Cornerback Shaquill Griffin landed the big contract he was looking for from the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the most incredible reaction was probably that of his brother’s.
Griffin was with his twin brother, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, when his agent called to inform him that they had a deal with the Jaguars. Reports indicate Shaquill’s new contract is worth $44.5 million, with $29 million of that guaranteed.
While Shaquill Griffin was still on the phone with his agent, Shaquem began tearing up, and then bolted for the bathroom.
“I think he threw up, actually, if I’m not mistaken,” Shaquill told Albert Breer of The MMQB. “You might need to ask him on that one. I think he threw up. I think he was more excited than I was. I’m gonna let you ask him on that one.”
Shaquem Griffin did confirm that this was true — “reluctantly,” as Breer put it.
Obviously, the Griffin brothers are close, and there is plenty of reason for excitement. In addition to the money, Shaquill gets to go play in his home state for a team that has been very aggressive in free agency.
Few things can change a football game quite like a defensive holding penalty. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks about that.
The Seahawks thought they had an interception of Jimmy Garoppolo in the first quarter of Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but it was wiped out by a penalty.
Shaquill Griffin had intercepted Garoppolo, who was late throwing a pass across the middle intended for Emmanuel Sanders.
However, a flag was down because Jamar Taylor was called for holding Kendrick Bourne.
Rather than Seattle having the ball at San Francisco’s 45 and nearly in field goal range, the 49ers retained possession and were able to drive for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
The penalty was a huge turning point early in the game.
It may be hard to believe, but training camps are just around the corner, and that means meaningful football isn’t far off. It also means that previously injured players, under-performers and sophomores have another opportunity to prove they belong in the hard-hitting NFL.
Here’s a look at 32 players — one from each team — who are ready to make the leap entering the 2018 season.
Arizona Cardinals – Budda Baker, S
With the departure of Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals have an obvious void to fill in their secondary. Enter second-year safety Budda Baker, who is expected to take on a much larger defensive role for Steve Wilks. In an aggressive system (Wilks blitzed on 44 percent of the defensive snaps in Carolina), Baker should find himself in a position to excel as a sophomore and potentially even improve upon his already impressive 84.5 Pro Football Focus grade from a season ago.
The Seattle Seahawks have confirmed who will replace Richard Sherman at the left cornerback position this year.
For the past seven seasons, the Seahawks and their fans got used to seeing Sherman man one of the cornerback spots on one of the NFL’s best defenses. That won’t be the case this season after Sherman left to sign with the 49ers.
On Wednesday, Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. confirmed that Shaquill Griffin will man the spot.
Griffin was selected during the third round of last year’s NFL Draft. He played in 15 games and made 11 starts as a rookie, recording 59 tackles and one interception. He also led the Seahawks with 15 passes defended.
The upcoming season will be one Griffin will surely be looking forward too, not just because of this recent news. He will also be reunited with his twin brother Shaquem, who was selected by Seattle in the fifth round of this year’s draft.
Every year, we see NFL players across the league come into their own despite not having much of a track record. They can be all types; many are second- or third-year players who have matured and overcome injury or adapted to the NFL. There are others who were never highly-touted but find themselves in the right situation.
Each NFL team has breakout candidates. Here is a leading candidate from all of them.
Arizona Cardinals — Haason Reddick, LB
The 13th overall pick in last year’s draft flashed potential and appeared in all 16 games, but only started three of them. He still made an impact, with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the season. The Cardinals plan to move him to inside linebacker, where he’s been studying tape of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. That bodes well for a big year two breakout.
Atlanta Falcons — Austin Hooper, TE
Year three could be the one that sees Hooper mature into a big target at tight end. His numbers improved last season, as he caught 49 passes and scored three touchdowns. A more prominent role and regular playing time could await him in 2018 and make him a Matt Ryan favorite. He’ll just have to compete with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Atlanta’s talented running backs for touches.