Tag Archives: nfl

Giants NFL Draft: What’s the move?

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After a 3-13 season, the Giants had struggles all over the field. Injuries to Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall, coupled with a poorly constructed offensive line caused the Giants to fall off the rails last season. The sheer incompetence of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese is also to blame.

New general manager Dave Gettleman is looking to build this team back up to the top and has already started to implement changes. With the acquisition of Alec Ogletree, Gettleman is making it a point to have a good line backing core – something the Giants have lacked for years. By trading Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants freed up cap space and acquired a third-round pick, making it clear that they want no deadweight contracts on their roster. Better yet, he is also addressing the offensive line issues by signing Nate Soldier, a solid left tackle who can finally protect Eli Manning’s blindside.

Gettleman has done a solid job in free agency and with trades, but now comes the biggest test of all. With the number two overall pick in the draft, an aging quarterback, a still-rebuilding offensive line, very little running game and scarce cornerbacks, the Giants could make a lot of different moves. Here are some of the options:

Option #1: Take Saquon Barkley (scouting report below)

Saquon Barkley is one of the most talented guys in the draft, putting the world on notice last year at Penn State. His technique, speed and skill set parallel those of Todd Gurley and Zeke Elliot. However, many argue that running backs are easily replaceable and a “dime a dozen” as well. If they add him, they could have a potentially deadly offense with an OBJ and Barkley tandem. While this could prove unstoppable, the offensive line might not be able to bring that combo to its full potential.

Option #2: Take Sam Darnold/Josh Rosen/Josh Allen (scouting reports below)

Eli Manning is 38 years old and has only two years left, maximum. Many would argue that a QB needs to be taken. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Josh Allen could learn under Manning for a year and then step in and be ready to win. However, many also argue that none of these three guys are the real deal. If a QB isn’t a sure-fire Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, should you spend the number two pick on them? You could end up with Alex Smith or Sam Bradford instead.

Option #3: Trade Down

The Colts traded their number three pick in exchange for the number six, 37, 49 and a 2019 second-rounder. That being said, the number two pick is worth more, and the Giants potential trade partners in the Cleveland Browns (4), Denver Broncos (5), Miami Dolphins (11), Buffalo Bills (12, 22) and even the Arizona Cardinals (15) could make a deal feasible. If the Colts traded down three spots to receive three additional picks, I’m sure the Giants could get solid value by trading down two or three spots with the Browns or Broncos. However, if the Giants trade down eight or nine picks with the Dolphins and Bills respectively, they could receive a king’s ransom, and may want to consider that due to the significant help they need on the offensive line, as well as the need for a QB (Lamar Jackson maybe) and cornerbacks.

Other Possible Options

The Giants can draft OG Quentin Nelson or DE Bradley Chubb as well. While these two players are exceptional talents, I don’t believe they should pass up on Barkley if they keep number two. That being said, I think if they trade down (depending on the team), they should end up selecting one of the two – preferably Nelson – to bolster the offensive line.

Conclusion

If the Giants decide to stand pat and keep the number two pick, they should draft Barkley. His talent is special and comes around very rarely. However, if they trade the number two pick, a likely trade partner would be the Buffalo Bills. They would most likely receive the number 12 and 22 picks, as well as a few second and or third round picks for the future. However, if they can court the Browns to agree to a trade, they could still get a hefty amount given the number of picks the Browns have at their disposal.

Opinion

I am a huge fan of Barkley and want the Giants to draft him. However, they need to trade the pick because they need to acquire more picks, which will help them solidify the multiple holes the team still has.

Full scouting report summary by @AdemiSmithScout

Sam Darnold: Darnold has all the physical tools to dominate at the NFL level as a pocket passer. However, below average decision-making ability and poor ball security hinder him. Poor OL and WR play hurt him and unfortunately caused him to develop some poor habits. Has the arm strength to make NFL throws and flashed upside with his accuracy. If his decision making, ball security, and touch are coached up he can be a franchise QB. A long-term pick who will require development and time before he shows his full potential.

