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Week 9 thoughts, including acknowledgment to the A.J. McCarron mess, added NFL barter borderline deals
A.J. McCarron has filed a affliction adjoin the Bengals and is gluttonous to become an complete chargeless abettor afterwards the season.
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1. I anticipate the smartest affair I heard about why there were six trades (and should accept been a seventh with the A.J. McCarron fiasco) on the connected weekend of the barter borderline came from one NFL GM in the deathwatch of all the action: “Communication. Information.” I was puzzled by that, and he explained. With so abundant advice out on the street—with the massive advice accessible from sites like Pro Football Focus, with added avant-garde NFL advertisement digging up who needs what and what they ability be accommodating to give, with the ability of which teams are bottomward on which players—there are not a lot of secrets about the league. So the idea, for instance of the Jets ambidextrous for Niners corner Rashard Robinson, who had slipped bottomward the team’s abyss chart, got easier as the Jets trolled for bare bend abyss Monday and Tuesday. In training affected this year, I bethink affair with a front-office guy in one camp, and four or bristles times in 90 account he beatific quick texts to aeon about the league. I wondered what the action was about. “Cutdown day,” he said. “Just accepting our ducks in a row with a few teams about down-the-line guys.” In added words, fact-finding about some team’s fifth corner—and whether that guy ability be account ambidextrous a codicillary seventh-round aces for. Same affair aftermost week.
2. I anticipate this is how I’d assay the trades that were made, and not made, at the trading deadline:
• Jay Ajayi, the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher aftermost year (1,272 yards, a blatant 4.9 per rush), is 24 and absolutely healthy. But trading him was Adam Gase saying to the locker room: You don’t assignment hard, you don’t accept a abode here. Gase wanted abounding of his players, Ajayi being one, to be added dedicated. Philadelphia got a bargain. Amazing to me that a active aback with this abundant upside was fetched for a fourth-round abstract choice, which will be about the 125th aces abutting April.
• The Duane Brown deal is acceptable for both teams. For the Texans, because they get two top-100 picks (a three in 2018, a two in 2019, as able-bodied as a bristles in 2018) for a 32-year-old accouterment who was activity to be black over his arrangement and buyer Bob McNair, and conceivably verbally so if he backward in Houston. For the Seahawks, this was a must-do deal. Entering Sunday’s bold adjoin Washington, larboard accouterment Rees Odhiambo was the 73rd-rated accouterment in the league, out of 73 condoning tackles, per Pro Football Focus. He accustomed an alarming 35 sacks/hits/pressures of Russell Wilson. That artlessly could not stand.
• Jimmy Graham was the amateur Houston capital in that Duane Brown trade. But as I appear aftermost week, Russell Wilson was acceptable activity to be actual black if it happened. So the Seahawks went a altered way. It’s apparently best for them, if they’re aggravating to win big this year.
• So why’d the Patriots assuredly cavern and deal Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round pick—or to anyone for anything? I cannot acquaint you absolutely why. And I still anticipate it’s a aberration to leave your 40-year-old authorization quarterback afterwards a net for the aftermost three months of the season. The Patriots are a bankrupt shop, but one acceptable approach that I buy is this: If the Pats had dealt Garoppolo to Cleveland in the spring, they knew he and astute abettor Don Yee acceptable wouldn’t accept been absorbed to assurance a abiding accord … and what would that accept meant? Cleveland acceptable would accept franchised Garoppolo this March, which could accept opened the aperture for a quarterback-hungry, Garoppolo-admiring team—perhaps Patriots analysis rivals like the Jets, Bills or Dolphins—to make Garoppolo an action breadth he couldn’t refuse. The Patriots wouldn’t accept capital to see Garoppolo aback in the division. Aloof a theory, but one I buy.
• By the way, the Patriots should accept apperceive aftermost April that Garoppolo was not activity to assurance a accord to delay abaft Brady. Aftermost April, it’s a authoritativeness the Patriots could accept done bigger than the 34th aces in the 2018 abstract (approximately) that they got aftermost week. That’s a abortion on their pre-draft fact-finding.
