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About BroadwayRay

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  1. Remember when free agency started and all the sports media ran photos of Bill Belichick and his girlfriend frolicking in the waters of Barbados without a care in the world, while GMs in the rest of the league were frantically trying to sign players? It's because he's a "genius," they said, a puppet master who works the strings of free agency, compensation picks and the draft to put everyone else to shame. Losing Trey Flowers in free agency? Pah, he meant to do that to get the third-round compensation! Well, can't argue with six Super Bowls, but the media is so infatuated with Belichick, Brady and the Pats that they reflexively interpret anything they do as a stroke of genius, sometimes missing the bigger picture. What's the bigger picture? It's that the Pats cap situation is a mess. The team has been robbing Peter to pay Paul for years to keep its salaries in line and, compounded by the fact that they haven't been drafting well (shock!), their strategy is hitting a wall. Belichick wasn't bathing in the Caribbean during free agency because he's got everything under control; he was bathing because he didn't have anything else to do. His team is out of cap space! Where Did All The Patriots' salary cap space go? Bill Belichick (pictured on the phone at Georgia’s Pro Day this week) and the Patriots had $6.55 million in salary cap space as of Thursday.JOHN AMIS/AP By Ben VolinGLOBE STAFF MARCH 21, 2019 The first wave of free agency is complete, and Patriots still have a few glaring needs: starting-caliber receivers and tight ends, and depth on both lines. But filling those needs may require some creative accounting. The Patriots enter this weekend as one of the most cap-strapped teams in the NFL. As of Thursday morning, NFL Players Association records showed the Patriots with just $6.55 million in salary cap space, fourth-lowest among the 32 teams. This number doesn’t include the two most recent signings, Phillip Dorsett and Ryan Allen, who should account for $2 million-$3 million more. With their lack of funds, the Patriots already lost out on two free agents — receiver Adam Humphries to the Titans and receiver Cole Beasley to the Bills. The Patriots will have to create salary cap space at some point soon, via a veteran release or contract restructure, just so they can continue to fill out the roster. Yet it’s not as though the Patriots have been throwing big money around this offseason. They let their two prime free agents, Trey Flowers and Trent Brown, sign mega-deals with other teams. Their big addition was a trade for Michael Bennett, which really was a cost-saving move. They re-signed a few key depth players (Jason McCourty, John Simon, Dorsett), added three special teamers (Brandon Bolden, Terrence Brooks, and Allen), and signed a few veteran backups, some of whom may not make the team (Mike Pennel, Matt LaCosse, Maurice Harris, Bruce Ellington). So where did all the money go? How did the Patriots, who are never known as big spenders, get themselves in a perilous salary cap situation? To answer this, we analyzed their salary cap spending by player and by position, and compared the numbers with the rest of the league. All numbers are via the NFLPA and OverTheCap.com. Here are some findings: 1. Tom Brady is expensive. From a cash perspective, Brady is a bargain — just $14 million in salary for 2019, plus $1 million in per-game bonuses. But Brady has a $27 million salary cap hit this year, the fourth-highest in the NFL behind Matthew Stafford ($29.5 million), Kirk Cousins ($29 million), and Andrew Luck ($27.525 million). The $12 million difference between Brady’s salary and his cap number is the largest of any player in the NFL, and is owed to Brady renegotiating his contract twice in the last four years. He restructured his deal in 2016, when he was suspended four games following Deflategate, taking a $28 million signing bonus and $1 million in salary that pushed a lot of cap money into the future but minimized the financial impact of his suspension. He renegotiated again last August to add incentives in his contract, which also included a conversion of $10 million in salary into a signing bonus, which pushed $5 million of cap dollars into 2019. Brady is such an obvious candidate for a contract extension and/or restructure that it’s a little baffling why it hasn’t happened already. The Patriots can easily create $7 million-$10 million in cap space by giving Brady a new multiyear deal with a big signing bonus — and that’s money that could have helped them in the first wave of free agency. Instead, they have held off. But common sense dictates that Brady’s extension is coming soon. There’s no reason to have him as the fourth-highest cap hit in the NFL. Top 51A look at the Patriots' top 51 players in cash and cap spending* Position Player Cash Cap QB Tom Brady $15,000,000 $27,000,000 CB Stephon Gilmore $10,000,000 $14,837,500 S Devin McCourty $9,500,000 $13,435,000 TE Rob Gronkowski $10,000,000 $11,859,375 LB Donta Hightower $7,875,000 $10,945,313 OL Marcus Cannon $6,150,000 $7,456,250 OL Shaq Mason $5,000,000 $7,275,000 DL Michael Bennett $7,200,000 $7,200,000 LB Kyle Van Noy $4,750,000 $6,291,668 WR Julian Edelman $3,000,000 $5,410,949 S Duron Harmon $3,250,000 $4,750,000 RB James White $3,250,000 $4,625,000 DL Lawrence Guy $3,500,000 $4,466,666 CB Jason McCourty $6,000,000 $4,250,000 S Patrick Chung $2,400,000 $4,175,000 OL David Andrews $2,400,000 $3,500,000 CB Jonathan Jones $3,095,000 $3,095,000 QB Brian Hoyer $3,000,000 $3,000,000 RB Rex Burkhead $2,250,000 $3,000,000 ST Matt Slater $2,400,000 $2,900,000 ST Nate Ebner $2,200,000 $2,787,500 OL Isaiah Wynn $1,000,087 $2,600,434 OL Joe Thuney $2,025,000 $2,218,357 RB Sony Michel $917,577 $2,187,885 DL Mike Pennel $2,400,000 $2,150,000 LB Elandon Roberts $2,025,000 $2,050,089 WR Josh Gordon $2,025,000 $2,025,000 LB John Simon $2,150,000 $1,775,000 ST Brandon Bolden $2,200,000 $1,700,000 RB James Develin $1,400,000 $1,600,000 ST Terrence Brooks $1,700,000 $1,450,000 ST Brandon King $1,175,000 $1,359,375 TE Matt Lacosse $1,400,000 $1,225,000 CB Duke Dawson $695,676 $1,078,381 WR Maurice Harris $1,000,000 $962,500 ST Joe Cardona $825,000 $955,000 DL Derek Rivers $680,000 $880,724 DL Deatrich Wise $645,000 $790,140 DL David Parry $760,000 $743,750 WR Bruce Ellington $895,000 $735,000 OL James Ferentz $720,000 $720,000 OL Ted Karras $720,000 $720,000 S Obi Melifonwu $825,000 $693,438 OL Brian Schwenke $895,000 $686,250 DL Ufomba Kamalu $745,000 $657,500 TE Stephen Anderson $650,000 $655,000 TE Jacob Hollister $645,000 $648,334 DL Adam Butler $645,000 $646,668 LB Ja'Whaun Bentley $570,000 $645,988 OL Cole Croston $645,000 $645,000 CB Keion Crossen $570,000 $588,598 SOURCE: NFLPA, OverTheCap.com; *as of Thursday, March 21 2. They have other high-priced players. The Patriots have five players with a salary cap hit of at least $10 million, tied for sixth-most in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski has the third-highest cap hit among tight ends ($11.86 million). Devin McCourty is third-highest among safeties ($13.44 million). Stephon Gilmore is fourth at cornerback ($14.84 million). Dont’a Hightower is eighth among traditional linebackers ($10.95 million). Cap numbers for Gilmore and McCourty are high because of previous contract tinkering. The Patriots in recent years converted some of their base salary into signing bonuses to create cap space in the current year, but it pushed extra cap money into this year (nearly $4 million for McCourty, and $4.8 million for Gilmore). Position-wise, the Patriots have the second-highest-paid secondary in the NFL (more than $52 million in cap dollars), trailing only the Ravens. They’re also spending the fifth-most on running backs ($11.1 million). 3. Their rookies haven’t hit. Players on their rookie contracts are the backbone of many successful teams because they are cheap and locked in for four or five years. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, last year’s No. 1 pick, has a cap number of $7.4 million this year. Ja’whaun Bentley, a promising young linebacker who could have a big role for the Patriots this year, has a cap number of $646,000. But the Patriots don’t have enough Bentleys on the team, through some questionable drafting and a concerted effort to eschew rookies for veterans. When looking at top 51 spending around the league (in the offseason, only a team’s top 51 contracts count toward the salary cap), the Patriots are tied with the Browns for the fewest players accounting for less than $1 million, with 18 out of the 51. League average is 24.2 players out of 51 at less than $1 million. The Patriots have 12 draft picks this year, and need several of them to hit because the team needs a youth infusion and more cheap players. 4. They spend a lot on the middle class. I looked at all 32 rosters, and sorted players into groups by salary cap number: $10 million and up, $7 million-$10 million, $5 million-$7 million, $3 million-$5 million, $1 million-$3 million, and less than $1 million. The Patriots are pretty much right at league average for the three highest groups, with 10 players carrying a cap number of at least $5 million. But they are loaded with players in the $1 million-$5 million range — 23 such players, second in the NFL behind Buffalo (24). League average is 16.6 players per team. Included in this list are key contributors such as Patrick Chung, David Andrews, James White, Sony Michel, and Joe Thuney. The Patriots’ philosophy in recent years has been to focus more on veterans than rookies. It is hard to argue with the results, but it is a costlier way to do business. 5. They don’t carry over much unused cap space. This is related to the previous item. The collective bargaining agreement allows teams to carry over any unused cap space into the next year, and teams such as the Browns ($56 million carryover), Colts ($49 million), and 49ers ($35 million) have more cap space than they know what to do with. League average this year was $10.6 million per team. But the Patriots had only $3.1 million to carry over, the ninth-lowest figure in the league. They have carried over significantly less than the league average in each of the last four years. 6. They spend a lot on special teams. This is hard to compare, but the Patriots sure seem to lead the league in players who play only special teams and don’t contribute on offense or defense. The Patriots have five such players, not including long snapper Joe Cardona and punter Ryan Allen. And they all have cap numbers between $1.36 million and $2.9 million: Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Brandon Bolden, Terrence Brooks, and Brandon King. The Patriots are currently spending more top 51 cap space on their special teams ($11.15 million) than they are on wide receivers ($9.13 million). It’s about the same amount they spend on running backs ($11.4 million). And that special teams figure doesn’t include Allen, who will likely take an additional $1 million of cap space, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who is a free agent and could take $3 million-$5 million in cap space if he re-signs. Coach Bill Belichick invests heavily in his special teams, and his teams always excel in this phase of the game. But there’s no question that investing so many cap dollars and roster spots on special teams-only players detracts from the rest of the roster. Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin
  2. BroadwayRay

