WR Josh Gordon is traded to the New England Patriots
Death, taxes, and theNew England Patriots...
It was a roller coaster weekend for Gordon. It was announced on Saturday that he would be inactive for the Brown’s week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints with no prior injury designation during the week. Then it was also announced that the Browns would be releasing Gordon by Monday. Due to Gordon’s past, fan speculation was that he had failed yet another drug test. It was later announced that Gordon suffered a hamstring injury during a photoshoot, which seems like an extremely Cleveland Browns thing. But from the moment the Browns let their intentions known, they had dance partners for a trade. The Browns also sent a 7th-round pick to the Patriots, who are handing back a 5th-round pick. And because time is flat circle, the Patriots fittingly released WR Corey Coleman to make room for Gordon. Coleman was traded from the Browns earlier in the preseason to make room for Gordon on the roster.
QB Carson Wentz cleared to play
The news couldn’t have come at a better time for the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.
On the heels of a surprising loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is ranked 23rd among quarterbacks with a 61.1 rating on Pro Football Focus. Wentz, who tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams in December, was a large part of the reason the Eagles went off to an 11-2 start before being forced to turn to Foles. With RB Jay Ajayi uncertain to play this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz may need to once again be the focal point of the offense.
Minnesota Vikings make kicker switch; waive K Daniel Carlson, sign Dan Bailey
Daniel Carlson went 0-3 on field goals, including 0-2 in overtime (which in itself included a 35-yard winner) against the Green Bay Packers in what ultimately turned into a 29-29 tie. The Vikings overcame a 20-7 4th quarter deficit to force overtime which would seemingly add more to the disappointment.
Have no fear. Vikings HC Mike Zimmer handled subsequent questions about Carlson’s release with his usual poise and decency:
The Vikings get the 2nd-most accurate kicker in NFL history in Bailey. Since being released by the Dallas Cowboys, he had turned down prior offers for what he considered “the right fit.” Based on the signing, one can only assume “the right fit” is a team that plays in a dome with plans on a deep playoff run. But with Bailey’s resume, I suppose he can afford to be picky.
Browns also flip kickers; waive K Zane Gonzalez, sign Greg Joseph
Gonzalez, a seventh-round pick and human embodiment of Cleveland Browns football, was off to a rough 2018 campaign. He had a potential game-winning field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers get blocked ensuring a tie. His follow up performance against the Saints saw him leave eight points off the board with a 2-4 FG, 0-2 XP performance. One of the missed extra points came with 1:16 left in the game and would have given the Browns a 19-18 lead. Gonzalez then missed a 52-yard game-tying field goal with eight seconds left. His replacement, Joseph, was a rookie camp body for the Miami Dolphins and made all three of his attempts during the preseason.
WR Antonio Brown uses his Twitter dot com account
According to his bio, this Ryan Scarpino guy did PR for the Steelers for the seven years leading up to this season. I don’t know if his position really let him be “tapped in” to the pulse of the team, but anyone with eyes can see that Brown is an all-world talent and not just a product of QB Ben Roethlisberger. On top of this tweet, Brown didn’t attend practice on Monday, an unexcused absence according to HC Mike Tomlin. It isn’t all doom-and-gloom in the Steel City just yet, as Brown may have just been letting off some steam for his audience of 1.25 million followers.
Brown is reportedly frustrated with the Steelers’ slow start and claims he cleared his absence with the coaching staff before not showing up on Monday:
Steelers Antonio Brown explains himself pic.twitter.com/b8taABVfDw— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 20, 2018
Side note: with Le’Veon Bell holding out, Brown frustrated, and Ben being old, will the Killer B’s be replaced by the rhythm J’s (JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Jesse James)?
Sorry, that’s the best I can do.
Los Angeles Chargers DL Corey Liuget sues former trainer
Liuget is currently two games into his four-game suspension, the first in his seven years in the NFL. Liuget claims his failed drug test was a result of trainer Ian Danney misleading him with a substance he injected him with. Danney reportedly has ties to dozens of other NFL players.
Buffalo Bills CB Vontae Davis retires at halftime
I want to include the link to Davis speaking on the subject because I believe it’s only fair:
Vontae Davis retired *at halftime* of the Bill games on Sunday, then released a statement. pic.twitter.com/V8BZKiTTmR— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 17, 2018
This is perhaps the most polarizing story this week.
To many, Davis abandoned his team, let the fans down and did something that falls somewhere between insider trading and kneeling in the Hiller Scale of Unforgivability™. A lot of jokes were made (mainly at the expense of how bad the Bills really are). Admittedly, it isn’t a great look on Week 2, less than a month after the Bills made cut the roster down to 53, leaving people off that would have wanted to be there. But not everyone is wired the same way.
Davis said it all came crashing during the opening defensive series. Who am I, or anyone not named Vontae Davis, to criticize how he feels? Coaches and players that buy into the system will talk out of both sides of their mouths; you need to be there for your brothers, but if you take plays off you’ll be replaced by someone that wants to be there. So if Davis was truly done and had no desire to continue, what good does it do anyone for him to be out there? I’ll hop off my soapbox, but I’m almost always going to sympathize with the player. These guys are humans, not merely a means to an end.
I’m happy to hear that Davis is looking back with no regrets and feeling good.