Antonio Brown has got what he wanted after a wild, wild winter, and now he looks like he’s calming himself down some. In a subdued interview, ‘Mr. Big Chest’ stated that he wanted to surpass Jerry Rice as the best wide receiver in NFL history. The 30 year old also talking about holding his teammates accountable, which is rather interesting since he didn’t he even bother to show up for his final Steelers game.
Things might have been bad, and we may never know the full story about what was going on in Pittsburgh, but it will be more than compelling to see how that works out in Oakland given the facts of what happened with the black and yellow.
Never one to be left out too much, the New York Jets also are set to make a splash as well. Sources are alleging that Le’Veon Bell, the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back, will be signing in the Big Apple (or close thereto) for a big contract. While half of the value of the deal is said to be laced with incentives, it’s still a deal that’s nearly worth $10 million a year for four years. Not too shabby at all. Bell sat out the entirety of the 2018 season, so it will be more than interesting to see how 2019/20 goes. Will he be fresh, or will he best rusty? Time will tell.
It’s been less than a year since Odell Beckham, Jr. signed a huge contract with the New York Giants, but here we are. News broke on Tuesday that he would be moving to the Cleveland Browns in a shocker. The deal, according to sources, would see him go to Cleveland to play with Baker Mayfield while the Giants get a first round pick, a third rounder, and Jabrill Peppers. Even Beckham was surprised by the events that unfolded. He was first, apparently, notified of interest from the Browns by former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry and it all just steamrolled from there. The next thing you know, he was a Brown. The move shows just how serious they are about winning. They are not the lovable no-win losers any longer. This is a real, clear, bonafide contender. By bringing in Beckham, they plug in a hole left by the departure of Josh Gordon last season. There should be fun times ahead in Cleveland, that much is for sure, with the highest paid receiver in the league now on their payroll.
It was reported last week as a rumor that Nick Foles would be moving to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and confirmation is now in. The Super Bowl-winning QB will be suiting up for them come this season, and with the signing they will be expected to do much bigger things after a shockingly poor 2018/19. With a strong defensive contingent and a running game that many would love to have, the Jags are hoping that Foles is missing piece of the puzzle. He’s shown he can help win the big game, but can he do it in the AFC for the Jags consistently and finally help unseat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick?
DeSean Jackson could be set to leave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to sources, with a couple of different options on the table. One of them contends that Jackson will be traded for something, while another is that he could end up being released by the Bucs. Either way, it’s thought that the wide receiver is interested in a move back to Philadelphia, where he had the most success in his career so far. Jackson has had a falling out with the team due to the fact that they did not stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback over Jameis Winston. The former was proficient at getting him the ball, while the latter wasn’t so much. We’ll see how it goes, but the team is leaving all options open, meaning it could be anything now.
It has been an absolute circus for the past few weeks, if not months, regarding all things Antonio Brown, but according to Adam Schefter, he finally has a new home. That home will be the Oakland Raiders, who he claims will be giving up just for a third and fifth round pick. That’s got to be an unbelievable steal from the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite the fact that the wide receiver just did not want to be there anymore. The controversy ramped up back at the end of the season in January when Brown didn’t show up for their pivotal final game of the season. Now, he will be moving to Oakland, pending confirmation next week, a team that has a long, long history of taking on troublesome players. Will this one work out for them, or will it backfire and cost them what they have been working so hard for?
Patriots Capture Super Bowl in Low-Scoring Affair, Celtics Outlast Thunder, Fowler Holds On
It’s not a huge surprise when the New England Patriots get to or win a Super Bowl anymore. However, the manner in which they did it this time around has to be talked about. Unlike previous attempts, this was a championship won based on power. It hearkened back to the days of old with a smash mouth brand of football on both sides of the ball. We had seen hints of it in the last two rounds, and that carried over against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII as they won 13-3 in what ended up being the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever. Through the first half, only Stephen Gostkowski had scored, giving the Pats a 3-0 lead. Greg Zuerlein finally got the Rams on the board in the third to even it up. Midway through the fourth, a touchdown was scored by Sonny Michel to give the Pats a 10-3 lead. They would not look back from there. After being intercepted, the tired and helpless Rams defense was charged back down the field so that Gostkowski could make it 13-3 and all but seal it. Both defenses were incredible, but the Patriots’ time of possession and the ground and pound style eventually wore down the Rams. Julian Edelman won the MVP award for the game after making ten catches for 141 yards. Tom Brady won his sixth Super Bowl, the first to ever do so, after throwing for 262 yards on 21-35 passing in Atlanta. He had an early pick, but it didn’t hurt the team. First time Super Bowl QB Jared Goff struggled for the Rams, completing just half of his 38 passes for 229 yards and an INT.
