Bears' Mitchell Trubisky has fifth-year option declined, and Twitter has jokes about it

  • NFL Bears American Football

    End of an error.

    The clock is ticking down on the Mitchell Trubisky era in Chicago, it appears, after the Bears declined his fifth-year option on Saturday. Really, it was an expected conclusion after GM Ryan Pace pulled the trigger on a Nick Foles trade in March. 

    The Trubisky era in Chicago is going to be one that's looked back on with some level of confusion. As one of the big three quarterbacks who came out of the 2017 draft — the others being Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes — Trubisky's tenure with the Bears has been shaky at times, putting it lightly. The North Carolina product has dealt with accuracy issues, inconsistencies and injuries during his pairing with Matt Nagy, and now the sands in the hourglass are draining down.

    MORE: Fifth-year option tracker — Players who actually got their option picked up

    Trubisky's sophomore season showed some promise, helping guide the Bears to a 12-win season in which he threw 24 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and 3,223 yards. An injury sidelined him for a few games.

    Even with limited sights of promise, Trubisky has been the focal point of ire among all fans — including Bears fans — since entering the league and being selected at No. 2 overall. So, needless to say, the Tweet machine had some entertaining thoughts on Trubisky's future.

    Ravens' Earl Thomas in domestic 'altercation' that included wife allegedly pointing pistol at him

  • NFL Ravens

    Ravens safety Earl Thomas and his wife, Nina, were the principals in a lengthy domestic dispute last month in Austin, Texas, that included Nina Thomas pointing her husband's 9mm Beretta pistol at his head, TMZ reported early Thursday.

    Nina Thomas aimed the weapon at her husband from close range after finding him and his brother, Seth, in bed with other women at an Airbnb in Austin on April 13, according to an Austin police report obtained by TMZ. Earl Thomas wrestled the weapon from his wife, according to TMZ's account. According to police, Nina Thomas did not realize the pistol was loaded and was looking only to scare her husband.

    MORE: Ray Rice, wife reflect on elevator incident

    Nina Thomas had tracked down Earl Thomas after logging into his Snapchat account and seeing a video of him with one of the women. The Thomases had argued earlier in the day about Earl Thomas' drinking, per TMZ's recounting of the police report. Mrs. Thomas was accompanied by two other women, one of whom, police said, shot cellphone video of the incident, TMZ reported.

    Later, according to the police report, officers responded to a call for a disturbance at the residence. When they arrived, they observed Nina Thomas chasing her husband around a vehicle while wielding a knife. Earl Thomas was holding the pistol. The knife may have been the same one tha夜网论坛t one of the women who had accompanied Nina Thomas allegedly brandished during the gun episode.

    Police defused the situation and began interviewing the couple, which is when they learned of the earlier confrontation, TMZ reported.

    Nina Thomas was eventually arrested and charged with burglary of a residence with intent to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — family violence, per TMZ. She was later released on bond. A judge ordered her to stay at least 200 yards away from her husband and one of the women who was in bed with him. Earl Thomas was not arrested, TMZ reported. 

    Earl Thomas, who turned 31 on Thursday, said in an Instagram video late Wednesday that the incident was an "altercation." He said he was trying to "get ahead" of the story after his agent told him TMZ was running with it. He said the story was "really not anybody's business," but he also didn't dispute any of the facts in TMZ's report.

        View this post on Instagram         

    I guess I’ll be on TMZ in the morning somehow they got a police report with details ... Obviously this is not how I wanted my birthday breakfast to start out or my birthday but it is what it is ..

    A post shared by Earl Thomas III (@earl) on May 6, 2020 at 7:32pm PDT

    Nina Thomas, through her attorney, Jonathan Goins, denied the allegations against her Thursday. She later posted on Instagram that "things happen." 

    Neither the Ravens nor the NFL had responded to TMZ's report as of early Thursday. It is presumed the league is[......]

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    Sammy Watkins says he drank 'every night' while with Bills

  • NFL Bills American Football

    Sammy Watkins proved a crucial asset for the Chiefs en route to a Super Bowl win this past season, making 14 catches for 288 yards and a touchdown in three games.

