As always there are things to discuss about the NFL. Check out what happened in the National Football League this week! And also, be sure to check out the latest NFL odds for the upcoming season.
NFL Updates of the Week – May 31st Edition
Seattle wants their money back
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Malik McDowell 35th overall in 2017. McDowell signed a contract that included a $3.198 million signing bonus. The Seahawks were to pay the signing bonus in 3 installments. They ended up paying close to $800,000, the first two portions of the signing bonus, to their highly-touted draft pick.
Unfortunately for McDowell and Seattle, their draft pick never got onto the football field. McDowell breached his contract by riding an ATV and injuring himself. An NFL arbiter said that since McDowell breached his contract, he had to repay the Seahawks the $800,000.
As of today, May 31, 2019, McDowell has yet to pay any of the money. The Seahawks filed a lawsuit just a couple of days ago on May 29 to get their money back.
There’s a chance McDowell plays in 2019. If he does, he’ll likely use whatever he makes from his contract, ala Michael Vick when he signed with the Eagles, to pay off the Seahawks. That would be a good ending for a tough period for Malik, who was awesome in college as a Michigan State Spartan.
Earl Thomas looking good in Ravens mini-camp
If early indications are correct, Earl Thomas will once again be the top free safety in football. Thomas suffered a devastating, season ending injury in 2018 as a Seattle Seahawk. The Seahawks allowed Thomas to leave in free agency. Baltimore scooped him up.
In his first practice at Baltimore mini-camp, Thomas showed no fear. He closed on the ball aggressively. On one play per reports, he hit Willie Snead hard. If that Earl Thomas stays healthy, the rest of the AFC North could be in some trouble.
Few free safeties in NFL history have the overall skills that Earl Thomas possesses. The 30-year-old has 664 total tackles during his 9 year career. 465 of those tackles are solo tackles. He also has 28 interceptions. Thomas has really only played 8 seasons because he played in 4 games in 2018.
Hopefully, Earl truly is one-hundred percent. Baltimore’s defense will be one of the best in the league if Thomas is back to his old self.
Sports Illustrated asks if the Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Bucs, Bears, and Steelers have gotten worse
Sports Illustrated came out with an excellent article on whom may have gotten worse this season. Kansas City, New England, Oakland, the L.A. Rams, Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are all supposed to be worse in 2019 than they were in 2018.
Kansas City will be without wide receiver Tyreek Hill. No way Roger Goodell doesn’t suspend him. Also, defensive coordinators have had an entire offseason to prepare for the great Patrick Mahomes. KC can’t be any better in 2019 than they were in 2018.
New England will be without Rob Gronkowski. It’s still hard to believe the Pats will be worse than they were in 2018. Not having Gronk could affect Tom Brady, but the Patriots always find a way. They’ve been replacing star players for years.
It’s also hard to believe that the Raiders will be worse. Oakland traded for Antonio Brown. The defense is still a work in progress. The Raiders should be competitive in many games this season, though. They weren’t competitive in many games last season.
It will be a transition year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They should still be better in 2019 than they were in 2018. Replacing Dirk Koetter with Bruce Arians as head coach almost guarantees it.
That leaves the Steelers and Rams. If Rams running back Todd Gurley has arthritis in his knee, which is what some believe, Los Angeles will be worse. They’re probably going to be worse anyhow because the defense shouldn’t be as good while like what could happen to Kansas City, defensive coordinators may have gotten better at stopping Sean McVay’s offense. Plus, the NFC West is better this season than last.
The Steelers will be worse because Antonio Brown no longer plays for them. Brown is one of the most unique and talented wide receivers to ever play in the NFL. JuJu Smith-Schuster could turn into a good wide receiver, maybe, even a great wide receiver. He won’t be AB great, though. Few wide receivers in the NFL have been AB great. We’re talking a small step below Jerry Rice when it comes to Antonio Brown. That’s pretty, pretty, pretty great, to quote Larry David.
NFL legend Bart Starr passes away
Let’s end the week with a few words on Green Bay legend Bart Starr. Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1934, Bart Starr is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. Starr won 5 NFL Championships. He provided the sneak in the Ice Bowl that doomed the Dallas Cowboys.
But, the hall of fame player didn’t just win football games. He and his wife Cherry started the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation in 1971. They also created the Starr Children’s Fund under the Vince Lombardi Foundation banner.
Starr and Lombardi were as close as any quarterback and coach in NFL history. Philanthropist, all around good guy, and, yes, great football player, the world will miss Bart Starr.
Have a great week!