I’m looking forward to hosting friends for drinks, grilled meats, arroz con gandules, and a sundown showing of The Sandlot on the outdoor projector screen. But first … Bullets.
• I don’t know where the Saints keep getting salary cap space, but I respect their hustle:
Saints' OT Ryan Ramczyk is signing a five-year, $90 million extension that includes $60 million guaranteed and makes him the new highest-paid right tackle in football, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 30, 2021
• That is a hefty deal for Ryan Ramczyk. New Orleans’ right tackle receives an extension worth up to $90 million and includes $60 million in guarantees. It also includes incentives in case Ramczyk slides over to left tackle. Good on his agent for getting that in writing. As for the Bears, they (ideally) won’t have to pay a tackle any time soon. Teven Jenkins is on a rookie-scale contract for the next four seasons. And while what happens on the right side is up-in-the-air, Chicago has developmental in-house options (Larry Borom? Alex Bars?) or could unearth a prospect in next year’s NFL Draft. It might be a challenge without a first-round pick, but GM Ryan Pace has found value in second-round linemen before.
• One of those aforementioned second-round linemen, James Daniels, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. In other words, he is a candidate for an extension of his own. Daniels, 23, has made starts at center and left guard over the first three years of his career. And he was playing his best ball when he went down with a season-ending pectoral injury. Should Daniels play at that level again, things could line up for him to get a solid second contract. Ideally, that happens in Chicago in a move that rewards a home-grown product and maintains continuity on a line whose top priority will be protecting Justin Fields moving forward. At some point in the near future, we’ll kick around what a new deal might look like for Daniels. But let’s put a pin in it for now.
• If going viral with wacky analogies translates to wins, then the Lions are gonna be a problem in the NFC North:
New @Lions HC Dan Campbell: "I told (the players), honestly, day one, I said, 'Look, I'm not carrying your toilet paper around. I'm not gonna wipe your butt. You're gonna wipe your own butt. You handle it and I'll treat you like men until you prove otherwise.'" More to come soon.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 2, 2021
• The Lions have lacked identity in recent years. Or maybe their identity is being a boring franchise that knows losing the same way we know the back of our hands. Perhaps part of the reason Dan Campbell was Detroit’s hire is because his words are the most interesting thing to happen to the team since Calvin Johnson’s retirement. I don’t know how things will go with this franchise moving forward, but at least it will be moderately interesting to follow (if only for those rainy quotes).
• Friday’s 2021 opt-out deadline came and went without anyone notable checking out for the year. So, my apologies to those hoping Aaron Rodgers would be ultra petty, opt out of playing in 2021, and forcing the Packers’ hand that way. Meanwhile, the Bears’ focus turns to Eddie Goldman, the team’s highest-profile opt-out — and someone who didn’t attend mandatory minicamp in June. The expectation is that Goldman will return to play in 2021. And recently, a report surfaced suggesting Goldman will be back for training camp. We’re in wait-and-see mode. Then again … so are the Bears.
• Can’t get enough of this good stuff:
Tim Hasselbeck breaking down some Justin Fields tape. 🍿🤗 pic.twitter.com/GRnDvkCHYF
— MonsterOfTheTriState (@_SCAR_179) July 2, 2021
• That would be fine:
• ESPN’s Adam Schefter has details regarding Josh Gordon’s filing for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension.
• Zach LaVine is a real one for this:
Zach LaVine Bought a Bunch of Kids Some Jordans Because He’s Awesome Like Thathttps://t.co/DxjpJatOOy
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 2, 2021
• And there goes that:
Report: Blackhawks Have No Interest in a Trade for Jack Eichel or Involving Kirby Dachhttps://t.co/UN4LxUF6ec
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 2, 2021
• I can’t believe this is the same guy who had seasons with 16, 15, and 14 stolen bases earlier in his career:
Apparently the Nationals gathered up all the unused sticky stuff and laid it up the first baseline. pic.twitter.com/Hm8YIK8mS5
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 3, 2021