Giants’ Gettleman thought deal with Bears ‘too good an opportunity’ to pass up

The Giants waited until they were on the clock Thursday night before executing their most significant draft day trade since they acquired Eli Manning 17 years ago.

They sent their selection at No. 11 in the first round to the Chicago Bears for a package of four picks, including two in the current draft (No. 20 in the first round and No. 164 in the fifth), plus first and fourth-round choices in the 2022 draft. The Giants selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Chicago moved up to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

“Obviously, it was too good an opportunity (to pass up),” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “It added too much value, and we felt very comfortable with where our board was and we felt comfortable with who would be there, who would be available in that slot. So, we made it. We did it. We added a one and a four next year. Another pick for this year and another pick for next year. We were very pleased we were able to make the play.”

The key component of the trade for the Giants was the Bears’ first-rounder next year.

“It was very important to get the first-round pick next year,” Gettleman said. “As I told you guys (reporters) at my pre-draft presser, there’s a lot of unknowns here with this group (of players in this draft) and plus a lot of kids went back and took advantage of the NCAA giving them an additional year of eligibility. That obviously played into our thinking.”

The trade also enabled the Giants to recoup the fifth-round choice (No. 154) they sent the Jets in 2019 to acquire defensive lineman Leonard Williams. It gives them seven choices in the seven-round draft; one in each of the first five rounds and two in the sixth. They received an extra selection in that round from Arizona in a trade for linebacker Markus Golden. The Giants do not have a seventh-round selection after sending it last year to Denver for cornerback Isaac Yiadom.

For the first time in the eight NFL drafts he has run – five with Carolina and three with the Giants – Gettleman executed a trade to move back…not just in the first round, but in any round.

Gettleman initiated the trade by reaching out to Chicago general manager Ryan Pace.

“What happened was we had called around and … I had spoken to Ryan Pace, and I had heard he was interested in moving up,” Gettleman said. “So, I called him. When I spoke to him, he said, ‘Yes, we’re very interested.’ And then the conversations begin.

“I spoke to Ryan today before the draft and I spoke to him again. He called me again somewhere around the seventh pick, somewhere in there, and then we got on the clock and from there, (assistant general manager) Kevin Abrams took over and finished off the trade.”

It is widely thought the Giants were interested in Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and cornerbacks Jayce Horn of South Carolina and Patrick Surtain of Alabama. All were selected in the first 10 picks.

Although it was a surprise each of the four players were taken so early, the Giants are always ready for the unexpected in the draft.

“We had really talked this through, me, Joe (Judge), Chris Mara, Tim McDonnell, Kevin Abrams and Mark Koncz, we had all discussed thoroughly, really looked at our board,” Gettleman said of the team’s personnel experts. “We had a lengthy meeting on Monday and we followed it up with another meeting on Wednesday and so we really – we knew what we wanted. We knew where we wanted to go, and we knew at which point we would consider a trade back and that’s where you get the other piece of it where we’re calling teams behind us.

“And then we met again at 6 o’clock tonight to just constantly review and talk it through and it was a great group effort and we all felt very – we all felt very together on the decision. And we made it.”

It was the Giants’ first such move in the opening round since general manager Ernie Accorsi traded with Pittsburgh 15 years ago. The Giants moved from No. 25 to the 32nd and final choice in the round and added third (No. 96) and fourth-round (No. 129) picks. The Steelers took wide Santonio Holmes and the Giants selected Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka to close out the first round. With the later round choices they received from Pittsburgh, the Giants selected linebacker Gerris Wilkinson and offensive lineman Guy Whimper.

Of course, Accorsi executed the franchise-changing trade for Manning on April 24, 2004. After the San Diego Chargers selected him first overall, Manning was traded to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers (whom the Giants had taken with the fourth pick), the Giants’ 2004 third-round pick, and 2005 first and fifth-round selections.

Via: Michael Eisen/giants.com

Lawrence on going to Jacksonville : ‘I think it’s a great fit’

When the Jacksonville Jaguars secured the number one over pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, there was no doubt that former Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence would be their guy, and on Thursday night in Cleveland, it became official. The Jaguars selected Lawrence with the number one overall pick. 

Jacksonville has been searching for a franchise quarterback, and now it appears they have found one in Lawrence. 

