1. Steelers sign 1st round pick Watt-As I mentioned before, that draft pick holdout drama is a thing of the past, especially in Pittsburgh where the Steelers haven’t had a draft holdout since TE Eric Green in 1989. Before him? CB Rod Woodson in 1987. Now that LB TJ Watt is signed, that means all of the 2017 Steelers draft picks are ready to go.
  2. LB Shazier says Steelers have a Patriots Problem-Yeah, no kidding. The New England Patriots have been in the Steelers heads on a psychological level since 2001. And that includes AFC Championships losses including the 36-17 debacle this past season. Shazier and Co. know that if the Steelers are to advance to Super Bowl 52, then they have to get past the Patriots, but I hope the Pats get eliminated in the postseason as well. I could care less about having to face that team to get to the Big Game.
  3. Bell Misses Mini-Camp-I guess it’s no surprise that he’s holding out, but I thought that RB Le’Veon Bell had better sense than that. It’s a fact that he’s still recovering from a groin injury, but he was not at the team’s South side Facility during Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) but since he hasn’t signed his $12.1 million franchise tender, he’s not required to attend Mandatory Mini-Camp. Bell’s no dummy(and neither is his agent). He did that on purpose.
  4. What will the Steelers do with Bell? Bell’s not dumb, but neither are the Steelers, who know they need him for a possible Super Bowl run in 2017. But as I’ve stated before, they will not be swayed by a holdout, whether it’s official or not. I figure they have a month before training camp. I can see the Steelers and Bell agreeing to a long-term deal then.
  5. What if the Steelers don’t agree to a deal with Bell? They have until July 15th to do so, or Bell will play with that Franchise Tag. As I stated before, both teams don’t want to deal with that drama, especially not now. I can see the Steelers and Bell getting a long-term deal now.
  6. Kudos for Villanueva-I tip my hat to the young offensive tackle because he chose to attend camp despite not signing his exclusive rights tender. Missing an opportunity to practice with your team isn’t wise, especially for a young man who is only into his 2nd full year at Tackle. I’m thinking the Steelers will use this time off to agree to a long-term deal with him as well.
  7. Giants, Beckham, Falcons Freeman didn’t follow Bell’s example-To no surprise, there are other NFL players who also want new contracts like NY Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman, but they’re not following Bell’s example and have reported to Mini-Camp.
  8. Chargers, Rivers officially say farewell to San Diego-I guess it is kind of weird to hear that the Chargers will no longer be in San Diego. They will begin 2017 in Los Angeles, the city where their existence began in 1960. But when I became an NFL fan in 1979, I only knew the Chargers to be in San Diego. The team held their final practice at their San Diego complex, loaded up their trucks and left for LA. QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates spoke about the departure being ‘Bittersweet.’
  9. Rams trade OT to Lions-In the rare world that is trading in the NFL, the LA Rams, and Detroit Lions pulled off one on Wednesday when the Lions acquired OT Greg Robinson from the Rams for a 2018 6th round pick. Robinson was the Rams #2 overall pick in 2014. Guess he wore out his welcome.
  10. Richard Sherman Speaks-That’s no surprise because the Seattle Seahawks All-Pro CB speaks, a lot. But this time he’s speaking some sense as he admits that his blowup six months ago, may have been over the top. Yeah, no kidding Sherman, especially when they were directed at coaches on the sideline.
  11. NBA Champion Warriors Yes, I rooted for the Cleveland Cavaliers to repeat as champs, but apparently, the Golden State Warriors had other plans as they beat the Cavs 4-1 in the NBA Finals for their 2nd title in 3 years. I didn’t believe that the Warriors would be better with F Kevin Durant, but I was truly wrong. Durant was a beast in the NBA Finals and he earned that MVP award.
  12. The Warriors future-They’ve reportedly said that they will do their best to keep their team together, but it will truly be hard because of salary cap issues, plus star G Steph Curry will be a free agent. Now imagine what he could demand. But I’m not concerned about Curry, I’m concerned about Klay Thompson and several others. The Warriors have some tough decisions.
  13. The Cavs-Their still the best team in the Eastern Conference as the Boston Celtics aren’t ready yet, and the Toronto Raptors are just smoke and mirrors, so I believe that LeBron James and Co. will make a run for it all next season too, but they may need to make a move or two to get past the Warriors again.
  14. Warriors lose West to Clippers-I didn’t know that Jerry West will still be working in the NBA. He truly kept a low profile, but he keeps earning rings as he did while working for the Warriors where he worked as an adviser, but now he’s moving onto the LA Clippers to work in the same capacity.
  15. Warriors celebrate-Thursday was the day that the Champion Warriors celebrated with their home crowd as the city hosted a parade for the team in downtown Oakland. I love those parades as they really show a fan’s love for the team and vice versa.
  16. Pittsburgh Pirates-Well, they lost 5-1 to the Colorado Rockies in their Rubber Match (final game of series), but the Pirates find themselves out of last place in the NL Central and are 4.5 games out of first place. I know I have expressed my disdain of the Pirates, especially their front office, but this team can really make a run at the division right now, provided they can get their pitching together and get on a winning streak. It’ll certainly be interesting.
  17. Baseball upholds their ban on Pete Rose-Each year it’s a shame when this happens. I’m not condoning what MLB’s all-time hits leader did while he played baseball, but I think it’s time to let this man in the Hall. He finally admitted that he gambled years ago. And yes, he could’ve been more humble, but I think it’s time to move on from his ban.
  18. Louisville’s Pitino gets 5 game suspension by NCAA-As a consequence for his part in a sex scandal which involved the University of Louisville basketball players, HC Rick Pitino was given a 5-game suspension by the NCAA, which he will appeal. I hear there’s a chance that their 2013 title could be vacated. Hey, if Michigan’s Fav 5 titles can be vacated, then Louisville’s can too. Pitino’s 5-game suspension is just a slap on the wrist.
  19. Stanley Cup Champion Penguins Celebrate-I didn’t think 650,000 folks could fit in downtown Pittsburgh, but they proved me wrong as they celebrated the Pittsburgh Penguins recent championship Wednesday. Just a priceless way to honor a team.
  20. Marc-Andre Fluery-I have great respect for the veteran goalie and I admire his humility, but it’s time for him to move on and make way for Matt Murray who was awesome in the Stanley Cup Finals, especially when he shut out the Nashville Predators by a combined 8-0 in Games 5 & 6. I can see the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights picking Fluery up and trying build a team around him.



Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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