Two Minute Warning: Rookie quarterback? Rookie mistake

One of the biggest questions always asked is if a rookie quarterback should start right away. That question usually can be answered by following the chart - the depth chart, that is.

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If a team has an established veteran quarterback, perhaps it’s time to let the future of the franchise adjust to the NFL. If they don’t, better to see them fail early than later down the line. It’s a common debate on whether a coach is smart for starting a rookie quarterback early on, but each roster is different.

The 2019 quarterback class, however, would be likely to take the advice of the old schoolers and sit. There’s potential for all four quarterbacks, yes even Daniel Jones, to succeed in their careers. Much like a snowflake, every quarterback is different and doesn’t fit into the “one-system-fits all” mold.

But considering rosters, schedules, and the outlook from OTA’s, a team would likely be giving up on their season and preparing for next April’s draft if any of the rookie quarterbacks trot out week 1 for a snap.

Sorry Kyler Murray, you best get ready for a long season.

Haskins handling the heat?

While Murray will be getting first-team reps from here until he either fizzles or flies, three other early quarterbacks are heading to rosters with established starters. Daniel Jones will learn from his brother/father clone, Eli Manning, Drew Lock could become elite like Joe Flacco in Denver while Dwayne Haskins is expected to become the next big name at the Washington Redskins.

Haskins is the most polarizing of the three options looking to start following his one-year farewell tour at Ohio State. In his first and only season under center for the Buckeyes, he threw for over 4,800 yards and 50 touchdowns on the way to a 13-1 season. Washington could have traded up but instead waited for the dominoes to fall.

Lucky for Dan Synder and company, the New York Giants got the A-OK from Peyton and Archie Manning to draft Jones and see Haskins fall onto his lap. This wouldn’t be a conversation if Alex Smith was set to play this season. Unfortunately, the 35-year-old passer suffered a lower leg injury and it’s possible he may never play again.

Case Keenum had one solid season with the Minnesota Vikings while Colt McCoy still is recovering from a broken leg. Haskins is set to be the future but couldn’t the future come now?

A former Redskins quarterback would tend to disagree.

“To put him out there early against those teams, it’s just a formula for disaster for the team, for Jay [Gruden], for the fans and everybody else,” Joe Theismann told 106.7 The Fan in late June. “I think the young man is our future, and let’s protect the future instead of throwing it out there right now and saying, ‘OK, go get ’em.'”

Does Jones join the party?

While Haskins is expected to be the future, Washington’s roster could at least make somewhat of a run with an established quarterback. The Giants, however, are entering the shop, looking for a complete rebuild. Sure, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard are nice parts, but they’re not a foundation to protect a quarterback.

Manning’s best days were behind him three years ago following the team’s playoff appearance in 2016. Since then, the Mara family and Dave Gettleman have been giving him a longer farewell tour than Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road, which probably is more enjoyable than a Sunday at Met Life Stadium. Love him or hate him, Jones is the future of the franchise and has impressed early on through OTAs.

“Daniel just got here, and you can tell he’s going to be a good one,” Shepard said. “He kind of hands [the ball] to you without handing it to you. He’s a very talented passer — very reserved, very confident guy.

“To me, again, from a physical standpoint and even a mental standpoint, it makes complete sense why he’s here now.”

A few throws won’t change the outlook if he can’t sling the ball downfield. Still, according to multiple reports, the little oomph left in Manning’s arm just took it’s last snap this past OTA.

Confidence is key

Both Haskins and Jones are set to eventually see playing time, especially if Manning and insert Washington starter struggle. The question has never been if but rather when. The problem for each leads back to one of the keys to be a successful quarterback.

Confidence.

With Washington’s offensive line in shambles, trotting Haskins out could lead to poor results or worse, a Theismann 3.0. All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams missed the all of OTAs and has dealt with conflicts internally within the organization. If the team refuses to pay, Williams will likely refuse to play. His back-up right now? Ereck Flowers. In case you forgot who he was, ask Manning.

