The Viral Roundup – Too Many NFL Moves To Count Edition
Howdy! Welcome to The Viral Roundup, your friendly one stop shop for all the big news, results and buzz in this ever changing world of sports you’re waking up to this morning. If it’s worth talking about, we’ve got it covered. In today’s edition: THE NFL WENT BATS*** CRAZY SWAPPING AND SIGNING TALENT!
Did You Hear?
The National Football League had an absolutely bonkers bananacakes crazy day for star players switching uniforms. We’ll cover the greatest hits in the Did You Know? section, but let’s get to the biggest deal right now. Russell Wilson will have JIMMY GOSHDARN GRAHAM as a target next year. The Pro Bowl tight end (and fantasy football superhero) has been shipped out of New Orleans to The Emerald City for a package that includes a first round draft pick and veteran center Max Unger. The deal marks a major upgrade for the Seahawks as they’re now equipped with an elite tight end (10 TDs and 889 yards were Graham’s 2014 totals) and one that adds a thrilling dimension to the offense. You can’t help but feel bad for Drew Brees, though.
Did You See?
Nothing says marital bliss quite like the cold humourless expression of New England Patriots mastermind Bill Belichick. A Connecticut couple have elected to make the most of the Belichick ”Let’s Party” meme by plastering a pic of the Pats coach as the anchor image on their Save The Date invitations. The invites were a major hit online, blowing up on Twitter and probably inspiring thousands of copycats. Maybe Belichick can send them a ratty sweater as a wedding gift?
Did You Know?
- What would a day in March be without another wild personnel move from Chip Kelly? The Philadelphia Eagles have made a move to send starting QB Nick Foles to St. Louis for ACL-impaired pivot Sam Bradford. (Assorted draft picks are also part of the deal.) The former Rams first overall pick hasn’t played a regular season game in well over a year, exiting with an midseason ACL injury in 2013, plus a lost 2014 campaign due to a second ACL injury. Foles suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in 2014, but he comes with way less medical baggage than the man he’s been swapped for. Both teams failed to make the postseason last year, with the Eagles finishing with a 10-6 record and the Rams closing out 2014 at 6-10.
- So much for Frank Gore going to Philly. The 49ers running back was said to be signing a deal with the new look Eagles, but the 31-year-old rusher reportedly reversed his plans to go to the NFC East for another opportunity elsewhere. ESPN is reporting that Gore will sign with the Indianapolis Colts this week, bringing a veteran rushing presence to a team that finished an underwhelming 22nd in rushing yards overall. In 2014, Gore notched his fourth straight 1,000 yard campaign. The pact is said to be a $12 million for 3 year agreement.
- Replacing Ndamukong Suh in Detroit appeared to be a herculean task, but the Lions are no longer in the dire straits they once were. Baltimore have dealt five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata to Motor City, receiving a fourth and fifth round pick as payment. The veteran nose tackle provided the Ravens with 31 tackles and 2 sacks in a campaign limited by a four game suspension for PEDs. The deal offers Baltimore some serious financial relief with Ngata’s $16 million cap hit no longer a concern. There’s speculation that Ngata’s arrival in Detroit might suggest that defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is considering swapping the current 4-3 scheme for a 3-4 setup.
- Revis Island will once again be a welcome fixture in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets have an agreement in place to bring megastar CB Darrelle Revis back to the franchise after single season stays in Tampa Bay and New England. Revis earned a Super Bowl ring with the Pats earlier this year and will provide much needed shutdown power for a team that gave up 31 passing touchdowns in 2014. (Most defensive experts recommend against giving up 31 passing touchdowns during the regular season.) The deal is reported to be a five year, $70 million agreement, a contract that will make Revis the highest paid corner in NFL history. The Jets have also traded for Brandon Marshall in a bid to increase the number of TD catches on the other side of the ball.