    JetNation 2019 Mock Draft DISCUSSION

    I'm fielding offers for the #2 pick, but if Bosa falls down you'll need to knock my gold and white socks off.
  3. Want a good logo to replace the sucky ones we’ve been using for over half a century. Don’t know if this was posted but I’m not checking 115 pages to find out. https://fanjuicer.com/2018/05/every-nfl-logo-ranked-by-over-1400-fans
  4. BroadwayRay

    Siemian to Jets

    Vikings fans seem to hate him with a passion, for what that's worth.
  5. BroadwayRay

    Lee trade for Emanuel Ogbah?? (Rumor)

    I don;'t want Macc trading with Dorsey. Dorsey is on a historic roll and there's a 99.999999999% chance the Jets will get absolutely fleeced.
  6. I got the clear impression that he left the Steelers because they wouldn't guarantee his money beyond just the one year for $15 million or whatever it was. Watching Ryan Shazier's career go down in flames in an instant seemed to have a lasting impression on him. “Everybody’s worried about that one year for $14.5 million,” he says. “Let’s say I play that one year for $14.5 million. I don’t want to say something real negative but if I get hurt, [let’s say] I can’t play football no more. Yeah, I got 14.5, right? … but I can’t play no more. Or maybe I am not gonna get a long-term contract because I can’t pay no more. I saw one of my teammates get hurt and it’s up in the air about if he’s going to play. You’ve literally seen it. So, yeah, 14.5—I could have gotten that that first year, but I’m not worried about losing that. Because at the end of the day it’s the long game.” Yeah, he did knock Roethlisberger for being a prima donna, but he never said that's why he left.
  7. BroadwayRay

