Earlier than we get to this week’s Payments Mailbag, let me begin by wishing a Glad Father’s Day to all of the dads on the market, together with mine, Dan, who I do know is studying this.
The Payments are a bond shared amongst fathers and sons throughout Western New York, and it is no completely different in my household. My dad passionately consumes every little thing I write, and the Payments are steadily a subject of dialog for us. The identical is true for my son, Elliott, who’s growing his personal ardour for the workforce.
With that, let’s get to your questions …
Peter Wiley asks: Would you (and virtually everybody else) cease trashing Devin Singletary, who is continually referred to as an average- to below-average working again? Please take into account the next lifetime yards per carry averages: Jim Brown 5.2; Barry Sanders 5.0; OJ Simpson 4.7; DEVIN SINGLETARY 4.7; Adrian Peterson 4.6; Walter Payton 4.4; Emmitt Smith 4.2; Thurman Thomas 4.2. Once you additionally think about that the Payments’ present offensive line isn’t almost nearly as good as those that blocked for Simpson, Thomas, and Smith, I imagine the one truthful conclusion is that Singletary is, on the very least, an above-average working again.
Individuals are additionally studying…
Jay: Peter, I do know we’re not evaluating Devin Singletary to these working backs, proper ?! Singletary’s profession excessive in carries is 188. Each different working again on that checklist often had greater than 200 carries a season and steadily topped 300. It’s not precisely a good comparability. Nonetheless, your bigger level about Singletary is a good one. He has not been a horrible participant. I am undecided I’ve “trashed” him, however there have been instances it has been reliable to ask for extra out of him. You are additionally right in stating that extra constant offensive line play would assist Singletary (that is true for each working again). Whether or not we take into account Singletary “common” or “above common” feels a bit like splitting hairs.
An important a part of the dialog surrounding him is that this: The Payments proved final season that their offense is at its most full when he is taking part in a constant position. They will win with him as their “lead” working again, in no matter type that takes.
Invoice Kelley asks: Are all of us too optimistic in regards to the Payments this yr? I do know we completed the yr robust, however it isn’t like we have been a juggernaut all yr. The loss to the Colts and the way the protection performed towards the Chiefs makes me fear. It was nice beating the Patriots like we did within the playoffs, however they have been a mediocre workforce at greatest. I assume I am simply searching for reassurance. Are you able to give me that, Jay?
Jay: I will put it this fashion: In case you’re a fan of the Bengals or the Chiefs and have spent all offseason studying or listening to about how the Payments are Tremendous Bowl favorites, you are in all probability a bit perplexed. The Chiefs, in spite of everything, have eradicated the Payments in every of the previous two seasons, though the subtraction of broad receiver Tyreek Hill does appear to be it’d weaken their offense in a big approach. The Bengals, in the meantime, have rebuilt the weakest a part of their offense from final season, which was the offensive line, and have a reliable declare to be thought-about the AFC favourite, contemplating they received the convention final season. That does not imply Payments followers ought to apologize for taking an optimistic view of their workforce’s possibilities in 2022.
As you talked about, Invoice, the workforce was taking part in its greatest within the playoffs – notably on offense. Quarterback Josh Allen appeared like an unstoppable power. Allen’s improvement into one of many two or three greatest quarterbacks on the planet final season is fueling loads of the offseason optimism, which is truthful. As for the protection, it has struggled to provide you with a solution for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, however you’ll be able to’t say Common Supervisor Brandon Beane is not making an attempt. Beane spent massive this offseason to deal with what he believed to be the workforce’s largest deficiency by signing star move rusher Von Miller.
Michael Brier asks: A few us have been discussing Deshaun Watson’s $ 230 million, assured contract. You’d suppose there would have been some sort of “conduct” clause within the contract that will void it if he received into any bother (similar to what’s happening proper now with all of the lawsuits). I’ve not seen this mentioned in any of the information accounts I’ve learn in regards to the contract. All I see or hear is “totally assured.” What’s your tackle all of this?
Jay: The Browns have been totally conscious Watson was dealing with greater than 20 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual misconduct earlier than they made the commerce. That didn’t deter them from making the deal. They even structured Watson’s contract in such a approach that his base wage in 2022 is barely about $ 1 million. The rationale for that’s as a result of if Watson is suspended for the season, he’ll “solely” lose his base wage – none of his signing bonus or some other bonuses. That is a very disgusting a part of this whole gross ordeal.
They are saying they “totally investigated” the scenario earlier than making the commerce, however how that’s doable with out interviewing any of the ladies suing Watson is a no person query within the Browns ’group appears keen to reply. There is no such thing as a “conduct” clause in Watson’s contract – a minimum of that we all know of – as a result of the Browns did not wish to put one in there. Like all gamers, Watson is topic to the league’s private conduct coverage. As a part of the NFL’s investigation a minimum of 11 of the ladies accusing Watson have been interviewed, in accordance with The Washington Submit. Watson has stated he “by no means compelled anybody to do something.”
