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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Football

Redskins were reportedly interested in Joe Flacco before Broncos trade

Joe Flacco

The Washington Redskins have suddenly found themselves searching for a starting quarterback this offseason in the wake of Alex Smith’s devastating leg injury, and they reportedly tried to acquire one earlier in the week.

According to Darren McKee of 104.3 The Fan, the Denver Broncos were forced to move quickly to acquire Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens because there was another team expressing interest. That team was the Redskins.

Flacco has a salary cap hit of around $26 million next season, while Smith’s number is $20 million. That means the Redskins would have had to invest nearly $50 million between Flacco, Smith and a backup quarterback, which at the moment is Colt McCoy and his $4 million salary. Would they have actually been willing to do that?

Washington president Bruce Allen has said he feels the team is close to contention, so it’s not unrealistic to think they would have found a way to clear the financial hurdles. However, it’s also possible the Ravens used the Redskins for leverage against the Broncos.

If the latest reports we have heard about Smith are accurate, Washington still needs to find a solution at quarterback. A less expensive one than Flacco seems like the more likely outcome.

Report: Rob Gronkowski has still been a regular at Patriots facility

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is once again openly contemplating retirement heading into the offseason, but there has been at least one positive sign for New England Patriots fans who are hoping the star tight end will return in 2019.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Gronkowski has still been a regular at Gillette Stadium since the Patriots won the Super Bowl two weeks ago. While some of that could have to do with him receiving treatment for a thigh injury he suffered, Reiss believes it also indicates Gronk is “in a good place with how the season ended, both team-wise and personally.”

Gronkowski has reportedly had some issues with Bill Belichick over the past two years, and we all know about his extensive injury history. There had been talk that Gronk would have retired following last year’s Super Bowl if the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, so many believe he plans to call it a career now.

However, immediately after the Pats beat the Los Angeles Rams, Gronkowski and Tom Brady appeared to drop a hint that the All-Pro could return for another run at a championship. Gronkowki and Brady have a very close relationship, so it would not be a surprise if the quarterback can convince one of his favorite teammates to play another year.

Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer predicts Patriots or Panthers will sign his client

Colin Kaepernick

Was the settlement between Colin Kaepernick and the NFL the first step in the quarterback’s return to the field? It sounds like that may be the case.

Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos was on CNN Saturday and predicted that a team will step up and sign his client. He named the Carolina Panthers, whose starter Cam Newton is coming off shoulder surgery, as one contender. He mentioned the New England Patriots as another possibility.

Geragos mentioned a third team as a possibility, saying Kaepernick’s former coach could be interested. That one is harder to figure out considering both Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly are back in college, though he may be talking about one of the assistants.

What would make the Panthers a fit? They already showed a willingness to look beyond the kneeling by signing Eric Reid, plus they could use a solid backup with Newton returning from his shoulder injury. The Patriots have also shown a great willingness in the past to sign controversial players, like Tim Tebow and Chad Johnson to name a few. If anyone can keep the media in line and handle the situation well, it’s Bill Belichick. But would they want that when they’re coming off a Super Bowl win? Maybe not.

Kaepernick’s return will be highly intriguing. He has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season and on Friday announced that he had settled his collusion case with the league.

Ex-Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie reportedly joins Dolphins

Miami Dolphins logo

Former Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie reportedly has a new job.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, McKenzie is joining the Miami Dolphins’ front office as a senior personnel executive.

McKenzie is well-respected as an evaluator in NFL circles, and he built the 2016 Oakland Raiders team that went 12-4, earning him an Executive of the Year nod. However, despite his claims otherwise, it appeared to many that he clashed with new coach Jon Gruden, who was given significant organizational power upon his arrival. That dynamic ended with McKenzie’s firing in December, and he will now join up with a rebuilding Miami team.

Demaryius Thomas suffers minor injuries in rollover accident

Demaryius Thomas

Free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was involved in a rollover accident in downtown Denver early Saturday morning.

According to Denver police, Thomas was the driver of a vehicle when he lost control and rolled into a grassy median at around 12:20 a.m. Saturday, via Oscar Contreras of ABC 7 in Denver. Thomas and a male passenger were expected to be treated and released with minor injuries, while a female passenger suffered potentially serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

An investigation is continuing, but police said that neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be contributing factors to the accident.

Thomas last played for the Houston Texans. He tore his Achilles on Dec. 23 and missed the rest of the season and playoffs. The Texans released him earlier in the week, and he is currently a free agent.

Antonio Brown blasts Ben Roethlisberger’s ‘owner mentality’ in tweet

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown wants to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he appears willing to go scorched earth on his way out.

Brown blasted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Twitter Saturday when asked by a fan about the source of conflict between the two. Brown claimed Roethlisberger has an “owner mentality” and feels he can criticize anyone, and players who complain are shipped out of town because of the quarterback’s importance.

In other words, Brown feels Roethlisberger can call anyone out and get away with it, but he’s the bad guy if he calls out his quarterback.

The fact that there’s bad blood between these two was not a secret, and Brown had been dropping some hints in his Twitter likes indicating that he was completely done with Roethlisberger. It’s pretty tough to see them clearing the air after this, especially with Brown trying to force his way out of Pittsburgh.

LeBron James backs Colin Kaepernick after NFL settlement

LeBron James

LeBron James is one of the most powerful voices in sports, and he’s not afraid to speak about social issues, so it’s no real surprise to hear him back Colin Kaepernick.

James weighed in on Kaepernick’s NFL settlement Saturday morning, and said that many of his critics and detractors weren’t paying attention to the real message he was trying to send.

Kaepernick has found wide support in the NBA community. It’s not at all surprising that James would back him and not be afraid to speak publicly about it.

Kaepernick settled his collusion case against the NFL on Friday, with rumors indicating he got a huge sum from the league. Unfortunately, we’ll likely never know the extent of what might have turned up in said case.