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#pounditWednesday, February 24, 2021

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NFL Films not releasing audio of Tyrann Mathieu-Tom Brady exchange

Tyrann Mathieu Tom Brady

NFL Films will not be releasing the audio from the exchange between Tom Brady and Tyrann Mathieu in the Super Bowl.

Mathieu and Brady traded words and taunting gestures during the Super Bowl on Sunday, though only Mathieu was penalized for it.

The day after the game, their exchange was one of the biggest stories.

Mathieu claimed on Twitter that Brady called him something he wouldn’t repeat, before later deleting the tweet. The Kansas City Chiefs safety admitted he was surprised to see Brady talk that kind of trash to him.

Mathieu saying Brady said something to him he wouldn’t repeat led some to think the worst and wonder if Brady used some sort of slur. The cancel culture mob was frothing at the mouth for any hint that Brady used a racial slur so they could take down the iconic figure at his pinnacle.

NFL Films, which captures audio for games, has the audio from the exchange but will not be releasing it, according to Pro Football Talk.

Their denial is tantamount to saying “what happens on the field stays on the field,” and it’s not the public’s business. NFL Films also knows that players and teams would not cooperate if everything the subjects said during games could potentially be used to make them look bad.

This may be disappointing for those who would love to cancel Brady, but it’s the right choice.

NFL Films does not exist to answer to gossip stories. It exists to preserve the history of the NFL and to aid in the storytelling of the league’s competitions. Releasing the audio serves neither of those missions.

Brady and Mathieu engaged in the sort of trash talk that has gone on in nearly every team sporting event for years. What they did is nothing new and nothing so remarkable that NFL Films needs to release audio.

However, what we were shown once again is that sportsmanship is not always Brady’s strongsuit. Not only did he display poor sportsmanship after many losses during the regular season, but many found his taunting of Mathieu to be distasteful. Brady himself recognized it was distasteful, which is why he apologized to Mathieu in a text message.

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Tom Brady and this star receiver reportedly want to play together

Tom Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be loaded on offense next season if they simply bring back most of their key players, but is there a chance they could add another star receiver in the coming months? Tom Brady probably wouldn’t be opposed to it.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said on Thursday’s edition of “Get Up!” that Brady and Odell Beckham Jr. “would like to play together at some point.” He noted that Brady did not pitch Bucs general manager Jason Licht on the idea, but he and Beckham have gotten friendly over the years.

“I say this because I could see going into this offseason with Odell being in a situation where it feels like, perhaps, he is more expendable to the Browns than he was last year,” Darlington said. “Perhaps Jason Licht would take the call. But to all of these points, I’m also told they do really like where they stand with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown if they can bring him back. If something changes, though, that is the one I would be watching.”

The Bucs would probably only have room for Beckham if they did not re-sign Brown. Since Brady is the one who wanted Brown in Tampa Bay in the first place, many believe the receiver will be back next season. Brady has taken Brown under his wing since the two were briefly teammates with the New England Patriots. Brown even lived with Brady at his Florida home for a while after the Bucs first signed the seven-time Pro Bowler.

There have been rumors that the Browns could trade Beckham since almost the moment they acquired him. Now that they made a nice postseason run after he went down with an injury, they may feel they don’t need him.

The Patriots reportedly pursued Beckham when Brady was still in New England. Brady and Beckham have even had some interactions on social media that sparked rumors of them teaming up. We wouldn’t rule out the Bucs making a run at OBJ this spring.

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Rob Gronkowski shares why he was not allowed to touch Lombardi Trophy

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski had a bit of a mishap with one of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl trophies nearly two years ago, and it sounds like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be holding it against him.

Prior to the Bucs’ boat parade on Wednesday, Gronkowski said he had not even touched the Lombardi Trophy. He was asked during an appearance on ESPN on Monday if that had anything to do with the time he dented a Patriots’ Lombardy Trophy. Gronk admitted it may have been a factor.

“That was dangerous how I dented that trophy, but I always blamed it on Julian (Edelman). He threw me the pitch. I haven’t even touched the Lombardi Trophy yet,” Gronkowski said. “I’m not sure if it’s for a reason or if the Buccaneers organization is trying to keep it away from me. It’d be pretty cool even just to see it. I just saw it from about 30 yards away yesterday, but I have not touched it yet. Hopefully I get to soon.”

When the Boston Red Sox hosted the Patriots to celebrate their Super Bowl win back in 2019, Gronkowski used one of New England’s six Lombardi trophies to bunt a baseball. He left a dent in the hardware.

Gronk eventually did get his hands on the trophy and did some weird things with it.

