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#pounditThursday, March 4, 2021


Baker Mayfield says he and his wife saw a UFO

Baker Mayfield

Do you believe in UFOs? Because Baker Mayfield does.

Mayfield tweeted on Wednesday night to say that he and his wife almost certainly witnessed a UFO drop out of the sky on their way home from dinner. He says the event occurred around Lake Travis, Texas. He was so certain that he asked whether anyone else had witnessed the event.

Some others responded to the tweet and claimed they saw it as well. Bob Lazar definitely saw it too.

It’s unclear whether Mayfield was being serious or whether he’s trolling, maybe as part of some upcoming marketing project. But one thing to keep in mind is that SpaceX launched the Starship SN10 on Wednesday in Boca Chica, though that is much further south than Lake Travis, which is outside of Austin.

I wish I could have been there to see it too, Baker.

By the way, if Mayfield believes in UFOs, that would put him in excellent company among famous quarterbacks.

Jim Irsay shares amazing Colts-themed ‘Boyz N the Hood’ photo

Jim Irsay

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay got creative with the Photoshop on Wednesday.

Irsay shared a photo on Twitter that was a play on the popular 1991 movie “Boyz N the Hood.” Only this version of the photo was “Coltz N Da Hood.”

Football fans will recognize Edgerrin James in the driver’s seat, Peyton Manning in the passenger’s seat, and Marvin Harrison in the back. The photo was taken from this scene in the movie, where Ice Cube is driving.

Irsay says that James sent it to him and said it should be titled “Coltz in the HOF.” That’s because Manning was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, joining Harrison (2016) and James (2020), who were previously elected to Canton.

Harrison played his entire career from 1996-2008 with the Colts. Manning spent most of his career — 1998-2010 — with Indy. And James was with the Colts from 1999-2005. Together they formed one of the best and most exciting offensive trios in NFL history. They are all very deserving Hall of Fame members.

Those three had a lot of fun together, which helps explain Manning’s comment on what he misses most from his playing days.

Terry Bradshaw recalls incredible story about using ‘Tom Brady’ alias

Terry Bradshaw

It turns out Terry Bradshaw knew something about Tom Brady before anybody else did — at least inadvertently.

On Wednesday, an old newspaper headline from 1983 went viral on social media. The headline described how Bradshaw, then the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, underwent elbow surgery at a Louisiana hospital. As a major star, Bradshaw checked into the hospital under an assumed name — which just happened to be Tom Brady.

Bradshaw confirmed that the story was real, and that he had forgotten about it completely until Wednesday’s reminder.

“Tom Brady! How lucky am I?” Bradshaw told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. “There’s no question he and I are linked at the hip — same initials, same number. I had hair back then. I was a sex symbol. I had it all going then.

“Everything Tom Brady has today is because of me, do you know that?” Bradshaw joked. “Think about it. Every record he owns he had to go through me. Get used to that, Tom Brady.”

The irony is that Bradshaw hasn’t always ranked Brady atop his personal quarterback list. Maybe with this reminder, the current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will get a bit of a boost there.

Photo: Elizabeth Fraser/United States Army/Arlington National Cemetery via Wikimedia

Mike Mayock makes clear how Raiders feel about Derek Carr

Derek Carr

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr got a significant vote of confidence from his general manager on Wednesday.

Raiders GM Mike Mayock called Carr a “top” quarterback, and one who both he and coach Jon Gruden would “pound the table” for.

“I think Derek Carr has earned a lot of respect around this league from an awful lot of people,” Mayock said, via Jeremy Bergman of “I think Derek Carr had his best year yet, under Jon Gruden. I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and we couldn’t be happier with him. …

“If you’re asking me about Derek, I think Jon and I would both stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr.”

It probably wasn’t needed, but this serves as public confirmation to what reports have said. Some fairly prominent teams looked into trading for Carr, and were promptly told there would be no negotiation.

Carr is still only 29 and is on a contract the team likes, and he threw for a career-high 4,103 yards in 2020. He’s not going anywhere despite the rumors.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 4.0

Here is the latest in the drama between Russell Wilson, Seahawks

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson brought the trade buzz surrounding him to new heights when his agent openly named for teams that the quarterback would be open to joining, and the tension between the two sides does not appear to be subsiding.

Wilson and the Seahawks are both unhappy with each other. Wilson feels that he does not have enough of a voice within the organization, and Seattle’s brass is unhappy with him for airing his frustrations publicly. Michael Silver of NFL Network on Wednesday described the drama as “a complicated situation,” but he said the Seahawks are willing to listen to trade offers for their franchise quarterback.

Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, said last week that Wilson wants to remain in Seattle but would waive his no-trade clause for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears.

“I believe that they will obviously listen to offers from those four teams,” Silver said. “Wilson does have some control because of the no-trade clause. I think Peter Carroll regards himself as a problem-solver and will try to figure out a way to patch this up.

