If you have to explain a joke…
On Saturday Jay Feely shared a photo of his holding a gun while posing with his daughter and her prom date, but the former Jets and Giants kicker says he takes gun safety “seriously” and wasn’t trying to be “insensitive.”
“The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking,” Feely wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue.”
He had captioned the prom picture “Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom #BadBoys”
The 41-year-old, who played 14 years in the NFL before becoming a color analyst, tweeted the photo amidst the national debate over gun laws, which have come to the forefront — once again — after the Feb. 14 school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen died and 17 were injured during the Florida massacre.
Three years ago, Feely wrote that he’s in “favor of basic gun control,” which he described as having a mandatory waiting period and background checks, including a “mental health/watch list.”
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Once it was set that the Giants had been so awful last season that they ended up with the second pick in this draft, we were so sure they would take a quarterback, and this would be the chance to set them up for the next decade, or more, the way they once did with Eli. It would be Sam Darnold, if the Browns didn’t take Sam Darnold, or Josh Rosen or Josh Allen. I don’t think it was ever going to be Baker Mayfield, on whom the Jets are supposed to be pretty sweet right now, just because Dave Gettleman, the new Giants general manager, and a tough smart old football guy, likes big guys, all over the field, and Mayfield isn’t one.
Jets CEO and Chairman Christopher Johnson has made it clear that there’s no playoff mandate for Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles in 2018, but it sure would be nice to snap a seven-year playoff drought.
Will Gang Green return to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 campaign?
Leonard Williams and the Jets open up in primetime against the Lions in first push toward playoffs.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Here’s our fearless game-by-game predictions in the wake of the NFL schedule release:
Week 1 at Lions (Sept. 10, 7 pm, Monday Night Football)
The Baker Mayfield Era begins in the Motor City. (Unless it doesn’t). Rookie head coach Matt Patricia leaves The Evil Empire to face a familiar foe in primetime in his debut.
Prediction: Loss (0-1)
Week 2: vs Dolphins (Sept. 16, 1 pm)
Adam Gase’s team was embarrassed last year at MetLife Stadium. It’ll be more competitive this time around with Ryan Tannehill (or Josh Rosen?!) under center, but Gang Green will prevail.
Prediction: Win (1-1)
Week 3: at Browns (Sept. 20, 8:20 pm, Thursday Night Football)
Josh Allen vs Baker Mayfield? Sam Darnold vs Baker Mayfield? Baker Mayfield vs The World? I’m getting giddy just thinking about. The battle of rookie quarterbacks should give juice to an otherwise juiceless game.
Prediction: Win (2-1)
Week 4 at Jaguars (Sept. 30, 1 pm)
Doug Marrone basically has an all-star defense with six of his 11 starters coming off Pro Bowl or All-Pro seasons. Sprinkle in beast Leonard Fournette on the other side of the ball and we’re talking about a real Super Bowl contender. Good luck, Gang Green. This isn’t going to be easy.
Prediction: Loss (2-2)
Week 5 vs Broncos (Oct. 7, 1 pm)
Josh Rosen vs Baker Mayfield? Time will tell. Either way, Gang Green kicks off perhaps the “easiest” quarter of their season feeling good.
Prediction: Win (3-2)
Week 6: vs Colts (Oct. 14, 1 pm)
Andrew Luck might be well-rested, but let’s not pretend that rust won’t be a factor. I’m the de facto president of the bearded wonder, but he can’t do it all himself. Indy will infuse their roster with young talent thanks to a litany of draft picks (including two second-rounders this year from Gang Green), but this rebuild won’t happen overnight. Frank Reich’s defense is a construction zone. Todd Bowles’ team isn’t losing this one.
Prediction: Win (4-2)
The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes was won by the Vikings with the Jets not even getting a visit.
(New York Daily News)
Week 7 vs Vikings (Oct. 21, 1 pm)
Well, well, well. Kirk Cousins might not have been interested in visiting New Jersey before spurning the Jets in free agency, but Mr. You-Like-That? will have no choice but to face the Gang Green crazies at MetLife Stadium. Real talk: The Vikings are far and away the better team. Good luck trying to move the ball against Minnesota’s suffocating defense.
