I had an assignment all day Monday (more coming soon!), so this week’s MAQB is basically a TMQB…
† packers CB Jaire Alexander’s $84 million four-year extension is well deserved — he’s been one of the NFL’s best corners for a few years now, turning 26 in February — and it’ll be interesting to see just how far Green Bay is. was willing to spend cash to keep an elite player because it can inform the Davante Adams discussion. Here’s the cash flow on Alexander’s deal…
up to and including 2022: $31,076 million (including $30 million signing bonus)
up to and including 2023: $45,076 million
up to and including 2024: $61,076 million
In comparison, Adams gets $23.35 million in Year 1 Vegas, $50.02 million in two years, and $67.51 million in three years. So the two deals are in the same overall ballpark over the most relevant time period, which tells you that, yes, the Packers would have had the resources to sign Adams, had he not been focused on reuniting with Derek Carr in Vegas. But it will also set up an interesting team building test in the future.
Both the Packers and chiefs have top-shelf franchise quarterbacks who lose number 1 receivers. Both have young players in premium, non-receiver positions to pay now (Alexander for the Packers, Orlando Brown for the Chiefs), with more possible in the near future (Rashan Gary for the Packers, L’Jarius Sneed for the Chiefs) , and some are already on the payroll (David Bakhtiari, Preston Smith for the Packers, Frank Clark for the Chiefs).
That’s what a real franchise quarterback really does need the type of No. 1 receiver that can open things up for everyone? Or would you be better off sinking into the skill spots a little less, shooting to be more balanced there and keeping the ability to win different types of games?
Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are about to give us a good litmus test on that.
• The patriots‘ Watching personnel situation bears. Bill Belichick’s coaches held media conference calls Monday, confirming some of what’s been — Matt Patricia is working the offensive line and Joe Judge is with the quarterbacks — without clarifying much of what isn’t, such as who’s on the offensive. actions or whether or not there will be a full-time defensive coordinator by 2022.
As it stands, the Patriots do not have an offensive or defensive coordinator, which is similar to the situation they found themselves in during the 2010 season. And it’s worth pointing out that they turned 14-2 that year.
Now, as for the difference, in 2010, they had a quarterbacks coach (Bill O’Brien) and linebackers coach (Patricia) who very clearly had coordinator-like roles. Everyone knew the score of those and Belichick made sure they earned the titles, which they did in time to get them into the 2011 season.
This time? Even internally, there are questions about who will call the offensive plays (Patricia? Judge? Nick Caley? Belichick?) off the ball. And if Belichick has to spend more time on offense, what does that mean for the defense, where Steve Belichick has mentioned plays and Jerod Mayo has conducted meetings?
And yes, Belichick forgets more football in an instant than I will ever know. But this is a critical year for his young quarterback, and in fact his entire program is based on how robust the AFC looks, and the state of the powerhouse (Buffalo) in his own division. Taking all this into consideration, it’s hard not to be reminded of the days when Andy Reid tried something similar in Philly—making highly respected offensive line coach Juan Castillo his 2011 Dream Team defensive coordinator—and how it led to his passing as Eagles coach.
I’m not saying it will turn out that way. But I think Belichick’s gamble here is similar to Reid’s. And Reid paid a heavy price in that case.
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• Deshaun Watson’s meeting with the NFL this week in Texas is one where we can read the tea leaves. In general, the league concludes these types of investigations by interviewing the player, which presumably means they have already spoken to as many of its 22 accusers as they want. And they had waited to talk to the women to complete the criminal proceedings (which happened in March).
That said, it may not mean there will be a ruling from the league.
Why? Well, if the 22 lawsuits aren’t resolved by July 1, the parties and the court have agreed to essentially press hiatus until the NFL season is over. And if there isn’t a shutdown there, there will be people in the NFL office who will claim to hold off on issuing any kind of suspension. The league has shown in recent years, really going back to the Ezekiel Elliott case, that it wants to refrain from playing judge, jury and executioner, and as such will not make decisions that prejudge what could happen in court. .
