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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Football

Eric Dickerson leading fight against Rams’ new logo

Eric Dickerson

It’s often unpopular when a team changes its old and well-known logo, but the backlash against the Los Angeles Rams’ new design has been particularly swift.

The new logo is so unpopular that Rams legend Eric Dickerson has taken up the cause on behalf of angry fans to try to lobby the team’s front office to revert back to the old design. On Sunday, he announced that his efforts have been unsuccessful.

The Rams’ logo leaked weeks before it was officially unveiled, and fans hated it. The team stuck with it anyway and released it to much fanfare and general criticism. That criticism is being amplified by a franchise legend, but so far, the team isn’t backing down, and it seems unlikely that they will.

Report: Patriots have interest in little-known quarterback in NFL Draft

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are often regarded as being ahead of the curve in the NFL Draft, so one potential quarterback target could raise some eyebrows.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots had a video meeting with Florida International quarterback James Morgan. Morgan is an intriguing name who did well in the Shrine Game and idolizes Brett Favre, but is not ranked particularly highly in most pre-draft assessments.

Between Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots have done well with quarterbacks later in the draft. Morgan is certainly not their only option, but it’s interesting to see his name linked.

We do know that the Patriots are almost certain to draft a quarterback after surprisingly releasing Cody Kessler. That quarterback is unlikely to start, but given the team’s history at the position, their draft assessments are well worth watching.

Report: Cam Newton willing to wait until after NFL Draft to sign

Cam Newton expects to be a starting quarterback, and if he has to wait for the right opportunity, he appears willing to do so.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Newton is willing to wait out the market to find a starting job. That could mean he doesn’t sign until after the NFL Draft, or perhaps even later than that.

“I spoke to a source close to Cam Newton and he’s willing to wait right now if he has to,” Fowler said Sunday, via Riley Gates of 247Sports. “He’s going to be patient. He wants to get his spot back as a high-level starter. He’s highly motivated to do so. There simply aren’t a lot of starting jobs available. So if he has to wait until after the draft, or maybe somebody gets injured, he is willing to do that. He knows the Patriots or maybe one of those teams could be looking. He doesn’t know what they’re going to do, obviously, just yet. They haven’t played their hand.”

Newton, who missed most of 2019 with a foot injury, has struggled to garner interest thus far. One team that seemed like a logical destination doesn’t seem interested, and not a lot of franchises are still hunting for a starter at this point. That could change depending on injuries and the NFL Draft, and that seems to be what Newton is banking on.

Justin Reid trying to get Texans to sign his brother Eric

Eric Reid

Eric Reid is a free agent after being released by the Carolina Panthers last month, but his brother is lobbying to get him signed.

Justin Reid spoke to Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien about signing Eric, the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reports.

Justin is a safety for Houston and was a third-round pick by the Texans out of Stanford in 2018. He had 78 tackles and two interceptions last year. Eric, 28, is also a safety and has spent the past two seasons with Carolina after previously playing for the 49ers. He had a career-high 130 tackles last season, which should be enough to get him a job somewhere.

Eric has been in the news the past few years for his support of Colin Kaepernick. He was part of a collusion suit against the NFL that they settled. He also made headlines for his criticism of Jay-Z.

Rob Gronkowski wears ‘GronkMania’ jacket as host of WrestleMania 36

Rob Gronkowski WrestleMania

Rob Gronkowski is part of WWE now and got his first huge moment in the spotlight as the host of WrestleMania 36 this weekend.

At the beginning of the program, which was recorded at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Gronk got fans pumped up for the action.

Gronk was wearing a custom outfit for the show. That included a special “GronkMania” suit and jacket.

The best line from the former NFL tight end was him saying he could lead a party for 30 hours. The reason he said that is because for the first time, WWE is extending WrestleMania into a two-night affair, with a show on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bucs QB coach feels like he ‘failed’ Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Many feel like Jameis Winston got a raw deal in Tampa Bay, and his former quarterbacks coach appears to be one of them.

In an interview this week on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Buccaneers QB coach Clyde Christensen spoke both glowingly and regretfully about Winston.

“I love Jameis Winston, I loved every minute working with Jameis Winston, I really believe he’s going to get the right chance at the right place,” Christensen said, per Pewter Report’s Mark Cook. “Maybe like Ryan Tannehill where it takes backing up, who knows what the scenario will be, but he will rise to the top. I think he’s a starting, upper-echelon quarterback in this NFL and I do think he’s going to get these interceptions under control a little bit.

“In some ways I feel like I failed him a little bit,” he added about Winston. “As a coach you take that personal. I didn’t get it done, I didn’t help this kid. This kid’s better than 30 interceptions and we didn’t get that done and that I’ll have to live with.”

The 26-year-old Winston had been with the Bucs for his entire five-year NFL career, but Christensen was only hired in 2019. For what it’s worth, Winston saw a large increase in volume last year but also led the league in picks and saw his stock plummet, making him unlikely to even be a starter next season.

Now that Tom Brady and a new era have arrived in Tampa, Christensen is among others on the team who think Winston was somewhat scapegoated.

California governor Gavin Newsom doubts NFL season will start on time with fans

President Donald Trump wants to see the NFL season start on time with fans in the stands, but that desire is already getting pushback from a key state authority.

Trump said on a conference call with league commissioners Saturday that he believes the NFL should start its season on time in September, and hopes to have fans back in stadiums by that point. California governor Gavin Newsom, however, said he does not expect that to happen in his state, citing issues in Asia reopening businesses and sporting events.

Local authorities will have the final say on large events like this. We still don’t know where things will stand in late summer, but Trump’s belief about the NFL is clearly premature based on these comments. It’s no wonder that some analysts think that football season won’t go ahead as scheduled with comments like this.