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Friday, December 13, 2019

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Jerry Jones hints that he won’t hire Urban Meyer, Lincoln Riley?

Two of the hottest names that have been mentioned as potential head coaching candidates for the Dallas Cowboys have no experience at the NFL level, and most have assumed that would not deter Jerry Jones from hiring them given his history. However, Jones may have hinted on Friday that experience will be a factor in…Read More

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Report: Yasiel Puig had meeting with Marlins

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is an under-the-radar free agent this winter, and one team might be looking to capture the excitement he can bring to a game.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Puig met with the Miami Marlins during the Winter Meetings in San Diego to discuss potentially being reunited with manager Don Mattingly and moving closer to his Miami home.

On paper, this makes a lot of sense. The Marlins need anything resembling a marquee name right now. Puig, meanwhile, would like to rebuild his value after a down year that saw him hit .267 with 24 home runs between Cincinnati and Cleveland.

As noted, Puig has history with Mattingly, the Marlins’ manager. It’s not all good history, but it sounds like a reunion would suit the outfielder just fine.

Watch: Josh Donaldson bought his mom a Maserati for quitting smoking

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson seems to know how to make a deal.

The free agent third baseman told his mother that he would buy her a Maserati if she successfully managed to quit smoking. As Donaldson shared to his Instagram account on Friday, he followed through on his end of the deal after his mother went two years without having a cigarette, and the reaction was priceless.

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Surprise continued.

A post shared by Josh Donaldson (@therealbor_20) on

That’s a great Christmas surprise, and a well-deserved one as well.

The Maserati probably won’t set Donaldson back much — he looks poised to become a very wealthy man quite soon, with wide-ranging interest in his services. It seems he already got to give a great Christmas present, though.

Dabo Swinney brings back the disrespect narrative for the College Football Playoff

Dabo Swinney

Did you really think that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney would lay off the disrespect narrative after his team made the College Football Playoff?

Swinney said during Thursday’s College Football Playoff news conference that he was fueling up the “ROY Bus,” a term he coined to describe the “rest of y’all” who doubted Clemson in the past.

“The ‘ROY Bus’ is fueled up, for sure,” Swinney said, via Garrett Stepien of 247Sports. “It’s been easy this year. I really haven’t had to do a whole lot. Pretty well stated on that, I think, on the record on all that stuff. I think, as a coach, you take free fuel any time you can get it.”

Clemson is the lowest-ranked unbeaten in the 2019 field, ranked third behind LSU and Ohio State. Subsequently, the Tigers will have to face the Buckeyes in their playoff opener.

The Tigers have been dogged by doubters all year due to the lack of top-quality opposition in the ACC. That’s not a problem that LSU and Ohio State have had to deal with, but Swinney has used it to fuel a disrespect narrative that he openly admits is a tactic to motivate his players. If it works, it works, and we’ll find out just how good Clemson really is when they play Ohio State.

Clayton Kershaw endorses Dodgers’ pursuit of Madison Bumgarner

Clayton Kershaw

Madison Bumgarner has a long and sometimes controversial history with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that won’t stop one star from endorsing a potential move.

Pitcher Clayton Kershaw said Friday he would welcome Bumgarner to the Dodgers if the team elects to bring him in.

A lot of Bumgarner’s past issues with the Dodgers related to Yasiel Puig, who isn’t there anymore. There’s no guarantee that the two sides wind up together, mind you, but it certainly sounds like the Dodgers are interested in the idea. That said, if this union did happen, Bumgarner might have to have a chat with a different Dodger player to make sure there are no hard feelings.

Bumgarner is coming off a season in which he posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA, but he’s known as one of the best playoff pitchers of his generation. For a team like the Dodgers, that may be more than any regular season contribution.

Mets, Yoenis Cespedes agree to 2020 salary adjustment

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes won’t be making as much as he originally expected to in 2020 after he renegotiated his salary with the New York Mets.

According to various reports, Cespedes and the Mets have renegotiated his deal to reduce his salary from the $29.5 million he was originally owed.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the renegotiation stems from the Mets having a credible grievance after Cespedes fractured his ankles in an accident on his ranch last May.

2020 is the final year of the four-year contract Cespedes signed with the Mets. While he’s put up his usual power numbers, he’s played in only 119 games over the previous two seasons due to various injuries. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for Opening Day as he continues to recover from the ankle injuries.

Paxton Lynch says John Elway didn’t give him a fair chance in Denver

Paxton Lynch

The Denver Broncos made Paxton Lynch a first-round pick in 2016. They proceeded to give him four starts in two years before releasing him, and he hasn’t played since.

Lynch, now a backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers, made it quite clear Thursday that he believes Broncos president John Elway did not give him a fair shake to prove himself in Denver.

“I’m sure it was [Elway’s] decision at the end of the day,” Lynch said, via Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. “He told me he didn’t think it was really fair the way the media treated me there. I was like, ‘Yeah, you really haven’t given me an opportunity to show them otherwise.'”

It’s a pretty obvious dig at Elway for not backing him or giving him the opportunity to prove himself more. In terms of regular season play, that may be true — Lynch threw four touchdowns and four interceptions in his four starts, winning just one of them, but it’s hard to make a determination based on that. However, Lynch was terrible during the 2018 preseason and didn’t give Denver any reason to believe he was progressing as a quarterback. That’s what led to his release, and the fact that he hasn’t gotten another chance to play since leaving Denver indicates that Elway’s assessment may have been correct.

It’s hard to blame Lynch, though. Add in the fact that he’s an emotional guy and it’s understandable that his career trajectory leaves him feeling upset.

Tom Brady says football is still fun for him, won’t compare 2019 to other years

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has been fairly open about his frustration with the New England Patriots’ offense this year, and that is one of the reasons there has been speculation that it could be his last season with the team. But don’t worry, Pats nation — your six-time Super Bowl champion still enjoys playing.

Brady held a fairly brief press conference with the media on Friday, and he seemed like he was in a hurry to leave after he was asked if football is still “fun” for him. The 42-year-old said that it was. As a follow-up, the reporter asked if it is as fun now as it was 10 years ago. Brady said he doesn’t want to get into comparing seasons, then ended the presser. You can see the exchange around the 4:35 of the video below:

Brady has been noticeably more agitated with the media over the past few seasons, which isn’t surprising for a player who has been answering the same questions for two decades. However, the Patriots have been listening to as many skeptics as ever this year, and their offense still looks like a complete work in progress with just three games remaining in the regular season.

Even when the Patriots were still undefeated, Brady had a troubling quote about his mindset. It would not be a surprise if football was more “fun” for him 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of winning. While the supporting cast isn’t there this year, Brady is going to have to make some plays at some point if the Patriots want to get back to the Super Bowl. As long as he can do that, the team probably doesn’t care how much fun he’s having.

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