Prediction: Loss (4-3)
Week 8 at Bears (Oct. 28, 1 pm)
Rookie coach Matt Nagy will do wonders for Mitchell Trubisky, but I’m putting good money on Todd Bowles’ defense to stymie the second-year signal caller and enter the mid-point of the season over .500.
Prediction: Win (5-3)
Week 9 at Dolphins (Nov. 4, 1 pm)
Winning in South Beach is NEVER easy.
Prediction: Loss (5-4)
Week 10 vs Bills (Nov. 11, 1 pm)
The Jets can’t afford to lose this game if they want to make a real playoff push after their bye.
Prediction: Win (6-4)
Week 11: BYE
Week 12 vs Patriots (Nov. 25, 1 pm)
Two weeks to prepare for the GOAT and Hoodie? Who could ask for anything more? But seeing is believing. And I’m not marginalizing the long-time rules of the AFC East just yet.
Prediction: Loss (6-5)
Week 13 at Tennessee (Dec. 2, 4 pm)
Marcus Mariota remains an enigma. Rookie coach Mike Vrabel has the Patriots pedigree, but make no mistake about this: The Jets can – and will – steal this road game if they can hold Derrick Henry (fantasy alert!) in check.
Prediction: Win (7-5)
Week 14: At Bills (Dec. 9, 1 pm)
I don’t need to remind Todd Bowles that it isn’t easy winning in Orchard Park. But it becomes a lot easier if you’re facing A.J. McCarron, Nathan Peterman or a rookie quarterback.
Prediction: Win (8-5)
Week 15: vs Texans (Saturday, TBD)
Was Deshaun Watson’s early success before his season-ending knee injury a fluke? I’m still not convinced he’s the real deal. J.J. Watt will also be motivated to reclaim his place atop the Best Defensive Player in the league throne after missing the final 11 games of 2017 with a broken leg. But the Jets extend their winning streak to a season-high three games.
Prediction: Win (9-5)
Week 16 vs Packers (Dec. 23, 1 pm)
The Bad News: The Jets were shut out the last time Aaron Rodgers came to MetLife Stadium (9-0 in 2010). The Good news: The Jets made the AFC Championship Game that same season. Rodgers, coming off a broken collarbone last year, will likely be on his own personal F.U. Tour. Oh, and Muhammad Wilkerson will have plenty of incentive to stick it to his former team too.
Prediction: Loss (9-6)
The Jets playoff hopes could ride on a Week 17 game against the Patriots.
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Week 17: At Patriots (Dec. 30, 1 pm)
Tom Brady might hate Bill Belichick (and vice versa), but their shared hatred for the Jets is stronger. Hopefully, Jamal Adams listened to his mother and puts on a shirt during pre-game warmups. Either way, Gang Green needs to beat their biggest foes to make the playoffs. Alas, the Empire prevails.
Prediction: Loss (9-7) … And the Jets barely miss the playoffs.
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It’s the most glamorous and fascinating position in all of sports.
There’s just a certain aura that comes along with being a quarterback. When you play the position, words and terms like “leader,” “coaches on the field,” and “tough-minded” are always used to describe you.
Quarterbacks are the faces of franchises and are usually the barometer of how successful a team will be on the field.
However, quarterbacks are also often stoic and robotic in the media. As leaders, they aren’t supposed to color outside the lines or draw any negative attention to themselves or the team. It’s almost military-like: fall in line and be a good solider.
But lately, that hasn’t been the case.
According to reports, Tom Brady still hasn’t committed to playing football for the New England Patriots next season, which has caused the sports world to pause.
What if the most valued players in sports started actually acting like it, and started using their power to dictate terms?
The possibilities are endless because franchises need top-level quarterbacks more than top-level quarterbacks need most of these NFL franchises.
It’s truly a buyer’s market when you think about it.
Say for instance they wanted to be involved with all personnel decisions from free agent signings to draft picks. Or, decided they were done showing up to offseason workouts?
