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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Football

Report: Dan Snyder stuck in trademark fight over preferred new Washington nickname

Dan Snyder

The Washington franchise confused some Monday by announcing the retirement of the Redskins nickname without actually announcing a replacement. It turns out there’s reportedly a reason for that.

Owner Dan Snyder and the franchise are reportedly caught up in a trademark fight over the preferred new name, which was not identified in the report.

This is definitely an issue Washington has run into while searching for a replacement. Many nicknames have already been trademarked by someone else, making the process more difficult for the franchise to pick a new name. If nothing else, this is another reminder of how quickly Snyder was forced to change his stance on the nickname due to pressure from partners and sponsors.

The trademark process may actually have given away what the ultimate choice on the new nickname will be.

Odell Beckham says he contemplated retirement after breaking ankle in 2017

Odell Beckham Jr

Odell Beckham Jr has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career, the most notable of which was a broken ankle he suffered in 2017. In addition to forcing him to miss all but four games that season, the injury apparently led Beckham to contemplate retirement.

Beckham spoke about the 2017 injury during a roundtable discussion with Cam Newton, Todd Gurley and former teammate Victor Cruz this week. The star receiver said he lost some of his love for the game after breaking his ankle and thought about calling it quits.

“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,'” Beckham said, via Rob Golberg of Bleacher Report. “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit.”

Beckham says it was the fans — particularly the young ones — that kept him going during the tough time.

“When I be on the sideline and that little kid is, ‘Do the whip, dance,’ like that s— is what fueled me,” he said. “That’s what fueled me.”

New York is a difficult place to play for any professional athlete, and it’s no secret Beckham struggled with that when he was with the Giants. He made references during the roundtable discussion to people criticizing him when he plays well and when he struggles, but we doubt he truly came close to calling it a career at age 24.

Beckham also played through an injury all of last year, but he is said to be fully recovered heading into 2020.

Jim McMahon golfs barefoot, once drank 11 Bloody Marys during tournament

Jim McMahon had one of the most eccentric personalities of any player in NFL history, and the former Chicago Bears quarterback is still marching to the beat of his own drum.

McMahon has played in a number of celebrity golf tournaments over the years, and those who have seen him on the course know he prefers to play barefoot. With the weather cooperating at the annual American Century Championship over the weekend, McMahon once again went with no shoes. He drained a nice putt during the final round on Sunday.

McMahon has never missed an American Century Championship in the 31 years the event has been held. His best finish was in 1992 when he came in 14th. As you might imagine, he has some great stories from all the years he played in the tournament, including when he says he drank 11 bloody marys during a round in his 10th year at the event. McMahon told Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on the “Subpar” podcast recently that he threw up late in the round but managed to shoot a 72 after firing an 88 while stone sober the day before. McMahon says he started heaving when playing partner Vinny Del Negro was taking too long to hit his tee shot on the 16th hole. The interview is worth a listen.

Considering he basically came up with his own version of the BYU honor code, we’re not really surprised by anything McMahon does. If he ever wins the American Century Championship, it’s probably safe to assume he enjoyed a few cocktails along the way.

Report: Dak Prescott, Cowboys not expect to reach deal barring ‘dramatic’ change

Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys have until Wednesday afternoon to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term contract, and that is looking less likely to happen by the minute.

Prescott and the Cowboys have not had further contract negotiations this week. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that is the way it’s going to stay “barring a dramatic last-second change.”

The two sides have until 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday to agree to a deal, so one phone call could change everything. However, there has been no reason to think either Prescott or the Cowboys are going to give in.

Prescott reportedly wants a four-year deal, while the Cowboys want to sign him to five. The latest offer Prescott turned down sounds like it was very respectable, but that could be the Cowboys leaking information to make themselves sound better.

Prescott, 26, threw for a career-best 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, which marked his fourth as Dallas’ starter. He would make just over $31.4 million by playing on the franchise tag this season.

Report: Travis Kelce, former NFL stars trying to buy Mets with A-Rod and J-Lo

Alex Rodriguez and his fiancee Jennifer Lopez are leading a group that is trying to purchase the New York Mets, and the NFL community is apparently well represented in their bid as well.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure revealed on Monday that Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and former NFL stars Brian Urlacher, DeMarco Murray and Joe Thomas are some of the investors in Rodriguez’s and Lopez’s group. Some NBA players are also investing, including Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such high-quality individuals as part of our group,” Rodriguez told ESPN.

Kelce called the chance to become a part owner of the Mets a “crazy opportunity,” while Urlacher said he is proud to be a part of such a noteworthy group of current and former athletes.

“Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher said. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”

A-Rod and J-Lo have contributed $300 million of their own money. The initial bid from the group was $1.7 billion last week, with billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen reportedly bidding $2 billion. Cohen is still considered the favorite to buy the Mets even though he had a deal in place with owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon that went sour earlier this year due to a number of issues.

Rodriguez and Lopez reportedly have at least one billionaire in their investment group, so it would not be a surprise if they increase their bid.

Report: Teams interested in trading for Jaguars star Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue has openly asked for the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade him if they are not going to sign him to a long-term extension, and there may still be a chance the star defensive lineman winds up with a new team in 2020.

Teams have expressed interest in trading for Ngakoue, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. However, the Jaguars are not simply going to give the pass-rusher away, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of optimism that their asking price will be met.

The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue earlier this offseason, but he has yet to sign the tender. The deadline for signing franchise tagged players to long-term deals is Wednesday, though it doesn’t seem like there is any chance of Jacksonville and Ngakoue agreeing to a new contract.

Ngakoue got into a heated Twitter exchange with a Jags executive back in April over what he perceives to be the team essentially keeping him in limbo. The team, however, says no one really wants to trade for the 25-year-old.

Ngakoue has averaged just over nine sacks a season since being drafted by the Jags in the third round in 2016. He’s set to make $17.8 million if he plays under the franchise tag this season. It makes sense that there is interest in him, but teams aren’t going to give up a high draft pick when they could just try to sign Ngakoue as a free agent next offseason.

Redskins reportedly fire two long-term executives in abrupt shakeup

Dan Snyder

The Washington Redskins continue to make big organizational changes during the offseason, and that even includes personnel.

According to Ben Standig and Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic, Director of Pro Personnel Alex Santos and Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Richard Mann II were both fired by Washington over the weekend. Santos had been with the organization since 2006, and Mann since 2010.

There had been rumors about Santos’ job security after owner Dan Snyder gave coach Ron Rivera significant organizational power, but Santos was at Rivera’s introductory press conference as well as the Senior Bowl.

The timing of the changes is unusual, as it’s rather late in the offseason for something like this to happen. The pro personnel department is an important one for an NFL team, and it’s strange that Washington would make significant changes to it in mid-July.

Even bigger changes appear to be coming to the organization in the days to come.