By Tim Peterson
The Jacksonville Jaguars have to be feeling jinxed after losing first round draft pick Dante Fowler Jr. to an ACL injury an hour into his first practice.
Fowler, the third pick overall from Florida, was believed by many analysts to be the best edge rusher in the draft and a player that could come in and have a huge impact right away. Now he is out for the entire season.
The Jaguars, trying to keep a stiff upper lip, are confident Fowler can return in 2016 better than ever. And since it happened in May, the Jags do have time to make a move to bolster the defensive front. Still, for a team that hasn’t had an elite pass rusher since Tony Brackens, (1996-2003) it’s a huge blow.
The “Deflate Gate” scandal seems to get more ridiculous by the minute. Now there is talk of suspending Patriot quarterback Tom Brady for a certain amount of games because it was determined that New England personnel “probably” deflated the game balls in the AFC Championship game against Indianapolis. When was the last time somebody was convicted because they were “probably” guilty. Doesn’t probably also mean probably not? And it took the NFL four months to come up with that?
Former Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula took a shot at the Pats saying “Our record those 50 years was done with a lot of class, a lot of dignity and a lot of doing it the right way. “We didn’t deflate any balls.” Shula made his comments while delivering a speech as a guest of honor at a Dolphins 50th season celebration.
After the draft comes the signings. Tampa Bay wasted no time in locking up number one overall pick Jameis Winston inking the Florida State QB to a four-year, $23.3 million deal before the draft had ended. The major deals included USC’s Leonard Williams, number five, signing an $18.6 million contract with the New York Jets and the Raiders inking their first round pick, WR Amari Cooper.
LSU OT La’el Collins, who wasn’t drafted due to some troubles off the field signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Oh and safety Ed Reed, signed with the Baltimore Ravens and then announced his retirement. Canton, Ohio figures to be the next stop for Reed.
The narrative was that Green Bay was a perfect place for UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley to land. Was it really? Aaron Rodgers isn’t going anywhere and the Packer also have Scott Tolzien. Hundley, who wants to play now, could be sitting for a long, long time. Just ask Rodgers what it’s like to sit behind a legend for four years.
It’s hard to understand LeSean McCoy’s assertion that Chip Kelly got rid of all the good black players. Yes McCoy was dealt but didn’t the Eagles just sign running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews and cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell? Didn’t they just draft receiver Nelson Agholor? All of these players are black. McCoy may not want to be in Buffalo but he missed the boat on this one. Kelly might be a lot of things but he’s not a racist.
It seems like just yesterday that tight end Jeremy Stevens was starring for the Seahawks. Now he’s been sentenced to a month in jail for drunk driving in Manhattan Beach.
The Minnesota Vikings are cornering the market on UCLA linebackers. They drafted Bruin Eric Kendricks who joins last year’s pick Anthony Barr.
Arizona Cardinal tight end John Carlson is the latest player to announce he is retiring due to head injuries. Carlson suddenly announced he was leaving the game this week after seven seasons. Carlson played for the Vikings and the Seahawks as well as the Cardinals.
While a serious injury didn’t affect Georgia running back Todd Gurley’s draft status as he was selected 10th overall by the St. Louis Rams, it certainly hurt Oregon DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Olomu, who tore his ACL before the Ducks post season, dropped all the way down to the seventh round where Cleveland selected him. Fortunately Ekpre-Olomu will get paid $3 million due to an insurance policy that protected him in the event he tumbled so far in the draft.