Nonetheless, it’s clear the Browns have been determined sufficient to accumulate Watson as a quarterback that they have been keen to miss the allegations. Your entire scenario is a horrible search for Watson, the Browns and the NFL.
Ed Helinski asks: Concerning contract negotiations and extensions coming due, would possibly we see coaching camp trades this yr? The Payments seem to have good depth in a number of areas and never everybody can obtain vital raises. Or, in your estimation, does Brandon Beane hold this roster intact this season?
Concerning the Payments, please settle this pleasant disagreement between my pal, the Mind, and myself. The Mind claims final season’s playoff loss to Kansas Metropolis was essentially the most demoralizing postseason loss in Payments historical past. Nonetheless, I say there have been many others that rank up there, like Extensive Proper or one other of the opposite Tremendous Bowl losses, the Music Metropolis Miracle and different devastating playoff losses towards Jacksonville, Houston and San Diego, in addition to shedding to the Chiefs for the proper to play within the first Tremendous Bowl. For my part, Extensive Proper towards the Giants is essentially the most demoralizing loss. Please referee this pleasant disagreement, or choose your individual sizzling mess in Payments playoff historical past for this doubtful distinction.
Jay: Trades on the finish of the summer time proper earlier than groups set their preliminary 53-man rosters are at all times a chance. It is sensible for groups to name round if they’ve a participant who will not make their roster, however may very well be of curiosity across the league, perhaps due to the place he performs. We have seen the Payments do that previously. It didn’t work out in 2019 with Wyatt Teller, who turned an All-Professional with Cleveland. It did work out when Beane someway netted a draft choose for Russell Bodine in 2019 and traded Darryl Johnson Jr. to the Panthers final offseason. This yr, the Payments look to have fairly good depth alongside the offensive and defensive traces, in addition to at broad receiver. If there’s a participant or gamers at these positions who may not make the 53-man roster, a commerce is a chance. Nonetheless, I might not anticipate Beane to commerce anybody who would possibly contribute in any significant technique to the 2022 season. The problem of raises for impending free brokers would not actually issue into this dialogue all that a lot, as a result of the probability of a participant with a giant wage being traded is small.
As for the painful playoff losses, nothing is bumping me off Extensive Proper being No. 1 on that checklist. Lacking a subject objective for an opportunity to win the Tremendous Bowl is the final word intestine punch. It is a coin flip between 13 Seconds and the Music Metropolis Miracle for No. 2. Recency bias initially had me leaning to 13 Seconds, however the full unexpectedness of the Music Metropolis Miracle edges out the loss to the Chiefs on the ache scale. Sadly for Payments followers, there was no scarcity of nightmare playoff losses to qualify for this checklist.
Jim Revelos asks: I used to be glad to see that the Payments introduced again Matt Barkley. He appears to be one of many guys within the quarterback room who elevates everybody’s efficiency. Are you able to see him shifting into a training position with the Payments?
Jay: Barkley confirmed final yr, which he spent with the Titans, Panthers and Falcons, that he is decided to proceed his taking part in profession. On condition that, I would be shocked if teaching is on his thoughts in the meanwhile. Barkley hasn’t been talked about as a possible future coach the best way final yr’s Payments observe squad quarterback, Davis Webb, has been. I have not had the possibility to ask Barkley particularly in regards to the subject, although, so any reply can be hypothesis on my half. I will add this: Teaching is a a lot completely different animal than taking part in. The hours are rather a lot longer, for starters. That is not for everybody. Jim’s bigger level about Barkley being good for the room based mostly on his intangibles, nonetheless, is an effective one. He is tight with Allen and having good chemistry, particularly in that room, is vital.
NT 75er asks: Do you suppose with the brand new offensive coordinator, we are going to battle early within the yr due to the dearth of expertise in calling performs rapidly in several conditions? Would you slightly play on Sunday afternoon each week as a coach as an alternative of all these completely different days due to accidents and time to heal or relaxation late within the yr?
Jay: Sure, till Ken Dorsey goes by way of these tight-game conditions and assessments himself as a play-caller, it’s truthful to marvel how he’ll react in these pressure-cooker moments. Due to that, it is cheap to suppose some early-season struggles are doable. That would not be the top of the world. Coach Sean McDermott steadily talks about how he desires his workforce peaking in December, January and February versus September and October. Some rising pains for the offense are a chance. As for the schedule, coaches – and by extension, their groups – are creatures of routine. They’d love each recreation to be at 1 pm Sundays. By the way, so, too would sportswriters on tight deadlines. The variety of prime-time video games the Payments have is an indication of respect, although, to not point out one thing followers not so way back have been clamoring for. If that is the price of being workforce, it is nicely price paying.
Thanks, as at all times, for the questions. As a reminder, they are often submitted by way of Twitter, @JaySkurski, or to my e mail handle, email@example.com.