New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham in headlines for wrong reasons at inopportune time

Jay Asser 11/03/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Odell Beckham Jr was filmed in a controversial video.

Odell Beckham Jr is in the spotlight again for the wrong reasons, though it doesn’t appear as if he’s in trouble just yet.

The New York Giants wide receiver was seen sitting in a bed with pizza and possibly drugs in a video that surfaced on social media on Friday.

It’s difficult to discern what is going on in the seven-second clip, but along with Beckham, the video shows a woman handling a white powdery substance next to him.

Both the Giants and the NFL have reportedly acknowledged the existence of the video, but have yet to release any comment or hand out any punishment.

Even if Beckham isn’t reprimanded though, the headlines the video has generated are a bad look for the receiver at a time when he’s seeking a lucrative long-term deal.

The Giants picked up the fifth-year option on Beckham’s rookie contract, which will pay him $8.4 million for the coming season, but Beckham is hoping for an extension after ending this past year with a fractured ankle suffered in Week 5.

While he’s been one of the game’s premier playmakers since entering the NFL in 2014 – 288 catches, 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in his first three seasons – Beckham has had his fair share of behavioural issues.

That includes multiple violent altercations with cornerback Josh Norman and sideline explosions, which saw him smash a kicking net.

Beckham’s production likely overshadows any such issues, but their accumulation give the Giants something to think about.

Most popular

Richard Sherman joins up-and-coming San Francisco 49ers to go on other side of rivalry with Seattle Seahawks

Jay Asser 11/03/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Richard Sherman will stay in the NFC West by moving from Seattle to San Francisco.

The dismantling of the Seattle Seahawks defence has been their rivals’ gain as the San Francisco 49ers added Richard Sherman in a high-profile signing to strengthen their secondary.

The shutdown cornerback will stay in the NFC West after inking a three-year deal with the 49ers worth up to $39 million, with a $5m signing bonus.

While it initially seems like San Francisco overpaid for a 29-year-old recovering from a ruptured Achilles, Sherman’s contract is laden with incentives to cover the 49ers if he doesn’t return to full health or is a shell of himself.

As if Sherman needs more motivation to come back strong, he’ll now have the opportunity to face his former side twice in the regular season. That may have played a significant role in his decision to not meet with any other team after being released by the Seahawks, as could have returning to the Bay Area where he played college football at Stanford.

Seattle decided to move on from Sherman to save $11m, with his release part of a host of changes on the defence that also included trading defensive end Michael Bennett.

While the Seahawks transition to a new era, the 49ers continue to build excitement around their franchise after closing out last season on a promising run with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Sherman will help fill arguably San Francisco’s biggest need with the secondary previously a major question mark.

Last season, the 49ers’ pass defence ranked 24th in the league in yards allowed per attempt with 7.2, 22nd in yards allowed per game with 235 and 24th in passer rating allowed with 93.9.

In Sherman, San Francisco bring in a cornerback who has the most interceptions (32) and passes defended (99) since entering the league in 2011. No player with 300-plus targets has allowed a lower completion percentage (47.4) or passer rating (50.9) over the span either.

When he was healthy, Sherman was essentially a one-man island on the left side of the Seahawks defence, often matching up and shutting down the opposing team’s best receiver on the outside.

His size – 6-foot-3, 195 pounds – allows him to be physical against bigger receivers and win jump-ball situations. So while he’s certainly athletic, Sherman isn’t fully reliant on his speed or quickness, which bodes well for his effectiveness post-Achilles injury.

Even after signing Sherman and extending Garoppolo this offseason, the 49ers have more than $50m in salary cap space to continue adding talent.

Though they’re not a finished product yet, San Francisco are set up to fight for the playoffs when they carry over a five-game winning streak into next season.

While the Los Angeles Rams, who are having an impressive offseason in their own right, will be the team to beat in the division, San Francisco have at least closed the gap between them and Seattle.

Most popular

New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees headlines our list of top 10 NFL free agents set to hit the open market

Jay Asser 11/03/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
It would be surprising to see Drew Brees anywhere other than New Orleans.

Player movement in the NFL is about to reach a frenzy with free agency kicking off this week.

The legal tampering period begins Monday, March 11, when teams are allowed to contact and open contract negotiations with players whose contracts are coming to an end.

Teams can’t officially sign players, however, until Wednesday, March 14, when the new league year gets under way at 16:00 ET (01:00 +1 UAE).

For players who will be restricted free agents, the deadline to sign offer sheets is April 20.

Though this year’s free agency class isn’t stacked with top-level talent, there are a number of high-impact players available, including two of the better quarterbacks in the league and plenty of cornerbacks.

Here’s our list of the top 10 free agents who will hit the market.

1. Drew Brees

Chances the Saints star quarterback leaves New Orleans are slim, but teams around the league can dream. If he were to show a willingness to move, Brees could turn a number of fringe teams into Super Bowl contenders. Even at the age of 39, he’s shown little signs of slowing down and is coming off a season in which he posted a passer rating of 103.9 and led the Saints to an 11-5 record.

2. Kirk Cousins

Whereas Brees would be more of a mercenary if he switched cities, Cousins has the chance to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. It’s not often a 29-year-old quarterback in his prime becomes available on the open market, but that’s the case with Cousins, who is in line for a hefty payday.

3. Andrew Norwell

With Carolina unlikely to re-sign him, the offensive guard is set to break the bank in free agency. The 26-year-old has been a vital cog in the Panthers’ running game over the years and last season didn’t surrender a single sack or quarterback hit, according to Pro Football Focus, earning him first-team All-Pro honours.

4. Allen Robinson

The athletic wide receiver will be an interesting case in free agency after playing only game last year before tearing his ACL. But he’s only 24 and just two seasons ago lit the world on fire with 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Even if it’s not a gamble Jacksonville want to take, some team will be more than happy to dive in.

Robinson

5. Trumaine Johnson

With the Rams adding Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib in the offseason, Johnson’s days in Los Angeles are all but numbered. After playing on a franchise tag the past two years, the cornerback will finally have the chance to lock down a long-term deal, though his annual salary won’t be nearly the same.

6. Nate Solder

Solder’s not the same player he was earlier in his career, but he’s easily the top left tackle available and someone who will get paid. Last season, the 30-year-old veteran struggled initially, but found his footing as the year went on and was eventually rock solid in keeping Tom Brady clean en route to reaching the Super Bowl.

7. Kyle Fuller

Fuller could technically sign with any team, but Chicago will have the option to match whatever offer he inks because they’ve placed the transition tag on the young cornerback. That could potentially scare suitors away, but as a player who continues to get better, he would be a major steal.

Fuller

8. Case Keenum

Keenum made himself a lot of money this past season by taking the leap from journeyman quarterback to someone who can lead a team to the NFC Championship Game. Minnesota may prefer to keep him and try to rekindle the magic, but he’s going to draw interest from other teams in need of a quarterback.

9. Dion Lewis

Even though he’s not the typical feature back, Lewis’ value lies in his versatility and ability to play all three downs. It may feel like he’s been around for a while, but he’s only 27 and doesn’t have the same wear and tear on his tyres that many others at his position do. Run, catch, block – Lewis can do it all.

10. Sheldon Richardson

The Seahawks’ defence is breaking up and Richardson appears to also be departing after he wasn’t slapped with a franchise tag. When he’s at his best, the 27-year-old defensive tackle can both clog up the running game and provide interior pressure. But it’s been some time now since he’s been at the top of his game.

Most popular