Josh Allen: Extremely raw prospect with rare combination of size, athleticism, and arm strength. Is still learning how to use his arm and currently has below average accuracy. Lacks touch and the ability to hit receivers in stride. Played in very simple offense and habitually made ill advised throws to covered receivers. Very good athlete with the ability to outmuscle some DL and outrun some LB in space. Physical player with raw strength. Gets lost when inside the pocket and has no clue what pressure is around him. Long term investment

Josh Rosen: Pocket passer with potential to run any offense like a well-oiled machine. Strong mental processing skills with ability to diagnose defenses and quickly go through reads. Arm talent to float the ball in awkward areas and quickly squeeze through tight windows. Very fundamentally sound, with coachable low release. Natural pocket player stands tall and can sense the pressure. Concerns with inability to extend plays due to lack of mobility, which may result in excess of hits which is concerning considering injury history.

Saquon Barkley: Game changing RB who can become a consistent All-Pro. Rare athlete who can outrun, and outmaneuver any defender. Not a physical runner but can convert inside on short yardage situations. Vision to hit any hole with quickness to utilize cut back lanes. Very consistent ball security. Raw in the passing game but has the athleticism to terrorize LBs and DBs. Good pass blocker but needs to avoid dropping helmet to block.

What do you think the Giants should do?

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a freshman at the University of Miami from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and all U. Miami sports. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (secondtakewithspencera).

Remove Helmets to Protect Heads?

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Why has nobody proposed to the NFL, and tackle football leagues everywhere, to completely get rid of helmets? Now I know this might seem like a crazy idea, but here are some reasons why it might, in fact, be a good one. 

We have heard many proposed solutions to the concussion crisis in football such as improved helmet technology, harsher penalties/fines for hits to the head and even to have players target their opponents’ knees rather than their heads. The movie Concussion starring Will Smith explored the concussion issue including the development of CTE, a debilitating disease affecting many ex-NFLers that results from repeated head trauma. I ask, have we been ignoring the most obvious solution this whole time? 

Getting rid of helmets might sound like a radical change in football, but let’s look back to the early days of NFL football. The issue of concussions and other problems related to blows to the head was not nearly as big a problem back then as it is today. Back then, it was more of a “ground and pound”  type of game, whereas today, in a passing league, highlights are generated from “big hits,” which more and more players seem to desire being a part of.

In rugby, where they do not wear helmets, the concussion rate is 75% lower, and possibly even more given that many NFL concussions are not reported following week 12.  Please click this link to see the recent study.

But today, the better the helmets, the more motivation it gives players to tackle with their heads. Oftentimes, when a teammate scores or makes a big play, players head butt each other or whack each other with their helmets. Of course in these instances, players have no intention of hurting one another, but every blow to the head counts. In rugby, a no-helmet sport, do you hear about the concussion issue? One might argue the concussion epidemic has only increased because players have motivation to hit with their helmets and not their bodies. But doesn’t it make sense that players wouldn’t lunge into their opponents or even their own teammates with their heads if they didn’t wear protective headgear? Do you really think most people are brave enough (or stupid enough) to bear the pain of spearing someone in the head with their head if they had no protection? I don’t think so. In basketball, you don’t see players celebrating while butting heads. They jump and bump and high five one another, but avoid anything that could contribute to injury. In my opinion, requiring football players to wear helmets gives them the “OK” to knock their opponents in the head with their own heads.

 In 2016, four weeks into the NFL season, there have been a handful of concussions, most notably to Cam Newton. In week one, we saw him get rocked in the top a couple of times with only one penalty called. Most recently, we saw him enter concussion protocol after a week four blow to the head vs. the Falcons. This is clearly an ongoing problem-not just for Cam Newton, but for everyone. 

I’d like to hear your thoughts about this controversial issue. 

About me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a  12th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants and the Yankees. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN2. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

With lots of flags, botched field goals, and hair pulling, the NFL playoffs have just begun. As the games intensify after a truly wild wildcard weekend, I am going to predict the divisional round of the 2015-16 playoffs.

Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

These two foes faced off earlier in the season, when the Panthers won in a thriller in Seattle. Now, it’s the Seahawks’ chance to take revenge, as Kam Chancellor looks to knock off Cam Newton in a heated matchup. The Panthers have been extraordinary this season, and it would be a total shock if they were to lose this game. The Seahawks offense did not show up last week, and even though Marshawn Lynch didn’t play, Russell Wilson has cooled down since his hot streak late in the season. Newton is hungrier than ever to prove he’s “elite” and worthy of the MVP award, and looks to cement himself as an “elite” in association with his name. The Panthers will prevail, but it will be no cakewalk, as we await another Bengals vs. Steelers like atmosphere.

Panthers win 23-16

 

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers flicked his switch to ON as he resurrected himself last week vs. the dying Redskins. Now, he looks to continue this momentum against one of the leagues’ best defenses in Arizona. If Eddy Lacy plays the way he did last week, Arizona will have a hard time winning in the desert. However, Carson Palmer looks to prove to everyone that he is the best QB in the NFL and worthy of the MVP trophy, as Fitzgerald looks to grab his first ring. The emergence of RB David Johnson has sparked the Cardinals this season, and this will put them over the edge vs. the cheese heads. This will be a grinder, but I believe the Cardinals offensive weapons will out-do Rodgers and the crew.

Cardinals win 31-26

 

 

Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

After an insane game vs. the division rival Bengals, the Steelers look to continue their winning, but now vs. a starting QB (or so we think). If Peyton Manning plays like half the man he was two seasons ago, the Broncos will send the Steelers home. Demaryus Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will take advantage of the Steelers’ anemic secondary, as Ronnie Hillman looks to get the running game ignited for Denver. To begin with, the Steelers are at a major disadvantage to be without DeAngelo Williams, but now reports say that Antonio Brown has been ruled out also, making matters worse. To the Broncos’ relief, Ben Roethlisberger is also listed as questionable, after sustaining multiple injuries vs. the Bengals (Vontaze Burfict) last week. The Broncos elite defense will not give up big points to an offense filled with backups, and that is why they will easily come away with this game.

Broncos win 24-13

 

 

New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs

This game will be the closest of the weekend, as Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chandler Jones and many other big names for New England are listed as questionable. Rob Gronkowski’s health is the most important part of this equation, and is the difference maker in whether the Patriots will win or lose. If they have Gronk, Tom Brady will find a way to drive down the field against Justin Houston and this scorching defense. If Gronk’s availability is limited, the Chiefs will prevail in this matchup. I will assume that Gronk will play, but that his health will not allow him to be at full strength, which is why I am betting on Kansas City. In football, it’s not how good you are, but about how hot you can get. Alex Smith and the Chiefs have reached a hot point that even Brady may not be able to overcome. The Giants were not better in the Super Bowl victories against New England, just hotter. And in this case, the Chiefs are on a roll.

Chiefs win 27-26

 

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, an 11th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NFL Predictions 2015

 

It’s that time of year again- time for football! With a tremendously wild offseason with the ruling on deflate-gate, the big free agent signings, the draft and much more, it’s time to get started. Hopefully, my predictions will be slightly more accurate than last year although I did pick the Super Bowl correctly, I had Raiders at 9-7. Let’s hope that changes.

AFC

Division Winners

New England Patriots: 11-5

Although they lost Darelle Revis, Vince Wilfork and Brandon Browner, they still have Tom Brady for all 16 games. The AFC East has vastly improved, however the Patriots still have the best coach in football and while they did get slightly worse, they’ll find a way to pull through.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5

The Steelers time has come again. Antonio Brown has become a bonafide star receiver and with the help of Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers will be able to muscle past the Ravens and secure the AFC North. Although Troy Polomalu retired, with their young and deep linebacking core of Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and Jarvis Jones, they’ll neutralize the opposition to some degree and make it out alive.

Indianapolis Colts: 12-4

If they don’t win this division, it’ll be a shocker. They have signed RB Frank Gore and WR Andre Johnson. While they’re both up there in age they will be able to bring experience and talent to this offense and propel the team past everyone in the AFC North. Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles are too inexperienced and Brian Hoyer is too average to get in the way of Andrew Luck.

