Ten days to go till the Tremendous Bowl, right here’s what’s in your thoughts …
From Ed (Rodgers/Watson/Stafford to the Rams) (@PAramsfan): Did Jared Goff play his final recreation as a Ram?
Ed, it’s potential—and I’d in all probability put the Rams in a class with the Raiders and Niners the place I consider they’d take into account an improve if it’s out there to them. Whether or not one materializes, I don’t know. However the probability of that occuring, given the names being thrown round on the market (Matthew Stafford, Sam Darnold, and so forth.) is far higher than it was even final yr, when there was a fairly wholesome quantity of quarterback motion.
Now, I believe the Rams do have a problem that the Raiders, Niners and Lions don’t as a lot, and that might be Goff’s contract relative to the quantity of curiosity there may be in him league-wide. The offers for Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and Stafford have matured into relative bargains and would in all probability be seen as values to different groups.
Goff’s figures aren’t bananas by right this moment’s requirements, both. He’s due $104 million over the subsequent 4 years (which involves a fair $26 million per). I simply don’t know who’s prepared to go forward and take that on. The opposite three, I consider, have extra pure suitors primarily based on different conditions they’re related to throughout the league. So at the very least, detaching from Goff is perhaps somewhat difficult for the staff.
From Jayjaso (@jay_jaso): Nationally individuals appeared to mock the Dan Campbell rent however primarily based on the employees, on paper, it looks as if he’s properly revered to place this employees collectively. Any perception on the new Lions teaching employees?
Jay, I at all times pay shut consideration to the composition of a brand new coach’s employees—as a result of I believe it will possibly oftentimes let you know about the perception a man’s counterparts have in him. And regardless of what the aftermath of his introductory press convention may lead you to assume, Campbell is off to a flying begin as he works to cross that first check. (I spoke to him about the response for Monday’s column, by the means.)
Campbell’s defensive coordinator is former Saints DBs coach Aaron Glenn—who interviewed for the Jets HC job and is taken into account an excellent guess to be a head coach inside a yr or two. He didn’t need to take a DC job someplace else to get there. He selected to go together with Campbell, and he’s a man who’s labored with him for 5 years. Alongside those self same traces, new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn had curiosity from, amongst others, new Jaguars coach City Meyer. He, too, selected to go together with Campbell.
And you may throw assistant head coach Duce Staley and particular groups coach Dave Fipp into that group too, as revered, veteran assistants who made the leap to Detroit. That, by the means, ensures an entire lot of nothing. There’s a shot all these particular person choices weren’t good ones. However put them collectively, and I believe you’ll see that, in the teaching neighborhood, there’s a stable degree of respect for Campbell.
From ct_ll_5 (@ct_ll_5): Greatest Seahawks OC match?
Hey CT. I initially had a solution right here tying Ken Dorsey to the Seattle job, and I believe the Payments’ quarterback coach would’ve been a very good match. Then, Tuesday night time, Rams’ passing-game coordinator Shane Waldron landed the job. And he’s a very intriguing title that took a winding path to his gig as a staff’s major play-caller.
Few coaches had the ear of Sean McVay over the final 5 years or so like Waldron did, and the position Waldron served for McVay wasn’t too far off from the one Mike McDaniel serves for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Each guys are extremely clever and artistic and earned the belief of their head coaches. McVay introduced Waldron with him from Washington to L.A. in 2017, made him passing-game coordinator a yr later (the yr the Rams went to the Tremendous Bowl) and added QBs coach to his duties in 2019.
However a yr in the past, McVay shuffled his employees some and wished to get Jared Goff extra hands-on educating (with guys on the employees, Waldron included, unfold somewhat skinny), and he went after Kevin O’Connell—a rising younger assistant/former participant with a head-coaching future—to perform that. McVay lured O’Connell with the OC title, which type of left Waldron a rung down in the pecking order.
That didn’t make Waldron any much less shiny or promising as an offensive thoughts. It’s simply type of what the employees wanted at the time, and the danger, I consider, was that another staff might see that and pluck Waldron away. It simply so occurs that the staff that wound up seeing that was in the Rams’ division. So I see this as a fairly intriguing transfer by Seattle.
From J T (@jetstrimin): The place is Deshaun Watson enjoying subsequent yr?
