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Friday, April 26, 2019

Football

Breaking down all of the first-round NFL draft trades

Devin Bush

The 2019 NFL Draft started slow when it came to trades. None of the first nine picks were traded, and only one trade occurred in the first twenty picks. But things then went crazy, and we saw five trades at the end of the first round, so that by its conclusion, it was a typical first round with six total trade moves.

Here is my breakdown of each of those moves, recounting the value given up and gained, and a look using my wins-added value chart and how players need to turn out to justify the trade.

Steelers trade up to No. 10 for Devin Bush, gives up 20th overall, 52nd overall, and a 2020 3rd round pick to Broncos

Pittsburgh strategically moved in front of the Cincinnati Bengals in order to get the only other top inside linebacker option in the draft, after Devin White had earlier gone to Tampa Bay. Both of the AFC North rivals had needs at the position, with the Bengals finally moving on from Vontaze Burfict, while Pittsburgh is looking for an impact player at the position that they have not had since Ryan Shazier’s injury.

So from a strategic standpoint, the Steelers definitely did what they had to do to jump directly in front of a team that might have taken Bush.

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Bucs coach Bruce Arians shares his opinion on brutal schedule stretch

Bruce Arians

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be at a significant disadvantage compared to other teams next season because of the way the NFL structured their schedule, and head coach Bruce Arians is not hiding the fact that he is unhappy about it.

While certain teams will have easier schedules than others because of the divisions they play in, the NFL is doing the Bucs no favors by sending them on the road for seven consecutive weeks in the middle of the year, including a trip to London. On Tuesday, Arians called the scheduled “ridiculous.”

The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.

How much of a gauntlet is that? One NFL schedule-maker already admitted that the league messed up, though that won’t help the Buccaneers now. The team lured Arians out of retirement because they believe he is one of the better coaches in football, and the 66-year-old is going to have to do some of his best work during that brutal two-month stretch.

Report: Solomon Thomas being shopped by the 49ers

Solomon Thomas Stanford

Solomon Thomas was the third overall pick just two drafts ago. But with the 49ers again having a top pick, and with one of the top defensive linemen being the likely choice for San Francisco, Thomas is expendable.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there are rumblings that Thomas is on the trading block.

Thomas has only four sacks in two seasons for the 49ers, while playing in 30 games. He will have two years left on his rookie deal for a team that makes a move for him.

What could that pick be? The truth is, Solomon’s value is going to be very low. If you look at the defensive ends drafted in the top 10 since the sack became an official stat, who played in at least 25 games but recorded few sacks, you see only a few cases that panned out.

The most recent defensive ends drafted highly to record as few sacks as Thomas in their first two years were Dion Jordan, Tyson Jackson, Derrick Harvey, Glenn Dorsey, and Jamaal Anderson. It may be worth a move for a fresh start for Thomas elsewhere, but don’t expect the return to be a pick on the first two days of this year’s draft.

New York Post headline was not kind to Giants over Daniel Jones pick

Daniel Jones

The first word from the infamously tough New York media is in on the New York Giants’ draft, and it’s not pretty for the organization.

In response to the Giants’ selection of quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, the New York Post’s sports front page came in with a rather scathing headline: “Blue’s Clueless.”

The paper even goes on to brand the selection “inexplicable.”

It looks like the front page is reflecting what some Giants fans think of the selection. Few would have batted an eye at New York deciding to take Eli Manning’s long-term successor in the first round, but the Giants clearly rate Jones more highly than some experts did. That’s where the frustration comes from, and on the early evidence, he has a lot of work to do to win over a skeptical fanbase and media.

Sean Payton has hilarious spoof of Phil Mickelson’s famous Masters video

Sean Payton

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is taking part in the Zurich Classic pro-am at TPC Louisiana this week, and he seems just as excited about it as Phil Mickelson was before Round 3 of the Masters a couple weeks ago.

On his way to the course on Wednesday, Payton recorded himself discussing his plan for the day in a similar fashion to when Mickelson said he was going to be “hitting bombs” at Augusta National. The big difference for Payton is that he stressed the importance of not “hitting patrons,” rather than worrying about how far his drives travel.

You can compare that with Mickelson’s video from the Masters, which was a massive hit among golf fans.

Payton impersonating Mickelson with the video is one thing, but we can only hope he doesn’t try to pull off some of the tricks we have seen Phil execute on the golf course in the past. That would not end well for anyone.

Kyler Murray reveals inspiration behind pink pinstripe suit

Kyler Murray attended the NFL Draft on Thursday night with expectations that he would be the first player to hear his name called, and he made a big fashion statement for one of the most important events of his life.

Murray showed up to the draft in Nashville rocking a pink pinstripe suit. He said the wardrobe choice inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in “The Great Gatsby,” which is his favorite movie.

Murray is not the first prominent athlete to rock a pink suit, but only the most confident can pull it off. The Heisman Trophy winner wore it well.

Alleged masseuse in Robert Kraft case arrested on prostitution charges

Robert Kraft

Prosecutors in Florida are continuing to build their case against Robert Kraft and numerous other individuals that were allegedly involved in a prositution scandal at a day spa, and a new arrest was made this week.

According to jail records obtained by 12 News in Jupiter, Fla., 58-year-old Shen Mingbi has been arrested on multiple prositution-related charges that include one count of living off the earnings from prostitution and eight counts of offer to commit or engage in prostitution. Mingbi had been under surveillance back in February when she made a cash deposit at a bank, and police obtained a wage and hour report on her that showed no income reported to the state of Florida. A search warrant for her safety deposit box at the bank uncovered $43,800 in cash.

The arrest comes a week after police arrested 43-year-old Lei Chen on similar charges. Both women are accused of performing illegal sex acts on men — including Kraft — at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.

Kraft’s legal team has been fighting to block the spa video from being released, and attorneys for the spa workers are doing the same. They have accused investigators of illegally leaking the footage before a judge permitted it.

Kraft is facing two charges of solicitation of prostitution, and the 77-year-old has already rejected a plea deal that would have seen the charges dropped. While the case seems to have taken a significant turn from where it began, prosectors remain confident that they have enough evidence against Kraft and the other individuals involved.