Tom Brady hasn’t reported for the Patriots’ voluntary workouts.
Because guys like Brady have always had that kind of power, but have never used it.
Love him or hate him, Brady is arguably the greatest to ever play the position. Throughout his career, he’s always been a team-first guy and has repeatedly taken pay cuts and restructured his contracts for the betterment of the team.
Last year, Brady was the highest paid player on his team, but only by $7 million. And as we approach the upcoming season, 10 quarterbacks are expected to make more than him, and that includes guys like Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, and Kirk Cousins that have zero playoff wins between them.
Since a January report by ESPN detailed how the Patriots dynasty could be ending sooner than later due to disagreements between Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and team owner Robert Kraft, all signs have pointed to Brady bucking the trend of doing things the “Patriot Way.”
And while Brady has missed offseason programs in the past, due to the rumors swirling around the team, arguments over the access his personal trainer has, and losing in the Super Bowl, this is the first time Brady has publicly challenged the system.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is also reportedly frustrated with his team, as he’s been left out of recent decisions that the front office made. Rodgers was upset that the team didn’t consult him about keeping Jordy Nelson, one of his favorite receiving targets, and former quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt.
“I think you have to be humble enough to realize if it could happen to Brett (Favre), it can happen to you,” Rodgers stated back in February when asked about the Packers recent personnel decisions.
The recent trend of quarterbacks publicly bucking the system isn’t just exclusive to those in the league, as NFL prospect and former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has been scrutinized throughout the process leading up to next week’s NFL Draft, as he’s been labeled an overly-cocky and opinionated rich kid that questions authority.
“OK, my family isn’t, like, stupid-wealthy. But I’m coming from a place where if football doesn’t work out, I don’t have to work at McDonald’s,” Rosen recently said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine. “Other NFL players had the same opportunities. I just haven’t tried to hide it or fool teams into thinking I’m someone I’m not. My passion for this game lies in the game, not my need to play it. Tons of players needed this game, needed the money, played it out of obligation and burned out. I don’t need it and still I give everything to it.”
Aaron Rodgers was reportedly upset when the Packers released Jordy Nelson.
(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
For some odd reason, teams are questioning Rosen’s desire to be good at his craft because he comes from a background in which he doesn’t actually need the money. However, if you pay attention to what Rosen actually says, his upbringing hasn’t affected his desire to be great.
“I want to be great — in everything I do,” Rosen continued in the interview. “As far as football, I always looked up to Kellen Moore of Boise State. I thought it was the coolest thing that he was the winningest QB of all time. I thought that was a cool word: winningest. So I want to be the winningest QB in NFL history. I want to win the most games and most championships. I’d say six titles, but if Tom Brady gets six, I’ll say seven.”
I have no doubt that when the 2018 season kicks off Brady and Rodgers will be under center for the Patriots and Packers.
“You have to trust the process…and the process works,” Rodgers recently told reporters.
But, I’d be lying to you if I said that it hasn’t been fascinating to watch as quarterbacks have started to wield this newfound power that’s always been there. We saw what Colin Kaepernick has done with his stance against police brutality and inequality, as he’s currently in the middle of a collusion lawsuit against the NFL.
In the past, quarterbacks have operated kind of like “Stepford Wives” or like the androids in HBO’s “Westworld,” athletes programmed to say and do all the right things without questioning why.
Eventually, things find a way to balance themselves out. And for years, the NFL has put quarterbacks on a pedestal.
Which is why it’s so interesting to see that maybe, just maybe, quarterbacks are starting to realize how much power they have, and are in the beginning phases of utilizing the authority that comes along with playing sports’ most glorified position.
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Dave Gettleman undoubtedly grasps how significant this spring is for the Giants organization, but it was still an experience on Thursday to sit in an auditorium with the general manager and get a true feel of just how much pressure there is on him to get this next week right.
Gettleman must hit big with the No. 2 overall draft pick he holds in next Thursday’s first round — “When you’re picking this high, if you make a mistake, you’re done.” He still hasn’t re-signed, or promised not to trade, his best player, Odell Beckham Jr. — “I’m not going to say. He’s on our team, he’s a valued member of our football team.”