 “I couldn’t be more excited; I think it’s a great fit,” Lawrence said via a video conference. “This is going to be a really fun year, and just know that once I get there, all my focus, all my attention is to making us the best we can be, so thank you, guys.”

Lawrence, who never lost a regular-season game and won a national title at Clemson, is also excited to get working with Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, who also hopes to have a successful transition from college to the NFL. 

“First of all, with Coach Meyer, I got a great feel from just talking to him on the phone, and obviously, I’m excited to get down there and be in person with the guys and coaches and all that,” Lawrence said. “The biggest thing is that he’s a winner; you’ve seen he’s done that his whole career, so I’m really excited to be a part of that.”

At this point, it appears Lawrence could be the starter for Jacksonville in Week 1. When asked if he expects to be the Week 1 starter, Lawrence said the following:

“My mindset always going in is that I’m going to earn everything that I get, so coming in, I don’t have any expectations from anyone else other than myself,’ he said. “I expect to perform well and to adjust quickly, and be ready to go, and that’s something I expect a lot out of myself, so that’s where I’m at mentally. From there, like I said, it’s just about earning – I think the biggest thing is – the respect and trust of your teammates. Without that, it doesn’t really matter what you expect going in; you’ve got to earn that first. I’m just going to take it step by step, but like I said, I’m going to do everything in my power to prepare, to be the best I can be, and put us in the best chance to win.”

There is hope in Jacksonville with Lawrence in the mix, and if he’s who many think he could be, the Jaguars should have success like they never had before for years to come.

Report: Tebow works out with Jags as tight end

Tim Tebow might not be finished with the NFL after all. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tebow worked out for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but not at the quarterback spot.

Tebow reportedly worked out at the tight end position. The 33-year-old Tebow requested the tryout and worked out for team’s tight ends coach, according to the report.  Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy with current Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer at Florida, played three seasons in the NFL, including leading the Broncos to a victory in the playoffs back in 2011.

After playing for the Jets in 2012, Tebow tried to catch on with the Eagles and Patriots, but both times he was cut by both teams before the start of the season. Tebow tried his hand at baseball and spent three seasons(2016-19) in the Mets’ minor league system before retiring in 2020.

Maybe Meyer is trying to do Tebow a favor, or perhaps he believes Tebow can effectively transition to tight end. There has always been talk that Tebow could have stayed in the league if he transitioned to another position, so maybe the time is now.

We’ll see how it plays out, but it would be nice to see Tebow get another shot in the NFL.

 

Bucs exercise fifth-year option on Vita Vea

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exercised the fifth-year contract option on defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team announced on Monday.

Vea, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, contract will run through the 2022 season. According to spotrac.com, he will have a base salary of $2.5 million in 2021 and a base salary of $7.6 million in 2022. 

In his first three seasons, the 26-year-old Vea has started 29-of-34 regular-season games played, recording 73 tackles (11 for loss), 19 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks, and three passes defensed.

After missing 11 games in 2020 due ankle injury, Vea appeared in both the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl for Tampa Bay.

With Vea starting 21 games up front from 2019-20, the Buccaneers became the first defense since the Minnesota Vikings (2006-08) to lead the NFL in rushing yards allowed in back-to-back seasons. Since 2019 Tampa Bay has allowed 77.2 rushing yards per game and 3.43 yards per rush – both marks rank first in the NFL during that span.

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘We’re going to have competition at every position’

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded QB Carson Wentz to the the Indianapolis Colts, the thought was that Jalen Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021. The former second-round pick started four games for the Eagles in 2020 as a rookie and went 1-3.

Hurts threw for 1061 yards with six touchdown and four interceptions last season.

Today, Eagles GM Howie Roseman, head coach Nick Sirianni, and vice president of player personnel Andy Weiland met the media. Sirianni was asked if Hurts would be the team’s starting quarterback this season.

Here is what he had to say:

“To name any starters at this particular time, we’ve been working with these guys for two days, right? We’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said. “My biggest thing is competition. Again, we’ve talked a little bit about my core values. It’s my second core value. It’s this team’s second core value. Competition is a huge thing.

We’re going to have competition at every position.”

Hurts, 22 showed flashes in the four games he started, and on the surface, the Eagles were confident enough in Hurts that they willing to move Wentz. Also, you don’t waste a second-round pick on a quarterback if you don’t believe he can eventually be a starter.

