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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023


Sean Payton not thrilled about having Russell Wilson?

Sean Payton on the sideline

Dec 12, 2021; East Rutherford, N.J.,USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton is the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, and it sounds like he has some reservations about the job.

Terry Bradshaw spoke with some reporters in Arizona on Tuesday where the media is gathered ahead of the Super Bowl. According to Newsday’s Tom Rock, the FOX analyst said that Payton took the Broncos job in spite of Russell Wilson rather than because of the quarterback.

“Sat with Terry Bradshaw for a bit. Interesting comments on Sean Payton, his co-worker for the past year at FOX. Said Payton didn’t want to go to Arizona bc of the QB. Also said he didn’t want to go to Denver bc of the QB! Ultimately he took that job in spite of Russ,” Rock tweeted.

It’s not too surprising that Payton had some concerns about the Broncos job, and specifically Wilson.

A 9-time Pro Bowl quarterback and Super Bowl champion, Wilson had by far his worst season as a quarterback. He passed for 3,524 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season, while Denver’s offense sputtered and was the worst in the league.

Payton probably feels he can help Wilson do better next season. The issue is that Wilson is signed to big money through 2028, though Denver can cut him after 2025 and take a $31 million cap hit.

In the past, Wilson would have been viewed as an asset. But based on his contract and terrible 2022 season, he was viewed as a potential hindrance by some, including Payton apparently.

Denver — and Wilson — were so bad this season that it should be easy for Payton to improve the team in 2023. If worse comes to worse, Denver can move on from Wilson after 2025.

Payton already has plans to make a big change regarding Wilson.

Sean Payton making big change relating to Russell Wilson

Sean Payton on the sideline

Dec 12, 2021; East Rutherford, N.J.,USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton is making a major change regarding quarterback Russell Wilson.

Payton said Monday that he does not plan to allow Wilson to have his own personal coach with him at team facilities going forward. Wilson was allowed to bring his own training staff and personal quarterbacks coach, Jake Heaps, to the team facility with him in 2022.

“That’s foreign to me. That’s not going to take place here,” Payton said of allowing players to bring their own associates into the building. “I’m unfamiliar with it, but our staff will be here, our players will be here and that’ll be it.”

For many, this will be a welcome change from Payton. Much was made of Wilson’s special privileges last season, and though some teammates defended certain aspects of it, it is easy to see how it could generate friction. That is especially true when neither Wilson or the Broncos had a good season.

Wilson has sought more control over the offense in recent years, which might not fly with Payton. The former Saints coach is a strong figure with a resume of success he can point to, which may empower him to get the best out of Wilson and limit the power the quarterback has when it might not be working for him.

Tom Brady reveals when he plans to start broadcasting for FOX

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady has revealed when he plans to begin his broadcasting career with FOX.

Brady appeared on “The Herd” on Monday and was asked by host Colin Cowherd about his broadcasting future. The retired quarterback revealed that he plans to take a year off before beginning his FOX tenure in 2024.

“I want to be great at what I do. Talking last week with the people of FOX Sports and the leadership there, allowing me to start my FOX opportunity in the fall of 2024 is something that’s great for me,” Brady said. “Take some time to really learn, become great at what I want to do, thinking about the opportunity and making sure I don’t rush into anything.”

Brady’s decision means Greg Olsen will get at least one more year as part of the No. 1 team. It also means Brady will enter the booth just in time to call the Super Bowl in his first year, as FOX has the rights for the 2024 season.

Even before he retired, Brady had signed a $375 million deal with FOX to go into broadcasting. While some doubted whether he would ever actually follow through, he sounds genuinely enthusiastic about it. Setting a target date will only demonstrate that he remains serious about it, and will presumably spend 2023 studying and learning the craft ahead of his debut.

Trent Dilfer says Gregg Williams admitted to stealing Ravens’ playbook

Gregg Williams wearing a headset

Oct 21, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams coaches against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens were carried to a Super Bowl title in 2000 by arguably the greatest defense in NFL history, and there was one particular playoff game where their offense was almost no help at all. That was apparently a result of Baltimore’s opponent having the answers to the test.

ESPN on Sunday night aired an excellent 30-for-30 documentary called “Bullies of Baltimore.” Most of what was included was filmed during a celebration the Ravens had back in May honoring their Super Bowl XXXV team. One of the most noteworthy moments in the documentary came when former Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer told the story of how former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stole Dilfer’s playbook during the 2000 season.

Dilfer recalled how his playbook inexplicably went missing following the Ravens’ 24-23 win over the Titans in Week 11. He said he knew there was no way he lost it and was confident someone stole it out of the locker room in Tennessee.

Baltimore then played the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and beat them 24-10. Their offense managed just 134 yards of total offense and six first downs. Dilfer said Tennessee’s defense was calling out every play the Ravens ran before the ball was snapped.

Dilfer says he was at an NFL function with Williams years later when Williams admitted that he stole Dilfer’s playbook.

“He admits that he stole that sucker out of the locker room,” Dilfer said. “To this day it pisses me off.”

Williams, who is now the defensive coordinator for the XFL’s DC Defenders, is known for being a great defensive coach. He was also at the center of the New Orleans Saints’ infamous “Bountygate” scandal.

Dilfer’s playbook story will not do Williams any favors in terms of how people view his character. It is also a reminder of just how good the Ravens’ defense was in 2000.

Nets owner got last laugh with Kyrie Irving through petty move

Joe Tsai looking on

May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving terrorized Joe Tsai’s Brooklyn Nets for nearly four seasons, and it sounds like the Nets owner got the last laugh with the problematic guard.