J.T., I believe he’ll be enjoying in Houston, and I believe the Texans could be ridiculous to entertain buying and selling him at this level. The difficulty is, I actually can’t say if he’s gonna budge, largely as a result of I’ve gotten no indication that’s going to occur. However Watson’s means too particular to not exhaust each avenue to try to repair the scenario, and I don’t assume Houston’s near having exhausted each avenue.
Actually, that the Texans are on this place in the first place is a product of their very own incompetence. Watson’s not offended as a result of he didn’t get to choose the coach and/or GM. Watson’s upset as a result of he was informed he’d be a part of that course of, he was consulted early on, after which he watched as possession reversed course on a dime with out telling him—and did so whereas, at the least initially, disregarding his strategies.
The underside line: If you happen to have been in his spot, you’d really feel such as you’d been patronized and lied to as properly.
All of it might’ve been prevented by proprietor Cal McNair’s selecting up the cellphone and simply holding Watson apprised of the place the staff was going. That McNair selected not to do this is completely mind-blowing. And that leaves new GM Nick Caserio with a five-alarm blaze as his first fireplace to place out in Houston. I don’t know if he could make it occur. I do know, if I have been him, I’d positive as hell strive, as a result of there are only a few quarterbacks who look able to maintaining with Patrick Mahomes for the subsequent decade, and Watson is one in every of them.
From Glenn Orman (@GlennSOrman): What do you do should you’re Terry Fontenot with regards to Matt Ryan and Julio Jones over the subsequent two years? A part of a retool? Or chips to deal as a part of a rebuild?
Hey Glenn. If I’m Fontenot and Arthur Smith, I in all probability dangle on to Matt Ryan for now, and the purpose is as a result of I consider what you may be capable to get for him received’t be value his worth as a bridge to the subsequent man, whoever that is perhaps. And sure, I’ve used this instance lots, however I believe the Alex Smith analogy suits right here, too, in what Smith was capable of do for Kansas Metropolis over a five-year interval.
On one hand, having him there freed the staff to not power it and draft a quarterback that it had reservations about. On the different, when the one they actually beloved got here alongside, Smith was a really perfect man to be the in-transition quarterback. To me, Ryan could be each guys for the Falcons right here, too. I’m not saying they received’t love Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, but when they don’t love these guys, having Ryan offers them leeway to attend one other yr or two. In the event that they do love one, and take one at No. 4, I believe Ryan is the form of man you need the child round.
Is that value greater than possibly the second-round choose (or so) they might get for Ryan in a commerce, in a market that may very well be saturated with veteran quarterbacks? I’d say it’s.
From dancmc (@dancmc): What’s the newest on the 2021 wage cap?
Dan, I don’t assume the cap will likely be $175 million, which was the agreed upon ground for 2021 when the league and union negotiation pandemic changes to the CBA. I’m undecided if it’ll be $198.2 million once more both. However I do assume there’ll be an actual effort by the NFL and the union to make it as affordable as potential, underneath no matter the situations are in early March, to try to forestall a large bloodletting of veterans throughout the league.
What situations might change between at times? That half is straightforward: The brand new tv offers might get executed. And if the TV offers get executed, now we’re speaking about having one other method to persuade some extra hardline homeowners to clean the cap over the subsequent few years earlier than the actually massive numbers kick in, the identical means the league smoothed the cap from 2011 to 13 earlier than new broadcast offers kicked in nearly a decade in the past.
From Playing Avengers (@GamblingAvenge1): Is the NFL getting into the NBA zone for offseason participant motion? QBs particularly? They notice they’ve extra management than they realized?
Playing—not essentially. The NFL’s not the NBA. Only a few gamers have the leverage to tug off these kinds of energy performs. Keep in mind, an incredible NBA participant has some huge cash in the financial institution, a assured contract and a much better probability of sustaining a 10- or 15-year profession than an incredible NFL participant does. It’s why an NFL participant is extra more likely to signal a team-friendly deal earlier in his profession (mitigating harm danger) and fewer more likely to stage a wildcat strike.
