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Odds, Ends, and Updates

Todd Gurley and Nate Palmer

In a post of 2/4, I theorized about the ineffectiveness of the Rams’ superstar running back Todd Gurley in the team’s run at the Super Bowl. Though Gurley insisted his knee was okay, I concluded that despite not showing an obvious limp, he must have had a troublesome knee condition.

It turns out that the knee was a mess after the Rams’ first game of 2018. “It was bad,” Gurley said. “I was contemplating on giving the Rams back their money and everything. It was bad. It was real bad.” He apparently never gave the knee proper rest, to the point that he finally sat out the final two games of the regular season game. Then versus New Orleans in the playoffs he was only given four carries. Though I don’t know why, to this day both Gurley and Coach Sean McVay insist Gurley was healthy. The circumstances indicate otherwise, however.

On February 20, a report via USA Today quoted Gurley’s fellow running back, C.J. Anderson, as saying: “He was more hurt than what we thought. The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself.”

This still sounds like a vast understatement. Gurley would be about the unlikeliest player in the league to play a minimal role in a Super Bowl, or to be a non-factor when he was in there, unless he had a serious physical condition.

Just days ago, Gurley indicated his knee was “fantastic,” so it appears that surgery will not be needed in the offseason.

While it might seem noble to refuse to use an injury as an excuse, the NFL has rules requiring accurate reporting of injuries. One big reason is so that injuries are known at the time gamblers make bets on games. The Super Bowl is one of the most highly wagered events there is, so I’m guessing some high-stakes gamblers who bet on the Rams aren’t happy about how this all went down.

Mid-season Departures of Safeties

In my post of 2/20, I theorized that there was more to the mid-season trade of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and the abrupt release of safety Jermaine Whitehead than anyone was saying. Among the theories I offered was that they might have locked horns with their coaches, they might be sowing discord among their teammates, or that it could have been an overreaction on the part of the Packers’ front office.

The post drew a lot of attention. Some of you might have not have seen the comment by frequent TP contributor “Howard” that “Whitehead was suspended from his college team for abusing a coach(s?).” Howard further indicated that at the conclusion of his college career (at Auburn) at least one scout thought Whitehead was undraftable due to “character problems”.

If so, then it’s a reasonable deduction that Jermaine didn’t take kindly to being lectured or reprimanded over his untimely penalty, and reacted in such a way the Packers had little choice but to release him.

While I think the Packers should be as transparent as possible about issues that affect the team, I also understand that it is also generally unwise to air one’s dirty laundry in public – in fact, that can lead to defamation lawsuits (even if unmerited). Faced with questions by the press, GM Brian Gutekunst responded that “performance is the first consideration, though everything is taken into account.”

I personally would have preferred letting it go at: “the action we took was based on both on-field and off-field circumstances.” Either way, I’m going to trust that the Packers did the right thing regarding Whitehead – even though ridding the team of him (and Ha Ha) left the Pack with a dire shortage of defensive backs.

I wonder, though, if the coaches and/or front office might have inadequately responded to prior incidences of insubordination in the past – and this emboldened Whitehead to think he could behave as he wanted, with impunity?

The Krafty Patriots’ Owner

TP reported on 2/22 that Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft has been charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution, relating to a health spa in Jupiter, Florida that allegedly was a front for sex trafficking. The police reportedly have the goods on over 200 of the “johns,” including lots of video tape.

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, a former prosecutor indicated that most people so charged are allowed to enter a diversion program, perform 100 hours of community service, and attend a course on the harmful effects of prostitution and sex trafficking.

Kraft might also be in trouble with the NFL. That same article says that players, owners, coaches and other team employees can be punished, under an NFL policy prohibiting “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.

Typically, the NFL says it is aware of the matter and is monitoring developments.

Kraft’s attorneys might face an uphill battle. The Washington Post has reported that the police say Kraft was twice videotaped engaging in a sex act with an employee of Orchids of Asia Day Spa. And here I thought people went to Florida for the sunshine.

While it’s normally players, not executives, that run afoul of this policy, there’s a precedent concerning Colts owner Jim Irsay, who in 2014 pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The league then suspended him for six games and fined him $500,000.

How would your typical multi-billionaire respond to being accused of getting caught with his pants down? Correct, he is denying committing any illegal activities – and probably assembling the best legal team money can buy.

We’ll see how it goes. And by the way, the photo TP posted came with a caption indicating the babe, Ricki Noel Lander, is Kraft’s wife. Not so, though apparently a very good friend. Wikipedia says the 77-year-old Patriots’ owner has been a widower since his wife of close to 50 years died in 2011.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Stiggy March 1, 2019

    Nice recap and follow up. This is a nice inclusion on the site.

  2. Kato March 1, 2019

    In other news, Jerry Jones must have been paying attention to Gute last year when he gave T Willy that contract. The fossilized remains of Jason Witten are coming back for a $3.5 million base salary and could make up to $5 million. Play about 25 snaps a game and be a “coach on the field.”

