The ripple effects of Tom Brady’s retirement, plus of course Alabama has the top 2023 recruiting class
Hello everyone, but especially to…
ALABAMA’S PURPLE TIDE
Exactly one year ago, Texas A&M introduced the highest rated recruiting class of all time. Shortly after, Nick Saban said the Aggies “bought every player on their team.” Ah, the joys of college football recruiting.
Saban and his Alabama program wasted no time in officially reclaiming the throne on Wednesday, wrapping up the best recruiting class of 2023 and the third highest-rated class ever, only behind the Aggies’ class of 2022 and class of 2021. from Alabama.
Alabama’s 2023 class features a record nine five-star players, including EDGE Keon Keeley (No. 3 overall), offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor (No. 5 overall) and safety Caleb Downs (No. 8 overall) Of the 28 players in the Crimson Tide class, 27 are five- or four-star rookies. The only one who isn’t? Conor Talty, the nation’s second kicker. Behind Alabama are Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. Here is the 2023 team standings.
Not all five-star recruits have signed with the Crimson Tide, although that sometimes appears to be the case. In fact, another SEC team — South Carolina — signed five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor, and the Gamecocks were one of the big winners on National Signing Day, writes Brandon Huffman.
However, no recruiting battle was more dramatic than that of Jaden Rashada, and he ended up at Arizona State. I really enjoyed Dennis Dodd’s story about new Sun Devils head coach Kenny Dillingham.
Honorable mentionsAnd not such a good morning for… Getty Images
THE PANTHERS OF CAROLINE AND MATT RHULE
Matt Rhule’s tenure with the Panthers didn’t go well and apparently things still haven’t worked out, even nearly four months after he was fired. Last week, Rhule — who was hired by Nebraska in late November — filed an arbitration claim against the franchise, claiming the Panthers refused to pay his severance package.
The terms of the contract say there is approximately $5 million in dispute, writes our NFL insider Jonathan Jones.
The Panthers plan to argue that Rhule’s contract with Nebraska violates the league’s anti-tampering policy. Rhule signed an eight-year, $74 million contract with the Cornhuskers, up from a seven-year, $60 million deal with Carolina. salary and other benefits,” writes Jonathan. On Rhule’s side, his contract with Carolina says he owes $34 million from Feb. 1, 2023 through Jan. 31, 2027. Nebraska’s contract pays him $29 million from the November 2022 start date until as of December 31, 2026. That’s where the $5 million difference comes from.
There should be a conclusion in the next few weeks.
What Tom Brady’s retirement means for Bucs and everyone else 🏈
Welcome to your first full day of retirement, Tom Brady! In case you somehow missed it, Brady is calling it quits — this time “for good,” he says — after 23 seasons, seven Super Bowl wins, and so many ridiculous numbers that we would be here forever if i listed them all. His career is truly unique, and it will likely remain so forever. Robert Kraft certainly thinks so. The victories, the longevity, the records…it’s really overwhelming.
His retirement sent shockwaves through the NFL — here’s how the sports world reacted, and here’s how two of his closest teammates reacted — and the impact of his departure will be felt far and wide, especially before what looks like another hectic quarterback carousel. this offseason.
Our Cody Benjamin looked at the ripple effects of Brady leaving, particularly on a hypothetical destination.
Benjamin: “The most popularly predicted Brady destination in the event of a move from Tampa, the Raiders only made sense because of the Josh McDaniels connection… With that scenario evaporated, the Raiders are still ready to part ways with Derek Carr… Jimmy Garoppolo is potentially the next best thing for McDaniels, sharing Patriots roots, but a Jarrett Stidham return, in conjunction with a rookie, is also a logical alternative.
We also have winners and losers from the decision, and it’s important to note that Brady himself is the biggest winner, as our own Bryan DeArdo writes. A big loser, however, is the Buccaneers, and Bryan has options going forward under Tampa Bay’s center. Could it be Garoppolo? Maybe, says Tyler Sullivan. I have to give major props to our NFL team, which covers all angles:
Breanna Stewart joins Liberty as super team grows in New York 🏀 Getty Images
Breanna Stewart takes her talents to the Big Apple. And, my God, what a talented team the New York Liberty will be.
After being picked No. 1 overall in the 2016 draft, Stewart spent the first seven years of her career with the Storm, where she filled her trophy case:
Two-time WNBA champion (2018, 2020) MVP (2018) Commissioners Cup champion and MVP (2021) Two-time Finals MVP 2022 Scoring champion Four-time All-Star Five-time All-WNBA Four-time All-Defensive team Rookie of the Year
Stewart joins 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones, acquired from The Sun in mid-January, and 2022 All-Star Sabrina Ionescu to form one hell of a “Big Three.” Expectations are now high, writes our Jack Maloney.
Maloney: “There might be some growing pains as they figure out how to play together, but they’re all selfless players and it’s hard to bet against that kind of talent. … Unless there are new surprises, the Liberty appears to be on a crash course with defending champion Las Vegas Aces, who have bolstered their squad by agreeing to a deal with Candace Parker.”
Stewart’s free agency was perhaps the greatest in WNBA history, with Kevin Durant even recruiting her in New York. Now that she’s here, expect her to continue to be outspoken about some major issues — including charter flights — off the pitch while dominating on the pitch. As Jack notes, “The WNBA has officially entered its superteam era.”
As LeBron James closes in on the title, enjoy the ride 🏀 Getty Images
LeBron James is 89 points off Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record. It’s no longer a question of “if”, but “when” and “when” is probably next week – potentially February 7th at its current rate.
Of course, the gray cloud hanging over it is that the Lakers aren’t very good. Only Spurs and Rockets are worse in the West. If the season ended today, James would miss the playoffs for a second straight year, something that hadn’t happened in his first two years in the league. Injuries, underperformance, bad luck, tension, questionable decisions. You name it, the Lakers took care of it.
For a few nights, however, let that fade and focus on James passing a record long considered unbreakable, writes our Bill Reiter.
Reiter: “Will it be enough freedom from angst — enough joy and positivity — to spark a Lakers revival and a run by the end of the season? Maybe. Maybe not … But a reminder of a feeling – of the purple and gold sitting at the center of the basketball universe, of the team most talked about in the game emanating again from downtown Los Angeles. , from across the NBA turning its often blasé and jealous eye on the Lakers — will resurface, albeit temporarily.” What We’re Watching Thursday 📺
🏀 #19 FAU at UAB, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏀 Grizzlies at the Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 No. 8 Maryland at No. 6 Iowa, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Clippers at Bucks, 10 p.m. on TNT