Any official moves on the Tony Romo front will slow to a crawl now that Thursday’s trade has cleared a runway for the veteran to land in Houston. With his status up in the air and Mike Glennon snapped up by the Bears, that leaves Jay Cutler as the league’s top free agent passer.
This is great news for Dallas and Romo, whose list of suitors grew without any real competition emerging on the market. The odds of a Romo trade, which would keep him as the league’s highest-paid quarterback for 2017, have gone up now.
It also leaves a few interesting scenarios to play out on the open market. If the Browns cut their newly acquired quarterback, Osweiler and Cutler would be the two top consolation prizes from a Romo deal.
But Denver is likely uninterested in Cutler given his history with the club. Either team signing Romo would set a few different moving pieces in motion, and the deals would likely domino all the way down to the least desirable free agent destination this spring — the New York Jets.
Right now, the quarterback market all depends on what happens with the Cowboys’ 36-year-old soon-to-be ex-QB.
The good news is, they’re in great shape for a rebuild. The Browns have been amassing draft picks like Sam Hinkie’s 76ers and currently hold 12 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, including the No. 1 and No. 12 overall selections. They can use that capital to address the needs they can’t fix in free agency while shipping other draft assets away for either future picks or players who can (like, once again, Garoppolo).
Two of the top three linebackers are gone, but the returnee, Sherrod Ruff, is a keeper. He recorded 11 TFLs, three sacks, and three forced fumbles from the strong side. Reserves Jeremy Sangster and Paxton Schrimsher were active in limited chances, and mid-three-star redshirt freshmen JaCorey Morris and Racheem Boothe could make a quick impact.
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The NBA announced some major new investments in its referee program on Thursday. The league will create an advisory council on officiating starring Gen. Martin Dempsey and former U.S. Education Secretary/Celebrity Game scoring record holder Arne Duncan. The league will go on a hiring spree and work to keep crews more rested and use virtual reality to train refs.
Perhaps most importantly, the league will invest in a “data-driven game review system to create objective referee measurement standards and track progress regarding call accuracy and errors per game over multiple seasons.” That reads to me like “robot judge who will decide if refs are good or bad and keep score forever.” The National Basketball Referees Association hasn’t commented on this or any other aspect just yet, but Synergy for Referees seems like something they might oppose. We’ll see.
It’s pretty fascinating to me that the league is now investing lots of resources (time, money and headspace) to officiating issues but didn’t do much back in the wake of the Donaghy scandal. Technological advances have made all of this much more accessible. But Adam Silver has made improving the way the game is officiated a much bigger priority than David Stern, despite Stern presiding over the biggest ref scandal in any American sport in decades. It’s interesting.
Nerlens Noel, who is new to Dallas, went to the wrong airport to catch the Mavericks’ charter to Atlanta. He ended up being 10 minutes late. So coach Rick Carlisle didn’t give him the start and ripped him in the media. Maybe Carlisle is joking — his wit is rather dry in general — but SHEESH.
JaVale McGee doing improv.
The Warriors promised to sign Jose Calderon before Kevin Durant got hurt. The injury meant Golden State needed a wing more than a point guard. But the Warriors followed through with their promise, signing Calderon and waiving him 80 minutes later. He made a half million dollars for his troubles. What a world.
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Eric Berry and the Kansas City Chiefs finalized a six-year deal that makes him the highest-paid safety ever, according to NFL Network¡¯s Ian Rapoport. The five-time Pro Bowler said on NFL Network earlier in February that he “definitely” wasn’t going to play under the franchise tag in 2017, even though he wants to finish his career in Kansas City. Now, it looks like that¡¯s not a concern.
“I want to play there. I love the city, I love the vibe, I love my teammates,” Berry said. “I really look at them more than teammates. We¡¯ve been through a lot. They supported me a lot, and that organization. But I don¡¯t feel comfortable playing under a franchise tag this year.”
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Stephen Curry went 0-for-11 from the three-point line on Monday night, tying a league record for most missed three-pointers in a game. It was also the worst shooting game of his career. His brother Seth, on the other hand, went 5-of-7 from behind the line and finished the night with 29 points. Historically, Feb. 27 has been a good day for Steph Curry. His 54-point game in Madison Square Garden and his 46-point game with the 30-foot game winner in Oklahoma City were both on Feb. 27. Not so much this time around.
Okay, the Raptors snuck out of Madison Square Garden with a win on Monday night thanks to a DeMar DeRozan jumper with 1.9 seconds left. So it wasn¡¯t exactly ¡°no problem¡± but it was a win. Lowry will likely be out until the playoffs due to receiving surgery on his right wrist to fix loose bodies. They¡¯ll need everything they can get from DeRozan moving forward.
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They could also take any draft picks a Cousins trade yielded and flip those for someone like, say, Jimmy Garoppolo. But, come on, the most enjoyable part about this little thought exercise is imagining Romo in burgundy and gold.