Denver Broncos: 10-6

With the loss of Julius Thomas, Peyton Manning will have a bit of a tougher time finding an easy target. However, Demaryus Thomas and Emanuel Sanders are very capable, and the improvement of C.J. Anderson is enough for the Broncos to put the pieces together offensively. Defensively, it may be a bit of a struggle, although they still have elite athletes such as Von Miller, Aquib Talib, T.J. Ward, Demarcus Ware and Chris Harris Jr.

Wild Card

Baltimore Ravens: 10-6

This team is elite on the defensive end and very good on the offensive end. Justin Forsett has much improved from last season and Joe Flacco will try to cement himself as “elite” and will take the Ravens to the postseason once again. I am picking them over the Bengals, because Andy Dalton is a broken record and has really gone down the drain. The Bengals’ defense is still elite, but you need a quarterback that can win in order to make the postseason- something Andy Dalton does not know how to do.

Buffalo Bills: 9-7

Yes, I picked the Bills. Yes, I picked them over the Dolphins. Here is why. The Bills have one of if not the best defensive line in the NFL featuring Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams and Marcel Darius. With the additions of Charles Clay and Lesean “Shady” McCoy, this offense will take a giant leap forward from last season. Although Tyrod Taylor is the starting QB, it’s better than E.J. Manuel- an inconsistent disaster. Taylor will be a game manager and with the elite young receiving core with Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Percy Harvin, the Bills will muscle their way into the postseason.

Missing the cut:

Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Benagls, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets

NFC

Division Winners

Seattle Seahawks: 12-4

With a couple yards away from winning the Super Bowl, this team is full of anger and redemption. Still having one of the best defenses in the NFL, the acquisition of Jimmy Graham and a top two running back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch aka ‘Beast Mode’, the Seahawks will do everything in their power to crush this division.

New Orleans Saints: 9-7

The NFC South is extremely weak this season. Drew Brees is still an elite QB and although the Saints lost Jimmy Graham, they have improved defensively and will be able to scratch and claw past Cam Newton and the Panthers. The Saints have not been too great lately, and it’s time for Brees to step up and take his team to the playoffs.

Green Bay Packers: 11-5

With the best QB in football, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will do just fine without Jordy Nelson. The Lions will put up a fight, however Stafford is no match for Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys: 11-5

This is a coin flip between the Eagles and the Cowboys, because they’re equally good. The reason I am going with the Cowboys is because while I trust Sam Bradford’s arm, I do not trust his health. Tony Romo usually stays healthy and while the they lost Murray, they still have that impenetrable offensive line. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are elite and will do the same amount if not more damage than last season. As for the defense, they added Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory, if they stay out of trouble they too can cause serious damage.

If Bradford does stay healthy, it will go down to the wire. 

Wildcard

Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6

Although Chip Kelly is a nut job, sometimes that is a good thing. He traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, lost Lesean McCoy but signed Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, lost Trent Cole and Cary Williams and acquired Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. Will these moves work out? I think so, but a lot of it depends on Sam Bradford’s health.

Detroit Lions: 9-7

As they lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, they quickly acquired Haloti Ngata to patchwork the interior back together. With Matt Stafford, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and Golden Tate, they’ll make enough noise to bounce into the playoffs this season.

Missing the cut

Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams

Super Bowl Matchup

Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts

You might say this matchup is the consensus. These teams are the best in their respective conferences. Andrew Luck is ready for the big stage and the Seahawks have already been there. This game will be brutal, and I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to come out on top and cement themselves as one of the best defenses of all time

Score: 31-21

image via zimbio.com 

About me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, an 11th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

Shift of Power in the Mecca?

 

Between the New York Jets, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills, a power shift is certainly taking place right before our eyes. Although all three teams missed the playoffs last season, that doesn’t seem to be the case this season—at least not for all of them.

