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#pounditSaturday, June 25, 2022

Football

Browns’ plan revealed if Deshaun Watson is suspended

Deshaun Watson on the practice field

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The future of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson remains very much uncertain. And the same can be said for his fellow quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

That leaves the Browns in an unexpected position. They were certain their quarterback woes would come to an end with the acquisition of Watson, but it’s only ended up muddying the waters further. And as the NFL deliberates on a potential suspension for Watson, Cleveland is busy creating contingency plans.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports that the Browns will plug Jacoby Brissett in as their starter should Watson be suspended.

Brissett has emerged as the fallback option due to the team’s deteriorated relationship with Mayfield, who skipped minicamp and openly wants to be moved.

“I have no regrets of my time in Cleveland, of what I tried to give to that place,” Mayfield told the “Ya Never Know” podcast in April. “The respect thing is all going to be a personal opinion. I feel disrespected, 100%. I was told one thing, and they completely did another.

“That’s what I’m in the middle of right now. And you know what, I got my taste of it because I’ve had four different head coaches in four years. 2021 was miserable — bunch of different coordinators. I’m just looking for stabilization right now.”

The 29-year-old Brissett was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2016 NFL draft. He was traded to the Colts in 2017 and spent four seasons in Indianapolis before donning a Miami Dolphins uniform last year.

In 60 career games (37 starts), Brissett has completed 60.2% of his passes for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He’s also rushed the ball 178 times for 653 yards and 13 additional touchdowns.

Alvin Kamara responds to report about his looming suspension

Alvin Kamara wearing an Atlanta Braves hat

Feb 9, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara watches a game between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara appears to be miffed at a Thursday report containing details of his expected suspension for the 2022 season.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Kamara will likely face a six-game suspension for an incident in Las Vegas during the Pro Bowl weekend. Kamara was accused of punching a man at a Las Vegas nightclub. While charges are pending, it’s expected that Kamara will have to miss time once criminal proceedings conclude.

Kamara responded to Florio Thursday via Twitter shortly after the report came out. The running back posed a likely sarcastic question for the NFL reporter.

“@ProFootballTalk can you tell us when Jesus gon return to earth?” Kamara wrote.

The 26-year-old has a hearing scheduled for early August. The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy contains a six-game minimum suspension in the event of a felony battery, which is the charge that Kamara is facing.

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report of the incident, Kamara allegedly punched an unconscious victim while the victim was lying on the ground. Kamara and three other men were also accused of stomping on the victim dozens of times, leading to an orbital fracture on the face of the victim.

If Kamara is indeed suspended for six games, the Saints will have to rely heavily on veteran Mark Ingram II and second-year back Tony Jones Jr. The team worked out veteran running back David Johnson during minicamp, but did not sign him to a contract.

Report: 3 bidders for NFL Sunday Ticket revealed

Roger Goodell at the podium

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DirecTV will no longer have the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket after the 2022 season, and three streaming services have reportedly already made bids for the rights.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple was the favorite to land Sunday Ticket after the upcoming season. But Apple has some competition.

According to Alex Sherman and Jessica Golden of CNBC.com in an article published Friday, both Disney and Amazon submitted bids along with Apple weeks ago to become the new Sunday Ticket broadcast rights holder. It is now just a waiting game to see which bid wins out. The NFL reportedly is not in a rush to make a decision as DirecTV has the rights to the package for one more season.

The NFL reportedly wants bidders to pay over $2 billion for rights and a stake in NFL Media that will be packaged with Sunday Ticket. This has likely delayed the process of selecting a winning bid. According to Sherman and Golden, the NFL’s mobile rights could also be a part of the deal after the NFL’s agreement with Verizon has ended.

