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Friday, February 28, 2020

Football

Chase Young skipping workouts at NFL Combine

The player who will top many NFL Draft boards won’t be showing off at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Defensive end Chase Young will not take part in workouts at the Combine, but will be available to teams for interviews and medical tests.

Young probably could have put up some crazy workout numbers, but we’ll miss out on those. Ultimately, this will have no impact on Young’s draft status. He was mooted as a Heisman candidate despite being a defender, and he’s regarded by many as the best overall player in the draft. Odds are he’ll go No. 2 to the Washington Redskins.

Ron Rivera’s assessment of Daniel Snyder is not encouraging

Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera surprised many by taking the Washington Redskins job so quickly. It’s not perceived to be one of the NFL’s better coaching positions, but Rivera was clearly convinced by Washington’s vision.

That vision included a new management structure around owner Daniel Snyder. Rivera admitted that he was uncertain when first discussing the job, but that he was won over eventually — though his compliment for the owner might not be as effusive as he wants it to be.

“This is about the fit, and the more I listened, the more I looked at it, the more I looked at the roster, that’s what impressed me the most, the more I knew,” Rivera said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I came in (to initial talks) with some trepidation, but as I’ve gotten to know Mr. Snyder, I understand really all he wants to do is figure out how to win, and that is pretty exciting.”

Snyder has owned the Redskins since May 1999, so it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement that Rivera sees him wanting to learn how to win as an owner. Washington fans who have watched Snyder try and fail to deliver a consistent winner for two decades probably aren’t enthralled with this either.

Snyder’s public image is not great, and his gaffes are widely mocked. If there’s a Washington turnaround coming, it will probably have more to do with Rivera than it will Snyder.

Joe Burrow had great response to Alabama when offered third-string job

Joe Burrow made every college coach that passed on him regret their decision when he won a Heisman Trophy and a national title last season, but there were other programs aside from LSU that wanted the quarterback when he transferred from Ohio State. Nick Saban was apparently among the coaches that recruited Burrow — just not hard enough.

During an appearance on Bleacher Report’s “The Lefkoe Show” on Monday, Burrow revealed that Alabama offered him a roster spot when he was transferring from Ohio State back in 2018. However, the Tide wanted Burrow as a third-string quarterback. Burrow says he turned Alabama down in very confident fashion.

“People like Alabama were calling and wanting me to be their third-string quarterback, and I’m like, ‘Me? You guys must not know about me yet,'” Burrow said.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and you can certainly understand why Alabama wasn’t offering Burrow a chance to compete for a starting job at the time. They were already facing a tough decision of whether to start Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts. And had Tagovailoa been able to stay healthy, there’s no telling how last season would have turned out.

If you didn’t know how much confidence Burrow had before he led LSU to a win over Clemson in the national title game, the video we saw of him immediately following his legendary performance should have told the story. That is one of the many traits that makes Burrow so appealing to NFL teams.

Report: Tom Brady wants two-year commitment from Patriots

Tom Brady

Tom Brady may care more about his supporting cast in 2020 than he does about the total dollar amount the New England Patriots are willing to give him, but that’s not to say the contract itself means nothing to him. At the very least, Brady may want the Patriots to show him they believe he has multiple years of good football left to play.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic is the latest Patriots insider to discuss Brady’s impending free agency, and Howe reports that Brady is not trying to set the quarterback market with a $35 million salary. However, Brady wanted guaranteed money for 2020 last offseason when he renegotiated his contract with New England, and he may want the same with his next deal.

Brady will likely want a two-year deal that includes at least some guaranteed money for 2021, that way the Patriots aren’t telling him to once again prove he is still capable of winning games in his 40s. The problem, of course, is that Bill Belichick obviously did not want to give Brady a two-year deal a year ago, and did Brady really do anything last season to change the coach’s opinion of his aging quarterback?

While you could make the argument that Brady had very few weapons to work with on offense, he also showed that he is no longer capable of elevating his mediocre teammates the way he did earlier in his career. Brady also battled some nagging injuries that impacted his play, which is something interested teams are reportedly concerned about.

If Belichick believes Brady gives the Patriots their best chance of winning in 2020, there could be a middle ground for the two sides somewhere. Perhaps New England can offer Brady a contract that pays him a respectable amount in 2020 and 2021 while giving them salary cap flexibility to improve the roster around him. Those are the types of contracts Brady has taken throughout his entire career, and we’ve already heard rumblings about the Pats potentially making a run at a star wide receiver. It’s quite possible that Brady’s and Belichick’s interests are more aligned than many are making it seem.

Raiders to make public minicamp first team event in Las Vegas

Jon Gruden

The Raiders appear to have their first major event in their new home.

Coach Jon Gruden said Saturday night while attending the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight that the Raiders will be holding their mandatory minicamp from June 14-16 in the Las Vegas area. Gruden added that the team hopes to accommodate as many members of the public as possible at the event.

“If we can let everyone in, we will,” Gruden said, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

It was not clear if the event would be held in Las Vegas or at the team’s practice facility in nearby Hendersonville, but planning still appears to be ongoing.

The move to Vegas seems to be going well. Despite initial concerns, there appears to be a willing fanbase recreating some of the traditions from Oakland, and a minicamp is sure to draw some fan interest. How much of it sticks once the games begin remains to be seen.

Jim Irsay won’t rule out Jacoby Brissett as Colts QB in 2020

Jacoby Brissett

One key question this offseason will be who the Indianapolis Colts decide to go with as their quarterback for the 2020 season.

Owner Jim Irsay may have some ideas, but he isn’t shedding any light on that right now. He did say Sunday, however, that Jacoby Brissett is still a candidate to be brought back as starter in 2020.

It’s safe to assume that the Colts are going to be pretty ruthless about this and will go for a more established veteran if they get the chance to do so. Brissett had a middling season as Colts starter in 2019, going 7-8 in his starts while throwing for 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Those aren’t bad numbers, but the team may want someone more explosive after Brissett fell short of the 3,000 yard marker.

There is at least some speculation that one veteran quarterback and the Colts may be a suitable pairing. We haven’t really heard anything concrete about that at this stage, though.

Jalen Ramsey wants Rams to make Darius Slay trade

Darius Slay

Jalen Ramsey has never been shy about voicing what he wants through the media, and he wants to play with another shutdown corner.

The Los Angeles Rams cornerback suggested that his team acquire Darius Slay from the Detroit Lions, adding that he was only having fun making the suggestion.

Slay certainly seemed into the idea.

Given the Rams’ cap issues and the fact that Slay will be expecting a big contract extension, this isn’t really a likely outcome. What is clear is Slay is available for trade, and with a year on his contract, the onus is on the Detroit Lions to either sign him long-term or move him on. The latter seems to be the likelier option, and it’s pretty clear that plenty of his peers will want him on their team.