Let’s start with the Bills, the only team that’s truly in the state of New York. These guys went 9-7 last year with an elite defense and, oh yeah, Kyle Orton as their starting quarterback. However, this year there may be a change of plans in Bills nation. First off, they have a new head coach in town named Rex Ryan, a very defense-minded coach. Early this offseason, the team traded LB Kiko Alonso (coming off an ACL tear) for all-pro running back, LeSean McCoy. A great acquisition if you ask me. In addition, they acquired WR Percy Harvin from the Jets and kept DE Jerry Hughes.

When you look at their defense, opponents can’t help but be worried. With arguably the best defensive line in the league that consists of Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus and a very underappreciated Kyle Williams, that in and of itself will wreak havoc. Along with defensive backs Stephon Gilmore and Corey Graham, this defense is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

On the offensive side, although the line is shaky, they do have Shady McCoy back there along with Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. They also have Percy Harvin on the outside.

The one thing keeping the Bills from a deep playoff run is a true legitimate quarterback. E.J. Manuel has shown spurts of legitimacy, however he is far too inaccurate and needs to show significant improvement. If the Bills shore up their offensive line and get a legitimate quarterback, the AFC will need to be on high alert.

Now we move to the New York Jets. For once they’re moving in the right direction. Woody Johnson’s ineptness in finding a good coach and coordinator has been resolved as Todd Bowles and a new general manager Mike Maccagnan look to turn things around this season. As Jets fans were tortured with John Idzik’s unwillingness to spend money, it seems these new guys will spend money where it matters. With the trade for wideout Brandon Marshall and the signings of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, and safety Marcus Gilchrist, the Jets have definitely done some necessary fine-tuning. (And let’s not forget Calvin Pryor is still back there as well.) This defense has the potential to be lethal with a much improved secondary. With a beastly defensive line of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Coples, and solid linebackers David Harris and Calvin Pace, these Jets have a defense to strike fear as they did a few years back when they had Rex Ryan (now with the Bills) as a coach.

As for the offense, there are still holes. Yes, Brandon Marshall and Erik Decker are a legit 1-2 punch at receiver, but is Bilal Powell the answer at running back and is Ryan Fitzpatrick the answer at quarterback? I think not. But, the Jets do have a formidable offensive line and with a legitimate quarterback, they can go far.

The Jets and Bills are similar in that they each have a great defense but a questionable quarterback. The good news is that both teams are young, and that can seriously help them moving forward.

Now, to the biggest disaster of them all: The New York Giants. Yes, just a few years ago they held up the Lombardi Trophy. But it has been downhill ever since. They have a top tier experienced quarterback in Eli Manning, a legitimate running game in newly signed Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings, as well as a receiving tandem of offensive rookie of the year Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz (although Cruz is coming off a serious knee injury). Larry Donnell surprised fans with his work last season. The team also has young offensive linemen in Justin Pugh, Geoff Schwartz, and Weston Richburg.

So, what seems to be the issue? Well, the Giants lack something the Bills and Jets have: a defense. Yes, they have Jason “JPP” Pierre-Paul. But can you name anyone else besides JPP, Prince Amukamara, Jon Beason and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (“DRC”)? Fans fall into the trap of believing a few good defenders make up for the bad ones. If that were true, the Giants wouldn’t have gone 6-10 in 2014. The inept general manager Jerry Reese refuses to care about defense, which is why it has so many holes. The Giants have a fine offense, but the defense is absolutely atrocious, and if this continues, they will be lucky to go 6-10 next season. They need a starting safety, a linebacker, a defensive tackle, and another defensive end. All the guys “starting” in the depth chart as of now are backups. If the Giants don’t get it together defensively, they aren’t going anywhere next season. Their corners are fine, however every other position needs to be filled. So far, they have signed two backup linebackers and that is simply nothing compared to the number of defensive players we need.

When the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011, it was because of their lethal defense. The New England Patriots with a top two quarterback won the Super Bowl because of an interception—defense! With free agent defenders such as Brandon Spikes, Dashon Goldston, Lance Briggs, Rahim Moore, Terrance Knighton, Michael Johnson, Greg Hardy, and even Vince Wilfork, the Giants should at least make an effort to strengthen their needs before draft night comes around.