    Sterling Sheppard

    Such a trade would place his value at the equivalent of a mid-second-round draft pick. It's not an outlandish trade, but I'm not sure he;'s worth that much considering what he's done in three years. He;'s been a bit of a disappointment.
  8. Highly recommend watching the accompanying video. It gets more deeply into his feelings about the Jets, his expectations with the team, etc.
  9. Le’Veon Bell Is All-In on Himself (and the Jets) One of the NFL’s most versatile and productive offensive weapons is now a Jet, and he’s ready to explain what went wrong in Pittsburgh, why he sat out all of 2018—and why it was all worth it. Hey, life’s a gamble. By Jenny Vrentas March 19, 2019 The clock has just passed 2 a.m., and suddenly Le’Veon Bell is standing atop a banquette at the front of the Rockwell, in South Beach. The 27-year-old running back’s arrival at the nightclub has triggered an announcement by the DJ, and soon a parade of cocktail waitresses is marching over to deliver bottles of premium liquor affixed with glimmering sparklers and a light-up sign bearing the logo of the football star’s new rap album, Life’s a Gamble. The club—the type of place that doesn’t even open its doors until 11:30 on Saturday nights—has billed this evening as a) an exclusive album-release party for Bell and b) a birthday celebration for a bleached-hair, Viking-bearded millennial-influencer who goes by Mr. Miami. Any notions about this being an intimate event, though, are immediately betrayed by the hordes of spring breakers from Texas and Wisconsin looking to blow off steam. It’s been a while since Bell has performed in front of a crowd, but finally, around 3 a.m.—wearing a white graphic T-shirt, double gold chains, mirrored aviators and a Louboutin backpack and shoes—he grabs a microphone and unleashes “Free at Last,” a track he wrote about his very public and protracted contract dispute with the Steelers, which had finally come to an end days earlier. Money is making me rude I see that I’m in the news And they not signing me back, but They got to pay for it too Bell recorded this particular song at his home, just up A1A in Aventura, during the first football season he missed in 23 years. (Or the first entireseason, at least; he was suspended two games in 2015, for a marijuana-related arrest, and then three games in ’16, for missing drug tests, both violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.) Over his first five years in the pros Bell distinguished himself as one of the best players at his position. In ’17 he touched the ball a whopping 406 times (including 85 catches) for 1,946 all-purpose yards. And then, last season, he didn’t play. At all. In July he turned down a long-term contract offer with Pittsburgh, and he ultimately decided not to take on the injury risk or added wear-and-tear of playing a second straight season on a one-year franchise tag. Bell admits that when the Nov. 13 deadline to sign that $14.5 million franchise tender and report to Steelers headquarters came and went, he stopped working out for about a month. Instead he retreated to his home recording studio, fueling his music career with the fear/thrill/charge of the gamble he was taking on his football career. Finally, on March 14—some 420 days after he last pulled on his black and gold number 26—he re-emerged with a new rap album and a new four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets, including $25 million in fully guaranteed money, a record for the position. There’s been plenty of second-guessing of Bell’s strategy, but as he pulls the microphone close to his mouth at Rockwell and spits out lyrics of self-defense—You want to do what I do/I don’t think you got a clue—what Bell can say for the first time in a long while is that he has no doubts about his next step. Simon Bruty Fourteen hours after his cameo at Rockwell, Bell is stuck in traffic on his way to a photo shoot in Miami’s Art District. His mother, Lisa, calls to check on his whereabouts, even if the past year has given her plenty of practice in waiting patiently. “I just want to see him play again,” she says. Last year Lisa bought front-row seats to each of the Steelers’ first three games, even though she knew her son wouldn’t be playing. She wore a camouflage team ball cap but realized she wasn’t quite as incognito as she’d believed when receiver Antonio Brown spotted her in the front row, Week 3 in Tampa Bay, and waved. Bell has played football since he was four; by high school, Lisa’s most effective disciplinary maneuver for her son was threatening to not let him play in that week’s game. As Le’Veon sat out last season, he ribbed his mom about that old tactic, pointing out how much they both missed the game. To scratch his football itch Bell played endless hours of Madden and called Lisa when the Steelers were on TV, analyzing Pittsburgh’s game plan and displaying Tony Romo–like predictive powers. He texted James Conner, his backfield replacement, congratulating him on big plays—but he also fixated on how much work Conner was receiving on the goal line, more than he’d gotten himself. Back in the summer of 2017, the first time the Steelers offered Bell a long-term deal, reportedly five years at $12 million per, Lisa wanted her son to take it. So did Bell’s agent, Adisa Bakari. “Everyone thought I was tripping,” Bell says of his declining and choosing to play that season on the one-year, $12.1 million franchise tag. From Bell’s perspective, though, he’d earned more than what was being offered. “They took every ounce from me until I couldn't go no more,” he says. “When it was time to get paid, it was like, Y’all knew what [I’d been through].” Meaning: He’d just gutted through the 2016 playoffs with a painful groin injury that at one point left him unable to sit up in