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Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and following news reports that the Jets weren’t in a rush to offer a lucrative long-term extension to safety Jamal Adams, trade speculation surrounding the superstar was an expected development. The Jets have publicly stated that Adams will not be actively shopped around the league, but teams are welcome to call with offers. Given his place among the best defensive building blocks in the NFL, Adams would fetch a massive package in any potential trade. It seems unlikely a trade would happen during the preseason, though it seems equally unlikely the Jets would balk at locking up Adams long-term.

              Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is entering the final season of his contract, and though he held out last season as a member of the Jaguars. Now with the Rams, Ramsey has announced intentions to be present at the start of training camp. Considering the Rams sent a king’s ransom to Jacksonville to acquire Ramsey at mid-season last year, L.A. is likely going to keep the superstar cover corner long-term no matter the cost. It is going to take a market-setting extension to keep Ramsey in Los Angeles, however. The Rams boast arguably the NFL’s worst cap situation, setting up significant hurdles to a deal in the short-term. L.A. will likely need to do some major reshuffling of the deck to appease Ramsey.

              Another ex-member of the Jaguars, quarterback Nick Foles, was acquired by the Bears earlier this off-season. For weeks Chicago has claimed that there will not be a quarterback battle for the starting gig. Now, with the start of training camp on the horizon, it is becoming increasingly clear Foles will be given every opportunity to win the starting job from incumbent Mitchell Trubisky. Injuries are an issue for Foles, but when healthy, he represents a distinct and massive upgrade over Trubisky. Foolishly, Chicago remains committed—albeit half-heartedly—to Trubisky due to trading up in the 2017 NFL Draft to acquire him. Foles should be the assumed starter, but it seems it will take Trubisky losing the job for Foles to emerge as the starter.

              Phillip Rivers joined the Indianapolis Colts this off-season, bolstering the team’s beleaguered passing game. The veteran won’t have a receiving corps equal to the Chargers at his disposal, but there is cause for optimism surrounding Indianapolis’s collection of pass-catchers. Veteran T.Y. Hilton remains a star, but it is a pair of youngsters that are cause for optimism. Second-year receiver Parris Campbell, whose rookie season was ruined by injury, is fully healthy and poised for a larger role in 2020. Rookie Michael Pittman, the 34th overall pick in last month’s draft, is an NFL-ready talent capable of emerging as Rivers’ go-to red zone option as a rookie. There are more obvious talent-rich crops of receivers elsewhere in the league, but the Colts have an exciting group capable of surprising this season.

              For the first time since the suspension of the NBA season, there appears to be legitimate traction to restarting action. On Tuesday, reports surfaced that the league is targeting July 22 as a start date, with the plan being to resume the regular season before starting the playoffs. It remains unclear whether the league will finish the remaining regular-season games, or more likely, complete an abbreviated schedule to allow for players to get back into game shape prior to the postseason. The details surrounding the games is also uncertain.

              There is growing thought that the games will take place in a centralized location, with Orlando being the apparent destination. There will not be fans in attendance, but even working out the logistics of having a crew on-site to broadcast the game will require careful consideration. Either way, this is great news for basketball fans and the league in general. Nothing about this postseason will be ideal, and it will be nearly impossible to fault teams for lack of success in the playoffs given the circumstances, but putting a stamp on the 2019-20 season will allow the league to move on to the off-season and prepare for next year.