Today’s surprising news that the Patriots discussed trading up to the second overall pick to draft Baker Mayfield apparently started with the Patriots wanting to bring Mayfield in for a visit.
But if the Patriots weren’t legitimately high on Mayfield they probably wouldn’t have bothered, even if a trade up to No. 2 was never in the cards. It has become clear in the last week that NFL personnel people were higher on Mayfield than a lot of people on the outside realized. The Browns weren’t the only team that thought he was the best player in the draft.
That’s something that Stafford got last summer, too, and another quarterback landing those terms will move them closer to becoming the standard. In essence, it allows the player to double dip if he’s cut, and makes letting a player go hurt a bit more for a team, from a cash standpoint. Ultimately, all of that is good news for players looking to inch closer to getting fully guaranteed deals. The other three major sports in the country have nothing in their CBAs prohibiting or requiring fully guarantee contracts.
The story is getting noticed. Via SportsBusiness Daily, both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America covered it on Thursday. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called the allegations “blockbusters.”
Mainstream, early-morning news coverage has become the unofficiallitmus test for whether an NFL controversy will go away quickly and quietly or whether it will have staying power. This one isn’t going to be regarded as an aberration or a blip on the radar screen. And as it gets more attention, more cheerleaders who have experienced inappropriate behavior with NFL teams or elsewhere will feel empowered to speak out.
Of course, certain inauthentic charlatans hoping to cater to a certain mindset will argue loudly that the Times and/or others in the media hope to eventually end cheerleading. This predictable effort to preach to a very specific choir overlooks the basic reality that, if misconduct or abuse is happening, it needs to be identified and rectified.