NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES-BRADY-GIANTS-JETS

For the second straight year, Tom Brady has been voted as the top player in the NFL. Although it’s not the same as winning MVP, Brady seemed pretty excited this week after being named the No. 1 player on the NFL’s top-100 list. Brady shared his reaction on Instagram after being given the top spot.

“I am honored, grateful and appreciative of such an incredible honor,” Brady wrote. “Thank you to all the NFL players for their kind words. I am blessed to play a sport with so many inspiring athletes. This recognition belongs to my teammates, coaches, fans, friends and family. Thank you all!” By 

The NFL “concluded that Winston violated the personal conduct policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent and that disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate.” As part of of his discipline, Winston is required to obtain a clinical evaluation and fully cooperate in any recommended program of therapeutic intervention.

“A failure either to obtain the evaluation or to cooperate with treatment will result in further discipline,” the league said in a statement. “In addition, a future violation of the personal conduct policy will result in more substantial discipline, including a potential ban from the NFL.” By Marc Sessler

Denver hopes they’ve found their QB, the Raiders hope their QB finds himself, and the Chiefs and Chargers have the pieces in place for deep postseason runs. By ROBERT KLEMKO 

With the end of his contract looming, will the Falcons lock up Jarrett with an extension this year? The defensive tackle, who has continued to improve since his career game in Super Bowl LI, is keeping his hopes up. By JONATHAN JONES

It’s records week, so I wanted in on the fun. When I think of NFL records, I turn my attention towards the unofficial record in consecutive snaps. Joe Thomas has the unofficial record with 10,363 consecutive snaps in a row. His streak ended this season with a torn tricep and that torch of consecutive snaps played now falls onto my brother, Chiefs right tackle Mitch Schwartz, who currently (and, remember, unofficially) leads the NFL with over 6,200 consecutive snaps over his first six NFL seasons.

Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Although we’re in the middle of summer, if you squint you can just make out the beginning of the regular NFL regular season now. How do the oddsmakers view your team’s chances in 2018? Let’s take a look at every team in the NFL. By Rob Nelson

Note: All futures odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of June 25. All game line references from Weeks 2-16 courtesy of CG Technology.

Some people might not be impressed with playing every snap because, hey, that’s our job. But I think a short list of all the ways you can miss a snap might help change your mind and remind you why this is pretty awesome and amazing. By 

The National Football League fined former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson $2.75 million after an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct. By SCOOBY AXSON

Carolina returns much of its seventh-ranked defense (and plugged the open holes) and with Washington now in charge, opponents should expect the same consistency its seen for the last several seasons. By JONATHAN JONES 

Spurred by the unique combination of an ever-expanding salary cap, the rookie wage scale, the dearth of top-tier free agents, and a little good old-fashioned copycat-itis, we saw an explosion of trades in the NFL this offseason. With teams dealing Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Bennett, the NFL proved more willing than ever to wade into the trade market—even with some big-name stars. By Danny Kelly

Michael Strahan spent the entirety of his 15-year NFL career with the New York Giants and earned a well-deserved spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. His 141.5 career sacks are sixth on the NFL’s all-time list, but he’s also the owner of arguably the most coveted pas- rushing record: the single-season mark of 22.5 sacks.

Strahan set the record in 2001 — a season in which he was dominant and led the NFL in both sacks and forced fumbles. But the last sack of the year for Strahan was as sketchy as it gets.

After getting shut down all game against the Green Bay Packers, Strahan was running out of time to get the last sack he needed to pass Mark Gastineau’s record of 22 sacks. The Packers were nursing a 34-25 lead with less than three minutes to go and were working on running out the remaining clock.

Green Bay didn’t have much reason to pass, but Brett Favre rolled out of the pocket straight into Strahan. It was the easiest sack possible and Favre immediately congratulated Strahan for his new spot in the record books.

After the game, Favre told reporters that nobody deserved the record more than Strahan. According to the New York Times, Favre changed a play call that was supposed to be a run for Ahman Green, and his Packers teammates weren’t as amused.

Strahan has also had to deal with accusations that his record-breaking moment was a sham.