DirecTV currently pays $1.5 billion annually for the package. The NFL originally wanted to double that amount in the new deal, but the likelihood of that happening might be unrealstic; Sunday Ticket has reportedly lost DirecTV money historically.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Hall of Famer has bold prediction after Arch Manning commitment

Edgerrin James posing for a picture

Feb 10, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Edgerrin James appears on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors awards presentation at YouTube Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arch Manning announced his commitment Thursday to play at the University of Texas, and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James believes that both Manning and James’ son, Eden, will play together in the NFL.

Eden James, a three-star recruit according to 247 Sports, committed to Howard University last fall. The elder James told TMZ Sports in an article published Friday that his son and Manning have the potential to be the next great Manning-James duo.

“I’m calling it right now,” Edgerrin James said. “They’re both going to be in the NFL together. The next wave — 2.0!

“When I saw Arch Manning coming out in 2023, I have my son that’s at Howard, so I said it’s going to be a reconnection in the future,” Edgerrin James said. “You’re going to see my son — you’re going to see James-Manning connection.”

Manning is the No. 1 overall prospect for the 2023 class. According to 247 Sports, Eden James was believed to be the highest-ranked player in modern history to sign with Howard.

Version 1.0 of the Manning-James connection worked out pretty well while the two played for the Indianapolis Colts from 1999-2005. Edgerrin James made four Pro Bowls over that span, and ran the ball 2,188 times for 9,226 yards and 64 touchdowns. Peyton Manning threw for 33,189 yards and 244 touchdowns, and won back-to-back NFL MVPs in 2003 and 2004. The Colts made the playoffs six of their seven seasons together.

Eden James and Arch Manning would likely be in the NFL by 2025 or 2026. But Peyton Manning, Arch’s uncle, has some more reasonable expectations for the future Longhorn.

H/T USA TODAY

Micah Parsons has big sack goal for 2022

Micah Parsons looking down

Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons had a huge debut season in 2021. He is eyeing an even more prolific encore in 2022.

In a new interview with Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, Parsons said 15 sacks is his “minimum” target for 2022. His real goal is to break the single-season sack record.

“Yeah, 15’s like the minimum. 15’s what I wanna hit. But definitely 23 is that goal, to break the record,” Parsons said.

Michael Strahan remains the single-season record-holder with 22.5 sacks. TJ Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers nearly broke the record last season, but fell just short on the final day of the season.

Parsons collected 13 sacks as a rookie, so he’s justified in aiming high. If anything, he’s actually added to the total he was eyeing earlier in the offseason.

Peyton Manning shares advice for nephew Arch after Texas commitment

Peyton Manning in a suit

Dec 15, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Former Denver Broncos player Peyton Manning before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Arch Manning announced this week that he has committed to the University of Texas, but he will not arrive on campus until 2023. In the meantime, one of his uncles is urging him to focus on finishing what he started.

Peyton Manning was asked on Friday at the Manning Passing Academy if he has any advice for Arch and other top recruits. He spoke about not letting the future become a distraction.

“I just encouraged him to kind of concentrate on the task at hand — be a senior, finish out your eduction, get your high school diploma and try to have the best senior year you can,” Peyton said. “There’s no doubt it can become a distraction if you let it, but it’s not fair to your teammates and coaches if you’re not all-in and focused on the team. I think the fact that he made this decision in June was smart.”

Both Peyton and his brother Eli, Arch’s other uncle, mentioned how recruiting was much different when they were coming out of high school. Social media did not exist, and the process started much later. They say that is why it is so important for players like Arch to make sure they don’t get too far ahead of themselves.

Arch already made one big change in his life before committing to Texas. The good news is he could not possibly have a more experienced group of quarterbacks in his inner circle. He will have plenty of help navigating the rest of his high school career and beyond.

Bears player arrested for gun possession

Matt Adams on the practice field

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Matthew Adams (49) during warmups pregame at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Robert Scheer/USA TODAY NETWORK

Chicago Bears linebacker Matt Adams was arrested on Thursday.

