Frankly Frankel: July 16, 2016

16 Jul

Tom Brady surrenders, the Jets do the right thing with Muhammad Wilkerson, Tim Duncan retires, and Allen Crabbe (who?) gets more guaranteed money than Von Miller.  This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, July 16, 2016.

  • July 15, 2016 was a day 545 days in the making, the day when the most absurd rules investigations in sports history finally comes to an official close, at least that’s what it feels like.
  • After 545 days, Tom Brady has given up the fight, waved the white flag and will serve his four-game suspension to open the 2016 NFL season.  Brady announced his decision in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon.
  • Brady was never going to win this battle, not against Roger Goodell who was on the mission of his life to make sure he would not lose again, not after what happened with him during the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson domestic violence investigations.
  • I just figured that if Brady was willing to go this far, he wasn’t going to let it go until it reached the Supreme Court of the United States.  Clearly, Wednesday’s ruling by 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejecting Brady’s appeal was the dagger.  In Brady’s mind, that was his last hope, and he wouldn’t get his desired result.
  • Here’s how I reflect on everything that went on in Deflategate.  The penalty against Brady and the Patriots should have simply been a $25,000 fine.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The fact the NFL docked the Patriots a first round pick, fined the team $1,000,000 and suspended Brady for four games was beyond excessive.
  • As much as Patriot haters don’t want to admit it, what the Patriots did is a microscopic violation of NFL rules and it’s extremely hard to prove this gave New England an advantage, even though the team had the lowest fumble rate since Belichick became coach in 2000, for what that’s worth.
  • What did Brady in at the end was the fact he destroyed that infamous cell phone.  As adamant as Brady was about proclaiming his innocence, innocent people don’t destroy evidence, and the NFL I believe held that against Brady throughout this process.
  • In the end, Deflategate shouldn’t negatively effect Brady’s legacy as arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, and him missing the first four games means next to nothing since the Patriots only have one tough game during that stretch, a road game in Arizona to open the season.
  • New England will go 2-2 at the worst, 4-0 at best, and still cruise to another AFC East division title.  There’s a reason the Patriots are still listed as the favorite to win Super Bowl 51, so other teams in the AFC would be foolish to get too excited over this.  (Naturally, the Jets will still face Brady twice, yay!).
  • The New York Jets have developed a reputation over the years for doing everything the wrong way.  Well, for once, the Jets finally got something right by rewarding Muhammad Wilkerson with a five-year $86 million contract that includes $36.75 million in guarantees.  Only Darrelle Revis has been given more guaranteed dollars in team history ($39 million).
  • Throughout his entire Jets career, Wilkerson has done everything that was asked of him, and last season chose not to sit out training camp because he didn’t want to be a distraction.  That’s called being a team player.
  • Wilkerson ended up deciding to play for an underwhelming $7 million, motivated to show the Jets what he was worth.  How did he respond?  He recorded a career high 12 sacks and earned his first career Pro Bowl selection.  After a season like that, there was a zero percent change Wilkerson would be satisfied unless he got the long-term contract he was seeking, and it was so refreshing to see Woody Johnson and Mike Maccagnan reward a player who poured his heart and soul out for the team.
  • There will be repercussions following a move like this, and it could mean the Jets no longer view Sheldon Richardson as being a focal point of the team’s future.  Fortunately for the Jets, off the field concerns may lower his value and keep him around Florham Park longer than he would otherwise.
  • There’s no proof to this theory, but if it was the Jets’ intention to wait out the Ryan Fitzpatrick negotiations to the point where players on the team would begin speaking in support of Geno Smith and there wouldn’t be outrage if the Jets ever decided to not re-sign Fitzpatrick, then the Jets executed their plan to perfection.
  • I know that I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t feel like I’d be missing out on anything if Fitzpatrick wasn’t back, and I picture the Jets winning eight or nine games with either Fitzpatrick or Geno starting.  That starts and ends the Fitzpatrick argument for me.
  • For whatever reason, something still tells me the two sides will strike a deal, but time is certainly not on Fitzpatrick’s side nowadays.
  • One of the greatest players in NBA history called it a career this week.  Tim Duncan decided to retire at the age of 40 following an iconic 19-year career, all with the San Antonio Spurs that included five championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, two NBA MVPs, 15 All-Star Game selections, 10 All-NBA First-Team selections and eight All-NBA Defensive First Team selections.
  • Obviously it still stings a little bit as a Nets fan losing to Duncan in the 2003 NBA Finals, but you can’t help but admire how Duncan always did what was best for the team, always taking less money so the Spurs could continue being a championship team, and unlike Kobe Bryant, Duncan leaves a team coming off a 67-win season and in prime position to make another deep playoff run.
  • Perhaps my favorite Tim Duncan moment ever was how he announced his retirement.  There wasn’t a major press conference, a bombshell Players’ Tribune article, it was simply an a statement released by the Spurs saying Duncan decided to retire.  If there was ever the perfect Tim Duncan moment, that was it.
  • One highly noteworthy anecdote from Duncan’s career is the fact he could very well be the last player in NBA history to make the Hall of Fame after spending four years in college.  Think about that for a second.  What used to be commonplace for star players in college basketball is now considered an enigma.  If you spend four years in college as a basketball player, that essentially means you did so reluctantly and not for educational purposes.  Sad, but true, and it’s and one of the biggest reasons why Duncan needs to be appreciated for everything he gave to the game.  There will never be another superstar like Duncan anywhere.
  • Fun fact from NBA free agency: Allen Crabbe will get $75 million in guarantees to play basketball for the Portland Trail Blazers, while Von Miller will get $70 million to play football for the Broncos.  Gotta love sports.
  • Make sure to tune in next time for another edition of Frankly Frankel and be sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.




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