Author: Dawson Haywood
The Heatin' Up Podcast is hosted by Andrew Gibson, Wes Dennis, and Atlanta Empire Guard, Luke Gibson where they cover a wide variety of topics in sports. This week the Heatin' Up Podcast covered March Madness and NFL Free Agency. Us at Ok Listen Here are here to break down their podcast and give you more in-depth content about the topics discussed on Fridays at 7am!
As I'm writing this article my phone sends me a notification notifying me that UCLA did in fact pull the upset against #1 Michigan, who I have been rooting for throughout the tournament. The Pac-12 came into this tournament to make a statement. Of the Power 5 conferences the Pac-12 had the least amount of teams receive bids into the tournament at five. USC, Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, and Oregon state represented the conference this year and up to this point, they have represented the conference well. Had USC and Oregon not played against each other in the Sweet 16 it is possible that we could have seen half of the Elite 8 teams come from the Pac-12.
I do not think many people had but one maybe two Pac-12 teams in the Elite 8 much less have a Pac-12 team in the Final Four. I'll be the first to admit that I slept on the Pac-12. If you look at my previous articles you can see on record me doubting these teams. Now if UCLA can pull out a dub against Gonzaga, I might have to jump on the UCLA bandwagon because this Gonzaga team is one of the best college basketball teams that I have seen.
Is Kansas the Worst #3 Seed in the Tournament?
Kansas is the most decorated #3 Seed in this years tournament sitting pretty with three National Titles. Other teams seeded #3 this year are Texas, Arkansas, and West Virginia. The last time this team missed the tournament was in 1989 when now North Carolina Coach Roy Williams was coaching the team.
This season Kansas played up to par finishing 21-9. It's not often we see a Kansas team lose more than nine games in a season. The question at hand is, is Kansas the worst #3 seed in the Tournament this year?
First off, Texas, though they lost to #14 Abilene Christian in the first round, they ended up beating Kansas twice in the season and once in the Big-12 Tournament. Beating a single opponent three times in a season is not easy. For this reason, it's safe to say that Texas was the better team.
Next we have West Virginia who tied the series with Kansas 1-1 in the regular season. West Virginia was knocked out in the tournament by #11 Syracuse in the Round of 32, so take that how you will.
Last we have Arkansas, or as Arkansans call it, the better Kansas. With hindsight on my side it is safe to say that Arkansas is the better team because they made it to the Elite 8 to lose to a powerful and hot Baylor team whereas Kansas lost in the Round of 32.
Saying "Kansas is the worst #3 seed this year" but West Virginia is likely right there with them holding the "Worst #3 Seed" title.
Women's Basketball Dominance
Each year since the end of Tennessee's reign when you fill out your bracket it is safe to have UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor, and whoever the SEC champion is in your Final Four. Since women have had a tournament to call their own, two teams hold over half of the titles. Legend Geno Auriemma's UConn team and Legend Pat Summit's Tennessee team. Both teams have faced off four times in the National title game with UConn taking lead in the series 4-0.
What is probably the most impressive stat in sports is that UConn has NEVER lost a National Title that they have competed in. The only team or athlete that I can think of that is a guaranteed win when reaching the finals is Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. When it gets down the the Elite 8 of the Women's tournament you are likely to find some of the most competitive competition in sports.
If you are a top prospect why would you not go to UConn? Since 2006 if Geno Auriemma said "I promise you a national title" she would not be a liar if you stayed all four years. If you are not recruited by UConn but are still a top prospect, you best believe you will be getting calls from Notre Dame or Baylor.
What's Wrong with UVA
UVA, defending National Champions, defeated in the first round by #13 Ohio. Not Ohio State... Ohio. We saw in the ACC tournament this UVA team have to remove themselves from competition due to COVID-19 issues. With this came a period of time that the team could not meet or practice. A quite unfortunate time to be tied up in a global pandemic.