The Bills and Jets are moving in the right direction, but each needs a quarterback to become a contender. As for the Giants, they need everything but that, especially on the defensive side. Maybe they should trade Eli Manning for a few defenders on the Jets or the Bills. But if they did that, they would be in the same predicament as the other two New York football teams. None of these teams will contend unless they fill their hole(s). And like I said before, if the Jets or Bills get a legitimate QB, they can make some noise in the AFC.

What do you think each team should do?

Image via www.fanthem.comespn.go.com, and www.mlive.com.

About me: I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

The Last Straw for Josh Gordon?

 

A lot has happened in the NFL lately. Deflategate, Marshawn Lynch speaking to the media about not speaking to the media, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Tom Brady being compared to Joe Montana, and Johnny Manziel checking into rehab. Despite all these headlines, we shouldn’t forget about Josh Gordon.

With “three” seasons under his belt, he has gone through a lot, on and off the field. In 2013, he had 87 receptions for over 1600 yards and nine touchdowns and was an all-pro. Pretty sick. His potential to be a perennial superstar wide out was amazing. He was playing at the top of his game, was seen as a role model to kids, and was thought to be a genuine good guy. There was nothing Gordon could do wrong…well, that’s where we all thought wrong. Out of Baylor and Utah, the Cleveland Browns took the receiver in the second round of the supplemental draft in 2012. When he broke out in 2013, the Browns figured the found a needle in a haystack, a “face of the franchise” type of guy.

For the first two games of the 2013 season, his breakout year, the NFL suspended Gordon for substance abuse. This was his first offense in the league, one that was taken rather lightly and brushed off Gordon’s shoulders. However, that was not the end. In the offseason, Gordon was suspended for the entire 2014 NFL season due to another substance abuse policy. However, the NFL’s new drug policy rules reduced that to 10 games. After that, Gordon was back and playing for the Browns. He seemed sincere about his position with drug abuse, and fans hoped and figured he wouldn’t risk suspension again. But once again, they thought wrong. Gordon was suspended yet again for violating team rules in week 17 of the current NFL season. His suspensions were getting out of hand, and the organization became worried. Speculations of trading or releasing Gordon circled the franchise. On the field, Gordon is such a talent. But off the field, he’s out of control although he seems to think otherwise. To repeat the pattern, he was suspended in January 2015 for violating his alcohol ban after being charged with DUI in September 2014.

The road ahead looks dark and foggy for the Brown’s receiver—while we can still call him that. After his most recent suspension, Gordon wrote an open letter to those analysts who had called him out and were concerned about his addiction. He called out Stephen A Smith, a co-host of ESPN’s First Take, Cris Carter of the NFL Countdown on ESPN, and Charles Barkley, a TNT game night analyst. In his letter, Gordon claimed that he wasn’t an addict and that he was misunderstood. He also mentioned that Stephen A, Carter and Barkley “don’t know him” and shouldn’t proclaim him to be a bad guy or a drug/alcohol addict. Clearly he is an addict, since he has not passed a drug test since the 7th grade!

My take is a simple one: if you can’t get on the field because of off-the-field issues, than you should go home. Former New York Giants safety Will Hill was in a similar situation to Gordon. He is a talented safety who was repeatedly getting suspended, so, the Giants cut him, as they should have. The Browns need to do the same.

Josh Gordon is a tremendous talent, however he has been in a lot of trouble time and time again and he clearly doesn’t get the message. The NFL has certain guidelines players must follow, and he cannot follow them, so he should not be in the league until he proves he can. We’re not talking about a hiccup or two; we’re talking about multiple suspensions for drug and alcohol abuse.

As Gordon says, we cannot judge him if we don’t know him. Well, that’s true, but we do know what he has done, and that, we may all judge accordingly. If the Cleveland Browns decide not to release Josh Gordon, it shows that they are a weak franchise with no backbone or any care about the team’s success. If Josh Gordon is not released by the Browns, he will NEVER learn his lesson or know how to take care of himself and get the help he needs. He is in a bad place right now and seems to be in denial about his addiction, which is worse than the addiction itself. That is a bad sign, and therefore he must be released from the Browns. Hopefully he’ll be able to overcome his addictions and take care of himself, but right now, it doesn’t look like he will.

