2020-07-23

Lamb, Cowboys agree to 4-year rookie contract

Dallas Cowboys, CeeDee Lamb have agreed to four-year, $14.01M rookie contract, David Moore of Dallas Morning News reports.

The deal includes $7.7M signing bonus, Moore adds. It includes a fifth-year team option.

Ian Maule, Tulsa World

Lamb, the 17th overall selection in this year's National Football League Draft, will join other teammates at Cowboys rookie camp in Frisco, Texas. The remainder of the team will report July 28.

Lamb is represented by Jimmy Sexton, Tory Dandy of Los Angeles-based Creative Artist Agency, according to Spotrac.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com

2020-07-19

Sooners reaction to Madden NFL 21 ratings

EA Sports released the Madden NFL 21 player ratings ahead of August 28 release date this week.

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
The exclusive 99 club, included five players (Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas), none of which included former University of Oklahoma players.

Here's how they reacted on social media to their ratings:

Adrian Peterson, WAS, RB: 78 overall, 89 speed, 89 acceleration.


Joe Mixon, CIN, RB: 89 overall, 91 speed, 93 acceleration.


Kyler Murray, ARZ, QB: 77 overall, 91 speed, 92 acceleration.


Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com

2020-07-18

Joe Mixon ranked in the top five of running bank rankings

A trio of Oklahoma running backs are considered among the top backs in the league.

Maurice Jones-Drew, a three-time Pro Bowl running back, released  his “Ranking all 32 RB1s heading into 2020” on NFL.com.

As 35-year-old Adrian Peterson continues his workhorse production at running back, Jones-Drew bases his rankings on who’s likely to start. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Washington uses a running back by committee approach, Jones Drew ranks the starting running backs for each team – based on who he believes who will have the most production this season.

“Despite Derrius Guice being the more explosive running back, Peterson gets the nod because, well, Guice can't stay healthy,” Jones-Drew writes, NFL.com.

Peterson is ranked 23rd by Jones-Drew.

After stating six of the 11 games he appeared last season  – Damien Williams had 498 yards on 111 carries, including five touchdowns in his seventh season in the league.

He would eventually re-earn his starting job after initially named starter ahead of training camp, last season, but was slowed by a hamstring injury. Williams would contribute the final two touchdowns in, 31-20, Kansas City victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl LV as starting running back.

“He'll have a role in Andy Reid's offense, but Williams will benefit from his experience and the limited offseason. The Chiefs will lean on Williams early on, and what happens from there is dependent on how well the rookie plays,” Jones-Drew says.
Williams is ranked 18th on the running back rankings.

At near the top of the rankings, third-year running back Joe Mixon is expected to have ‘best year yet,' Jones-Drew writes.

Mixon, started all 15 games last season, recorded only five touchdowns, though, after 278 carries, averaging 4.1 yards-per-carry.

“This is going to be Mixon's best year yet. The Bengals' offensive line will be healthier. A.J. Green will be back. And Cincinnati drafted two major offensive weapons in quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins,” Jones-Drew writes.

Mixon is ranked fifth.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com

2020-07-16

Buddy Hield joins team after recovering from COVID-19

Buddy is back.

Kings guard Buddy Hield joined his teammates at Walt Disney Sports Complex in Reunion, Fla. on Sunday, per The Sacramento Bee.

He was among four players on Sacramento  roster to test positive for COVID-19, which included Jabari Parker, Alex Len and Harrison Barnes.

Associated Press

“I wasn’t scared or nothing like that,” Hield said, per The Sacramento Bee, in his first media availability since testing positive in June.

 “I tested positive and I was just concerned for the people around me like my daughter and my girl and my family. I didn’t want nobody getting infected by it. I didn’t want my carelessness causing someone to lose their life or something like that.”

The 27-year-old said he had minor symptoms, "a little head cold" and "chills one night."

Hield competed in a Skinz League game in Edmond, Okla. in June, was asked if he would have taken more precautions in the tournament that features former NCAA players including international players.

"I wouldn't do nothing differently," Hield said, per ESPN.com, "I don't think I got it playing basketball because a lot of guys I was playing with, none of them got it."

Kings open play in Orlando against San Antonio Spurs, July 28.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 



Kenny Stills, others arrested after trespassing at Kentucky AG's residence

Kenny Stills faces a felony charge.

The Houston Texans receiver was released Wednesday morning following his arrest by Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (Louisville, Ky.) Tuesday.

 Stills, 29, was charged on Wednesday accused of intimidating a participant in the legal process, a felony, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass – misdemeanors, Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Stills and 86 others were taken into custody after "peacefully protesting," as described by Stills, at the residence of Daniel Cameron, Attorney General of Kentucky, on Tuesday. The demonstration organized by Until Freedom drew over 100 people, including Stills to the neighborhood of Cameron.




