The 2023 NFL season kicks off this week, and we have you covered with the news to know from the past week. Be on the look out for our NFL season preview and more leading up to Thursday.
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 X is a primary news source for many sports fans, you can think of The Wolf Sports Newsletter as a cheat 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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Rest In Peace
Hall of Fame executive Gil Brandt has died at 91.
An executive with the @dallascowboys for nearly three decades, Gil Brandt revolutionized how NFL teams scout and evaluate players.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 31, 2023
- Brandt was the vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1988.
- He won two Super Bowls and is a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of honor in addition to being a Hall of Fame.
- Brandt is also known for basically helping create the NFL Scouting Combine, by having prospects take tests including the 40-yard dash.
Jonathan Taylor situation
The Colts did not trade running back Jonathan Taylor by last Tuesday’s team-imposed deadline,but now Taylor will start the season on the PUP list.
- The strange situation continues, with Taylor not dealt by roster cut day and instead will now miss the first four games of the year on the PUP list due to his ankle apparently not being at 100%.
- The Dolphins and—surprisingly—the Packers were the two teams that reportedly made offers to the Colts for Taylor, but Indy is said to be asking for a ton for their All-Pro runner.
- We anticipate this situation potentially being one where Taylor is traded while taken off the PUP list, but things will get every interesting if this drags past the trade deadline and into the offseason, as the Colts can and almost certainly would place the franchise tag on him. Would he play before then in that scenario?
♂️ ESPN report: Former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks alleges that he was given a burner phone to communicate with suspended then-general manager Steve Keim in 2018.
- Wilks said in the deposition that the move was a “directive” from Keim and team owner Michael Bidwell.
- Having a GM have this type of input and control over a head coach is odd enough, but to resort to burner phones is another level. What is this, The Wire?
- This disposition stems from an arbitration complaint filed by former Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough alleging discrimination and gross misconduct by Bidwell.
Record tight end contract
The Vikings signed tight end T.J. Hockenson to a record-breaking contract.
- Hockenson, who was acquired by the Vikings from the division rival Lions last season, gets the highest salary ($17.125 million) and guarantee ($42.5 million) for a tight end in league history.
- He took part in the “hold-in” approach, not participating much throughout training camp.
- Despite joining a new team midseason, Hockenson racked up 60 receptions (for 519 yards and three touchdowns) in ten games with his new squad last year, and Minnesota is obviously looking for big production moving forward.
Burrow is back
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (calf) returned to practice last week.
- There was some concern over Burrow’s Week 1 status after he injured his calf early in camp and was said to be out “several weeks,” but he’s back and will be ready to go for Sunday against the Browns.
- Now, Burrow is tasked with getting up to speed after missing practice time; he started slow last season after missing camp due to an appendectomy.
Mike Evans’ ultimatum
☠️ Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has given Tampa Bay a deadline of the start of the season to agree to a new contract.
Statement from Mike Evans’ agent @DerykGilmore of @Day1SportsEnt stating he’s “informed the #Buccaneers
organization that we will discontinue contract discussions” on Sept 9 after which “Mike’s focus will be on football and his future and where he can continue to make an impact.” pic.twitter.com/4XoTCjpjlu
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 1, 2023
- Evans’ agent Derek Gilmore went public with a statement expressing regret that the Bucs haven’t extended him.
- Gilmore also says his client is a future Hall of Fame that wants to be “a Buc for Life”, but indicates he will play elsewhere without a new deal by September 9.
Eagles look ahead
The Eagles signed suspended former Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers.
- Rodgers was among a group of players suspended indefinitely this offseason for sports betting violations.
- He’s an electric returner with upside at defensive back, so Philadelphia obviously saw this as a gamble worth taking.
Other Sports Updates
Deion Sanders (“Coach Prime”) and Colorado beat No. 17 TCU in their season opener, with Deion’s son Shedeur (510 yards, four touchdowns), freshman running back Dylan Edwards (four total touchdowns) and two-way superstar Travis Hunter (11 receptions, 119 yards, one interception) leading the way.
WE BELIEVED. pic.twitter.com/ALqUkrsgqz
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) September 2, 2023
Other college football highlights include No. 8 Florida dominating in the second half last night versus No. 5 LSU, Penn State beating West Virginia (and arguably running up the score), and North Carolina defeating South Carolina.
Also, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly is not happy with the new rules that keeps the clock running(supposedly to cut down on game time, yet commercials were added to make the decrease minimal):
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) September 3, 2023
Phillies star Bryce Harper hit his 300th career home run.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 30, 2023
Realignment continues, with Cal, SMU, and Stanford joining the ACC.
Braves star Ronald Acuna hit a grand slam to become the first player in MLB history to reach 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in a season—and he did it with a month to go.
️ Nebraska Volleyball had over 90,000 fans to set a record for a women’s sports event.
⚾️ The Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez recorded 28 hits in a ten-game span, the most since 1997.
Julio Rodríguez’s 28 hits in his last 10 games are the most by a player in a 10-game span since Kenny Lofton in 1997
only players with MORE hits in a single-season 10-game span since 1901:
1933 Heinie Manush
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 29, 2023