bed. He’d played an entire divisional-round game against the Chiefs, despite telling teammates at halftime that he was unsure if he could finish, and then he received a Toradol injection before the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots. The first time he was tackled in that game at New England in January 2017 he felt like his left leg was about to rip off; when he went back in, he couldn’t hit a hole even if it opened up. His day, and eventually the team’s season, was over. “I feel like that was our Super Bowl year,” Bell says. “I just ended up getting hurt.” At the same time, the market for running backs was sagging. Devonta Freeman’s extension with the Falcons, signed in August 2017, averaged just $8.25 million per year. As player salaries rose across the NFL, the franchise-tag number for backs—calculated as an average of the top five salaries at the position that year—actually dropped. Citing his value in the passing game (and the fact that he was Pittsburgh’s No. 2 receiver behind Brown), Bell tried to counter this trend, asking for $15 million per year from the Steelers. Instead, he played the 2017 season on the one-year franchise tag. Then, he says, the day after a playoff loss to the Jaguars in January ’18, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin pulled him into an office alone. The team would tag him for a second consecutive season, this time at $14.5 million, but Bell says they told him that day they’d get a long-term deal done. When the Steelers eventually made an opening bid well below what Bell was looking for, he told Bakari to counter by asking for $17 million per season. In the end, Bell hoped, they’d end up at his $15 million benchmark. Pittsburgh’s final offer, Bell says, fell short: five years, $70 million—$14 million per, with the only fully guaranteed money being a $10 million signing bonus. (The Steelers have a policy of not offering future guarantees in veteran deals.) But it was structured to pay out $33 million over the first two seasons, and Pittsburgh has never cut a player one year into a contract that lucrative. “I was so close,” Bell admits now. “Like, I almost [signed] it.” Many NFL pundits believe Bell should have taken that deal, as it offered more money through both two and three years than his new Jets contract does. But Bell, who watched teammate Ryan Shazier’s career potentially end on a single play, cared foremost about the guaranteed money. Plus, the decision, he says, wasn’t just about money. Simon Bruty Back in 2013, when Pittsburgh drafted Bell, he was ecstatic: His mom raised him outside Columbus, Ohio, but she’d come from a family of Steelers supporters, and she already had a team flag hanging by her front door. Flash forward five years, to when Bell turned down last summer’s extension offer, and he was starting to think: It’s time for a fresh start. There have been inklings all offseason of other factors that played a part in Bell’s departure. After Brown forced a trade to the Raiders earlier this month, he expressed frustrations with Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Another former Steeler, running back Josh Harris, was more pointed, asserting that Roethlisberger once intentionally fumbled the ball to protest a play call. Bell says Roethlisberger wasn’t the only factor in his wanting to leave Pittsburgh—but “yes, it was a factor.” Bell says he and Roethlisberger didn’t quite vibe; Bell wishes they’d shared a “more open, more genuine, more real” relationship. He says players didn’t feel like they were treated by the QB as being on the same level as him. “Quarterbacks are leaders; it is what it is,” Bell says. But “you’re still a teammate at the end of the day. You’re not Kevin Colbert. You’re not [team president Art] Rooney.” (On the subject of quarterbacks in general, Bell says that, given the chance to do everything over, “I’d be playing QB.” Or, he says, in the NBA, where contracts are fully guaranteed and players are compensated by production, not position.) Despite his output in 2017, when he was named an All-Pro for the second time, Bell says he didn’t feel as if the Steelers’ game plans were designed to feature him or that he had a stake in what plays were being called. He acknowledges, “Ben is a great quarterback,” but says Roethlisberger’s personal preferences played a role in who was given the opportunity to make plays. Says Bell, “The organization wants to win. Tomlin wants to win. Ben wants to win—but Ben wants to win his way, and that’s tough to play with. Ben won a Super Bowl, but he won when he was younger. Now he’s at this stage where he tries to control everything, and [the team] let him get there. He adds: “So if I’m mad at a player and I’m not throwing him the ball—if I’m not throwing A.B. the ball and I’m giving JuJu [Smith-Schuster] all the shine or Jesse [James] or Vance [McDonald] or whoever it is, and you know consciously you’re making your other receiver mad but you don’t care—it’s hard to win that way.” At times last season, Bell’s feelings about wanting out of Pittsburgh were mutual. When he didn’t report for Week 1 after missing camp, as he had the previous season, his linemen spoke out publicly. Center Maurkice Pouncey called Bell “a little selfish”; guard Ramon Foster said Bell “doesn’t give a damn.” Bell says he never told anyone he’d be there Week 1, though it’s clear his plan was fluid, influenced by the feelings hurt in negotiations and by his teammates’ public comments. The missed opportunity, for a team with a now-37-year-old QB, isn’t lost on anyone, including Bell, who says, “If I’d played this year, we would have won the Super Bowl. Think about the weapons we had. I would have been unhappy as hell, but if I was sprinkled in. . . . When we were winning games, it wasn’t bothering me how much I was getting