    The wide receiver's playoff success came amid a tumultuous career in which he's been traded twice and injured almost every season. According to a worthwhile feature story read about him by Bleacher Report , his first few seasons in the NFL were more difficult than many realized.

    Watkins said he drank every night over his first two years with the Bills, his addiction and spiraling depression contributing to his health problems.

    "I would go out and get wasted," Watkins told Bleacher Report. " Wasted  wasted."

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    MORE: Vegas has high expectations for Dak Prescott

    Bleacher Report details how Watkins found a sense of purpose and spiritual rebirth following his unhappy start in the league. Many of the views he shares in the story about the universe are unconventional, but they've seemingly helped him settle into adulthood.

    Watkins has been a reliable big-play threat for the Chiefs when healthy over the past two seasons, and he's still just 26 (soon to be 27), so he figures to continue in his role as an explosive outside option for a while.

    His darkest times behind him, he can now focus more on his dual passions: Shredding cornerbacks in football and sharing theories on human existence with anyone who will listen.

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    Steelers' Mike Tomlin 'excited' about having Ben Roethlisberger back at QB

  • NFL Steelers

    The Steelers have placed the entire weight of their 2020 ambitions on Ben Roethlisberger's surgically repaired elbow, and coach Mike Tomlin said Thursday he expects it can hold up under all that stress.

    "He's doing great thus far. He's in great physical condition. Rehabilitation, in regards to the injury itself, is going well. I hear nothing but positive reports from that standpoint," Tomlin told fans on the Steelers Nation Unite Huddle call. "There have been no bumps in the road."

    STEELERS SCHEDULE 2020:
    Dates, times, final record prediction

    Roethlisberger missed the final 14 games of the 2019 season after injuring his right elbow. He had surgery Sept. 23 and was cleared to begin throwing footballs in mid-February.

    "The fact that his injury and subsequent surgery happened so early in the season in 2019 is probably an asset to him and us as we push into 2020," Tomlin said. "I think everybody's comfortable with where things are. We're excited about him and what he's going to do for us this year."

    Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing yards in his last full season, 2018, but that team finished 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs. Without him, but with an improved defense, the Steelers used Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges at quarterback, went 8-8 and missed again in 2019. They also signed former Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch to their practice squad, and he remains with the club.

    The Steelers have thus far chosen not to add another quarterback, someone with more experience, as a backup to Roethlisberger. Tomlin did not totally rule out that possibility, though.

    DeCOURCY:
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    "Mason Rudolph is our backup quarterback," he said, allowing that competition in training camp can be used to establish if that hierarchy remains in place. "We have some candidates. Mason Rudolph really had an opportunity to gain some experience last year, and we expect him to be better. I think he expects to be better. We're comfortable with the mix that we have right now, but not that we're opposed to getting better at any position."

    Questions were posed to Tomlin — who is preparing for his 14th season as Steelers head coach — by fans from Idaho, Tennessee, New Jersey and Kentucky and a few other places far removed from Pittsburgh.

    Among the items Tomlin addressed:

    — How the coronavirus pandemic alters the challenge of preparing for the season: "We face a lot of challenges, but my mentality, and I think our group's mentality, is going to be [that] they're challenges that everyone faces . . . We've got to be light on our feet. There's going to be a period of adjustment from a scheduling standpoint as we gain our footing in terms of logistically, what day-to-day looks like. But the entire National Football League will be going through it. I just think if we perfor[......]

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    Patrick Mahomes wants the movement against racial injustice to proceed 'as quickly as possible'

  • NFL Chiefs

    Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he wants to "help the world" following George Floyd's death.

    Floyd, an African-American man, died in police custody in Minneapolis last month, sparking protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the United States and beyond. A police officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest while Floyd was crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

    Mahomes, the 24-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP, is determined to drive change amid the anti-racism protests.

