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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Football

Video: Cam Robinson ejected for making contact with official

Cam Robinson

Cam Robinson was ejected from Thursday night’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Miami Dolphins game for making contact with an official.

The Jags had the ball and lost a fumble in their territory late in the third quarter. Robinson was at the bottom of the pile fighting for the ball.

As the officials tried to sort through the pile to determine who had the ball, Robinson made contact with two referees. A flag was thrown after he pushed official Bruce Stritesky off of him.

A different official threw a flag on the play over Robinson’s contact and ejected the Jags lineman from the game.

Players are not allowed to make contact with referees and can be flagged for doing so, which is what happened in this case. The penalty gave the Dolphins the ball at the Jacksonville 5-yard line. Miami scored a touchdown on third-and-goal to extend their lead to 28-7.

Both announcer Troy Aikman and rules analyst Mike Pereira expressed disagreement with the call on the game’s telecast. They argued that the officials should take Robinson’s intent into consideration.

Buccaneers will allow limited fan attendance at home games starting in Week 4

Tom Brady

Some Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans will get the chance to see Tom Brady play in person after all this season.

The Buccaneers announced Saturday that a limited number of fans will be allowed at Raymond James Stadium starting in Week 4. The aim is to eventually fill the stadium at 25 percent capacity.

Ticket sales rose significantly in the offseason after the Brady signing. Longtime season ticket holders will get the first shot at attending games, however.

There have been some people in attendance at Buccaneers games this season. That was to the frustration of at least one player. That situation will soon be rectified, which will make everyone happy.

Steve Smith rips Gardner Minshew after poor game

Steve Smith

Analyst Steve Smith was critical of Gardner Minshew after the Jacksonville Jaguars lost 31-13 to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Minshew had a dud of a game, going 30/42 for 275 yards with an interception and lost fumble in the defeat. Smith ripped Minshew during NFL Network’s postgame show, putting the quarterback on his “struggle bus.”

“He is the franchise quarterback … for the struggle bus. In the second half, he didn’t have a completion over 10 yards until the end of the fourth quarter. He didn’t look very comfortable back there,” said Smith.

Smith then singled out Minshew’s struggles against the zone defense.

“I think we got him figured out a little bit. He couldn’t read zone coverage if zone coverage popped him upside his moustache and went in his nose. He still wouldn’t get it. He struggled, because he couldn’t get past himself,” Smith said.

Smith has long been known for talking big, so it’s no surprise to hear him bring this kind of criticism. Minshew will probably accept the criticism and acknowledge he needs to play better.

The 24-year-old threw for six touchdowns and two interceptions in Jacksonville’s first two games and was nowhere near his best on Thursday.

Tua Tagovailoa planning financially-savvy move for rookie year

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa is trying to be smart with his NFL money from the very start.

In an interview this week with GQ Magazine, the Miami Dolphins first-year quarterback said that he was planning to save the entirety of his rookie contract and live solely off his endorsement money.

“I’m gonna be living off of my marketing money,” said Tagovailoa. “So the endorsement money that I get, and then everything else is just put to the side. The money that I’m making from my contract, that’s put to the side. None of that’s gonna be seen.”

The 22-year-old landed $30.3 million guaranteed, including a $19.6 million signing bonus, from the Dolphins on his four-year rookie contract. As for his endorsements, Tagovailoa has already picked up deals from Adidas, Bose, Wingstop, and other companies.

It is a wise playcall from Tagovailoa, who has yet to make his NFL debut as he continues to recover from hip surgery. Granted, the ex-Heisman finalist is not the only member of the 2020 draft class who is pulling such a move.

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Report: This team has shown the most interest in Antonio Brown

Antonio brown

The Houston Texans left a big hole in their offense when they traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, and they may be thinking about trying to fill it with Antonio Brown.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “Get Up!” Friday morning that a source close to Brown told him the Texans have shown the most interest in the star receiver of any team that has inquired. He said the interest “comes with a huge caveat.”

“That comes with a huge caveat — nobody is signing him right now with the eight-game suspension that could be even longer because he still has an unresolved case with his former trainer Britney Taylor,” Fowler said. “But, Seattle came and went and some other teams came and went. Houston’s at least poking around here, so it’s worth watching as the team sits at 0-2 without a No. 1 receiver.”

Brown is eligible to return in Week 9, assuming his suspension remains eight games. We should see interest in him ramp up as that date gets closer.

Brown was suspended over numerous off-field issues, including allegations of sexual misconduct from two different women. Since those allegations came to light, Brown was charged with burglary with battery after he and his trainer, Glenn Holt, allegedly attacked a moving truck driver. Brown pleaded no contest to a charge in that incident and avoided jail time.

