Houston, rookie J.P. France pitched seven strong innings and closer Ryan Pressly nailed down his 24th save in Houston’s 4-3 victory. The ‘Stros will try to sweep the series and pull even with the Rangers in tonight’s finale at Minute Maid in a game that could see the return from injury of both Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve. We’re “go,” Houston!
Wishing the best for Bronny James. Earnest warning though. If any of you mouth-breathing conspiracy theorists groundlessly try to link his heart scare to the vaccine—and some of you morons are already doing that—I’m going to crush you like a grape in every medium I can access. Advance at your own peril.
U.S. vs. Netherlands tonight in the women’s World Cup. I am told that the Netherlands’ team is better than Vietnam’s.
Finally, I hope your day is as unexpectedly delightful as that 8-3-5 triple play Tuesday night at Fenway.