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#pounditTuesday, August 4, 2020

Football

Report: Josh Rosen determined to compete for Dolphins’ QB job

Only two years removed from being a top-ten pick in the NFL Draft, Josh Rosen is the forgotten man in the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback room. It sounds like he’s determined to find a way to make an impact anyway.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, neither Rosen nor his representatives have asked the Dolphins for a trade or release after assessing the situation around the league. The Dolphins are pleased with this outcome, and are reportedly privately pleased that Rosen has bought in and are impressed with his conditioning, work ethic, and efforts to learn new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system.

It speaks well of Rosen that he’s willing to stay and bet on himself rather than seeking an exit route from Miami. For now, the 23-year-old isn’t really in the mix for a job with the Dolphins, as Ryan Fitzpatrick is the stopgap starter while the team awaits Tua Tagovailoa, who is the clear quarterback of the future.

There may be a role for Rosen if Fitzpatrick struggles and Tagovailoa is either not ready either physically or mentally for the starting job. Perhaps that’s what he’s betting on, and is keeping his head down and showing Miami that he’s ready as needed.

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Jets abruptly cut starting guard Brian Winters

The New York Jets have cut starting guard Brian Winters on the eve of training camp.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Winters is not expected to remain unemployed for long, but that the move does come as a surprise.

The timing is a bit odd, but it makes sense on some ways. Winters suffered a dislocated shoulder last year, ending his season after nine games. The team brought in Greg Van Roten, who can likely take his place on the offensive line. Perhaps most importantly, releasing Winters will free up just over $7 million in cap space.

We don’t know if the Jets plan to use that cap space to make another move before the start of the season. One top free agent is apparently interested, which could be worth watching.

Raiders confirm games in Las Vegas will be played without fans all season

While many NFL teams are still taking a wait-and-see approach on bringing fans to games at some point in 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders have moved early and announced that their games will take place without fans in 2020.

In a statement to season ticket holders sent out Monday, owner Mark Davis confirmed that the new Allegiant Stadium will not host any fans in 2020. The statement said the decision was partly motivated by “fairness” to all personal seat license holders, and that all who purchased PSLs for the team’s inaugural season in Las Vegas will still receive various collectible perks.

The new stadium can seat 65,000. While it would not have been completely finished in time for the start of the NFL season, it would have been ready to host fans for games and other events while background work concluded.

Davis had previously said he wouldn’t attend games himself if fans couldn’t either. We’ll see if he keeps to that.

Joe Burrow plans to live off endorsement money and save his salary

Joe Burrow says he’s joining the short list of professional athletes who live solely off endorsement money while pocketing their actual salary for years to come.

Burrow said that he does not plan to spend any of his contract money, preferring to use cash only from his various endorsements to fund his day-to-day lifestyle.

“I don’t plan on spending any contract money,” the quarterback said, via Alex Chippin of theScore. “I’m just gonna live off the marketing money and let that accrue in my bank account.”

Burrow can point to deals with Fanatics, Nike, Bose, Lowe’s, Nerf, and Buffalo Wild Wings already, and he hasn’t even played an NFL game yet. Those deals should give him plenty of financial flexibility while allowing him to put the over $36 million he’s owed by the Cincinnati Bengals away into his savings account.

Burrow would join a select group of athletes who make enough from endorsement deals to do this. It certainly means Burrow is in good company.

Doug Pederson tests positive for the coronavirus, is asymptomatic

Doug Pederson

Doug Pederson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Philadelphia Eagles head coach called a previously unscheduled team meeting on Sunday to share the news with his team, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Pederson shared the news after receiving his second positive test for the virus. The good news is he is asymptomatic and feeling fine, according to ESPN’s Tim McManus.

Pederson is believed to have contracted the virus outside the team facility. One staffer who was in contact with the head coach reportedly has been sent home.

The 52-year-old former quarterback has been the Eagles’ head coach since 2016. He has gone 38-26 in four seasons, including the Super Bowl win in the 2017 season.

Video: Ben Roethlisberger looks healthy throwing passes at camp

Ben Roethlisberger missed the majority of the 2019 season with an elbow injury, but all signs continue to point to the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback being ready to play in Week 1.

Roethlisberger made some throws at Steelers training camp on Monday, and the team shared an encouraging video on Twitter. The clip showed Roethlisberger uncorking a pass on the run. He did not appear to be limited in any way.

There was some talk that Roethlisberger could retire after he was shut down last season, but he never put that option on the table — at least publicly. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said roughly a month ago that he has been encouraged by everything he has seen from Big Ben this offseason, and now we can see why.

Roethlisberger is just two years removed from throwing for 5,129 passing yards and 34 touchdowns, so he should still be capable of playing at a high level again if his elbow cooperates. Steelers players have been raving about the work Big Ben has put in, and it certainly appears he has been fully committed to his rehab.

Jimmy Garoppolo takes funny T-shirt war with George Kittle to next level

Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle continue to have one of the best quarterback-receiver relationships in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers tandem took their funny T-shirt war to the next level this weekend. Garoppolo showed up to team camp on Saturday wearing a shirt of Kittle … wearing a shirt of him. Take a look:

Kittle soon tweeted his enthusiastic approval of Garoppolo’s fashion choice.

The battle began back in January when Kittle wore a hilarious T-shirt of a shirtless Garoppolo after the 49ers won the NFC Championship Game. Now Garoppolo has commemorated that exact occasion with a T-shirt of his own.

Of course, Kittle has also been trolling Garoppolo in other funny ways lately, so you had to figure that payback was due at some point.