While I enjoyed the silence…
One thing I think a lot of people missed with Disney’s announcement Monday night of games scheduled for Sept. 19 — as part of this week’s coordinated “streaming” schedule, ahead of Thursday’s full release — is that it’s not really two-headed. The Vikings-Eagles match, scheduled for 20:30 ET, will start exactly when the Titans-Bills match (at 19:15 ET on ESPN) ends at halftime. And when I pointed this out on social media on Monday morning, some fans got it real worked on it.
You should also get used to it. It will be the only occurrence this year, but from next year we will see it three times each year. And there are reasons why it is almost certain that it will remain so. Between them …
1) Grades. Matches starting at 22:15 ET are not rated, and that is one of the reasons why the league has given up on having them as part of Football on Monday night in the first week of last year. The late MNF 2020 game, Titans at Broncos, attracted an average of just 7.6 million spectators (the opening game on Thursday 2020, by comparison, had an average of 25.8 million spectators). The year before, the figure for that game, with the Raiders and Broncos, was a little more respectable (10.62 million viewers), but still low. The year before, for the Rams-Raiders, the figure was 9.61 million. That would be good for other sports; for the NFL, they are not.
2) Inventory. This allowed the NFL to sell the package as 20 games, and since it would go to one company, there was no problem with the league cannibalizing one of its packages – overlapping games on those three Mondays could be run by Disney (with an early game on ESPN and late play on ABC).
3) Time zones. Realistically, starting at 22:15 ET limits the number of teams that can host those games. There are only six teams in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones (Rams, Chargers, 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Raiders). And so, if you plan to have three starts at 10:15 ET each year, you would be boxing yourself and your schedule creators.
So … get yourself a two-screen setup.
• While we’re on TV, here’s my insight into where Richard Sherman is right now, to follow up on my friend Ian Rapoport’s report Monday morning: Sherman is likely to join Amazon in an indefinite role, leaving the door open to return football. How could this return manifest itself? Well, for now, his plan is to start the season on TV and continue working in case the team invites him at the end of the year to sign him up for running. The 34-year-old has always been calculated with his moves, and this one is no different.
• The Giants have really tried to replace James Bradberry (for almost everything) and the league usually tells you what they think of a player in situations like this. Here’s a clear message that no one thought he was worth the $ 13.5 million in cash New York was supposed to pay him this year. Bradberry will turn 29 during training camp and, to be clear, the other teams I’ve talked to think he still has something left in his tank.
One problem, again, was money, and to put that in perspective, his 2022 number was equal to the APY on the contract the 49ers gave to Charvarius Ward to lure him out of Kansas City. Another problem? Bradberry probably needs to be in the zoning scheme at this point. It fits him best all the time (he was invited to such a system in Carolina) and, never the fastest guy to begin with, he seemed to have lost a step last year.
And I understand that because he is a new name on the market at a slow time of the year, many people will do a great thing with his availability. But it could be crucial to get him in the right role. If he manages to find it, there is still a lot to give to the team.
• One remnant of my conversation with Falcons coach Arthur Smith the other day: I told him I heard him often mention team building the “right way”. And so I asked him what he specifically meant, in terms of everything from the day-to-day work of the team, to the very deliberate construction he and Terry Fontenot had planned.
“He’s checking a lot of boxes,” Smith replied. “Will you really implement your culture and not be derailed? Will you bring guys who will fit into what you want to do in all three phases? Will you really have a competition year after year? I mean, we can go in a million different directions, but when the guys know when they get to the building that no matter how they got there, they have a chance, so you maintain success. You’re ripping that right. ”
And so I asked if, in a year, the law was gone.
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“I feel like we’re in a much better place, yes,” he said. “We will continue to work on it.”
• This weekend was the first for mini-camps for beginners, and they can actually mean something – it was at one of them that Russell Wilson first turned his head in 2012 to start his then unlikely race by becoming a beginner in his first week as a rookie . And so we’ll start our notes with another player in a skill position who might be ready to run at an early time of play.
Washington took Alabama backback Brian Robinson Jr. in the third round. and took it largely on the basis of its untapped low-mileage potential. Only once in five years in Tuscaloosa has he crossed 100 seeders per season, the result of playing behind Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris four of those seasons. And the impressive package of size and speed he brings to the table came before the coaches at Camp Commanders ’rookie camp.
If things go according to plan, the 6 ‘2 “£ 228 quarterback should perfectly complement Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic in the Washington hinterland, as a more traditional, physical tailback in the group, and allow staff to move the other two more. Washington class with receiver Jahan Dotson and hard end Cole Turner (who also shone), hopefully Washington has done a lot to help Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin.
• You don’t hear often about line players coming out of these camps, but the Eagles ’second-round pick, former Nebraska Cam Jurgens center, showed his athleticism and how well he moves in space over the weekend in Philly.
Of course, linemen are judged when they fall they go on. But the Eagles seem to be quite excited about Jurgens, who is giving them another beautiful young piece to pair with a 2021 rookie by Landon Dickerson inside the line. They both have center / guard flexibility, and are equally important in the ongoing efforts of Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni to rejuvenate.
• The same goes for the Seattle fights — both ninth-round Charles Cross and third-round Abraham Lucas showed a ton of athleticism in contactless work over the weekend at Seahawks Rookie Camp. Which is why the Seahawks at least think they both have a very strong foundation to work with.
Interestingly, the question with everyone was about how they would fare in the running game (they both played in Mike Leach’s attack as colleagues), which makes them a bit ridiculous for what Pete Carroll generally emphasizes. We’ll see if they make it.
• On Monday, the second overall pick, Aidan Hutchinson became the sixth player of the first round and the most drafted guy so far, agreeing to the terms just nine days after the draft ended. His contract is a standard contract, with $ 35.71 million coming over four years, all fully guaranteed, of which $ 23.15 million as a signing bonus. None of this is particularly interesting
What is it? Well, six of them are now done, and all six have offset language, which means the owners have won the battle for them – a battle that is small in its impact on individual players, but important to teams for previous purposes and important to agents for reasons employment. 30 of the 32 contracts in the first round are expected to have offset language, and Jaguars are choosing Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd probably in a position to avoid that in their contracts, based on Jacksonville’s history with his players in the first round.
• It is also worth noting the financial benefit that Aidan Hutchinson reaped for staying in school. Had he declared himself after the 2020 season, he would have been in the group of fast dogs behind Jaelen Phillips, probably in the group with Greg Rousseau, Odafe Oweh and Joe Tryon, who finished 30th, 31st and 32nd. The first of those elections, Oweh, signed a four-year, $ 11.34 million contract with the Ravens last June.
So if you think Hutchinson would have gone that range without his oddly productive last class in Michigan – and I think it’s fair to think so – then the 22-year-old has more than tripled the value of his rookie contract. Not bad for 12 months of work.
• Did anyone else notice how many NFL people were in the Formula 1 race in Miami on Sunday?
More about the NFL:
• MMQB: Strange out of The Falcons season, remaining free agents
• What the NFL did not reveal about its Browns investigation
• The largest draft to take away from the NFL
• Bryce Young, CJ Stroud Possible next issue 1. Selection