Author: Frank Schwab

Richard Sherman says report of any rift with Russell Wilson is 'nonsense'

An interesting story from that claimed Richard Sherman still hasn’t gotten over the Seattle Seahawks’ loss in Super Bowl XLIX and some defensive players resent quarterback Russell Wilson was met with an expected response.

A couple of prominent Seahawks, including Sherman himself, denied that there’s anything to the story.

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The story noted that some of Wilson’s teammates are upset he never gets criticism from coach Pete Carroll, and that has manifested itself in a few ways. Included in the story was an anecdote about Wilson giving teammates first-class tickets on Alaska Airlines (a company Wilson endorses) as a Christmas present, and a Seahawks player telling an assistant, “It didn’t cost him anything. Big deal.”

Sherman is active on Twitter, but didn’t say anything about the story on social media. But when asked by Sirius XM NFL Radio, he dismissed it.

“Its just a bunch of nonsense from ‘anonymous’ sources,” Sherman said. “Can never put much gravity of things like that.”

Fellow Seahawks star defender Michael Bennett was adamant that there was nothing to the story. @espn @ESPNNFL this article is trash and should be on tmz it’s all gossip I’m Surprised this came from you

— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) May 25, 2017

I love @DangeRussWilson great teammate n friend and even better human .I was at his house last week and he gave me BBQ ribs

— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) May 25, 2017

Aside from Wilson passing the time-honored BBQ ribs test as a teammate, it wouldn’t be unusual for there to be some resentment toward a star quarterback. Wilson’s salary-cap figure of $18.8 million is more than $5 million more than any other Seahawks player (Sherman is second). Wilson, like any other big-name quarterback, gets an inordinate amount of attention. These things can create tension in any locker room.

The author of the ESPN piece, Seth Wickersham, is also highly respected and defended the story.

@SethWickersham‘s response with us just now:

“I’d like him to see my phone and see all the people in the building who say I nailed it.”

— The Russillo Show (@RussilloShow) May 25, 2017

It’s very likely there’s at least something to the story, though it doesn’t mean there’s an irreparable problem in the Seahawks locker room. Even if there’s a legitimate issue, it’s a fantasy to believe all 53 players in every NFL locker room are good friends. The Seahawks will be fine regardless.

But Seattle has been the NFL’s most interesting team the past few seasons. A little bit of offseason drama is nothing new to the Seahawks.

Richard Sherman said a story that portrayed a rift between him and Russell Wilson is
Richard Sherman said a story that portrayed a rift between him and Russell Wilson is “nonsense.” (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Kelvin Benjamin's oft-discussed weight isn't an issue, Ron Rivera says

Kelvin Benjamin is getting the Eddie Lacy treatment.

When a football player is overweight, or just seems to be overweight, it usually is met with a freakout on social media. And jokes. Many jokes. It happened to Lacy. Now it’s happening to Benjamin, the Carolina Panthers receiver.

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A photo of Benjamin looking a little bigger than usual quickly got passed around the internet.

Concerns out of #Panthers OTAs is that Kelvin Benjamin put on a couple extra LBS.

— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) May 25, 2017

And yes, it quickly became a race to come up with the most savage joke and meme.

There were reports earlier this offseason that Benjamin was 270, even 280 pounds, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera quickly shot them down. Rivera said Thursday that the whole story about Benjamin’s weight is not fair.

“A lot was made out of it that was unfair to be made out of it,” Rivera said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “Especially in a voluntary situation. But he’s worked very hard. He’s focused in on what he needs to do and he’s done that.”

Nobody has disagreed that Benjamin isn’t at his ideal weight. The Charlotte Observer reported earlier this offseason that Benjamin is listed at 245 pounds but has been up to 252. That’s not a big deal. It’s really not a big deal in late May, about two months before training camp starts.

But that won’t stop the jokes on social media or the constant attention to Benjamin’s weight that’s sure to follow him for a while. Ask Lacy, he can tell you about it.

Kelvin Benjamin stretches at a recent Panthers OTA session. (AP)
Kelvin Benjamin stretches at a recent Panthers OTA session. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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First-round megabust Justin Gilbert suspended four games

Former Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert has been suspended four games by the NFL. (AP)
Former Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert has been suspended four games by the NFL. (AP)

Johnny Manziel will go down in Cleveland Browns infamy, but in truth, he wasn’t even the Browns’ biggest first-round draft bust in 2014.