On Friday we learned that Irving wanted to be traded by the Nets ahead of Thursday’s deadline. Immediately, there was speculation that Irving would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. But by Sunday, Irving had been traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs sent Brooklyn Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and two second-round picks.

The Lakers offered the Nets Russell Westbrook (whose contract is expiring) plus their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.

It’s quite possible that the Nets outright preferred Dallas’ trade package, which included two players who could help keep them competitive this season. But Marc Stein reported Sunday night that one other presumed goal of Tsai was to avoid sending Irving to the Lakers, which was the guard’s preferred destination.

After everything Irving put that franchise through — from disrupting chemistry to the anti-semitic matter this season to not playing half the time — it makes sense that Tsai wouldn’t want to reward Irving.

Trading Irving to Dallas yielded two benefits: a favorable trade package that helps the Nets stay competitive, and blocking Irving from joining the Lakers.

Nets trade Kyrie Irving to Western Conference contender

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving on Friday informed the Brooklyn Nets that he wanted to be traded, and the team has already granted his wish.

Irving has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks, Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported. The Nets will get Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and two second-round picks in the deal.

Irving was linked to the Mavericks almost immediately after he requested a trade. One report said Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was in favor of the team acquiring Irving.

Dallas entered Sunday with a 28-26 record, which was sixth-best in the Western Conference. They had been looking for a second star to pair with Luka Doncic, who may have put some pressure on the front office to make a move.

There was at least one other Western Conference contender that showed some interest in Irving.

Irving has had a good season thus far. He is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. He is in the final year of his contract and was seeking an extension from the Nets before he told them he wanted out of Brooklyn.

Ex-Pro Bowl CB arrested following crash that left person hospitalized

Vontae Davis without a helmet

Nov 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (23) reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Colts 40-11. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL defensive back Vontae Davis was arrested on Saturday following a car crash that left one person hospitalized.

Andy Slater of FOX Sports 640 reports that Davis was arrested in South Florida and charged with driving while under the influence. The 34-year-old allegedly crashed his car into a disabled vehicle on the side of the highway. The disabled car then hit a person who was standing next to it.

The person who got hit was taken to the hospital with multiple injuries, according to police. Davis was allegedly found lying down sleeping on the shoulder of the road. He reportedly told officers he had two mixed drinks and was coming from a club. When asked why he was sleep, Davis said “I was tired.”

Davis played 10 seasons in the NFL. He was a first-round pick in 2009 out of Illinois. He had back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons with the Indianapolis Colts in 2014 and 2015.

Many fans are familiar with Davis from the unusual way he retired when he was with the Buffalo Bills in 2018.

Aaron Rodgers keeps being linked to 1 AFC team

Aaron Rodgers smiles

August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) smiles before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers could end up changing teams this offseason, and he keeps being linked to one team.

Rodgers is competing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the California coast, where there are still plenty of Raiders fans. Rodgers kept hearing from fans of the Silver & Black, who were recruiting him throughout the tournament.

Rodgers even gave a big smile to some fans who called out “Raiders” to him.

Another video showed Rodgers’ response to a fan who teased him with a Davante Adams comment.

Rodgers even addressed the subject during an interview with CBS’ Amanda Balionis. He mentioned all the Raiders funs he’s hearing from.

“I’m just going to say that the predominant team that we hear as we’re walking is Raiders. A lot of Raider fans are encouraging me, a lot of ‘Davante misses you’ comments. We’re having some fun with it,” Rodgers said.

Adding to the intrigue was a tweet from Sam Barrington. Barrington is a former Packers linebacker, who was teammates with Rodgers and Davante Adams from 2014-2015.

“Just spoke with a friend of mine who is very in tuned with Packers/Aaron Rodgers situation. Aaron will be a
@Raiders in 2023,” Barrington tweeted.

The Raiders are parting ways with Derek Carr and will need a new quarterback for 2023. Could that new QB be the four-time league MVP?

Teams reportedly have 1 concern about Aaron Rodgers trade

Aaron Rodgers in a helmet

Nov 13, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during warmups prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Any quarterback-needy team would certainly take a long look at acquiring Aaron Rodgers via trade if he became available. However, there may be some serious reservations about giving up too much to make such a trade.

The Packers may have difficulty maximizing any trade return for Rodgers due to his year-to-year approach to playing, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Teams would not want to give up significant draft capital for one year of Rodgers, and would probably want some assurances of at least two years.

One potential solution to the issue would be if the Packers allowed some of the draft picks to be conditional, becoming more valuable if Rodgers does play a second season for any new team.

The flipside is that quarterbacks like Rodgers do not become available very often. There is no guarantee the Packers trade him, but they will find a lot of interest if they do. The question at that point simply becomes how willing some teams would be to give up major draft capital to get him.

Report: Kyrie Irving was upset about 1 thing in extension talks with Nets

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We now have a better idea of why things went south (again) between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets.

Word broke on Friday that the Nets All-Star guard Irving has requested a trade from the team ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline. The news comes after Irving reportedly rejected an extension offer from the Nets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic appeared Friday on “The Pat McAfee Show” and revealed something interesting about those extension talks. Charania said that the Nets gave Irving an extension offer that had certain guarantee stipulations. Irving and his camp were reportedly “vehemently against” any such stipulations and thus declined the offer.

You cannot really blame the Nets for trying to protect themselves in a new deal with Irving. The eight-time All-Star has had a litany of issues since arriving in Brooklyn in 2019, most recently in November when he was suspended by the team for his promotion of an anti-semitic film.

But Irving remains a strong talent on the basketball court (averaging 27.1 points per game this season) and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, meaning the Nets could lose him for nothing if they don’t trade him. It is also possible that Irving’s trade request is a leverage play to try to force his way to one team in particular.