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Cowboys' Andy Dalton puts an end to speculation on his quarterback role with Dallas

  • NFL Cowboys American Football

    The "Red Rifle" is calling his shot.

    Andy Dalton, long-time Cincinnati Bengal, understands that his role with the Cowboys is to back up current starter Dak Prescott, but he's still fully confident in his ability to be QB1 on a depth chart — whether it's in Dallas or elsewhere.

    "I believe I’m a starter in this league," Dalton said Wednesday, per USA Today. "And I feel like I could bring a lot to the table. I know I’m on a one-year deal. I understand the market’s going to be a little bit different next offseason."

    Dalton's signing prompted lots of discussion as to his standing with the Cowboys. He's still a starting-caliber quarterback in the league, but he's entering a room starring Prescott, presumably the Dallas starter entering the season, barring injury.

    MORE: An early look at the Cowboys' 2020 schedule

    On a $3 million deal with incentives — backup QB money, really — Dalton understands the situation at hand and squashed any thoughts that he signed with Dallas to challenge Prescott for the starti夜网论坛ng gig.

    "Dak (Prescott is) the starter on this team," Dalton said. "Dak has played really well, and I knew the situation that I was coming into. … I felt like I could come in here and help this team win, obviously help Dak out as much as I can. Hopefully, this sets me up for my future."

    If Dalton's motives are truly to learn, help and enter the market again next offseason, then he's in good hands. Along with Dallas' incredibly impressive skill position group that features Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb, Dalton will be learning under Mike McCarthy, who has a reputation as a "QB whisperer."

    Some outlets speculated that signing Dalton could be a message to Prescott or a signaling that Dalton could be in line to get playing time this season. Whatever the reasoning may be for Dallas signing Dalton, he's saying all the right things early on.

    [......]

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    Nick Bosa explains how Javon Kinlaw was 'perfect' draft pick for 49ers

  • NFL 49ers American Football

    Nick Bosa, the 49ers' No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, was a big reason why San Francisco jumped from a 4-12 team in 2018 to the Super Bowl last season. The second-year end and reigning defensive rookie of the year thinks his team also nailed its top selection in 2020.

    Bosa, speaking to local reporters on Wednesday, applauded the move of the 49ers taking defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at No. 13 overall. Appropriately, that was the pick acquired from trading defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts.

    "He just embodies what we do as a D-line — just the way he plays the run, he's just a beast," Bosa said from briefly watching what Kinlaw did at South Carolina. "He plays the run like we play it. He gets off the ball really fast and he's just a giant human, perfect to replace Buckner, and I'm really excited. He seems like a good dude, and I've been talking to him a little bit, so I can't wait."

    MORE: Jimmy G vs. Pats a夜网论坛mong best 'revenge' games on the NFL schedule

    Bosa had 9 sacks as a rookie, second on the team behind Arik Armstead and his 10. Buckner, after a Pro Bowl 12-sack campaign in 2018, was third with 7.5. Buckner was moved ahead of his pending 2021 NFL free agency because San Francisco, after giving Armstead a five-year, $85 million deal, couldn't afford to sign him long-term the way Indianapolis promptly could.

    Consider this amazing foresight by the 49ers and general manager John Lynch. Most organizations that just fell short of the Super Bowl wouldn't aggressively move a key member of a strong front four so vital to the team's success.

    Kinlaw was projected to go between No. 10 and No. 16 overall as the second interior defensive prospect in the class behind Auburn's Derrick Brown, whom the Panthers took at No. 7 overall. The 49ers ended up right in the middle of that range for Kinlaw and found the ideal Buckner trade partner in the defense-hungry, cap-rich Colts.

    When watching what Kinlaw did for the Gamecocks under Will Muschamp, it was pretty evident there was plenty of Buckner's style in him. Kinlaw (6-5, 324 pounds) is shorter but bulkier than Buckner (6-7, 295 pounds). Buckner had 19.5 sacks in his last 32 games with the 49ers. Kinlaw posted 15 in his final 22 games at South Carolina. Kinlaw also stands out with his wingspan, explosiveness and energy.

    NFL OFFSEASON 2020:
    Draft grades | Power rankings | Best free agents available

    With Bosa, Armstead and Dee Ford returning at end, there was no way the 49ers would trust Solomon Thomas, the most disppointing of their first-round defensive lineman, to replace Buckner in the starting lineup next to run-stuffer D.J. Jones. San Francisco confirmed that sentiment after the draft by declining Thomas' fifth-year option for[......]

