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Why London Deserves Better Than The Jags

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s ambassador to the world and it is a terrible idea. Every year for the past five seasons the NFL has sent the sorry excuse for a professional team, the Jags to London to spearhead a movement towards a global NFL. Yet, the Jaguars have constantly been near the bottom […]

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The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s ambassador to the world and it is a terrible idea. Every year for the past five seasons the NFL has sent the sorry excuse for a professional team, the Jags to London to spearhead a movement towards a global NFL. Yet, the Jaguars have constantly been near the bottom of the league during this stretch, so are they the right ambassador or the only choice?

The Jaguars will host a game at Wembley stadium for the next three seasons with more possibly on the way. So, why is the NFL sending the Jags, a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, over to London each year to act as tough leagues number one diplomat?

In my experience, a good product will sell itself, so why are we sending the Jags and Bengals to London instead of The Patriots and The Seahawks? The Jags are almost unwatchable half the season and this is who the NFL is using to sell its product…

It’s obvious that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL want to expand outside of the US and London is the first target market. The money is there to be made so you know the NFL will get their greedy hands on it somehow.

The Jaguars have an international owner in Pakistani-American Shahid Khan and he has expressed interest in possibly moving the team permanently to London. Jacksonville is a small market in an area already saturated with NFL teams, so a relocation is likely.

What about the players, who need all the prep and recovery time possible after games? They are the ones who suffer from playing games overseas. A day less of preparation and added travel time only wears on the players mental and physical health.

While players are asking for fewer games and more recovery time, owners and the league want more games and further travel. The sides see the future of the NFL very differently and with a looming strike when the collective bargaining agreement ends in 2019, the fans will end up losing the most.

A strike or lockout is almost guaranteed so prepare for a drawn-out battle as the two sides fight for their rights. It seems like a poor time to try and expand when there is so much internal strife between players, the owners and the league.

Like I said earlier, the NFL is only worried about the bottom line and it’s obvious that player health and quality of product are not their immediate concerns. Until they realize that the product and players should be their number one concern, the NFL will struggle with its own demons.

Expect to see more NFL games overseas, with bottom feeders Jacksonville Jaguars scarfing up all those scraps left over by the original football in London. It will be tough to steal market share form the world’s biggest game by sending over the Jags as your ambassador.

 

 

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Cowboys Release Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys have officially released wide receiver Dez Bryant after 8 seasons with the team.  

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The Dallas Cowboys have officially released wide receiver Dez Bryant after 8 seasons with the team.

Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones release a statement saying, “As an organization, we hold Dez Bryant in the highest regard, and we are grateful for his passion, spirit, and contributions to this team for the past eight years. He will always be a valued member of our family.” The move will save the Cowboys $8 million in salary cap space, which is likely the main reason it was done.

Bryant had a well-documented career in Dallas with plenty of highs and his fair share of lows. Like many high-profile receivers, he was known for his passion, intensity, and, at times, sideline outburst. But his talent and, more importantly, his production on the field is undeniable. For most of his time in Dallas, he was one of the best receivers in the NFL. In case you disagree, let’s take a look at the numbers.

He played in a total of 113 games for the Cowboys. In that time he recorded 513 receptions, 7,459 yards (5th in franchise history) and a franchise-record 73 touchdowns. Those are numbers any team would be happy with. And despite today’s decision, it’s safe to assume that the Cowboys were.

“This was not an easy decision,” Jones added. “It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We arrived at this crossroad collectively with the input from several voices within the organization. Ultimately we determined it was time to go in a new direction.” And that new direction could be waiting for them in the upcoming NFL Draft.

 

There are a handful of receivers in the 2018 draft that the Cowboys might now go after, including Maryland’s D.J. Moore, Oklahoma State’s James Washington, and the biggest name of all, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley. Could we see one of them wearing a Cowboys jersey next season? Time will only tell. At least we know that #88 is available.