Ohio was hot coming into the tournament winning the MAC title and only losing two of their last twelve games. They struggled at the beginning of the year but Coach Jeff Boals apparently knows how to rally the troops. Knowing that UVA was at a disadvantage this Ohio team knew that they had a shot. Being down by only one point at the half was enough for Ohio to get that confidence boost they needed to finish.
Had UVA not had COVID and had more adequate preparation they very well could have made a solid run in the tournament
NFL Free Agency
$5 million / One Year / Miami Dolphins
Brissett has done about as well as you can expect out of a backup quarterback. By spending time behind Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers you are likely to learn a lot. Starting over Miami's fresh new Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is very unlikely but in the unfortunate event that Tua gets hurt again Brissett has proven that he can win a few games from time to time.
$10 Million / One Year / Washington Football Team
This is what, the ninth team that gets to experience a little Fitzmagic? The 2015 Jets are the only team to find success with Fitzpatrick at the steering wheel. I'm not sure I would have allowed Alex Smith to walk away just to replace him with a quarterback that has flashes of greatness but can never seem to find a way to have a losing season but you do you Dan Snyder.
$10 Million / 1 Year / Chicago Bears
"Bears fans are livid".... Yes we are Andrew. If you want to know my opinion on Andy Dalton please refer to the article I wrote about Andy Dalton a few days ago... As a Bears fan this is a touchy subject and I would like to practice my Fifth Amendment right and not discuss this topic anymore.
$2.5 Million / 1 Year / Buffalo Bills
I'm going to allow my emotions and bias to influence my writing here but treat him better Buffalo. The guy really was wasted potential in Chicago and I truly believe that he could be a solid Quarterback with the right people to get him to that point. I would make an argument that he is currently the best backup Quarterback any team could have.
$5.1 Million / 1 Year / New England Patriots
Carolina did Cam dirty and he is still paying for it. You're meaning to tell me Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick deserve to make more than him? Patriots are once again getting a steal but this has allowed Belichick to surround Cam with weapons. Not that I think Cam has anything to prove but succeeding this year could elongate Cam's career and hopefully land him a contract that is longer than one year.
$3.5 Million / 1 Year / Las Vegas Raiders
Marcus Mariota is one of those players that I forgot existed for a while and it was not until I really started following sports that I was like "Oh yeah. That guy exist". I like this pickup because should Derek Carr go down Mariota can easily step in and give them more of the same. Should Mariota play a full season for Las Vegas he could get them four to eight wins which is what Raiders' fans should expect.
$11 Million / 2 Years / Las Vegas Raiders
Drake has been lurking in the shadows in the league and anybody who has had him on their fantasy team knows just how productive he can be. Drake will likely rotate with Josh Jacobs and will start this season fighting for that number one spot in the depth chart.
$48 Million / 4 Years / Green Bay Packers
Jones wrecks havoc on my Chicago Bears and based on his performance against Chicago I would say this is a really good signing for the Packers. Still young Jones does still have a good amount of potential and over the next four years we will see him in his prime.
$10.425 Million / 2 Years / Seattle Seahawks
Give him the ball and he is likely to give you a first down in two plays. Good for Seattle. I predict that like Aaron Jones he will enter the prime of his career over the course of this contract
$1.1 Million / 1 Year / New York Jets
The Jets made a few moves in free agency that seem to put them in the right direction. Coleman has not found much success in the league thus far but a starting position could change that.
$7.5 Million / 2 Years / Detroit Loins
Signing with a rival team? Ballsy move but a smart one. There's no starting over Aaron Jones. Jamal Williams will have two years to fight for a starting spot on the Detroit Lions. Up to this point he has started one out of every three games that he has played in.
$5.5 Million / 2 Years / Atlanta Falcons
Davis is entering this season coming off of his most successful season with Carolina, a large part of that due to McCaffery's injury, but he proved that he can get it done. Mike Davis will make an immediate impact in Atlanta and it will be a little upsetting for Carolina fans to see him wearing that black and red.
$5.5 Million / 2 Years / New York Giants
Saquan is coming back. Booker has been limited in carries per game but makes the most out of what he gets averaging 4.5 yards per carry last year. Booker has been a solid backup throughout his tenure in the NFL so Saquan has good support coming his way.
