Let’s recap the day that was for the NFL with The Morning After Huddle.
- The defending Super Bowl Champions spent the last two days locking up their best players on each side of the ball, as a day after bringing back the best defender ever in Aaron Donald, they brought the WR coming off the best WR season ever in Cooper Kupp. The Rams announced that the All-Pro received a 3-year extension, with Ian Rapaport saying it would pay him about $75M, while Tom Pelissaro said it was more like $80M. This makes Kupp one of the highest-paid WRs in the NFL, and with Eminem’s Super Bowl performance and Luka Doncic’s playoff run, it is proving to be a good time to be an unathletic white dude.
- Speaking of unathletic white dudes, Baker Mayfield has been excused from training camp by the Cleveland Browns. With players subject to daily fines if they miss camp, Mayfield will not be subjected to any while the team tries to find a trading partner for the former number one pick. Either that or they know they’re going to need him at some point given the 24 cases and counting against Watson. In any event, Mayfield rests in professional purgatory while a team with no interest in playing him this off-season may be relegated to having to.
- From a team with A LOT of QB questions to a team with none? The Denver Broncos, after an offseason that saw them hire a new coach and trade a boatload for a new QB, now have new owners. Around The NFL reports that the Walton-Penner family’s bid for $4.65 billion has been accepted by the Pat Bowlan Trust and that, pending the acceptance of 2/3rds of the owners, they will become the new owners of the Denver Broncos. They are buying at the right time too, as the Broncos finally have the franchise QB they’ve been chasing since Peyton Manning, an explosive offense, and an opportunistic defense. The return on this investment has the potential to be, you guessed it, bananas.
- Another team that’s been searching for a replacement to a Hall of Fame QB, the New York Jets, kicked off their 2nd training camp in the Zach Wilson era. By all accounts, the kid looked good. DJ Bien-Amie of the Daily News had this well-written piece about what Robert Saleh has been saying about Wilson and what you are seeing in camp so far. The words “comfortable” are thrown out a lot to discuss QBs as they progress, but that’s exactly what’s been said about and now being seen from Zach Wilson. Russell Wilson once famously said that the game began to slow down for him and that that’s when he knew he was getting better, and based on what’s being said about the other Wilson is that that’s exactly what’s happening. If the Jets are going to end the longest playoff drought in their history, it’s going to because Wilson takes the next step. Shorts and t-shirt football doesn’t count in the record books, but it sounds like he’s progressing nicely.