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Chargers’ Russell Okung Looking for Fully Guaranteed Contracts for Players

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As a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung can be the catalyst for change, and he wants to make one, seeking fully guaranteed contracts for players.

“It’s pretty simple: How much risk are NFL players taking on in correlation to how much money that we’re actually getting that’s real cash?” Okung questioned, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “I think sometimes people are so swayed by whatever is put out in the media, and you sort of have this little caveat next to it that says guaranteed money. But even with that, there’s tons of ways for teams to offset guaranteed money so that it’s not guaranteed.

“So what we want to make sure is that every player that has the privilege to play in the NFL makes the most that they can in this game. It’s just so sad because there’s so many guys that have played in this game that is susceptible to high rates of injury and have nothing to show for it, and the next thing you know they’re a dementia case.”

Okung has a right to be upset. The NFL distributed more than $8 billion in national revenue in 2017, thanks mostly to their lucrative television deals, with each team pulling in $225 million in revenue, so, the money is certainly available to institute fully guaranteed contracts.

“I’m arguing against the whole CBA,” Okung said. “It’s flawed, and I think as things change and the media landscape changes, we have to think about things differently — that includes agents, players and unions, too.

“Players are serious about it — they’re understanding that this is going to be a pivotal time. I don’t think there will be any other time like this in history. This CBA will be the biggest ever. There’s nothing like this because you have cord cutting going on, so technology companies are going to be bidding for our rights. Just in TV revenue alone, we’re looking at $3 [billion] to $4 billion maybe. That’s insane. The money at stake is changing, and the way people are going to watch games is changing. Sports gambling is coming up, and that’s going to be a huge industry for sports teams.”

 

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AFC

Broncos Hire Ed Donatell As Defensive Coordinator

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The Denver Broncos will hire former Chicago Bears defensive back ED Donatell to be there defensive coordinator. The Move reunites Donatell with Vic Fangio, the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Donatell coach under Fangio led defense s from 2011 through 2018 as defensive back coach. So the two are definitely know each other well. Donatell has been a defensive coordinator in the league before running, the Packers defense from 2000-2003 and in the Atlanta Falcons from 2004-2006.

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AFC

Browns Targeting Chuck Pagano for Defensive Coordinator

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With Freddie Kitchens officially at the helm as head coach, the Cleveland Browns are now focusing on his building his staff.

According to the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, the Browns are interested in former Indianapolis Colts head coach Check Pagano for their defensive coordinator job.

Pagano had interviewed for head coaching vacancies this offseason, and is drawing interest as a defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

The report goes on to say that Kitchens is really interested in adding Pagano to his staff.

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Texans’ Demaryius Thomas Wants To Continue Playing Career

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Houston Texans veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who they acquired via trade from the Denver Broncos mid-season, plans to continue his playing career, and would like to stay in Houston.

“My main priority right now is getting back healthy. I can still play, man. I’m not thinking about retirement. I just don’t know where it will be,” Thomas said, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

“I told them I would love to finish my career here, but we’ll see…This is what we have to deal with as players and guys in the locker room. I hope my appearance and being around the guys and talking to a couple of guys helped. I don’t want to say I helped that much play-wise, but leadership-wise, I think I helped.”

Thomas played in 7 games for the Texans following the trade, and caught 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

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