Cornerback Justin Gilbert, the No. 8 overall pick in 2014, flamed out fast in Cleveland and his career might be over after he was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, according to multiple reports including

In the 2014 draft, 14 picks before the Browns took Manziel, Cleveland selected Gilbert. He was horrible, starting three games in two years before the Browns dumped him. Seven of the nine picks after Gilbert have made at least one Pro Bowl, including superstars Odell Beckham and Aaron Donald. The Browns could have thrown a dart at a list of the best names on the board at No. 8 and had a better than 50 percent chance of landing a Pro Bowler. Instead, in a fantastic draft, they picked someone who contributed practically nothing. Manziel got infinitely more headlines, but Gilbert was the more disastrous pick.

Gilbert was with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, playing a bit role in 12 games. He has never shown the ability or attitude to be a legit NFL cornerback, and it’s hard to believe a team would take a chance on him knowing he’s suspended.

Gilbert lasted just two seasons with the Browns. He was ripped by teammates for having a terrible attitude after his rookie season, in which he started just two games. In Gilbert’s second year he barely played on defense, started just one game and was traded to Pittsburgh for a sixth-round pick before last season. Amazingly enough, even getting a sixth-round pick back for Gilbert was a steal for the Browns.

Gilbert should probably be happy he was in the same draft class as Manziel, a lightning rod for attention and criticism. Gilbert didn’t get half the attention, though we shouldn’t underestimate how much that pick set the Browns back.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Josh Norman blasts NFC East rivals Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant

The offseason seemed a bit strange … oh yes, Josh Normal hadn’t ramped up any feuds with some inflammatory comments.

You knew it was coming at some point.

Norman, the Washington Redskins cornerback who has never shied away from controversial comments, took on two of his favorite enemies in a Bleacher Report story by Tyler Dunne, ripping New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham and Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.

Beckham is an old nemesis, going back to a crazy game in 2015 when Norman was with the Carolina Panthers and the two spent most of the afternoon brawling. Apparently Norman wasn’t violent enough on that day against the Giants. He told Bleacher Report he wished he would have “let myself go that game.” When asked if he meant fisticuffs, he answered in the affirmative.

“Everything. The whole thing,” Norman said. “I was held back by trying to play it cool, trying to be a good guy. Screw that.”

Then – this theme will be repeated later, when it comes to Bryant – Norman questioned Beckham’s toughness.

“He tries to be a tough guy,” Norman said. “He tries to put on this persona which he’s not.

“When people get physical, tough, like the Minnesota game, he acts out. He’s a kid. He’s a big kid, man.”

On Beckham, Norman added, “I hope I don’t catch him outside. Let’s just say that.”

Norman isn’t an admirer of Bryant either.

“That’s a guy. Just a guy,” Norman said. “Dez was Dez in 2012, ’13, ’14. Maybe ’14. Now? He’s a guy.”

Norman said Bryant doesn’t “wow” him because while he bullies other cornerbacks with his physical play, he can’t do that to Norman.

“He’s trying to be a tough guy and that’s not him,” Norman told Dunne. “That’s not how you play ball. The media really created this ‘talk trash’ with me. I don’t really talk to these guys. They’re talking to themselves. I just play them.”

And to wrap it all up, Norman promised “bad blood” in divisional games, and it will get “really ugly.”

“You think the NFC East didn’t like each other before?” Norman said. “This year right here? There’s going to be a lot of fines and maybe some suspensions.”Norman hadn’t said much all offseason, but he made up for lost time.

The entire interview with Dunne is interesting, because Norman is one of the NFL’s more interesting players. Norman seems to feed off of creating tension with rival receivers, and he’s never one to hold his tongue. While most of the big talk seems to be hyperbolic to get himself going – this is a player who has said he pretends to be a different movie character every game day – it’s going to be remembered in Dallas and New York. Maybe that’s the point.

If you wondered what happened to Norman this offseason, or even if he planned to keep a lower profile, we got an emphatic answer.

Josh Norman and Dez Bryant had words during one meeting last season. (AP)
Josh Norman and Dez Bryant had words during one meeting last season. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Today's Odell Beckham drama: He's reportedly dating Iggy Azalea

Whatever will the New York media have to ask Odell Beckham when (if?) he arrives at New York Giants OTAs?

The better question is, where to start?