  3. Ferris March 1, 2019

    100 hours of community service, so 2 HJs gets 200 hours? Isn’t this a bigger black eye than a DUI? Can you imagine an owners meeting…. what they will be thinking when they see Bobby? Something like, when I need a hand crank I just get a local house call “Health Spa” sex trafficked Asian girl to do it. No need to go all the way to a shit hole strip mall in FL. No cameras in my $5000 per night hotel suite. I wonder if he has the guts to go to the combine.

    1. PF4L March 1, 2019

      That’s where we differ, i wonder if Ted Thompson will be at the combine. He wasn’t last year. But apparently he’s still being paid millions for not doing anything for a 2nd straight year. I’m not so sure how Ted can be a Senior Adviser, but live in another state and not attend any NFL functions.

      Now……McCarthy is being paid millions, for not doing anything other than layin down F-bombs at high schools..


      But yea….lets worry about Kraft. Those boys can’t do anything right.

      1. TyKo Steamboat March 2, 2019

        Real talk

  4. PF4L March 1, 2019

    There was about 10 million spent on some deflated footballs. How much is this one worth spending, 5…7 mill?

    A rich old guy got a couple of hand jobs…OMG, lock the fucker up!!

    Nobody should give a fuck, i know i don’t.

    At first they all acted like he was running a human trafficking sex ring, He got a couple handy’s, big deal. R. Kelly and Justine Smollett are getting less Pub.

    1. FTS March 1, 2019

      When the demand for racism far exceeds the supply.

      1. PF4L March 1, 2019

        Granted…Robert Kraft isn’t a stand up guy like Smollett and Kelly. Funny you bring up racism when the discussion turns to Smollett.

        We get it.

    2. KILLER March 1, 2019

      White guy does something illegal = too much publicity
      Black guys do something illegal = not enough publicity
      We see how your backward simple mind works, Piffle. It isn’t pretty.

      1. PF4L March 1, 2019

        Lol, let’s see……One guy gets a handy from a 48 year old woman.

        One guy rapes and video’s children being raped.

        One guy files false police report (felony) Takes up hundreds of police man hours chasing a ghost, Inflames the Nation with accusations of racism and then gets in front of the Nation on TV and is appalled people don’t believe him. All while the FBI investigates if he sent the fake letter (DUH) to the studio.

        We should come down hardest on the “criminal” getting the handy, right Lonely Boy?

        That’s how my simple backward mind works….facts matter.

        Now stop being so racist with your comments Lonely Boy.

        Thank you for understanding.

        1. KILLER March 2, 2019

          Well, this is some classic Piffle right there. What he does is he constructs a straw man argument and fights that fictional fight instead of the actual one because he knows his position is untenable. In this case he morphs his argument that the uber-rich white guy should be reported less on and the black persons should be reported more on into now that the argument is that I’m saying what Kraft did was as bad as what the other two did. Not the actual argument.

          Publicity floats to its own level due to pubic interest/demand. It is not fair and exacting, it is not measured. No station says X seconds for this criminal act and Y seconds for that rules violation and so on. Now, I check CNN every day and all three stories when they broke were top page front page top story news. All of them. As were many other stories the past few weeks. Now, think about all the murders that occur in the U.S. each year. How many are top news stories on CNN? Yet, is not murder worse than Kraft or Smollet or maybe even Kelly? So, fairness, out the window.

          You whining about fairness for a billionaire PATRIOTS owner who has engaged repeatedly in criminal acts that take advantage of the poor, defenseless, and mistreated is, to me, incredible. Surely there is some charity that will allow you to pitch in and help out? How about the Humane Society?
          (I do volunteer work for them every single week — seriously)

          It isn’t a conspiracy. It’s customer demand. The news stations give people what they want. If Kraft was black and did all those same things and was a billionaire owner of the most successful well-known sports team in the world, do you think it would have received less coverage? No. If Smollet was white or Kelly was a white rapper — think MM — do you think they would have received more coverage? No.

          I think you are skewed because when you look at NFL.com and CBS Sports and Bleacher Report and other sports locations they are going to cover Kraft and not the other two. If you were a music fan and subscribed to Rolling Stone you’d think Kelly was getting too much pub. If you subscribed to TV Guide you’d think Smollett was getting a raw deal.

          Of course, your other problem, the big one, is racism. It isn’t random chance you chose two black persons as deserving more publicity than a white person. That’s the same kind of sneaky snarky I’m-Not-A-Racist but if you are then yeah, I’m a racist with you buddy routine that Trump pulls all the time. That’s right, I said it, you’re as racist as Donald Trump. Yep, that bad! Yep, that obvious!

          Heal thyself. Take a week off from posting. Evaluate your life choices. No need to apologize when you come back. Just cease and desist from the racism and you and everyone wins.

          1. PF4L March 2, 2019

            Lol, let’s see……One guy gets a handy from a 48 year old woman.

            One guy rapes and video’s children being raped.

