A LEAGUE STANDING TOGETHER
"We wanted to show that we're unified as a league and we're not going to let playing football distract us from what we're doing and making change in this world. I feel like Deshaun [Watson]'s a guy who shows that and leads by example every single day and every time I've been around him, so I'm gonna try and do the same. And I feel like the Chiefs, the Texans, the rest of the NFL, we're gonna keep making change in this world."
-- After capping off NFL Opening Night with a 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took a moment during his postgame interview to say he's not going to let football be a distraction from the causes he's fighting for. He and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson brought their teams together at midfield prior to the game in what was dubbed a Moment of Unity, showing a unified front in the NFL's greater push to combat racial injustice. (Sunday Night Football via Twitter)
DAK OPENS UP
"All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I've never felt before. Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I was experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn't want to work out anymore. I didn't know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and I hadn't been sleeping at all."
-- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott spoke openly and candidly about the emotions he struggled with in the wake of his brother's passing in April. Dak credited his brother, Jace Prescott, as part of the reason he plays quarterback today, saying "he was the reason I first started throwing a football." (Dallas News)
FAMILY ALWAYS COMES FIRST
"Once I told my dad and mom it was a whole load that lifted off my shoulders. Because I knew I could retire my parents and they would never have to worry about anything. That's the emotions I am feeling. I can't put into words because I have a lot of people and a lot of family members that I could change their lives and that's what I plan to do. I wasn't put in this position for no reason, I wasn't put in this position to do it for myself to reap all the benefits for myself, to think that I am bigger than anybody else. I was put in this position to spread love and spread everything that I am being blessed with. I was put in this position to help people out where I am from, to better the resources they have and give them the resources to be successful, and I plan to do so."
-- Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White signed a four-year, $70-million extension, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL prior to the $105-million extension signed by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey days later. White, now in possession of a life-changing amount of money, discussed just how much this contract was going to help his family going forward. (Buffalo Bills via Twitter)
A NEW ERA IN NEW ENGLAND
"It's a big deal. It's really a big deal. I understand being an African-American in this time of day, we have to be stronger and sticking with each other more than ever now. It's a great feat to achieve, but we have to use our platform for good reasons."
-- New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is excited to be the first Black quarterback to start a Week 1 game for the Patriots. Newton is only the second Black quarterback to start a game for the Patriots after Jacoby Brissett in 2016. (Evan Lazar, CLNS Media via Twitter)
SEND IN THE CLOWN-EYS
"Monday night? Of course I'll be ready. I got to be. That's what I signed up for. I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing."
-- Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney only signed with his new team on Monday, but he firmly believes he'll be ready to play in Denver on Monday Night Football (Tennessee Titans via Twitter)
PLAYING WITH THE GUY YOU WATCHED ON TV
"Growing up I was a huge AP fan. Having the opportunity to be his teammate and learn from him, has been an experience I'll never forget. Thank you for always having my back big bro! I'm going to make you proud, best of luck!"
-- Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins extended a kind farewell to running back Adrian Peterson after he was released by the team. (Dwayne Haskins via Twitter)
ALL-IN IN N'AWLINS
"Hey, at this time, man, I'm on borrowed time. I've got nothing to lose. So, I'm turning it loose and letting the chips fall where they may."
-- While not outright declaring it his final season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not shying away from the "Super Bowl or Bust" mantra going into his twentieth NFL season. Brees will turn 42 in January. (ESPN)
BUT THE REAL QUESTION IS … SOFT SHELL OR HARD SHELL?
"A little Taco Tuesday mixed with a margarita."
-- Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen celebrated his $80-million extension with one of the world's most cherished weekly rituals: Taco Tuesday. (Joe Reedy, AP via Twitter)
JUST ONE LAST JOB
"My guy, my big homie, Bill Belichick called my phone … told me he had the role of a lifetime for me. So he really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends … I was halfway out the door. I got flights, I started finding apartments. I could've gotten up to five and a half, six million dollars, nice, fat contract. I could make six million dollars and guard tight ends all day. I'm like, I'm cool! So ... then I kinda start going through their schedule, I kinda seen [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce, [Darren] Waller. … So usually when I get in this position, I'm going to a new team, my thoughts are all positive, like OK, maybe this guy's here, maybe if he did this, maybe I could do this, I can get this many interceptions, go to the Pro Bowl. OK, these guys in the NFC, so I have to beat out him and him.' Like you know I run down, all positive thoughts. But this time, I looked at this f**kin' schedule … and I thought 'Can I even strap these tight ends?' I said ah s**t, it's over with then. Once I said that, once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like man, my heart, my competitive edge, I ain't really in it like that no more."
-- Newly retired tight end Aqid Talib announced his decision to call it a career this past week, but revealed that there was one option left on the table. Talib was approached by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to reunite with his former team and play a specialized role covering tight ends. Once Talib started looking at the gauntlet of tight ends the Patriots were facing this year and questioned if he could lock them down, he knew it was time to hang it up. (Aqib Talib via Twitter)
MULTIPLE SOURCES CONFIRM: YOU WEREN'T GOOD
"Falcons called Laquon Treadwell today to inform him of his release. Had a rough camp with some drops. Thoughts of Falcons fielding an offense with all first-rounders not gonna happen now with either Russell Gage at receiver or Keith Smith at fullback among the 11 on field."
-- ESPN's Vaughn McClure filled in some of the details surrounding the Atlanta Falcons' decision to cut wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, specifically citing a "rough camp with some drops."
"FAKE NEWS! I balled my guy, this is business and nothing more! Constantly spreading fake news on my name, check the tape!"
-- Treadwell seemed to take offense to the report, quote-tweeting McClure's report directly to inform the ESPN reporter he was just spreading fake news.
"Not FAKE NEWS. You didn't have a very good camp. Good Luck."
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter corroborated McClure's original report, seconding the opinion that Treadwell was, in fact, not good in camp. (D. Orlando Ledbetter, AJC via Twitter)
WORST OF LUCK TO YOU!
Q: "What are the Dolphins getting in Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts?"
Devin McCourty: "Hopefully bad play on Sunday. That's my hope."
-- New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty had some jokes ready when asked about former Patriots linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, who both joined the Miami Dolphins this past offseason and will be headed back to Gillette Stadium for their first game in new uniforms. (Mike Reiss, ESPN via Twitter)
THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA
I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING
And of course, family is everything.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 6, 2020
-- Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was moved to tears after being surprised by his entire family during the press conference following his four-year, $156-million extension.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Welcome to Coach's crib 😎 pic.twitter.com/qarnPhhwjP
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 5, 2020
-- ESPN College GameDay host Lee Corso wanted to make his socially distanced set feel a little more like normal, so he got cardboard cutouts of the rest of his crew to sit alongside him during broadcasts.
EVERYONE NEEDS A CHEAT DAY
-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs can put back a whole lot of food. Just ask his girlfriend, who filmed everything he ate for an entire day.