The NFL is the sports league that never sleeps. Just when we all thought there might be a reprieve from big NFL news before the April 25 NFL Draft, things got crazy again. So much has happened in just this past week, that my head was spinning for a while.
Below, I try to break everything down as best I can.
NFL: Are the Giants Really Shopping Odell? Plus, Other News
New York Giants are Looking to Trade Odell Beckham Jr.
The question to everyone reading this is, well, wouldn't you? I mean, the video showing Odell supposedly hanging out, smoking a doobie, and eating pizza wasn't a good look. This is on top of Beckham Jr. going into this season off an injury that kept him from playing for most of last season.
The rumor was that the Giants were looking for 2 Round 1 picks for Odell Beckham Jr. Just when the rumor appeared to be gaining steam, Giants' offensive coordinator Mike Shula said that Beckham Jr. was a “vital part” of the Giants' offense. That doesn't mean the Giants won't trade Odell Beckham Jr.
The G-Men were fantastically bad last season. They didn't sniff the playoffs after being bet down to win the NFC East Division. What happened? Everything happened. A brand new front office with a brand new coaching staff means that the Giants might not be done changing the culture.
The Giants have the second pick in the draft. RB Saquon Barkley should be available. If he is, it's difficult to see the Giants not drafting Barkley. Now that Nate Solder is at left tackle, the offensive line should be much better this season than it was last season. Shula, no doubt, wants to build around a strong rushing attack.
Beckham Jr. is a one of a kind talent. But, if I'm the New York Giants, I'm selling high, no pun intended. That means trading Beckham Jr. for a Round 1 and Round 2 pick if I can't get two Round 1 picks.
L.A. Rams Acquire Speedster WR Brandin Cooks
The L.A. Rams traded their Round 1 pick to the New England Patriots for WR Brandin Cooks. Cooks is a speedster that should stretch the field for the Rams' talented offense. He should be a better fit than Sammy Watkins, whom L.A. allowed to leave to KC after only a season in the gold and blue.
As good as Cooks is, though, was trading a Round 1 pick the right move? The Rams' improved their defense big time this off-season by acquiring two stud corners in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. But, L.A. allowed 122.3 rushing yards per game on average last season. That ranked 28th in the NFL.
It won't matter if Peters and Talib shut down opposing wide receivers. If the Rams can't stop the rush, they'll be in trouble on defense. Keeping the pick and grabbing a defensive player that could help bottle up the run might have been the wisest move.
Trading Cooks was a no-brainer for the New England Patriots. The window on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl is quickly closing. New England can package the two Round 1 picks to move up and draft a QB. Or, they could stay where they're at and take an OT now that starter Nate Solder bolted to the New York Giants.
If the Patriots truly feel they can win another Super Bowl with Tom Brady as their QB, they might not worry so much about Terrific Tom's successor. Instead, there's a great chance they decide to stay put with their Round 1 picks.
No matter what New England does, they've got some ammunition heading into the NFL Draft later this April.
Baltimore Ravens Sign RGIII to Backup QB Joe Flacco
The Baltimore Ravens signed Robert Griffin III to backup QB Joe Flacco. RGIII can play football. The biggest question is whether he's grown enough to be more than just a running quarterback. If he has, who knows?
Joe Flacco has a history of getting hurt. That means the door could open for RGIII in Baltimore. There's no doubt he's surrounded by more talent in Baltimore than he was while languishing in Cleveland. For Baltimore, signing RGIII made a ton of sense. He's not costing them too much while he brings experience to a team that's had trouble with their backup quarterbacks the past few seasons.
There's nothing but upside for both Robert Griffin III and the Baltimore Ravens with this deal.
Strange Happenings in Updated Super Bowl 53 Odds
Free agency is over. Right now, every team in the NFL is finishing up their final preparations for the 2018 NFL Draft. You'd think that because teams are looking to the draft, there wouldn't be a lot of action in Super Bowl 53 futures. That's not the case. Super Bowl 53 futures have already been crazy wild.
Check out some odds from Odd Shark.
The first thing to notice is that the New England Patriots are 5 to 1 favorites before acquiring two Round 1 picks. It's going to be interesting to see if the Patriots trading Brandin Cooks affects their Super Bowl 53 odds in any way.
It's also interesting to note that the Minnesota Vikings are at 9 to 1 even though they signed Kirk Cousins to be their quarterback. The Vikings had the best defense in the NFL last season. Even though many NFL analysts believe Cousins makes a huge difference for Minnesota, Vegas odds makers and bettors don't. Odds makers still feel that Philadelphia has a better shot of winning Super Bowl 53 than the Minnesota Vikings.
San Francisco, per Odds Shark, is 12 to 1 to win Super Bowl 53. That's amazing because just last season the 49'ers were 150 to 1 to win Super Bowl 52. Has San Francisco improved that much? I don't know. I'm not sure they've got a better shot to win Super Bowl 53, at least at this point of the year, than the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys or Kansas City Chiefs.
They definitely shouldn't be at lower odds to win Super Bowl 53 than the Jacksonville Jaguars at 22 to 1. Jacksonville just got better during free agency. The Jaguars probably should have made it to the Super Bowl.
I'll revisit Super Bowl 53 odds after the NFL Draft. If it's a slow week in the 24/7, 365 day a year sports league, I'll write about MLB, or maybe the NBA Playoffs, in next week's blog.