1. There is a decent amount going on already in this second week of June. The first thing I want to get to is a huge win in Redskins Nation. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took down his second race of the season--his first multi-win season since 2004--at Pocono this weekend. More importantly, the win locks him into a spot in the Chase field, which is essentially the postseason for NASCAR. Playoffs?!?!?!?! I think Dale is likely busy reaping the rewards--and hangovers--that go with winning, but we wish our fellow Redskins fan the best as the season progresses. Hopefully, we'll talk to him again soon before the boys in burgundy and gold take the field.
2. In other news, DeSean Jackson is going after one of the least liked people in sports--Drew Rosenhaus. Is that a fair statement about Rosenhaus? Imagine with me, if you will, that this had happened last season when DJax was an Eagle. This would have been an AMAZING story. Two people that Redskins fans had come to enjoy despising, duking it out in the headlines and in court...delicious!! Now it is a story about one of the most promising offensive players we have, accusing a guy nobody particularly cares about of doing things that nobody is surprised to hear that he did. All in all, this is the kind of news that I desperately don't care about AT ALL--you know...when two rich dudes are battling over astronomical amounts of money in a very public fashion.
3. As someone who has never seen anywhere close to the half million dollars they are disputing, I genuinely don't care who wins this one. Still, there is a real sense that DeSean Jackson doesn't care, either...which makes me smile. By calling out Rosenhaus for "bribing" him with a Louis Vuitton bag (classic), it seems DeSean is all about tattling to get Drew in trouble with the NFLPA. As a father of very young children, this strategy is very familiar to me. If it is proven that Drew gave DeSean the money to induce him to sign with him, than he is sitting in some rather hot water indeed.
4. To close out the Drew Rosenhaus angle here, there is definitely a connection between this agent and the owner of the Washington Redskins. I don't claim to know either man well at all, nor do I know exactly how well they know each other. The connection I believe that exists is not necessarily a nefarious one, or even one that is particularly uncommon between sports agents and owners (the Lerners have a relationship with Scott Boras for example). A few of the most prominent members of the team over the last decade have been Rosenhaus clients (Clinton Portis and Santana Moss have both been in his stable). We know how close Portis and Snyder got, and there is no way that did not bleed into Rosenhaus territory. He represents the most NFL players of any agent, and so Drew has some cache to be sure--that kind of thing doesn't go unnoticed by a man like Snyder (or most owners to be fair). I bring this up because I always wonder about the potential conflict that must arise when an owner is too close with an agent. Does it serve the player more or the agent more? Guys like Rosenhaus have scrapped their way to the top by maximizing the use of the gray area. The sports culture in this country has a HUGE gray area these days it seems, from high school sports all the way up to the professional level. The allegations in the Jackson case highlight this gray area, suggesting that things which would seem black and white simply...aren't. When the handoff of a Louis Vuitton bag full of CASH is neither right nor wrong, or can be explained as both by different sides who use the same rulebook to prove their point...we are truly living in Crazytown.
5. How about some news about a Hogs Haven favorite, Kirk Cousins? According to our friend Mark Maske over at the Washington Post, Cousins was not really in the loop on any potential deals going down involving him this offseason. Not very surprising, really. As much as we all thought that some team would come calling (and perhaps one or two did), the truth is that this front office must believe very much that Cousins is currently the best chance this team has if anything should happen to Robert Griffin III (you're welcome '77!). In the third year of his four-year deal, Cousins still has the chance to provide value to this organization as either trade bait or as a player on the field. When your franchise guy has already had multiple knee reconstructions and relies on a mobile game, your backup quarterback is absolutely not a position where you can just put a warm body. In fact, it could be true that our chances of being competitive in 2014 come down to how strong Cousins actually is for us. It says here that Griffin is going to have a monster year, but we all know the fragile nature of an NFL team's chances for contending. Health drives such a large portion of that, and things unravel instantaneously when the "next guy up" is not up to the task. You all know how big a fan I am of Kirk Cousins, but even I have to admit he has work to do if he is going to make us all feel cozy about him having to replace Griffin. Not having to worry about packing his bags and moving to a new city should help a little there.
6. Talking about backup quarterbacks has got me thinking about today's question I have for you. Assuming that you can't be a frontline, superstar, elite player for a professional sports team, what would be the best job (player job) to have in sports? Backup quarterback is up there in my book. Wearing a visor and carrying a clipboard while the world criticizes the guy in front of you and openly speculates on how much better you would be despite next to zero actual proof is not so terrible. Think of the caddies some of the great quarterbacks have had. Doug Pederson backing up Brett Favre comes to mind, as does Frank Reich backing up Jim Kelly. There is a long list of dudes who made a career out of wearing perfectly clean jerseys. Granted, things go south when guys like Favre or Kelly get hurt, but being a competent, smart, effective teammate at the backup quarterback position seems like a great gig. There are others...what do you guys think?