Philadelphia signed 36-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason, and Flacco made it clear that he was looking to compete for the starting job.

By not declaring Hurts the starter, maybe this is a way for the Eagles to motivate him, perhaps they’re looking to draft a quarterback with the 12th pick in this year’s draft, or maybe there will be an actual quarterback competition. Who knows.

However, when it’s all said and done, expect Hurts to be under center for the Eagles in Week 1.

Giants’ Gettleman, Abrams talk free agency

NFL free agency has evolved into a mix of blind dates and musical chairs. 

 Teams often commit millions of dollars to players without meeting face to face – a practice conducted even before the pandemic – at the risk of being the last one standing. The Giants, however, did it differently this year. Their relatively long courtship of free agents like Kenny Golladay, regarded as the top wide receiver on the market, was well-documented as they wined, dined, and ultimately signed.

“We had them in here and it was an old-school free agency,” general manager Dave Gettleman said Tuesday. “We got to talk, a chance to visit with them, they went out to dinner with various people in the organization, they were here a couple of nights, our doctors were able to put their hands on them. It was an old-fashioned free agency.”

 “It wasn’t just our decision, the players wanted to come in as well,” vice president of football operations and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams said. “Both parties wanted to have the visit.”

The result was a free-agent class that surprised everyone but the people in the building. 

“We got a pretty good understanding of what they’re about and that, to me, was a big advantage,” team president and chief executive officer John Mara said a few weeks ago when the dust settled after the first wave of free agency. “It’s much more difficult to do this when you can’t get the guys in the building and you have to make a commitment to a large amount of money without getting a chance to eye them up and talk to them and get a feel for them. I was happy that we were able to do that this year. It made it easier to give the final okay to say, ‘Yeah, go ahead, get the thing signed.’”

Mara described the approach as “thorough” in the recruiting cycle, stemming from the philosophy that fit supersedes skill when building a team. There was also a tangible reason to bring prospective players in for a visit: medical examination.

In 2020, Golladay missed Weeks 2 and 3 with a hamstring injury and the final nine games with a hip flexor strain.

“Well, you bring him in because you want to get a physical on him,” Gettleman said. “That was the biggest reason, get a physical on him. But it was nice for a change to get to know a guy and have that opportunity to do that. Like I said, it was like the old days. The biggest reason was the physical.”

Meanwhile, a medical check of Kyle Rudolph, who signed with the Giants after a decade in Minnesota, revealed the need for the two-time Pro Bowl tight end to undergo a procedure to repair a foot injury stemming from last season.

Despite the discovery coming after he had agreed to terms, the Giants felt confident to follow through with the signing. “Once he went through all the medical evaluations, we didn’t think that it was necessary [to adjust the contract],” Abrams said.

 “We are the Giants, we’re going to do everything with class,” Gettleman said. “We had an agreement, [head athletic trainer] Ronnie [Barnes] signed off on it, [head team physician] Doc [Scott] Rodeo signed off on it, so we were fine.”

While people like to count the dollars spent, how does the front office quantify how much they improved in free agency?

 “From my opinion, and I think Dave would agree, I think our roster is a lot better now than it was at the end of the season,” Abrams said. “And the offseason is not over yet, so we’ll still have more opportunities to add players. So, I think we feel good with what we’ve done. I think we’re a deeper, more talented team.”

“You know, you can’t quantify it,” Gettleman said. “It’s not going to be quantified until the fall and we start playing in September. But we feel very good about what we’ve done, we feel very good about the direction the team is taking with getting Kenny signed and Kyle Rudolph and Devontae Booker and Adoree’ Jackson and Leo. We feel really great about that and we really feel we’re building a solid football team that the fans can be proud of.”

And they’re not done yet. The Giants hold six picks in next week’s draft, starting with the No. 11 overall selection.

Courtesy: Dan Salomone/Giants

Fournette, Antonio Brown called Tampa Bay ‘Last Chance U’

Leonard Fournette is back with the Buccaneers after he agreed to a one-year deal, the team announced on Wednesday.

According to espn.com, the deal is worth $3.25 million with incentives that would push it to $4 million.

