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Four more Cougars get a shot at the NFL

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One draftee and three undrafted free agents

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Colorado Washington State NCAA Football

Good morning, and with the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, let me be the first (maybe) to welcome you to the open ocean of sports. We have lost sight of the land behind us, and there ain’t one dot of terra firma on the horizon (unless you’re a Bundesliga fan in which case go BVB). Regardless, that won’t stop us from talking a bit about our new NFL-bound Washington State Cougars.

While we thought that two Cougars would be part of the 2020 draft class, only receiver Dezmon Patmon got the call, courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts (which is cool because Mrs. Kendall grew up near Indy so the Colts are pretty much my AFC mistress).

Dez was in a celebratory mood, understandably.

The Colts also used their top pick on a receiver, taking USC Trojans wideout Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round. Other than that, a quick glance at Indy’s receiving production in 2019 bodes well for Dez:

Not exactly a “Who’s who” among the league’s receiver groups there.

Not surprisingly, the only other Cougars who found new homes also come from the offensive side of the ball. Easop Winston Jr. is headed to the Los Angeles Rams, where there are currently only six receivers on the roster, led by Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

Like the Colts, the Rams used a second round pick at that position, taking former Florida Gators wideout Van Jefferson.

Along the offensive line, Center Fred Mauigoa is headed southeast.

Currently, the Panthers have two centers on the roster. Starter Matt Paridis looks to be entrenched, as he has a lucrative deal that runs through 2021. If Mauigoa is impressive enough, he could unseat backup Tyler Larsen, who carries a dead cap number of just $466,668 if he is cut. (figures courtesy of OverTheCap.com).

Finally, there’s Anthony Gordon, the record-setting quarterback who probably should have been drafted but was not. I mean, let’s have a look at the quarterbacks taken in the fifth round and beyond:

  • Jake Fromm - EDIT: I have no idea what I was looking at, but I must need more coffee before sitting in front of my laptop. Whereas I thought Fromm had 15 INTs in 2019, turns out it was only five! Swing and a miss. Regardless, I can’t trust a guy who had a five game streak with these completion percentages: 44.8, 46.4, 47.8, 48.3 and 47.6. I mean, yikes.
  • Jake Luton - The Jacksonville Jaguars had a shot to snag another Air Raid QB after the first one had a good rookie year, and they chose Luton instead. Good job, good effort.
  • Cole McDonald - Great story, but couldn’t even keep the job locked down late in the year.
  • Ben DiNucci - Ok seriously that’s not an actual person.
  • Tommy Stevens - When you have a chance to draft a guy who was handed starting jobs at two schools and was benched both times, you have to take it, New Orleans.
  • Nate Stanley - Look, if there’s one school that’s famous for producing NFL quarterbacks, it’s Iowa. Or not.

If you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan like I am, things worked out, as Gordon signed a free agent deal with the local team.

But still, Cole McDonald? Ben DiNucci? I know I’m a WSU fan and all, but Gordon is better than those guys. Hopefully he hangs on with the Seahawks or another team. If he does stick in Seattle, he better get used to running an offense that will frustrate him immensely.

As far as salary goes, teams all have an allotted rookie pool, based on where their picks are in the pecking order. It’s all spelled out in the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, and OTC estimates each team’s pool here. Last year’s 212th overall pick, Guard Dennis Daley, received a signing bonus of $127,840, which is the only guaranteed portion of the four-year contract. If Patmon is on the opening day active roster, he will be guaranteed a salary of roughly $510,000 in addition to that bonus.

As far as the rookie free agents, teams have an allotted amount of bonus money that they can spread among UDFAs as they see fit. Per the new CBA, which takes effect in 2021 but has some 2020 language in it, the rookie UDFA bonus pool is some percentage (they didn’t spell it out) above last year’s $109,115. In 2021, under the new CBA, that pool will increase to $160,000. If any of our Coug alumni UDFAs make the opening day active roster, they will earn that same $510,000, which is the salary for every rookie. The difference is in the bonuses, which go down precipitously from top to bottom.

Oh, and if this quarantine has driven you to such a dark place that you want to read through the NFL CBAs, you can do so here and here.

There is good news for our three Cougars who went undrafted, though. According to the guy who runs Over The Cap, UDFAs made up nearly 31% of opening day rosters in 2019.

The math says yours truly is a History major who also sucks at math. That’s what the math says. Best of luck to our new Cougar pros.

Football

Washington State QB Anthony Gordon negotiates UDFA deal with Seahawks; WR Easop Winston Jr. to play for Rams | The Spokesman-Review
According to a Spokesman-Review source, the WSU quarterback agreed to an undrafted free-agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

NFL Draft 2020: Colts add another big target in Washington St. WR Dezmon Patmon
Patmon is big (6-4) and fast (4.48-second 40-yard dash) but lacks polish and production.

Seahawks undrafted free-agent roundup: Seattle signs WSU QB Anthony Gordon | The Seattle Times
For the Seahawks, one of the first calls they made was to a pretty big name from across the state — Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon.

HURRRR STARS DON’T MATTER DURRRRRR

This Week in Parenting

The weather is improving here, so team Kendall spent some of Saturday hiking through the woods near our home. Before we left, I asked Mrs. Kendall for the name of the place, and she said it’s called Crystal Gorge (that wasn’t the actual name because this is Germany). I then asked if Crystal Gorge had a lake associated with it, and openly speculated whether it was the Crystal Lake that’s home to Jason Vorhees. “Who is Jason Vorhees?” was the first question. I replied that he’s an older guy who walks around the lake, wearing a hockey mask.

“Why does he wear a hockey mask?” Well, he was badly burned as a child and he’s embarrassed to show his face.

The boys were still skeptical, and demanded photo proof, so I showed them some pictures. “Why is he carrying that sword?” It’s actually a machete, and he works on a farm near the lake. He uses the machete to help harvest the crops.

The 11 year-old wasn’t buying much of it, but the eight year-old was along for the ride, to the point that when we happened upon a small stone building during our hike, I was able to confirm part of my initial story that Jason lived in a small house in the woods. After an afternoon spent walking around the hills at a safe distance from any other humans, we made it safely back to the car, thankfully having avoided Jason’s wrath. I can’t speak to whether any overly-amorous teenagers made it back alive.

On the bed time front, we like to read to the kiddos a bit each night. Recently, we started in on A Wrinkle in Time, and that didn’t seem promising. Instead, we switched gears to Admiral (Ret) Bill McRaven’s Sea Stories. Even though we’re only about 25 pages in, the boys are much more enthused by the change, especially since Admiral McRaven started the book by talking about the time he tried to break into an Air Force weapons storage facility as a kid. Also, he swears, which is always good for a laugh. Anyway, if you’ve got kids around this age, they might enjoy it as well.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Deutschland loosened its quarantine restrictions (kinda) this week, which enabled me to go beer shopping at the local furniture store. Among the selections was an actual German beer that wasn’t of your standard weizen/pils/dunkel belly wash that you typically find around here. That, the 10% ABV and the name/label made Schoppe Bräu’s Holy Shit DIPA quite the find.

Coronavirus pandemic creates brewing crisis for craft beer industry
Beer lovers may soon find themselves crying in their beer – or at least what's left of it. And you can blame it on the coronavirus.

Non-Sports

An innocent man spent 46 years in prison. And made a plan to kill the man who framed him. Richard Phillips survived the longest wrongful prison sentence in American history by writing poetry and painting with watercolors. But on a cold day in the prison yard, he carried a knife and thought about revenge.