• I like the Kelvin Benjamin trade for Buffalo. Check out the numbers in his aboriginal two abounding seasons—1,949 accepting yards, 14.3 yards per catch, 16 touchdowns in 2014 and 2016—and accede that at 26 years old and with the admeasurement (6'5", 240) every aggregation yearns for at that position, he’s a aces gamble. And accede that, if the Bills aces about cardinal 18 all-embracing in anniversary round, they’ve aloof dealt the 82nd and 236th picks, approximately, for a franchise-type wideout. The move gives the Panthers a adventitious to morph into the acceleration aggregation they were affective adjoin with the abstract picks they fabricated this year, but I like Buffalo’s ancillary of this more.
• I accept the Colts were not ambidextrous larboard tackle Anthony Castonzo unless they got a ransom. That never came. I accept the Colts capital to accord cornerback Vontae Davis but couldn’t, with his $9 actor bacon in 2018 an ballast to those chances.
• The Browns blew the A.J. McCarron deal. Say whatever you appetite about advantageous too abundant (second- and third-round picks) for a guy added acceptable to be a advancement than a starter, but from all reports, EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown did accede to the accord aloof afore the 4 p.m. deadline—and again bootless to assassinate the mechanics of it correctly. Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland wondered to me the added day how Brown could accept done this, seeing that he’d fabricated 17 antecedent trades aback demography the franchise’s football reins 22 months ago. It can’t be because Brown absolutely didn’t appetite to accomplish the barter and so calmly messed up the mechanics of it; that would abandoned accomplish him attending worse because the bootless barter was activity to leak. And aback Adam Schefter reported the bungled deal, the Browns looked a lot worse. I am larboard with this thought: I do not see how, unless there’s a changeabout of comedy by the Browns bottomward the amplitude of this season, owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are activity to let all front-office associates acknowledgment in 2018. This non-trade is a above disgrace, alike by the standards of the Browns.
3. I anticipate the one byproduct of the Browns bottomward the brawl on the McCarron deal is that the acceptability of the Cleveland advanced appointment is now surfacing. Teams do not like trading with the Browns. They feel Cleveland’s allurement price, or the affairs price, is too abundant of a affective target. This is not on every trade, but it is on some trades. I’ve heard from added than one aggregation that it thinks it has a accord with Cleveland, and aback the callback comes to affirm the deal, the amount changes. Now, lots of times that is overcome, because some deals accomplish too abundant sense, and businesslike GMs and coaches apprehend that alike if the amount changes, they still appetite to accomplish the deal. I’m aloof cogent you what’s out there, and I’m cogent you that added teams were not afraid the McCarron deal fell through.
4. I anticipate these are my quick thoughts on Anniversary 9:
a. Easiest touchdown bolt of Julio Jones’ life, abandoned abaft Carolina’s secondary. Absolute pass. Most beauteous bead I’ve anytime apparent from Jones.
b. There will be a quiz on this ancient in your lives, Washington fans. But this is the offensvie band that somehow didn’t get Kirk Cousins active in Seattle on Sunday despite acceptance 17 sacks/hurries/hits on 37 canyon drops: T.J. Clemmings, Arie Kouandijo, Chase Roullier, Tyler Catalina, Morgan Moses. All but Moses are fill-ins.
c. Josh Doctson: You ability comedy a connected time in the NFL, but I agnosticism you’ll accept a added allusive catch, with such a amount of difficulty, than the one you had to the half-yard line, the bigger comedy in the 17-14 win over Seattle.
d. So abundant for the afterlife of the Jets’ canyon rush.
e. Drew Brees scrambled, looked all over the field, again threw beyond his anatomy at the aftermost minute for Coby Fleener—it was a absolute archetype of Brees at his best, two months shy of 39.
f. Alvin Kamara would accept been a acceptable amount aces at cardinal seven in the aboriginal round. And he was the 67th all-embracing pick.
g. Dumb accidental acerbity alarm on Baltimore arresting end Za’Darius Smith for a accessory blow on quarterback Marcus Mariota in Tennessee.
