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Saturday, September 21, 2019

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Did Jaguars turn down big Jalen Ramsey trade offer from Ravens?

Jalen Ramsey

Rumor has it that the Baltimore Ravens had a pretty good offer for Jalen Ramsey turned down.

It’s well-known that Ramsey is seeking an exit from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Ravens may be an interested party. Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union cited reports out of Baltimore suggesting that the Ravens offered a first round pick, a second round pick, and tight end Hayden Hurst for Ramsey, but were turned down. Things were serious enough that the Ravens’ locker room was “buzzing” about the potential deal.

Hurst is a 2018 first-round pick with pass-catching potential, while the pick haul speaks for itself. If the Jaguars did turn such an offer down, it would seem they are very serious about getting two first-round picks for Ramsey instead of a first and a second.

15 key questions for NFL Week 3

Lamar Jackson

Week 3 got started with an unmemorable Thursday night game between the Titans and Jaguars, but there should be better things to come once Sunday gets underway. The most intriguing game is a clash between Lamar Jackson’s Ravens and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs, but it’s far from the only exciting thing on the schedule.

What are we watching for in Week 3? Here are 15 key questions to be answered.

1. Can the Bengals stop anyone on defense?

There’s very little to like about how Cincinnati plays defense. Only the Miami Dolphins, who aren’t even trying to field a competitive team, have been worse against the pass than the Bengals have this season. Josh Allen might not be best poised to take advantage of that, but he’s a solid dual-threat quarterback with the ability to take Cincinnati apart. If Jimmy Garoppolo could do it, it’s certainly on the table for him as well.

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USC gets penalty after Reggie Bush celebrates with Markese Stepp on touchdown run

Reggie Bush Markese Stepp

Reggie Bush’s return trip to the LA Memorial Coliseum on Friday night culminated in a penalty for the USC Trojans.

Bush was at the Coliseum as an analyst for FS1. He spent some of his time ripping his team for practicing shirtless before the game. But once the contest was one, Bush couldn’t contain himself.

After Markese Stepp scored a 4-yard touchdown to go up 29-23 on Utah in the fourth quarter, the running back pointed at Bush, who came over and dapped up Stepp. USC got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for the celebration.

The Trojans won 30-23, so the penalty didn’t end up mattering. For USC fans, it must have been nice getting to see Bush embrace a current running back during a Trojans win — just like the old days.

Urban Meyer gave Clay Helton love for big win over Utah

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has been widely rumored to be a potential replacement for Clay Helton as USC’s next head football coach. Apparently the rumors haven’t frayed any relationship between the men.

Meyer was present at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Friday night working in his capacity as an analyst for FS1, which televised the game. The Trojans beat Utah 30-23 despite quarterback Kedon Slovis getting hurt on USC’s second play of the game. Matt Fink, originally the third-string QB, stepped in and threw three touchdown passes to lead the team to victory.

After the game, a few reporters mentioned that Meyer gave love to Helton. One photo even showed Meyer appearing to give Helton the “Fight On” symbol.

This just seems surprising. How can Helton be comfortable with a guy so many are talking about taking his job? Maybe he’ll take the credit wherever he can.

Helton has USC 3-1 so far this season.

USC QB Kedon Slovis was evaluated for concussion, got ‘dinged’

Kedon Slovis hit

USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis was evaluated for a concussion after taking a big hit on the second play of the Trojans’ first possession Friday night.

Slovis was nailed by Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu and exited the game. He was replaced by Matt Fink, who played great and threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns.

After the Trojans’ 30-23 home win over the Utes, head coach Clay Helton said Slovis got “dinged” but knew what had happened.

Helton said they would provide a further update on the true freshman’s status on Tuesday.

Fink played so well that even if Slovis is cleared to play at Washington next week, it would be hard to go away from the junior.

The way USC has gotten strong play from three QBs this season — JT Daniels, Slovis, and Fink — is impressive and a credit to Helton, Graham Harrell, USC’s coaches, and the incredible talent the team has at wide receiver.

