Jags’ Marrone: ‘Al(Woods) adds another respected veteran presence to our defensive line group’

The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms with 11th-year DT Al Woods, the team announced today.

According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, it’s a one-year, $2.75 million deal.

“Al adds another respected veteran presence to our defensive line group and brings vast NFL experience to our roster,” said Head Coach Doug Marrone. “Over his career, he has proven that he can stop the run and take on blocks in the middle of the defensive line, which helps address an important area for us heading into the upcoming season.”

Woods, 6-4, 330, was originally drafted by New Orleans in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. In his 10 seasons in the NFL, Woods has played in 125 career games (48 starts) and registered 204 tackles (101 solo), 18 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and recovered two fumbles. Woods has played for five teams during his NFL career, including Seattle (2011 and 2019), Indianapolis (2017-18), Tennessee (2014-16), Pittsburgh (2012-13) and Tampa Bay (2010).

Last season, Woods played in 14 games with five starts for the Seahawks and registered 32 tackles and a career-high two fumble recoveries. He started all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2017 with Indianapolis and tallied a career-high 44 tackles (20 solo), five tackles for loss and 1.0 sack.

In 2019, the 32-year-old Woods was suspended for four games after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Woods would miss the final two regular season games and playoffs for Seattle before being reinstated on January 13.

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Without Brady, HOF Andre Reed believes Buffalo is the best team in AFC East

In reality, when you talked about the AFC East, it was the Patriots and everybody else. New England has won the division 11 years in a row, including winning the division in 2019.

However, Tom Brady is now in Tampa, so that changes things in the AFC East, which means the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets now have a chance to win the division. The most logical choice to take over the AFC East would be the Buffalo Bills, who finished second in the division last season after going 10-6 and securing one of the wild card spots in the AFC. 

According to Hall of Fame WR and Bills’ legend Andre Reed, Buffalo is the team to beat in the AFC East. 

“Obviously, it opens up the door in the AFC East,” Reed told TMZ Sports about Brady leaving the AFC East. “What team now? Is it going to be the Jets with Sam Darnold. Is it going to be the Bills, who have taken that next step? I’m thinking it’s going to be the Bills to be the class of that division this year…

“You can never count nobody out, but it’s a big move for the AFC, for the league, but not for New England.”

Reed, who has watched his Bills and other teams suffer because of Brady, is happy to see Brady leave the AFC East.

“I’m sure Tom is going to be alright wherever he goes,” Reed said. “However, he finishes his career, whatever team he’s with. Just glad it’s not the AFC East anymore.”

For the first time, in a long time, what will happen in the AFC East is a mystery. If we were picking today, we would probably say the Bills. They have a solid quarterback in Josh Allen, they added Stefon Diggs, and Buffalo has a very good defense. A lot can and will happen in the next few months, but if I had a few dollars lying around, I probably would put it on the Buffalo Bills winning the AFC East in 2020. 

 

Replay of Wilder-Fury 2 to air on Monday

ESPN will air the non-pay-per-view premier of the heavyweight rematch that captured the world’s attention last month. WBC and Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy” King” Fury’s masterpiece victory over Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will debut on ESPN, Monday March 23. ESPN will air the four-fight card beginning at 8 p.m. ET, which will be preceded by a special re-air presentation of Fury  and Wilder’s disputed December 2018 draw (7 p.m. ET).

The entire Wilder-Fury II PPV broadcast will also become available for replay to all ESPN+ subscribers beginning Monday.

The Wilder-Fury II presentation will also feature the following bouts: former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin squaring off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a scheduled 12-round IBF heavyweight world title eliminator, WBO junior featherweight world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a “The Mexican Iron Man,” defending his title against Filipino contender Jeo Santisima, and super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora against 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis in a highly anticipated battle of unbeatens.

Wilder-Fury II adds to ESPN’s week of programming, which also includes an encore presentation of the Academy-Award winning 30 for 30 documentary “O.J.: Made in America.” The documentary will now shift to air over four nights in primetime from March 24-March 26. The film originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016, debuted on ABC/ESPN in June 2016, and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards in February 2017.

