More good news: He’s going to make a ton of money, regardless if he wins the starting gig. It’s really not too hard to be “committed” to someone when that someone is paying you $22 million for your commitment.
First base options: Brandon Belt, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto
First base pick: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
The anchor for baseball’s best team is “only” hitting .274, but he sports a gaudy .419 OBP and .605 slugging with 10 homers and 29 RBI. There are other good options, but no great ones after Rizzo this season.
Second base options: Josh Harrison, D.J. LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Jean Segura, Chase Utley, Neil Walker, Ben Zobrist
Second base pick: Daniel Murphy, Nationals
When the Ravens drafted Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds this past weekend, they knew they were taking a gamble on a developmental prospect who is likely to change positions at the next level. They also knew that Reynold’s future in the NFL could be impacted by his requirement to serve in the Navy for five years.
The Ravens just needed to look at the Patriots to see how that five-year requirement can impact a player. A year ago, the Patriots drafted Navy long snapper Joe Cardona, who was able to play last season while simultaneously satisfying his Naval requirement. Unfortunately for the Patriots, that might change this year and beyond.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 6, 2016
Amendola was previously scheduled to count $6.8 million against the cap in 2016, per ESPN.
“It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys,” Amendola told Garafolo in a statement. “We have one goal — to win another championship and that’s all we care about.”
While the Patriots didn’t outright confirm the news, they did write an article about Garofalo’s report on their own website, which is either their way of confirming it or they’re really doing their best to mislead us. Never rule out anything when it comes to Bill Belichick.
In all seriousness, retaining Amendola at their price is a big-time move for the Patriots. Amendola proved to be especially valuable last season when Julian Edelman missed a chunk of games. In 14 games, Amendola brought down 65 passes for 648 yards and three touchdowns.
He might not be Brady’s top option, but he’s a dependable third or fourth target behind Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, and a solid returner. With the addition of Martellus Bennett, who gives the team a scary tight end combination, the Patriots shouldn’t see a decline in their offensive production — well, after Brady is done serving his Deflategate suspension.
1. New York Jets
It’s kind of difficult not to start here.
Geno Smith would be the guy to start if they had to play a game tomorrow, and he’s also the most likely guy to be gone the moment Ryan Fitzpatrick comes to his senses and signs a contract. But even if Fitzpatrick signs, the Jets have made it clear they won’t do a long-term deal with big guaranteed money.
They’re hedging their bets, considerably.
Starting Christian Hackenberg in Week 1 would be perilous, though the second-rounder might well be their guy for 2017. Regardless, it’s impossible to take glance at a quarterback window one year out from now and not start here.
Geno Smith, not Ryan Fitzpatrick, would be the guy to start if the Jets had to play a game tomorrow.