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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Football

Taysom Hill agrees to very unusual contract extension with Saints

Taysom Hill

The New Orleans Saints are keeping Taysom Hill in the fold with a very unique contract extension.

Hill has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Saints with $22.5 million guaranteed, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The total value is where the unique part comes in, as the total money Hill is owed will depend on what position he plays.

Hill would earn $40 million based on his current role, which sees him play as a receiving skill player. If Hill were to become the Saints starting quarterback, his potential earnings would increase significantly.

There isn’t really another contract like this, but that makes sense with Hill. Right now, he’s primarily a receiver who is used in gadget run plays. He could theoretically take over as quarterback, as he had the chance to win that role prior to the season. Hill will no doubt want to make that happen, though he may have to win over the team on that possibility.

Hill signed a four-year extension in March, but that was deceptive and still left 2021 as his final guaranteed year with New Orleans. He’ll be staying long-term now in some form.

Henry Ruggs faces new consequence over missed alcohol test

Henry Ruggs during a game

Henry Ruggs has violated one of the conditions of his release from jail, and a Las Vegas judge responded on Monday by making those conditions even more strict.

Ruggs posted $150,000 bail and was released from jail earlier this month after he was arrested for his role in a car accident that killed another driver. One of the conditions of his release is that he had to submit to alcohol testing several times a day. Ruggs missed one of the tests and had to appear in court on Monday morning.

There was some speculation that Ruggs could have his bail revoked, but he did not. Instead, a judge ruled that he will have to undergo 24/7 alcohol monitoring, according to TMZ. Ruggs will have to wear an ankle device at all times that measures the level of alcohol in his blood. He had previously been testing using a handheld device.

Ruggs, 22, has been charged with four felonies — DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and two reckless driving charges. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol.

Police said Ruggs was traveling 156 mph seconds before he slammed into the back of a Toyota SUV on Nov. 2, killing 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog. The judge who presided over Ruggs’ bail hearing said that is the fastest speed he has heard of in his time on the bench. Ruggs had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

A chilling video that was released after the accident helped show just how fast Ruggs was traveling in his Corvette.

Ruggs’ attorneys have argued that local firefighters are responsible for the death of the woman in the accident.

Photo: Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) against the Indianapolis Colts at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield takes swipe at Browns fans

Baker Mayfield on the sidelines

Cleveland Browns fans have not been overly thrilled with Baker Mayfield this season, and it sounds like the feeling is mutual.

Mayfield heard some boos from the home fans during Sunday’s 13-10 win over the Detroit Lions. While the Browns managed to get the best of their winless opponent, Mayfield had one of the worst games of his career. The quarterback was asked on Monday about some of the fans turning on him, and he responded with a shot at some members of the Dawg Pound.

“Those are probably the same fans that won’t be quiet while we’re on offense and trying to operate, so don’t really care,” Mayfield said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Browns fans are some of the most passionate in the NFL. You can understand why they were annoyed at times on Sunday, as their team managed just 13 points against the worst team in football. They were blown out 45-7 by the New England Patriots the week before.

Mayfield didn’t acknowledge any teammates, opponents or fans on his way to the locker room after Sunday’s game. He told reporters on Monday that he was “just frustrated.”

Mayfield completed 15 of 29 passes for 176 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against the Lions. He has been playing through a shoulder injury and other ailments, so perhaps he expects more benefit of the doubt from Browns fans. Mayfield’s wife appeared to take a swipe at some other Browns players on social media Sunday, though she insists that was a misunderstanding.

Photo: Aug 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) is shown on the sideline during their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zimmer confirmed to be dating model Katarina Miketin

Mike Zimmer

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a huge win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, so now is as good a time as any to point out that head coach Mike Zimmer is winning off the field as well.

There have been rumors dating back quite some time that Zimmer is in a relationship with model Katarina Miketin. While the two have been photographed together on several occasions, there was never any public confirmation. Until now.

Egotastic Sports reached out to Miketin on Instagram to ask if she is dating “a certain head coach.” While the message did not mention Zimmer by name, Miketin replied “yes.”

That seemingly confirms the obvious.

Miketin, who will appear on the cover of the December issue of Maxim Australia, often attends Vikings games. She was in a luxury box at Sunday’s game and shared some clips on her Instagram Story. She was also on the sideline for a Vikings game earlier this season and has been a huge fan of the team for quite some time.

Miketin has not shared any photos of her and Zimmer together on social media, but a few exist. You can see some more of her shots below:

Zimmer, 65, had been married for 27 years when his wife Vikki died unexpectedly in 2009. The coach has three children, including a daughter who has been known to enthusiastically defend him against criticism.

Zimmer has been the head coach of the Vikings since 2014. It seems clear that his girlfriend is one of his biggest supporters. He’s a lucky guy.

NFL defends decision not to eject Cam Heyward for punch

Cam Heyward appeared to punch Justin Herbert

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward appeared to get away with punching Justin Herbert on Sunday night, and the officiating crew has faced some criticism for letting it slide. Apparently they did not feel the act was malicious enough, but the Los Angeles Chargers strongly disagree.

With L.A. leading 27-20 in the fourth quarter, Heyward got into it with some Chargers players who were unhappy that he was laying on top of their quarterback. Heyward didn’t appreciate when wide receiver Joshua Palmer tried to pull him off Herbert, so he reacted by taking a swipe at Palmer and seemingly punching Herbert in the gut.

Here’s the video:

Throwing a punch is supposed to lead to an automatic ejection in the NFL, but Heyward remained in the game. Senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson defended the decision and said the league office in New York agreed with Heyward remaining in the game.

