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#pounditWednesday, February 24, 2021


Aaron Rodgers likely to restructure contract with Packers?

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers indicated after the season that his future in Green Bay might be uncertain, but he has since put Packers fans at ease. Now, the next step for the star quarterback could be a new contract.

The Packers are projected to be more than $20 million over the salary cap, meaning they have to rework some contracts prior to March 17. Pro Bowl offensive tackle David Bakhtiari recently converted his roster bonus into a signing bonus, which created more than $8 million in cap space. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Rodgers is almost certain to do something similar.

Rodgers is set to make a base salary of $14.7 million next season with a $6.8 million roster bonus that’s due in March. His current contract runs through 2023, but the Packers could give him more guaranteed money and lower his salary cap hit in the short term. An arrangement like that would benefit both sides.

After the Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game, Rodgers said his future with the Packers is “uncertain” just like that of several of his teammates. He later elaborated on those remarks after Green Bay fans were sent into a collective panic.

While there is technically a path for Rodgers to force a trade, it is highly unlikely he will go that route.

Controversial video of Mariners CEO Kevin Mather goes viral

Kevin Mather

A controversial video of Seattle Mariners CEO and President Kevin Mather went viral on Sunday and has led to all sorts of fallout.

Mather spoke with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club via video on Feb. 5. The speech, which Mather intended for a private audience, was uploaded to YouTube on Friday and circulated on Twitter Sunday.

In the video, Mather gave his opening remarks before answering questions from the club members. He provided lots of financial background on the team, plans for some players, and offered what appeared to be inside information on many situations.

Mather told the members that the team had a terrible year financially last year, but they were better off than many other teams. He also said they have a favorable TV deal with Root Sports compared to other teams.

He talked about the contract situations for many players and prospects. He shared that outfielder Jared Kelenic turned down a long-term contract extension they offered. He also said that outfielder prospect Julio Rodriguez would not be in the big leagues this season.

Rodriguez seemed upset about that and responded on Twitter.

Mather suggested that some players wouldn’t be with the big club until April. Some people construed the remarks as an admission to player time clock manipulation.

Mather said Kyle Seager is a great Mariners player but also currently overpaid. He shared the team’s mentality and approach to dealing with pitchers Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, whom he expected to lower their asking prices. Paxton wound up signing with the team a week after the speech.

There were some other aspects of Mather’s talk that stood out to some people.

Mather got the name of one of the team’s players wrong.

The executive commenting on Rodriguez’s English not being “tremendous” and complaining about having to pay $75,000 for an interpreter for Hisashi Iwakuma also rubbed some people the wrong way.

Mather was extremely honest and open to the audience and divulged information that the team most likely would not want to be public. For instance, if Mather were speaking with reporters, he probably wouldn’t have shared the type of inside information that he did with the private group. He might be more careful with his remarks in the future.

Artemi Panarin taking leave of absence amid allegations from Russia

Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin has given the New York Rangers a much-needed boost since he returned from a lower body injury last week, but the star forward will now have to leave the team amid much different circumstances.

In a news article that was published in Panarin’s home country of Russia on Monday, KHL coach and former NHL player Andrei Nazarov alleges that Panarin beat up an 18-year-old girl at a bar in Riga, Latvia, back in 2011. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the Rangers in the aftermath of the story.

While it is unclear if there is any truth to the allegations, the belief if that the news story was published for political reasons. Panarin has been critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin in the past. Nazarov is a known Putin supporter who once called for the arrest of foreign players who speak negatively about Russia.

Last month, Panarin showed support on social media for those opposing Putin. Brooks says there was fear of retribution.

The allegations against Panarin are serious, which is likely why he is stepping away from the Rangers for an undisclosed amount of time.

John Tortorella once had to offer a graphic description for why Panarin was absent from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Panarin’s absence from the Rangers will not be related to injury or illness. The NHL may conduct its own investigation of the Russian media story.

H/T Wardo

Here is the Seahawks’ reported asking price for Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

It is highly unlikely that the Seattle Seahawks will trade Russell Wilson this offseason, but that does not mean they are ignoring inquiries about the star quarterback.

Roughly one-third of NFL teams have reached out to the Seahawks about the possibility of trading for Wilson, Michael Silver of reported on Monday. Seattle general manager John Schneider never closes the door entirely on a trade discussion, but Silver says the starting point in any negotiation involving Wilson would be three first-round draft picks.

“You’ve got a coach in Pete Carroll who, I would imagine, is not eager to sign on to a rebuilding project or say, ‘Hey, let’s just go get a young quarterback,'” Silver said. “They’ve got their guy. I think chances are it’ll get patched up, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of teams from reaching out and talking about this. You kind of hear that three No. 1’s being tossed around the league a little bit.”

Wilson has voiced his frustrations with the Seahawks on numerous occasions this offseason. His camp was clearly behind a report that the quarterback is fed up with how much he has been sacked. We know that because Wilson essentially confirmed it during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” last week. He also hinted at some other issues between him and the team.

