OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Lamar Jackson bandwagon now includes the pope.
Representatives from the Archdiocese of Baltimore gave a Ravens No. 8 jersey to Pope Francis during a visit in Rome on Tuesday. The jersey, which features Jackson’s number, has “Francis” on the back and was autographed by coach John Harbaugh and the NFL Most Valuable Player front-runner.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 4, 2019
“It’s great,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “Baltimore is the home of the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church. It first started here in the New World, here in Baltimore. So, it’s an honor to have Pope Francis here, obviously, especially as a Catholic. I appreciate that. And it’s kind of neat.”
Harbaugh added, “We’ll see if he’s wearing his jersey any time soon.”
Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, who presented Pope Francis with the jersey, said, “The pope, of course, he’s a big soccer fan, but the pope gave us a thumbs-up. [It] got a big smile out of him … it was a really happy moment.”
Jackson’s popularity has exploded in his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback. He currently leads all players in Pro Bowl voting, receiving 83,000 more votes than second-place Russell Wilson. On the biggest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday, Jackson outsold every other athlete in total merchandise on Fanatics, per a company official.
Jackson has led the Ravens (10-2) to the best start in franchise history, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to produce 2,500 yards passing and 950 yards rushing.
Now, Pope Francis could have a decision to make on which team to root for if the top two seeds meet in the Super Bowl: the Ravens vs. the Saints.
Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster surprises family with new house – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog
The Pittsburgh Steelers are snapping up real estate all over the country.
Smith-Schuster posted a 20-minute video of the backstory and surprise to his YouTube channel Monday night, reminding viewers that he grew up in a house with 23 people, and he didn’t have his own bed until he got to college. That experience motivated him to buy a big house for his family.
“Now that I’m able to live my dream and play in the NFL, I think it’s everyone’s dream to take care of their family at some point in their life, especially when it’s their parents,” Smith-Schuster said on the vlog. “For me, myself, I’m buying my mom and dad a house. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid.”
This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and a dream come true! I’ve wanted to do this for so long, finally being able to do this is just unbelievable to me. Check out the video! ➡️ https://t.co/7sNIZ1J5S0 pic.twitter.com/qysVCWgUhn
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) July 6, 2020
Smith-Schuster told his mom the news earlier this year on FaceTime, revealing that he bought them a six-bedroom, five-bathroom house with a pool in Yorba Linda, California — their favorite of three finalists.
He surprised his brothers and sisters a couple months later, flying from Pittsburgh to L.A on June 19.
He told his siblings they were coming over to his AirBnB for a swim, but in reality, they were coming over to pick their rooms and design them.
Smith-Schuster, 23, is in the final year of his rookie deal with the Steelers.
Ten reasons for QB Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year megadeal with the Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs Blog
The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a contract extension with quarterback Patrick Mahomes worth $450 million, the largest contract in American professional sports. Why did they take the plunge? Here are 10 reasons:
10. The 2017 10th overall pick is the fastest player in NFL history to 75 touchdown passes (30 games), surpassing Dan Marino (32 games). And he already has the most touchdown passes by a homegrown quarterback in Chiefs history.
9. Mahomes accounted for 12 touchdowns (passing and rushing) in the 2019 postseason — the most in a single postseason in NFL history.
8. He completed a 44-yard pass to Tyreek Hill on third-and-15 in the Super Bowl to help the Chiefs’ comeback to win. On third-and-15 or longer last year, he was 13-of-17 for 299 yards and 3 TD — 17.6 yards per attempt.
7. He’s not exactly known as a runner, but he’s scrambled for more yards and first downs than any quarterback in the NFL since returning from injury in Week 10 of last season, including playoffs — yes, better than Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson.
6. He has an absolute cannon for an arm. He has 22 touchdown passes of 20 or more yards downfield in the past two seasons, the most deep-ball touchdowns in the league.
5. Mahomes has an NFL-best 73 Total QBR under pressure since the start of 2018. The league average is 20.
4. One reason he’s so good under pressure — throwing on the run. He has 23 touchdown passes on the run in the past two seasons — eight more than anyone else, including during the postseason. He actually had more touchdown passes on the run last postseason (5) than the rest of the NFL combined (4), per NFL Next Gen Stats.
3. He’s played 36 games in his career, including postseason, and never lost by more than one score or posted a Total QBR below 50 in a game. In other words, he’s never had a below-average game (QBR 0-100 scale). It’s the most consecutive games with a QBR of 50 or more to start a career (36) since the metric was first calculated in 2006. (The next-highest is 12 by Dak Prescott.)
