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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Preaseason-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s just get the controversial thoughts out of the way first...

1) I honestly don’t care that Colin Kaepernick is choosing to sit down during the National Anthem. He’s an American, he has the right to do what ever he chooses in regards to the The Star-Spangled Banner. If he believes his sit down protest will shine a light on a cause he believes in, then more power to him.

I understand the criticism that he’s receiving, but his 1st amendment rights as an American allows him to protest in this manner. I do think he comes across as a dumbass for protesting in this way, but that’s just my opinion.

Kaepernick plans to continue sitting during the National Anthem, but the San Francisco 49ers may cut him for ‘football reasons.’

If he’s cut, I wonder if another team will touch him now that he’s got this hanging over his head?

Keep in mind this is a topic that can easily get out of hand in our comment section, as it deals with politics, race, religion, etc... so be mindful of our Community Guidelines before deciding to weigh on on this topic.

2) I honestly don’t care that Dallas Cowboys’ rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott decided to shop at a marijuana store while the team was in Seattle. I think he’s a dumbass for doing so in this day and age of camera phones and TMZ, but he didn’t break any laws and he hasn’t failed any drug tests.

Elliot is currently under investigation for an alleged domestic violence incident, which he denies, so for that reason alone, I’d probably just keep my head down and just play football.

3) The Denver Broncos have decided to go with Trevor Siemian as their starting quarterback. I get it. He was the better player during the offseason, but I’d still stick rookie Paxton Lynch in there and deal with the growing pains. The Broncos are going to be a defensive, run the ball type of team, and Lynch can learn on the job, while growing into the franchise QB role.

Then again, if Siemian proves competent, then Denver has to feel really good about their 1 and 2 QB moving forward. Or they could trade Siemian once they are ready to hand the team over to Lynch. Siemian was a 7th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, so the Broncos could flip him for a significant return on their investment.

4) I had some fun with my Could the Chicago Bears trade for Dak Prescott article last week, but Dallas Owner Jerry Jones recently claimed that they wouldn’t even move Prescott for the aforementioned Lynch. "I don't think our guys would even consider trading Prescott for Lynch right now," Jones told the MMQB’s Peter King. "No, I know they wouldn't. That's how much they like Dak right now."

With Tony Romo out with a broken back, Prescott is in line to open the season as Dallas’ #1 QB. Playing behind that offensive line and having some really good weapons around him, he has a shot to play good enough to keep the #1QB job permanently.

5) Yesterday the San Diego Chargers finally signed their first round draft pick, Joey Bosa, ending the dumbest contract stalemate in recent NFL history.

6) The NFL has put rules in place over the years to make the game safer, and the players are starting to learn to stop going for the missile-like big hits. In 2012 there were 40 fines on players for hits on defenseless players, in 2013 that number dropped to 25, in 2014 it was 11 and last year it was down to 10. The NFL is obviously pleased that the “recent rules changes and points of emphasis focused on player safety have resulted in defenders adjusting their target zone and using the proper tackling technique.”

When the safety rules first started popping up, a lot of players and fans were unhappy that the NFL was going ‘soft,’ but I don’t think the game is any less exciting today than it was back in the old days.

7) This time of year, some NFL fans are always worried that the other 31 teams will swoop in and sign all their recently released players that they hope will make it back to their team’s practice squad.

You know those UDFA gems that you hope your team can hide, because you saw them make that one play, that one time you saw them in raining camp. Or you remember how good he looked when he played for the Texas State Armadillos, so you hope the other 31 teams don’t know what you know, and your team can keep him around to develop him.

In speaking with a bunch of the other SB Nation NFL writers, I can assure you that this isn’t only fans of your favorite team thinking this way, but fans of every single team in the NFL.

Fans of all 32 teams are also pining for all the old, broke-down, washed-up veterans that happen to play at at position of need for your team. Because you just know that a change of scenery will be like a fountain of youth for them, and they’ll be able to reclaim their glory days.

Again, this isn’t just fans of your favorite team that think this way, but fans of every team in the NFL.

There are instances where a team cuts a vet and he goes on to play a few more productive years, but most just fade away.

There are also times when a team snatches a recently released UDFA you had your eye on, and then that player goes on to a successful NFL career. But realistically, most of a teams youthful cuts have a legit shot of making it back to your teams practice squad, that is if the team even wants them.

8) Check out the effort from the punter in this clip.

That’s Cleveland’s Andy Lee, a three time Pro Bowler and 13 year veteran, basically deciding ‘I’m not tackling some guy in the preseason.’

His decision to not risk injury in a meaningless game may have pissed off the Browns and head coach Hue Jackson who got in his face after the play. “(It was) his pursuit,'' Jackson told Cleveland.com. "Let's be very honest. We're out there to play. If there's another guy that has the ball, your job is to go get it.''

I get it, Jackson is old school, and Lee should shave known better and his “effort” should have at least looked better.

But how’s this for a twist of fate, Lee’s lackadaisical play led to the Browns trading him to the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. He goes from a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2007 to a team that has been in the playoffs for three straight years.

I wonder if any more Browns are contemplating taking a play off to get shipped to a Super Bowl contender?

9) Some Chicago Bears fans are unhappy with the team’s 0-3 preseason record. They have a -39 point differential, but did you realize the worst point differential so far is by the equally 0-3 Arizona Cardinals at -47?

Here are a few other preseason nuggets to ease your mind.

The two Bears’ Super Bowl teams went a combined 1-7 in the preseason.

The 0-16 Detroit Lions from 2008 went 4-0 in the preseason and the 2-14 2009 Lions were 3-1.

Since 2006, only 4 Super Bowl winning teams had a winning preseason record and only 3 Super Bowl runner-ups had a winning preseason record.

10) I shared this on Twitter over the weekend, but wanted to throw it here as well.

If you remember correctly, earlier in this same game, Bears defensive lineman Mitch Unrein was flagged when his helmet made contact with the helmet of Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith.

Kind of like what happened in my above Tweet, although the Bears (and QB Jay Cutler), didn’t get the call.

What are some of your Thoughts on the NFL this week?