“I just hate that it got caught up in the wash of the record-breaking sack,” Strahan said on NFL Network in 2013. “The sack record’s great — absolutely phenomenal, but I almost feel like in a sense it was diminished, because everyone goes, ‘Oh, Brett Favre gave you a sack.’ I caught so much flak over it. It’s not worth it, because everyone looks as if one sack that they question is the defining moment of my career.

“I’ve always kind of taken it, but I always have to say, if you don’t like it, then break it.”

The record has stood for 17 seasons, but it’s ripe for breaking. Five players have reached at least 20 sacks since Strahan took the record, and it seems like just a matter of time until one gets to 23.

Most recently, Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs got to 22 sacks with a four-sack performance in the last game of the 2014 season. Would he have gotten a record-breaking 23rd on the year if the Chiefs coaches didn’t drop him into coverage on the final play of the game? The world will never know.

With injuries slowing him down, Houston hasn’t been able to reach double-digit sacks in any of the last three seasons.

So if Houston doesn’t look like he’s gearing up for another run at Strahan, which players in the NFL are better positioned to take away the record?

Von MillerDenver Broncos

Consistently strong numbers make Miller an easy candidate. He’s averaged about 12 sacks per season, and cracked double-digits in all but one of his seven NFL seasons. Miller’s only year under 10 sacks was a suspension-shortened 2013.

Miller’s best year was 2012 when he had 18.5 sacks, but his numbers leveled off when the Broncos’ offense hit rocky times. It’s a lot easier to get sacks when the opposing team is trying to play keep up.

With Case Keenum under center, perhaps the Denver defense will get to pin its ears back like it did earlier in Miller’s career. If it does, don’t be surprised to see Miller pushing his sack numbers back into the elite tier and maybe even the record-breaking stratosphere.

Khalil MackOakland Raiders

In 2016, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Mack could get 30 sacks in a season. He said it again in 2017.

Carr hasn’t said it yet in 2018, but he probably hasn’t changed his mind about Mack’s huge potential. The pass rusher has 36.5 sacks in the last three seasons with a personal-best 15 sacks in 2015.

Still just 27 years old, there’s plenty of reason to believe Mack could turn it up, especially with new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther scheming up blitzes for the two-time All Pro.

Chandler JonesArizona Cardinals

The NFL’s sack leader in 2017 was Jones with 17 sacks. After four years in New England, the Patriots traded Jones to Arizona, where he’s really ramped up his production.

An impressive aspect of Jones’ huge year is it wasn’t made up of explosive games — just consistent numbers on a weekly basis. He had at least one sack in 13 of 16 games and no games with more than two sacks. That suggests there was nothing fluky about his league-leading sack total.

Jones is still very much in his prime and should continue to gets sacks week in and week out.

Joey BosaLos Angeles Chargers

The 2016 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year will turn 23 in July and has just 28 NFL games under his belt. But he already has 23 sacks, with 12.5 coming during the 2017 season. He even set a record for the most sacks in a player’s first 20 games.

Bosa is very much of the Strahan mold when it comes to defensive ends. He’s 6’5, 280 pounds and unlike Miller, Mack and Jones, he’s going to have his hand in the dirt every snap.

But if Strahan and J.J. Watt — who put up 20.5-sack seasons in 2012 and 2014 — are any indication, that doesn’t mean his sack numbers will suffer. Bosa has a long career ahead of terrorizing quarterbacks, and his numbers only stand to improve.

Myles GarrettCleveland Browns

Including Garrett on this list may seem optimistic and based solely on the fact that he was the No. 1 pick in 2017. But his rookie year was more impressive than most seem to realize.

Garrett finished the year with seven sacks, a solid total for a player who missed five games and really didn’t start to play much until Week 7. Altogether, he played less than half of Cleveland’s defensive snaps over the course of the season.

If Garrett can stay healthy in 2018 and beyond, there’s no reason to think he won’t quickly become one of the upper-echelon pass rushers in the NFL — potentially even the kind of unblockable monster who can top 20 sacks.


Strahan’s record isn’t an unbreakable one. A player topping 20 sacks isn’t that rare in the NFL. It’s only a matter of time before one of the league’s many dynamic, young pass rushers puts together a special season and dethrones Strahan.

And that’d be for the best. While Strahan deserves to be remembered as one of the best defensive ends ever, his single-season sack record is bogus. By Adam Stites

 

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