Terrell Davis on Aaron Rodgers, 1998 Broncos vs. 2020 Bucs, Najee Harris' rookie projection and more

Getty Images

Terrell Davis turned his previous pain into a monumental gain. Davis, a Hall of Fame running back who won two Super Bowls with the Broncos, was trying to find an alternative to pain medication when he experienced post-workout pain during his post-playing career. In 2017, Davis decided to try CBD, an experience Davis has called life-changing. 

“Almost immediately, I started to feel better,” Davis recently told CBS Sports. “I enjoy working out, but I don’t enjoy working out in pain. When I was trying CBD, I started to notice that if I was working out on a Monday and I’d wait for my knee to swell up or have some reverse reaction to it, and it wouldn’t happen. I could work out on Tuesday. It allowed me to push my body harder and recover faster.”

Davis’ experience

Should the Steelers get in on the Stephon Gilmore sweepstakes?

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The veteran corners time in New England looks to be drawing to a close

Any time a big name NFL player places themselves on the trade market I think to myself whether or not they would be a fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers, both schematically and financially. This time we find former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore on the block. In this article I will look at reasons why the Steelers should be, and shouldn’t be, interested in the All-Pro cornerback.

Let’s start with the positives, firstly Stephon Gilmore is the ultimate shutdown corner. You can put Gilmore on any defense in the league, telling him to shadow any receiver in the game, and Gilmore will blanket them for four straight quarters. Playing opposite of Joe Haden, that duo would represent two of the smartest corners in the game and a steady veteran presence. Contractually, the acquiring team would only be on the hook for $7,735,294 on the final year of Gilmore’s deal, however he is looking for an extension on top of that. But let’s not forget we are just two years removed from his Defensive Player of the Year season and would be stepping into one of the best defenses in football.

Trading for Gilmore would also take the Steelers defense to another level. The secondary would be the best unit in the league to go along with the best pass rushers in football. Basically, the other team won’t be throwing on this team at all. Also, a big move like this would give the Steelers its best shot at hoisting a Lombardi in the twilight years of the Ben Roethlisberger era.

However, the Steelers are facing a pseudo rebuild of sorts. The Steelers only have three players over the age of 30 under contract past 2022, and one of them is a kicker. There is no doubt about this Steelers team transitioning to a brand new leadership group, and all of those guys are in their mid-20’s. Would they really want to spend a ton of cash on a guy way older than their primary core? I think the fair answer is no, that is unless they believed they are cursed when it comes to drafting corners…

The Steelers have been more bold with their team building moves lately, but I can’t see them dealing a second or first round pick for a guy on the wrong side of thirty for perhaps only one season. Perhaps if the salary cap didn’t drop but this doesn’t feel like the right time to be making a trade like this.

But what do you think? Should the Steelers chase Stephon Gilmore and try to take one more shot at a Super Bowl? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

CP3 in NBA protocols, out indefinitely for Suns

Jun 16, 2021

ESPN News Services

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out indefinitely, jeopardizing the star’s availability for the Western Conference finals.

The NBA’s rules for coronavirus-related isolation periods have evolved throughout the season in correlation with increasing vaccine numbers. If Paul is already vaccinated against COVID-19, he could be facing a shorter absence from the Suns.

ESPN’s Matt Barnes, appearing on The Jump, said Paul told him Wednesday that he has been vaccinated.

2 Related

Suns coach Monty Williams wouldn’t say whether he expected Paul to be available for Game 1 of the West finals.

“I’m not even going to go there until I have to, so there’s no reason for me to be pessimistic at all,” Williams said. “We just have to wait and see what’s going to happen.”

The Suns said Paul’s status will be evaluated again Saturday. Williams said he and

Mitchell on ankle limiting him: 'Got to find a way'

2:41 AM ET

The soreness in All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell‘s right ankle has worsened throughout the Western Conference semifinals, sapping his explosiveness and forcing him to attempt to adapt his game with the Utah Jazz on the brink of elimination.

