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Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield are both from Texas and “have a really cool friendship,” but the comparisons should stop there, Manziel said on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast.

“We’re completely different people. We have a similar background. We’re both from Texas. We both played Texas high school football, but he’s not me, and I’m not him. The way my wires are in my head and the way that I’m built and my makeup is completely different than Baker,” Manziel said, according to, which transcribed the quarterback’s comments.

At the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month, Mayfield acknowledged that people try to portray him “as a bad boy, the Johnny Manziel stuff” but told reporters, “I love the game of football, there’s no doubt about that. I’m an emotional player. I’ll do anything it takes to win. I love being around my teammates, leading and having responsibilities. It is what it is. If I paid too much attention to it, I’d be focusing on the wrong things.”

Mayfield, who is expected to be one of the first four quarterbacks selected in the 2018 NFL draft, has had off-field trouble — he reached a plea deal after an arrest on public intoxication charges last February — and has been criticized for on-field antics — planting a flag on the field at Ohio State after a victory and making an obscene gesture toward Kansas players during a Sooners rout.

“Baker is fiery as hell. He gets a little amped up on the sidelines. Once you’re on the football field and you do some things that are a little outlandish, like guys do that all the time. Was it maybe a little bit too much? Sure. But at the end of the day, the guy made a mistake, he paid his dues and I think he’ll be better off because of it and he’ll learn from that,” Manziel said on the podcast.

Manziel says he has “all the faith in the world in” Mayfield.

“I think he’s going to be a really good player, and if anything, people can compare him to me, but he can learn from what I did wrong. He can try and take something that I did and make it a positive for him.”

The Barstool Sports podcast was released Monday, as was Manziel’s interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in which the former Heisman Trophy winner said he has been diagnosed as bipolar and is taking medication for it and that his goal is to get back on the football field.

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Minnesota Vikings CB Jeff Gladney turns self in on assault charge



Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney turned himself in to the Dallas County Jail on Monday following a family violence assault charge, according to the Dallas Police Department.

Police said the charge stems from an incident on Friday when Gladney allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old woman.

“We are aware of Jeff’s arrest and are gathering additional information,” the Vikings said in a statement Monday. “We take this matter very seriously, as the reported allegations are extremely disturbing. At this time we will have no further comment.”

Gladney, 24, was a first-round draft pick out of TCU in 2020 and started 15 games for Minnesota last season.

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What trading for Sam Darnold means for the Carolina Panthers’ future



CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers‘ carousel of ways to upgrade from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater landed on Sam Darnold.

The Panthers traded for the third pick of the 2018 draft after earlier this offseason losing out to the Los Angeles Rams in a deal for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

They also faced the possibility of being shut out of getting one of the top quarterbacks at No. 8 in the upcoming draft after San Francisco traded with the Miami Dolphins for the No. 3 pick, meaning the top three picks (Jaguars, Jets, 49ers) likely will be signal-callers.

So the Panthers turned to Darnold, giving up a sixth-round pick this year and second- and fourth-round picks in 2022 for a quarterback the Jets had, for all practical purposes, given up on.

What does the deal mean for the Panthers? Will it turn them into a playoff contender and allow Darnold to live up to the expectations cast upon him coming out of USC? Let’s examine:

How much does the addition of Darnold improve the Panthers?

This isn’t Tom Brady going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so don’t pencil in plans for a Carolina run at the Super Bowl just yet. This is settling for the best the Panthers could get after other options disappeared.

Will Darnold be better than Bridgewater, who was 0-8 last season in games in which he had the ball on the final possession with a chance to tie or win? The simple answer is the Panthers can’t be much worse off.

From the perspective of Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer, Darnold is an upgrade. He’s a player with good mobility and leadership that he liked in 2018 coming out of college.

Fitterer said if Darnold turns into what he believes he can be, “for this price, it’s definitely worth the gamble.”

Note, he said gamble.

For Darnold, this means finally being surrounded by a supporting cast that can help him reach his potential and an offensive coordinator in Joe Brady, who proved with Joe Burrow at LSU he can turn a good player into a great one.

Darnold will have no excuses after this season, getting to play with Christian McCaffrey, arguably the best all-purpose back in the league. He’ll also have solid wide receivers in DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, who both topped 1,000 yards receiving in 2020. Darnold is familiar with Anderson, who was his most dangerous receiver in his first two seasons with the Jets.

The Panthers upgraded some at tight end by signing Dan Arnold in free agency, and they’re probably not finished there with the draft a possibility to upgrade further.

The Panthers plan to discuss exercising the QB’s fifth-year option with Darnold’s agent, per league source, which means it likely is to happen. That would give him in essence two years to prove himself in Carolina.

This likely is a bigger win for Darnold than for the Panthers, who were initially looking for more of a veteran presence to make them a playoff contender this season. If the gamble pays off, it’s a win-win for both.

What does this mean for Bridgewater?

That his days with the Panthers are essentially over — even though Joe Brady called him a franchise quarterback early last season. Trading him is the best option, with Bridgewater set to count $23 million against the 2021 cap, but that will be a tough sell. He can be released with a post-June 1 designation and save $7.9 million, but Carolina would take a $15 million hit in dead money this year and $5 million in 2022.

Worst case, Bridgewater will remain on the roster and offer his veteran expertise. Fitterer didn’t rule out that, but he didn’t exactly endorse it.

Bridgewater has always been a team player and overcame a career-threatening knee injury in Minnesota in 2016 to become a starter again. If anyone can handle being a backup, he can.