$2.5 Million / 1 Year / Houston Texans
As far as NFL careers go, Ingram has had one for the books. Three time Pro-Bowler will likely sit behind David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay. Just two seasons ago Ingram had over 1,000 yards and ten carries into the endzone. Though a little old for a running back he has proved to be productive. This might be the biggest steal this free agency as he could possibly start somewhere.
$3.25 Million / 1 Year / Houston Texans
Lindsay was the first undrafted rookie in NFL history to be voted into the Pro-Bowl. He is only in his fourth season entering this season and, dare I say it, could be on pace to be one of the best backs in the league. Last season Lindsay was injured which is likely the reason he is only signed to a one year deal. In seasons where Lindsay has not been hurt he has ran for over 1,000 yards. Hopefully, we can see Lindsay at 100% this season because if he is, the Texans got themselves a good one.
$72 Million / 4 Years / New York Giants
With Matt Stafford gone and the Lions future being questionable it is not surprise that Golladay decided to part ways. The Giants have made a few moves in free agency that could help them win more than six games in a season which, being in the NFC East, might just be all they need to reach playoffs.
$3.75 Million / 1 Year / Las Vegas Raiders
Henry Ruggs, John Brown, and Willie Snead. I find it hard to believe that any quarterback would not be able to find success when throwing to these three. Being in the same division as the Chiefs I find it hard to believe that these moves will bring them to the number one spot in the division but these moves could get them a Wildcard Berth.
$37.5 Million / 3 Years / New York Jets
Coming off of his best season yet with the Titans it comes to no surprise that Davis signed for as much as he did. The Jets have to be competitive because they are in arguably one of the most difficult divisions coming into the season. One thing I can bet on is we will see them win more than two games this year because of the moves they made during free agency.
$34.5 Million / 3 Years / Washington Football Team
Samuel signing with the Washington Football Team says a lot about what Ron Rivera thinks of him. Still young in his career Samuel has proven to be a efficient wide receiver. With the moves the Giants and Football Team have made this free agency I believe we may just see a competitive NFC East that actually host winning teams.
$22 Million / 2 Years / New England Patriots
Agholor is a big reason why Philly made it to and won the Super Bowl back in 2018. One thing is for sure, Cam Newton is going to have some weapons this season. Agholor is a great addition to this wide receiver core. This being the second season after Brady's departure Belichick has something to prove and boy is he making moves to do so.
$15 Million / 3 Years / New England Patriots
Another Weapon that Cam Newton gets to add to his arsenal. Cam is a competitor, Belichick is a competitor, the Patriots are a competitor. One season gone wrong and Belichick decides to make moves to ensure that this does not happen again. Maybe last season was just a Tom Brady hangover while the team was still trying to find its new identity. Bourne still has some work to do but he is Heatin' Up and could become one of the best receivers over the next three years.
$12.5 Million / 2 Years / Jacksonville Jaguars
Statistically, one of the better receivers on this list, but Jones is getting up there in age. Receivers peak around 26 to 27 years old and then gradually start declining but at age 30 Jones had one of his best seasons yet.
$14.25 Million / 3 Years / Jacksonville Jaguars
It's been since his rookie season that Agnew had over 200 receiving yards but in that season he was given an All-Pro title. We will likely see Agnew come off the bench this season and over the course of three years with Urban Meyer steering the ship we could see him develop into a good receiver.
$10.625 Million / 1 Year / Miami Dolphins
This move by Fuller does and does not surprise me. Since entering the league and up until last season he has been in the shadows of DeAndre Hopkins. This move surprises me because he for sure could have gotten more money and more years on this deal somewhere else but it doesn't surprise me because I'd want to get out of Houston as fast as possible right now.
$8 Million / 1 Year / Indianapolis Colts
Four time Pro-Bowler and Colts legend. I wish he was able to secure more years with the team because of his status in Indianapolis but I can understand the one year deal. Since Luck's retirement Hilton has had two of his worst years in the league. This season he will turn 32 but can consistently get you 800+ yards in a season.