“It’s something I’m going to have to deal with,” Mitchell after the LA Clippers took the series lead with a 119-111 road win in Wednesday’s Game 5. “I mean, it f—ing sucks. I ain’t got nothing else to say. Like, it’s tough when you’re trying different things that you normally do and you see spots you can get to, but you can’t, so you got to find a way to make it happen.

“It’s tough, but I got to find a way. Otherwise, I’m going to be home. And I said it last year … and I said during the year, we didn’t do all this to lose in the second round, so

Without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George pledged to carry the Clippers through Game 5

2:00 AM ET

Every person who lived, worked or played in the NBA bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, last summer was affected by the experience — some rather profoundly. Between the isolation, the separation from friends and family, the inability to escape from the game — or even the Disney campus — the challenges presented by the bubble were unprecedented. And by and large, the teams that were the most successful in the playoffs were those that handled those challenges with the most aplomb.

This season was supposed to be more normal, with games back in home arenas and the ability to see family and friends. But there was nothing normal about this season, either, with its condensed schedule, constant COVID-19 testing, games lost due to health and safety protocols, and of course the rash of injuries to players — especially All-Star players in these playoffs. Just as it was last

Doncic on Nelson's Mavericks exit: 'Tough for me'

1:26 PM ET

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic expressed disappointment with the departure of Donnie Nelson, the team’s longtime president of basketball operations.

The Mavs announced Wednesday that Nelson and the Mavericks “mutually agreed to part ways,” but sources told ESPN that owner Mark Cuban fired Nelson on Sunday.

“It was kind of tough to me,” Doncic said during a Thursday media availability for the Slovenian national team. “I really like Donnie. I know him since I was a kid and he was the one that drafted me. It was tough for me seeing that, but I’m not the one making decisions there.”

2 Related

Nelson earned a reputation as an international scouting pioneer during his 36 years of NBA experience, including the last 24 years with the Mavs, who played in two NBA Finals and won one title under him. His two most impactful acquisitions were the draft-day trades for Dirk Nowitzki in 1998

Steelers await word from the NFL whether they can return to Saint Vincent for training camp

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Training Camp
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, but the waiting game continues.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to have their 2020 training camp at Heinz Field, not their usual location of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. The NFL told teams they were not allowed to leave their home facilities for camp, this during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here we are, wrapping up mandatory minicamp, and many want to know if the Steelers will be back on campus, and practicing on Chuck Noll field this summer. The answer? They still don’t know.

Mike Tomlin was asked about this very topic after the final day of minicamp, and although he had hoped to know, he stated the Steelers have yet to receive final word on the return to Latrobe.

This per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

It is important to understand the circumstances the Steelers face heading into training camp. For instance, the date which they report is up in the air. This from Dave Schofield’s recent countdown article:

Although the Steelers have not officially announced the start date of training camp, the date they are permitted to begin has been set by the NFL. With the Steelers set to play in the Hall of Fame Game, the fist day of training camp will be earlier than the rest of the NFL who are set to begin on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The Steelers, as well as the Dallas Cowboys, can start as early as July 21, 2021 while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will face the Cowboys on the opening night of the NFL season, can start July 24, 2021.

Other teams have notified their fans of them being able to travel away from their home facilities, so it might just be a formality the Steelers haven’t heard yet. It also could involve the local/state government and restrictions whether or not they are permitted to have fans in attendance at practices. Team President Art Rooney II has stated if the team can’t have fans at camp practices, they would probably stay in Pittsburgh.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for training camp and the 2021 regular season.

Can Zion Williamson control his destination now?

There never was a time when it made financial sense for a star player to bypass a maximum extension or contract for the qualifying offer and it still doesn’t. In fact, the practice isn’t even common around average players just so they can enter unrestricted free agency and play elsewhere.

Since restricted free agency has been implemented, there have been few cases of players demanding trades from teams that drafted them, namely Steve Francis with the Vancouver Grizzlies and Danny Ferry with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, with the value of qualifying offers increasing significantly, and player empowerment breaking new barriers each season, it’s no surprise that public discourse over the possibility of a premier player utilizing the qualifying offer has gotten louder.

