1st Down: The Arizona Cardinals didn’t really have a choice. They had to do whatever it took to keep Kyler Murray under center, and the team did just that as a deal was reported by sources on Thursday between the two sides. Murray will have five years added to his contract, and he will make up to $230.5 million, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league. The quarterback, who will get $160 million of that as guaranteed money, was rumored to have been unhappy with the team prior to the deal, but that now looks to have been a bit of posturing. In his three years with the team, they have gone from five to eight to 11 wins, showing marked improvement year-after-year. He has been a Pro Bowler the last two seasons.
2nd Down: The Cleveland Browns simply don’t know if their new QB, Deshaun Watson, will be eligible to play when the 2022 season kicks off. And if he doesn’t play, they aren’t even sure when he’d be able to do so. As a result, they have been looking for a backup option. Josh Rosen appears to be one of those alternatives, as the team reportedly signed the quarterback to a one-year deal on Thursday to help them get some kind of clarity. Rosen is not said to be the preferred starter currently, with Jacoby Brissett slated for the role if Watson isn’t able to play, but this does help them in the event of injury or something else unexpected occurring.
3rd Down: The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off their first college football national title since 1980, and they have moved to reward the man that led them there, signing head coach Kirby Smart to a 10-year, $110+ million extension on Thursday. The deal is no real surprise given his performance at the school, taking them to the title and a 66-15 record over the last six seasons. This deal now keeps him at the school through 2031, and they will hope to continue to challenge the dynasty that is Alabama with the former Bulldog DB in the fold leading the helm.
4th Down: Jonas Vingegaard is virtually there now. Following a dramatic stage on Wednesday in which he narrowly lost to primary challenger Tadej Pogacar, the Dane responded with a second stage win of this year’s Tour de France and opened up a further 1:08 gap to his lead, giving him a massive edge heading into the last two stages. Vingegaard pulled away from the two-time reigning winner over the last three miles, and he will now have to negotiate a single time trial on Saturday and the procession in Paris before officially being crowned.