Still, it seems unlikely that Wilson would demand a trade. Trading him would result in a $39 million dead cap hit for the Seahawks, which is one of the many reasons they want to avoid it. If you want to know why Wilson is airing out his dirty laundry, this might help explain it.

Kevin Mather resigns at president and CEO of Mariners

Kevin Mather

The Seattle Mariners issued a statement on Monday announcing that Kevin Mather has resigned as president and CEO of the organization.

Mather’s resignation comes a day after a video of his controversial comments about the team went viral. Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton said Monday that he is “extremely disappointed” and reiterated that Mather’s views do not represent those of the organization.

Stanton says he will serve as president and CEO until a successor is chosen.

Mather gave inside information about the Mariners during a video chat with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club on Feb. 5. The video, which was not uploaded to YouTube until Sunday, featured him discussing Seattle’s financial situation, contract talks with various players, and short and long-term plans for many of the team’s prospects.

Mather ended up getting one of the team’s player’s name wrong; saying a prospect wouldn’t be called up this year and that the prospect’s English wasn’t great; divulging plans about Kyle Seager; and saying that he didn’t like paying a salary for one of the team’s former pitcher’s translators.

He issued an apology (read it here), but it was obviously too late.

Here is the latest on the Dak Prescott-Cowboys contract negotiations

Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys have until March 9 to place the franchise tag on Dak Prescott for a second straight season. They hope to sign the star quarterback to a long-term contract extension before then, but that apparently is not close to happening.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said on “Get Up!” Tuesday morning that Prescott’s representatives and the Cowboys have not made any real progress toward a long-term deal.

“Very important to point out here — speaking with people on both sides of this thing, it does not sound as if any progress has been made toward a long-term extension for Dak Prescott,” Darlington reported. “While this is the beginning of the process for this year, it also feels like there is a very long way to go.”

If Dallas does wind up placing the franchise tag on Prescott again, the two sides will have until July to discuss a long-term contract. However, it is significant that they are reportedly not close to a deal. Prescott and the Cowboys negotiated last offseason as well, so you would think some sort of progress was made. That may not be the case.

Prescott has more leverage this offseason, as the cap-strapped Cowboys would have to pay him $37.7 million if he plays under the franchise tag in 2021. That is probably Prescott’s best bargaining chip, and it sounds like he plans to use it given the report we recently heard about how much money he wants.

It was reported last year that Prescott and the Cowboys only disagreed over the length of a potential long-term deal. There is clearly more to it than that, however.

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.

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

Tiger Woods injured in serious roll-over car crash

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident on Tuesday morning and transported to a hospital.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on Tuesday that Woods was the driver of a vehicle that crashed and rolled over on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. Woods, who was the only person in the vehicle, was extracted using the “jaws of life.” He was transported to a local hospital.

Here is the full statement:

News cameras were at the scene and captured some footage of Woods’ SUV, which was extremely mangled:

Woods has not golfed this season after undergoing another back procedure. His game looked a bit off late last year, as he had one of the worst single-hold meltdowns of his career (video here) at the Masters in November.

There has not yet been an update on Tiger’s condition.

Was Tiger Woods drunk or high for car crash? Authorities say no

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’ DUI history led many to wonder whether the golfer was impaired during his car crash on Tuesday morning. The answer from authorities is no.

Woods was involved in a single-car crash in Southern California on Tuesday morning. Woods was in Los Angeles where his foundation hosted The Genesis Invitational from Thursday-Sunday. He remained in the area, staying at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. to take part in some video shoots with fellow athletes. He did some shoots on Monday and was heading to the Rolling Hills Country Club, according to some outlets, early Tuesday for more shooting. Other outlets have said he was headed to Riviera Country Club, further away. That’s when he crashed his car and flipped it over the side of the road (more details here on where it occurred).

Woods was extracted from the car with the “jaws of life” and taken to the hospital, where he underwent surgery for a broken ankle and leg fractures.

No other cars being involved in the crash led some to wonder whether Woods was impaired. The LA County police chief and fire chief said that Woods was traveling at a fast speed and there was no evidence of impairment.

In May 2017, Woods was arrested for a DUI in Florida. He passed a breathalyzer at the time and was not drunk. However, a toxicology report later showed that Woods had five substances in his body: two painkillers, a tranquilizer, a sedative, and THC.

Authorities are currently saying there is no evidence that Woods was impaired on Tuesday.

Tiger Woods update: Here is the latest on golfer’s condition

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries in a car accident on Tuesday morning, but the 15-time major champion appears to be on the road to recovery.

Woods’ family released a statement early Wednesday morning confirming that Tiger underwent surgery after sustaining lower body injuries. A doctor from UCLA Medical Center said Woods had multiple fractures that were stabilized by inserting a rod into his leg. He also had screws and pins put into his foot and ankle.

Woods was said to be “awake, responsive and recovering” following the lengthy surgical procedure. You can read the full statement below:

Tiger had been recovering from his latest back procedure, so there is obviously concern that his golf career could be over. It’s far too early to make predictions about that, however.

Authorities say there were no signs that Woods was impaired at the time of his single-car crash. One report indicated he was driving dangerously well before the accident.