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#pounditWednesday, April 14, 2021

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Details of Eric Musselman’s contract extension with Arkansas revealed

Eric Musselman

Eric Musselman turned down the Arizona Wildcats job and is getting a nice contract extension to return to Arkansas.

The Razorbacks on Wednesday shared details of Musselman’s contract. The 56-year-old coach will make $4 million per year through 2026. His contract includes one-year options for 2027 and 2028 based on Arkansas making the NCAA Tournament.

He also will received bonuses based on team performance. Here is the structure of the bonuses.

– $100,000 for winning the SEC tournament or regular season
– $50,000 for reaching the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32
– $250,000 for reaching the Sweet 16
– $350,000 for reaching the Final Four
– $500,000 for winning the national championship

Musselman would owe money in a buyout.

– $7.5 million buyout if he leaves before end of 2021-2022 season
– $2 million buyout if he leaves before end of 2022-2023 season
– $1 million buyout if he leaves after 2023-2024 season
– He would receive a $1.5 million retention bonus if he is still the head coach in 2026

The interest Musselman received helped make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball.

Musselman has coached the Warriors and Kings in the NBA. He had a successful four-year tenure at Nevada before taking the Arkansas job. The Razorbacks went 20-12 in his first season and 25-7 under him last season, reaching the Elite Eight. The Elite Eight finish was the best Arkansas has enjoyed since 1995.

Did Justin Fields emulate Matt Ryan at pro day for Kyle Shanahan?

Justin Fields

We knew that Justin Fields’ Wednesday showcase was largely for coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers, but Fields certainly appeared to do some extra things to catch Shanahan’s eye.

On Monday, it was reported that Fields was working on specific drills that Shanahan preferred in order to perform them at Wednesday’s pro day. It does not appear to have stopped there, however. The Falcoholic’s William McFadden spotted something in Fields’ foot positioning that didn’t seem entirely coincidental.

It may or may not mean anything, and it might not have to do with Shanahan at all. That said, given Shanahan’s history with Matt Ryan and the fact that we knew Fields was aiming to impress Shanahan, it’s worth noting.

Last we heard, the 49ers might be leaning toward a different quarterback with the No. 3 pick. Both Fields and Trey Lance will be trying to work their way into the conversation, perhaps even by doing things as subtle as this.

Arizona to hire Tommy Lloyd as new head coach

Tommy Lloyd

Arizona has found its next men’s basketball coach.

The Wildcats are hiring Tommy Lloyd as their next coach. This is not too surprising, as Lloyd was identified last week as a leading candidate for the job.

Lloyd, 46, has been an assistant at Gonzaga since 2001. He is viewed as the best international recruiter in college basketball, according to Jeff Borzello.

Arizona was also considering some former players for the job. Damon Stoudamire, Miles Simon and Josh Pastner were among names mentioned for the job, but the Wildcats are going with Lloyd.

This will be Lloyd’s first head coaching job. Arizona is replacing Sean Miller, who had strong regular season success, but got into trouble with the NCAA.

Lloyd had been the coach-in-waiting at Gonzaga.

Former Notre Dame WR shares great Julian Edelman story

Julian Edelman

We’ve heard a lot about Julian Edelman’s on-field accomplishments since his retirement from the NFL, but we’re also hearing some stories about what a quality guy he is.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver Chris Finke on Wednesday shared a great Edelman story on social media. Finke said he sent Edelman a direct message on Twitter in 2018 asking for advice when his role was expanding at Notre Dame. Finke didn’t seem to expect a response from Edelman, but he got one the next morning.

Edelman certainly could have easily ignored the message. The fact that he took the time to respond and give solid advice tells you a lot about the guy.

If that’s not proof enough, you only need to see what Bill Belichick thought of his longtime wide receiver.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA 3.0

Pete Alonso had funny comment on what he missed about Phillies

Pete Alonso

One rite of passage for any NL East star is playing in Philadelphia, where they’re very likely to get booed by the fans.

New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso has experienced that. For him, it’s clearly a mark of respect, and after playing without fans in 2020, he actually grew to miss it.