If all of that weren’t enough to give NFL teams pause, Brown also streamed a live video on Instagram back in January that showed him berating police officers in front of his children.

Brown, 32, spent very brief periods with the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots last season. The seven-time Pro Bowler should still be capable of playing at an elite level, as he caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018.

Report: Raiders being investigated for breaking coronavirus protocol

Raiders logo

Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders were fined this week after Gruden once again did not wear his mask throughout the team’s entire game. Now, more sanctions could be coming against the Raiders for a different violation.

The NFL is investigating the Raiders for potentially violating coronavirus protocols by allowing a team employee without proper credentials to enter their locker room. The alleged violation took place following Monday night’s big win over the New Orleans Saints.

Only 40 employees from each organization are allowed inside the locker room. There are security points to prevent unauthorized people from entering locker rooms, and the NFL believes the Raiders staffer eluded those checkpoints.

Gruden and Saints head coach Sean Payton were both fined $100,000 and their teams were fined $250,000 after the two did not wear their masks on the sideline throughout the entire game. Gruden revealed after the game that he already contracted COVID-19 during the summer and said he is doing his best to adhere to the mask rules.

Rob Gronkowski clearly bothered by ‘blocking tight end’ talk

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski has been almost a non-factor in the passing game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through two games, and many have concluded that he is simply no longer capable of making explosive plays. Could that talk be taking a toll on the star tight end?

On Friday, Gronkowski was asked about only drawing four targets from Tom Brady in two games. He joked that he’s a blocking tight end now and didn’t come out of retirement to catch passes.

Gronk was, of course, being sarcastic. He kept driving the point home, however.

Gronkowski is clearly nowhere near the same player he was four or five years ago. The way he has looked through two games with the Bucs is similar to how he looked in 2018 with the New England Patriots. He seems to lack the speed and explosiveness needed to separate from defenders, which is why Brady is no longer funneling passes his way.

We already explained why Bucs fans should temper their expectations about Gronkowski, and Bruce Arians seemed to reaffirm that with some remarks this week. Gronk could have a few big games, but he’s no longer a true game-changer at his position.

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Joe Montana, wife had to wrestle grandchild away from kidnapper

Joe Montana

Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer were involved in a terrifying incident on Saturday in which they reportedly had to stop a home intruder from kidnapping one of their grandchildren.

Law enforcement sources told TMZ that a 39-year-old woman entered the California home where the Montanas were staying through an unlocked door on Saturday evening. The intruder then saw a woman, who has not been identified, holding an infant. The alleged kidnapper took Montana’s grandchild and went to another part of the house.

Joe and Jennifer reportedly followed the intruder and wrestled the baby away from her. The kidnapper then ran out of the house.

L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies happened to be on the same block for an unrelated matter, and someone inside the house flagged them down to report what had happened. The officers found the intruder a few blocks away and arrested her on kidnapping and burglary charges.

Fortunately, it does not sound like the baby was harmed in any way.

We’ve heard of athletes thwarting crime attempts in the past, but this incident involved Montana’s own grandchild. We can only imagine how scary that must have been.

Davante Adams likely to miss Week 3 with hamstring injury

Davante Adams

Davante Adams left last Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions after suffering a hamstring injury, and it sounds like he is going to sit out in Week 3 because of it.

Adams has not practiced this week, and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said it is “probably doubtful” that the star receiver will play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.

The Packers are a notoriously cautious team with injuries, so we would be surprised if Adams played.

Adams is Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted target. The 27-year-old went off for 14 catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 before catching just three passes against Detroit.

Soft tissue injuries tend to linger, so Green Bay would rather Adams miss time now than later in the season.

Report: Cam Newton unlikely to get midseason extension from Patriots

Cam Newton

Cam Newton has played so well through the first two weeks of the season that there is already talk of the New England Patriots potentially signing him to a contract extension. However, it does not sound like either side has much interest in exploring that at the moment.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that it is unlikely the Patriots will give Newton a raise or sign him to an extension in the middle of the season. New England likely wants to play it safe given Newton’s injury history, and Newton may also prefer to wait until the offseason. At that point, he could either be hit with the franchise tag and make a huge salary next season or sign a long-term deal.

Newton is currently playing under a league minimum deal that includes incentives. His biggest incentive, of course, is to prove he is still an elite starting QB and deserves a big free agent deal. If the Patriots give him more money after just two games, Newton may be less motivated to perform.

Newton once again reminded us recently of why he is not thinking about money at the moment. That is a smart mentality to have. If he can stay healthy and continue to play like he has, the contract will take care of itself.