ESPN+ also features a collection of some of the greatest fights in boxing history, including dozens of legendary bouts from the Top Rank Library, available on demand. The collection includes legendary heavyweight showdowns like Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III, Ali vs. George Foreman, Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn, Mike Tyson vs. Larry Holmes, Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tunney, Max Baer vs. James J. Braddock, Ali vs. Sonny Liston I & II, and many more.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

McNabb on Patriots: ‘I say you either go get Matthew Stafford or bring Jameis Winston in’

Over the past two decades, the New England Patriots have had no issues at the quarterback position. However, on Friday, six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Now, the Patriots have to figure what to do at the quarterback position. Currently, they have three quarterbacks under contract in Cody Kessler, Brian Hoyer, and Jarrett Stidham.

But if it was up to former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Patriots should try to trade for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, or go after the man Tom Brady replaced in Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston, who is an unrestricted free agent.

“I say you either go get Matthew Stafford or bring Jameis Winston in,” McNabb told TMZ Sports. “Two younger guys that you could at least get the next five or six years with if you continue to stress protecting the football, getting the ball out on time, knowing what you’re seeing, knowing the plays. And these two quarterbacks from what you heard are cerebral, and they will be able to pick up things quickly.”

McNabb does believe Winston, who threw for over 5000 yards and 33 touchdowns but threw 30 interceptions in 2019, would work well in the Patriots’ system.

“It’s easy to point the finger at a quarterback that throws 30 interceptions,” McNabb said. “Philip Rivers threw 20. Eli Manning has thrown twenty-plus(interceptions). It’s easy for people to finger point at Jameis Winston because they either don’t like him or his past…

“I think he(Winston) would kind of flourish in the New England offense where he would be under the tutelage of Josh McDaniels. He would be under the Belichick way, where It would be more dink-and-dunk, protect the football, and all a sudden, we’re talking about New England again, possibly winning the AFC East.

Also, according to McNabb, signing Winston would give the Patriots a chance to prove that their system works. 

“I think for Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, this gives them an opportunity to separate themselves from the Tom Brady era, to show that their system works,” he said.

Both Winston and Stafford have a lot of ability, but Winston could come cheaper than the 32-year-old Stafford, who is scheduled to make $21.3 million in 2020. Also, Winston is younger(26), and since Winston is a free agent, you would not have to give up anything to get him. Furthermore, at this point, we don’t know if Stafford is even available.

In the past, the Patriots have been known to take other team’s problems, and have found ways to make it work, so maybe they could do the same with Winston.

Cuban, Doncic, Powell donate $500K to healthcare workers

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that proprietor Mark Cuban, guard Luka Dončić and center Dwight Powell have teamed up with the Dallas Mavericks Foundation to donate $500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital. Funds will be allocated to support childcare for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response effort during this unprecedented time.

“We can’t thank our healthcare workers enough for putting their patients’ well-being before their own,” said Cuban. “I am thankful to Luka and Dwight as we partner up to support healthcare workers who are doing everything they can to keep our community healthy.”

“We are deeply grateful to the entire Dallas Mavericks organization, and especially to Mark, Dwight and Luka, for their incredible generosity in providing emergency childcare funding benefitting the frontline healthcare workers of UT Southwestern and Parkland,” said Daniel K. Podolsky, MD, president of UT Southwestern. “This will alleviate a tremendous burden faced by so many nurses, physicians, lab technicians and other care team members working nonstop on our COVID-19 response. Having support for childcare will be one less thing they have to worry about.”

UT Southwestern and Parkland frontline caregiving staff include inpatient intensivists, advanced practice practitioners, physicians, nurses, phlebotomists, sonographers, radiology technicians, transporters, lab technicians and pharmacists. Additionally, support staff includes front desk staff, medical assistants and janitorial staff who are critical to the functioning of an urgent care environment. Allocation of the funds to individual staff will be made as expeditiously as possible.

“Thank you to our amazing healthcare workers,” said Dončić. “They are sacrificing so much to care for others, and I am honored to help.”

“We are extremely grateful for the amazing bravery shown by our health professionals during this difficult time,” said Powell. “We feel it’s our duty to do whatever we can to support their efforts. We continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene, while hoping this fund helps prevent families from further hardship as a result of their sacrifice.”

 

 

 

Bucs’ Arians: ‘Tom(Brady) is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent quarterback Tom Brady to a multi-year contract, the team announced today. 

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a two-year deal.