According to a report from The Athletic, Zion Williamson and his family are unhappy with the New Orleans Pelicans and some family members want him on another team. Could Williamson follow through and use the qualifying offer to leave in 2024 or the threat of using it to get traded beforehand? It’s possible, but there are a lot of risks involved and the threat may not be as viable for a player with as much money on the line as him.

The Greg Monroe exception

The one success story of a player who signed his qualifying offer to gain his freedom is Greg Monroe. In 2014, he came off a strong season with the Pistons meeting his previous season’s statistical averages. After four years in Detroit, he wanted a fresh start elsewhere but his restricted free agent status complicated that.

Without much leverage to get out, Monroe signed his one-year qualifying offer. In 2015 he became an unrestricted free agent and signed a three-year maximum deal worth $49.9 million with Milwaukee. His qualifying offer was worth $5.5 million while the first-year salary of a maximum contract he could’ve received in 2014 was roughly $10 million more.

Monroe sacrificed a year of his career and left some money on the table in exchange for the freedom to choose where he wanted to play. That’s the simplest explanation of the idea of a young player in restricted free agency signing his qualifying offer, then leaving for a new team in the following offseason.

While no one talks about Monroe for taking this route, he was the best player to successfully take this path. Most players that accept the qualifying offer are fringe players hoping to improve for next season. Unlike them, Monroe was so productive that he was risking a lot of money at the time by bypassing an extension.

Disadvantages of the qualifying offer and why the threat of it is stronger

There are several disadvantages for teams to avoid having maximum-level players sign their qualifying offers. Aside from facing the risk of losing that player the next season, players who sign their qualifying offers cannot be traded until January 15. This leaves the door open for tension and discomfort between the player and front office that could potentially affect the team. This would also leave teams with a small window of roughly three weeks between the time the player becomes trade-eligible and the trade deadline to trade him. Also, players who sign their qualifying offers have veto power on potential trades. This could give teams fewer trade partners to negotiate with, potentially limiting the return for them.

It’s been rumored that Kristaps Porzingis used the threat of signing his qualifying offer to the Knicks to force his way out. While this may be the highest profiled case, it’s definitely possible many other players have similarly used that threat but it just went unreported. Teams don’t want any part of the headache that comes with having a player on their qualifying offer, which is why it could be a powerful point of leverage if utilized.

For maximum-level players, using the threat of signing the qualifying offer is a better route than actually signing it. Recent turmoil within the Dallas Mavericks front office and doubts about Luka Doncic’s long-term future in Dallas have made rival fans photoshop him onto other jerseys on Twitter. Doncic just became eligible for a designated rookie maximum extension currently projected at $201.5 million over five years, and he’s already indicated that he will sign it. That extension is worth 30 percent of the salary cap as opposed to 25 percent, which he qualified for because he earned All-NBA honors in two of the past three seasons. Keith Smith of Spotrac detailed several different salary structures Doncic can take and how much money he’s losing by not signing the designated rookie maximum extension.

Signing the qualifying offer can be very disadvantageous to players too. Williamson has a strong chance of qualifying for the designated rookie maximum extension over the next two seasons. If he signs his $17.6 million qualifying offer and then decides he wants to re-sign with New Orleans on a long-term deal afterward, he wouldn’t be eligible for the designated rookie maximum extension anymore. His is currently projected at $211.5 million over five years. Eligible players must begin the contract in their fifth season, but he can still sign for the normal 25 percent maximum contract with them. Meanwhile, signing his qualifying offer and signing a maximum contract with a new team would net him $148.3 million over that same five year span.

Also, despite having veto power in trades, if traded, Williamson wouldn’t be able to re-sign with his new team to a maximum contract unless they have maximum cap space. Players traded while on their qualifying offer have their Bird rights reduced to Non Bird. His new team would be limited to signing him to a four-year deal worth $94.6 million. The loss of Bird rights actually negates the leverage he has with veto power over trades, making it even less likely he gets to his preferred team.

If Williamson wanted to leave the Pelicans while maximizing his earnings, effectively threatening to sign the qualifying offer and forcing a trade to a team of his choice before the 2022-23 regular season begins would allow him to have his cake and eat it too. The CBA states that the designated rookie maximum extension qualifies for players entering the fourth year of their rookie contracts. He would still be eligible to sign the $211.5 million extension with his new team should he qualify for it.

Can Williamson effectively succeed if he uses that threat? It’s still a stretch, especially if he qualifies for the designated rookie maximum extension. He would have to convince the Pelicans front office that he is willing to sacrifice as much money as he would, a minimum of $63.2 million.

Which type of player does the qualifying offer route make sense for?

Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball

Williamson’s teammate Lonzo Ball, who is set to enter restricted free agency this offseason, is a more viable candidate to effectively threaten use of the qualifying offer. While he may not be a maximum player ($28.1 million starting salary for 2021-22), he could command as much as $20 million annually, potentially even more. Whether or not it’s with New Orleans is still to be decided, but if Ball wants to, he can probably use the threat of accepting his qualifying offer more effectively than a maximum player to drive the Pelicans’ hand. This is because he has much less to lose in this route than a maximum player.

As you can see, after the qualifying offer for the second overall pick increased by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016, it increased by a ridiculous 50 percent from 2016 and 2017. This is because the 2017 NBA draft was the first draft class of the new CBA and the first since the salary cap spike of 2016. The higher qualifying offer amounts are a big reason why accepting it seems palatable to non-maximum players. Every type of NBA salary immediately rose dramatically but we had to wait for these rookie-scale contracts to expire to confront the new big qualifying offers.

Ball’s future in New Orleans has been in question with reports of his availability during the trade deadline. According to Will Guillory of The Athletic, his future in New Orleans is 50/50. There’s no reason to believe that New Orleans wouldn’t accommodate Ball if he wanted to be elsewhere, whether via a sign-and-trade or even rescinding his qualifying offer and letting him walk. But if they choose not to accommodate him with his salary demands nor a path to a new team, his $14.3 million qualifying offer doesn’t sound too bad. He just came off a season earning $11 million, making his qualifying offer amount a solid stopgap towards his potential $20 million-plus salary.

Keep reading this article on HoopsHype - NBA.

What Bill O'Brien and Alabama have to gain as Nick Saban's Coaching Rehab adds its latest patient

Bill O’Brien’s resume fits a prominent piece of Alabama’s culture. If you consider a “fit” coming to Tuscaloosa after being fired and vilified at a previous job.

“Bill knows what he is signing up for,” said Scott Pioli, a long-time NFL personnel man who worked with Alabama’s new offensive coordinator for two years at the New England Patriots.

That’s another way of saying the Crimson Tide are getting O’Brien on the rebound, which should come as no surprise if you’ve been following Nick Saban’s Coaching Rehab.

Here’s another way of summing it up: History screams that Alabama is going to be just fine. O’Brien takes over following the highest-scoring season in program history coordinated by the nation’s best assistant in 2020 (Steve Sarkisian).

O’Brien arrives as somewhat damaged goods — fired by the Houston Texans after a long tenure as head

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid on Le'Veon Bell: 'I wish him the best'

When it comes to the back and forth of responding to criticism, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid wants no part of it. 

He made that known on Thursday when asked about Le’Veon Bell and the free-agent running back’s recent comments. 

Bell, who joined the Chiefs last October on a one-year deal, said he would “never play for Andy Reid again” and that he would retire rather than doing so.

Bell later apologized for airing his grievances publicly but said he doesn’t regret saying the comments. 

Reid took the high road when asked about Bell.

“Listen, I really enjoyed my time with him here,” Reid said. “I appreciated the way he handled things and did his business. He had some productive downs for us.”

Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell readies during the second half against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Bell played in nine games in 2020 and ran for 254 yards and scored two touchdowns after being released by the New York Jets, where he spent less than two seasons. He didn’t play in the AFC championship game or the Super Bowl 55 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I’m pulling for him in the future,” Reid said about Bell. “I mean, that’s how I roll. People say things, they say things. I move on and I wish him the best.”

Keep reading this sports article on USA Today - NFL Top Stories.