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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

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Stefon Diggs appeared to have words for Josh Allen

Stefon Diggs has words for Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills saw their season end on Sunday when they were dominated at home by the Cincinnati Bengals, and no one seemed more frustrated with the loss than Stefon Diggs.

Diggs caught just four passes in Buffalo’s 27-10 loss. Late in the fourth quarter, CBS showed a clip where it looked like the star wide receiver was lecturing Josh Allen and a member of the Bills’ coaching staff on the sideline.

Allen was watching film on a tablet and never looked up at Diggs, who threw his arms out to the side while saying something in the direction of the quarterback. You can see the video below:

There was also a report that Diggs had to be stopped from leaving the stadium early, so his frustration was evident.

The Bills entered the season as the favorite to win the Super Bowl. Diggs is not the only one who was upset that their season ended the way it did, though he may have been the most animated about it.

Tony Romo raises big question about Patrick Mahomes

Tony Romo in a suit

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Television announcer Tony Romo following the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Romo raised some big questions about Patrick Mahomes while called Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills for CBS.

Towards the end of the game, Cincinnati was on its way to a 27-10 victory, so the announcers’ attention shifted to the following week’s conference championship game. Romo then related his experience playing with a high-ankle sprain and suggested Mahomes might not even be able to play against Cincinnati.

“It’s challenging, because when I did it, I wasn’t able to actually play the next week. In other words, you can’t walk. You can play the day of. So when it happened yesterday, I was like, ‘he’s going to play today. Tape it up. They’re going to go out there, adrenaline is going to kick in, he’s going to be fine. But the next day, he’s not going to be able to do anything. He’s going to be almost be on crutches on Wednesday,” Romo said.

Romo then said it’s not a lock that Mahomes will play against Cincinnati despite the stakes of the game.

“For what it looked like, I would tell you, for those of you thinking it’s 100 percent that he plays, it’s going to take a lot. Will he play? I think yes, he’s Patrick Mahomes, he’s young, but at the same time, I just don’t know for sure that he’s going to be able to be Patrick Mahomes. I can tell you right now he’s not going to have the same athleticism.”

Romo termed it a “huge challenge” for Mahomes to rehab well enough to be ready for the game.

“I do think it’s a challenge for Mahomes to get ready for next weekend. It’s going to be a huge challenge. If he is back, I think that he’s not going to be near as athletic. However, Mahomes unathletic is the best pocket passer in the NFL. It’s him and [Joe] Burrow.”

This will be the second year in a row that the Bengals and Chiefs will meet in the conference championship game in Kansas City. Last year, the Bengals won and went to the Super Bowl. This year, the Chiefs will be playing either with a limited Mahomes or backup Chad Henne.

Jaden Rashada to take recruiting visit with CFP team

Jaden Rashada with hats in front of him

Jaden Rashada has opened up his recruitment after Florida released him from his National Letter of Intent this week, and the quarterback has a visit lined up with one of the top programs in the country.

Rashada is planning to visit TCU next weekend, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports. That will be at least the second visit for Rashada after he also met with Arizona State.

Rashada signed his National Letter of Intent with Florida last month. The 5-star quarterback committed to the Gators under the promise of a $13 million Name, Image and Likeness deal that he had signed with a Florida fan-driven NIL fund. After that deal fell apart, Rashada sought and was granted his release.

Rashada now needs a new program and faces the prospect of lost time in his playing career over an NIL deal falling through. TCU is in search of a new quarterback after reaching the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan has entered the 2023 NFL Draft.

Extent of Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury revealed

Patrick Mahomes during warmups

Aug 20, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) warms up prior to a game against the Washington Commanders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes suffered a fairly significant ankle injury during the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the star quarterback is expected to play through it.

Mahomes exited Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round playoff game after his leg got caught under a Jaguars defender while Mahomes was delivering a pass. He went to the locker room for tests and sat out a drive before returning.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain. A source told Schefter that the injury is “nothing more than that” and Mahomes is planning to play in the AFC Championship Game next Sunday.

Mahomes likely underwent X-rays when he was sent to the locker room on Saturday. We can assume those came back negative. He seemed furious with head coach Andy Reid and a Chiefs trainer when he was taken out of the game (video here).

Veteran backup Chad Henne led a 98-yard touchdown drive while Mahomes was sidelined, which was a huge factor in Kansas City’s 27-20 victory. Still, there is no question the Chiefs are better with Mahomes on the field, even if the former MVP is nowhere near 100 percent healthy.

Sean Payton could pass on coaching in 2023?

Sean Payton on the sideline

Dec 12, 2021; East Rutherford, N.J.,USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Much of the speculation surrounding Sean Payton has been where he will coach in 2023. Perhaps another question is whether he will coach at all.

In an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” Friday, Albert Breer of The MMQB suggested there is a real chance that Payton passes on all open coaching jobs and opts to do television for another season. Breer reasoned that Payton’s priorities, combined with the possibility of his next long-term coaching job being his last, might cause him to opt against taking any of the available jobs.

“I sort of think he’s going to go back into TV. I think this is sort of a day-to-day-thing with him,” Breer said. “I know two things that are really important to him are geography and quarterback. I think staying close to Los Angeles would have been ideal for him.

“Arizona and Denver, can he win there? You look at the quarterback contracts in those two places … those contracts sort of lock those guys into those franchises for the next few years. Sean Payton, at his age, might only have one more shot at this. Does he want to hitch his future to Russell Wilson in Denver? Does he want to hitch his future to Kyler Murray in Arizona? I’m not sure that he does.”

Breer added that the Houston Texans could have the most appeal to Payton, as they can draft a quarterback second overall and have the future picks to build around said QB. In addition, sitting out another season could buy time if the Los Angeles Chargers job becomes available in a year.

