ATLANTIS — After a day full of strolls…
• I would not expect much movement on the status of Commanders owner Dan Snyder over the two-day league here at Buckhead. In response to the The USA Today story that the owners are “counting the votes,” said one executive here, “we would have to know a lot more than we know now” for the league to get the 24 votes needed to remove Snyder’s team from it. This, to be clear, does not mean that owners are not vote counting – all are bracing for the results of former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White’s investigation, which may, in fact, lead them to know a lot more.
The real problem with getting votes involves precedent and the bar that other owners want to put in place to remove another owner’s team. And the one thing I would say we can all count on is that the bar will be set very high (or low, depending on your perspective) for that. So stay tuned for the White report; its content probably dictates where it goes next.
• While we were there, the Commanders purchase of land that could be used for a stadium in Woodbridge, Va., was received in DC as if the team were moving to Mars. And with the traffic in this area, it’s understandable why that would be the feeling. That said, compared to other teams, the Woodbridge site, 23 miles out of town, isn’t that far away.
the patriots play in Foxboro, Mass., 28 miles from Boston. the 49ers play in Santa Clara, 42 miles from San Francisco. the Cowboys play in Arlington, 19 miles from Dallas. The difference here is that these teams are also close to other relatively large cities (the Patriots in Providence, the Niners in San Jose, and the Cowboys in Fort Worth), but the NFL isn’t really in the habit of shunning the suburbs. . places (the Jets and giants are another example, playing 11 miles from Manhattan).
Ideally, I’d say most of us think the RFK Stadium site remains the go-to site for commanders. But I’m not sure that will happen without the sold team.
• It’s hardly a surprise to anyone in Arizona that Kyler Murray wasn’t there on Monday for the start of Cardinals OTA. Last year, without a contract dispute, Murray missed part of the OTAs while training in Texas. So add Murray’s desire for a new deal, and the Cardinals having pushed the negotiation later in the offseason, and it makes sense he’s not here today (he’s clearly comfortable with his routine in Texas).
Kliff Kingsbury said on Monday he was expecting Murray for minicamp in June, but it’s obvious a lot could happen between now and then.
• As a result, the Cardinals being the featured team on the seasonal version of hard knocks has a chance to be quite interesting.
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• For me, Aaron Donald does not show up for Rams OTAs are probably a bit more interesting.
Donald has three years and $55 million in cash on his current contract. To redo the deal, the Rams must pay $21.5 million in cap fees on top of that de facto credit card debt for the original structure and contract restructurings. Normally the way around all of this is to add a few years to the end and move the money up. But navigating this one and getting Donald the roughly $30 million a year he deserves might be a little tricky. And it should be noted that, in the past, Donald has not been afraid to draw a line.
• The Foalsdecision of bring in Nick Foles is a good indicator of where they see themselves as a team. Last year, they passed a fourth-round pick over Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, and Ehlinger has acquitted himself well ever since. But with a well-rounded, win-ready roster and a quarterback in Matt Ryan who they believe is a significant upgrade, going out and getting an accomplished backup who has the system experience that Foles has with Frank Reich is insurance against Ryan loses a few games at some point in the season.
And if you’re a championship contender, buying this type of insurance is invaluable, given that it can make a difference in the standings, or even entering the playoffs.
• I think we already have evidence on the character part of Chris Olave’s pre-verification assessments, based on how he is already went to work with Saints star Michael Thomas (whom he knew before New Orleans took him over, since both played at Ohio State). A New Orleans official told me the day after the draft that Olave being their “type of guy” was a factor in the decision to trade him for him. So far, so good on that front.
• A game I can’t wait to see, and I know the people of Las Vegas are too: Darren Waller playing Josh McDaniels’ offense. The tight end was even better than expected and as a result, it’s quite interesting to imagine what he and Davante Adams will look like playing together for one of the best callers in the sport.
• The difference Matt Ryan has made culturally for the Colts, even so far, is palpable. And the pace and detail he’s working on should be good for everyone on the roster – remember, the year Philip Rivers was in Indy was the COVID year, so most players on the team aren’t Rivers and Ryan don’t have much experience working with a quarterback at the level.
• In a way, the story of Dwayne Haskins got even sadder Monday. He hopes for peace for his family.
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