video

There's talk that the Oklahoma City Thunder possibly would trading Kevin Durant before he leaves in free agency. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has dismissed it. But should he be worried about losing the reigning NBA MVP?

Comment »

The Philadelphia Eagles have changed the lives of players and the feelings of fans with their many offseason moves, but there's an underreported group that has been equally affected by all these transactions.

The jerseys.

One group of them, the LeSean McCoy ones -- made obsolete by his trade to the Buffalo Bills -- seem to have found new life in the form of customized DeMarco Murray unis:

However, the Murray jerseys aren't so lucky, with Dallas Cowboys fans burning (or threatening to burn) them after the running back defected to a division rival in free agency.

All this effort makes one wonder why American society doesn't just go the European route -- that is, making it socially acceptable to wear jerseys with no names or numbers.

Get on this, USA.

H/T For The Win

Comment »

Peyton Manning and Julius ThomasAP Photo/Matt SlocumPeyton Manning to Julius Thomas: "See ya, Julius. But leave the stats; take the money."

Big-name pass-catchers fortunate enough to hit the free-agent market have been known to gamble away their on-field success in favor of stacking some extra chips in their pockets. That pursuit of riches often lures them to destinations with, to put it nicely, shaky quarterback situations, which in most cases leads to a significant drop-off in production and accolades.

Does a similar fate await prized red zone target Julius Thomas?

The Pro Bowl tight end's free-agent paper chase culminated in a five-year, $46 million deal with Jacksonville. While the Jaguars shelled out a lot to acquire the athletically gifted weapon for rising QB Blake Bortles, Thomas may wind up paying the heaviest price. His numbers may fall off the proverbial cliff after swapping the chance to haul in touchdowns from surefire Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning for the unknown prospects of playing with Bortles, who connected with more opposing DBs than his own targets in the end zone.

Thomas' defection got us thinking of other star pass-catchers whose game went broke chasing riches.

Eric Decker: From Peyton Manning to Geno Smith

With Manning: Decker recorded career highs of 87 catches, 1,288 yards with 24 TDs over his final two seasons in Denver.
With Smith: After signing a $36 million deal, Decker became a casualty of the Jets' QB and franchise circus, failing to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark while reaching pay dirt only five times.

Greg Jennings: From Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder

With Rodgers: In three full seasons with his MVP QB delivering darts on the money, Jennings compiled 25 scores while averaging 1,223 yards.
With Ponder & Co. Ponder rarely found the field during his tenure, and inept QB play has left Jennings lost on offense. While the $47.5 million WR says he doesn't regret leaving Green Bay, his stats since (no 1,000-yard seasons, 10 total TDs) would say otherwise.

Laurent Robinson: From Tony Romo to Blaine Gabbert

With Romo: On the heels of a surprising 11-touchdown output as Romo's No. 2 WR, Robinson parlayed his one season in Dallas into a five-year, $32.5 million payday.
With Gabbert: Robinson had minimal impact in his uninspiring seven-game tenure before concussions ended his season and, quite likely, his career.

Alvin Harper: Troy Aikman to Trent Dilfer

With Aikman: Harper emerged as a potent deep-threat complement to Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, as his 20 YPC average made him a key component in the offense of the '90s Cowboys.
With Dilfer: The tantalizing Harper was miscast as a leading receiver, lasting two lackluster seasons in Tampa Bay after banking $10.6 million in free agency.

Mike Wallace: Ben Roethlisberger to Ryan Tannehill

With Roethlisberger: Wallace's deep-ball prowess combined with Big Ben's downfield touch made this duo lethal to teams daring enough not to keep a safety over the top.

With Tannehill: The Wallace-Tannehill union has been a mixed bag that appears to be on an upward trend despite rumors of a schism, but has yet to yield the type of success that landed the speedy WR in the 2011 Pro Bowl.
Honorable mention:
James Jones: From Rodgers to Derek Carr
David Givens: From Tom Brady to Kerry Collins
Javon Walker: From Jay Cutler to JaMarcus Russell

Comment »

Last year, Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed posted this video of teammate Jimmy Butler:

This is what I have to deal with after a win in the locker room lol @jimmybuckets21 #TaylorSwift #holdat #SeeRed

A video posted by Nazr Mohammed (@nazrmohammed) on

Apparently the above Taylor Swift incident isn't a rare occurrence. According to an interview with ProBasketballTalk, the All-Star wing marches to the beat of his own music -- and the rest of the team isn't happy.

"I get my own playlist in warmups sometimes," Butler told ProBasketballTalk. "My teammates don't like it very much because it's country music, but they get over it."

Country? Yes. Starting with Taylor Swift.

"I like Taylor Swift," Butler said. "I like music as a whole, but her music is kinda catchy. I'm sure she'll hear this interview now and be like, 'What's going on?'"

Read the full story here ... and judge Butler if you dare.

Comment »

Steven Jackson, a free-agent running back most recently with the Atlanta Falcons but who made his name with the St. Louis Rams, has taken up a cause:

"Save the running back."

video

Jackson appears to be only half-kidding. There is a website. There's also some data that backs up Jackson's claim that the every-down, workhorse back -- which Jackson was for about a half-decade -- is disappearing. For example, in 2003, 13 NFL running backs received at least 300 carries. The past two seasons? Just two each year.

Comment »