Although he wasn’t picked on the first day of the NFL Draft, I’m not sure if many people had a better Day Two than former Washington State Cougars star Daiyan Henley. After all, the Los Angeles native and Crenshaw High School alum gets to stay home to play in front of all his friends and family. Think of all the airfare savings alone!
This has to be a dream come true for Daiyan. Not only does he get to stay home and play, but the Los Angeles Chargers are a solid playoff contender who are rather shaky at linebacker.
So what did the draft telecast pundits think of Henley? Todd McShay certainly seems to be a fan!
ESPN's segment on Henley: https://t.co/x6qjvwCjhg pic.twitter.com/bILuwjPPcq— Colton Clark (@SpokesmanClark) April 29, 2023
NFL Network showed the Henley pick announcement, and broke it down for a few seconds. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Henley played Colorado State like four times in 2022! But the first clip below is the really cool one, as it captures the call that changed another Cougar’s life forever.
Info note - The jerkbag Chargers (read: the jerkbags at the NFL) don’t allow me to embed the clips, so I have to upload them to my Twitter account, then embed the tweets here.
Here's the phone call that Daiyan Henley and his family have waited their lives for. Pretty cool stuff.https://t.co/F7t9rWz8wh— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) April 29, 2023
Here's what the NFL Network thought of selecting former @WSUCougarFB linebacker Daiyan Henley.— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) April 29, 2023
Chargers Select LB Daiyan Henley (Rd 3, Pick 85) | LA Chargers https://t.co/sGvSWuxmvx via @YouTube
Finally, Henley probably had one of the shortest trips to his new team’s facility in NFL Draft history, as he was part of a press conference that featured both of LA’s Day Two selections. I don’t know where he was watching from, but the distance from his old high school to SoFi Stadium is fewer than four miles. The funny part? The clip is 19 minutes long, and Henley’s part is more than 14 of those!
Check out Daiyan Henley's introductory press conference.— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) April 29, 2023
2023 Draft Day 2 Picks Introductory Press Conferences | LA Chargers https://t.co/sNg0BGBk1w via @YouTube
Finally, in terms of the what Henley brings, here’s what NFL.com’s lead draft writer Eric Edholm thought of LA’s pick:
The Chargers have only been so-so at linebacker recently, but Henley has the skill to perhaps change that. He’s an undersized converted tight end (and high-school QB) who is very new to linebacker, but the early returns have been terrific. Henley projects to have four-down versatility in time, with great speed and terrific special-teams makeup.
So, what about that salary? A glance at overthecap.com indicates that Henley will sign a contract that guarantees him just shy of $1 million, with the possibility to earn more than $5 million in base salary and bonuses throughout the life of the contract. The guarantee is based on the last few players who were drafted in Henley’s 85th spot.
There’s also a lesser-known (yet rather substantial!) pool of money known as Performance-Based Pay. It’s basically a fund that awards bonuses to players on the lower end of the pay scale who perform beyond relative expectations. The link to the conditions is here. Since non-First Round rookies tend to be toward the bottom of the salary scale, participation in the bulk of their teams’ plays can lead to substantial payouts. For example, there were five rookies in the 2022 class who played enough to earn bonuses north of $695,000, and that’s in addition to their base salary. So if Henley earns enough playing time, he could triple the first portion of his signing bonus in one season.
Hopefully he does it!
Shortly after the draft concluded, Undrafted Free Agent season began, and the New York Jets snapped up WSU corner Derrick Langford.
Signed.@dlangford5 is a Jet #TakeFlight #GoCougs | #WAZZU | #ProCougs pic.twitter.com/duzE5Z0dka— Washington State Football (@WSUCougarFB) April 30, 2023
Well, I assume they signed WSU’s Langford, but you wouldn’t know it if you clicked the Twitter handle above the photo. Good job, good effort, social media person.
Best of luck to Daiyan and Derrick. Go Cougs.
After a loss in the series opener, WSU was hoping to even the series with Utah. Things looked good for a while, as the Cougs led 10-5 after after the top of the sixth inning. Not long afterward, Utah left with a 12-10 win. These late-inning collapses are getting pretty damn old, and WSU’s post-season hopes are gone. But at least they beat Utah Valley, or whatever.
