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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Football

Report: Russell Wilson has raised idea of trade to these four teams

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson has not yet gotten to the point of demanding a trade from the Seattle Seahawks, but there are some people who feel the situation is headed in that direction. According to one report, Wilson’s representatives have spoken with the Seahawks about the possibility of a divorce.

Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mike Sando and Jayson Jenks of The Athletic took a deep look at the issues between Wilson and the Seahawks that have seemingly come to a boil this offseason. While Wilson has made it known that he is frustrated with the team, there has been no real reason to believe he will be playing elsewhere in 2021. His camp has reportedly raised the idea to Seattle’s brass, however.

Sources cited in the report from The Athletic say Wilson’s camp has “broached potential trade destinations with the Seahawks.” Those teams include the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders. The belief from around the NFL is that a trade may not happen this offseason but could in the near future.

A report earlier this month stated that Wilson’s camp is frustrated with the Seahawks’ offensive line. Wilson has since confirmed that and also hinted that he wants more say in personnel decisions.

According to The Athletic, Wilson made it clear prior to Seattle’s Week 11 game against the Arizona Cardinals last season that he would like more input into scheming and personnel. His suggestions were reportedly dismissed, and Wilson “stormed out of the room.”

The entire story from The Athletic provides great context and is worth a read.

One of the reasons the Seahawks are unlikely to trade Wilson this offseason is that they would have to absorb a nearly $40 million salary cap hit. It’s also safe to assume head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider are not eager to start fresh at the most important position on the field.

All that said, the issues between Wilson and the Seahawks are very real. We now have an idea of what Seattle’s asking price would be in any trade, and Wilson has apparently mentioned some potential destinations. That sounds like a lot more than an isolated instance of tempers boiling over.

Here is the best offer JJ Watt has reportedly received

JJ Watt

NFL teams cannot technically begin negotiating with free agents for another three weeks, but we know J.J. Watt’s phone has not stopped buzzing since the Houston Texans released him. At least one team has already talked numbers with the star defensive lineman, and he probably liked what he heard.

Watt has received several offers, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The best one at the moment would pay the 31-year-old between $15-16 million per year.

That salary would easily place Watt among the 10 highest-paid defensive linemen in football. Of course, guaranteed money is all that really matters, so we would have to know more details of the offer to evaluate it.

Watt has plenty to think about before March 17, which is when free agents can officially sign with teams. There has been a lot of talk about him joining his brothers T.J. and Derek with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it sounds like these three teams are more likely suitors.

Watt seems to be enjoying his first experience with free agency, as evidenced by some of the awesome tweets he has sent since Houston parted ways with him.

Myles Garrett looks absolutely massive in basketball video

Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett tried to pitch himself to Mark Cuban in a tweet on Wednesday promoting his basketball skills.

Garrett tweeted a video of himself playing basketball. The video shows the Cleveland Browns defensive star throwing down dunks and dominating in what appears to be a pickup game. He is wearing a “Jurassic Park” tank top and looks absolutely massive.

Take a look at the video, but beware that there is some music with curse words.

Garrett tagged the Dallas Mavericks owner in his tweet. Garrett is from Arlington, Texas and played college ball at Texas A&M, so Cuban’s Mavericks are his hometown team.

Could you imagine Garrett on the basketball court? The guy is a tank and force on the football field. He’d do some damage in basketball too. Also, Cuban does have a history of signing NFL players

Josh Gordon wants to team up with Johnny Manziel

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon has interest in teaming up with an old friend in a new football league.

Gordon on Wednesday teased a potential reunion with Johnny Manziel in the new Fan Controlled Football league.

This almost seems like it has already been planned out.

Manziel and Gordon were teammates on the Cleveland Browns and considered themselves “good friends.” Manziel’s career didn’t last longer than two years due to his terrible work ethic and multitude of off-field issues. Gordon’s promising career has been marred by constant suspensions.

Now Manziel is competing in the FCF for the Zappers and seems to want to bring Gordon in for old time’s sake. Gordon would probably dominate the league.

Photo: CLSN Media via CC-BY-SA 4.0

Report: Three teams are favorites for JJ Watt

JJ Watt

J.J. Watt is still considering his free agent destination, but it appears that a handful of teams have positioned themselves as favorites.

ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton reported Wednesday that the Titans, Packers, and Bills have established themselves as the favorites for Watt. Clayton later clarified that other teams remain in the hunt, but are not the favorites.

Watt clearly favors contenders, as the three favorites all reached the postseason in 2020 and two of them played in their conference championship games. There are several other key factors Watt is said to be considering as well.

One thing is certain: you can expect Watt to take his time in making his final decision.

Report: Marcus Mariota trade market has stalled

After a flurry of quarterback rumors to start the offseason, the trade market appears to be slowing down significantly.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the trade market for Marcus Mariota, regarded as potentially the next quarterback to be moved, has “dried up significantly” due largely to incentives in his contract.