 

Bryant will now begin the process of looking for a new team. And while someone will definitely sign him, some teams might not be as excited to sign him as he may like. In the last few seasons, he has missed significant time thanks to a broken foot in 2015 and a tibial plateau fracture in 2016. So there is definitely a risk there. But it’s not far-fetched to think that Bryant still has at least a couple good seasons left in him. And it’s not at all far-fetched to think that no matter who he signs with, he will be going into next season with the biggest chip that his shoulder has ever seen.

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Ravens Sign Robert Griffin III To A One-Year Deal

The Baltimore Ravens announced via Twitter earlier today that they have signed former Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III to a one-year deal. 

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The Baltimore Ravens announced via Twitter earlier today that they have signed former Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III to a one-year deal. Griffin last played for the Browns in 2016. Sadly, his season was riddled with injuries and he was not brought back. So, despite his previous status as a star, this seems like a strange move by the Ravens to sign a quarterback that didn’t even practice with a team last season.

All signs point to Griffin backing up longtime Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco. But this could be the perfect situation for RG3, as Flacco is quickly approaching retirement and could easily be looking at a make-or-break season in Baltimore. Maybe this is just the chance Griffin was hoping for and we’ll be seeing a lot of him this coming season. And while getting that chance would be great for Griffin, no one, not even Baltimore, has any idea how such a scenario would play out.

When Griffin burst onto the NFL scene with the Washington Redskins in 2012, he immediately started to put up big numbers and, more importantly, win games. He quickly became the saving grace for a franchise that had been struggling for a while. He ended up throwing twenty touchdowns and only five interceptions as part of an impressive rookie season that won him the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

But the season ended in pain and heartbreak as he came back from a knee injury too quickly and made the injury even worse. No one could have guessed it would be his only successful year in the NFL. The injuries kept piling up and slowly but surely Kirk Cousins began taking snaps away from Griffin. By 2015 Cousins was the starter and Griffin spent the entire season as a backup.

After that season, Washington made the not-so-difficult decision to release Griffin and he signed with the Browns. It was supposed to be a fresh start for the once highly touted quarterback. He was going to revive his career and he was going to take one of the longest struggling franchises of all time with him. But that never happened. In fact, just the opposite did.

Injuries continued to plague Griffin and he played in just five games in a season in which the Browns didn’t win a single game. At the end of the season, the Browns took a play out of the Redskins book and made the similarly not-so-difficult decision to release him.

Now, once again, Griffin has a chance to revive his career. Let’s just hope, for his sake, he gets a chance to prove that he’s still got something left in the tank. And, maybe more importantly, let’s hope that his knees let him.

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Gronkowski Set To Return Next Season

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington has reason to believe that Rob Gronkowski will be back next season, according to communications with people close to Gronk.

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Rob Gronkowski is one of the most famous and recognizable stars in the entirety of the NFL thanks to his career spent with Tom Brady and the always successful New England Patriots. But following the Patriots Super Loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Gronkowski revealed that he was already considering retirement despite his young age.

We can’t blame Gronkowski for thinking about it. He’s a huge guy so he’s already putting a lot of strain on his body just working as hard as he does. But on top of that, his success on the field has led to teams doing whatever they can to punish him every time he comes across the field. So these days, especially with all the focus on CTE and other brain damage that can come from the game, it makes perfect sense that he’s considering retirement.

But ESPN’s Jeff Darlington has reason to believe that he will be back next season, according to communications with people close to Gronk. There has been no official statement made from Gronkowski’s team as of yet, but all signs point to him returning, assuming Tom Brady does the same.

The other major factor here that can’t be ignored, is Gronkowski’s social media presence. He’s regularly seen partying hard all around the world, which has to bother both owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. But more recently he has sent out some bother tweets, including one to Danny Amendola that read “Be FREE, Be HAPPY” after he signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. Implying that Gronk doesn’t feel either free or happy in New England.

There were also reports during last year’s training camp that Gronkowski wasn’t happy and was already considering retirement back then. So regardless of if he comes back next season or not, it seems like tensions between him and the Patriots organization are already high. But assuming both he and Brady are back next season, it’s safe to assume they will yet again be at the top of the league all year long.

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