2. Mahomes was 5-0 in 2019 when trailing by double-digits, the best record in a season in NFL history, including postseason. He’s also the first quarterback in NFL history to win three straight games by double-digits after trailing by double digits, including postseason. He accomplished that streak during last season’s playoff run.
1. He became the youngest quarterback (24) in NFL history to win both an MVP and Super Bowl title, surpassing Brett Favre. He also surpassed Tom Brady as the youngest quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP.
Extension for Patrick Mahomes a no-brainer for Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs, who wandered aimlessly for so many years without a long-term plan at football’s most important position, know how to take care of a franchise quarterback now that they finally have one.
They agreed to terms of a 10-year contract extension with Patrick Mahomes that, combined with the two seasons remaining on Mahomes’ existing deal, keeps him with the Chiefs through the 2031 season. Mahomes will be paid more than $400 million over the 10 additional seasons, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The 10-year contract for Mahomes isn’t the NFL’s longest extension. The Eagles once gave quarterback Donovan McNabb a 12-year extension. Brett Favre, Michael Vick and Drew Bledsoe at one point in their respective careers received 10-year extensions.
But if the Mahomes extension isn’t the longest, it well may be the smartest. If there was ever a player to tie a future to, Mahomes is it. He’s just 24 years old and health willing could still be a premier player when the new contract is finished.
It’s difficult to imagine there’s not at least a Super Bowl or two in there for Mahomes and the Chiefs. Such has been his impact in two seasons as their starting quarterback. Mahomes, the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2017, has been one of the NFL’s all-time great values playing under the rookie contract he signed shortly after being drafted. The Chiefs paid him in three years a total of about $11.2 million, including his rookie season, when he was a backup to Alex Smith.
For that, Mahomes delivered an NFL MVP award and the league’s second-ever 50 touchdown-50,000-yard season in 2018 and the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl championship in 50 years in 2019. Over his two seasons as a starter, the Chiefs paid Mahomes $42,000 per touchdown pass, the lowest among 28 quarterbacks to throw at least 25 touchdowns in that span.
Mahomes will no longer be that kind of bargain, but is there any reason to believe that he, even as the NFL’s highest-paid player, the Chiefs won’t still get plenty of value from him? His career is already on a trajectory that will make him one of the NFL’s greats. He is averaging 38 touchdown passes over his two seasons as the starter. Based on that average, Mahomes would have 532 TD throws when his new contract expires.
Only Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning currently have more. Thirty-eight touchdown passes a season is ambitious for anyone but doesn’t sound outrageous for Mahomes as long as he’s partnered with coach Andy Reid. The two have been good for one another and the Mahomes contract extension ensures he will take the 62-year-old Reid to the end of his coaching career.
So the Chiefs can feel good about their decision to make Mahomes the richest player in NFL history, according to Schefter, and can now turn their financial attention to defensive tackle Chris Jones. They had thrashed around with journeymen quarterbacks for so much of their history. With this move on Mahomes, they’ve avoided that type of purgatory again for at least the next 12 years.
2020 MLB schedule release winners and losers — Which teams face biggest challenges?
Dodgers’ Mookie Betts fully prepared but has doubts on start of season
Man Utd chief Ed Woodward handed Jadon Sancho transfer boost after Dortmund development
Patrick Mahomes tops Mike Trout for biggest contract in sports history
A-League news 2020, FFA, Melbourne Victory, City, Western United, NSW borders shut start date, fixtures, kick off, airport
Frank Lampard throws down challenge to Chelsea stars with Man Utd Champions League warning
Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster surprises family with new house – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog
MLB schedule release – Opening Day games, key dates and big matchups we’re circling
MLS Major League Soccer restart: FC Dallas withdrawn after 11 positive tests
Lampard suggests Hudson-Odoi lacks consistency as Chelsea boss outlines Loftus-Cheek plan
MLB6 days ago
Barry Bonds, Alex Bregman voted to ESPN’s greatest all-time college baseball team
NBA5 days ago
How NBA coaches are preparing for the bubble in Orlando as restart nears
MLB7 days ago
Inside the rise of MLB’s Ivy League culture
Soccer4 days ago
Chelsea hero Dennis Wise names starting XI for next season including three new signings
Cricket6 days ago
Leicestershire resume training on Wednesday despite second lockdown in Leicester
Cricket5 days ago
SLC optimistic over Lanka Premier League launch in August
Soccer5 days ago
Arsenal duo Aubameyang and Lacazette drop transfer hints in reaction to new Saka contract
Soccer2 days ago
Chelsea player ratings vs Watford: Barkley and Mount impress as Blues leapfrog Man Utd