Quarterbacks are the apparent exceptions. Might Aaron Rodgers power his means out of Inexperienced Bay? In all probability. Might Deshaun Watson power his means out of Houston? I believe so. And we’ve seen others, like Jalen Ramsey, pull it off. It simply takes guts of iron to do it. Most of the time, I really feel like, in a sport the place the harm price is properly close to 100%, guys will decide for long-term safety. However I’d agree they do have somewhat extra management than most notice, in the event that they’re prepared to gamble on themselves.
From Bryan (@bryankelly_): Allen Robinson … Kenny Golladay … Chris Godwin … Who will get franchised?
Hey Bryan—this can be a fairly fascinating query, and I believe it pertains to every staff’s particular person cap scenario. And would you consider that the Buccaneers are literally the staff with the healthiest cap of these three? It’s true. They’ve round $150 million in cap commitments for 2021, which leaves room to place plenty of about $17 million on Godwin to take him off the market. With the staff going into 2021 with a 44-year-old quarterback, it is sensible to behave with that type of urgency. So I might see a tag there.
As for Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay, the Bears and Lions are each at about $185 million in cap commitments for subsequent season, which places every in a precarious place. I might see Chicago mortgaging to make it work with Robinson, who’s searching for his third contract as a professional. Detroit, on the different, I’d assume could be extra more likely to try to work out a long-term take care of Golladay (searching for his second contract) than put the tag on him.
And, in fact, the place the cap lands will likely be part of these choices too.
From Danny Stern (@DStern719): How can a entrance workplace change over their entrance workplace (new GM and so forth.) however maintain the identical scouts and nonetheless have far more success than their earlier regime?
Danny, it’s positively potential, relying on how the place is structured and the way the scouts are deployed. Simply because a lieutenant is a part of a bunch that failed doesn’t imply that individual isn’t succesful. And I believe Robert Saleh is a very good instance of it—he was linebackers coach in Jacksonville from 2014 to ‘16, a part of a Gus Bradley–led employees that was ushered out after the 2016 season. Regardless of that, when Kyle Shanahan arrived in San Francisco, and didn’t land Vic Fangio, he employed Saleh, a colleague of his from Houston, as DC.
It’d be truthful to have a look at that type of factor sideways. It’d be simple to see Saleh as a fired place coach. As an alternative, Shanahan had his personal opinion of the man, and three years later Saleh’s protection was main the Niners into the Tremendous Bowl, and a yr after that he was being launched as the head coach of the Jets. Shanahan, by the means, 5 years earlier than that Tremendous Bowl, was asking out of Cleveland after a yr there as offensive coordinator.
So if a GM is available in and finds good scouting infrastructure, and thinks his program can assist these individuals, then it completely can work. Typically a staff wants a full housecleaning. We noticed the Payments carry out one in 2017. Different instances, that’s not crucial.
From A L E X (@AlexLeeSays): Are you able to rank the first-round QBs from the previous 3 draft courses together with this years. Thanks!
Alex, I’ll do a high 5 primarily based on how they have been every seen popping out.
1) Trevor Lawrence: Essentially the most extremely thought-of prospect since Andrew Luck.
2) Joe Burrow: There was very a lot a consensus in 2020 that Burrow ought to go first general, extra so than there was on any prospect in 2018 or 2019.
3) Sam Darnold: It’s possible you’ll overlook that Darnold was extensively seen as the high quarterback in his class, and Baker Mayfield going first was a shock. However he was, and it was.
4) Tua Tagovailoa: Once more, there’s been some revisionist historical past on this one. And I’d be somewhat nervous about some indicators from 2020. However he was very extremely regarded.
5) Baker Mayfield: He actually grew on groups over that spring, even when most groups would’ve taken Darnold in entrance of him.
The 2 guys not on this checklist who’re actually fascinating to me are Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. There was loads of skepticism about each earlier than they have been drafted—each have been seen as uncooked and as initiatives, like Patrick Mahomes was in 2018. Each labored out properly.
Kyler Murray, who went first general, was equally polarizing, however for totally different causes. Merely put, it was laborious for some groups to wrap their heads round drafting a quarterback together with his body that top.
From Jason Kroulik (@crowlick): The place does Stafford find yourself and what’s the commerce compensation?
