When a report of a Steelers offer of five years and $70 million to running back Le’Veon Bell surfaced on Monday, there was no word of how much of that money was fully guaranteed.
Bell’s agent Adisa Barkari didn’t say in a Tuesday radio interview, but said the total value didn’t matter nearly as much as how much of the contract was fully guaranteed. According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, there wasn’t a lot of it guaranteed in the Steelers’ final offer.
Rapoport reports that a $10 million signing bonus was the only fully guaranteed portion of the contract. He adds that Bell stood to make $33 million over the first two years in a rolling guaranteed structure and $45 million over the first three years of the deal.
The Vikings brought in the hottest name in free agency, while the Bears reinforced for the passing game, while the Lions look to lift the run game out of the cellar. But will these moves be enough to keep the perennial favorite Packers out of the playoffs for a second straight year?
There will be battles for positions and playing time all over the Ravens roster, but the play of the team’s quarterbacks figures to be of particular interest to observers. The team has toyed with ways to get first-round pick Lamar Jackson on the field during their spring work and teammates said they’ve seen more fire from Joe Flacco since the Ravens added Jackson to the mix.
Big changes to the receiving corps will provide further reason to focus on the offense in Baltimore as the team’s preparations heat up with 50 days to go until teams start playing football that counts.
Young had proven a divisive prospect: a 6’2 sharpshooter who became the first player in Division I history to lead the country in both points (27.4) and assists (8.7) per game, but who was also knocked for his slight frame and questionable defense. After Young spent the season rocketing up draft boards, some scouts had more recently pegged him as this draft class’s third-best point guard.
Wide receiver Devin Smith won’t be headed to training camp with the Jets this year.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Jets will release Smith.
When he captivated the college football-viewing masses by repeatedly shredding Pac-12 defenses last season, Tate was a revelation—an out-of-left-field jolt for a team that had dropped two of its first four games and looked destined for a dismal season. Once Tate took over under center, the Wildcats became appointment TV en route to a bowl bid, and Tate finished the season having set a new single-game rushing record for a quarterback (327 yards, against Colorado), totaled more rushing yards per game (128.3) than any other Power 5 quarterback and tacked on 1,591 passing yards. Tate’s assault on Pac-12 opponents will continue in 2018, and unlike last season, he’ll be leading Arizona’s first-team offense from the jump. The coaching swap shouldn’t be an obstacle, either; it wasn’t that long ago that Sumlin helped turn a gifted dual-threat quarterback in the SEC into a national phenomenon.
As evidenced by the Green Bay Packers’ financial statements, which by law are required to be published every year because of the team’s publicly-owned nature, revenue continues to increase, despite the pearl clutching about Colin Kaepernick and those inspired by him taking advantage of a loophole/flaw that the NFL created nearly a decade ago when deciding to (wait for it) inject politics into football by bringing players out of the locker room for the national anthem, as part of the effort to wrap the shield in the flag.
But we already knew that, even before seeing the Green Bay numbers. Falcons owner Arthur Blank, after giving quarterback Matt Ryan a record $30 million deal, justified the investment by explaining that league revenues are up, and club revenues are up. And indeed they are.
Some would say, Well, they’d be even higher but for the antics of Kaepernick and company. Of course, Packers CEO Mark Murphy could have made that declaration on Monday, when discussing his team’s balance sheet. But he didn’t. Murphy said only that the anthem issue had no impact on the team’s financial performance.