What do you think the Browns should do?

Image of Josh Gordon via insider.espn.go.com 

About me: I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

Super Bowl weekend: And the winners are…

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It surely has been a great season in the NFL. The playoffs were very exciting, and now we wait to see a Super Bowl champion crowned on Sunday. As we look forward to the Patriots vs. Seahawks game, let’s not forget the many standout performances during the regular season. To celebrate the many players who showcased their skills and talent, here are my picks to win this year’s NFL awards:

MVP: RB, DeMarco Murray (Cowboys)

The Cowboys have gone 8-8 in the last few seasons, until this one, where the running back broke loose, helping lead the Cowboys to 12 wins, while rushing for 1845 yards and 13 touchdowns, which led the league. The Cowboys much improved offensive line contributed greatly to those big numbers, but with his progress and production, Murray was the real reason the Cowboys thrived this season. Tony Romo was able to create big plays, only with the help of the rushing attack. As for Aaron Rodgers, he played phenomenally well, however he had a few blunders on the road and was too close in numbers to Romo, which is why DeMarco Murray deserves the MVP award.

Offensive Player of the Year: QB, Aaron Rodgers (Packers)

The superstar quarterback threw for 4831 yards, along with 38 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. As the Packers struggled in the beginning of the season, Rodgers continued to find ways to lead his team to victory, and to go undefeated at home. Another fantastic season for Rodgers, who in my opinion should win the Offensive Player of the Year award.

Defensive Player of the Year: DE, JJ Watt (Texans)

Without a doubt, this was the best season of this young man’s career, with many more to come after he signed a mega contract with the Texans for over $100 million. With 20.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 5 touchdowns (3 offensive), he proved to be the best defensive player in the NFL by a long shot. Unfortunately, Watt doesn’t play offense, although he had three touchdowns, and he can’t play quarterback either which is why the Texans missed the playoffs. Easy!

Coach of the Year: HC, Bruce Arians (Cardinals)

In his second year as head coach for the Cardinals, Arians led the team to an astounding 9-1 record, leading the NFC West. Carson Palmer tore his ACL and was marked out for the season, which certainly contributed to the 11-5 record. However, the Cardinals were disciplined on defense. Injuries to their two top quarterbacks and starting running back really hurt them moving forward, but still, Arians deserves a lot of credit for the team’s success.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: WR, Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants)

The 1st round pick out of LSU was an assassin on the receiving end of the ball this season, recording 91 receptions, 1305 yards and 12 touchdowns—oh yeah, in only 12 games played. As he shattered many Giants’ records, he made the season watchable, including having the catch of the year against the Giants archrival Cowboys where he caught the ball with three fingers.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: DT, Aaron Donald (Rams)

Although the Rams did not make the playoffs, this 1st round defensive tackle out of Pittsburgh solidified the Rams defensive line and complemented star defensive end Robert Quinn. With 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, he slightly outplayed runner up C.J. Mosley, the Ravens rookie linebacker from Alabama.

Comeback Player of the Year: TE, Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

After undergoing major surgeries and being in and out of the lineup last year and early this year, Gronkowski has proven that he is still the league’s best tight end. With 82 catches, 1124 yards and 12 touchdowns, he has been the difference maker and has helped the Patriots become the team they are today.

Here are a few made-up awards that I believe these respective players would deserve.

Honorable mentions

WR, Antonio Brown (Steelers)

LB, Justin Houston (Chiefs)

QB, Tony Romo (Cowboys)

Best Free Agent Signings

CB, Darelle Revis (Patriots)

WR, Golden Tate (Lions)

WR, Steve Smith (Ravens)

 

Biggest Disappointments

LB, Jadeveon Clowney (Texans)

QB, Robert Griffin III (Redskins)

RB, Trent Richardson (Colts)

  

What’s your opinion?

About Me: I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).