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Cowboys DE Aldon Smith ‘still feels great’ despite layoff

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Aldon Smith has not played in an NFL game since Nov. 10, 2015 with the Oakland Raiders, but the Dallas Cowboys defensive end does not believe his absence will impact his ability to rush the passer in his 2020 return.

“I still feel great,” Smith said Friday in a conference call. “I still feel young. I still can move well. I still have a great knowledge of the game, if not better knowledge of the game. I learned a lot from the guys I played with in California and they taught me a lot of good things.”

Smith, 30, holds the NFL record through the first two seasons of a career (33.5) and he holds the San Francisco 49ers‘ single-season record for sacks in a season (19.5 in 2012) but a series of off-field issues involving the NFL’s substance-abuse and personal conduct policies led to an indefinite suspension. Last week, Smith, who signed a one-year with the Cowboys in April, was granted conditional reinstatement.

He took part in the team’s virtual meetings this week for the first time.

“It has been a journey, indeed, and a journey I’m grateful for,” Smith said. “I’ve had time to really work on myself and take advantage of all the support and things that have been offered to me. The way I look at where I am now to who I was in the past, I was a young teenage boy in a man’s body, so a man on the outside but a boy on the inside. The way I handled the issues, life, was in that immature manner and that was feat based and not just handling things the way I should have.

“With the time I’ve had to work on myself, it’s allowed me to grow into the man that I man that I am so the man on the inside fits on how the man on the outside looks.”

Smith said the passing of his grandmother from ALS last year aided in his change. As she struggled with the disease, “she was able to get a message to me that (was) just do better and basically go out there and get what you deserve.”

Smith worked with the group, Merging Veterans and Players, and was in a sober-living environment in Los Angeles since last fall, working out daily. He said his desire to return to the NFL returned quickly once he got better off the field.

“I think I lost my way along the way and I wasn’t sure what my purpose was,” he said. “I know football is one of my many purposes God has put me here for, so once I was able to do some self-reflecting and self-worth, it was like, ‘What am I good at? What am I grateful for? Obviously God has given me this talent and a chance to play and I’m going to give it a shot … because it didn’t finish the way I wanted.”

Smith said other teams had interest in signing him but the addition of Mike McCarthy as head coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach influenced his decision to sign with the Cowboys. He met McCarthy last December in Los Angeles while working out, and Tomsula was his position coach in San Francisco.

“Just seemed like the best fit,” Smith said. “Being with Jim in San Francisco and him being here and then the meeting me and Mike had, the way that that happened, we seemed like we clicked the first time we talked.”

Smith will continue to have a similar off-field infrastructure around him in Dallas in terms of sober living. His agent, Ron Slavin, also lives outside Dallas. The Cowboys have a history of helping players that have had off-field trouble.

On the field, Smith said he weighs 285 pounds, about 15 more than when he last played.

He said he does not want to forget the path that led him to Dallas after such a promising start to his career.

“Because I do understand what that person was going through and just didn’t know or wasn’t ready to handle the tough things that I needed to handle,” Smith said. “To get to where I am now, it gives me a greater appreciation for who I am now. If I was so quick to forget where I came from, I don’t think it would matter as much to me.”

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Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year extension — Social media reaction

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Patrick Mahomes was the first quarterback in NFL history to win league MVP and a Super Bowl before the age of 25, and the Kansas City Chiefs are ready to reward him.

On Monday, Mahomes and the Chiefs agreed to a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million that will keep him in Kansas City through the 2031 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Mahomes is the fourth first-round QB to get extended before the start of his fourth season since 2011 (joining Ryan Tannehill, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff).

Mahomes won’t turn 25 until Sept. 17, but his production at this age is impressive. His 17 career 300-yard passing games is tied with Matthew Stafford for the most in league history by a player before his 25th birthday, and his eight games with at least four TD passes leads all QBs before turning 25.

Here is how social media reacted Monday to the new deal for Mahomes:



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Patrick Mahomes new contract puts him in elite company among the higest paid athletes in the world.

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Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster surprises family with new house – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are snapping up real estate all over the country.

A day after running back James Conner posted a video of him surprising his mom with a house, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster did the same for his family.

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.”

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.



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