In his first season with Tampa Bay in 2020, Fournette appeared in 13 regular-season games, making three starts. He rushed 97 times for 367 yards and six touchdowns while adding 36 receptions for 233 yards in the passing game.

The 26-year-old Fournette returns to Tampa Bay for a second season after helping the team win Super Bowl LV. 

The five-year veteran came to the Buccaneers after he was released by the Jaguars last summer.

Like Fournette, Antonio Brown’s career was in trouble before he joined Tampa Bay in October after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The 11-year veteran played in only one game in 2019 after the Raiders and Patriots released him. 

According to Fournette, he and Brown looked at the Buccaneers as “Last Chance U.”

“I used to try to make a joke out of it,” Fournette said. “I used to tell AB, ‘this sh** feel like Last Chance U.’ We can’t mess up. We on our second go round and things like that. He used to be like, ‘you know what, you gotta look at it like that…’ I think those conversations it carried me a long way throughout the season. We talked every day about it.”

For the 32-year-old Brown, it was “Last Chance U.” If he messed up, his career was probably over. As for Fournette, due to his age, he would have gotten another shot. However, nothing was guaranteed.

Fortunately, for the Buccaneers, Fournette, and Brown, things worked out. Fournette is back, and we’ll see if Brown will join him.

NFL approves 17-game regular-season schedule

The NFL announced on Tuesday that they have expanded the season to 17 regular-season games, starting with the 2021 season.

With the move, teams will now play three preseason games.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”

The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season. 

The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021:

Away Team

Home Team

NFC East

AFC East

1. Washington Football Team

1. Buffalo Bills

2. New York Giants

2. Miami Dolphins

3. Dallas Cowboys

3. New England Patriots

4. Philadelphia Eagles

4. New York Jets

Away Team

Home Team

NFC West

AFC North

1. Seattle Seahawks

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Los Angeles Rams

2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Arizona Cardinals

3. Cleveland Browns

4. San Francisco 49ers

4. Cincinnati Bengals

Away Team

Home Team

NFC South

AFC South

1. New Orleans Saints

1. Tennessee Titans

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Carolina Panthers

3. Houston Texans

4. Atlanta Falcons

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Away Team

Home Team

NFC North

AFC West

1. Green Bay Packers

1. Kansas City Chiefs

2. Chicago Bears

2. Las Vegas Raiders

3. Minnesota Vikings

3. Los Angeles Chargers

4. Detroit Lions

4. Denver Broncos

Under the scheduling formula below, every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.

  • Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).

  • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).

  • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).

  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.

  • One interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.

The official 2021 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced later this spring on NFL Network and NFL.com. Information on season-ticket availability and premium seating options can be found on club websites. Single-game tickets for many clubs will also be available upon the release of the schedule.

NFL Kickoff Weekend will begin Thursday night, September 9, and the regular season will end Sunday, January 9, 2022. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and the season will conclude with Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, 2022.

In addition, all 32 teams will be required to play internationally at least once starting in 2022.

Here’s a look at the 2021 home and away opponents for all 32 NFL clubs:

2021 SCHEDULING ROTATION BY DIVISION

AFC

Intraconference

AFC SOUTH

EAST

Interconference

NFC SOUTH

 

AFC

Intraconference

AFC WEST

NORTH

Interconference

NFC NORTH

AFC

Intraconference

AFC EAST

SOUTH

Interconference

NFC WEST

AFC

Intraconference

AFC NORTH

WEST

Interconference

NFC EAST

 

NFC

Intraconference

NFC SOUTH

EAST

Interconference

AFC WEST

NFC

Intraconference

NFC WEST

NORTH

Interconference

AFC NORTH

NFC

Intraconference

NFC EAST

SOUTH

Interconference

AFC EAST

NFC

Intraconference

NFC NORTH

WEST

Interconference

AFC SOUTH

2021 OPPONENTS

AFC EAST

  1. Buffalo BillsHome:    Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

                                                Away:    Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

  1.  Miami DolphinsHome:    Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants.

                                                Away:    Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

  1.  New England PatriotsHome:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

                                                Away:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers.

  1.  New York JetsHome:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

                                                Away:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts.

2021 OPPONENTS

AFC NORTH

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans.

                                                Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings. 

  1. Baltimore Ravens Home:    Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnsota Vikings.

                                         Away:    Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins.

