Ezekiel Elliot is suspended for six games, I give out grades for a big trade and is there already a QB controversy in the Windy City?
Let’s start off with this: Commissioner Roger Goodell still has no idea what he is doing when it comes to player discipline.
There’s a video of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancé in an elevator, Josh Brown came forward and confessed about his domestic abuse, yet in a case where there are multiple conflicting pieces of evidence and testimonies, Goodell decides to give a six-game suspension to star Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliot.
There is only one reason why I think Zeke needed to be suspended: he needs a wake up call. His actions throughout his first full offseason as an NFL player are concerning, to say the least.
We can go back to St Patrick’s Day, when he pulled down a woman’s shirt, or when he was reportedly involved in a bar fight.
Zeke just does not know how to behave, and maybe this six game suspension will make him re-evaluate some of his decisions from here on out.
Elliot and his team has filed an appeal for the suspension, and I fully expect the punishment to be reduced by at least two games. Hell, if Greg Hardy can get his 10 game suspension reduced to four, Zeke should be able to at least cut his in half.
Cowboys owner, and recent Hall-of-Fame inductee, Jerry Jones, is reportedly furious about Zeke’s six-game suspension. Yet, not too long ago, he sang a different tune about the current commissioner.
About two years ago, when the league upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, Jones had some high praise for Goodell.
“He’s got obviously a very tough job,” Jones said at the Cowboys’ training camp kickoff press conference in Oxnard, Calif., two years ago. “But he’s doing an outstanding job. I can tell you firsthand that in his spot you have to with people that you are counting on to help build and to help excel as far as the National Football League, I’m talking about the owners, you have to know that you’re going to make some decisions that are very unpopular with that particular group.”
Oh how the times have changed. Both Kraft and Jones have tremendous pull when it comes to big NFL decisions, but that could not save their stars from suspensions.
Jones supported Goodell throughout the whole DeflateGate debacle, trusting Goodell to use his unlimited disciplining powers to make the correct decision.
But now that Jones has tasted said medicine, it doesn’t taste too good, does it?
It’s not often that teams send out established players during the pre-season/regular season, but the Buffalo Bills seem to be taking advantage and acquiring some draft capital.
Let’s check out the first trade:
Bills receive: cornerback E.J. Gaines & 2018 second-round pick
LA Rams receive: wide receiver Sammy Watkins
The talented Clemson wideout is heading to the west coast, but can he produce with second-year quarterback Jared Goff? Better yet, can he stay healthy?
Watkins has number one receiver potential. In just his second year, he caught 60 balls for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, in 13 games.
He has a history of nagging foot injuries though, and those often derail wideout careers very quick if they persist. Giving Goff a weapon like Watkins though, can only help his progression.
It will also help third-year running back Todd Gurley, after a massively disappointing sophomore campaign, where he saw loaded box after loaded box, with the Rams weak passing game.
For the Bills, it’s primarily about the second round pick. They now have the Chiefs’ first-round pick (see: Patrick Mahomes deal), along with their first, and two second-round picks. It looks as if they are going the Cleveland Browns method, in trying to get as many chances as possible for a home run draft pick.
Grade For Bills: A-
Grade For Rams: B+
On to the second deal..
Bills receive: wide receiver Jordan Matthews & 2018 third-round pick
Eagles receive: cornerback Ronald Darby
Another win-win for both teams. The Bills get another draft pick, and a young, possession wideout who is capable of being a #2 or #3 option in a productive offense.
The Eagles, who desperately need secondary help, get a young, talented & physical cornerback. Perfect for Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz’s aggressive defense.
I was surprised to see Matthews being shipped out though. The Eagles do not have many reliable receiving options. Alshon Jeffrey is injury-prone, Torrey Smith is a deep threat, and Nelson Agholor needs to grow a third hand to start catching footballs.
Grade For Bills: A+
Grade For Eagles: B-
After a weird offseason for the Chicago Bears, it’s time for some important decisions to be made by head coach John Fox.
Mike Glennon had a very uninspiring debut for the Bears, completing two out of 10 passes for 20 yards and an interception. Second-overall pick Mitch Trubisky, completed 18 out of 25 passes for 166 yards with one touchdown.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Glennon is given a long leash to allow Trubisky more time to understand the complexities of an NFL playbook, or whether he will be thrown into the fire.
I believe Trubisky has a future in the NFL, but his upside is not very high. He is not a gunslinger, like Patrick Mahomes, nor is he overly athletic, like DeShaun Watson. He is solid in just about every category though. He just needs time to develop, after starting only one full year in college.