SI.com’s NFL Extra Points: Browns Win Again
Here’s some of the day’s best NFL content from SI.com.
SI.com’s Daily Cover
What does a spring without sports look like? Until this month, none of us ever really thought to ask that question. But here we are, in the throes of a pandemic, setting off into a spring unlike any other. Much of the country quarantined. Daily routines at a near standstill. All organized sports—from the Olympics to the NBA, March Madness all the way down to AAU hoops and Little League baseball—on hold. Pickup games gone, social distancing mandated.
And so, another question we’d never considered, at least not on this scale: What does Sports Illustrated look like without sports?
Tom Brady takes the high road
In a conference call with reporters introducing him as the next quarterback of the Buccaneers, Brady talked about the uncertainty of an offseason that may get swallowed up by the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about the weight of the moment and how it felt to see boyhood idol Joe Montana changing teams. He talked about his eagerness to learn a new system and get on the same page with teammates.
“I’m not responsible for how other people will say certain things,” Brady said when asked about Patriots owner Robert Kraft saying that it was Brady’s decision to go and not the team’s. “I think Mr. Kraft has been a great influence in my life and I’m so grateful for two decades. I referenced that the other day. It’s been an amazing thing for my family. I’m sure when I’m done playing, I’ll look back and have a chance to reevaluate my entire career. At the same time I’m excited for the opportunity I have, and I can only speak to how I feel and I wrote about that on my social media the other day.”
Free-agent winners and losers
The obvious winner is Tampa Bay, which signed Tom Brady. The runner-up was last year’s winner, Cleveland. “The Browns did three things that were very important in free agency,” wrote Dr. Roto in his fantasy spin on free agency. “Firstly, they signed OL Jack Conklin from the Titans. Conklin was universally thought of as the top OT available in free agency and the Browns knew that, so they paid heavily ($42 million/3 years) to get him. It is also expected that the Browns will use their first-round pick on another OT who can bookend with Conklin to give Mayfield more time to throw. Secondly, everyone knows that to help develop a quarterback, you need to give him a good tight end as a security blanket. The Browns did that by bringing in TE Austin Hooper from the Falcons. Did they overpay Hooper? Probably, as they gave him $42 million over four years, but Hooper was sensational in 2019 setting career highs in receptions (75), yards (787) and TDs (6) in only 13 games.”
For entertainment purposes only
Here’s a gambling-centric look at the NFC East. For instance, will the Cowboys go over or under the predicted win total of 9.5 games? "Mike McCarthy takes over as the head coach. He had plenty of success coaching the Packers and Aaron Rodgers and was brought into Dallas to turn Prescott from a good quarterback into a championship quarterback.Elliott is one of the best running backs in football and the Cowboys' offensive line should still be dominant even with the loss of Travis Frederick."
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY. The rest of the divisions will be covered in the next few days.
Pandemic puts baseball scandal into perspective
In the video associated with this story, Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci shares his thoughts on how the big story of the MLB offseason, the aftermath of the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, is put into perspective with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affecting people worldwide.
Packers sign Funchess
The Packers signed free-agent receiver Devin Funchess on Tuesday. CLICK HERE for my analysis.