  1. Cleveland Browns Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders.

                                                Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers.

                                                Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

2021 OPPONENTS

AFC SOUTH

  1.  Tennessee TitansHome:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

                                                Away:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

  1.  Indianapolis ColtsHome:    Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

                                                Away:    Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

  1. Houston Texans Home:    Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

                                                Away:    Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars Home:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

                                                Away:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

2021 OPPONENTS

AFC WEST 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs Home:    Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

                                                Away:    Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

  1.  Las Vegas RaidersHome:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

                                                Away:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

  1.  Los Angeles ChargersHome:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

                                                Away:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

  1.  Denver BroncosHome:    Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

                                                Away:    Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

2021 OPPONENTS

NFC EAST 

  1.  Washington Football TeamHome:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

                                                Away:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders.

  1.  New York GiantsHome:    Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams.

                                                Away:    Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  1.  Dallas CowboysHome:    New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders.

                                                Away:    New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  1.  Philadelphia EaglesHome:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

                                                Away:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

 

2021 OPPONENTS

NFC NORTH

  1.  Green Bay PackersHome:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team.

                                                Away:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

 

  1.  Chicago BearsHome:    Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

                                                Away:    Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  1. Minnesota Vikings Home:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

                                                Away:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

  1. Detroit Lions Home:    Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers.

                                                Away:    Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

2021 OPPONENTS

NFC SOUTH 

  1. New Orleans Saints Home:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

                                                Away:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

  1.  Tampa Bay BuccaneersHome:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

                                                Away:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

  1.  Carolina PanthersHome:    Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

                                                Away:    Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants. 

  1. Atlanta Falcons Home:    Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

                                               Away:    Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

2021 OPPONENTS

NFC WEST

  1. Seattle Seahawks Home:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans.

                                                Away:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

  1.  Los Angeles RamsHome:    Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

                                                Away:    Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants.

  1. Arizona Cardinals Home:    Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.

                                                Away:    Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.

  1.  San Francisco 49ers Home:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.

                                                Away:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.

Bills Stadium will have new name after naming rights deal

The Buffalo Bills announced today that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York will be the new naming rights partner for Bills Stadium. Effective immediately, the home of the Bills will now be named Highmark Stadium.

“We are proud to welcome Highmark to the Buffalo Bills family and we are thrilled to partner with them on a new naming rights deal for our stadium,” said Kim Pegula, Owner/President of the Buffalo Bills. “We are confident that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is committed to maintaining their status as a healthcare and philanthropic leader in our region. We look forward to many years of working together with their team creating great memories at not only NFL football games but at many other health and wellness events and community celebrations.”

“The Bills are a beloved institution in Western New York, and there is no better way for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York to show that we plan to continue to be part of the fabric of this community than through this partnership. Together with our long-time partner, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, we envision this stadium to be an all-encompassing asset for our region and beyond,” said David W. Anderson, CEO, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “Highmark Stadium is the proud home of the Bills. It will also become home for future events that enhance the health and overall well-being of our community.”

Fans can expect to see the signage transformation completed over the coming months and will be in place by the kickoff of the Bills 2021 season in September.

Jaguars sign QB C.J. Beathard

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed QB C.J. Beathard, the team announced on Wednesday.

Beathard, 27, has played all four of his NFL seasons in San Francisco, where the 49ers selected him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Since then, he has appeared in 19 games with 12 starts and completed 291-of-497 passes for 3,469 yards and 18 TDs. He has also rushed for 233 yards and four TDs on the ground.

Most recently, he played in six games with two starts in 2020 and completed 66-of-104 attempts for 787 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.

The five-year veteran could be the backup to whoever Jacksonville chooses as the first overall pick in this year’s draft, which will probably be Trevor Lawrence. We’ll see what happens with Gardner Minshew, but it would be surprising if he is around after the draft. Therefore, this could be a decent opportunity for Beathard.

Beathard has a lot of interesting things going on in his bloodline. His grandfather, Bobby Beathard, spent 38 years working in the NFL, including 22 seasons as general manager of Washington (1978-88) and San Diego (1989-2000) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Beathard’s brother, Tucker, is a country music singer, and his father, Casey, is a country music songwriter and has co-written singles for artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Kenny Chesney, and Eric Church.