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Monday, July 13, 2020

Stories by Grey Papke:

Report: Dan Snyder stuck in trademark fight over preferred new Washington nickname

Dan Snyder

The Washington franchise confused some Monday by announcing the retirement of the Redskins nickname without actually announcing a replacement. It turns out there’s reportedly a reason for that.

Owner Dan Snyder and the franchise are reportedly caught up in a trademark fight over the preferred new name, which was not identified in the report.

This is definitely an issue Washington has run into while searching for a replacement. Many nicknames have already been trademarked by someone else, making the process more difficult for the franchise to pick a new name. If nothing else, this is another reminder of how quickly Snyder was forced to change his stance on the nickname due to pressure from partners and sponsors.

The trademark process may actually have given away what the ultimate choice on the new nickname will be.

JT Daniels granted immediate NCAA eligibility at Georgia

JT Daniels USC

The Georgia Bulldogs’ quarterback situation just got a lot more interesting.

J.T. Daniels said in a tweet Monday that he has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA, meaning he’ll be able to play in 2020 after transferring from USC without sitting out a year.

Suddenly, the Bulldogs are very deep at quarterback. They already had Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman, who had been considered the leader for the starting job before Daniels transferred from USC.

Daniels, a former five-star recruit, threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions for the Trojans in 2018. His sophomore season was cut short by a season-ending ACL tear in his very first game. That allowed Kedon Slovis to claim the starting job, forcing Daniels to transfer.

Anthony Davis explains why he will use his last name on back of jersey

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis won’t be wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey when the NBA restarts, though he admitted he thought long and hard about it.

Davis cited the importance of his last name, and how he represents it every time he plays, as being key to his decision.

This means two of the most prominent Laker players will not use a name off the NBA’s approved list, though LeBron James’ stated reason is different than Davis’.

Davis is averaging 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season and will be a key part of any title run the Lakers make.

Adrian Wojnarowski ESPN suspension is reportedly for two weeks

Adrian Wojnarowski

We now know just how long Adrian Wojnarowski will be sidelined by ESPN.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Wojnarowski has been suspended for two weeks for sending a profane email to Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). It is unclear when Wojnarowski’s suspension formally began, but two weeks from the email’s reveal would be July 24, six days before the NBA restarts its season.

For now, it means that ESPN halted Wojnarowski’s scheduled trip to Orlando to enter the NBA’s bubble. It is not clear if he will be permitted to travel there once his suspension is over.

Marchand also reports that ESPN has not soured on Wojnarowski as a result of his actions. The company’s management has supported him and is still behind him, and he is said to have a strong relationship with ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro.

ESPN’s star NBA reporter apologized after sending a profane reply to an email from Hawley about how the NBA was not allowing players to support the military, law enforcement, or Hong Kong protesters with jersey messages. Woj has received public support from some high-profile NBA players, and it sounds like ESPN will let him resume his job as normal when the two weeks are up.

Yu Darvish planning to stay with Cubs after seeing them comply with social distancing rules

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish was considering sitting out the 2020 season, but his Chicago Cubs teammates appear to have convinced him not to.

Darvish said Sunday he wanted to see how seriously his teammates were taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and came away impressed enough to tentatively commit to playing.

“I came here making sure everyone is doing the right thing, and then I had it in mind, if they’re not, I was ready to go home,” Darvish said through an interpreter, via Jesse Rogers of ESPN.

Darvish added that their actions — as well as the fact that everyone else on the team appears committed to playing — made his decision easier.

“It was a tough decision but everyone is doing it (playing),” Darvish said. “Everyone has concerns but everyone decided to play so it makes it easier of me to make a decision to play.”

Darvish’s concerns are valid. While players seem to be abiding by MLB’s directives, some definitely haven’t enjoyed it.

Safety is paramount, though, and Darvish is convinced the Cubs are responding accordingly. It appears to be enough to get him to play, and that’s a big deal. The 33-year-old posted a 3.98 ERA last season, and may end up being the staff ace in 2020.

Kenley Jansen reports to Dodgers camp after testing positive for coronavirus

Kenley Jansen

We now know why Kenley Jansen was late to Los Angeles Dodgers camp, and it turns out he had a pretty good reason.

Jansen arrived in camp Sunday and said he had previously tested positive for the coronavirus. Jansen said he had had a fever, but never had any intention of skipping the season and expects to be ready to go on Opening Day.

Jansen has previously undergone heart surgery, so it’s very good news that he was able to put the virus behind him. The fact that he’s in camp suggests that he has successfully tested negative twice.

The Dodger closer saved 33 games last season, posting a 3.71 ERA, his highest mark ever since arriving in the majors.

Report: Cowboys ‘not close’ to multi-year contract extension with Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott

It is looking increasingly likely that Dak Prescott will be playing out the 2020 season on the franchise tag for the Dallas Cowboys.

According to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys are “not close” to a multi-year deal with Prescott, and time is running out before the July 15 deadline to agree one.

The two sides have appeared stuck for weeks. Prescott has reportedly sought a shorter deal than the Cowboys want to give him, as he wants to take advantage of potential rises in the salary cap. In addition, Patrick Mahomes’ mega-extension may have given Prescott some reason to push for more money.

It was reported this week that this scenario was becoming increasingly likely, but the Cowboys are relaxed about the situation. If nothing gets done by Wednesday, Prescott will be playing under the tag.

Jay Williams criticizes ‘tone-deaf’ NBA players for bubble complaints

Jay Williams

Some NBA players aren’t completely thrilled with their accommodations in the NBA’s Orlando bubble, but Jay Williams doesn’t want to hear it.

The ESPN analyst posted a social media video on Sunday criticizing some players for “tone-deaf” comments about the bubble. He added that NBA players who are “getting food delivered to them” and “have beds to sleep in” should not complain about their surroundings when many others are having a much harder time making ends meet during a pandemic.

Several players have voiced frustration with how things are in Orlando, and one even suggested that he was told to stop publicly complaining about the bubble environment.

In contrast, other players have said they’re perfectly comfortable in Orlando. That’s probably the best approach to take, even if things are admittedly awkward and in some ways uncomfortable.