Thursday’s Den: NFL knowledge on a summer day

13) Cleveland Browns traded QB Baker Mayfield to Carolina Wednesday, for either a 4th or 5th-round draft pick in 2024, depending on how he does.

Panthers will pay $4.85M of Mayfield’s salary this year, while the Browns will pay $10.5M; Mayfield agreed to convert the remainder of his $18.8M salary into incentives to facilitate the trade.

Mayfield was 30-31 starting games for Cleveland, winning a playoff game two years ago, Browns’ only playoff win since re-joining the NFL in 1999 (the old Cleveland Browns are the Baltimore Ravens now).

Sam Darnold (17-32 as an NFL starter), PJ Walker (2-0 as a starter) and rookie Matt Corral are Carolina’s other quarterbacks. 

12) Where does this leave Cleveland? Deshaun Watson doesn’t figure to play much, if at all, this season; Browns’ other QB’s are Jacoby Brissett (14-23 as a starter), Joshua Dobbs. 

11) One of my favorite things is when the NFL releases its schedule in the spring; it tells you stuff, if you read between the lines.

Week 1, this fall: Cleveland at Carolina. We should have known.

There are no coincidences. Someone in New York knew something. 

10) Brian Griese worked on TV for ESPN the last 12 years; this season he’s going to be the QB coach for the 49ers, one of four new assistant coaches on the offensive side of the ball for San Francisco, which lost OC Mike McDaniel to the Dolphins.

9) Miami fired coach Brian Flores, even though his team was 19-14 the last two years; here’s the thing- Dolphins flopped badly in Week 17 both of those years, which cost them a playoff spot.

2021- lost 34-3 in Tennessee
2020- lost 56-26 in Buffalo

8) Last six years, Denver Broncos are 39-58; during that time, they’ve started 10 different QB’s. Now they’ve got Russell Wilson, who is 113-60-1 as an NFL starter, a huge upgrade. 

7) Kliff Kingsbury has been a head coach for nine years, counting college/NFL; here is how his teams break down:

first seven games: 42-20-1
from Game 8 on: 17-45

6) 20 years ago,  Oakland Raiders lost the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay; since then, they’ve moved to Las Vegas, but they haven’t won a playoff game.

2016— lost 27-14 at Houston
2021— lost 26-19 at Cincinnati. 

5) Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times last year, 19 times in four playoff games; if the Bengals are going to get back to the playoffs this year, they need to keep Burrow upright.

By the way, Jacksonville’s new offensive coordinator is Press Taylor, younger brother of Bengals’ coach Zac Taylor.

4) When Matt Ryan starts for the Colts in Week 1, he’ll be the sixth different QB to start for Indy the last six years.

2017- Scott Tolzien
2018- Andrew Luck
2019- Jacoby Brissett
2020- Philip Rivers
2021- Carson Wentz
2022- Matt Ryan

3) Big X hasn’t had a player drafted in the first round of the last two NFL Drafts; they had 25 players drafted this past spring, but none in Round 1. 

2) WR Stefan Diggs is going to miss OC Brian Daboll, who is now head coach of the Giants; in his two seasons with Buffalo, with Daboll as OC, here are Diggs’ numbers:

2020- 127 catches, 1,535 yards, 8 TD’s.
2021- 103 catches, 1,225 yards, 10 TD’s.

1) Players taken after the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft:
47th pick (2nd round) Bobby Wagner, by Seattle
75th pick (3rd round) Russell Wilson, also by Seattle
102nd pick (4th round) Kirk Cousins, Washington

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.