h. Abundant touchdown run and amplitude over the ambition band for a touchdown by Cam Newton, but he’s not activity to aftermost connected authoritative plays like that, diving into four defenders all aggravating to wreak calamity on him.
i. How abounding bad assurance can Brock Osweiler throw? How abounding drops can Denver receivers have?
j. Bolt of the Day: Jacksonville wideout Keelan Cole, with a twisting, one-handed, awkward bolt plucked out of the sky on a canyon by Blake Bortles. You apperceive Cole. Free-agent from Kentucky Wesleyan. Sure.
k. Why wouldn’t you blow T.Y. Hilton down, Andre Hal?
l. The Giants are 0-4 at home after Sunday’s loss to the Rams. They’ve got one home bold in the abutting month, and I absolutely don’t see them assault Kansas Burghal in the Meadowlands on Nov. 19. So this aggregation that was a Super Bowl adversary on Labor Day now could access Anniversary 14 winless at home. Stunning.
m. Giants at 49ers on Sunday. Accumulated record: 1-16.
n. Giants-Niners. Accumulated players on IR: 31.
o. Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz is one of the best football coaches at any level, and I don’t aloof say that because of the 55-24 wipeout of Ohio State. Parents who accept aerial academy affairs should appetite to accelerate their kids to comedy for Ferentz, and not aloof for the winning. He wins, he loses, he develops people.
q. The anathema of Roberto Aguayo lives. Now Patrick Murray is all messed up in Tampa Bay.
r. How do the admiral in Houston NOT stop the alarm on the amusement achievement to DeAndre Hopkins?
s. Gorgeous onside bang by Miami’s Cody Parkey on Sunday night. He alike recovered it. Acceptable comedy architecture by Darren Rizzi, the Miami special-teams czar.
t. Acceptable attending at the accepted boxy activity of Tony Dorsett by Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.
5. I anticipate I acquisition it absurd that Arizona (which has absent by a accumulated 67-7 to the Eagles and Rams in the accomplished month) and Seattle (which had won four beeline by 54 credibility afore an disturbing accident to Washington on Sunday) could be affronted at midnight Thursday in the NFC West. Seahawks, 5-3, at Cards, 4-4, in the desert.
6. I anticipate it’s accept to say Thursday night football stinks, and on many Thursday nights it does, and it’s absolutely arbitrary to the abundance of players. But I would additionally acquaint players that to cancel Thursday night football in the abutting aggregate acceding acceding would be to cut some acquirement from the bacon cap. Having annihilation to do with the TV rights, Amazon this year paid a appear $50 actor aloof to be able to beck the amateur on Amazon Prime. I’m accomplished with Thursday night amateur activity away. But let’s not accept any bleating over the cap cuts (if there are any) if the amalgamation is dead in the abutting CBA.
7. I anticipate the aboriginal time this year I thought, The Giants ability accept to apple-pie house, was Sunday, backward in the third analysis adjoin the Rams, aback a once-proud aegis had accustomed touchdown-field goal-touchdown-touchdown-punt-field goal-touchdown-touchdown-touchdown. (And one of those touchdowns came on a third-and-33 canyon play.) I can aloof anticipate the smoke advancing out of John Mara’s ears. He’s got to be disappointed, alike with all these injuries, with how aged his aggregation is playing. Giants are 1-7 for the aboriginal time aback 1980.
8. I anticipate this is impressive: Bill Belichick’s abutting achievement will tie him with Tom Landry as the third-winningest NFL drillmaster of all time. Landry has 270 wins, including playoffs.
9. I anticipate this could be the Underrated Book of the Year: “Present at the Creation: My activity in the NFL and the acceleration of America’s Game,” by Upton Bell with Ron Borges (University of Nebraska Press). I say it’s absolutely acceptable admitting I’ve apprehend abandoned four chapters. The appellation of the book is appealing accurate. Upton Bell formed and scouted for the Colts in the Johnny Unitas celebrity canicule of the ’60s, again ran the Patriots in the ’70s again was a radio host in Boston, again … well, let me acquaint you about what happened beforehand in his life. Bell’s father, Bert Bell, was the abettor of the National Football Alliance afore Pete Rozelle. “He put the agenda calm on the kitchen table,” Upton Bell writes. This was 60 years ago. Bert Bell died of a affection advance watching his admired Eagles in Franklin Field, and the adventure of Upton antagonism to get to his ancillary aback he lay dying is absolutely touching.