“A couple of days ago, it really seemed like Marcus Mariota was going to be on the move,” Rapoport said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “I know teams were interested, were calling the Las Vegas Raiders about potentially acquiring Marcus Mariota . Things did get down the line a little bit. There is significant interest in teams trying to get Marcus Mariota … but there is an issue.

“If he is the starter and ends up playing the entire season, he can make an additional $12 million, so more than $20 million for Marcus Mariota. Teams, as of right now, don’t seem to think that’s something that would be worth it, especially when you consider they’d also give up a draft pick to trade for him. That trade market has now dried up significantly.”

The Las Vegas Raiders could be forced to release Mariota if they cannot find a trade partner due to the money tied up in him. That would probably suit everyone except the Raiders, as Mariota would be able to choose his destination while teams could negotiate a contract that they find more suitable.

Mariota’s future is murky right now, but there’s apparently some reason to believe he could have a high-profile starting role in 2021.

John Lynch addresses Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo has seen his name mentioned in trade rumors for quite some time, but it now seems safe to conclude that he will be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.

During an appearance this week on “The Eye Test for Two” podcast, 49ers GM John Lynch was asked if he has any doubt that Garoppolo will be the team’s quarterback to start next season if he’s healthy. Lynch did not mince words.

“Not at all,” he said. “I really believe that.”

There have been questions about Garoppolo’s durability, as he has missed 23 games over the past three seasons and appeared in only six games in 2020 due to an ankle injury. Lynch said the Niners have to make sure they’re a deep enough team to overcome that, but he insists he is not overly concerned about Garoppolo’s injury history.

“I’ve watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice,” Lynch said. “So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy.”

Garoppolo had 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in his six games last season. You can easily make the argument that he has not lived up to his $137.5 million contract, but he did lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl two years ago. That’s more than most quarterbacks have accomplished.

While it’s hard to believe Garoppolo is untouchable, the belief has been that San Francisco would probably only trade him for one specific quarterback. Since that seems unlikely to happen, it makes sense that Lynch is publicly backing his current QB.

H/T CBS Sports

Bucs GM clears up misconception about Tom Brady’s influence over team

Tom Brady Bucs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht wants everyone to know that Tom Brady is not actually running the organization.

Since Brady joined the Buccaneers, there has been a perception that Brady has an outsize influence over the team’s personnel decisions. This was fueled in part by the additions of Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, two players Brady is known to like playing with. The Brown signing in particular raised speculation considering coach Bruce Arians had apparently indicated he didn’t want the wide receiver.

Licht praised Brady’s conduct since joining the organization and admitted that Brady has involvement in personnel talks, but characterized that involvement as “overblown.”

It’s more or less what you’d expect. Brady isn’t actually pulling the strings behind the scenes, but the Buccaneers are likely willing to take things into account if he has suggestions.

It may mean chatter about an addition like this may be overblown. That said, if Brady wants a move badly enough, the Buccaneers might be best served trying to make it happen.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have done it! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Oddsmakers have interesting prediction about Patriots’ QB situation

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots seem to have no idea who their starting quarterback will be in 2021, but that has not stopped oddsmakers from speculating. Interestingly enough, some of them feel the most likely option to start for the Patriots in Week 1 is currently on another team’s roster.

SportsBetting.com released some odds on Wednesday for who will take the first snap of the 2021 season for the Patriots. Marcus Mariota is listed as the favorite at 5:2. Jacoby Brissett is a close second at 7:2 followed by Jarrett Stidham at 4:1 and Cam Newton at 5:1.

Here’s the full list:

Mariota has been mentioned in trade talks for a few weeks now. He has a salary cap hit of more than $10 million for next season, and all indications are that the Las Vegas Raiders are committed to Derek Carr. That is a lot of money to pay a backup quarterback, so the Raiders may be willing to trade Mariota.

The Patriots will almost certainly draft a quarterback, but they currently have the 15th overall pick. It’s unlikely that any QB they would select at that spot would be ready to start in Week 1.

Bill Belichick seems determined to not overpay for a quarterback, and some believe he is waiting for the market to regulate itself a bit before pulling off a trade. Mariota could be a potential target, or they may decide to go with something more familiar.

DeVonta Smith had interesting answer when asked about favorite Alabama QB

DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith had ample experience playing with a pair of future NFL quarterbacks at Alabama, and he appears to have weighed in on which of them he prefers.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Smith was asked by one team at the Senior Bowl which quarterback he preferred: Mac Jones or Tua Tagovailoa. Smith said he preferred Jones, and was “bold and definitive about it.”

Considering all the hype Tagovailoa came to the NFL with, this answer might count as a bit of a surprise. That’s especially true when you remember that Jones has flown under the radar for most of his college career, as well as throughout the draft process.

Teams appear to be buying into Jones ahead of the draft. Smith’s opinion may end up being shared by some NFL teams by April at this rate.