That opens up the possibility that Watson will play all year in 2022, then perhaps deal with the fallout the league judges him in 2023. And like I said, I wouldn’t talk about that in absolute terms. But I think the possibility of such a scenario is real.
• Today’s news, from Tyler Dragon of USA todayIt’s not surprising that Jessie Bates has no plans to sign his tender now, or act on it in 2022. And I’d be in two minds about that…
- Long-term deals for franchise players are rare until we’re much closer to the July 15th deadline to do them.
- Walking away from $12.91 million is now easy to talk about. But for a man who has made “only” $6.85 million, it won’t be easy for Bates to actually do it.
So for now I don’t think there should be much panic. Once we get to mid-July, we’ll see if it’s time to reassess that.
• While we were there, yesterday morning we covered Cincinnati when he came back on the field, and I think it’s worth remembering one theme from last season – there were a few times, if you remember, where Joe Burrow showed up in my column and said the old Bengals were gone. And at that point, it seemed really focused on where the team was at the time, and overcoming any kind of… Here we go again ideas that could get into people’s heads if there were bumps along the way.
But really, I think the message was just as focused now as it was then, with the team winning a conference title and looking to reach the bar it set for itself last year.
While it’s nice to be an underdog right now, those are Bengal never really embraced being one, and Burrow expressed that to me repeatedly. And that was because they wanted what they were doing to become the expectation, not the exception. So now that Zac Taylor is bringing the team back together, it’s going to be easier to hand that over — and you can see from the way Taylor spoke in my column this morning, that’s kind of a predominant idea. He trusts that the team will run things and that the standard set will be maintained.
• Interesting to see how Alec Pierce draws attention to foals minicamp, and there is a lesson for all of us in the preparation process. On the morning of April 15, Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard led a contingent of the team on the 90-minute drive over I-65 to Cincinnati, ostensibly to work out the Bearcats’ star quarterback, Desmond Ridder.
Pierce, perhaps less conspicuous to the rest of us, was one of the skill players who took part in that practice, and that practice became one of the last parts in Indy’s assessment of a wideout that the team’s squad already liked a lot. And as it turned out, the Colts took Pierce with the 53rd pick, with Knight still on the board. So sure, Ballard, Frank Reich and Co. are happy to see Pierce adjusting quickly. But they are not surprised.
• When you talk to people there, you can say that panthers rookie QB Matt Corral flashed real physical prowess in the team’s rookie mini camp. Do I think it means he will eventually beat Sam Darnold? I think, based on the relatively easy, RPO-heavy offense he comes from, it’s way too early to think about that yet.
• I heard this story from a coach Monday at his team’s rookie mini-camp, and he said that he looked deeply into his team’s players in practice and “everyone died a little bit”. Then he spoke to the coach about it and the coach replied, “You have to remember that this is the first training these guys have had since their bowling game.”
So you can give guys who’ve trained for a job some slack if they’re not really in football shape.
That said, the case of Tennessee rookie wideout Treylon Burks bears watching. He recently had to leave training twice and struggled to keep his weight down during the preparation process. Teams heard he played in the 240s on points in Arkansas last year. He checked in at 225 at the combine, but was back in 230 for some of his private practice sessions. And that plus his 40 times in Indy (4.55) contributed to him falling in the minds of a number of teams from the top group of receivers.
• The Jaguars have officially hired 49ers exec Ethan Waugh as their assistant GM, and at least on the surface it looks like Jacksonville is doubling down on Trent Baalke. Waugh spent 12 seasons with Baalke in San Francisco and was a top lieutenant of his during his seven seasons as Niners GM. He’s essentially replacing another Niners executive, Tom Gamble, in San Francisco, so it’s not like the Jaguars didn’t have an opening.
Still, it’s a pretty good sign that owner Shad Khan’s plan (and plans may change) is to let Baalke continue to lead scouting.
• Well done to Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith for their organization to support the families of the Buffalo shooting victims. The Bills of the ’90s have a really cool connection to that community, and it’s great to see those guys using that connection to do great things in a really, really awful circumstance.