Already this week Beckham skipped voluntary OTAs, signed the most lucrative shoe deal ever for an NFL player and his workouts with Johnny Manziel became a big deal. That’s a full offseason for just about anyone else, but the Beckham gossip continued Thursday with news from the New York Post’s “Page Six” that Beckham was hanging out in L.A. this week so he could spend time with “new girlfriend,” Australian musician Iggy Azalea. Beckham was reportedly going to be at Thursday’s OTA session, but NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported Beckham was not present at the beginning of practice.

The Post had all the details of Beckham’s get-together with Azalea Monday night, including what Beckham wore (black camo shorts with a black hoodie), what he drank (“stuck to iced water”) and what his friends ate (chicken skewers, chicken tenders, pigs in a blanket and assorted desserts). Everyone bowled and ate and laughed and left at midnight.

What will Swaggy P think of all this?

It’s not that Beckham apparently dating someone famous is a big deal, any more than him hanging out with Manziel or spending his off day on a boat should have been a big deal. But they add up and create a headache the Giants don’t want to deal with.

“He’s a smart guy, but sometimes he doesn’t do smart things,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said in early January, according to Newsday. “We all had to grow up at different times in our lives. I think it’s time for him to do it now. He’s been here three years now.”

Beckham hasn’t exactly kept a low profile this year, starting with the boat trip.

“If they don’t have a story these days they’ll make one…” I might get that tatted???????? #StayTheCourse

— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) May 24, 2017

Is it overblown? Probably. But it’s not like Beckham doesn’t understand the attention on him. Everything he does as the Giants’ new superstar will make headlines. That won’t change if he’s now dating a famous singer.

Australian musician Iggy Azalea is reportedly dating Odell Beckham. (AP)
Australian musician Iggy Azalea is reportedly dating Odell Beckham. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Are Richard Sherman trade talks related to Seattle's Super Bowl loss?

Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman have been Seahawks teammates since 2012. (AP)
Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman have been Seahawks teammates since 2012. (AP)

More than two years later, we’re still debating Russell Wilson’s goal-line interception that cost the Seattle Seahawks a win in Super Bowl XLIX. We’ll probably still be talking about it years from now.

It seems like the Seahawks are still dealing with the fallout, too.

When the Seahawks were very public about entertaining trade talks with cornerback Richard Sherman, it was unusual. They seemed more interested about telling everyone about the trade talks than actually trading Sherman. A fascinating piece by’s Seth Wickersham connected some dots, and they seem to trace back to Wilson throwing that interception to New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.

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It’s one of the most famous plays and play calls in NFL history. From the 1-yard line, Wilson threw to Ricardo Lockette over the middle, Butler jumped the route and made an unbelievable catch. Even if the ensuing explanation for calling a pass rather than running with Marshawn Lynch made some logical sense to anyone willing to listen – with one timeout facing second-and-goal, the Seahawks didn’t have enough time to run three times, so they planned to pass once, save the timeout, then run twice with Lynch – it turned out terribly. And apparently Sherman has never forgiven or forgot it.

Here’s what Wickersham wrote:

“According to interviews with numerous current and former Seahawks players, coaches and staffers, few have taken it harder than Richard Sherman. He has told teammates and friends that he believes the Seahawks should have won multiple Super Bowls by now. And with just one trophy and the window closing fast, he has placed responsibility for that failing on the two faces of the franchise: Wilson and Carroll. … He’s been disillusioned not only by that single play more than two years earlier but also by his coach’s and quarterback’s response to it.” 

The story is a great look inside the dynamics of a locker room, and especially the unique Seahawks locker room. No team in the NFL has more outspoken personalities than Seattle. The story discusses a divide between the offense and defense, or more specifically between some defensive players players and Wilson. Even before the Super Bowl loss, “the defensive players noticed Russell Wilson seemed to be the favored son,” Wickersham wrote. Wilson is rarely criticized by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, which is part of Carroll’s ceaselessly positive approach. As a result, the resentment over the Super Bowl interception has apparently grown. Perhaps that’s a deep-seated reason for Sherman’s sideline blowups last season, which seemed to contribute to the Seahawks making the trade talks a matter of public record.

Sherman and Wilson did not do interviews with Wickersham for his piece.