He’ll likely have a fond memory of the former top 10 top letting outside linebackers take shots at him weekly. Expected to compete for left guard, Flowers could move back to his left tackle position. If so, pray for Haskins should he get the call.

Jones, on the other hand, is set with a solid running back and two rising prospects. His arm strength and ability to lead his target are the problem. For his career, Jones posted a 59.9 completion rating and never threw for over 2,800 yards in a season.

Add in an average offensive line and a passing game likely to feature consistent dump-off passes, the Giants are a dud on the horizon.

Holding out for hope

Washington begins their season against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the New England Patriots; all playoff teams who improved in the offseason. With the condition Haskins’ offensive line and arsenal are in, they’ll be lucky to pick up a win over New York before finally facing a dud in Miami Dolphins.

New York starts the year off facing Dallas, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota. While Josh Allen may still be developing himself, expect the Bills defense to keep the G-men out of the win column.

If a quarterback begins his career on a sad note, it’s hard to gain that confidence. If an injury occurs, they’re derailed even further. New York and Washington are not playoff teams and have weak rosters that could only hurt their young quarterbacks moving forward.

Sometimes being terrible is better. Haskins and Jones would rather watch their terrible team than become the reason they are awful. Just sit the pair until the team has nothing to lose.

With NBA free agency, the Fourth of July and of course America’s women proving to be the baddest ladies on the planet, the Two Minute Warning is short. Trust me, why do you think I’m doing such a long intro. There’s more stuff happening around the NFL as we inch closer to training camp, so let’s get you caught up.

Forty-yards of nothing?

Remember when New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. challenged anyone to race him in the 40-yard dash for $10,000? Remember when pretty much everyone and their mother accepted the challenge? Well, while the winner was expected to walk away with a million dollars, everyone is still waiting for their entry check.

According to multiple reports, there were delays in payment for participants in the recent “40 Yards of Gold” competition late last month. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jeff Badbet had yet to receive his $25,000 appearance fee according to his agent, Will Sarrubi.

“The contract was explicitly clear,” Sarubbi told the Sports Business Journal. “Jeff was an independent contractor who was promised $25,000 upon arrival before the event on June 29. That has not been paid as of 5 p.m. today. It does not look likely it will be, based on the correspondence we have had.”

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin also has not seen his $1 million check he was promised for winning the race. A total of $2 million cash pool was guaranteed to all competitors, but participants were told not to cash their check until Friday.

As someone who worked for The Alliance of American Football, the harsh reality is these men put their trust in someone who figured they would raise the money before it came time to pay up. While the men can sue, it’s going to be hard to imagine any of them getting paid.

Hard Knock Jacobs

The drama surrounding HBO’s upcoming season of Hard Knocks is already buzzing before cameras have even arrived. With news that the Oakland Raiders would be the team featured on the award-winning documentary series, fans are eager to see inside the mind of Jon Gruden and the cast of zany characters that make up the locker room.

Fans of Oakland might already get a quick look inside the dysfunction before a single shot is set.

According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Raiders first-round running back Josh Jacobs remains unsigned and “negotiations have not been going well”. The former Alabama product was selected with the 24th overall pick in April and was expected to be the feature back in Gruden’s offense for the future.

According to Tafur, there is a growing sentiment that Jacobs will not be at camp when rookies report on July 23. This is due to both parties being unable to meet on Jacobs initial rookie contract, with one believing he should be paid more than the team’s bonus offer.

This is far from a good look for the organization, who spent a first-round pick on a position that has seen it’s relative importance decline in the league. To make matters worse, the Raiders have little quality depth behind him already, which could lead to issues down the line.

Women’s World Cup

While this site mainly covers football, we turn our attention to the other sport that shares the name. The United States Women’s National team completed their run for a fourth World Cup Championship Sunday, defeating The Netherlands 2-0.

Golden Boot recipient Megan Rapinoe continued her dominance with a penalty kick at the 61st minute to give the team their first lead of the afternoon. Rising star Rose Lavelle would juke her way past two defenders to double the score at the 69th minute. And to top it all off, 2015 World Cup legend Carli Lloyd took to the pitch one last time to say goodbye as a champion.