Even that kind of energy can hype a player up. For some, it’s simply better to be recognized — even in the form of boos — than it is to be ignored.

Phillies fans can even be notoriously tough on their own players. That can serve as motivation for Phillies stars, too.

Austin Rivers to sign with Nuggets, would be eligible for postseason

Austin Rivers

The Denver Nuggets lost Jamal Murray to a torn ACL but are about to add another guard to their team.

Denver is close to signing free agent guard Austin Rivers to a 10-day contract. This move has been anticipated for a few days.

Denver already needed another guard after trading Gary Harris and RJ Hampton to Orlando in the Aaron Gordon deal. The loss of Murray put even more strain on their backcourt.

Rivers, 28, began this season with the New York Knicks. But he fell out of the rotation after the team acquired Derrick Rose. Rivers was then traded to Oklahoma City in a three-team deal at the deadline and promptly got waived by the Thunder.

Rivers would be eligible for the postseason, which is a big plus for the Nuggets. He brings plenty of playoff experience to the table, having gone on runs with the LA Clippers and the Houston Rockets.

Photo: Bryan Horowitz/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

Report: Major NCAA transfer rule change receives unanimous approval

NCAA logo

Despite grumbling from some coaches, a major NCAA transfer reform has passed without any objection.

According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the NCAA has approved the proposed one-time transfer rule, meaning players will be able to transfer once with immediate eligibility during their college careers. Notably, the rule passed with the unanimous backing of the NCAA’s Division Council.

The rule certainly has the potential to change college sports significantly. For many, the days of waiting and hoping for an NCAA waiver are over. The one-time limit should prevent the rule from being abused as well.

The new rule is unlikely to be popular with some coaches, as it could make it much more difficult to build a program. It’s certainly a big win from the perspective of players, though.

These are the NFL coaches who attended Justin Fields’ pro day

Justin Fields

Justin Fields’ second Ohio State pro day was not televised, but we still have some idea of which NFL coaches were there to see the quarterback throw.

Based on reports and various pictures posted on Ohio State’s social media accounts, we know of at least two head coaches and a number of offensive coordinators who went to see Fields throw. As expected, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was in attendance. Interestingly, so was Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy.

Interestingly, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was also present. So was offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur of the Denver Broncos.

The Bears, Patriots, and Broncos would have to find a way to trade up to have any shot at Fields, but they’re doing their due diligence. The 49ers, on the other hand, are assessing their options as they prepare to use the No. 3 pick on a quarterback.

Shanahan’s presence, while expected, is particularly notable given the work Fields is putting in just to impress him.

Jeremy Lin still pushing for NBA opportunity

Jeremy Lin

Despite his success in the G League, Jeremy Lin has not had the chance to return to the NBA this season. He wants to make it clear that he’s more than ready for the chance.

Lin finished seventh in the G League with 19.8 points per game for the Santa Cruz Warriors. In spite of this, Lin hasn’t been called up by Golden State or any other NBA team, making him an outlier among the G League’s top scorers.

Lin made clear on Tuesday that he’s just waiting for an opportunity.

It’s a bit of a surprise that no team has reached out to Lin. He’s an accomplished NBA veteran who has performed in the league before. The 32-year-old last played in the league in 2018-19, when he averaged 9.6 points per game as a reserve for the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors.

In the past, Lin has voiced his frustration with his lack of NBA opportunities. This is only reinforcing that issue.

Jadeveon Clowney has something to prove after signing with Browns

Jadeveon Clowney

After a pair of lost seasons, Jadeveon Clowney is highly motivated upon joining the Cleveland Browns.

Clowney agreed to a one-year contract with the Browns on Wednesday, ending the team’s yearlong pursuit of the former No. 1 pick. After failing to make the desired impact with the Seahawks and Titans over the past two seasons, Clowney admitted he is highly motivated to prove that he is still elite.

This will be partially dependent on Clowney’s health. A meniscus injury ended his season after just eight games in 2020, and he failed to record a sack with the Titans.

Clowney’s offseason tactics have actually led to questions over whether he even wants to play. It’s clear he does, but the perception of him may change for good if he can’t turn things around in 2021.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0