Issues in the legal negotiations between the NFL and representatives for Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder threaten to complicate the approval and closing of Snyder’s $6.05 billion sale of the franchise to a group led by Josh Harris, according to two people familiar with the conversations between attorneys for the league and Snyder.
It was not clear late Wednesday night whether those complications will affect the NFL’s plans to have team owners vote to approve the sale at a meeting next week in Minneapolis.
According to one of the people with knowledge of the deliberations, the complications are related at least in part to legal issues pertaining to the leaking of emails that led to the October 2021 resignation of Jon Gruden as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
That person described the complications as “significant” and “not just some small snag,” expressing the view that the issues could delay the owners’ approval of the sale and the closing of the deal if they’re not resolved. But the person also left open the possibility that Snyder and his attorneys merely are attempting to extract last-minute concessions from the NFL on legal indemnification related to Gruden’s lawsuit against the league, and the issues will be resolved in time for the owners to ratify the deal as expected next Thursday.
[O]ne person said...that, while Snyder is not seeking for the league and the other owners to indemnify him against future legal liability, the complications relate to the willingness of Snyder and his family to indemnify the league and owners against liability related to the Gruden case. Snyder’s attorneys are arguing that Snyder should not be responsible for any legal liability stemming from the actions of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league attorney Jeff Pash, the person familiar with the deliberations said.
While the consensus is that the Washington Commanders will only keep one of their star edge players, there is still a possibility the franchise will keep both long-term. There have been mock trades for both Chase Young and Montez Sweat circulating the internet, although nothing concrete has emerged yet.
Many of you may be upset by this thought. But despite going 21 picks later than Chase Young, teammate Montez Sweat is a freak athlete with elite skills of his own.
The biggest difference between the two prospects was collegiate production. Young garnered a 99 production score from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein versus a score of 88 for Sweat.
While Sweat had a slower start to his professional journey, he has blossomed into a Pro Bowl talent at the edge position. While Young can say the same, it’s been a concerning trend over the last two seasons that cannot be ignored.
Chase Young has missed almost two seasons as an NFL player in his short career and has had major knee surgeries. If the Washington Commanders knew he would return and be his former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year self again, they would have already given him a contract.
Those in power didn’t because they don’t. No one knows how Young will perform when he returns.
Montez Sweat, who has had one minor injury keep him from a few games in his career, is the better long-term bet. He gives the Commanders a player they already know and can depend upon.
Over the course of the 2022 NFL season, the Washington Commanders saw their depth at the linebacker position tested as injuries set in.
Cole Holcomb was well on his way to having his best season before a foot injury ended it prematurely. Jamin Davis improved as the year progressed but wasn’t on the field when the team played Dallas to close out the season. Jon Bostic took the field after spending most of it as a backup until injury ended his year.
In the process, David Mayo saw a lot of field time. Enough field time that one has to stop and wonder why exactly none of the other linebackers on the roster saw snaps. That, mixed with a little bit of curiosity, led me to the next chapter in ‘Watchin’ Film With Film,’ which involves thoughts that surely tons of other Washington fans have already had. Why exactly was Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys Khaleke Hudson’s first time on the field?
After three years and little to no snaps, he was finally able to get a start. In that game against Dallas, Hudson recorded seven tackles and showed enough to ask the question, Is Khaleke Hudson Ready for More Playing Time?
Bullock’s Film Room
Breaking down simulated pressures and how the Commanders use them.
Simulated pressures, or sim pressures, are defensive schemes that are designed in such a way that the offense thinks a big blitz is coming, but actually the defense is only rushing four, just not the original four down lineman.
Sim pressures can be as complex or as simple as the defensive coordinator wants. They can opt to line up with seven defenders on the line of scrimmage and show a huge blitz before rushing four or just show a basic look and send a linebacker instead of a defensive end. Jack Del Rio’s defense has tended more towards the latter.
Most protection schemes are set so that the offensive line is able to pick up the four down defensive lineman and perhaps one other rusher, so they will assume a defensive end is usually going to rush and account for him in the protection scheme. This provides the defense with a chance to switch things up. By having a defensive end drop out into coverage, and replacing him with a linebacker rushing from the other side, suddenly the protection scheme can break down. The offense can be left overloaded to one side despite on paper having enough lineman available to block every rushing defender.
Simulated pressures aren’t something the Commanders will use 30 times a game, but they will sprinkle it in here and there as a nice change up to the typical front four rush. There are certain situations when they’ll use it more, like if Toohill is on the field to give one of Young or Sweat a break or if they feel the offensive line is sliding one way too heavily and can be attacked on the opposite side. So while it might not be used frequently, It’s a valuable weapon to have to be able to call upon when needed.
Michael Vick recently made the case for Andy Reid as the greatest coach of all time. Why is Joe Gibbs never even in the conversation as one of the greatest? https://t.co/TI2z3R8mTI— Commanders Wire (@Washington_Wire) July 11, 2023
NFC East links
After crying all offseason about the 49ers’ NFC Championship Game loss to the Eagles, Deebo Samuel wanted no parts of that conversation.
Call the wambulance! The 49ers are at it again. After running their mouths all offseason about how San Francisco coulda/shoulda/woulda beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game if all their quarterbacks didn’t get hurt because of their atrocious offensive line play, one 49er is uncharacteristically quiet.
Deebo Samuel, who has one of the biggest cases of loser denial in the entire San Francisco organization, was on CBS Sports Radio on Monday talking to host Zach Gelb. Here’s a transcription of what was said:
Gelb: I saw what you said about the Eagles back at the Super Bowl at Sirius where if Brock Purdy didn’t get hurt, you guys would’ve won that game by double digits. Why would that have been the case?