He’s taking a big risk in believing that Eli Manning has a lot left in the tank — “Eli takes great care of himself, he’s very fit and he still has plenty of arm.” And he can’t discuss any of it without having to stop midway through his press conference in East Rutherford to admit that, yes, he had just released six-time Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall before he walked in — “Yes, we have.”
Meanwhile, Gettleman admitted “we’ve had calls” to trade that second overall pick. Rumors are floating that the Giants could be open to a three-way trade idea that includes teams such as the Indianapolis Colts at No. 6 and the quarterback-thirsty Buffalo Bills at No. 12.
And Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey continued to have fun with all the teams trailing his No. 1 pick, saying in his own Thursday presser that he’s “absolutely” still considering Penn State running back Saquon Barkley first overall. And this all happened as The Ringer reported that the Browns even had discussed taking a QB at both one and four.
Sitting in the middle of it all is Gettleman, a 67-year-old who finally has his dream job and is getting a kick out of how much speculation there is about what he might do in such a critical spot.
“Like it? I love it,” Gettleman said with a smile of all the noise about what he might do. “Are you kidding me?”
It’s beginning, however, to not feel too much like a mystery.
Dave Gettleman sounds like a man who is more interested in position players than quarterbacks.
Gettleman said himself: “When I was a little kid, every time I lied, I got caught. And when I was seven years old, my father kicked my butt and I haven’t lied since then.”
And he’s clearly no poker player, because when he was asked about Marshall’s release, he didn’t even need to confirm it. His face was a dead giveaway.
So is his affinity for Barkley, a player he once again called “a tremendous talent.”
Unforgettably, at the NFL owners’ meetings Gettleman referenced former 1995 No. 1 overall pick Ki-Jana Carter, another star Nittany Lions back, as an example of the kind of talent worthy of a high selection — despite the fact that the pick was a bust when injuries derailed Carter’s career.
“You can’t draft anybody with the second pick hoping (he’ll be great),” Gettleman said then. “Listen: Ki-Jana Carter was the first pick of the draft back in (’95) … Ki-Jana Carter was a great college football player who was on his way to having a great pro career, and he blew out his knee. You can’t account for that. You just can’t account for it. Some guys just are injury busts. It happens.”
Gettleman could go the quarterback route, too, but his body language, tone and waffling on the topic suggest his feelings are simply stronger for the top position players of this draft than the QBs. Maybe he’ll surprise us all.
It would make for terrific drama, too, if Gettleman swung a monster three-way trade with Colts GM Chris Ballard and Bills GM Brandon Beane. Gettleman admitted the only reason he never traded back as Carolina’s GM is because he never was offered something that blew him away.
Saquon Barkely and the Giants could be destined for each other unless the Browns jump out and draft him first overall.
And he admitted that the Giants need to add depth and that such a trade could help him do that. And that’s the balance: is the quality of the player he’d want to draft at No. 2 more valuable than the combination of quantity and quality of picks and players he’d get in a trade back?
NFL Network, for example, recently kicked around a scenario in which the Giants could move back and acquire both the Colts’ sixth overall pick and the Bills’ 22nd plus another third rounder by moving back and parting with a fifth.
“We’re all in school, do I want to get an A and four C’s or do we want an A-, a couple of B+’s and a couple of B’s? Winning requires depth,” Gettleman said. “There are obviously different ways of looking at it depending upon what the A looks like.”
Barkley feels like Gettleman’s true “A” here. Running back is a need. Running the ball, stopping the run and rushing the passer. Those are this GM’s stated priorities. And while players like N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson can help on the lines, they are not the player who keeps being hailed as flawless by scouts around the league in countless reports.
“Guys have kind of laughed around the league when we’d be on the clock in Carolina and I’d have my pick in in 28 seconds,” Gettleman said. “If you know what you want, then go do it.”
I think, after Thursday, we know what Gettleman wants. And if a trade doesn’t blow him away, he’ll go get it.
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