Joe West hurts Yankees with blown strike call on Brett Gardner

Joe West

New York Yankees fans are furious with umpire Joe West for blowing a call during Brett Gardner’s final at-bat on Friday night.

The Yankees were trailing the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth and had one out with Gardner facing closer Ken Giles. Gardner had a 3-1 count and Giles threw a pitch that was a solid few inches outside. Rather than call it a ball and put Gardner on base as he should have, West called it a strike, leaving Gardner with a full count. He struck out in the at-bat instead of reaching base.

Here’s a look at the pitch:

The pitch was tracked by MLB (seen as pitch 5 in the graphic) as being over the far side of the white chalk of the other batter’s box.

Mike Ford followed by striking out to end the game.

Umpires should never be missing calls that badly. It stings even more when it’s a one-run game and your team is competing with the Houston Astros for homefield advantage in the playoffs.

Braves manager thinks team is ready to take next step after winning NL East again

Brian Snitker

The Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 6-0 on Friday night to clinch the NL East for the second straight year. Last season, they lost in the NLDS to the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games. This year they have their visions on much more.

After his Braves clinched the division crown, manager Brian Snitker hinted the team was ready to take the next step.

Last year’s team won 90 games and this year’s squad already has 94. They have eight hitters with double-digit home runs. Mike Sorotka and Dallas Keuchel are pitching like aces. Plus they have the Bringer of Rain, who brings valuable postseason experience and clutch play.

Last year’s team was just happy to be there. This year’s team is ready to win in the playoffs.

NFL warns that Antonio Brown could be placed on Commissioner’s exempt list if signed

Antonio Brown

The NFL on Friday issued a statement regarding Antonio Brown following the wide receiver’s release by the New England Patriots.

The league said in its statement that they are “vigorously and expeditiously” investigating multiple allegations against Brown.

The important part of the statement is the point that Brown could be placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list if signed, which would allow him to be paid by a new team but prevent him from playing. The league also said that Brown could face discipline from the league if they find he violated the law or Personal Conduct Policy.

The statement seems to be a warning to teams thinking of signing Brown.

It’s hard to imagine a team signing Brown under these conditions and with so many outstanding legal matters. The league could consider Brown’s text messages to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct as harassing and intimidating, which would be grounds for discipline under the Personal Conduct Policy.

Though the likelihood of Brown playing this season seems slim, a 2020 return could be possible once the league completes its investigation and rules on Brown.

Reggie Bush rips USC for going shirtless in pregame warmups

Reggie Bush did not return to the LA Memorial Coliseum on Friday night to kiss up to his former program. Instead, he took them to task.

Bush is an analyst for FS1 and was at the Coliseum for USC’s game against Utah. During FS1’s pregame show, Bush ripped the Trojans for warming up while shirtless.

USC certainly didn’t seem to be too cocky entering the game. They scored touchdowns on both of their first two drives, even doing so with Matt Fink at quarterback after Kedon Slovis was hurt on a big hit.

Bush’s harsh words for his alma mater could have to do with his status at USC. The school was forced by the NCAA to disassociate with the former Trojans football star over his NCAA violations while in school. USC does not even recognize him with honors. These words could be a manifestation of Bush’s bitterness over the way the school doesn’t recognize him.

USC QB Kedon Slovis exits game after taking big hit

Kedon Slovis hit

USC Trojans freshman Kedon Slovis was knocked out of his team’s home game against Utah on Friday night after taking a huge hit in the first minute.

Slovis completed two passes to Amon-Ra St. Brown to start the game. He took a massive hit from Utes defensive lineman Leki Fotu and was helped to the sideline.

Matt Fink, who began the season as the third-string QB, then entered and finished off the drive with a touchdown. Fink went 4/5 for 64 yards while Slovis was 2/2 for 17 yards before exiting.

Fink was actually the backup to JT Daniels last season but got pushed to third string this year after being surpassed on the depth chart by Slovis. Fink, a junior, entered the game 13/18 for 89 yards and a touchdown in his Trojans career.