The Bucs may have tried to keep the Lombardi Trophy safe for a couple of days, but all bets were off at their parade on Wednesday. Tom Brady pulled one of the riskiest moves you will ever see with the trophy (video here), though he seemed to be on another planet. Gronk’s antics should have been the least of the Bucs’ concerns.

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Tom Brady responds to drunk video with hilarious tweet

Tom Brady drunk

The talk of social media on Wednesday was definitely Tom Brady’s drunken experience during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl parade. In fact, even Brady couldn’t help but react to it.

As the video of drunk Brady spread across the internet (watch here), Brady sent a hilarious tweet making light of his state.

The tweet was riddled with typos — intentionally, we presume.

Brady’s always been good on Twitter, but this is an all-time classic from his social media team.

There’s no real need to worry about Brady. Even after Wednesday’s events, he could probably be ready to go out and win a game by the weekend if he had to. And if you’re wondering about the avocado reference, here is the explanation.

The rest of Twitter also had some great reactions to Brady’s wild afternoon.

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

Dak Prescott reportedly seeking at least this much from Cowboys

Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will once again try to negotiate a long-term contract this offseason, but they may still have quite a ways to go in negotiations.

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic discussed Prescott’s contract situation during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan’s “Shan and RJ” show on Wednesday. He does not think the Cowboys will be able to sign Prescott to a long-term deal if they offer anything less than $40 million per year.

“I think giving him what he wants is really going to be a challenge,” Lombardi said.”(Prescott’s agent) Todd France isn’t going to admit Patrick Mahomes is better than Dak, even though he is. He’s not going to admit that Deshaun Watson is better than Dak, even though he is. … Because of the situation, the market is so that it’s no longer who’s better and who deserves more, it’s who can get more. I think that unless Jerry (Jones) and Stephen (Jones) are willing to get in that $40 million a year range near Deshaun Watson, they really don’t have much more that they can do.”

Mahomes is currently the highest-paid quarterback in football at $45 million per year. There’s a significant drop-off after that to Deshaun Watson, whose average annual salary is $39 million. The belief is that Prescott will want his contract to be somewhere between those two.

The Cowboys have the option of using the franchise tag on Prescott again, but they would have to pay him $37.7 million in 2021 if he plays under it. That is not ideal for a team that is expected to be tight on salary cap space. Lombardi noted that the cap situation may be Prescott’s best leverage in contract talks.

It was reported last year that Prescott and the Cowboys only disagreed over the length of a potential long-term deal. However, it sounds like money is at least somewhat of an issue.

One former NFL quarterback recently explained why he thinks Prescott should give the Cowboys a hometown discount, but that seems unlikely to happen with where things currently stand.

Former Seahawk thinks Russell Wilson made mistake by calling out OL

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson all but confirmed on Tuesday that he is frustrated with the way the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line has played in recent years. One former member of the team thinks the quarterback may end up regretting some of the things he has said.

A report on Monday stated that Wilson and his camp have grown increasingly frustrated with the struggles of Seattle’s offensive line. Wilson basically confirmed the report when speaking with the media on Tuesday, though he said he needs to do his part to help improve things.

“I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it,” Wilson admitted, via ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “At the end of the day, you want to win.”

Wilson noted that he has been sacked 400 times during his NFL career. The actual number is 394, which is the most in any player’s first nine seasons since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. He also referenced that total during a Tuesday appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

Former Seahawks offensive lineman Walter Jones, who is in the Hall of Fame, believes Wilson could be making a mistake by publicly criticizing his teammates.

One of the reasons Wilson takes a lot of sacks is that he tries to extend plays and holds onto the ball too long at times. He defended that style of play to Patrick, noting that “so many of those times it turns into touchdowns.”

This is really the first time Wilson has shown frustration with the Seahawks publicly. He also had some recent complaints about the team’s offense and hinted that he could be less than thrilled with the front office.

Despite all that, Wilson said he wants to finish his career in Seattle. If there aren’t significant changes in 2021, you have to wonder how long he’ll feel that way.

Mark Cuban not playing national anthem before Mavericks games

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban found one way to deal with the national anthem issue.

Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks have not played the national anthem prior to its home games this NBA season. Though the team has not played the anthem for home games all season, the matter only began to receive attention after The Athletic publicized the situation on Tuesday.

Cuban told The New York Times’ Marc Stein that it was his decision and he made it in November. He declined to comment further.

The NBA has had a rule in place since the 1980s requiring players to stand for the anthem. NBA players did not kneel for the anthem when Colin Kaepernick first began doing so in the NFL in 2016. However, as gestures in the name of social justice became more widespread in 2020, kneeling became commonplace when the NBA season resumed in the Orlando bubble last year.

Last year, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did not enforce the rule requiring players to stand for the anthem. The rule has not been enforced this season either.