The general takeaway from the story is that it isn’t so easy for teams to put devastating losses in the past and move on. The Seahawks have a Super Bowl title, yet they are having a hard time getting over the Super Bowl they lost. It’s something the Atlanta Falcons will have to deal with as they try to put the Super Bowl LI collapse behind them. It won’t be easy.

The Seahawks are still one of the NFL’s best teams, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they made it back to another Super Bowl this season. It sounds like they need to get beyond some old issues if they’re going to make that happen.

More Seahawks news from Yahoo

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Odell Beckham working out with Johnny Manziel as he skips Giants OTAs

The New York Giants couldn’t have been too happy that receiver Odell Beckham wasn’t with the team at “voluntary” OTAs at the start of this week. It couldn’t have made them feel much better to know Beckham was working out with Johnny Manziel instead.

TMZ, which has blanketed the Manziel beat since he partied his way out of the NFL, reported that Beckham and Manziel did some passing drills this week (and hung out with Beckham’s “custom cleat artist” Kickasso). Manziel is attempting a comeback after his well-documented issues off the field led to the end of his Cleveland Browns career. Manziel was out of football last season.

Beckham’s absence from the Giants’ OTAs this week has made some news. The workouts are officially voluntary, but almost every NFL player shows up for them and it’s not a great look for a player of Beckham’s stature to skip out. Instead of being with the Giants, Beckham was hanging with Johnny Football and Kickasso. A photo of the two players together was posted to Kickasso’s Instagram profile, and the picture was passed around on social media before the original post was deleted.

#gossip #TMZ Johnny Manziel Runs Throwing Drills With Odell Beckham (PHOTO)

— HollywoodNews (@HollywoodN247) May 24, 2017

Manziel and Beckham have been seen together a few times this offseason, and Manziel sometimes works with Beckham’s trainer Jamal Liggin, as Jordan Raanan of said. The workouts together probably shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but a Giants boat trip on a Monday after the regular season ended shouldn’t have been a big deal either.

Everything is more scrutinized when it comes to Beckham, and that definitely holds true for Manziel too. The image of them working together while Beckham is away from his NFL team during offseason work is going to get plenty of attention.

Beckham, who the New York Post said is expected by the team to be at Thursday’s OTA session, has a tendency to create firestorms. Whether it’s for fights with Josh Norman, freaking out on a kicking net, the now infamous pre-playoff boat trip or now working out with Manziel, it’s always something. Each of those things get blown out of proportion because of the market in which he plays, but the Giants would probably rather if their most talented player could have a nice quiet offseason.

That might never be the case with Beckham. Already this week he got headlines for not being with the Giants for OTAs. Then he signed a five-year, $29 million deal with Nike according to, which is the most lucrative shoe deal ever for a football player. Then Beckham working out with Manziel was another story. And it’s only Wednesday.

The Giants know it’s all part of the package with Beckham. He’s going to be one of the best players in football, and he’s going to be a lightning rod for criticism as well. On the field or off it, there’s rarely a dull moment for the Giants’ superstar.

Odell Beckham poses with a fan at the Final Four last month. (AP)
Odell Beckham poses with a fan at the Final Four last month. (AP)


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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Brock Osweiler is still with the Cleveland Browns, in case you forgot

Brock Osweiler was traded from the Texans to the Browns this offseason. (AP)
Brock Osweiler was traded from the Texans to the Browns this offseason. (AP)

When the Cleveland Browns acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans this offseason, it felt like Osweiler wouldn’t be with the Browns any longer than Mike Piazza was with the Florida Marlins.

Osweiler wasn’t just passing through, however. Osweiler is still on the Browns, still competing in practice, hopeful to find a role. It’s not like the Browns, who were 1-15 last season, couldn’t use the help. Even if the Browns were just taking on salary to acquire a valuable draft pick –  the first time in recent memory an NFL team has traded away a pick just to dump a big contract – as long as Osweiler is on the roster he has a chance to impress.

“I don’t really make those decisions as far as what I was in the trade,” Osweiler said Wednesday. “The facts are I’m here, I’m playing football, I love being a Cleveland Brown.

“I’m only going to worry about the things I can control. My effort, my attitude, how hard I work, how hard I study. That’s what my focus is on right now.”

Osweiler said no conversations have taken place with the team about his future. There were reports right after the Browns acquired Osweiler that Cleveland wanted to trade him, but that never seemed realistic. The Texans had to give up a second-round pick to dump Osweiler, and it was hard to believe that teams would then line up to acquire him from Cleveland. Osweiler didn’t go anywhere, and since he’s still with Cleveland now, the Browns might as well give him a look.