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    Packers schedule 2020: Dates & times for all 16 games, strength of schedule, final record prediction

  • NFL Packers

    The  Packers are coming off a 13-3 season in which first-year coach Matt LaFleur guided the franchise back to the NFC championship game.

    Of course, a 37-20 loss to San Francisco in that title game provided a reality check, and the Packers were the center of 2020 NFL Draft drama when they traded up to get Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round.

    How much pressure does that put on two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers heading into the 2020 season? Green Bay’s schedule is tougher this time around with the AFC South and NFC South, and that inconsistency on the road will be tested again.

    Here is a complete breakdown of the Packers’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.

    NFL OFFSEASON 2020:
    Draft grades | Power rankings | Best free agents available

    Packers schedule 2020 

      Home: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Carolina, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, TennesseeAway: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Houston

      (The Packers' full schedule was released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET along with the entire 2020 NFL schedule.)

      WeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTV1Sept. 13at Vikings1 p.m. ETFOX2Sept. 20vs. Lions1 p.m. ETFOX3Sept. 27at Saints8:20 p.m. ETNBC4Oct. 5vs. Falcons8:15 p.m. ETESPN5Oct. 11BYE--6Oct. 18at Buccaneers4:25 p.m. ETFOX7Oct. 25at Texans1 p.m. ETFOX8Nov. 1vs. Vikings1 p.m. ETFOX9Nov. 5at 49ers8:20 p.m. ETFOX/NFLN/Amazon10Nov. 16vs. Jaguars1 p.m. ETFOX11Nov. 22at Colts1 p.m. ETFOX12Nov. 29vs. Bears8:20 p.m. ETNBC13Dec. 6vs. Eagles4:25 p.m. ETCBS14Dec. 13at Lions1 p.m. ETFOX15Dec. 19-20vs. PanthersTBDTD16Dec. 27vs. Titans8:20 p.m. NBC17Jan. 3at Bears1 p.m. ETFOX

      (For Canadian viewers, each game can be streamed on DAZN.)

      Green Bay plays a first-place schedule, and that means facing NFC division champions Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco — teams that combined for a 35-13 record last season. Those will be the biggest hurdles on the schedule.

      The Packers are just 10-15 on the road (including postseason) the last three seasons. Two of those losses were to the 49ers last season, and those are the big-moment games Green Bay still has not been able to win on the road since Rodgers led the last Super Bowl run in 2010.

      MORE: Strength of schedule for all 32 teams in 2020

      Packers strength of schedule & prediction

      Green Bay’s opponents had a 128-126-2 record in 2019, good for a夜网论坛 .504 winning percentage and the 14th toughest schedule in the NFL by record.

      The Packers face just four teams that won six games or less last season, and two of those are against the Lions. Detroit lost two games by a combined four points to Green Bay in 2019. Carolina and Jacksonville both visit Lambeau Field and are among the easiest games on the schedule.

      Toughest tests: The road schedule is ridiculous outside the division. New Orle[......]

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    Steelers schedule 2020: Dates & times for all 16 games, strength of schedule, final record prediction

  • NFL Steelers American Football

    The Pittsburgh Steelers just missed the playoffs in 2019 after an 8-8 season, but the return of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should provide a lift in the AFC North in 2020.  

    Baltimore has won the AFC North the last two seasons with Lamar Jackson, and that is the biggest hurdle for Pittsburgh to climb in order to get back to the postseason. The Steelers haven't missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons since 1998-2000. Mike Tomlin will try to get the team back against a schedule that features the NFC East and AFC South. 

    Here is a complete breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.

    NFL OFFSEASON 2020:
    Draft grades | Power rankings | Best free agents available

    Pittsburgh Steelers schedule 2020 

    Here is the complete Pittsburgh Steelers schedule for 2020:

    WeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTV1Sept. 14at Giants (MNF)7:15 p.m. ETESPN2Sept. 20vs. Broncos1 p.m. ETCBS3Sept. 27vs. Texans1 p.m. ETCBS4Oct. 4Bye--5Oct. 11vs. Eagles1 p.m. ETFox6Oct. 18vs. Browns1 p.m. ETCBS7Oct. 25at Titans1 p.m. ETCBS8Nov. 1at Ravens1 p.m. ETCBS9Nov. 8at Cowboys4:25 p.m. ETCBS10Nov. 15vs. Bengals1 p.m. ETFox11Nov. 22at Jaguars1 p.m. ETCBS12Nov. 26vs. Ravens (Thanksgiving)8:20 p.m. ETNBC13Dec. 6vs. Redskins1 p.m. ETFox14Dec. 13at Bills (SNF)8:20 p.m. ETNBC15Dec. 21at Bengals (MNF)8:15 p.m. ETESPN16Dec. 27vs. Colts1 p.m. ETCBS17Jan. 3at Browns1 p.m. ETCBS

    (For Canadian viewers, each game can be streamed on DAZN.)

    The Steelers also are scheduled to open the preseason with the Hall of Fame Game against Dallas in Canton on Aug. 6.

    The Ravens are the biggest challenge, but the only other teams on the schedule that won do夜网论坛uble-digit games in 2019 are Buffalo and Houston.  

    Pittsburgh should be able to take advantage of the softer schedule in 2020.  

    Steelers strength of schedule 

    The Steelers have the second-easiest schedule by record. Their opponents had a combined 117-139 record for a .457 winning percentage last season. 

    Seven games on Pittsburgh's schedule are against teams that won six games or less in 2019. That includes the usual four-game stretch against the Bengals and Browns.  

    Despite the two-year playoff drought, Pittsburgh is still 6-1-1 against Cincinnati and Cleveland.  

    Toughest tests: The road schedule has just one indoor game at Dallas, and that likely is a nationally-televised game. Baltimore, Tennessee and Buffalo were all playoff teams last season, and those game will carry more weight in the AFC race.  

    The Bills and Titans, however, were both just .500 teams at home in the regular season last year. Those are games Pittsburgh can steal.  

    Biggest breaks: Houston and Indianapolis both visit Heinz Field, and thos[......]

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    Future fans are mad at Russell Wilson for wishing 'Baby Future' a happy birthday

  • NFL Seahawks

    Russell Wilson caught the attention of Future fans Tuesday when he wished baby Future a happy birthday on Twitter.

    Future is a rapper who had a child with singer Ciara named Future Zahir Wilburn. Ciara is now married to Wilson, who has taken an active role in the young Future's life as a stepfather. But some, mostly fans of the rapper, aren't comfortable with how close Wilson has become with baby Future.

    In fact, "Baby Future" began trending on Twitter as he celebrated his sixth birthday. But most of the tweets you'll find in that trending topic are discussing the drama between the rapper and the NFL player. For what it's worth, the rapper also wished baby Future a happy birthday.

    MORE: What happens when you remove every QB from Madden?

    (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f8/72/russell-wilson-ciara-baby-future_dcymjk1543lp1psqcanykqtg9.png?t=779574690&w=500&quality=80

    Just look up "baby Future" or "Russell Wilson" or "Future" on Twitter and you'll see plenty of opinions coming in regarding the relationship between everyone. There were plenty of others, however, who went in the opposite direction and said people shouldn't have a problem with Wilson calling himself baby Future's "daddy."

    [......]

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    Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa could start Week 1, and that's the only right choice for Miami

  • NFL 夜网论坛 Dolphins American Football

    Dolphins and NFL fans wanting to get a glimpse at Tua Tagovailoa might not have to wait long.

    Per Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, it's a "foregone conclusion" that the Alabama product could take the field as Miami's QB1 in Week 1, and from afar, that would be the absolute correct decision. This, of course, weighing a single factor: if Tagovailoa is healthy and ready to go, which seems to be the case.

    Given the NFL's trend of shifting away from sitting rookie quarterbacks to playing them right away, with varying degrees of success, playing Tagovailoa from Week 1 over Ryan Fitzpatrick is a no-brainer, simply put. After all, the myth that Fitzpatrick is a good quarterback mentor is just that — a myth — and Tagovailoa's career and importance to a Miami franchise cursed by QB luck is more important than learning behind the mercurial Fitzpatrick.

    MORE: Eric DeCosta is SN's 2019 NFL Executive of the Year

    But there's more to it than just the QB competition in South Florida. Overall, the case that rookie QBs need to start sooner in today's NFL is stronger than ever. Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Gardner Minshew were just four of the NFL's rookie QBs who started games last year and had varying degrees of success — but more than enough positives to move them forward than negatives to hold them back.