The Courier-Journal reports Stills, and others were arrested after ‘protesting' on Cameron's lawn, "at (Cameron's) request, they were trespassed from the property," LMPD spokesman Lamont Washington told the paper.

The group assembled at Cameron's residence demanding charges against three Louisville officers accused involvement in the fatal shooting death of Breonna Taylor, 26, after officers entered her residence with a “no-knock warrant.”

Taylor was shot eight times.

No officers have been charged involved in Taylor's death on March 13.

Elizabeth Kuhn, spokeswoman for Cameron's office said, per The New York Times, following the arrest of demonstrators, “ultimately, any charges will be subject to the legal process and further review by prosecutors."

Stills, an outspoken advocate of police reform, will be joined by players across the league in kneeling during National Anthem, including Baker Mayfield, Adrian Peterson and Kyler Murray after the deaths of Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Aubrey this year.

“There is a lot of hate in this world, but at the same time, what’s happening and what we’re seeing right now, it’s huge.” said Murray, Arizona Cardinals quarterback. “I’ll be kneeling. I stand for what’s right. … I’ll definitely be taking a knee.”

Both, Peterson, Mayfield echoed his sentiment.

“Yeah, without a doubt, without a doubt,” Peterson, a 13-year league veteran, said when asked if he'll kneel in solidarity. Mayfield said, too, “Absolutely. I am,” he posted on social media.

National Football League players reacted to Stills' arrest on social media:






Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 

2020-07-15

Madden NFL 21 releases CeeDee Lamb game rating

Did CeeDee Lamb get snubbed by Madden?

Lamb earned All-American honors at Oklahoma, its unsurprising the 17th overall selection in this year's National Football League draft is highly-rated in EA Sports’ marquee gaming titleMadden NFL 21.

A class widely regarded for its talent at wide receiver with six taken in the first-round. Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs led the way selected at 12th overall selection by Las Vegas Raiders, followed by teammate Jerry Jeudy taken by Denver Broncos at 15th and Lamb followed being drafted by Dallas Cowboys.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
While, both Lamb, Jeudy have same overall rating (75), Ruggs gets the nod for highest initial rating overall (76); moreover, his speed (98) and acceleration (97) attributes were the highest among the class.

However, Lamb wasn’t rated the highest outright at any attributes – his rating is exceptionally high at strength (69), a class-high at awareness (76-tied). Lamb had a rating of 90 at both speed and acceleration.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, quarterback Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City had the highest rating: 99 overall.

Avid players of the Madden franchise will see quarterback Lamar Jackson of Baltimore Ravens on the cover when Madden NFL 21 is released Aug 28.


Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 


2020-07-14

DeMarco Murray part of ownership group seeking to buy MLB franchise

Add professional sports franchise owner to the titles DeMarco Murray holds?

A group of investors led by Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez submitted an initial bid of $1.7 billion for Major League Baseball franchise ownership of the New York Mets, New York Post reported on Monday.

DeMarco Murray, who played six season in the NFL, earned over $25 million in career earnings is joined by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, retired lineman Joe Thomas, among others.

Michael Perez / Associated Press
A competing ownership group is led by minority owner Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, and his partners  Florida Panthers owner Vinny Viola and Vitaminwater co-founder Mike Repole.

Cohen’s ownership group is reportedly the favorite to buy the franchise after a recent bid of $2 billion, The Post reported.

However, Jeff Wilpon, Mets Chief Operating Officer, would prefer to sale the franchise to the group of former athletes and Lopez, according to ESPN's Vaughn McClure.

“It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them,” Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher told ESPN.com.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have such high-quality individuals as part of our group, ” Lopez and Rodriguez said, per The Post.

Its unclear if Lopez, Rodriguez group, organized by Jim Cantelupe, co-founder of New York-based Summit Trail Advisors, a wealth management fund will bid on SNY, the regional carriage network for the club, which Bloomberg valued at $1.2 billion in 2013.

The initial round of bidding ends Thursday, and the sale must be finalized by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manford.

The finalization of sale is expected in October, CBS New York reported.

Correction: This article incorrectly stated Bloomberg valued SNY at $1.3 billion.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 

2020-07-13

Analysts: Kyler Murray worthy of franchise contract

Patrick Mahomes signed the richest contract in sports, a 10-year, $503M extension with the Kansas City Chiefs last week.

The 24-year-old quarterback has rewrote National Football League record books in three-seasons, becoming the second member in league history of the 50 touchdowns, 5,000-yard club, is now signed through 2031.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

In a league top heavy of up-and-coming quarterbacks such as DaShaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Jared Goff.