Payton has been linked to every opening, and there have been reports that one player is recruiting him quite hard. He seems comfortable on television and can be picky about his job opportunities. That gives him a lot of leverage, as is clear from his contract demands.

Reports had been suggesting that Payton was deliberating between two teams as he decides on his future.

Packers could seriously consider Aaron Rodgers trade?

Aaron Rodgers in a hat

Jan 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts following the loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are facing another offseason of uncertainty, but the two sides seem to be in agreement that a big move could be coming.

Both Rodgers and the Packers are “fully aware” that a trade is a real possibility this offseason, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Packers plan to move on from a number of key players, and Rodgers is unlikely to be pleased with those moves, which could set the wheels in motion for a split. The big issue will be the $110 million remaining on Rodgers’ contract, and what team might be able to take on that money.

The Packers cannot simply cut Rodgers, as that would come with a cap hit approaching $100 million. If the quarterback wants to keep playing but wants to do so for a team other than the Packers, a trade is the only real option for both sides.

Rodgers will consider his future, as he has done for the last two offseasons. The quarterback has made clear that he does not want to endure a rebuild if he does keep playing. Green Bay just missed the playoffs, and the organization may be aware that major changes are needed to overhaul the roster — changes that may not be possible without dumping some significant salaries.

Rodgers turned 39 in January and is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro. He threw for only 3,695 yards with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while playing with a broken thumb. He would still undoubtedly attract plenty of interest from around the league if he did become available, even though the contract will limit his market.

Ed Reed has surprising update about head coaching job

Ed Reed in a hat

Nov 24, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is shown on the sideline before the Atlanta Falcons game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Reed’s time as head coach at Bethune-Cookman has proven to be unexpectedly short-lived.

Reed announced Saturday that after extensive negotiations, Bethune-Cookman will not ratify his contract, and he will not be taking the head coaching position. The former NFL safety suggested that negotiations fell apart when the university would not grant Reed the amount of resources he sought to build the program.

One could guess that Reed’s issues with the school were exacerbated by a recent video he posted criticizing the state of the campus and school leadership.

Reed’s comments drew backlash from many corners, prompting him to apologize for his remarks, but the damage was likely already done. That is especially true when, as Reed himself admitted, he did not even officially have a contract when he made the video.

Reed’s agreement with Bethune-Cookman was announced in late December, so he was ultimately on the job for less than a month. It is unclear if he will seek another job elsewhere or seek to return to Miami, where he had served as chief of staff for the past several years.

Bronny James reportedly has 3 schools at top of his list

Bronny James in a jersey

Dec 11, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sierra Canyon High School guard Bronny James looks on against Perry High School at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James is inching closer to making a decision on where he will attend college, and he reportedly has three schools at the top of his list.

Luca Evans of the Los Angeles Times reported this week that he was told by a person with knowledge of the situation that Ohio State, USC and Oregon are James’ top three schools.

Bronny is reportedly planning to wait until after his senior season at Sierra Canyon to announce his decision. Many interpreted Evans’ report to mean James will choose between the three aforementioned schools, but that is not necessarily true. Evans later clarified that Ohio State, USC and Oregon are James’ top schools but a dark horse team could emerge.

James turned 18 in October and has already landed a big NIL deal. He also openly teased the possibility of him attending one school, so he certainly understands the value of building the hype. We will likely hear many more rumors between now and the time he makes a decision.

Josh Allen shares 1 of Bills’ keys to making deep playoff run

Josh Allen wears a Bills hat

Sep 27, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) jogs off the field following the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen has clearly had a favorite target in the red zone over the last month, and the star quarterback says it will be important to keep working that connection if the Buffalo Bills want to make a deep playoff run.

Dawson Knox got the Bills on the board in their 34-31 wild-card win over the Miami Dolphins with a 6-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. That marked the fifth consecutive game in which Knox has caught a touchdown, and Allen said he has to continue to find ways to get the ball to the tight end going forward.

“He’s been great for us,” Allen said this week, via Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News. “The more that we can get him the ball, it seems like the better that we do. He’s so athletic. He’s so big. He’s so fast. He’s tough for smaller guys and quicker than some of the big guys that guard him.”

Allen added that the Bills need to continue to emphasize “spreading the ball around,” which he feels is one of the marks of a good team.

The Bills have one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Stefon Diggs, but Allen has a tendency to force him the ball too often. That is one of the reasons Allen has struggled with turnovers this year.

Had it not been for a controversial late call last Sunday, it is possible the Bills would have fallen victim to a major upset. They now have to prepare to face a Cincinnati Bengals team that is much better than Miami. Knox had just three catches against the Dolphins even with the first-quarter score, but he might hear his number called more often in the Divisional Round.

Report: Jim Irsay still considering Jeff Saturday for head coach job

Jeff Saturday with a headset on

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday walks the sideline Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Photo Credit: Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Indianapolis Colts are in the process of narrowing their search for a new head coach, and it sounds like Jeff Saturday remains a legitimate candidate for the job.

Jordan Schultz of The Score reports that Irsay believes Saturday “has the capabilities to be a head coach” in the NFL. Saturday has informed the Colts that he wants to choose his own staff, which is something he was unable to do as interim head coach.

The Colts lost seven straight games under Saturday to close out the 2022 season. Saturday had no previous NFL coaching experience in any capacity, which is why fans and the media were so critical of the move. Some felt Irsay’s decision to give Saturday the job was part of a plan to tank for a high draft pick.

Despite that, Colts general manager Chris Ballard recently said Saturday is in the running for the job. It’s worth noting that Ballard also said he is leading the head coach search but Irsay will make the final decision.

Either Irsay is going to great lengths to prove Saturday was not put in place to tank, or he actually does believe the former Colts center can be a winning head coach in the NFL.