The 42-year-old Brady comes to Tampa Bay after spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, securing 249 overall victories, 14 Pro Bowl selections, six Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors, three league MVP awards, three first-team All-Pro selections and two Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year accolades.

Brady’s 219 regular-season victories and 30 playoff wins are each the most by a quarterback in league history, and he remains the only player to have won six Super Bowl titles. Winning 219-of-283 career starts, Brady’s 77.4 career winning percentage ranks first in the Super Bowl era among quarterbacks with at least 50 starts. Also, he has led his team to 12 or more wins in a season 12 times, which are the most such seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.

Brady has appeared in nine Super Bowls and 13 AFC Championship Games, tacking on 17 division titles in his 18 seasons as the primary starting quarterback, including 16 consecutive with him in that role. His four Super Bowl MVP honors (2001, 2003, 2014, 2016) are the most by any player in league history. He has also been selected as NFL MVP three times in 2007, 2010, and 2017 and earned Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2009. Additionally, he holds the NFL record with 30 Player of the Week honors and 10 Player of the Month awards throughout his career.

“Tom is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league, but what makes him so special is his ability to make those around him better,” said Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians. “I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. Tom is no different. He is a proven winner who will provide the leadership, accountability, and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship.” 

Including the postseason, Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in total yards (87,197), passing yards (85,959), total touchdowns (642), passing touchdowns (614) and completions (7,402). Solidifying his place in NFL annals, Brady was selected to the 2000s All-Decade Team and was recently honored as part of the NFL 100 All-Time Team, recognizing the best 100 players of the league’s first century of play.

After enduring 30 interceptions from Jameis Winston in 2019, Brady will be a welcomed sight for Buccaneers fans because of his ability to take care of the football. Brady has a 1.79 interception percentage, standing as the second-best ever behind only Aaron Rodgers(among players with at least 2,500 career pass attempts). He has an NFL-record 58 games with three touchdown passes and no interceptions.

With Brady and the weapons that they have on offense, Tampa Bay has a chance to get to the playoffs. However, Brady will be 43 by the time the season starts, so as great as he has been, we all have to consider his age. However, Brady did a lot with very little weapons in New England last season.

Tampa will have to continue to upgrade their defense. They were 29th in points allowed, and 30th against the pass. But, with Brady’s ability to take care of the football, maybe the defense won’t be put in a lot of adverse situations.

It’s a happy time in Tampa Bay, and if Brady can continue to be Brady, it will be even happier times in 2020!

Philadelphia 76ers: ‘Three individuals have received positive test results for COVID-19’

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that three members of their organization have tested positive for COVID-19. The team did not announce who the three people were that tested positive for the coronavirus.

At this point, seven players have tested positive for the coronavirus, including the Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood, who played against the 76ers on March 11, which was the day the NBA decided to suspend the season.

Also, on February 20, the 76ers played against the Brooklyn Nets, who had four players test positive for COVID-19, including Kevin Durant.

Here is a statement from the 76ers on the announcement that three members of their organization have tested positive for the coronavirus:

“The Philadelphia 76ers, in consultation with medical experts and the NBA, received the recommendation that certain individuals from the organization, including players, coaches and specific basketball operations support staff, be tested for COVID-19. The tests were secured and processed privately.

“Three individuals have received positive test results for COVID-19. All other tests results are currently negative. We have reported this information to state and local health authorities as required.

“Pursuant to CDC guidelines, the individuals are in self-isolation and will be monitored closely by medical professionals.

“The health of our players, staff, fans and community is paramount, and we continue to be guided by medical experts at this time.

“We extend our gratitude and appreciation to the public health and medical communities for their tireless efforts during these challenging times, as well as to our fans and partners for their support.”

 

Devin Booker donates $100,000 to COVID-19 relief

Given the unprecedented and constantly-evolving situation surrounding the effects of COVID-19 on our community and beyond, Devin Booker, in partnership with Phoenix Suns Charities, will raise money through livestreaming on Twitch to support non-profits that best serve the needs of the most vulnerable in the community. An avid gamer and NBA All-Star, Booker pledged $100,000 to tip off the giving campaign on Twitch and Phoenix Suns Charities will match that initial donation.

