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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: July 3, 2023

The Wolf Sports Newsletter is a weekly newsletter giving an efficient update on the recent happenings in the world of sports. In an era where Twitter is a primary news source for many sports fans, you can think of The Wolf Sports Newsletter as a Tweet Sheet delivering key information every Monday. The focus is on football, but big news from other sectors of sports will also be included to keep you in the loop with all the action to start the week.


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Even in a quiet are of the year for sports, there’s been a lot going on—unfortunately starting with some sad news this week.


😢 Former Arkansas and NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett has died at 35.


  • Authorities said Mallett was one of six people struggling to get to shore from the ocean in Destin, Florida. He went under and drowned.
  • Mallett started his college career at Michigan in 2007 before playing at Arkansas and having two excellent seasons in 2009 and 2010—including a seventh-place Heisman finish in 2010.
  • He was taken by the Patriots in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and also played for the Texans and Ravens.
  • Most recently, Mallett was entering his second season as the head coach at White Hall High School in Arkansas.
  • Many including Tom Brady, who said “we lost a great man,” and Bill Belichick reacted to the sad news.






🎲 NFL suspends four more players for violating the league’s betting policy.


  • As expected, cornerback Isaiah Rodgers was suspended indefinitely, as were Rashod Berry and free agent Demetrius Taylor. They bet on NFL games last season and can attempt to apply for reinstatement after the 2023 season.
  • Titans offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere was suspended for six games for placing a non-NFL bet at the team facility.
  • The Colts promptly cut Rodgers and Berry when the news was announced.
  • Rodgers reportedly bet on an over/under for a Colts running back, which is obviously a big no-no.
  • Again, while players must be smart and should probably just avoid sports betting altogether, we are all hit with almost non-stop sports betting ads today.





👀 Eagles’ Brandon Graham says the Chiefs were “blessed” to play on a slippery field in Super Bowl LVII.


  • Slippery field conditions basically became a footnote to what was a highly entertaining game and a second Super Bowl victory for Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and company.
  • However, it was a lowkey very controversial situation, with ex-NFL groundskeeper George Toma telling ESPN back in February that the field was overwatered and not handled correctly—and to some extent it sounds like he believes it was either pure incompetence or sabotage.
  • Toma had an all-time quote: “Me and the league are finished. They can’t tell me what to do anymore. We’re done.”
  • The Eagles had a staggering 70 sacks during the regular season, two behind the all-time record set by the 1984 Bears.
  • Philadelphia had no sacks in the Super Bowl, though much of that can be credited to Reid’s scheme and Mahomes getting rid of the ball.
  • It should be noted that Graham also gave the Chiefs credit for winning the game.
  • Bottom line: Circle Week 11’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Eagles and Chiefs at Arrowhead on the calendar.



🗳️ The NFLPA has elected Lloyd Howell as their new executive director.


  • Howell becomes the fifth NFLPA executive director in history and takes over for DeMaurice Smith, who served in the role since 2009.
  • Those that follow the league closely know that this is a bit of a high-profile position, especially when it comes to collective bargaining.
  • Howell retired in December after working for 34 years at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He went to Penn and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.





🖋️ Patriots make moves, extending wide receiver DeVante Parker and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley.


  • Parker receives a three-year, $33 million extension, while Bentley gets a two-year, $18.75 million deal.
  • Parker is a strong perimeter and jump-ball threat for New England, and he caught 31 passes for 539 yards and three touchdowns (17.4 yards per reception) in his first season with the team last season.
  • Bentley has gotten better through his five seasons with the Pats, and he’s coming off career-highs across the board with 125 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and one interception last year.
  • These moves created more cap space for the Patriots, and interest in free agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins reportedly remains.





📺 J.J. Watt joins CBS as an NFL analyst.


  • The future Hall of Fame defensive end made the announcement on social media.
  • CBS Sports says Watt will “serve as an NFL studio analyst across all platforms” and will make his debut on The NFL Today in Week 1.
  • Watt probably could’ve worked for any of the networks, but CBS makes a lot of sense given that he’s most connected with them from the AFC television package during his time with Houston.




🗓️ 2023 NFL training camp dates officially revealed.


  • The earliest rookies report for teams is July 18.
  • The earliest veterans report is July 19 (only the Jets, perhaps indicating they will indeed be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks?).




Other Sports Updates


⚾️ Domingo Germán throws the 24th perfect game in MLB history in Yankees’ 11-0 win against the A’s.



🎙️ ESPN lays off 20 on-air employees, including Suzy Kolber and Steve Young, in continuation of cuts.



🏆 LSU baseball beats Florida to win the Men’s College World Series.



⛳️ Rickie Fowler wins the Rocket Mortgage Classic for his first PGA Tour win since 2019.



🎰 The NCAA ratifies new sports betting rules for athletes.



In Case You Missed It

-2023 Fantasy Preview: Houston Texans

-2023 Fantasy Preview: Indianapolis Colts

-2023 Fantasy Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

-2023 Fantasy Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

-Early 2023 NFL Over/Under Picks (🔒)

-The Kennedy Family Nearly Owned The Eagles

-Fantasy Football Mock: 12-team, 0.5 PPR SF

-TTT: Hard Knocks Moments