MIKEDROP – 27 Notes on 5 Players

M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments. 

Jason Witten

1.His impact will be much greater off the field than on it. Witten has always been the Cowboys leader He will be a calming presence for QB Dak Prescott and for the locker room and coaching staff, which had some drama last year.

2. He can serve as an extra coach on the field, allowing new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore an experienced veteran to lean on.

3. On the field, Witten should still have an impact. In 2018, the Cowboys offense was among the worst in the league in the red zone. Witten can help improve that. Cowboys had too many third down failed conversions – another spot where Witten could help. He doesn’t need YAC is he can just catch 5 yard pass and 3rd and 4 and go down after the catch.

4. Predictability issue. Witten will apparently play 25% of the snaps in 2019. One of the big issues for the Cowboys in 2018 was predictability of the play calling. Would Witten’s presence on the field be a tell? Or can Dallas hide whether or not he’s in there for blocking or for receiving? 

5. Of course, this is big news if you are not a Cowboys fan too. Monday Night Football should be much improved in 2019.

Bryce Harper

6. NO athlete is EVER should ever receive a 13 year fully guaranteed contract. Not Lebron James or Peyton Manning or Sidney Crosby in their primes. NO ONE.

7. The first 5 years should be fine and take him through his age 30 season. But when he gets to 30, he still has another 8 years!

8. In my opinion, he should have taken the Dodgers offer and bet on himself. LA reportedly offered $135 million over 3 years, that’s a stunning $45 million per year. Harper could have taken that, been a free agent in 3 years and still potentially have gotten an 8-10 year deal at age 29. Also, LA vs Philly for the next three years, not a hard choice.

9. SF Giants never made sense. They offerd 12 years, $310 million, but they aren’t a Bryce Harper away from contending.

10. Phillies are a contender. They needed Bryce and Bryce needed them. This was always the move that made the most sense and was the right thing for both sides.

11. Phillies become the unquestioned favorites in the National League East, maybe the NL altogether? In addition to Harper, they have added Jean Segura, JT Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen to a young core that won 80 games in 2018. Segura, Realmuto, and Harper were all All Stars in 2018. When’s the last time one team added 3 All Stars in an off-season?

12. Pitching is still a question mark for Philly – will they go get free agents Dallas Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez?

13. If not, Philly than who? Maybe the Nationals use money budgeted for Bryce to pursue one of them? Maybe the Mets bolster their rotation? The Braves? NL East should be exciting in 2019.

14. Yankees win the off-season, for not signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. Neither of them would fill the Yankees biggest need – pitching! Harper and Machado would not elevate the Yankees from losing in 4 games to the Red Sox in the NLDS, to winning the World Series because offense was never the issue in 2018. Yankees should continue to pay their own, develop their system and invest in pitching.

15. Harper received a lower annual AAV than anticipated in his 13 year, $330 million contract. Apparently the years and full guarantee were more important. This is key because the Phillies will have future budget to make more signings.

16. Like local product, Mike Trout, for example. If Harper is worth 13/330, I’m going to start out by saying Trout should be at 15 years, $400 million.

17. The most important detail of Bryce Harper’s 13 year deal – Mets “legend” Bobby Bonilla will still be getting paid 4 years AFTER Harper’s contract ends .

Kyler Murray

18. I’m starting to think Murray may go #1 in the NFL Draft but it definitely shouldn’t be to the Arizona Cardinals. Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury for a reason – to do to Josh Rosen what Matt Nagy did to Mitchell Trubisky and what Sean McVay did to Jared Goff.

19. I believe Kyler Murray is a better prospect than Rosen. However, with so many needs in Arizona, Cardinals are better off trading #1 to move down and acquire more picks or taking Nick Bosa, the best player available, who also fits the team’s biggest need for a pass rusher.

20. He measured at 5’10 officially. Super Bowl winning QBs Russell Wilson is 5’11 and Drew Brees is 6’0. I’m not comparing Murray to those two or saying he’ll be as good but 1-2 inches should not be a determining factor in drafting him. If you don’t believe Murray can make the throws in the NFL or have some valid football reason for passing on him, please I’d love to hear it. But his height cannot possibly be a reason for concern. Not in 2019.

21. I still believe Dwayne Haskins is the best QB in this draft. I love his pocket presence and the way he throws the ball. I think both QBs will be stars in the NFL, but something about Haskins that if I was picking a QB early I would be taking him over Murray (because I like Haskins better, not because Murray is too small).

James Harden

22. While Giannis Antetokounmpo remains my choice for NBA MVP “right now”, James Harden continues to be the best offensive player in the NBA. He scored 58 points in the Rockets come-from-behind win over the Heat Thursday night, which included 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 8 three points, and a perfect night from the FT line (18-18).

23. James Harden is the only player in NBA history with more than one game of 55 points and 10 assists. He has done it 3 times. Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, and Russell Westbrook have each done it once.

24. Harden has 6 games with 50 or more points this season. No one else in the NBA has more than one.

25. If Rockets finish top 3 or 4 in the West and Harden’s insane offensive run continues, he is going to make it harder and harder for the voters. With the way Chris Paul is playing, plus the return of Clint Capela, that doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

John Tavares

26. I don’t blame Tavares for what he did, leaving the Islanders to sign with his hometown Maple Leafs. But I don’t blame Islanders fans for their behavior last night. I hate the idea of media and other fans judging what one can and cannot say or do. Fans are the ones who invest in teams and spend hard earned money to see them play and buy the merchandise. Fans are allowed to be upset and disappointed that their favorite player left. And shouldn’t be judged for their emotions, as long as they are within reason.

27. The best way the Islanders fans could handle it last night was “we don’t need you”. Islanders are currently first place in the Metropolitan Division.


Weekly highlights at MIKEDROPSPORTS

  • PODCAST – Zach Stein and myself talk Bracketology as we evaluate the 1-4 seeds in each region and assess the bubble teams
  • MIKEDROP MADNESS – Two articles posted, one highlighting the 5 teams with a chance to win their first NCAA Tournament game in 2019. Another diving into the background and history on every college basketball conference tournament
  • YouTube – Why Zion Williamson should and will return to Duke this season
  • Why the 2014 NFL Draft was great in terms of players, but awful in terms of decision making

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Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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