My breakfast-for-dinner plans went through the window as soon as my pops informed me that he was going to make turkey wings. Who am I to say no to turkey wings? It’s not November, but what the heck? As Michael said earlier today, rules are pretty much out the window these days.
Let’s talk some football.
- The XFL is losing its brightest star …
The Carolina Panthers will be signing XFL star P.J. Walker per source
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 23, 2020
- … then again, that is to be expected. Quarterback P.J. Walker is signing with the Carolina Panthers. This gives Carolina two fun quarterbacks for a rebuilding team, as Walker joins soon-to-be starter Teddy Bridgewater. Don’t sleep on Walker just because he was in the XFL. He knows the system that will be put in place by first-year Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule, who coached Walker at Temple. And by the time Walker was done with school, he was the university’s all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completed passes, pass attempts, total yards, total touchdowns, and wins by a starting quarterback. The Owls went to back-to-back bowl games and even won a conference title. And here I am thinking Temple was a basketball school. The days of John Chaney are in our rear-view mirror.
- Perhaps more XFL signings are coming down the pipe:
On the topic of XFL players to the NFL … NFL teams did not get tape from XFL games until last Thursday.
So, there could be a slow trickle of signings as NFL scouts get up to speed with potential players.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 23, 2020
- Signing Walker isn’t the only quarterback shuffling the Panthers were a part of today. But I’m sorry to inform you the trade Carolina made did not include the quarterback you were thinking about:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 23, 2020
- Allen starts 12 games in place of Cam Newton last year. He threw for 3,322 yards, tossed more touchdowns (17) than interceptions (13), posted a passer rating of 80.0, and led the team to five wins in his 12 starts. Not great. But not bad for an undrafted free agent who signed with Carolina in April 2018. And to get a fifth-round pick as part of the exchange makes the deal a net win.
- Think about it: Carolina just traded a backup quarterback with minimal experience who came to the team as an undrafted free agent two years ago for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. This is what tends to happen when you acquire quarterbacks yearly, instead of rostering glorified assistant coaches for multiple seasons.
- Speaking of fifth-rand picks:
Comp update: Seahawks are sending Washington a 5th-round pick in exchange for CB Quinton Dunbar, per source.
So Redskins trade a 5 for QB Kyle Allen, get back a 5 for Dunbar.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2020
- What a curious trade! Washington is sending cornerback Quinton Dunbar to Seattle for a fifth-round pick. Dunbar was PFF’s No. 2 cornerback in 2019. Huh? I’m not fancy, big-city front office type, but I’m not understanding the line of thinking that would lead to this type of transaction from Washington’s perspective. But from the Seahawks’ side of things, you’ll gladly take a highly talented cornerback for relative peanuts.
- WELP, this isn’t ideal:
NEWS: Peyton Manning has turned down ESPN's Monday Night Football, The Post has learned.https://t.co/UDvj82hV47
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) March 23, 2020
- Once again, Peyton Manning has rejected ESPN’s overtures and interest in him being the lead analyst on Monday Night Football. Bummer. Manning is equal parts entertaining, knowledgeable, and the right type of goofy to make for a hit broadcaster. Thus, ends ESPN’s dream of pairing Manning and Al Michaels as its MNF broadcast booth.
- These are some high-profile misses by ESPN, but it’s not like there is a major rush to replace the booth this instant. Football season is months away from getting rolling. And the network already has a team in place, albeit one that isn’t popular with a chunk of fans. No, MNF isn’t what it once was during its heyday. But it is still a staple of the football calendar, so I understand why ESPN is willing to take big swings at upgrading the A-Team.
- It’s not my call, but if it was, I’d be dialing up Kevin Harlan and Kurt Warner to get a feel for their interest in the gig. After that, I would check in on CBS’ standout No. 2 team featuring play-by-play voice Ian Eagle and analyst Dan Fouts. And finally, I’d place a call into Joe Davis, the FOX broadcaster who has a plum gig as the voice of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, a national broadcast voice on FOX’s MLB and college football programming. Davis isn’t just one of the best young announcers on the scene, he is one of the best period. If ESPN was looking to build from the ground up, Davis would be worth targeting.
- I am going to get a good, hearty laugh at the Patriots while I can:
- Welcome to the thunder dome, Pats fan. Your team’s quarterback future is as certain as the Bears. Hope you enjoyed living that sweet life with Tom Brady, because that ride is over. This isn’t to say Bill Belichick can’t draft one. In fact, he’s drafted plenty of good ones over the years. But I love seeing Patriots Twitter squirm for the first time since the franchise became relevant. Let me enjoy my moment of petty while I can.
- One of the NFL’s best centers is calling it a career at age 29:
— Travis Frederick (@tfrederick72) March 23, 2020
- Travis Frederick missed the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, but otherwise, was a pillar of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Save for 2018, Frederick did not miss a game in his career. He made the Pro Bowl in each of the last five years and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2015. May Frederick get an opportunity to live a full life beyond the football field.
- Well, this is certainly a take:
“Lamar Jackson is the poor-man’s Taysom Hill. It’s not the other way around. That’s what we have in Taysom. That’s why the Saints aren’t messing around. He eventually will be taken care of.” – @BradyPoppinga pic.twitter.com/dW66eAE7S5
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) March 23, 2020
- Good job, Packers:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) March 23, 2020
- You, too, Ravens:
- Good looking out, Coach Vrabel:
- We close with the Rams logo re-design that has been clowned in nearly every corner of football Twitter:
The 𝗟𝗼𝘀 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘀 Rams pic.twitter.com/qyspVxoHWX
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 23, 2020
— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) March 23, 2020
- The ram head looks pretty neat. But the “A” on the “LA” logo looks less like horns and more like a bad toupée.