1) Just when we all thought that the sophomoric humor would go away as the deflated balls story faded into oblivion, we find out that the Denver Broncos' players have a fine system in place for farting during meetings. Yes, you read that correctly. The Broncos have a fart tax.
2) Proof that people will buy anything.
The eBay bidding ends on June 11th and the top bid as of today is $2,600.
3) I absolutely love the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Cleveland Browns made a wish come true for 9 year old Dylan Sutcliffe, who has been diagnosed with ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), when they signed him to their roster last week.
Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer made the announcement.
"We're excited to add another quality player to our roster as we prepare for the 2015 season. When we first connected with Dylan, it was clear he was a competitor who had all of the right attributes to be a contributor to our team."
Head Coach Mike Pettine also chimed in.
"Dylan is definitely a young man who has all of the ‘Play Like a Brown' traits, particularly through his passion, toughness and relentlessness. We look forward to seeing him bring that energy to practice this afternoon."
The Browns gave Dylan a 1-day contract, they gave him his very own #7 jersey, he got his own locker, he had a private coaching session with head coach Mike Pettine, he got to attend one of the OTAs with the team and he got to do this,
Dylan and Phil break it down after practice. https://t.co/xfd5kAt3VQ— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) June 2, 2015
It's getting a little dusty in here as I type this up...
For more on the timeline of Dylan's day, you can check this out from SB Nation.
4) The San Francisco 49ers lost their 4th high profile player to unexpected retirement recently, when 25 year old offensive tackle Anthony Davis chose to call it a career. Davis follows linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, and defensive lineman Justin Smith into retirement.
Davis suffered a concussion last year, along with some knee and hamstring issues, and he's leaving the door open for a return at some point.
After a few years of thought, I've decided it will be best for me to take a year or so away from the NFL. This will be a time for me to allow my Brain and Body a chance to heal. I know many won't understand my decision, that's ok.
I'll never begrudge a player for walking away from the game, but unfortunately there are plenty of fanatics that do.
5) Some pro athletes can find motivation in obscure places, but sometimes it's just too easy. For Throwback Thursday (#TBT), Cleveland Browns' corner Tramon Williams shared some of his motivation in the form of a rejection letter from the Houston Texans.
Williams was an undrafted free agent by the Texans in 2006, so it's not like they were the only team that passed on his services. Williams was signed by the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and he made his Packer debut in week one of the 2007 season. Since that debut, he's only missed one game in his NFL career and the Browns just gave him a 3 year deal worth $21 million.
6) The St. Louis Rams seem to be really happy with new quarterback Nick Foles. Even though Foles put up some good numbers in Chip Kelly's Philadelphia offense, he he was never a prototypical fit for that fast break O. If Foles can stabilize the Rams' QB situation, that team will be in the playoff hunt.
7) A few weeks ago we talked about the U.S. Government paying NFL teams to honor military personnel during games. Last week U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona proposed an amendment that will ban the Department of Defense from setting up contracts with professional sports teams to honor the military during games.
"Along with sports fans across America, I was appalled to learn last month that many of the ceremonies honoring members of our armed services at NFL games are not actually being conducted out of a sense of patriotism, but for profit in the form of millions in taxpayer dollars going from the Department of Defense to wealthy NFL franchises," McCain said. "In fact, NFL teams have received nearly $7 million in taxpayer dollars over the last three years from contracts with the Army National Guard which include public tributes to American troops."
When the report first surfaced, there were only 14 NFL teams that were named as receiving some of those millions, but the latest report has that number up to 24. The Chicago Bears were't initially named, but now it's reported that they are one of five teams that "were paid $400,000 or more."
8) SB Nation is looking at some possible Year 2 breakout players and the list has a solid NFC North representation. Only the Detroit Lions' sophomore class fails to receive a mention. For the Packers, they mention safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix and for the Minnesota Vikings it's QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Clinton-Dix had a knack for being around the football last season and a year of mental and physical maturity will do his game wonders. I thought Bridgewater showed great poise for a rookie QB and he got better as the season wore on. He's another player that will really benefit from an NFL off season.
For the Chicago Bears, they mention corner Kyle Fuller as a potential break out star.
At one point during his first season with the Chicago Bears, Kyle Fuller appeared to be on track for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. The former Virginia Tech cornerback produced an astounding five takeaways during his first three games. Ultimately, Fuller was unable to keep pace with a deep class of defensive rookies, becoming an afterthought in the award discussion as the season progressed.
Though injuries and the rookie wall kept the young corner from breaking out a year ago, a healthy, more seasoned Fuller could make a big impact in 2015. Not only should his experience help him overcome some weaknesses, but the presence of new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio could have a very positive influence on Fuller's development.
Even though Fuller's rookie season was very shaky, he's being talked up by numerous publications as a player ready to shine in 2015.
9) Spongie linked up this article earlier today in the Den; It hasn't taken Vic Fangio long to win over Bears players, but I wanted to point out the quote that really caught my eye. From Jared Allen;
"There's a high-level of accountability for everybody, and I've always felt that breeds greatness. There are no excuses. Either you are right or you are wrong, and you have the freedom to make plays. The sky is the limit for us."
Accountability, or more specifically lack-thereof, was a season long theme last year, but I don't see it being an issue with such a veteran coaching staff in place. Head coach John Fox and his coordinators will put the best men in the lineup and if there's an issue, they won't hesitate to make a change.
10) The one spot on the Chicago Bears offensive line that seems to be up for grabs is right tackle. Jordan Mills has started 29 games at that spot in his 2 years in Chicago, but the Bears drafted some competition in the 6th round this year with Tayo Fabuluje and last year they took Charles Leno Jr. in the 7th round. They also have versatile Michael Ola under contract who played some tackle in 2014 and they tried to bring in Paul Cornick, who played for Fox in Denver, but he failed his physical.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding the RT position, I still think it's Mills' spot to lose. Mills never got a post-rookie-year off season to hone his craft because of a broken foot, but now he's 100% healthy.