1) Congressional investigators have discovered that the NFL attempted too sway concussion research from a government study on football and brain disease. The 91 page report paints the NFL in its worst light yet, which says a lot considering all the missteps they've had during the concussion saga.
At some point, some high ranking NFL executive needs to come clean and get everything out there. The NFL isn't going away, it's far to popular for that, but all these PR hits spaced out will have to hurt the bottom line at some point. Just pull the bandage off already.
2) Is it just me, or has the offensive line position been receiving the respect and coverage it deserves the last few years?
Anyone that knows football knows that everything starts in the trenches, but the glamorous "skill" positions always have dominated the news cycle. I've noticed a change in the way the networks cover the NFL Draft, with the offensive linemen getting more of the spotlight. The analytic services like Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus have shined a light on the position in a new way. There are even more film breakdowns about the big fellas (including my Sackwatch series) around these days.
Earlier this month there was an informative and candid round-table Q&A on CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated's MMQB has had a few features on the o-line lately.
3) New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees is set to make $30 million this season, that's nearly 20% of the team's salary cap. One writer is speculating that it may be time for the Saints to move on completely from the 37 year old and get started on their rebuild instead of bothering with a contract extension that would shuffle some money around for the next few years.
It's always difficult to commit to a change at QB, especially when the QB is so good, but the Indianapolis Colts did it and lucked into another franchise guy. The Green Bay Packers did it, but they had a franchise guy in waiting.
I think the Saints may be best served to let Brees play out this last year on his contract, just to see what his 2016 play would mean for a future deal.
4) The NFL record for sacks in a season is held by Michael Strahan with 22.5. Oakland Raiders' QB Derek Carr is hyping up his teammate, Khalil Mack, by saying he's going to get 30 sacks this season. Mack had 15 last year after his 2014 rookie season total of 4. I could see Mack, as part of a better defensive unit, challenging Strahan's number, but getting 30... no way.
5) At what point does a fanbase start to think their team is cursed?
Last year the Jacksonville Jaguars lost 2015 first round draft pick Dante Folwer Jr. for the entire season with an ACL injury suffered on the 1st day of rookie minicamp.
Last week they lost their top pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, Jalen Ramsey, to a torn meniscus during phase two of the teams offseason workout program.
Yesterday the Jags announced that rookie defensive end Jonathan Woodard suffered a torn Achilles during phase two.
Fowler is back and 100%, Ramsey is getting a 2nd opinion, but he's not expected to be out for the season, and as bad as the injury is for Woodard, he was a 7th rounder, so expectations couldn't have been that high.
6) I wonder when we'll have our first player injured because the robots became self-aware?
This is just crazy...
Experimenting with a new technology has us thinking differently when we hear "MVP."— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 19, 2016
7) Seattle Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch has retired from the NFL, but he's yet to file his retirement papers, this has led to speculation that "Beast Mode" will return at some point in the 2016 season. The 30 year old may just need a mental and physical break from the rigors of the NFL.
8) This is a tough one.
What would you think of an NFL player that calls out a Green Bay Packers' fan? This NFL player Tweeted a GIF that claims the Packer fan in question is too stupid to even try and insult.
Chicago Bears' fans would probably get a kick out of that player, perhaps even gaining some respect for this player.
Here's the tweet that inspired the player to take a shot at the Packer fan.
Cmon @AaronRodgers12. All we ask is just a little respect for the game. Is that too much? #StutterCount pic.twitter.com/Ix5sNeqCIy— Erik Buchinger (@ImErikBuchinger) May 20, 2016
But what if the player in question was a Green Bay Packer?
Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers responded to the tweet above with this tweet.
I read some dumb things on here from time to time but wow, Dick Klatt from Big Bend, WI....#NoHardCounts2016 pic.twitter.com/rWepXZP304— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) May 20, 2016
This should go to prove that every fan base has their fair share of
9) The NFLPA Rookie Premiere took place from May 19 - 21 and in case you missed it, here are some pics from the only Bears rookie invited to the event.
#RookiePremiere pic.twitter.com/JIgE6Bf7sw— Jordan Howard (@24Jhoward) May 22, 2016
Kudos on the old school script "B" cap, plus that he actually bent the brim.
10) Sticking with Howard on this one too, NFL.com predicts that the rookie will get 120 touches in 2016.
The Bears' backfield is led by three running backs taken in the fourth or fifth rounds over the last three years: Jeremy Langford, Ka'Deem Carey and Howard. The Indiana-by-way-of-UAB prospect blew up last season because of the type of straight-ahead style that gets coach John Fox up in the morning.
Howard could carve out a short-yardage back role and could quickly take some early-down snaps from Langford. None of the Bears' three backs stand out as special talents, so they should all get plenty of work.
For some perspective, last year Bears' rookie RB Langford had 170 touches (with 2 starts) and then 2nd year man Carey had 46. The Bears had the 6th most rushing attempts in the NFL last year.
How excited are you guys to see Howard run the ball?
11) I'll going with an extra one this week because I want to make sure all the Fantasy Football players out there (and I know there are a lot of them) saw the two latest articles from our resident Fantasy guru, Jeff Berkles.
Fantasy Files - Impact of the Draft Part 1
Fantasy Files - Impact of the Draft Part 2
Go check them out!