Black Quarterback: The Trading Places Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Eric Reid Keeps the Same Energy
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid was one of the first people to kneel next to Colin Kaepernick in 2016; and his actions this year will not let you forget that. After not being signed to a squad last year. and the beginning of this campaign, Reid was picked up by the Panthers and he has continued the vision. He has kneeled during the anthem, continued to speak about police brutality and even pressed Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on some MLK vs. Malcolm X swag.
For Reid, this is something that is bigger than a pregame scuffle. He was an early part of the movement that shook the world altogether. He remained in the league while seeing his friend and teammate get shunned out of the league. Reid almost suffered the same fate when no team picked him up during the offseason but he remained true to his values throughout this process. Last season, he was part of the player’s coalition, which was an effort to get the league to commit to social issues. However, he reportedly left, due to differences with how it was being run by Jenkins himself,
After all of that, Reid has returned to the league, but has kept the same energy. The first game he played in this season, he kneeled during the anthem and it drew criticism from a lot of Panthers fans. Sunday, he allegedly pressed Jenkins over his actions and even referred to Jenkins as a sellout. While the emotional sentiments of the players kneeling have seemed to die down completely, Reid seems to be staying true to the cause. He is letting it be known that there is a lot more work to be done, whether he is in the league or not. What the league did last year might seem like a noble step, but in some eyes, people may have considered money to buy an end to the movement.
Outside of the controversial locker room rule, players have either stood for the anthem or raised a fist to support the movement started by Kaepernick and Reid; but very little noise has been made about it. Reid, through his own actions, is just reminding us that the purpose of this movement should not be forgotten. There is still injustice that occurs for minorities and it should not be swept away under the guise of a few dollars that the league threw out.
Who Will it Work Out for?
A day after their loss to the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys pulled off a trade that caught the world’s eye. Monday, the Cowboys traded for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper by sending a first round pick in the upcoming draft. It might be the first of many trades that will happen between now and the trade deadline on October 30th. As for now, the race will be on for who is the clear winner of this deal.
Both teams have had their own criticisms of how their personnel was being managed, and how it translated to success on the field. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was infamously pinned with giving away linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears in return for two first round picks. The Cowboys cut long time receiver Dez Bryant and could not find an adequate replacement for him, which resulted in poor weekly performances from their receiver group, bad QB paly and a 3-4 start.
However, are things really looking up for both teams? The Cowboys have added a wide receiver to their arsenal, in a season in which the receiving group has been less than impressive. The Raiders have three 1st round picks they can use to help their semi-rebuild in the Jon Gruden era. On the flipside of this, the Cowboys have brought in a wide receiver that has been having an inconsistent season himself. Cooper has only 2 games this year where he has over 100 receiving yards; in the other games he has a combined 36 yards. The Raiders might be stacking their draft picks for the future but Gruden has indicated that he wants to remain “competitive” this year. That’s going to be a tall task considering they are going to be without running back Marshawn Lynch and Week 8 has not even arrived.
Many people are going to be looking for the short term impact of this deal and that will fall on what the Cowboys do. They have all their pieces needed, as opposed to the Raiders, who have slipped into garage sale mode. People are going to be looking for an improvement in the Cowboys offense, including more consistent, quality play from quarterback Dak Prescott. Fans will still be paying attention to those future draft picks to hold the Raiders accountable for this transaction as well.
Trades all Over
When the October 30th trade deadline arrives, it’s no telling how many more trades will have occurred. The Cooper trade has happened and the New York Giants have traded cornerback Eli Apple for 2019 7th round pick and 2020 4th round pick. The Raiders have been rumored to be taking calls for cornerback Gareon Conley and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is wanting out of the franchise bad.
This has probably been the busiest NFL trade deadline in recent memory. Even before this week, it was buzzing with rumors of the Cowboys snatching up Earl Thomas before he was injured. The teams that have pulled the gun have some type of need that needs to be addressed right now. Everybody knows about the Cowboys and their receiver issues and the Saints could probably use some more depth in their secondary.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is probably the hottest name of the moment to still await a trade and who could blame him? The Cardinals have not been god in a very long time. Their last playoff appearance was from the 2015 season when they lost to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship. Since then, they have went 16-22-1 and have been terrible defensively this year. They have a new head coach in Steve Wilks, who was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator last season, but he is caught up in firing rumors each week. They drafted quarterback Josh Rosen this year so they are facing a long rebuild that might require some veteran pieces to be moved and that’s where Peterson comes in.
It is being reported that he wants to go to New Orleans, which would probably be a good fit but there are some other teams who could stand to make a move. The Kansas City Chiefs could try and get Peterson to bolster their pass defense, as they look to be serious early contenders for a Super Bowl run. The Patriots have been reported as a possible trade candidate, and they definitely wouldn’t mind sending over a late pick or two to get him. Other teams being reported as trade destinations include the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, who could also look to bolster their pass defense a little.
The team has said they will not be trading Peterson, but that is probably code for “The offers are not good enough.” He has 3 years left on his current deal, but the Cardinals will not have rebuilt anything within the next 3 years. It’s only right they cut their ties now with the veteran cornerback and get something to build their future with.
Shout out to Houston Texans safety Andre Hal who returned to action this Sunday, after being diagnosed with cancer. Hal was diagnosed with lymphoma back in the spring, but his cancer went into remission a couple of weeks ago and he returned to practice last week.
Shut out to Denver Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly. The backup QB was arrested for criminal trespassing after attending a Halloween party put on by Broncos linebacker Von Miller. Kelly allegedly walked into a house then sat next to a woman and began speaking “incoherently.” A man in the house chased Kelly out by hitting him with a vaccum tube; he was later arrested in a nearby parking lot.
Before the trade deadline gets here, teams a few teams will be closing out the first half of their season in explosive fashion. The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans will have their rematch from last season’s divisional round game. This was the game where Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs made the miracle catch and run to win the game. These two offenses are no stranger to the end zone this year so this should definitely keep your adrenaline going on a Sunday night; but until then…I’ll holla.
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