Heyward claimed he simply lost his balance and did not intentionally punch Herbert.

“I was trying to get up and I couldn’t get up and fell back on him,” the veteran said, via Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports. “It was terrible. There was nothing malicious behind it. I wasn’t trying to punch him.”

The Chargers weren’t buying it.

The officials may have missed the punch in real time, but it certainly looked intentional. We saw another player ejected for throwing a punch on Sunday (video here), and you could argue Heyward’s stunt was just as egregious.

Odell Beckham Jr, girlfriend Lauren Wood make big announcement

Odell Beckham and Lauren Wood pose together

Odell Beckham Jr. has had some major changes in his life recently, but the biggest one is coming in the near feature.

Beckham’s longtime girlfriend, fitness trainer and Instagram model Lauren Wood, shared some photos on Sunday that revealed she is pregnant. The Los Angeles Rams star was among those who commented on the photos of him and Wood, writing, “Can’t wait baby!” You can see the photos below:

This has obviously been a big year for Beckham. Not only has he joined a Super Bowl contender, he is also expecting his first child.

Wood and Beckham have been together for quite some time. If you remember, Wood had a funny reaction to a wild internet rumor about OBJ last year. We wish them all the best.

Baker Mayfield’s wife Emily addresses viral Instagram post

Baker Mayfield poses with his wife Emily

Baker Mayfield’s rough season continued on Sunday as the Cleveland Browns eked out a win over the Detroit Lions, but the quarterback’s wife was quick to defend him. She may have inadvertently done so at the expense of some of Mayfield’s teammates.

After Cleveland’s 13-10 win, a fan praised Mayfield on Instagram for his toughness. The fan also said “maybe the rest of our team should take the hint and get tougher.” Mayfield’s wife Emily shared the post on her story.

The question, of course, is whether she reposted it simply because the fan complimented her husband or if she agreed with everything the fan said. Emily eventually took the post down and sent a tweet about how much she respects every member of the Browns.

Mayfield has been playing through an injured shoulder and other ailments. He completed just 15 of 29 passes for 176 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the win over Detroit. It’s hard to say exactly how much the injuries have impacted his performance, but he clearly is not 100 percent healthy.

Mayfield’s actions following Sunday’s game indicated he was not overly thrilled with the win.

Emily has defended Baker against criticism in the past, so this is nothing new. Given that her husband is playing hurt, you can understand why she’d be frustrated by some of the backlash this season.

Colt McCoy gave Chandler Jones some valuable advice

Chandler Jones

Colt McCoy is quickly on his way to becoming the Shohei Ohtani of the NFL … sort of.

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones revealed after Sunday’s win over Seattle that he got some valuable defensive advice from McCoy.

“He’s a leader,” said Jones of McCoy, per Darren Urban of the team’s site. “I’ll tell a small story. He saw me working on some moves and he was like, ‘Hey Chandler, I’m kind of hesitating on telling you this, but I see you thinking. Stop thinking.’ He said to me, ‘Just go. Just be yourself.’

“For someone to step out and have those words of encouragement to someone you know but you really don’t know them, it means a lot and it goes to show what type of person he is,” Jones added.

The veteran QB McCoy, who is filling in for the injured Kyler Murray, threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns in the 23-13 victory over the Seahawks. The Cardinals are now 2-1 this season with McCoy under center.

As for McCoy’s advice to Jones, it seems to have worked like a charm. Jones had two sacks on Sunday after recording just one sack in his previous seven games. It is probably no wonder that McCoy can coach up both an offense and a defense — after all, he has always been a do-it-all kind of guy.

Aug 28, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones during Red & White Practice at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr has blunt message for Raiders after latest loss

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr sounds a bit frustrated with some of his teammates after the team’s third consecutive loss on Sunday.

The Raiders were on the wrong side of a 32-13 blowout at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team’s struggling offense failed to score 20 points or more for the third consecutive week, and the team is now 5-5 after a 3-0 start.

Speaking to the media after the game, Carr had a pointed message that seemed to be directed at some of his teammates. The Raiders have a short week as they play in Dallas on Thanksgiving, and the quarterback suggested it could be a good thing because it wouldn’t leave time for too much relaxation.

“In a way, it hopefully will be good for our guys,” Carr said of the short week. “Either we go home and we go to work or we can be out on the strip and we go to late dinners and these kinds of things, or we can get back to work and try to get a win.”

It’s an interesting comment, and it could certainly imply that Carr thinks some teammates have been doing a bit too much of that in Las Vegas. It seems a bit specific and targeted to be a routine and meaningless remark.

The Raiders have faced a number of distractions throughout the season, some particularly shocking and troubling. Carr’s message seems to be that nobody should be contributing to any more avoidable issues.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields may not start for Bears even if healthy?

Justin Fields

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy appears to be bringing back the quarterback carousel as the season moves into its closing stages.

Starting quarterback Justin Fields suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Fields had been struggling even before the injury, however, and backup Andy Dalton made the game interesting by throwing for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

After the game, Nagy seemingly hinted that Fields was at risk of being benched even if he is healthy enough to start Thursday against the Detroit Lions.

“I’m not getting into any of that,” Nagy said when asked that question, via Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It’s hard to see any point to Nagy’s equivocating. He already did this earlier in the season after making Andy Dalton the starter, which he obviously didn’t stick to. Putting Fields in limbo is hardly going to help the rookie’s development either.

The real issue seems to be Nagy’s offense, which hasn’t been any good all season no matter who has been at quarterback. Even Nagy has been forced to admit that, and it’s why he’s on the hot seat.