the ball. Last year was our year, that’s why I didn’t understand why they didn’t just get it done. They had the money. Get it done and go win a Super Bowl.” Bell says he first planned to show up after Week 1, and then his target shifted to the Week 7 bye, but the Steelers wouldn’t assure his agent that they wouldn’t trade him (potentially compromising his value as an upcoming free agent by inserting him into a new offense midseason) or use its (limiting) transition tag on him for next season. Later in the year, one week before the Nov. 13 deadline, Bell tweeted “farewell Miami” and flew from Miami to Pittsburgh. “I was gonna go back to play, forget everything that happened all year, bite the bullet and hope they respect me,” he says. “Because I just wanted to play football.” (He also confirms what Roethlisberger told the press around that time, that the QB texted Bell, saying he hoped to have Bell back, but that Bell did not reply.) Why then, did Bell make the trek and not return to the field? He refers loosely to being turned off again by comments some teammates made to the press around that time, although he can’t recall who said what, specifically. He also points out that if he’d returned that late in the season, his prorated yearly earnings would have been low enough that the Steelers could have transition-tagged him at a lower fixed value, making it more likely they would have some control over his rights in 2019. Ultimately, Bell says, it got to the point where he knew he couldn’t go back. “I felt like: For me to get my full potential and be the player I know I can be, I gotta go play with different players. I gotta go play with people who want to see me succeed, who want me to be great. Getting a fresh start, [that’s] the best thing for me.” Simon Bruty By last December, Bell was already looking ahead to free agency. The football world, meanwhile, was going to have something to say about that. Rumors surfaced that his weight had ballooned to 260 pounds. He fact-checks that: more like 240, the same as his playing weight at Michigan State. Bell says he now has that down to 230, after five-times-a-week workouts. More important than his waistline, he says he doesn’t feel his football aches anymore, like the chronically sore right wrist that had been nagging him for years. In the end, Bell’s free-agency decision came down to the Jets and the 49ers, who he says offered a three-year, $40 million contract. He and Brown didn’t stay in touch last season, but Bell says he had discussions with his old Steelers teammate and Brown’s new quarterback, Derek Carr, about joining the Raiders. Instead, the Jets—an early favorite to land Bell, a team with salary-cap space to spare and a desire for a splashy headliner—are now heralding Bell as second-year QB Sam Darnold’s new best friend: one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL and a guy who can also serve as an outlet in the passing game. Darnold, along with safety Jamal Adams, led the recruiting charge, but the franchise also got an assist from Curtis Martin, the Hall of Fame running back who spent eight seasons with the Jets and whose patient running style Bell grew up admiring. The two backs spoke four weeks ago and Martin encouraged Bell, he says, to “go with my heart and my gut.” A more practical factor in picking New York: The team was willing to bake into Bell’s contract a chance to meet the $15 million per-year average that he has long sought (although the escalators and incentives needed to get there include hard-to-reach criteria such as NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year). “People think, You are an athlete, so you’ve got your money—keep quiet and play,” Bell says. “Yeah, I could’ve taken what [the Steelers] gave me and been quiet and been unhappy. But I chose not to. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to do what I felt was right and move forward. And now I’m here. And I wouldn’t think twice about changing it.” Simon Bruty Bell, ever confident in his own skin, arrives at his photo shoot unchanged from his party uniform: white T-shirt, chains, Louboutin gear. He slips on a green-hued blazer and plants himself at a poker table, where he’s directed to push a pile of chips to the middle. Lisa Bell, looking on, remarks that she likes the shot where he’s pushing the tallest stacks, in her mind representing the biggest odds against her son. Many in the NFL don’t believe Bell’s gamble was worth it; they think he’d have been better off taking the long-term deal the Steelers offered last year, or playing on the $14.5 million tag and then cashing in. His face scrunches up at this suggestion. “How didn’t I win?” he asks. He set a new mark for the most fully-guaranteed money for a running back (larger deals also count guarantees related to injury only), and he points to the fact that after he asked for $15 million per year, challenging the paradigm for what running backs are worth, the Rams gave that much to Todd Gurley, last July. “Receivers make [roughly] $19 million per year—why can’t I make 17?” he asks. “The fact that I put that number out there, that opened it up for Todd. So when Zeke [Elliott] comes up, or Saquon [Barkley], if they’re the best running back they’re gonna beat Todd’s deal. I [took] the bullet. [We] can’t sit here just taking what y’all [offer]. It’s gonna go: 15, then 16. . . . Then at some point it’s gonna stop and 10, 12 years from now there’s going to have to be another Le’Veon Bell who’s gonna take a stand.” This is his view. Perhaps it’s not one that others share. But if the last 420-odd days have confirmed anything about Le’Veon Bell, it’s that he’s going to do things his own way. https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/03/20/leveon-bell-steelers-jets-free-agency-contract
  10. BroadwayRay

