Well, we've successfully navigated the dreary dead period of the NFL offseason. This time next week, most teams, including the Seahawks, will have reported for training camp. Then, preseason. After that? The real thing. They grow up so fast. It's been longer than a week since we were last here and there's a lot to get to, so let's get to it.
I don't watch Game of Thrones but isn't one of the things people repeat far too much, "Winter is coming?" Well, in a completely original and hilarious spin, I'm here to tell you football is coming! Humor and football news, together at last. Hey, here's some cool stuff from Field Gulls this past week.
Evan Hill kicks us off (like football!) with a piece on why Kasen Williams is the bubble receiver to watch heading into camp, and why Kevin Smith and Kenny Lawler shouldn't be feeling too good about their chances to make the roster.
Samuel Gold has been straight killing the video breakdowns here for a couple weeks, his latest being on the perpetually underrated Cliff Avril.
Lars Russell brings us an interesting comparison between Thomas Rawls and Curt Warner and their similar trajectories, both good and bad. Come for the Rawls' running style analogy, stay for the Marshawn Lynch running style analogy.
Finally, Seaside Chats with Kenneth Arthur dropped its second episode last week, this time with Spike Friedman of The Stranger. There's some Mariners talk, but that's okay.
Done in the kick of time
Three teams beat the clock last week to get contract extensions done before their respective players would play 2016 under the franchise tag; the Broncos and Von Miller, the Ravens and Justin Tucker and the Jets and Muhammad Wilkerson.
Miller and the Broncos agreed to a six-year, $114.5 million extension, making Miller the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. For an explanation as to why he's worth every cent, I direct your attention to the incomparable Danny Kelly.
Tucker, one of the league's most clutch kickers, signed a four-year $16.8 million extension with the Ravens last Friday, just prior to the deadline.
Wilkerson and the Jets, seemingly the least likely duo to work out an extension, managed to find common ground - presumably close to common sense - before last Friday's deadline. The hometown star signed a five-year $86 million deal that will keep the Jets best defensive player on the team through his prime.
The running back blues (Bills?)
Its been a hectic couple of weeks for the Buffalo Bills' backfield. First, we learned LeSean McCoy will not be facing discipline for an incident he was involved in earlier this offseason. Then, rookie Jonathan Williams was arrested for DWI last Thursday. The following day, sophomore Karlos Williams was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the substances of abuse policy. All this has led to the Bills reportedly making free agent Reggie Bush a contract offer, which Bush is in no rush to make a decision on, per Ian Rapoport.
The move that the NFL world was waiting on finally happened, albeit for less money than I had thought. Veteran running back Arian Foster signed a one-year $1.5 million deal with the Miami Dolphins following a workout. The money proves Foster is a long way from being a lock to make the team, but looking at the running back spot in Miami it's hard not to think the former Texan could contribute.
Suspensions, lots of ‘em
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Lynch, one of the team's best players, will be able to return October 2nd against the Dallas Cowboys.
Le'Veon Bell is once again facing a suspension, this time four games, for missing multiple tests. Bell, one of the best running backs in football, missed the first three games of 2015 due to suspension.
Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones was suspended four games on Friday for violating the league's policy against performance enhancing drugs. Jones' brother Jon was pulled from UFC 200 due to a failed drug test, and their other brother Chandler ran into trouble in late 2015 following a dance with synthetic marijuana.
Presumed poor judge of character Josh Gordon met with Roger Goodell this week to discuss the receiver's reinstatement to the league following a suspension that has lasted longer than a year. Gordon, one of the league's most exciting players when he's on the field, is eligible for reinstatement anytime after August 1st.
In yet another effort to prove remorse, former NFL running back Ray Rice has pledged to donate his entire salary to efforts surrounding domestic violence prevention and awareness, if the former Raven gets another chance in 2016.
Olympic dreams and peanut goodbyes
New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner will make history this summer. Ebner was named to the United States' rugby sevens team for the 2016 Olympics, making him the first active NFL player to take part in the Olympics.
After retiring due to concussions, former Lions running back Jahvid Best has reached the pinnacle of another sport. Best will run for St. Lucia's track team in the 2016 Summer Olympics, taking part in the 100-metre sprint.
Charles Tillman retired this past week after 13 seasons in the NFL. Famous for his peanut punch and being a key member of a once-dominant Chicago Bears defense, Tillman played out the final season of his career as a member of the Carolina Panthers.
After being released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this offseason, tackle Eugene Monroe has decided to retire from the NFL, citing health concerns. Monroe, one of the most active proponents for marijuana use as a pain manager for NFL players, will be able to turn his attentions fully to what is seemingly a very logical cause.
I too would stop playing video games for $18 million guaranteed
Oakland Raiders cornerback David Amerson signed a four-year extension last week, worth up to $36 million. Amerson, who enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2015 after a putrid three-year start to his career, credited his success to, "Ditching video games and studying the playbook." For $18 million in guarantees, I'm right behind you, dude.
Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant - better known as Des Bryant - suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will miss up to six months. Bryant, Cleveland's best defensive lineman in 2015, is holding out hope he will be able to return in 2016.
JJ Watt underwent back surgery and will be out up to ten weeks in recovery. Within a couple of hours, the reporting went from week-one return, to week-three, to week-four. One thing we do know for sure is that Watt will be headed to the PUP list to start Texans training camp.
The Cowboys have addressed the hole left by Rolando McClain's suspension, bringing back veteran Justin Durant on a one-year deal. Durant returns to Dallas after spending 2015 with the Atlanta Falcons.
I'm all caught up, you're all caught up, Golden Tate caught it all up, or something along those lines. Go Hawks.