Good signs in Philly; Newton signs a monster and wisdom for Johnny
The Eagle Has Landed
Philadelphia’s quarterback, Sam Bradford, is already active in OTAs while he recovers from consecutive ACL tears to his left knee.
Reports suggest that Bradford performs impressively, with wide receiver Jordan Matthews praising him on CSNPhilly.com: “Sam Bradford looks excellent. I’m not gonna ruin the surprise; the kid can throw the ball, though.”
Bradford seems ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, which bodes well as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract, earning him a $16 million salary.
In Philadelphia, Bradford has a one-year opportunity to demonstrate he can stay healthy for an entire NFL season, something he hasn’t achieved since 2012.
This gives the Eagles ample time to assess if Bradford is the future leader of their franchise.
Unsurprisingly, Bradford appears sharp in Chip Kelly’s spread system.
He will employ concepts similar to those that contributed to his success as a Heisman winner at Oklahoma.
Historically, quarterbacks have delivered some of their finest performances in Kelly’s up-tempo system, and I anticipate no different from the first overall pick of the 2010 draft.
In my view, Bradford is a tall, robust-armed quarterback who, in my opinion, has simply been plagued by a string of unfortunate events.
However, not all analysts share this perspective. Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Phil Simms remarked, “Can he get stronger? He looks like he has the body structure that won’t hold up, and it hasn’t.”
I’m inclined to believe that Phil may not have witnessed Bradford’s efforts in the weight room.
Bradford is the kind of guy who can deadlift 500 pounds and squat over 400 pounds.
His injuries seem unrelated to his physical build but rather stem from a streak of misfortune – an ironic choice of words for a player who has amassed substantial earnings.
Now, Bradford will be positioned behind one of the most formidable offensive lines in the NFL, supported by three competent running backs (DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews, and Darren Sproles).
This will compel an additional defender into the box, resulting in one-on-one coverage on the outside.
This setup will accelerate Bradford’s decision-making and release, leading to fewer hits – all favorable developments for both the Eagles and Bradford.
It’s Called Sex Panther by Odeon
There’s nothing more enticing than a $103.8 million contract extension, precisely what Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has just inked.
Head coach Ron Rivera regards him as “the guy to take us to the Promised Land,” setting a high standard for a quarterback who has seen inconsistent playoff performances and only secured one career playoff victory.
Nonetheless, this goal is within reach, especially considering the NFC South’s tendency to produce division winners without necessarily requiring a stellar regular-season record (as seen with Carolina’s 7-8-1 history in 2014, which still led to a playoff berth).
Previously slated to earn $14.67 million in 2015 after Carolina exercised his fifth-year option a year prior. Newton is now set for an average salary of $19.745 million over the next six seasons, alongside a hefty $22.5 million signing bonus.
When compared to recent contracts signed by his peers like Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, Ben Roethlisberger, and Colin Kaepernick, Newton’s deal now stands as the industry standard for a franchise quarterback… and rightly so.
The financial commitment to Newton may raise eyebrows for some, especially considering he has led his teams to just one playoff win, holds a 30-31-1 record as a starter overall, and has displayed occasional sluggishness in the face of adversity.
However, when it comes to potential, no NFL quarterback after four seasons compares to Newton.
Among the four quarterbacks mentioned, Newton boasts the highest level of athleticism.
Standing tall at 6-foot-6, he’s arguably one of the most challenging players to bring down in both open-field situations and the pocket.
His speed rivals that of Kaepernick, making him a significant threat.
While Newton’s passing has shown improvement, the same can’t be said for Dalton from 2013 to 2014.
It’s important to note that Newton dealt with multiple injuries last season – a troublesome ankle and he missed three games due to a spinal injury sustained in a car accident – which puts his less-than-stellar stats into context.
However, there’s a noticeable enhancement in his anticipation and timing since he first entered the league.
In the NFL, compensation isn’t solely based on past performance but on the potential for future success – no retroactive paychecks exist.
At 26 years old, Newton possesses immense upside and has been offered a contract reflective of the current market.
The potential is a valuable commodity and a player with room for growth and the tools to achieve it is bound to secure a substantial deal.
Whether one loves or loathes it, this is the nature of the game in a league characterized by low supply and high demand.
The Panthers are aiming to maximize future returns for their present investment.
Johnny Be Good(er)
Although Johnny Manziel‘s on-field progress remains to be seen this year, significant attention has been drawn to his off-field development.
Numerous teammates and coaches have commended his dedication and work ethic.
This positive shift comes after Manziel recognized a substance abuse problem he needed to address following the 2014 season.
Sensibly, he voluntarily entered a rehabilitation center to receive the necessary care.
Undoubtedly, this marks a positive stride forward and reflects a newfound level of maturity.
Is it possible that Johnny Football is genuinely on the path to a fresh start? It’s a possibility worth considering.
The recent incident at the Byron Nelson golf tournament involving Manziel suggests that some aspects of his behavior have not changed.
His statement before the 2014 season is undeniably true: “I’m very much about football and my job, which doesn’t get reported or won’t get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off.
That’s, I think, what everybody else does, and that’s what I should do.” It’s accurate to say that a solid dedication to football and one’s job is expected and often goes unremarked upon.
However, Manziel perhaps fails to grasp that he isn’t “everybody else.” He occupies a unique position.
Gifted with the talent to play NFL quarterback, he’s a Heisman Trophy winner and a first-round pick, a dynamic player meant to be the linchpin for the Cleveland Browns.
He can’t afford to engage in altercations or incidents that might jeopardize his career, as even seemingly insignificant ones can escalate dramatically.
It’s worth noting that out of the thirty-two starting quarterbacks in the NFL, none were involved in public altercations that same weekend.
Every NFL player enjoys having fun; that’s a given. However, you rarely hear about negative personal matters concerning an NFL quarterback in the media. Why?
Because they recognize that being an NFL quarterback carries a different set of responsibilities.
It’s a job that demands round-the-clock commitment, 365 days a year. You need to be at your best at all times.
Regrettably, you can’t adhere to the same social habits as before. Adjustments need to be made in how you approach leisure, the company you keep, and your public decisions.
In the NFL, this is anticipated when you commit to greatness.
Hopefully, those surrounding Manziel will help him realize that the satisfaction of winning in Cleveland far outweighs any sacrifices he might need to make in his social life.