Free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft have come and gone. Both events have altered the structure of many teams. New talent has come in, old talent has been sent out, and now jobs are on the line across the NFL. That’s the nature of business in professional sports, and the NFL is certainly no different.
With that in mind, here’s a look at players whose jobs are in jeopardy as training camps looms.
Joe Flacco and Jamison Crowder connected for a big touchdown before halftime on “Monday Night Football,” and it turns out the catch was the most improbable of the season, according to one stat.
The New York Jets were leading the New England Patriots 13-10 and had a 1st-and-10 play from the 20 with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. Flacco threw to the left sideline in the end zone for Crowder. The play was initially ruled an incompletion, but it was overturned upon review. Crowder was able to tap his toe in bounds to make the touchdown count.
That touchdown helped the winless Jets go up 20-10 before halftime.
According to NextGen Stats, the pass had a 6.2 percent completion probability, which is the lowest for any completion this season. It was also the most improbable touchdown since 2017.
The catch looked every bit as difficult and unlikely as the stats made it out to be. What makes it even more surprising is that Crowder made the play while battling through a groin injury that almost kept him out of the game.
A hilarious photo of Mekhi Becton and Jamison Crowder went viral on Tuesday.
The New York Jets shared a photo of Becton and Crowder standing a few feet apart from each other on the sidelines at practice. The size difference between the two is comical.
Becton is listed at 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds. Crowder is listed at 5-foot-9 and 177 pounds. Becton is about twice Crowder’s size and looks every bit of it.
Becton was a first-round pick by the Jets this year (No. 11 overall). Crowder joined the Jets last year and became their leader in receptions (78), receiving yards (833) and receiving touchdowns (6). Despite his size, he’s quite a player.
The funny photo reminded us of this one from three years ago.
The Washington Redskins are expected to be without two offensive skill players for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that running back Chris Thompson is expected to miss the game due to rib and knee injuries.
He adds that wide receiver Jamison Crowder is unlikely to play due to his ankle injury.
Thompson got hurt late in Washington’s loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. He’s among the injured Redskins running backs. Adrian Peterson has several injuries, including a shoulder issue, but is expected to play. Samaje Perine and Kapri Bibbs may see extra action with Thompson out and Peterson banged up.
Crowder missed practice during the week due to the injury. He has 13 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown this season.
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.