Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and in the wake of Russell Wilson being dealt and Aaron Rodgers deciding to stay in Green Bay, another quarterback domino fell across the NFL landscape. Veteran Carson Wentz, coming off an up-and-down season with the Colts, is heading to Washington to take over the starting gig for the Commanders. In return, the Colts receive a slight bump in the upcoming second round, along with a wealth of cap space. There are now two paths for the Colts to weigh: using the second-round pick on a potential future starting quarterback or using the created cap space to make a deal for Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers. Both scenarios have pros and cons, though each represents a better option than rolling with Wentz under center for another season. 

And that brings into focus Washington’s odd decision to acquire Wentz. Last offseason, the franchise made a push for Matthew Stafford to no avail. This offseason, the Commanders came up short in pursuit of Wilson. Now, Washington, with a roster built to contend for a Wild Card spot in the NFC, will instead turn control of the franchise over to Wentz, whose only consistent attribute in recent years has been his consistently lousy decision-making. There’s no denying his arm talent, and Wentz does boast an MVP-level season on his resume. However, Wentz is many years removed from high-end play, making Washington’s decision to acquire him challenging to rationalize. 

Baseball finally made headlines for positive reasons on Thursday as the owners and MLBPA agreed to terms on a new CBA, ending the weeks-long lockout. At the same time, the season will start later than initially scheduled, baseball plans for a full 162 game slate, which is excellent news for fans. With a deal in place, the focus can shift to the baseball offseason and the host of remaining free agents. Headlining the list of players still searching for a team for the upcoming season is shortstop Carlos Correa, reigning World Series champion Freddie Freeman, shortstop Trevor Story, and veteran hitters Kris Bryant and Nick Castellanos. Correa will likely ignite a bidding war between the infielder-needy big-market franchises, while Freeman returning to the Braves remains a possibility despite an expected nine-figure price tag. Story will likely land with a team that misses out on Correa, while the list of suitors for Bryant and Castellanos includes practically every hopeful contender. 

In the NBA, a must-watch showdown between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers quickly became an unwatchable rout as the Nets dismantled the 76ers with relative ease. It was the first time the two teams have squared off since completing a blockbuster deal that ended up sending James Harden, who forced his way out of Brooklyn, to the 76ers. Harden, who has shined since joining Philadelphia, was awful, finishing the contest with 11 points on 3-of-17 shooting. It was as bad a performance as Harden has mustered in recent memory, a fitting occurrence given the game’s playoff atmosphere and Harden’s reputation for struggling in big games. 

Meanwhile, the Nets rolled despite Ben Simmons, the centerpiece of the team’s return in the deal, watching from the sidelines in street clothes. Seth Curry, part of the package sent to Brooklyn, outplayed Harden, scoring 24 points and totaling five steals. Since the trade, Philadelphia has looked every bit like an NBA Finals contender, while Brooklyn has struggled for consistency. However, last night illustrated without a doubt that the Nets remain capable of delivering a championship-worthy performance while the 76ers will struggle without Harden at his best. Despite last night’s game being an absolute dud, basketball fans have to be hoping these two rivals meet again in the playoffs.