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New York Jets, Sam Darnold

New York Jets Make Sam Darnold Quarterback

The news that everyone was expecting has been revealed: NFL team New York Jets make 21-year-old Sam Darnold their newest quarterback. The young player will be starting in his new position in the New York Jets’ season-opening game in Detroit, Monday 10 September.

What’s even more exciting about this announcement, is that Darnold will be making NFL history this year, too. He will be the youngest quarterback to play in Week one since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter took to Twitter to praise the achievement, saying: “With Sam Darnold starting next Monday on Monday Night Football at Detroit, he will become the youngest ever opening-day starting NFL QB and he will extend the streak of having at least one rooking QB start on opening weekend to 11 straight seasons.”

Darnold made waves playing for the New York Jets’ second and third preseason games.

The team’s football coach Todd Bowles said at a press conference that Darnold, “kept his head down and he earned it” throughout the course of the summer. When asked about the growing pains expected with the new player, Bowes said, “The pains he gets that he needs to see, it will be an experience probably the first couple of years.

“We’re not starting him because he’s a rooking and he’s not ready, we’re starting him because he gives us a chance to win the game.”

“We’re starting him because he gives us a chance to win the game”—Todd Bowles

CBS Sports reported, “Darnold is very highly thought of around the league, and he might just be the answer the Jets have been searching for.”

Is this decision made by the New York Jets the right one? We think so.

Further reading: Former Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Announces Retirement

Philadelphia Eagles

Trump Cancels Philadelphia Eagles’ Visit to the White House

President Donald Trump withdrew his invitation to welcome Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House Monday evening.

Several prominent team players—including safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long—had announced they would not attend the meeting as a protest against Trump.

The news comes amid controversy over players standing for the National Anthem at NFL games.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” Trump wrote in a statement.

“They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

The President explained fans were “still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony”.

The ceremony, Trump wrote, would honor the USA, pay tribute to the heroes who fought to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem.

“I will be there at 3 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America,” he said.

It’s an unprecedented move by the President—the NBA champion, Golden State Warriors, declined an invitation from Trump to visit the White House after their 2017 championship win, but presidents usually honor their invitations to championship teams.

The debate centers on Long and Jenkins’ outspoken support of San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

The NFL owners adopted a new policy on May 23 that will allow players who do not wish to stand for the National Anthem to remain in the tunnel. The NFL can also fine teams whose players do not stand and “show respect” during the anthem. Trump also said players who chose not to stand “shouldn’t be in the country”.

According to several reports, fewer than 10 players were intending to attend the White House event.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith wrote in a tweet: “There are a lot of people on the team that have plenty of different views. The men and women that wanted to go should’ve been able to go.

“It’s a cowardly act to cancel the celebration because the majority of the people don’t want to see you. To make it about the anthem is foolish.”

 

Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said he’s skipping the White House event, and instead invited the team to take a tour of the US Capitol.

“I’m proud of what the @Eagles accomplished this year. I’m skipping this political stunt at the White House and just invited the Eagles to Congress. @Eagles How about a tour of the Capitol?” he wrote on Twitter.

 

The team’s statement, released late Monday night, did not address Trump’s action directly:

“It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship. Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”

Further reading: Former Pittsburgh Linebacker James Harrison Announces Retirement

Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Announces Retirement

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has announced his retirement from the NFL for the second time after a strong 15-year career.

The 39-year-old made the announcement on Instagram on Monday. Beneath an image of his children, he said, “I’ve missed way too much for way too long… and I’m done. Many thanks to my family, coaches, the fans, and everyone who played a role in my football life.”

Harrison, who will turn 40 in May, spent most of his career as the linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing with the New England Patriots on 26 December, 2017.

Despite an illustrious career with the revered Pittsburgh Steelers, Harrison and the team parted on negative terms. With reduced playing time during the 2017 season, Harrison requested that the team release him from his contract.

The long-time NFL player had previously announced his retirement in 2014 following a one-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, but returned to the game with the Steelers for the next season.

Harrison, who began his career playing college football for Kent State University, won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008. The football star also won two Super Bowls, he XL and XLIII with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The linebacker finishes his career with 84.5 sacks.

Further reading: Robert Griffin Joins Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens

Robert Griffin Joins Baltimore Ravens

NFL team the Baltimore Ravens announced on Wednesday 4 that they have agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Robert Griffin III. The contract will place Griffin in a back-up position to starter Joe Flacco.

The 28-year-old veteran player sat out the entire 2017 campaign, after being cut from Cleveland Browns’ slate in March 2017.

General manager of the Baltimore Ravens, Ozzie Newsome, said of the deal, “He came in last week, worked out. Had a real good workout and we were able to come to an agreement late yesterday. He will probably be here early next week to sign the deal.”

Ian Rapoport, an NFL Network Insider, has reported that Griffin’s base salary will sit at $1 million plus a small bonus upon signing of the contract.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “He’s a very talented quarterback who’s had a lot of success in this league early on.

“So we’re excited about it. We felt like we needed a No. 2 quarterback. You look at the veteran quarterbacks out there… I mean, where we’re at right now, I’m pretty excited about this player. I’m really feeling like we got a steal.”

In 2017, Griffin had rejected contract offers from both the Baltimore Ravens and the Arizona Cardinals during his search for a new team. He reportedly felt that both teams were not the right fit, but has seemingly changed his mind.

Joining the Baltimore Ravens presents Griffin with a shining opportunity to resurrect a once massive career in the game—one that has been almost-lost since 2014.

The player took to Twitter shortly after the offer, tweeting a rather celebratory “#PlayLikeARaven”.

NFL

NFL Teams Ask Prospect About his Sexuality

Prospect Derrius Guice claims that team officials at the NFL draft combine in Indianapolis asked him about his sexuality and whether his mother was a prostitute.

In an interview with SiriusXM Radio on Wednesday, Guice said that the team interviews were “pretty crazy… some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction.”

He continued, “I go in one room, and a team will ask me do I like men, just to see my reaction… I go in another room, they’ll try to bring up one of my family members or something and tell me, ‘Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?’”

In response, executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith told PFT Live: “Find out what team did it and ban them from the combine.

“The question is inappropriate. Questions along these lines are always inappropriate.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “A question such as that is completely inappropriate and wholly contrary to league workplace policies. The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, state and federal laws.

“The league annually reminds clubs of these workplace policies that prohibit personnel from seeking information concerning a player’s sexual orientation.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s director of public education and research, Ashland Johnson responded to the question as “absurd and inappropriate”. In reference to similar incidents in the past, he added “it’s clear that the NFL did not do enough to prevent it from happening again.”

The NFL seems likely to investigate the claims that team officials asked Guice about his sexual preferences. Jim Buzinski said that NFL officials “definitely have to identify the team and the coach… and they need some sort of punishment, at least a strong fine.”