Looks like Johnny Manziel, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady are going to hog the headlines this June. What else is new?

By Jacob Feldman
June 01, 2018

On Friday night, Johnny Manziel's CFL career kicks off as his Hamilton Tiger-Cats face the Toronto Argonauts in a preseason matchup. Next week, Tom Brady will report to minicamp, where we'll see if he's really "very excited," like Patriots owner Robert Kraft said at the most recent owners meetings. At some point after that, Andrew Luck will begin throwing as he continues his road back to the field after shoulder surgery. And at any time, we should be ready for "a dramatic turn" in Colin Kaepernick's collusion lawsuit—his lawyer hinted at having a knowledgeable witness on his side. As the NFL enters one of its quietest months, four of the sport's most-discussed names will likely dominate headlines. But as you'll see in a surprisingly meaty press coverage section, "quiet period" is relative.

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Evan Pinkus via AP

PRESS COVERAGE

1. Brandon Marshall has found a new home. The former Jet and Giant wideout is relocating to Seattle, where the Seahawks gave the 34-year-old a one-year, $2-million contract.

2. The Wall Street Journal has a new report on how President Donald Trump impacted the NFL's stance on player protests. He reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, "Tell everybody, you can't win on this one." Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reportedly said that Trump "changed the dialogue" around the issue and influenced Roger Goodell's opinion on how to handle the situation.

3. A growing debate across the NFL: Is playing for the Patriots fun? Does it matter? After Cassius Marsh railed against his time in New England, Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson said of the Pats, "You can have your rings. You can also have f---ing 15 miserable years." Bill Belichick's response? "We feel what's important to us is to win."

Tedy Bruschi went further on Twitter. "Players that don’t like their Patriot experience are the ones that can’t take tough coaching, get eaten up by the pressure, blame others for failures and expect things are supposed to be given to them," he wrote. Martellus Bennett followed that up on Twitter with "After losing for 10 years I found winning extremely fun. What it took to become a winner wasn't fun but the results were sand the guys I won with were plenty fun." We'll almost certainly be hearing more of this debate as the Patriots start minicamp.

4. In an expansive profile by Tyler Dunne, former running back Jamal Lewis detailed his struggles after leaving the NFL. "You think about death," he says at one point. "I've thought about suicide. I've thought about ending it all."

Meanwhile, the New York Post caught up with Joe Namath, who turned 75 on Thursday. “Thinking about 50 years from the Super Bowl and how it’s flown,” Namath said, “I’ve had some down times, but for the most part it’s been joyful, it’s been healthy."

5. ESPN has a couple big-picture looks at the season to come: a list of 99 "players, coaches and themes" that will define 2018, plus a discussion of each team's win projections, from the Patriots' 10.5 to the Browns' 5.7.

6. A few serious football-related investigations worth your time:

—Adding to a series of damaging stories for the NFL, The New York Times spoke to the league's 'alternate cheerleaders.' As Juliet Macur wrote, "They described minimum-wage jobs in which harassment and groping were common, particularly because the women were required to be on the front lines of partying fans. The fans had no reason to believe these women were not actual cheerleaders because the women often dressed exactly like the cheerleaders dancing on the field or nearly the same."

—Michael Powell looked at the case of an unemployed football player, whose career ended after he was held responsible for sexual assault following being cleared twice.

—Want to know what's happened with the NCAA's investigation of Mississippi State, which was spurred on by Laremy Tunsil's awful draft night? On SBNation, Steven Godfrey dove deep.

7. Congrats to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the Chiefs offensive lineman who became the first active player to also be a medical doctor after graduating this week.

8. According to an analytics firm, Super Bowl LII provided Minnesota with $400 million in total economic impact. Governments collected $32 million extra in taxes as a result of the mini-boom.

9. Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham earned viral kudos on Wednesday after paying an unexpected bag fee for a fellow traveler. As usual, the airline played the part of villain.

10. A doctor of physical therapy posted nearly 3,000 words explaining post-concussion syndrome, if you're into that kind of thing.

Have a story you think we should include in the next Press Coverage? Let us know here.


THE KICKER

That sound you're hearing is Damarious Randall backpedaling from an offer to buy the one million people who retweeted him a jersey if the Cavaliers win the NBA title. Then again, he's a cornerback, so he's used to the motion.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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