We’re still far out but we made it another week closer to the start of a new NFL season. The off-season is as dramatic as the regular season these days and with the draft next week, teams trimming their payroll and players walking away, there is always something to report. This past week was no different so here are a few of the stories that popped up.
Thursday the 26th begins the draft and no one will be happier than I as all of the prognosticating is making me somewhat batty. Saying the coverage is over the top is like saying Mel Kiper Jr. dabbles in mock drafts. Understatements to say the least.
Not only have they stretched out what you used to be a 2-day event into 3-day spectacle. We now have the option of viewing it on 4 different networks. Well, what can you do. This is the NFL and ESPN we’re talking about after all.
The quarterbacks and the Browns remain the story as their first pick will dictate the way the rest of the dominoes fall. Josh Allen, QB, of Wyoming remains the favorite to be selected by the Brown team and number one overall. There has been talk of the Browns grabbing Saquon Barkley, RB, of Penn St. first and then taking a QB with the 4th overall pick.
However, they love Allen and after skipping the chance to take Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in recent years, look for them to be decisive for the first time this century and take their guy.
If the Browns get Allen and then grab Barkley, watch out for the Browns in 2018. They’ve made some strong moves this off-season. Playoff bound? A Super Bowl contender? Not by a long shot but they will be a team moving in the right direction and keeping games close. Taking the Browns and the points in 2018 may be a smart play.
Dez is Gone
As expected, Dez Bryant was released from the Cowboys this week. There were a few rumors suggesting a deal between him and Jerry Jones could be worked out but that never had much of a chance. You got a big contract. You don’t produce. You are cut. Welcome to the NFL. Dez will be fine. Look for him to catch on with the Ravens. Baltimore is notorious for picking up guys like Bryant. Big personalities fit in well there and the Ravens can use him. Bryant will be a steal in fantasy and Baltimore will have a much better offense.
Tom Brady is Retiring
No, he isn’t.
In what might be the best non-story/non-reporting I have seen in some time, Adam Schefter jumped into a live broadcast of Sportscenter with the breaking news that Tom Brady has not directly indicated he will return to the Patriots next season. What does that mean exactly? Nothing. It’s a nothing story. It’s just a reason to talk football and Tom Brady. Something ESPN never misses an opportunity to do. Tom Brady is under contract for two more years.
Tom Brady has spoken to the press and teammates about playing the 2018 season. Tom Brady is playing next year. However, despite the obvious, ESPN brought this non-story to the forefront and let Schefter mutter and stumble his way through a story everyone must’ve known was a non-starter. But how is this of interest to sports gambling? Well, it shows just how terrible ESPN “reporting” is, how far they have fallen and why they should be ignored. You have plenty of choices when researching a game. Be sure ESPN isn’t one of them.