A pączki is a Polish pastry that’s a bit like a doughnut, but taken to a whole other level. Between now and Fat Tuesday, you can catch me loading up on pączkis until further notice.
- The Monday Night Football booth is going to have a different sound in 2019. Analyst Jason Witten is leaving the broadcast booth to return to the Dallas Cowboys in what will be his 16th year with the team. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it’s a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. So much for that retirement. The 11-time Pro Bowler needs just 2,679 yards to pass Tony Gonzalez for the most receiving yards by an NFL tight end. Good luck, Jason.
- This is what the Cowboys will be adding to their lineup:
A quick look at Witten's career grades in the PFF era (2006-Present). pic.twitter.com/UtpdtRVXV2
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 28, 2019
- ESPN released a statement:
ESPN statement on Jason Witten: pic.twitter.com/ssT68moEyh
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) February 28, 2019
- Our preferred candidate:
┃┃╱╲ In this
Support Jay Cutler
as a Jason Witten
replacement on MNF
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 28, 2019
- And who the oddsmakers think is in the running:
Odds for who will replace Jason Witten on ESPN MNF:
Peyton Manning +200
Louis Riddick +225
Greg Olsen +350
Kurt Warner +900
Matt Hasselbeck +900
Boomer Esiason +1200
Randy Moss +1400
Steve Young +2000
Tim Tebow +3300
John Madden +10000
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) February 28, 2019
- Reminder: Witten and the Cowboys travel to Chicago to play the Bears at some point in 2019. Hopefully, he didn’t hoard any of the inside info Matt Nagy or Mitch Trubisky offered up during meetings with him last year.
- Elsewhere in the football world …
- That’s a nice wingspan for one of the draft’s top quarterback prospects:
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) February 28, 2019
- Kyler Murray doesn’t plan on throwing at the Combine, which is a bummer. Not so much for me, because I got my fill of Murray throwing while following his every step in his race to win the Heisman Trophy. However, others who haven’t given him much time for whatever reason would probably enjoy watching him give it a go in Indy.
- The thing about throwing at the Combine is that no one ever remembers who threw or how well they threw within a year. Do you remember how well Patrick Mahomes or Mitch Trubisky threw at the Combine in 2017? Of course you don’t … and that was just two years ago.
- Speaking of Mahomes, Chiefs GM Brett Veach told PFT Live about the throwing display he put on for Michael Vick when he was a rookie. “There were a couple throws Pat made, and I remember being in the film room with mike and he was like, ‘Did he just do that? I’ve never seen that,'” Veach said as he dug into his memory bank. “We were joking, ‘This is Mike Vick!’ A quarterback like Mike Vick says he’s never seen something?” Impressive. Most impressive.
- On the other side of the quarterbacking spectrum, Jay Gruden is a believer in Colt McCoy:
Jay Gruden on why he likes Colt McCoy despite poor track record: "I've been around him for five years and I could be really ignorant but I've just seen him throw the ball." #Redskins
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) February 28, 2019
- Alex Smith is expected to be out a while after suffering one of the most gruesome leg injuries I’ve ever seen in a football game, which leaves McCoy as The Man as things stand right now. McCoy has completed 68.4 percent of his passes and has averaged 8.1 yards per attempt during his four-year stay in Washington. The 93.6 passer rating is respectable and he has thrown more touchdowns (8) than interceptions (6), but he has thrown just 193 passes in 10 games since the start of the 2015 season. Washington owns the 15th pick in the upcoming draft and could reasonably take the best available quarterback if one falls to them with that selection. Just something to keep an eye on moving forward.
- The San Francisco 49ers seem to be an ideal landing spot for Antonio Brown. Their GM thinks they are a team on the rise, they have a ton of cap space, and Jimmy G. Quarterback could use a big-play threat to throw to down the field. And yet, John Lynch says he hasn’t inquired about dealing for Brown. “We have not,” Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “We have not.” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert recently said three teams have checked in on Brown and that interest has grown (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com) since that original report. And yet, there doesn’t seem to be much on the radar for Pittsburgh right now.
- As for the other big-name Steelers star on his way out, Colbert also told Pro Football Talk that the team ultimately passed on tagging running back Le’Veon Bell because of the cost of the one-year transition tender. Colbert hoped the Steelers would get to place a cheaper version of a 2018 tag Bell because he sat out the entirety of last season. This year’s transition tag number projects to be around $9.124 million.
- Not that there was any doubt, but Jimmy Graham is expected to be back in Packerland in 2019:
GM Brian Gutekunst said he's "looking forward to seeing what Jimmy Graham can do for us this season." So clearly the Packers plan on bringing him back. https://t.co/XfrWHgvyyO pic.twitter.com/Yvir4JeX38
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) February 27, 2019
- Graham was a highly-sought-after free agent last offseason, but his first year in Green Bay was a serious let-down. There were rumblings that the Packers would cut ties with Graham after one year, which would have saved the team $5.3 million against the salary cap. Instead, the Packers rolled the dice on a second season for the five-time Pro Bowler.
- Two more years (and hopefully four more losses to Matt Nagy) for Mike Zimmer:
#Vikings GM Rick Spielman announces that coach Mike Zimmer's option for 2020 was picked up. So he’s under contract for two more years
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2019
- And then there’s Mike McCarthy:
Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy accused of verbally confronting referees after loss by stepson’s high school basketball team.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) February 28, 2019
- Yikes, bruh. It’s not that serious. Enjoy the downtime while you can.