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Monday, March 30, 2020

Football

Derek Wolfe to sign one-year contract with Ravens

Derek Wolfe

The Baltimore Ravens have moved quickly to bring in a new defensive lineman after one of their previous deals fell through.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that the Ravens have agreed to terms with defensive lineman Derek Wolfe on a one-year deal worth up to $6 million.

The Ravens clearly still wanted another defensive lineman and acted quickly to get it done. They had previously held up a deal with Michael Brockers over medical concerns, and ultimately opted out of signing him to a three-year contract. That left them with a need, and Wolfe will fill it.

Wolfe is coming off the best season of his career with the Denver Broncos. He collected seven sacks in just 12 games, and the Ravens will be hoping he can keep that kind of production going with his new team.

Gardner Minshew shares epic ‘Tiger King’ parody

Gardner Minshew

With many people at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are turning to Netflix to keep them entertained. Subsequently, the release of “Tiger King,” a wild true crime documentary about the twists and turns of conservationists who have private zoos of big cats, has sparked a lot of chatter on the internet.

Enter Gardner Minshew, who shared the perfect parody to his Instagram page on Saturday.

View this post on Instagram

Here kitty kitty #JaguarKing

A post shared by Gardner Minshew (@gardnerminshew5) on

This is awesome. Minshew has readily embraced his status as a meme, and he’s leaning into it more here. No wonder Jaguars fans love him, and now that Nick Foles has been traded, he’ll have the chance to make the quarterback job his own.

Michael Pittman’s uncle dies from coronavirus

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic sadly continues to rise, and one member of the NFL family has suffered a loss as a result.

On March 12, ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported that a family member of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman was hospitalized and in critical condition after contracting COVID-19. She announced Saturday that the family member, Pittman’s uncle Sherman Pittman, ultimately died from the disease.

Over a thousand Americans have died of COVID-19, and that toll continues to climb. Tragically, Pittman’s uncle did not get the miracle he needed.

Thus far, the pro athletes who have contracted the virus have suffered mild symptoms and, in some cases, none at all. The older relatives of some athletes have not been as fortunate. Hopefully we don’t hear any more stories like this, but as the virus spreads, it may be inevitable.

Melvin Gordon reveals how holdout changed relationship with Chargers

Melvin Gordon

In 2019, running back Melvin Gordon held out in search of a new contract from the Los Angeles Chargers. He ended up missing the first three weeks of the season, not getting what he wanted, then losing work to teammate Austin Ekeler even once he returned.

Gordon admitted in a conference call Friday that he regretted the holdout, and not just because of lost money. He felt the attitude in the building changed toward him as well.

“I mean it was tough but, I definitely felt like I ruined some relationships,” Gordon said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “It’s all part of it. Obviously, you try your best to kind of put that aside and go out there and still give it your all. That’s what I tried to do. At times it definitely was difficult. You kind of felt some tension. Well, I kind of felt some tension walking around, but I just tried my best to keep a smile on my face and just show up for work every day. Like I said it was difficult and challenging, but I got through. Obviously, I can’t take back what I did. What I did was done. And now I’m here.”

Gordon is a cautionary tale when it comes to holdouts. He lost money and ultimately the Chargers realized they could move on without him. Ultimately, he landed with the Denver Broncos for less money than he turned down from the Chargers, and he seems to know that he did himself a disservice last year.

5 best NFL moves of the offseason

Tom Brady

While there are definitely still moves to be made, the bulk of the big free agents and trades in the NFL are behind us. Most stars have new teams, and some moves have definitely been bigger than others. Some have been smarter than others, too — the NFL is full of big-money signings that don’t work out, and huge trades that fall short of their intended impact.

We’re betting these moves won’t fall in those categories. Here are five of the best and sharpest moves of the NFL offseason so far.

5. Ravens trade for Calais Campbell

Campbell has a reputation as a quality teammate, not to mention an excellent pass-rusher. He had 31.5 sacks in three seasons with Jacksonville, and it’s an absolute coup for Baltimore to be able to land him in exchange for only a fifth-round pick. Campbell will solidify Baltimore’s defense and improve their pass rush. The acquisition was even more important now that the Michael Brockers signing fell through.

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Cooper Kupp hilariously explains Brandin Cooks’ cryptic tweet

NFL players sometimes use social media to send messages about their current mindset. They can signal that they’re unhappy with their current team, and maybe even want a trade.

That’s what Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks seemed to be doing Friday afternoon, when he posted a tweet that simply read “free me.”

Naturally, that gained some notice, with many believing that Cooks was signaling his desire to leave the Rams. Not the case, according to teammate Cooper Kupp, who shared the real reason for the tweet.

Kupp may well not know any better than the rest of us if Cooks’ tweet has any added meaning. It sounds like Cooks may be available for trade whether he wants it or not, and maybe he’s heard that and wants to speed the process alone. Or maybe he’s just quarantined. You be the judge.

Report: Jadeveon Clowney may wait until training camp to sign

Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney is not close to finding a team to sign with, and it sounds like that may remain the case for quite some time.

The defensive lineman remains unsigned nearly two weeks into free agency, and nothing appears close. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, there is a growing belief around the league that Clowney may wait until training camp to sign.

Things can change quickly in free agency, and it’s cautioned that Clowney might sign quickly if something comes his way that he likes. However, he has yet to receive an offer to his liking. The Seattle Seahawks have reportedly offered Clowney a deal somewhere in the $13-15 million per year range. That is well short of what Clowney has been looking for.

Clowney’s health is likely an issue, as teams can’t examine him themselves before making a major investment in him. It’s not clear when that will change. What is clear is that Clowney isn’t really willing to settle for less than his perceived value, even if it means sitting and waiting for a while.