But the belief from Bell, a white man from the North, about aloof in the South in the ’60s are eye-popping. In 1965 he chock-full to get gas at a bushing base in a time of abundant tension, and he said to accessory aback he saw the WHITE and COLORED signs for the bathrooms, “That’s terrible.” Bell writes that the accessory looked at him and said: “Keep that up and you may get your accuracy absolute out. If you don’t anticipate so, I’ve got my gun in the office, mister.” Hours afore Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis in 1968, Bell was in the burghal to watch bounce convenance at Memphis State, and an abettor drillmaster told him he’d bigger go home. Bell flew aback to Baltimore, and heard the account of the King assassination aback he landed.
Present at the Creation is on my night table, and should be on castigation if you’re a football history buff.
10. I anticipate these are my added thoughts of the week:
a. Podcast of the Week: From Radiolab, the astonishing and consistently abundant account program, this adventure of a San Francisco man called Oliver Sipple, a man you about absolutely accept never heard of. As appear by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte, this is the adventure of Sipple absolutely accidentally dispatch into history, and that footfall ruining his life. Or, as Radiolab says: “One morning, Oliver Sipple went out for a walk. A couple hours later, to his own surprise, he adored the activity of the President of the United States.”
b. You can’t do a single-episode podcast abundant bigger than that. Aloof tremendous.
c. Adventure of the Week: From Lizzie O’Leary, of The Cut, on animal aggravation in journalism.
d. I do not apperceive Lizzie O’Leary, but bravo, bravo, bravo. What a ability we accept appropriate now, and in the deathwatch of Harvey Weinstein, it is so acceptable to see bodies like Lizzie O’Leary appear out and address things like this: “I’ve covered aggregate from bounded zoning affairs to the White House. And every footfall of the way, I’ve had to carve added time and accomplishment out of my assignment to abstain this alternating gray area. None of the alone instances absolutely constituted harassment, but all of them were backbreaking to navigate. And attractive back, I can’t accept what I put up with.”
e. The added this comes out into the open, the bigger off we all are. I don’t affliction how animal it gets. It’s got to appear out. Shine the light.
f. On-field Football Adventure of the Week: by Ben Shpigel of the New York Times, on the Rams’ abundant punting weapon, Johnny Hekker. “Pound for pound, the best amount I’ve gotten for any amateur has been Johnny Hekker,” said Rams GM Les Snead.
g. Off-field Football Adventure of the Week: by Tom Junod and Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine, on how abundant best Tom Brady can, and might, comedy football at this aerial level. Actual absorbing to agenda that one of the credibility fabricated in this awful candid adventure is that Brady’s concrete guru, Alex Guerrero, could anon be butting active with Bill Belichick, over some of the injuries that added Guerrero audience accept gotten with the Patriots. “There’s a blow coming,” the adventure quotes a acquaintance of Belichick as saying.
h. I absence baseball.
i. For such a abundant World Series, that was a horsecrap Game 7. But acceptable for the Astros. Such a fun aggregation to watch. If MLB put out a video of Jose Altuve’s top 100 at-bats of the season, I’d watch.
j. Baseball Names You Should Apperceive of the Week: Ben Reiter, Emma Span, Chris Stone.
k. Writer, baseball editor, Sports Illustrated managing editor, in allegation of writing, alteration and agreement Reiter’s 2014 adventure about the rising-from-the-ashes Houston Astros on the awning of the annual three years ago … and admiration appropriate there on the awning that the Astros would win the 2017 World Series.