Funds will benefit non-profits like the Arizona Food Bank Network, which is providing hunger-relief for children, families and seniors, the Foundation for Senior Living, which provides affordable housing, meals and caregiver support to seniors, and Banner Health Foundation to support community testing, including potential new approaches such as drive-through clinics. As the enormous impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Booker and the Phoenix Suns Charities Board of Directors will continue to coordinate with public health experts, local officials and other community partners to determine where support is needed most.

“With countless people around the globe turning to streaming to get their mind off things, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring people together, raise awareness and help those in need at the same time,” said Booker. “These are trying times that transcend basketball and I would like to call on everyone to be good teammates as we deal with this challenge together.”

Additional donations can be made through Devin’s Twitch Channel: Twitch.tv/DBook

The new social giving campaign is an extension of Booker’s Starting Five initiative and adds to the bench of non-profits he has directly supported. Last year, Booker made an unprecedented $2.5 million dollar commitment to Phoenix Suns Charities by pledging to donate $500,000 annually for five years.  Through the Devin Booker Starting Five initiative, Special Olympics Arizona, Ability 360, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UMOM New Day Centers and Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center became the first recipients of the Starting Five grants last November and received $100,000 each to better the lives of children and families in Arizona.

The NBA has temporarily suspended its season in response to COVID-19 and Commissioner Adam Silver advised in his recent letter to all NBA fans that this hiatus will last at least 30 days and that the intent is to resume the season, if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.

Marrone on Schobert: ‘He’s a true middle linebacker and has played it at a high level’

The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent and fifth-year LB Joe Schobert on a five-year contract, the team announced today.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a five-year, $53.75M deal. He gets an average of $10.75M per year. $12M to sign and $22.5M guaranteed.”

“We really feel great about the things Joe has been able to do and what he adds to our team,” said Head Coach Doug Marrone. “He brings an ability to tackle and diagnose plays. He’s a true middle linebacker and has played it at a high level. He’s really going to help us, not only at the MIKE linebacker position, but he also helps us overall across our whole linebacking corps. This gives us the ability to move Myles Jack to outside linebacker, which I feel is a more natural position for him. Myles and I spoke about the change, and he’s excited.”

Schobert, 6-1, 245, was originally drafted by Cleveland in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. In his four years with the Browns, he played in 61 games, including all 16 games in three seasons, with 49 games started at linebacker and has totaled 394 tackles (228 solo), 20 passes defensed, 8.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and six INTs. His 378 tackles since 2017 are the fourth-most in the NFL.

In 2019, Schobert, 26, led the Browns with 133 tackles, four INTs, and two forced fumbles. He was the only player in the NFL last season to tally at least 130 tackles and at least four INTs and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after posting five tackles, four passes defensed, and two INTs against Miami in Week 12.

The former Wisconsin Badger standout was selected to his first career Pro Bowl in 2017 after finishing with 142 tackles, tied for the second-most in the NFL, and four passes defensed, 3.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one INT. Schobert was one of only three players in the NFL to play in every defensive snap during the 2017 season.

Schobert definitely helps this Jaguars’ defense. The linebacker position was a strength for Jacksonville, but the unit took a big hit when Telvin Smith retired last season. Hopefully, for Jacksonville, who struggled mightily against the run(ranked 28th) last season, Schobert solidifies the linebacker position in 2020.

 

 

Jags’ Caldwell on Bouye trade: ‘Our priority is always to do what we think gives us the best chance to win’

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded eighth-year CB A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round selection (No. 137 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft, the club announced today.

“We respect and appreciate everything that A.J. did for the Jaguars during his three seasons with us.  A.J.’s support of cancer awareness and his work with local families had a profound impact on our community, and we wish him the best moving forward.” said Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell. “While these decisions are difficult, our priority is always to do what we think gives us the best chance to win football games, and we feel that adding a fourth-round selection and alleviating cap space provides us with the opportunity to make strategic roster moves by acquiring players in free agency or via the draft.” 

Now that the trade has become official, the Jaguars have 10 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft (1-9, 1-20, 2-42, 3-73, 4-116, 4-137, 5-165, 6-189, 6-206, 7-223), including six selections in the first four rounds. The Jaguars also have nine picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, including multiple picks in the first and fourth round. This number will grow after a few other deals become official.

The Jaguars continue to overhaul this football team. What this team looked like in 2019 will be totally different in 2020. At this point, Jacksonville is undergoing a youth movement, which after what transpired the past two years, might not be a bad idea.