Jason, I believe Denver, Indianapolis, New England and San Francisco are all apparent potential suitors, and every has its deserves for Stafford. It’s laborious for me to say at this level the place he’ll land, as a result of we don’t know precisely which different quarterbacks will likely be out there, and I definitely might see any of these groups drafting one in the first spherical (the Colts, Patriots and Niners probably must commerce as much as do it).
As for the price ticket, I believe having Stafford on the market early does at the least set the Lions as much as get a stable return (a primary and possibly one thing else), as a result of it places them forward of the market. We’ve heard quite a lot of names over the final week, and hypothesis on which quarterbacks may very well be on the transfer. What Detroit can supply one other staff now, in late January, is a chance to achieve certainty at the most vital place. Getting executed early would even be good for Stafford, for a wide range of causes.
Making an attempt to get a deal executed now actually could be win-win-win for the Lions, Stafford and his new staff. And it’s not like that might be unprecedented. It’s possible you’ll keep in mind the Chiefs moved Alex Smith throughout Tremendous Bowl week three years in the past.
From daddy shark (@Daddyshark0629): Can you expect the Eagles’ QB drama nonetheless someway unfolding? Who am I anticipating underneath middle this season? Neither has commerce worth with higher choices/cap hit
Daddy Shark, I believe the rent of Nick Sirianni reveals a want to carry onto Carson Wentz. The brand new Eagles coach was Frank Reich’s offensive coordinator in Indy, so he comes with institutional information of what labored for Wentz in 2016 and ’17, and to me his arrival foreshadows Philly’s taking one other stab at getting the former second choose proper.
I’m on the file on what I believe the Eagles ought to do. If it’s me, I throw the doorways open to a contest between Wentz and Jalen Hurts, and see the place that goes. Wentz received’t prefer it, and he could ask for a commerce should you try this. However I believe getting a number of photographs at getting it proper is the appropriate factor to do. And I’d additionally look fairly intently at Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, as a result of likelihood is at the least one in every of them will likely be sitting there at the sixth choose.
From Matt Ramas (@matt_ramas): How rapidly can Robert Saleh flip the Jets round?
Matt, that relies upon, at the least partially, on what the staff does at quarterback. In the event that they stick to Darnold, I believe you’ll see an effort to construct it up round him aggressively—possibly they’d draft Penei Sewell at No. 2 and bookend him with Mekhi Becton, after which pursue a Godwin, Golladay or Robinson on the veteran receiver market. In the event that they draft Wilson and commerce Darnold, that might clearly change the timeline somewhat bit.
I believe, realistically, both means, getting to 6 or seven wins in 2021 could be a pleasant step ahead. Keep in mind, Saleh noticed builds occur fairly methodically in Seattle and San Francisco, so I believe he’ll be capable to take a very good 30,000-foot view of what the Jets want.
From Daniel Trugman (@dtrugman2): Do you assume the new coverage tying draft-pick compensation to coordinator hires has been an element in any respect this yr? I am unable to think about groups could be thrilled to provide the Chiefs extra ammunition for Eric Bieniemy.
Daniel, I don’t assume it’s made groups extra hesitant to rent guys—and Terry Fontenot might be the greatest instance. The rent of the new Falcons’ GM goes to present two third-round picks to Atlanta’s archrival in New Orleans. And whereas I did hear that got here up as they have been mulling their choices, these kinds of hires are way more vital for the groups making them than worrying about giving one other staff the 99th choose in the draft.
In actual fact, frankly, I believe a staff that might decide primarily based on one thing like that might be fairly dumb.
From Moose Block (@moose_block): It appears Josh McDaniels will likely be omitted of any HC jobs this yr. Do you assume his strolling away from the Colts’ job a couple of years in the past contributed to groups avoiding him?
I do, Moose. However I believe a few of these fences have been mended, if individuals cared to ask about it. And as I identified in the MMQB column, there are some fascinating issues about McDaniels’s candidacies the previous few years—specifically, what’s occurred to guys on his employees lists. Giants’ coach Joe Choose, Chargers coach Brandon Staley, Colts’ defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, along with Patriots’ exec Dave Ziegler (who’s changing Nick Caserio in Foxboro) have been amongst those that have been planning to observe him to both Indy, Cleveland or each.
That’s one thing I’d look laborious into if I used to be a staff trying for a head coach in 2022. Having the ability to establish guys like that could be a massive a part of the job.