The league is leaving it up to teams how they want to conduct pregame activities this season given the pandemic circumstances, which is why Dallas has been able to avoid playing the anthem. The Mavs only recently began allowing fans to attend games, becoming just the 11th team in the league to have fans this season.

In 2017, Cuban said he would be standing for the anthem and that he expected the Mavericks’ players to do the same.

“This is America, and I’m proud of people who speak out civilly. That’s who we are as a country,” Cuban said at the time. “I’ll be standing there with my hand over my heart. I think the players will be [standing]. I expect them to be.”

Last year, Cuban’s stance changed.

“If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I’d be proud of them. Hopefully I’d join them,” Cuban said in June 2020.

He explained his change in viewpoint.

“Because I think we’ve learned a lot since 2017,” he told OTL in June. “I think we’ve evolved as a country. And this is really a unique point in time where we can grow as a society, we can grow as a country and become far more inclusive and become far more aware of the challenges that minority communities go through.

“So I’ll stand in unison with our players, whatever they choose to do. But again, when our players in the NBA do what’s in their heart, when they do what they feel represents who they are and look to move this country forward when it comes to race relationships, I think that’s a beautiful thing and I’ll be proud of them.”

Cuban has already shown that he is not concerned with alienating fans who will be upset by this decision.

Washington Post criticized for Marty Schottenheimer death headline

Marty Schottenheimer

Former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer died on Monday following a long battle with Alzheimer’s, and one major publication is taking heat for the way it covered the news.

Matt Schuder, an obituary writer at the Washington Post, decided to highlight Schottenheimer’s shortcomings in the headline reporting the longtime coach’s death. The headline stated that Schottenheimer’s “teams wilted in the postseason.”

The Washington Post was immediately skewered for the headline. They eventually changed it to describe Schottenheimer as “one of the NFL’s winningest coaches.

The lede to the story was also changed. You can see how it originally read below, via Jorge Alonso of Bro Bible.

“Marty Schottenheimer, one of the winningest coaches in the National Football League who never found success in the playoffs and failed to lead any of his teams to the Super Bowl, died Feb. 8 at a hospice center in Charlotte.”

That was softened following the criticism and changed to, “Marty Schottenheimer, one of the winningest coaches in the National Football League whose teams found regular-season success yet often struggled in the playoffs and failed to reach the Super Bowl.”

There’s a difference between reporting facts and taking shots at the deceased. Schuder’s original headline and lede seemed harsh and inappropriate.

Schottenheimer’s teams did come up short in the playoffs numerous times, as he had a postseason record of 5-13. He also won 200 regular season games, which is an outstanding feat. His postseason struggles are part of his legacy, but they don’t need to be the focus of his obituary.

Photo: Wikimedia/MLBIpa via CC-by-SA 4.0

Marty Schottenheimer dies — dead at 77

Marty Schottenheimer

Former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer has died at age 77.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Schottenheimer died on Monday after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat, his children Kristen and Brian, and four grandchildren.

Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, and his condition worsened in recent years. His family announced last week that he had been moved to hospice care.

Schottenheimer was a successful head coach in the NFL for several different teams. He had stints with the Browns, Chiefs, Washington and the Chargers. He last coached in the NFL in 2006 but briefly returned to a head coaching and general manager role with Virginia Destroyers of the now-defunct United Football League in 2011.

In 20-plus seasons as a head coach, Schottenheimer compiled a record of 200-126-1 during the regular season and 5-13 in the playoffs. He’s the only eligible head coach with at least 200 wins who has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Schottenheimer’s son Brian was recently hired to serve as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Urban Meyer with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Photo: Wikimedia/MLBIpa via CC-by-SA 4.0

Jerry Rice willing to cede GOAT title to Tom Brady

Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice has long considered himself the greatest of all time, but Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl ring has even him reconsidering.

Rice was asked about the title on 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” Monday, and abruptly stated that the “GOAT” title doesn’t really matter that much to him anyway.

“When you have seven rings, you’re doing something right,” Rice said, via David Bonilla of 49ers Webzone. “I think with Brady, he still wants to play. He said something about playing until he’s 45. I think he could do it now in this league because players are so much more protected.

“So, yeah, he can have that GOAT status. I never wanted that status anyhow. I just played the game for the love of the game, and I wanted to win for San Francisco, the great fans that we have, and also the organization, Bill Walsh, and my teammates, and all that.”

In the past, Rice has cared enough about the title to get it tattooed on him. With Brady’s seventh ring, many are willing to proclaim him the “GOAT,” and it almost feels like Rice is acting like he doesn’t care just because the sentiment is moving away from him.

Rice and Brady are both icons. No one can take that away from either of them. Brady’s titles, though, will be used by many as all the evidence anyone could need.