Stephen White and I talked about the Cousins/Washington circus on the Family Hour podcast last week, too.
Teams and player reps will all be in Indianapolis this week, so you can expect even more Kirk Cousins rumors in the days ahead. Fun!
The Houston Texans beat the Buffalo Bills, 23-17, in a game that was emblematic of the scrappy play by which both teams live. Big plays highlighted the day, but none was bigger, nor more impressive than J.J. Watt’s 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Through four games, Watt’s legend is approaching folk-lore status. He entered the game with two sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. He added five more tackles to his 10 tackles on the season entering the game. The most impressive play of the game was easily his pick-six. Watt somehow high-pointed a pass that was thrown a few yards in front of his faces, and, at 289 pounds, outran everyone to the end zone.
Watt also spearheaded a strong concerted effort by the Texans’ defense. The Bills managed 316 total yards on the day. EJ Manuel completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, and C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were held to 93 yards on 22 carries. The Texans redeemed themselves well after poor performance against the New York Giants last week.
Matt Elam, who is scheduled to become a free agent next month, was arrested on multiple drug charges, including one count of possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver.
“We are aware of the arrest of Matt Elam,” the Ravens said in a statement. “Matt is not in our plans for the 2017 Ravens.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was looking into the incident.
This isn’t the first substance-related incident for Elam. In October 2015, he was suspended for one game for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He had self-reported the violation, team officials said at the time.
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Elam has been one of the most disappointing first-round picks in franchise history. He was benched from the starting lineup in the middle of the 2014 season after struggling to cover receivers deep and missing tackles. Elam played on special teams last season after being designated to return off injured reserve.
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The Jaguars are not picking up Beachum’s four-year, $35 million option, sending the 27-year-old tackle to free agency after just one season in Jacksonville.
Ryan Clady, offensive tackle, New York Jets
The Jets declined Clady’s $10 million option for 2017, as New York suddenly eyes a potential mass shedding of veterans in order to jumpstart a roster turnaround.
Victor Cruz, wide receiver, New York Giants
Cyprien picked the perfect time to have a bounceback season. His 2016 campaign with Jacksonville was easily among the top 10 for his position (Pro Football Focus rated him the seventh-best safety in football), and he enters the market without a ton of competition (presuming the Chiefs apply the franchise tag to Eric Berry).
An interesting contract comparison would be another former second-round pick, Broncos safety T.J. Ward, who inked a four-year, $22.5 million deal back in 2014. But with the raises in the cap ceiling over the past three years, one would imagine Cyprien will fetch more on the open market. Would that type of commitment be worth the risk? Cyprien undoubtedly has a high ceiling, but he will now be thrust into a different system without the same responsibilities.
The safety position is notoriously underpaid to begin with, which means that there can be some solid values for teams looking to avoid the long-term commitment.
Jackson’s home-run ability cannot be discounted. I’m convinced the extra dimension he added to an already punchy Redskins offense helped lift Kirk Cousins from good starter to top-of-market quarterback this offseason. But it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint the value of a 30-year-old speed wideout, because there aren’t a ton of accurate comparisons out there.
If the Cowboys trade Romo or release him, he will count $19.6 million against their cap in 2017. If they designate him a post-June 1 release, Romo will count $10.7 million against the cap in 2017 and $8.9 million against the 2018 cap. But the Cowboys would not gain the $14 million cap credit until June 2.
So is it better to have the $5.1 million in March or the $14 million in June?
At present, the Cowboys will need to restructure a few contracts to get under the cap by March 9 when the league year begins. We laid out all sorts of options here, but the Cowboys can get under the proposed cap simply by reworking the deals of Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, saving them roughly $17 million in cap space.
That will give the Cowboys some spending money going into free agency when the best players on the open market are available. Add in the $5.1 million from Romo¡¯s deal and the Cowboys will be in better shape.
Given the cap room available to most teams, those proposed moves would not put the Cowboys in position to be the highest bidders on a war daddy or any other player at a position of need in free agency.
On a positive note, however, the Cowboys will also be free and clear from Romo¡¯s contract in 2018.
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Limited Womens Nomar Mazara Jersey Cakes are much better. Cakes can refer to a well-figured butt. It also refers to a wealth of other great things. When you¡¯re ¡°caked up,¡± that can either refer to being engaged in romantic endeavors with someone or having a lot of money. ¡°Can¡¯t have your cake and eat it, too,¡± is a deep philosophical idiom. When things ¡°go out like hotcakes¡± it means that it¡¯s successful. Something being the ¡°frosting on the cake¡± implies that a good situation just became better. When you tell someone ¡°If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked a cake,¡± it signifies delight at their arrival.
It¡¯s no coincidence that everything associated with cakes seems to be good, and the ones with pies bad, it¡¯s just representative of the nature of the foods. If you can even call pie a food.