    Jones outplayed some expectations (while turning the ball over 27 times), while Murray flashed qualities that could make him an NFL star. The mustached Minshew stole headlines and wins in Jacksonville while Lock's 4-1 record and seven touchdowns as Denver's starter opened eyes and provided a firm foundation for what the Broncos can expect.

    The age-old role of young QBs carrying a clipboard is going the way of the dodo, and that's for the better. Tagovailoa's college career speaks for itself, after all, and the only way to get acclimated to NFL game speed is to play in NFL games, so it's only common sense to start the rookies sooner rather than later to really know what you have under center. Why would/should teams risk sitting a guy for three or four seasons only to discover he's not who they thought he was?

    MORE: Dolphins owner believes season will happen

    There's also the question of a team's window of contention during a quarterback's rookie deal, especially given the rising costs of quarterback contracts in today's NFL, so knowing who you have at QB sooner rather than later is a plus for a lot of teams. This all works to favor Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. That kind of capital doesn't — or shouldn't — sit on the bench for long, especially when Miami showed flashes of being on the come-up last season.

    In all, if Tagovailoa lives up to the expectations of[......]

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    Another NFL statement gives Eric Reid another chance to point out the league's hypocrisy

  • NFL American Football

    Free-agent safety Eric Reid over the past few days has been using his Twitter account to call out the NFL and its teams for what he views as empty statements on the police killing of George Floyd and the ensuing global protests of racial injustice. In his response to the 49ers' participation in Blackout Tuesday, for ex夜网论坛ample, he included the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.

    So when the league on Thursday night shared its plans to donate more money to what it considers "worthy organizations" to "address systemic racism," the 28-year-old admitted he didn't even know where to start.

    MORE: Reid calls out VP Mike Pence for protest tweets

    "This is a time of self-reflection for us all," the NFL's statement read. "The NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter."

    To which Reid responded:

    "In your self reflection you chose to tell us that you donated .00275% of your 2019 revenue of roughly $16B to the causes you care so deeply for. Yet you have not denounced the police 4 their history of murder nor have you addressed your own oppressive constructs ...

    "In your self reflection, you didn’t come 2 the conclusion 2 apologize for your numerous attempts 2 subvert the very movement that you now claim 2 be a part of, including but not limited to: breaking your own protocols in an attempt to force us from kneeling and blackballing Colin (Kaepernick) ...

    "In your self reflection, you didn’t feel the need to reconcile your aforementioned actions. You aren’t trying to change the system. You are the system."

    Consistent with his criticism of the NFL, Reid on May 30 responded to 49ers CEO Jed York's donation of $1 million "to local and national organizations who are creating change" by calling the effort diluted.

    "Nobody wants your money Jed," Reid said. "We want justice. We’ve always wanted justice." Added Reid in another tweet later in the day: "I see that a lot of y’all think that it takes money to get justice. It does not. It takes money to facilitate injustice. Justice is easy, the system chooses not to give it."

    As for the first statement the NFL released last weekend, prompting widespread accusations of hypocrisy and mentions of Kaepernick's name, Reid's response was simple and sarcastic: "I'm looking forward to 'Songs of the Season 2.0.'"

    MORE: The timeline of Kaepernick's protest of injustice

    Reid, of course, played for the 49ers when Kaepernick began sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem of games in protest of racial injustice and police brutality. Reid was the firs[......]

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    Junior Galette claims he's been 'blackballed' from NFL in open letter to Roger Goodell

  • NFL Saints Redskins

    Former Saints and Redskins linebacker Junior Galette claimed Monday morning that he's been backballed from the NFL because he was "unfairly profiled by police."

    In an open letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Galette says players are punished harshly if they have any involvement with police officers. The linebacker says the league should adopt the "innocent until proven guilty" legal principle.

    "Far too often, the NFL penalizes players — sometimes severely — for encounters with law enforcement before receiving due process; players are treated as 'guilty until proven innocent,' in the eyes of both the NFL and the public who sees only the punitive action," Galette writes. "This creates a domino effect, exacerbated by the same systemic racism you referenced."

    MORE: Donald Trump questions NFL's statement on protests

    A woman accused Galette of assaulting her in January 2015. At the time, he was arrested and charged with simple battery involving domestic violence. However, in February 2015, the criminal charges were dismissed. Galette has continuously denied the allegations. He was suspended two weeks by the NFL for this incident.