The best scenario for both parties would be for Bridgewater to restructure his deal to make him more tradeable. Fitterer said he has talked to Bridgewater and his agent and they’re all on the same page, but he didn’t clearly define that page.

“We’re going to find the right place for him, whether it’s here or someplace else,” Fitterer said.

How does this alter the Panthers’ draft approach, especially at No. 8 overall?

It would be stunning now if the Panthers used that pick on a quarterback with Will Grier and P.J. Walker also on the roster, although Fitterer didn’t rule out Carolina drafting a quarterback should the right player fall to them.

What this trade does is give them the flexibility to upgrade at possibly offensive tackle or tight end — two big needs — if Oregon’s Penei Sewell or Florida’s Kyle Pitts falls to them. That would also give Darnold a better chance to succeed and upgrade the overall offense long term.

“He’s highly competitive,” Fitterer said of Darnold. “He’s smart enough. I really like what he can bring to us with his ability to push the ball down the field.”

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Jets GM Joe Douglas takes legacy-defining risk by dealing Sam Darnold – New York Jets Blog



FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — After months of intense speculation and polarizing debate among fans and pundits, the New York Jets have arrived at The Decision — Part I, anyway. General manager Joe Douglas has decided to move on from quarterback Sam Darnold, who was traded Monday to the Carolina Panthers only three seasons into his pro career.

This was a difficult, multi-layered decision, one that sparked debate within the organization. In the end, it feels like a mistake, a blown opportunity to cash in a winning lottery ticket.

The trade means the Jets are prepared to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, probably BYU’s Zach Wilson, the Zac Efron lookalike with ridiculous arm talent who raised his stock with a fantastic season against one of the softest college schedules in the country.

It’s a gamble, one Douglas didn’t have to take. It’s mitigated somewhat by the return — the Jets received a 2021 sixth-round pick, plus second- and fourth rounders in 2022 — but they gave up on a 23-year-old quarterback whose progress was stunted by an organization that failed to supply him with adequate help. Darnold hasn’t played anywhere close to his draft status (No. 3 overall in 2018), but he’s not devoid of talent.

Not only did they send away a still-developing player, but the Jets lost out on a major score.

If the Jets had kept Darnold, they could have traded the second overall pick to a quarterback-needy team, bringing back a franchise-altering haul of draft picks. A trade would have allowed them to plug multiple holes, perhaps securing 2022 and 2023 first-round picks in the process. The risk of rolling with Darnold for another season would have been offset by the return in draft capital.

Instead of giving Darnold a chance to improve with better players around him and better coaching, Douglas decided to start over at quarterback. Coach Robert Saleh was in favor of keeping Darnold, sources said, but he apparently came around.

In the end, this was Douglas’ call. If he’s wrong about Wilson — or whomever he selects — Douglas will be out of a job when it comes time for the next do-over. He received a six-year contract in 2019, but this gig isn’t like being a Supreme Court justice. There’s no lifetime appointment; the Jets need to win.

Make no mistake, Douglas traded Darnold because he loves one of the quarterbacks in this draft and he didn’t love Darnold enough. There’s an outside chance he could trade the pick and take a different quarterback, but why do that? At this point, he has to be all-in.

Wilson is a highly skilled passer with playmaking ability outside the pocket — talent evaluators are ga-ga over him — but there are questions about his durability (shoulder surgery after his freshman year) and level of competition. He put up video-game numbers last season (33 touchdown passes, three interceptions), but he did it against “a cupcake schedule,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said.

“I said it all year: The sugar level has to be through the roof because he played so many cupcakes,” Kiper said.

Wilson struggled so much in 2019 that he had to re-claim his starting job in an open competition in 2020. That he wasn’t voted a captain by his teammates also raises a question, conjuring up memories of the fictional Bo Callahan in the movie “Draft Day.” To his credit, Wilson, eventually named a captain, responded with a brilliant season. But he didn’t play a single Power 5 school and faced only three defensive players listed in ESPN’s top 200 draft prospects.

An off-balance, Patrick Mahomes-like pass against North Alabama doesn’t foreshadow NFL success.

No matter what, the Jets get to reset the financial clock by having another rookie-quarterback contract, a big reason why they opted to trade Darnold. They get a quarterback on the cheap through 2024, whereas Darnold’s salary would have ballooned in 2022 with a fifth-year option ($18.8 million) or an extension.

But what if the rookie doesn’t pan out? History tells us there’s a 50-50 chance he will bust. This also means another year of rookie growing pains for a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in 10 years, the league’s longest drought. The offensive line, the same five guys that stunk it up last season, is ill-equipped to protect Wilson.

No doubt, Douglas and his staff agonized over this decision for months. It was a tough call, nuanced by the lowered salary cap, roster-building philosophy and evaluations of the draft-eligible quarterbacks. As the Jets GM noted recently, “there are a lot of different scenarios and a lot of different rabbit holes we can go down.”

He made the decision. Right or wrong, Douglas will be defined by it.

And so ends another sad chapter in Jets history. Three years ago, they celebrated Darnold’s arrival. Now they couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

In 2018, the Jets found a shiny new toy under their Christmas tree, but they didn’t read the instructions manual and wound up breaking it. Maybe he would’ve turned out this way under optimal conditions, but we’ll never know. That part is hard to reconcile. If Darnold lights it up with the Panthers, it will be yet another damning indictment of the Jets’ Way.

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