Samuel: I don’t know that’s old.
Gelb: Do you not still believe that?
Samuel: I mean, I do, but we’re not going to keep talking about it. I said what I said.
Gelb: Gotcha. So what happens this year when you play on December 3?
Samuel: I don’t know, but just wait until, what, Week 13, Week 12, whatever week it is.
Gelb: You know how that’s going to go down. You’re going into Philadelphia. Those fans are going to be booing you loud. Do you have a message for Eagles fans?
*phone shuffling noise*
Unnamed person: Alright, we’re good to go.
Gelb: What do you mean? We have Deebo on right now.
Unnamed person: Yeah, I know, but we’re going to head into camp right now.
Big Blue View
Talent or not, Toney’s immaturity wasn’t worth the trouble
GM Joe Schoen and the Giants were 100% right to ship him to Kansas City.
Every time the 24-year-old Toney takes to social media to rip the Giants or argue with fans he makes that obvious. You want to read or listen to some of what Toney has said and done it isn’t hard to find on social media. I’m not bothering to put it here.
From the moment he arrived in 2021, Judge and his staff spent week after week talking about how Toney needed to gain the respect and trust of his teammates and coaches. The fact that they were still talking about it at the end of Toney’s rookie season means it never happened.
Schoen and Brian Daboll inherited Toney, and tried to make it work. It obviously did not, with a once-again injury-plagued Toney barely ever making it to the practice or playing field.
When the Chiefs offered a third-round pick, the Giants said yes. They had to be thrilled to get a Day 2 selection, No. 100 in the draft, for a player who seemingly didn’t want to be there and they seemingly didn’t want around.
The Athletic says the Chiefs “have pushed all their chips in on Toney becoming their next star receiver.”
I say good luck with that.
Blogging the Boys
Dallas Cowboys could have something special brewing on defense this year, led by Dan Quinn and featuring Micah Parsons.
Since the arrival of Dan Quinn in 2021, the Dallas Cowboys have continued to improve each season on the defensive side of the ball under his tutelage as the defensive coordinator. His ability to get the most out of his players and the talent Dallas has been able to put together through the NFL draft, free agency, and some savvy trades could make them one of the best, if not the best, defensive units in the league in 2023.
It may be a little premature to suggest the Dallas Cowboys have another “Doomsday Defense” on their hands heading into the 2023 season, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. From the defensive front to the back end of the secondary, Dallas has the talent to rival any of their previous “Doomsday” defenses of the past, or at least something pretty close to it.
In Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence the Cowboys have something similar to what they had in the 90s in Charles Haley and Tony Tolbert. In Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore they have their Larry Brown and Kevin Smith.
NFL league links
Over the Cap
Teams in the bottom right quadrant are the team that are cap constrained and would need to make some changes to add anyone major. The teams in the right upper quadrant are the teams that have cap room to burn and are currently underbudget.
When viewing the league this way we can see why it is so important for a player to be a free agent at the start of the league year. Once team’s spend their money that is generally it for the teams budget. This is also why the in-season trade market often requires trading teams to pay off a salary and the acquiring teams sometimes overpaying in draft compensation since they cant justify the cost of the player on his full contract.
Right now the only teams that make sense from a cap and cash standpoint to really add to the team are the Bears, Cardinals, Lions, Cowboys, Patriots, and Vikings. Minnesota has a big extension to consider and are more likely to be slashing that spending. Arizona is in more of a retooling process. That leaves a market of four teams for free agents. Dragging other teams into the mix requires convincing a team to even go further beyond their norms to keep adding. You can see why it is very difficult for street free agents to get lucrative deals this late in the process and why summer free agent signings are usually signed for very cheap.
Pro Football Talk
From the perspective of the civil and criminal justice systems, the cases involving Saints running back Alvin Kamara are over. From the perspective of the NFL, the situation is essentially just beginning.
Now that the criminal prosecution has ended , Kamara will be subject to discipline under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. This will entail the league finalizing its investigation, proposing a penalty, and presenting the matter to independent judge Sue L. Robinson for a decision. (The league still controls the appeal process.)
The Personal Conduct Policy makes the baseline punishment for assault a six-game suspension, which can be increased or decreased based on aggravating or mitigating factors.
Numbers never lie and these show why a team succeeded or failed last season, including Jared Goff as one of the most effective quarterbacks in the league in 2022.
Left tackle Tyler Smith had a productive rookie season, allowing 40 pressures in 17 starts, according to Pro Football Focus. To compare, Seattle’s Charles Cross and New York’s Evan Neal had 50 and 52 pressures, respectively.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones and the Giants recorded 3,327 intended air yards on all pass attempts, whether completed or incomplete, ranking 31st in the league, only ahead of the Panthers.
The Eagles’ stout defense, which includes cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry, ranked first in pass defense DVOA with -15.5%, according to Football Outsiders.
The Commanders’ rotation of quarterbacks last season combined for a 19.0 percentage of poor throws per pass attempts, excluding spikes and throwaways. Only the Texans, Jets, Falcons, Bears and Raiders did worse.
How far can Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay go to evolve their own offenses? Each coach hires a defensive coordinator who is their perfect schematic opposite. In San Francisco, Shanahan and Robert Saleh’s epic practice battles shape what are now the NFL’s best defenses. In Los Angeles, McVay’s and Brandon Staley’s schemes clash as McVay becomes wholly obsessed with finding out how his offense can be solved. Host Jourdan Rodrigue studies the collision of apex systems and how the ripple effects start to shape each team - and the entire NFL.
Voices in the episode include McVay, Shanahan, Saleh, Staley, Thomas Brown, Andrew Whitworth, Mina Kimes, and Steve Wyche.