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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Football

XFL bankruptcy sale to take place in August

Vince McMahon

The XFL filed for bankruptcy in April, and now a date has been set for its bankruptcy sale.

Sports Business Journal reporter Ben Fischer said on Monday that U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein ruled last week that a bankruptcy sale will proceed. The date of the sale will be on August 3.

A report on May 19 suggested that league founder Vince McMahon was planning to buy the league out of bankruptcy at a cheap price and was using the filing as a financial strategy. McMahon later denied those rumors and said he wouldn’t be bidding on the league’s assets.

McMahon invested over $200 million of his own money in reviving the league, which he first launched in 2001. This year’s reincarnation of the league played half of its 10-game season before things were cancelled due to the coronavirus. The procession of the bankruptcy sale could result in an XFL season taking place in 2021.

Packers, Aaron Jones have had contract extension talks

Aaron Jones

The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Jones seem to have mutual interest in reaching a deal.

Jones is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season, and Green Bay selected a running back in the second round of April’s draft. That seems to be an ominous combination regarding Jones’ future with the team, but that might not be the case.

In an article published during the week, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported that Jones’ agent has had contract talks with Green Bay. The agent said they would continue to talk.

Jones also spoke with reporters via a Zoom call and said he wants to be a Packer for life.

“Whether it’s my first year or my last year on a deal, I’m going to be just as motivated,” Jones told reporters Wednesday in a Zoom call, per ESPN. “It doesn’t change just because a contract is on the line for me. I mean, I’m going to continue to work and do everything in my power. I trust my agency and the Packers. With that, I would love to be a lifelong Packer. That’s my take on that.”

Jones was a fifth-round pick by the Packers out of UTEP in 2017. In 2019, he had 1,084 rushing yards, 474 receiving yards, and 19 total touchdowns, which tied for the league lead. The Packers still took Boston College product A.J. Dillon in the second round to work in the mix.

DL Damion Square says he is back with Chargers

la-chargers

The LA Chargers are bringing back a familiar face.

Damion Square shared on Instagram Monday that he is “back” with the Chargers.

Square has been with the Chargers since 2015, making the move with them from San Diego to Los Angeles. He had 27 tackles last season and 31 the year before, mostly as a rotational defensive lineman. His one-year, $2 million contract last year expired, which left him a free agent until now. Square was known for taking a big headbutt from DeMarco Murray in 2013.

Ron Rivera: Terry McLaurin on the verge of stardom

Terry McLaurin

Terry McLaurin was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise poor year for the 3-13 Washington Redskins. He is an emerging player, and the team’s new head coach recognizes that.

Ron Rivera was a guest on FS1’s FOX Football Now with Jay Glazer Friday and talked about his team. He had extra praise for the wide receivers, namely McLaurin.

“I’ve got to say, I like the wide receivers,” Rivera said, via 247 Sports. “Terry McLaurin’s been a treat. He’s been a treat to get to know. I ran into him several times before the lockdown when he would come around and I’d have a conversation with him. And then listening in on his conversations with (wide receivers) coach (Jim) Hostler has been really, really good. I mean, he’s a young man I think that had a solid year last year as a rookie, a third-round pick — he’s a guy that could be on the verge (of stardom), he really is. He reminds me so much of a D.J. Moore that we had in Carolina. Just an outstanding young man.”

The praise is well-deserved. McLaurin had 58 catches for 919 yards and seven touchdowns for an offense that was last in the NFL in points scored and last in passing yards. The numbers are impressive for a rookie no matter what, but they’re even more impressive in context.

Washington will have Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen competing at quarterback this year, will Alex Smith potentially figuring into the mix. McLaurin will be ready to shine regardless of who’s throwing the passes.

Colts coach hints at Marlon Mack starting over Jonathan Taylor

Marlon Mack topped 1,000 yards rushing for the Indianapolis Colts last season, and it looks like he has a good chance of keeping his starting job.

In a conference call with the media on Monday, Colts coach Frank Reich hinted that Mack would start over rookie Jonathan Taylor. Reich did also indicate though that Taylor and Nyheim Hines would have prominent roles.

“There’s definitely inherent respect for the starter returning,” said Reich, per Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan. “And that’s the way I see this … I see it as a 1-1 [punch]. The way that the league has gone and the way role playing has been elevated in our league, it’s made it prominent. We used to say in San Diego that when we had Danny Woodhead. He was not our starter, he was our ‘role playing’ starter. He played such a significant role. He had 80 catches in a year.

“You look at a guy like Nyheim Hines,” Reich added. “We talk about Marlon and Jonathan, but what about Nyheim? He’s such a good third-down back that he’ll play a prominent [role]. In some ways, [Hines] is a starter. He’s a role-playing starter.”

The Colts used a second-round pick in this year’s draft on the first team All-American Taylor, leading many to believe that he could unseat Mack as the starter. But Mack had an excellent 2019 season, rushing for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing multiple games with a hand injury.

In any case, Taylor’s speed (and Hines’ change-of-pace ability for that matter) is a good complement to Mack’s explosiveness, which is an encouraging development for the Colts in an offseason that has been full of them.

5 best remaining NFL free agents

Cam Newton

June is here and NFL free agency was already a few months ago, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good players available to NFL teams looking for late offseason upgrades. Multiple Pro Bowlers are still available as free agents, whether they were cut for cap reasons or simply haven’t found the right fit or contract for their liking. Plenty of other players remain unsigned as well.

Here are the five best players still available on the NFL free agent market.

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Ex-Auburn QB Jason Campbell pays respects to late Pat Dye

Pat Dye

Former Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell went on Twitter Monday to pay his respects to the late Pat Dye.

Campbell played at Auburn from 2001-2004 and was SEC Player of the Year as a senior in 2004. Dye was the head coach at Auburn from 1981-1992.

Dye died on Monday from kidney and liver failure at the age of 80.

After his career at Auburn, Campbell became a first-round pick by Washington in 2005. He played in the NFL until 2014 and threw for 87 touchdowns and 60 interceptions in his career.