According to TMZ, Adams was questioned by police at around 6:45 p.m. in Chicago on Thursday after he was spotted near a Jeep that had been reported stolen. Adams said he owned the car, but police searched the vehicle anyway and found a loaded handgun in the center console. There was also an extended magazine in the trunk.

Adams reportedly had a permit for the weapon, but the permit was not issued in Illinois. The 26-year-old was arrested and charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm and cited for the magazine. He is due in court in August.

Adams also was not the owner of the car, but the owner chose not to press charges and said the situation was a misunderstanding.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, Adams signed a one-year deal with the Bears this offseason. Matt Eberflus, who was the defensive coordinator of the Colts the entire time Adams was there, is now the head coach in Chicago.

Adams, a former seventh-round pick, appeared in all 17 games last season and had 10 total tackles.

Joe Burrow shares alternate career path he considered

Joe Burrow on the sideline

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks the sideline in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 12 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Joe Burrow has grown into one of the more talented and confident quarterbacks in the NFL, but there was a point when a career in professional football seemed unlikely for him.

During a one-on-one interview on NBC Sports’ “Chris Simms Unbuttoned” released Thursday, Burrow told Simms that he experienced plenty of self-doubt after leaving Ohio State. That doubt led Burrow to start thinking about potential jobs to pursue outside of football.

“I was putting in the same work that I always put in, but I wasn’t playing,” Burrow said. “Of course there was self-doubt in that moment. I mean, when you don’t play for three years and you’re putting in the work, you feel like you’re practicing really well and you feel like you can go out there and make plays and do what you’ve always done, but you’re not getting the opportunity to show what you can do.

“There were times where I started updating my résumé, thinking about being an investment banker.”

Burrow began his college career at Ohio State where he had to compete for playing time with talented quarterbacks like J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins. He only attemted 39 passes during his Ohio State career, which spanned from 2015-2017.

Burrow decided to transfer to LSU ahead of the 2018 season and played two years with the Tigers. He won the Heisman Trophy at LSU in 2019 and led the Tigers to a national title.

After two NFL seasons, it’s safe to say that Burrow made the correct career decision. He only needed an opportunity to play.

The 25-year-old threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2021, and had a league-best 70.4 completion percentage. During the 2022 playoffs, Burrow threw for five touchdown passes and 1,105 yards with a 68.3 completion percentage in four games. He led the Cincinnati Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.

Report: Alvin Kamara facing significant suspension

Alvin Kamara wearing an Atlanta Braves hat

Feb 9, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara watches a game between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara will likely face a notable suspension for an incident in Las Vegas during Pro Bowl weekend.

Kamara was accused of felony battery over a concerning incident at a Las Vegas nightclub. Charges are still pending in the case, but that does not preclude the NFL from handing down its own discipline via the personal conduct policy.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Kamara is likely facing a six-game suspension stemming from the charges. The league prefers to wait until after criminal proceedings conclude to hand down discipline, so Kamara may not have a suspension handed down until after his next court hearing in August.

The Saints have had at least one veteran running back in for a recent visit. That may be because the organization is also bracing for Kamara to be suspended.

Tom Brady hilariously roasts Josh Allen on Twitter

Tom Brady puts up his hand

Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady definitely seems to have a good relationship with Josh Allen based on their social media interactions.

Brady hilariously responded to a jab from Allen with a brutal reminder of their head-to-head record, which led to a pretty great backhanded compliment.

Allen had appeared on Barstool Sports’ “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast and talked about going against Brady in “The Match,” and the Buffalo Bills quarterback did not come away impressed. When asked to rate the golf skills of the participants, Allen put Brady at the bottom, and used his arm to demonstrate just how low Brady was in comparison to the other three.

Brady took notice and came in with the burn.

Allen, for what it’s worth, took the comment in stride.

Despite that head-to-head record, Allen has a lot of fun roasting Brady. Just imagine how he’ll feel if and when he ever gets that first NFL win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback.