by Cale Clinton
IMAGINE THREATENING TO RETIRE EVERY OFFSEASON AND EXPECTING YOUR TEAM TO NOT DRAFT A QB
"I just don't know how backing up or being the third guy, who knows where he's going to fall on the depth chart, helps us win now."
—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was confused as to why his team chose quarterback Mason Rudolph so early in this year's draft. Big Ben has said in other interviews that he hasn't yet spoken to Rudolph and wouldn't be helping him learn the playbook any time soon. Roethlisberger has gone into the last few offseasons publicly contemplating retirement. (SI Now/Twitter)
THE KING OF NEW ENGLAND MIGHT NOT HAVE MUCH PULL OUTSIDE THE NFL
"I mean, I love Tom Brady, but I don't know if he can help me if he was on the court with me right now. I love that people wanted me on their team, but at the same time, I just wanted to hear from the coaches and the players about what they needed or why they wanted me on their team and what I needed to do as a player."
—Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant recently opened up on why New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't sway him into signing with the Boston Celtics over the Warriors. In 2016, back when Durant was a free agent, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge flew to the Hamptons in order to pitch Durant on signing with the Celtics. With him came then-Celtics Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and … New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady? Yes, the quarterback was invited to a basketball team's recruitment pitch in order to be an ambassador to the city of Boston and to sell Durant on what being a sports legend in New England could be like as the face of the Celtics. (Boston.com)
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—Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is mostly known around baseball for the sheer longevity of his career. One NFL player who's trying to extend his career a little longer is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Apparently, in the spring of 2017, Brady got Ichiro's number from former baseball player and mutual friend Alex Rodriguez. Brady texted Ichiro saying he'd like to come meet him and study his stretching system. Ichiro was clearly unfamiliar with one of the faces of the NFL. (Jaried Diamond/Twittervia The Athletic)
THE ONLY TWO THINGS YOU NEED IN LIFE
"High fiving and slapping butts. That's what we do around here."
—Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen might be a rookie, but he's clearly managing to stay calm and loose during Buffalo's OTAs. (Joe Buscaglia, Twitter)
LT'S STILL GOT IT
"Happy birthday. Your mom is hitting on me, so if you wake up tomorrow morning and I'm at the house, I'm your new daddy!"
—NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor took a birthday shoutout to a fan off the rails. (Barstool Sports/Twitter)
COME AT THE KING, YOU BEST NOT MISS
"If you honor and respect the system that we have, (despite) some of the imperfections that you understand that the system has, then you wouldn't do something out of respect for the system that we have. I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."
—Alabama head coach Nick Saban has allowed Central Florida's shenanigans to go on long enough. After an offseason full of Central Florida declaring their undefeated season as a full-blown National Championship, Saban finally interjects. (USA Today)
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
"My favorite unpopular opinion has to do with pass-rushing phenom Takkarist McKinley. I like Takk just as much as the next Falcons fan with a pulse, but I'd be ecstatic if he stayed off social media … forever. I had these same thoughts about Falcons great Roddy White. Like White, Takk has a tendency to say a little too much a little too often on social media. There's no questioning his talent and effort on the field, and to be clear, his Twitter shenanigans obviously don't lose games. But just put down the smart phone, Takk. Put. It. Down."
—This week on Twitter, a lot of people decided to share their unpopular opinions on a bevy of different topics. Atlanta Falcons-centric news site The Falcoholic decided to get in on the fun by sharing their unpopular Falcons opinions, one being that Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley should get off social media. Well…
"Damn…you just got youself blocked #TakkWillKeepTweeting"
—Takk decided to take it upon himself to make sure The Falcoholic won't have to see his social media antics anymore! (Takk McKinley, Twitter)
'WEEZY F BABY AND THE F IS FOR FRANCISCO'
"That's Carter [Shanahan], Kyle's son. Named after the Young Carter! He's named after Lil Wayne, Carter … That's why he's our favorite coach … He was obsessed with Lil Wayne my early years in the NFL."
—Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms revealed on his show, Simms and Lefkoe, that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan named his son after rap icon Lil Wayne. Wayne's government name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., hence the name. Shanahan coached Simms at Texas back in 2002, and they have their initials tattooed on each other. (49ers.com, The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast)
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ONE HEINZ BOTTLE CAN EXPLAIN IT ALL
"[The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottles] is placed at the precise spot where if one taps it gently on the tipped bottle, the ketchup flows freely from the bottle. Even the new plastic squeeze bottles have a perfectly placed '57' at its optimal squeezing position. The person who figured that out was a genius … When I see a large football player turn a bottle of ketchup upside down and pound at its heel with tremendous force yet with limited success, I immediately make the mental note: 'He must either play defensive line, or if he plays offensive line, he can't play for me.'"
—Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander detailed in his book, Perform, how he can rule out certain offensive linemen playing for him by the way they try to dispense ketchup from a bottle. (Bobby Belt/Twitter, Perform by Paul Alexander)
T.O. HOLDS GRUDGES
"When you really look at it, it doesn't make sense for Jason Garrett to continue to have his job. (The Cowboys are) not really expanding or not really progressing with the organization, even as a team, under his coaching tenure there."
—Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens didn't mince words when he said the current head coach of his former team should be fired for failing to improve the team. After a successful 2016 season fueled in part by the emergence of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs the following year. Owens believes that if anyone must be held accountable for this stagnant growth, it should be Garrett. (USA Today)
"I'm willing to take league min salary to get back in the NFL … I'm still in shape."
—In other T.O. news, we could soon be seeing a comeback from the wide receiver who was elected into the Hall of Fame earlier this year. Owens made himself very clear on the Pat McAfee Show that he is currently working out and would take the league minimum in order to extend his 15-year career. (Pat McAfee/Twitter)
THE 12TH MAN HAS FALLEN SILENT
"I do think that the team would've bought in more to what coach Carroll was saying [if we had won Super Bowl 49] instead of going the opposite way of 'Hey, this is what we thought the foundation of this team was, and that's not what happened in that particular play.' So I think guys started questioning him a bit more moreso than actually following his lead if we won the Super Bowl." I>
—Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril opens up to Dave Dameshek about how the Seahawks fell apart internally after blowing the end of Super Bowl 49 to the New England Patriots. Because certain play calling led to the now famous Malcolm Butler interception, players on the Seahawks began to question head coach Pete Carroll's methodology, causing a rift in the organization and ultimately ending a would-be dynasty. (Dave Dameshek/Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
BOB KRAFT MIXTAPE DROPPING SOON
—New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft was seen courtside with rap legend and apparent Celtics fan Gucci Mane during the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers playoff series.
What's going on here. pic.twitter.com/GcHOc9IG6e
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 4, 2018
—Kraft even got turned into a bit of a meme as he confusingly listened in on a conversation between Gucci Mane and Philly-based rapper Meek Mill.
AN UPLIFTING STORY
Isaiah Pead's NFL career ended in 2016 when he lost his leg in a near-deadly car accident.
Today, he took his first steps in a new prosthetic running leg. pic.twitter.com/rH3dExDmj9
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 5, 2018
—Former NFL player Isaiah Pead took his first steps with a prosthetic limb earlier last month after having his leg amputated in a near-deadly car accident. Great strides being made for Pead after a promising career was tragically cut short.
LOOK MA, DADDY'S FAMOUS
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) May 18, 2018
—Whenever Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton is on TV, just picture his little son reenacting all his dad's highlights in the living room as they play out.
IT'S ALWAYS CHUBBY ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE
—Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce made a cameo appearance on set of the hit comedy It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia portraying the fat version of co-creator Rob McElhenney's character Mac, AKA "Fat Mac."
THE FIRST MULTI-SPORT NFL PLAYER SINCE BO JACKSON
—Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee may have found a second career in sports after retiring from the NFL. At this point, LeBron James needs all the help he can get after falling 0-2 to the Golden State Warriors, so maybe he should give Pat a call.
PASSING THE TORCH IN BALTIMORE
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) May 19, 2018
—Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson fully embraces being a Raven as he breaks out ex-Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' old dance moves.
MAYBE BAKER CAN GET THEIR FIRST VICTORY ROYALE IN TWO YEARS
— Fanatics (@Fanatics) May 19, 2018
—Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield breaks out some dance moves of his own, this time borrowing some taunts from hit game Fortnite.
NO MORE DORM LIFE FOR MO HURST
When they show you how much rent is in the Bay Area pic.twitter.com/oWCE3aqkEC
— Maurice Hurst Jr (@mohurstjr) May 6, 2018
—Oakland Raiders rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. just got his first taste of NFL money, but that money's going straight toward finding a new place to live in the very expensive Bay Area.