The World Cup seems to be the one time where we, as Americans, all care about the soccer world. It’s a global sport that is played worldwide. But here in the US, basketball, baseball, and football reign supreme. Still, as fast as we remember the game, we are soon to forget the stars each year and go back to caring little about it anymore.

The US women’s roster began the tournament scoring 13 goals against Thailand. Many called it “arrogant” or “foolish” of the women to run up the score and celebrate against a clear underdog. It’s funny that’s been said since, in football, celebrations have become a massive part of the fun in the sport. We now see every year the NFL post a “top celebration” video commemorating the moments.

One could say that celebrations make the game more exciting to watch. A Rapinoe goal wouldn’t be the same without her iconic open arms pose while Alex Morgan sipping tea against England claps back at the haters. As the US team comes back to the states, there should be zero criticism on how they represented the nation oversees.

Sports is fun; winning is fun, celebrations are fun – for me, that is the end of discussion.

A final goodbye to Hefty Lefty

The NFL world said goodbye to one of the most iconic figures of the sport last week. Jared Lorenzen, perhaps better known as “Hefty Lefty”, the near 300-pound quarterback, passed away due to an acute infection complicated by heart and kidney problems. He was just 38-years-old.

Lorenzen grew to promise during his college days at the University of Kentucky. Known for his freak athletic ability to go along with his massive frame, the 6’4″, 285-pounder became one of the faces of the SEC as a four-year starter for the Wildcats. Throwing for a school-high 10,354 career yards, Lorenzen finished his college career fourth all-time in passing yards in the SEC.

Following the draft, he would sign an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Giants. He would become the backup to Eli Manning and even help the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback make one of the league’s most iconic plays come to life.

Following the 2009 season, Lorenzen would make a return in 2014 with the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Indoor Football League. He would play two games before suffering a leg injury that would later play a role in his weight gain.

Lorenzen was on a mission to become healthy, starting in 2017. At his first measurement, the once athletic quarterback weighed in over 500 pounds. Within nine months, Lorenzen would lose over 100 pounds and be on his way to meet his ultimate goal.

While many remember him for his weight, Lorenzen will be remembered as a loving son, caring father, a proud alumnus of the SEC and legend in the Bluegrass State.

Rest easy, Hefty Lefty.

Final Thoughts

Making it short this week since, well, nothing happened.

5. Congratulations are in order to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. While he’ll be on the chase for a Super Bowl ring, he recently added a new ring to his collection; a wedding ring. The former No.1 overall pick was married this past weekend to his girlfriend, Emily Wilkerson in Malibu. The two had been engaged since last June.

Congrats Baker and Emily! Enjoy married life!

4. Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was involved in a car accident Wednesday evening that required to have his arm amputated at the scene. Norton’s agent, Malki Kawa, confirmed the news early Thursday morning.

Norton was admitted to the hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive. A seventh-round selection by the Carolina Panthers in 2018, the 22-year-old Hurricane was expected to compete for a roster spot this season with the Dolphins. Norton was a member of the Panthers’ practice squad the majority of last season.

3. The NFL officially announced the league would not suspend Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for the Las Vegas incident earlier this year. According to Ed Werder, the league informed Elliott of the decision Wednesday afternoon.

According to footage obtained by TMZ Sports, Elliott was shown being handcuffed by police following an altercation with his girlfriend. The 23-year-old was not however arrested after pushing a security guard.

2. Former Patriots and current ESPN analyst Teddy Bruschi suffered a stroke on Thursday. In a statement issued by the Bruschi family, the report is that the linebacker suffered a transient ischemic attack that led to his hospitalization.

Bruschi is expected to make a recovery and is “doing well”. This is the second stroke for him after suffering a mild one in 2005.

1. Make sure you check out the PFN’s Podcast network. This week, Eric and Kai’Chien discuss the potential of a Patriot Super Bowl hangover while Travis and Dennis discuss Kareem Hunt‘s latest incident and the great debate on if Carson Palmer is better than Ben Roethlisberger.

Cole Thompson is the Lead NFL writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @MrColeThompson.

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