l. “It’s been appealing crazy,” Reiter said Saturday. “A advertisement in Zimbabwe wrote about it. I’ve talked to media in England, Ireland, Australia and Canada, and here, of course. It was mentioned on the attic of the U.S. Abode of Representatives.” Did you apperceive that this was, according to Reiter, the fourth or fifth best for the awning the anniversary SI placed it there? And that golf biographer Alan Shipnuck was bent aback the Astros allotment was called over his contour of Michelle Wie? “I anticipate bodies were affronted we placed this adventure in such an baronial position,” Reiter said. “No one believed the Astros would be that good. Bodies were agnostic at best, bent at worse.”
m. Now you apperceive the blow of the story.
n. From James Corden’s CBS late-night monologue: “You knew what was activity to appear in 2017, and this is what you accord us a heads-up on? This is what you acquaint us? Thanks for nothing, Sports Illustrated!”
o. Dallas Keuchel to Reiter backward this season: “I’m gonna cheep at Chris Stone and appeal a accession for you.”
p. During the albino anniversary in the Astros’ clubhouse, Alex Bregman alien Reiter to analgesic Ken Giles as The Predictor. Giles exclaimed, “No way, dude!”
q. Coffeenerdness: Accord me Italian Roast, or accord me death.
r. Beernerdness: I didn’t go that bat-crazy advancing off Sober October. I bankrupt the fast with American Pale Ale (Bronx Brewery, Bronx, N.Y.), and you’d anticipate I’d accept been bubbles at the aperture for it, but I wasn’t. It was aboriginal afternoon and I was out for a business beer, and I didn’t alike accomplishment it. Strange—nothing amiss with the beer at all. I’ve had it afore and it’s brittle and tasty. I anticipate I was aloof added in the affection for a bottle of cab. Thanks, by the way, for the sub beer recommendations in October. I still accept a brace of acceptable ones remaining, so attending for them in the advancing weeks.
s. I’m three episodes into the 10-episode, 17-hour “The Vietnam War,” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. It is some of the best TV I’ve seen. Incredibly active and educational and moving, demography you from alone America to central the White Abode (some arresting audio tapes of a addled President Johnson) to the battlefields. What a abundant allotment of assignment by Burns and Novick. And what a blameworthy war our leaders would not extricate us from, for years. What hit me—and addition said it backward in the third episode—is how those who died angry for the country in Vietnam are no altered from the Greatest Generation who fought in World War II. The account may accept been nobler in World War II, the cede was no beneath in Vietnam. Dying in any war is the ultimate cede for your country.
t. This anticipation hit me abounding times watching so far: I am so animated that my earlier brother, the backward Kenneth King, protested the war while a apprentice at William & Mary … and, instead of cutting a cap and clothes at graduation in 1971, donated the $35 (or whatever the fee was) to an anti-war group. That acquired a above breach amid my brother and father, as it did in abounding families, but I’m so appreciative of my brother for continuing his arena adjoin that war.
u. What amazing video and film. However Burns and Novick got all the footage they used, congrats to them.
v. Absurd how far politicians went to NOT accept that war was unwinnable—and to connected throwing American lives into such a war, year afterwards year.
w. Absolutely acceptable music choices in “The Vietnam War,” such as “Turn, Turn, Turn,” by the Byrds to cap Episode 3.
x. Army 21, Air Force 0. Army: 56 runs, aught passes. That’s weird.
Detroit 23, Green Bay 16. Okay, Leos. Aftermost Adventitious Saloon now. This was the big year to accomplish that jump. You had the offense, you had added arresting pieces, you had assorted rushers, you had a bigger secondary. This was it. And you’re 3-4. You’ve won one bold in the accomplished 48 days. You’re the abandoned aggregation in the NFC North with adherence at quarterback. You’re starting a three-game amplitude (at Green Bay, Cleveland, at Chicago) that can get you aback in the chase in a middling division. If you win those three games, which you should, you can be 6-4 with the Vikings advancing to boondocks for Thanksgiving lunch. But to do that, you will accept to win in the accompaniment of Wisconsin tonight. You are 1-25 aback 1992 in America’s Dairyland. I’m acrimonious you, but I am ye of little acceptance in your ballclub.
Not to dump on Browns…But won’t L’affaire McCarroncost a job or three?
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