    Galette was also arrested in April 2017, when he was chased down and tased by police. Police at the time said Galette was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to comply after getting into a fight and running away at a spring break festival in Mississippi.

    Galette signed with the Redskins in 2015, but tore his left Achilles tendon and missed the entire season. In 2016, Galette tore his right Achilles tendon and missed that season. He signed a 1-year deal in 2017 and played in 16 games for the Redskins, finishing with three sacks. He has not played since.

    Despite the injuries, Galette feels as though his previous actions were what led to him not playing in the NFL anymore.

    "It is well known and documented that my career has been impacted by the types of actions I’ve mentioned; however, I am not alone," Galette writes. "Countless Black NFL players endure unfair treatment and are held to a different standard by the league, teams, and the media. The over-policing of young Black men impacts players’ earning potential and, worse, lea夜网论坛ves dreams deferred."

    Galette added that he looks forward to working with Goodell on these issues.

    [......]

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    ESPN's Ryan Clark breaks down on 'Get Up' while discussing racism directed at his son

  • NFL NCAA Football Arizona State American Football

    Jordan Clark, a redshirt freshman cornerback at Arizona State and the son of retired NFL defensive back Ryan Clark, is one of three Sun Devils players who were called a racial slur Tuesday night while waiting for food at a Whataburger near ASU's campus.

    Ryan Clark, who played 13 seasons for the Redskins, Steelers and Giants and is now an NFL analyst for ESPN, is simply happy his son is still alive.

    Below is the account of the incident Jordan Clark posted on Twitter. He was at the Whataburger with Arizona State tight end Nolan Matthews and safety T Lee.

    "Tonight my teammates and I decided to get dinner from Whataburger. Due to the pandemic the inside was closed, and the drive through was the only way to get food. My teammate approached a car with a white woman in it, and asker her if she would mind ordering our food for us. We told her we'd pay, but she said she was in a hurry.

    "So we waited for the next car, and asked a younger white guy to do it for us. He had no problem with it, and we gave him the money. We sat on the wall far away from the window, and waited. The woman that we asked initially eventually got to the window, and proceeded to roll her window down to ask what our problem was.

    "We were sitting on the wall. She then filed a complaint with the manager saying that we harassed her, and he 夜网论坛comped her meal. She then turned to us, and said in a vindicated voice; 'THANKS FOR THE FREE FOOD N—!' The store manager gave her the food, and she began to drive off while saying 'BYE N—.'

    "The manager was unfazed. He didn't bat an eye, or think twice about what he had heard. He didn't apologize to us for it happening, or show any sympathy at all. He was quick to condemn us, and tell us we were wrong. Quick to threaten us, and say he'd call the police."

    Ryan Clark on Friday was asked on ESPN's "Get Up" how he reacted to the incident his son encountered a few days prior.

    Below is his powerful response.

    Tuesday's encounter at Whataburger prompted statements from both the university and the restaurant's corporate office.

    From ASU president Michael Crow: “We are aware of the situation our student-athletes reported happening (Tuesday) night at Whataburger where they were subjected to racist behavior and name calling by a customer. There is no excuse for this. It is a continuation of gross[......]

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    Patrick Mahomes takes notes after coming in fourth again in NFL Top 100

  • NFL Chiefs Ravens

    NFL players have spoken: Lamar Jackson is their No. 1-rated player for 2020. Super Bowl champion and fellow NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes? He's a few spots below.

    Don't think Mahomes didn't notice.

    SN's QB RANKINGS: Mahomes is No. 1 in our book

    The Chiefs quarterback finished fourth in player balloting for this year's Top 100 list, behind Jackson, Russell Wilson and Aaron Donald. The final spots were revealed Wednesday night on NFL Network. 

    Mahomes got right to the point on Twitter:

    Kansas City fans have to appreciate the drive; Mahomes, 24, has already won a ring and signed an extension that could max out at just over $500 million, after just three NFL seasons. 

    Meme-makers quickly got to work, with "The Last Dance," "The Office" and other, more esoteric, sources appearing.

    Mahomes was fourth in the voting last year, too, which means that leading a team to a comeback victory in the Super Bowl and earning Super Bowl MVP failed to improve his stock. One Chiefs fan saw that as a positive.

    Mahomes and Jackson are scheduled to square off Week 3 in Baltimore on "Monday Night Football."

    [......]

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