    MORE: Mahomes part of powerful video sent from players to NFL

    "I can't watch the entire George Floyd video through and through," Mahomes told reporters Wednesday. "I've watched it in parts but it hurts me too much to my soul to see him and feel like I can't help.

    "I wanted to sit back and listen. I didn't want to act off anger. I didn't want to act off hurt. I wanted to listen and make the best informed decision that I think I could to help the world, help the community with my platform."

        View this post on Instagram           

    A post shared by Patrick Mahomes II (@patrickmahomes) on Jun 4, 2020 at 7:29pm PDT

    There has been plenty of talk about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem when the season gets underway. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first player to kneel during the anthem in protest against racial injustice in 2016, before he opted out of his contract at the end of that season. He hasn't played in the NFL since.

    MORE: Will Roger Goodell kneel with protesting players?

    Saints quarterback Drew Brees said players who take a knee during the anthem are "disrespecting the flag," comments that sp夜网论坛arked fierce backlash and led to multiple apologies.

    Said Mahomes: "It's not about who kneels and who doesn't kneel. It's about having the right to peacefully protest and to recognize that social injustices are happening and racial inequity does happen every single day.

    "I just want the community to be somewhere where everybody including black people can feel like they can go into the community and be safe. Whatever way that is, whatever actions we can take to do that, it's all about doing that as quickly as possible."

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    Brett Favre attempts to clarify 'hero' comment about Colin Kaepernick, Pat Tillman

  • NFL American Football 49ers Cardinals Packers

    Brett Favre tried Monday to add nuance after appearing to equate Colin Kaepernick's protests with the late Pat Tilllman's military service.

    Favre, in a tweet, referred to Tillman's 2004 death in action in Afghanistan, writing the former NFL defensive back "deserves the highest honor." 

    The Hall of Fame quarterback drew heavy criticism for telling TMZ Sports that Kaepernick would, in time, be considered a "hero" for speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice just as Tillman is considered a hero for q夜网论坛utting football to enlist in the U.S. Army after 9/11.

    MORE: Trump says Kaepernick should get another NFL job if he shows he can play

    "It's not easy for a guy his age — black or white, Hispanic, whatever — to stop something that you've always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in," Favre said of Kaepernick to TMZ. "I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy who did something similar. And, we regard him as a hero. So, I'd assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well."

    Many Americans, including President Donald Trump, consider Kaepernick's kneeling during the national anthem — which he did in the 2016 season — to be disrespectful to the American flag and U.S. military. Kaepernick got the idea to kneel from former Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, who was trying to make the Seahawks as a long snapper. Kaepernick had been sitting during the anthem.

    Kaepernick has been out of football since opting out of his 49ers contract in March 2017.

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    Colin Kaepernick drawing 'legitimate interest' from multiple NFL teams, report says

  • NFL American Football

    We know Colin Kaepernick would be on the Chargers' workout list should they decide they want or need to sign another quarterback at some point in 2020. And Los Angeles might not be alone with its interest in the 32-year-old free agent.

    According to NFL.com's Michael Silver, "there is some legitimate interest from at least a couple of teams." Silver added that he has spoken with one NFL head coach "who is absolutely interested."

    MORE: The six best fits for Kaepernick in 2020

    Silver also mentioned medical testing as a complicating factor when it comes to signing Kaepernick because current league rules amid the coronavirus pandemic prohibit such private workouts.

    "We're looking at a holding pattern creeping up toward the start of training camp," he said.

    Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said during a video media conference with reporters last week that his team has not yet reached out to Kaepernick, but "it would be crazy" not to have Kaepernick on the Chargers' workout list should they decide they need to sign a quarterback.

    "I haven’t spoken with Colin, not sure where he’s at as far in his career, what he wants to do, but Colin definitely fits the style of quarterback for the system that we’re going to be running," Lynn said. "I’m very confident and happy with the three quarterbacks that I have but you can never have too many people waiting on the runway."

    Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, which he began by sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem of games in protest of racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. His formal claim of collusion against the NFL was settled last year.