The NFL Network posed the question— after Mahomes: Which quarterback would you offer such a contract to?

A surprising answer among a couple: Kyler Murray.

Maurice Jones-Drew, a network analyst, didn’t hesitant in choosing Murray.

"I'm taking the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Kyler Murray. The kid is a ripe 22 years old and the centerpiece of an Arizona Cardinals team on the comeup.” Jones said, per NFL.com, a three-time Pro Bowl back for Jacksonville Jaguars.

Murray, soon-to-be 23 on Aug  7, alongside Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury improved the last ranked Cardinals’ offense in 2018 to 16th in his rookie campaign last season.

“The 2019 No. 1 overall pick lived up to the hype as a dual-threat quarterback who thrilled in Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid offense with impressive throws and timely rushes. Some might argue that Lamar Jackson would be a better choice, but Murray's playing style isn't quite as concerning as the reigning league MVP's."

However, the throwing ability Mahomes possesses is unlike any other, says Kurt Warner, who led the most prolific offense until 2010s  – St. Louis Rams to one Super Bowl victory.

"The answer is nobody! Twelve years in the NFL feels like an eternity. No other quarterback has proven that type of worth or is young enough to make me believe he can carry my team for that long,” said Warner, a two-time league most valuable player.

“I know that's not the answer you were looking for, so for the sake of providing an answer, I'll say ... Kyler Murray."

Murray, Cardinals open training camp July 28.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 



2020-07-09

Obo shows he's healthy, ready to compete for starting role in Los Angeles

He’s ready.

Linebacker Ogbonnia "Obo" Okoronkwo showed he’s in shape,  ready to compete for starting role -- posting a workout video on social media recently.

“Everybody thinks that we’re these chiseled body-builder types. But a lot of the time a lot of the guys don’t have that traditional body-builder look,” 25-year-old reserve said in April, per USA Today's Rams Wire, after a string of injuries sidelined him.


Okoronkwo, Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, began the offseason in hopes of earning a starting position. After being a year removed of concerns of being cut by Los Angeles, who won the Super Bowl in 2019, a contest he missed after being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list in his rookie season.

“When the season picks up then I’ll definitely be back,” Okoronkwo said. “But I just feel good, a lot of energy. My body feels really clean. I feel like energized when I wake up, yeah. I’m loving it.”

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Okoronkwo was drafted in the fifth round with the 160th overall pick by the organization, after being named an All-American honorable mention his senior season at Oklahoma. However, the 6-foot-2, 250-pounder has suffered a number of setbacks including a broken foot that sidelined him the entirety of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery. A sore hamstring, last season, limited Okoronkwo to ten games.

“A lot of guys are very skilled, so they don’t have to be super strong or super fast, or they don’t have to look like a superhero to be really good at what they do. They’re intricate and very detailed in their skills. So that’s what makes them so much better than everybody else,” he added in preparation for the upcoming season.

Los Angeles Rams open training camp July 28.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com. 

2020-06-30

"They don't need me to win" – Trent Williams on joining 49ers

A relationship between Washington and Trent Williams, Kyle Shanahan helped the All-Pro land in San Francisco.

Williams knew after being traded from Washington Redskins in April, the 49ers didn’t ‘need' him to win after Super Bowl LIV appearance.

"I say this all the time: It was an attractive destination, not just because of Kyle and the quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo), of course, but they don't need me to win, " Williams said.

Mark Tenally/Associated Press
Their relationship dates back to Washington where he served as offensive coordinator between 2010-13. And where Williams earned six Pro Bowl appearances, the relationship later soured after a dispute between him and the club.

“To me, it gives me the chance to come in and not feel like the world is on my shoulders and I have to do everything, I’m just a small piece of the puzzle to a well-tuned machine,” Williams said, per NBC Sports.

It could be argued their offensive line was upgraded after losing Pro Bowl tackle Joe Staley in the offseason.

"We just always had a real close relationship,” Williams continued. “Even when he left, when he went to Cleveland and Atlanta, we always kept in touch. We talked about reuniting the day he left his office in Washington and it was spoken into existence."

Shanahan, John Lynch, the 49ers general manager, knew trading for the thirty-one-year-old tackle without an extension in place was an assumed risk.

“We felt like even though we were assuming some risk without the Trent Williams thing being done, that was a risk we were willing to take," Lynch said, via ESPN.com.

"I think the plan was to land him right now and then let the rest kind of work itself out,"  Lynch added.

Last month, the 49ers restructured Williams' contract – prorating a portion of the $12.5M he's due on an expiring five-year, $68M.

Do you have a tip, suggestion, complaint or see an error? E-mail me at gilbert.sam @ soonersblog.com.