$8 Million / 1 Year / Pittsburgh Steelers
I can only think that this year is worth as little as it is because of his off field shenanigans. That last half of Pittsburgh season hurt his value but I can only think that Juju is using this season as a bridge to what's to come. He is still very young and could make a lot of money, this season is going to have to be the season Juju proves that he deserves it.
$6 Million / 1 Year / Arizona Cardinals
Being a seven time Pro-Bowler playing with the Bengals for your entire career is impressive. Entering his last leg of his career its a good move by Green to go to an Arizona team that has the potential to contend for a title. His valuation is on par as the last two seasons have not been very productive but he will serve as a good player coming off the bench this year.
$6 Million / 1 Year / Buffalo Bills
Sanders is the oldest receiver on this list sitting pretty at 34 years old. Sanders is a two time Pro-Bowler with a ring on his hand. I believe he is at the point now where he is taking it year by year just waiting on retirement.
$50 Million / 4 Years / New England Patriots
$37.5 Million / 3 Years / New England Patriots
I'm writing about these two together because this is game changer for New England. Last year they did not run a two Tight End Offence whereas in previous years they have, and they found great success with it. Signing Smith and Henry are going to give Belichik and the Patriots a boost because it is what they know and it as worked. As they saying goes "If it ain't broke don't fix it". It's possible that this system worked with Brady but will not work with Newton, as he is a little more mobile.
$36 Million / 4 Years / Minnesota Vikings
By the time this contract is up Rudolph will be 35 years old. That is old for an NFL player. Rudolph has been with the Vikings since 2011 and has found his way to two Pro-Bowls since. The Vikings must really have trust in Rudolph to sign him for this much but if you can think of five Viking's players, odds are Rudolph is one of them.
$82.5 Million / 5 Years / Tennessee Titans
Bud did what Juju couldn't and got out of Pittsburgh. Dupree had an exceptional amount of sacks the last two years while racking up tackle after tackle. He was a big reason Pittsburgh had the #3 defense in the league last year which makes this contract well deserved.
$39 Million / 3 Years / New York Giants
The cornerback will serve as the return man for the New York Giants this upcoming season. Jackson missed last season due to a knee injury. I cannot really justify this contract as he does not exactly have the production to do so. Only averaging 8.8 yards on punt returns and 22.3 yards on kickoff returns does not really make me think "Oh lets pay this guy $10.3 million a year". In his first two years he found success on the defensive side of the ball but the last two seasons leave a giant question mark as to why this signing was even done.
$68 Million / 4 Years / Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa's defense has been something to marvel at the last two years and Barrett's contributions are a big part of why that is. Selected in the Pro-Bowl two seasons ago, largely because of his 19.5 sacks which is only three off the NFL record, and in the peak of his career, the outside linebacker's contract for the next four years can be justified.
$54.5 Million / 4 Years / New England Patriots
The last two season's Judon has found his way to the Pro-Bowl and shows no sign of letting up. This addition to the Patriots defense, which is already was a Top 10 defense, will make them contenders to have the best defense in the league this upcoming season. The outside linebacker served well for the #2 defense in the league last year with Baltimore and was a big reason for their success.
$28 Million / 2 Years / Arizona Cardinals
We all knew that after Watt's departure from Houston that the team was bound for disaster. Watt made the Pro-Bowl and received First Team All-Pro honors three season ago. A mix of injury and a messy front office likely have a correlation to Watt's less than Watt-Like production in the last two years. Watt is easily one of the biggest competitors in the league and being in a culture like Arizona's could provide fans with a revival of Prime Watt.
$26 Million / 2 Years / Las Vegas Raiders
Ngakoue spent last season jumping from Baltimore to Minnesota and finished the season with eight sacks. The Raiders had to make moves on defense as the only two teams with a worse defense were Jacksonville and Detroit. Up until last season Ngakoue started in every game he played in for Jacksonville except for one in his rookie season.
Luke's Quote of The Week
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them" -Mark Twain