    MORE: A complete Colin Kaepernick timeline

    Amid a global movement against racial injustice that has prompted multiple statements from Goo夜网论坛dell and a handful of NFL teams, many have been pushing the NFL to get Kaepernick back into the league. Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins even suggested the league should assign Kaepernick to a team.

    Said Goodell on ESPN: "Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's going to take a team to make that decision, but I welcome that (and) support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that."

    SN's Vinnie Iyer has listed the Ravens, Chargers, Texans, Titans, Chiefs and Panthers as the six best fits for Kaepernick in 2020 should he return to the league.

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    Jets' Jamal Adams tweets props to Bill Belichick, Patriots for signing Cam Newton

  • NFL Jets Patriots

    Jamal Adams likes what the Jets' archrival did Sunday night.

    The All-Pro safety, who wants either a big-money new contract or a trade from Gang Green, posted his approval of the Patriots reportedly signing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton to an incentive-laden contract. Adams mentioned New England coach Bill Belichick by name in his praise.

    New England has been expected to take a step back in 2020 after parting ways with Tom Brady in the offseason. A healthy Newton as Brady's replacement, rather than second-year pro Jarrett Stidham, should enable Belichick and Co. to at least lessen the retreat.

    IYER: Why the Jets gave Joe Flacco a new team before Cam Newton signed with one

    This response to Adams' tweet sums up what Jets fans are thinking about the social play. (Hint: They don't think it was a classy move.)

    The Jets, for the record, are 0-6 against the Patriots since Adams entered the league as New York's first-round draft pick in 2017. Adams did, however, produce a pick-six against Jarrett Stidham — the guy who was in line to replace Brady before the Newton deal — in garbage time of a Week 3 NYJ loss.

    Now, Adams will likely see Newton twice this season (COVID-19 permitting) instead. He's already 0-1 against Superman, with the Jets losing to the Panthers at home in 2017.

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    NFL slashes preseason schedule in half amid coronavirus case uptick

  • NFL American Football

    The NFL will chop its preseason slate in half this year in response to the unique circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already kept training programs remote this summer.

    Pro Football Talk was the first outlet to report the news. The league is expected to make the official announcement Thursday.

    By limiting preseason action — a step players have advocated for beyond the COVID-19 outbreak in order to prevent injury — the NFL hopes to prevent travel-related virus spread and allow players to get in shape at a more natural pace. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have shot up ove夜网论坛r the past two weeks, rising to a recent daily average of more than 40,000 new diagnoses nationwide.

    MORE: What pandemic means for college football

    It's been a strange couple of months for NFL franchises following the draft in April. Usually able to ease rookies and newcomers into their cultures during training camp, they've instead relied on technology to provide virtual team-building neccesities.

    The first preseason game of 2020 is scheduled for Aug. 20.

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    Mike Golic's two-decade run at ESPN is over

  • NFL American Football

    It's the end of an era at ESPN as Mike Golic's incredible two-decade run at the sports network appears to be over. 

    ESPN released a new schedule that will begin Aug. 17, and Golic’s current radio show with Trey Wingo did not make the cut.

    Golic’s former "Mike & Mike" partner Mike Greenberg will return to anchor ESPN's mid-morning TV program, "Get U夜网论坛p," and will also lead a new two-hour radio show that starts at noon Eastern.

    “Our new lineup will provide sports fans informative and engaging content throughout the week from hosts who all have radio experience,” Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president, said in a press release. “They know how to connect with fans and keep them invested in the programming. Our listeners will hear diverse perspectives on key topics from some of the most talented, knowledgeable and contemporary voices in the industry.”

    MORE: These NFL quarterbacks are next in line to get paid after Patrick Mahomes

    Greenburg and Golic spent nearly 18 years on the popular morning radio show "Mike & Mike." The duo split up three years ago.

    Golic has been on ESPN since 1998 and has racked up an estimated net worth of $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

    The New York Post reports that Golic's contract with ESPN is up at the end of this year.

    Following the news of Golic's departure, many ESPN employees shared their memories of the radio host.