    What is Jeremy Bates doing?

    Morton is an offensive assistant with the Raiders after floating off into oblivion for a year. Bates' wikipedia says nothing about him being a coach in the NFL. He'll probably go into hiding for at least a year, also. Just like how Chan Gailey became a missing person after his two-year sting with the Jets. Quite a trend, eh? Bowles sure knew how to pick em. He made the Jets into the place where dysfunctional OCs went to die.
  11. Worst talent evaluator in history. Kyle Wilson, Quinton Coples, Calvin Pryor — all guys he handpicked. Mocked Danny Woodhead on Hard Knocks for being too short to succeed. Start of last season, mocked Baker Mayfield on ESPN repeatedly for the same reason, openly predicting he’d be a bust because he was too short and too slow. Said Josh Allen was the best QB in the draft. I would keep Lee for Ryan’s criticism of him alone. BTW, the writer of the above article is an idiot. Lee wasn’t suspended for PEDs.
  12. BroadwayRay

    OL Tom Compton signs with Jets

    His yearly PFF grades (with the usual public service announcement that PFF isn't the be-all and end-all): 2013: 62.1 2014: 53.1 2015: 60.6 2016: 53.3 2017: 45.7 He's just a body. It underscores the need for the Jets to trade down and draft at least two offensive linemen in the first three rounds.
  13. BroadwayRay

    Stephen Gostkowski

    The problem with Myers is we have no idea how he handles high-pressure situations, such as, oh, I don't know, making a 43-yard field goal with 10 seconds left where you team is losing 16-15? How many times have we seen All-Pro kickers self-destruct when they get put into that situation? No way do you give $4 million to an untested kicker.
  14. BroadwayRay

    Trade down scenarios with reasoning

    Interesting discussion about this issue ...

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