            One guy files false police report (felony) Takes up hundreds of police man hours chasing a ghost, Inflames the Nation with accusations of racism and then gets in front of the Nation on TV and is appalled people don’t believe him. All while the FBI investigates if he sent the fake letter (DUH) to the studio.

            We should come down hardest on the “criminal” getting the handy, right Lonely Boy?

            That’s how my simple backward mind works….facts matter.

            Now stop being so racist with your comments Lonely Boy.

            Thank you for understanding.

  5. Deepsky March 2, 2019

    Two comments about Gurley.

    First, this reminds me of 1990-1991 when Majkowski kept saying his arm was great and yet the whole world could see he had nothing left. Years later he would admit he was in excruciating pain when throwing during that time.

    Second, when you base your offense around a single running back and the play action possibility he brings, this is what happens. I have my doubts about this offense.

  6. Howard March 2, 2019

    The word is Gurley has arthritis in his knee. That may not be a good sign that the arthritis over the course of the season became progressively worse, so much that Gurley could not function in the most critical playoff games.

    Thanks for the mention Rob. MM also had something to say about Whitehead being released as follows:

    “I think clearly the pattern and the emphasis of what’s going on currently with our personnel department, I think the direction Brian is (taking), his imprint on the football team, there’s been change, particularly just the last two weeks. So, it’s usually never just one thing. It’s a combination of things.”

    It appears MM put the decision(s) solely on Gutekunst. It has the appearance that Gutekunst was seeing problems with the roster and also saw MM was not holding players accountable. I would say that Gutekunst had made his decision that MM had lost the team prior to the Rams game, but the end of the Rams game cemented his decision. The only thing left to do was convince Murphy.

    One thing about the play that got Whitehead ejected. The player Whitehead slapped was David Andrews. Andrews was an O-lineman for Georgia. Andrews was an undrafted guard who had a lower draft grade than Whitehead coming out of college. Whitehead and Andrews were both eligible to be drafted in 2015. Andrews has started every year for the Patriots, so he has two Super Bowl rings. Andrews was also a captain for the Patriots last year.

    If you remember the play, Andrews was down field blocking Whitehead to the end of the play. Whitehead looked like he wanted to take the end of the play off and that is what got him mad. That is one of many differences between the Packers and the Patriots. Notice how many DBs with the Packers want to avoid contact toward the end of a play, excluding Jaire and Brown.

    1. Kato March 2, 2019

      You and your observations :) I went back and watched the play and saw that too.

      If that is the case with Gurley, his career could basically be over. That is bad news, similar to the concerns people had with Myles Jack. Though he would have arthritis in his knee at some point, dropped him from a top 5 pick to a second rounder

    2. PF4L March 3, 2019

      I must say, i am shocked to hear any critique of our Def, backs quitting on a play, or avoiding tackling.

      I never thought anyone besides myself paid attention to those details. I thought i was the only one. I know before Howard posted that, i was the only one bringing it up.

      Which leads me to…….want to hear from ANY T Willy fans. I would absolutely love to hear how T Willy was an asset to this team. I would absolutely love to hear how spending 5 million of free agent cash on this cat, made the Packers a better football team. I would love to hear why he went from being paid 1.9 million from the Browns, to 5.2 million with the Packers when no one else was bidding for him.

      As Leroy Butler would say….com on wid it.

      Why don’t we promote Russ Ball and give him a raise? Because Murphy already has.

      The way this team carelessly pisses away money. it’s hard to imagine why this team is BROKEN.
      Some thought Rodgers should take less money than his market value, so the Packers have more to spend on acquiring talent. Laughable, if if wasn’t so pathetically sad.

      Some think Murphy is doing a great job on the business side creating revenue. I guess he had better create revenue. to over pay so many players. To fund Ted Thompson 8-10 mill a year, to do nothing. To fund McCarthy 9 million this year, to do nothing.

      1. Kato March 3, 2019

        I think my favorite phrase you have ever said on this website is the “Tramon Williams school of tackling.” Every time I see a poor attempt at a tackle watching any football game, I think to myself “he attended the Tramon Williams school of tackling.”

  7. Cheese March 3, 2019

    I just read that Gute said Matthews is still playing at a “very, very high level.” LOL, either this guy has a strange sense of humor or he’s completely clueless. No one needs to suck up that much through the media. Saying Matthews has been playing at a high level is a stretch, then to add not one but two very’s is ridiculous.

    I looked at a list of the top paid OLB’s in the league. Matthews ranks 5th at $13.2mil a year, and in 2018 he had 3.5 sacks. Right below Matthews at the 6th highest paid OLB is Nick Perry at $12mil per year who had 1.5 sacks in 2018. The Packers are the only team to have two of the top six highest paid OLB’s in the league and for an average of $25.2 million they received a total of 5 sacks for the 2018 season. Combine this with all of the other examples we could give, including Tramon’s unexplained raise, and it’s easy to see that the Packer’s financial situation is, say it with me, BROKEN.

    1. PF4L March 4, 2019

      When i read that, that is when i proclaimed there is a good chance Gute resigns Mathews and/or Cobb at about 7 mill/year.