“If (the 2021 season) doesn’t go well, are you going to trade Russell Wilson after the season or tell Pete Carroll, ‘Hey man, it’s been a great run, but we’re gonna bring in a coach that Russell Wilson wants to play for?’ I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but there are a lot of balls in the air and this is not a great situation right now.”

You can hear Silver’s full report below:

The Seahawks would be left with a $39 million dead cap hit if they part ways with Wilson. That is one of the reasons a trade this offseason does not seem realistic, but the same may not be true a year from now.

If you want to know more about why Wilson is so frustrated, this should give you a better idea.

Raiders reportedly open to Trent Brown trade

Trent Brown

Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Trent Brown could be on the market.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Las Vegas Raiders have had preliminary discussions about trading the offensive tackle, and may be able to find a suitable deal.

The 27-year-old Brown was a Pro Bowl selection in 2019 and is signed through 2022. He’s an elite talent when healthy, but that was the issue in 2020. He was sidelined by a lengthy stint on the COVID/Reserve list, and had some other issues that were pretty alarming at the time.

There’s certainly one quarterback we know of who would probably be a lot happier if his team went out and got a lineman of Brown’s caliber.

Kellen Winslow II sentenced to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes

Kellen Winslow

Kellen Winslow II was found guilty of several charges relating to rape and sexual assault back in 2019, and the former NFL player will be going to for a very long time.

Winslow was sentenced in a California courtroom on Wednesday to 14 years in prison. The sentence was the maximum allowed under a plea deal he agreed to with prosecutors.

Winslow had been charged with multiple rapes and other sexual offenses against five women in Southern California. He was found guilty in 2019 of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman the year before. He was also found guilty of indecent exposure for exposing himself to a 58-year-old woman who was gardening in her front hard and lewd conduct related to an incident where he made sexual advances toward a 78-year-old woman in a health club.

During Winslow’s sentencing on Wednesday, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman said the 37-year-old can only be described with “two words, and that is sexual predator,” according to The Associated Press.

Winslow’s case took an interesting turn at one point when one of his alleged victims was unable to identify him during a court hearing.

Winslow, the son of Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, was drafted No. 6 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2004. He played nine seasons in the NFL.

Bills propose huge change to NFL coach hiring process

Buffalo Bills

The NFL head coach hiring process might look a lot different in the future if the Buffalo Bills get their way.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the Bills have submitted a rules proposal that would prevent teams from interviewing candidates for front office or coaching positions until after the conference championships are played. Teams would not be allowed to hire candidates for these positions until after the Super Bowl.

This would be a huge change. Presently, teams can interview candidates employed by other organizations during the playoffs, while unemployed candidates or college coaches can speak to teams without any restrictions.

There have been questions in the past over whether it’s distracting for coordinators employed by playoff teams to also go through the interview process during the playoffs. The Bills dealt with that to some degree this year, which may have impacted their thinking.

It’s also not clear whether this is something owners are eager to consider. If they do, though, the hiring process is going to radically change in the next few years.

NFL head coach predicts ‘massacre’ in upcoming player cuts

Roger Goodell

As the NFL zeroes in on a salary cap figure for 2021, the consequences could be stark for a lot of veteran players around the league.

The cap, which was $198.2 million in 2020, is expected to fall significantly in 2021 due to reduced league revenues. The 2021 number has not been finalized, but one NFL GM told Matt Verderame of Fansided that the number is expected to come in between $180 million and $183 million.

In other words, some NFL teams will expect to have to reduce payroll, and that is likely to lead to a lot of veterans getting cut. One head coach predicted a “massacre” starting next week ahead of free agency.

It’s clear that plenty of quality veterans will be available by March 17, when free agency opens. That might be good news for contenders, and it could also lead to some teams aggressively adding veteran talent to improve quickly. That’s why some within the league believe there could be a significant consequence while the salary cap is reduced.

Patriots reportedly have this QB at top of their wish list

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are facing an uncertain quarterback situation for the second consecutive offseason, but they reportedly have a Plan A in place. The question is whether or not they will be able to execute it.

According to Greg A. Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, the ideal scenario for the Patriots this offseason would be to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers would have to acquire another quarterback before they’d consider dealing Garoppolo, and they may be in the process of trying to do that.

The Niners have reportedly spoken with the Carolina Panthers about a potential trade for Teddy Bridgewater. As Bedard notes, Bridgewater is due to make $37 million in base salary over the next two seasons. The 49ers may feel they can get him for a reasonable price due to his contract and then flip Garoppolo for a high draft pick.

That is where the Patriots could come in. Bedard is confident that acquiring Garoppolo is still “far away their plan” and they would likely be willing to give up a second-round pick to bring him back. If Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch feel Bridgewater is an upgrade over Garoppolo or, at the very least, a lateral move, they may be inspired to make a deal.

Lynch recently threw public support behind Garoppolo, but we know how quickly things can change. A recent report claimed the 49ers would only consider trading Garoppolo for one specific quarterback, but the Bridgewater rumors may be a sign that the situation is not that simple.