There was more to celebrate in the Boston area on Sunday as the Boston Celtics also won, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder at the TD Garden 134-129 in a thrilling contest. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and added 11 assists as he did enough to make sure Paul George’s 37 and Russell Westbrook’s triple-double didn’t count for too much in the end. The Celtics victory meant that they ended a run of seven wins in a row by the Thunder. The game was wrapped up when Irving made a steal with eight seconds to go, leading to Jayson Tatum icing the game from the line.
The Phoenix Open is known for beautiful, warm, and sunny days. That was not the case on Sunday when the PGA Tour rolled into town for the fourth and final round of the week. Rickie Fowler had a big lead, and he was looking to exorcise demons from his past as he had failed before to win after leading at the venue. With the course playing extra long and tough due to rainy conditions, Fowler once again made it difficult on himself, carding a double bogey on the front nine and a triple bogey on the back. He, however, somehow composed himself and went on to win by two strokes at -17. The lowest round shot all day was a -3, showing just how much the course had changed thanks to the weather.
NFL Awards Given Out, Eagles to Franchise Foles, Lakers Lose to Warriors as Trouble Brews
Week after week, Pat Mahomes was the star of the NFL season. From seemingly nowhere, the former Texas Tech quarterback has become the most exciting player in the league to watch, and his season was rewarded on Saturday night as he was named NFL MVP. In fact, the voting wasn’t even close. In a season where he threw for 50 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards, Mahomes also was the runaway choice for Offensive Player of the Year. He collected 41 votes to Drew Brees’ nine in the MVP race, showing just how good he was and how respected by his peers and the media he is. Defensive Player of the Year went to a familiar face, with Aaron Donald winning it for the second year in a row. He also won the award in a landslide after leading the L.A. Rams to the Super Bowl with a league-high 20.5 sacks. He joins fine company in winning the award twice in a row, joining a list of just two: L.T. Lawrence Taylor and J.J. Watt. Andrew Luck won the Comeback Player of the Year after leading the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs after missing all of 2017. Chicago Bears’ coach Matt Nagy won Coach of the Year honors and his former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio took Assistant Coach of the Year as well.
There have been major question marks in the past few weeks over the status of Nick Foles with the Philadelphia Eagles, but it looks like we might have our answer. Most expected the team to let him leave, but it now looks like, reportedly, they could be set to slap the franchise tag on him. But it’s all just in a bid to trade him anyway in a convoluted mess. The Eagles can renew his contract, but Foles can pay just $2 million to get out of it. If he does that, they’ll be forced to put the franchise tag on him or lose him for virtually nothing. That’s why this news has come out.
With no LeBron James involved, you’d think the Golden State Warriors home game against the L.A. Lakers wouldn’t have been all that noteworthy. However, that is definitely not been found to be the case. After jumping out to a pretty good size lead early on, the Warriors allowed the Lakers to get back into it. In fact, the Lakers ended up being the team in control towards the end of the game. But all that seemed to do was get the Warriors fired up. Led by Klay Thompson and his 28 points, they clawed their way back from a deficit that shouldn’t have ever happened. Stephen Curry didn’t make a shot until midway through the fourth quarter in the 115-101 win, but it still didn’t matter when you have so many weapons around you. And according to sources, Luke Walton took out his frustration on a number of Lakers players for ‘selfishness’ in the locker room. Some have said that there is a goal to get Walton out of town. It’s starting to work, by the looks out things. It really is.
Riley Signs New Deal, Davis Could Be Shut Down, NFL Possibly Could Widen Challenges
The Oklahoma Sooners took no chances of losing out on head coach Lincoln Riley on Wednesday by announcing that they had given him a fresh contract with a raise included. He will now be in the top ten among the highest paid college football coaches as a result, with his yearly salary going up from $4.8 million to a cool $6 million. He also will get extra bonuses for every year he stays as well as raises each year, too, meaning the total amount will be well over $6 million at the end of the day. Riley did get some attention, reportedly from NFL teams in the past few weeks, but he chose to brush them aside and remain at Oklahoma, where he will once again have a tremendous quarterback to call his own.
The Anthony Davis saga rumbles on now, and according to at least one source out there, he could be shut down for the rest of the season should a trade not materialize before the deadline next week. The reason that this seems to be the case right now is because the Boston Celtics cannot trade for him at the moment. Kyrie Irving and Davis each have the same sort of deals, and the NBA won’t allow both to be on the same team. Irving’s can be renegotiated after the summer, however, so that could end up being the time and the move that occurs. Right now, the only option for Boston to bring him in would be to trade him for Kyrie, which just shouldn’t and isn’t going to be happening. Sitting him out would be an interesting decision, but it’s one that does make sense given that they have to protect all the value that they can. If he won’t be around playing for them, they have to get everything they possibly can from it.
Also, according to reports, the NFL is going to be looking into allowing coaches to challenge ‘judgment calls’ in some sort of limited capacity. The move comes on the heels of one of the most egregious blown calls in the history of sports during the Saints-Rams NFC Championship Game that helped cost New Orleans a spot in the Super Bowl. Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly hit his man, Tommylee Lewis, well before the ball arrived, and has since been fined over $25K for an illegal hit. One possible idea mooted is that if a coach challenges a penalty call and loses, then his team will lose either time or will pick up a penalty themselves.
And finally, it’s bad news for the Michigan State Spartans’ basketball team. The 18-3 team has been without junior captain Josh Langford for eight games, but they now face the prospect of missing out on him for the remainder of the season after it was officially announced that he would be shut down. Langford has a stress injury that simply needs time to heal, meaning the shooting guard that averaged 15 points a game prior to the injury will be missing for the most important games of the season. Sparty had one 13 in a row before they fell at Purdue on Sunday.
Epic Overtime Games Determine Conference Championships and Set up Super Bowl
We now know which teams will be contesting the 53rd Super Bowl after the Conference Championships were played out on Sunday in two thrilling, nail-biting games. The first of which saw the NFC title decided in New Orleans as the Saints hosted the L.A. Rams. Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Rams, and because of that, they were playing from behind for nearly the entirety of the game. The Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter before the Rams roared back to life with ten points of their own in the second. The Saints extended their advantage to ten points again in the third by grabbing a 20-10 lead, but once again the Rams fought back to close the period behind just three at 20-17. Three field goals, two for the Rams that sandwiched one from the Saints, would end up sending it to overtime. And that’s when the Rams defense stepped up as John Johnson III intercepted Drew Brees’ pass after being pressured severely. That would set up Greg Zuerlein’s winning field goal, his fourth of the night, from 57 yards deep to give the Rams a 2-23 win on the road. For his part, winning QB Jared Goff had 297 yards and a touchdown on 25 completions, while Brees had 249 yards, two TD’s, and 26 completions. Each had an interception, but the one Brees threw is the one that will be remembered.
In the AFC Championship, it came down to an extremely wild fourth quarter. Not to understate the beginning stages of the game, but the fourth was where it was decided at Arrowhead Stadium as the Patriots somehow figured out a way to outlast the Kansas City Chiefs for the second time this season. After racing out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, New England looked like they were going to cruise toward yet another Super Bowl. But the Chiefs kept fighting. They were down 17-7 after three, and that is where the action really picked up for them. In the fourth quarter, they would get two Damien Williams receptions for touchdowns in the span of seven or so minutes to give them their first lead of the night at 21-17. The momentum had swung, or had it. With five minutes on the clock, Tom Brady did what he does best and drove the Pats down to allow Sony Michel to score from ten yards. Pat Mahomes surely wouldn’t have what it took to lead the Chiefs back from the brink, but he and some poor defense led them down and eventually Williams scored a third TD in the fourth to make it 28-24 to the Chiefs. Brady then did what he does best yet again with a drive down the field that culminated in a Red Burkhead run. They had the lead, and it was lights out, right? Nope, because Pat Mahomes did his best Brady impression and got his team a field goal that took it to OT at 31-all. From there, though, he wouldn’t see the ball again as the Pats won the toss and proceeded to drive the ball straight down until Burkhead rushed in to win it for the Patriots 37-31. New England will meet the Rams in Atlanta in two weeks for the Super Bowl.