This Week in Parenting
As the academic year winds down (Florida starts and ends really early), it’s awards season. This week featured a couple for the high schooler, as he had Boy Scouts on Monday and Junior ROTC on Friday. In other words, he is personally responsible for murdering two of my five week nights. Kidding. Kind of. At Boy Scouts, he was recognized for attaining the rank of First Class Scout. If everything goes right, he’ll be close to Eagle Scout by this time next year.
Friday evening brought the JROTC ceremony, which was held in a local church, and where we didn’t even get through the beautiful National Anthem rendition before I was irritated. I don’t know which was worse, the guy who wouldn’t remove his hat - during the anthem, and also IN CHURCH - or the guy in medical scrubs who somehow felt the need to render a salute.
Folks, it’s pretty darn simple. If you’re indoors, and you’re not wearing a military (and maybe police and fire fighter-type???) uniform, put your hand over your heart. That’s it. That’s the move. Ugh.
Anyway, we settled into the pews as the youngsters were recognized for all sorts of things. One of the awards was called the Jewish War Veterans Americanism Medal, and wouldn’t you know it, the kiddo won it. He’s pictured here with his commander and senior enlisted instructor, and was one of very few freshman to be personally recognized.
A quick perusal of the award criteria revealed the following:
- Remain in good academic standing among their peers.
- Maintain a leadership position in their JROTC unit, or show exemplary leadership potential within JROTC and other school activities.
- Show interest in continuing towards a military or public service career.
- Have the coolest and most devastatingly handsome dad among all of the other cadets.*
*May or may not have be among the requirements.
So it was quite a week, especially considering that spring football is also underway.
The 11 year-old had a less eventful week, since the only scheduled baseball game was called off due to a typical Gulf Coast deluge. He did have a practice on Tuesday, for which all of five kids decided to show. Once again, I just don’t get it. I don’t mean to go all “hargle bargle old guy checking in” here, but ffs, why is it so hard to get kids to practice? My two boys are at every practice unless something extraordinary (read: Russian ICBMs inbound) is going on.
I’ve always treated their practices as mandatory, but some parents/guardians apparently don’t! One practice a week? TOO ONEROUS FOR US. Not to mention the fact that the fee to play the season isn’t exactly low! If anything, I’d make sure they were there in order to get my money’s worth out of the public facilities. On the bright side, my kiddo gets lots of reps since he’s one of the few who shows up.
We also had some time to watch baseball, since he wasn’t able to play. There was a situation where a Mariners player hit a ground ball that should have been an easy out, but he hustled up the line and was called safe. I made sure to point this out as a lesson for him. Even if you think you’ll be thrown out, always hustle, because you never know. So of course the call was challenged and overturned, and the runner was out. I made sure to immediately reinforce the fact that the lesson still stood. Not sure how well it sunk in.
This Week in Pet Ownership
Things are going great with Buda the Goldendoodle, why would you ask??!! We totally ordered this as a precaution!
Buda HAS DEFINITELY NOT BEEN BUSY CHEWING THROUGH WALLS AND BASEBOARDS SO I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU ARE LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT. EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Tales from the Fryer
After 24 years of avoiding such things, I decided to volunteer for a work fund raiser last week, taking my place as food runner at a concession booth during a Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball game. It was a not-so-bad few hours, and there were a couple moments that made me laugh. First, there was the guy who specifically asked that his order of chicken strips be prepared well done. “What,” I responded to the squadron members, “he doesn’t want them medium rare like I usually order?” Seriously, bro, do you really think that the folks hovering over the boiling oil and churning out orders are gonna take extra care of yours? And what on earth is the point of eating chicken that has been cooked for so long that it’s as dry as a Pentecostal wedding reception?
Another menu item was fried pickles, which came with a disclaimer to any ordering customer that they would take five minutes to prepare. Well right as the game began, the cooks accidentally prepared an extra order, and the lady processing the orders threw them under the heating lamp for future use. There they sat, and sat, and sat. Finally an order came, and I hustled them over right away. They’d been under the heat lamp for so long that the accompanying sauce had begun to harden over. “Whoa!” the register guy said, “that was fast!” while handing them to the customer. I didn’t have the heart to tell them the reason why they were served right away.
I’d imagine that anyone who works in the service industry has a thousand stories like these, and I encouraged my fellow volunteers to watch the Ryan Reynolds movie Waiting. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor.
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