- The Niners are picking up another Baltimore import at wideout. San Francisco have inked Ravens WR Torrey Smith to a five year deal worth $40 million. Smith’s 2014 resumé features such sexy stats as 11 touchdowns, 49 receptions and 767 receiving yards. Will this acquisition cheer up 49ers fans that are bummed that Patrick Willis retired and Frank Gore’s left town? A gentle combing of Twitter and Facebook should give you your answer.
- On a day where loads of stars were prepping for new starts, QB Jake Locker has elected to close the book on his NFL career. A coveted if risky option in a weak quarterback free agent pool, the oft-injured University of Washington alum exits with a career 27/22 TD-to-INT total at the age of 26.
- Rising Bolts star Tyler Johnson potted his 25th goal of the season last night and the timing was impeccable. Johnson’s marker earned Tampa Bay a 1-0 overtime victory over fellow Eastern Conference titan Montreal. Tampa’s fourth straight victory places them one point back in the Atlantic standings behind the Canadiens. The Habs once again received a stellar effort from keeper Carey Price. The Hart candidate stopped 35 shots in a losing effort.
- It’s nice to have the Isles/Rangers rivalry mean something beyond regional pride, eh? The two clubs are jockeying for top spot in the Metropolitan Division (it still sounds weird) and on Tuesday night the Blueshirts squeaked by Long Island 2-1 in their final regular season trip to Nassau Coliseum. The win, buoyed by 29 saves from Cam Talbot, placed the Rangers just one point behind the Islanders in the division standings. (NYR are a 12/1 bet to win the Stanley Cup.) The silver lining for the New York Islanders? Star forward Kyle Okposo returned to the lineup for the first time in 22 games following eye surgery.
- Curious how last night’s Jets/Blues game panned out? This should sum it up.
*endless cringe vomitting*
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec gave up this hideous looking goal with 1:03 remaining in the third to give St. Louis the 5-4 lead and eventual win. Barret Jackman’s fluke goal was the only blemish on Pavelec’s relief effort for Winnipeg (Hutchinson got the hook earlier in the night) and what a blemish it was. Winnipeg have lost eight of their last nine road games. Not a good look for a club with a tenuous grasp on a Wildcard spot.
- LeBron James now owns the Cleveland Cavaliers record for career assists. King James acquired sole position of that desirable title last night during his team’s absolute obliteration of the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavs walked off the court with a blowout score of 127-94. LeBron had 27 points and 8 assists in the winning effort and sit in the #2 spot in the East. By the way, it was Mark Price’s 4,206 assist total that LBJ surpassed in Texas.
- Tuesday night in San Antonio featured two clubs going in very different directions. The Spurs (favoured by 7 1/2 going in) stomped out the Raptors 117-107 in a game where Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio scorers with 24 points. Toronto’s on a miserable slide of late. The Raptors have lost 8 of their last 9 and that one win came against Philadelphia for goodness sake. The Spurs will put their six game win streak on the line Thursday at home versus Cleveland.
- New Orleans and Brooklyn are both aiming to claw their way into the postseason, albeit in separate conferences. The Pelicans helped their cause a heck of a lot more than the Nets did last night. New Orleans brutalized the 2 1/2 point favourite Nets on their home court in Brooklyn exiting with a 111-91 victory, marking the third straight win for the Pelicans. Omer Asik racked up 12 points and 15 boards for the Pelicans and the club is now .002 percentage points separated from Oklahoma City’s 8 seed in the West. Brooklyn continues their slide, losing their fourth straight.
- In case you were wondering what that loud uncontrolled sobbing you’ve been hearing for the last 18 hours is, it’s Toronto Blue Jays fans mourning the lost season for 23-year-old starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. A fielding drill was the culprit, resulting in an ACL tear for the rising star that opens up a conspicuous void in the club’s rotation. In the never-not-competitive AL East, it’s a loss that has definitely wounded the hopes of some fans. Toronto is already working around a spring training injury that will keep newly acquired outfielder Michael Saunders out of the lineup until possibly Opening Day and beyond.
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