Osweiler is working behind second-year quarterback Cody Kessler, and he has no problem with that.

“Cody has certainly earned that right,” Osweiler said. “He did a tremendous job for this football team. I’m the new guy on the block. I need to earn my stripes here.”

Osweiler is in a weird place, as far as his career is concerned. He’s just 26 years old. A little more than a year ago he was a prize on the free-agent market, and drew a contract worth $18 million a year from Houston after the Denver Broncos reportedly offered about $16 million a year. A year later, after a bad 2016 season, he was on a golf course when he was abruptly informed of the trade to Cleveland, which was clearly more interested in acquiring the pick than the player.

“I was standing on a sand trap and I got a phone call, and here we come,” Osweiler said.

A lot went wrong for Osweiler last season, but the former second-round pick is still young enough to revive his career. Osweiler was asked if he still considers himself capable of starting in the NFL.

“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Osweiler said. “I think the proof is in the film for the past two years.”

Most wouldn’t consider his 2016 tape a positive thing, but what else should he say? He did some good things in 2015, and the Broncos almost certainly wouldn’t have won Super Bowl 50 without his contributions. Osweiler talked about how the Browns coaching staff drills fundamentals, and perhaps getting a fresh start in a new system and with a new team can help. It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.

The Browns have some young quarterbacks, and Osweiler is no sure thing to stick on the roster. They have Cody Kessler, a third-round pick last year, and DeShone Kizer, a second-round pick this year. Comparatively, the Browns have nothing significant invested in Osweiler. He’s fighting an uphill battle.

But who knows? There’s a reason at least two competent NFL teams were willing to spend a fortune on Osweiler 14 months ago. And Kessler and Kizer aren’t exactly Joe Montana and Steve Young. Less than a year ago, you’d have looked at the current Browns depth chart and instantly picked Osweiler as the best quarterback on it. Osweiler kept saying in his press conference Wednesday that he was only worried about learning the Browns’ system, being a good teammate and making a good impression by working hard. A few months ago, he did start in a Texans playoff win. He would love to get the shot to start again.

“Nobody plays this game to be a backup or to lose football games,” Osweiler said. “You play to start and ultimately help your football team win.”

More Browns news from Yahoo

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Pro Bowl officially will return to Orlando in 2018, NFL announces

Doug Baldwin scores a touchdown in last season's Pro Bowl. (AP)
Doug Baldwin scores a touchdown in last season’s Pro Bowl. (AP)

The NFL seems to like Orlando as its new home for the Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl will make a return appearance in Orlando next season, the NFL announced. The Pro Bowl moved from its normal home of Hawaii to Orlando last season, and the league was obviously happy with the results. The 2018 Pro Bowl will be at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 28.

The first Pro Bowl in Orlando got positive reviews. There were 60,834 fans in attendance, which had to please the league. Finding a new venue doesn’t erase the well-worn complaints about the competitiveness of the game itself, but finding the right host is a big step.

It’s also a big deal for Orlando, which gets its own piece of the NFL pie.

“We are excited to bring Pro Bowl Week back to our community,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said in a release. “This year’s sold-out game was a landmark moment for Orlando and our reputation as a preferred destination for world-class sporting events. We became an NFL city for a week last season and look forward to making the 2018 Pro Bowl bigger and better.”

Now that Orlando will host back-to-back Pro Bowls, it seems like we’re trending toward central Florida being the game’s new regular host. Hawaii had that honor for decades, but it probably was the victim of the shrinking interest in the game itself. The NFL probably won’t be able to figure out a way to make the game interesting again but it could tinker with everything around the game, such as the host city. Orlando is easier for most people to travel to, so it should have a better chance at consistently filling up its stadium for the Pro Bowl. Putting the game in a big city that doesn’t have its own NFL team helps too, because the novelty of hosting the Pro Bowl shouldn’t wear off for a while.

The NFL will have a hard time giving up on the Pro Bowl, because it does pretty good television ratings (even if they’re dipping). The league will continue to work on ways to improve the game, but at least the NFL has a host city it likes.

More NFL news from Yahoo


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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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Vikings post video of QB Teddy Bridgewater throwing at OTAs

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t offered a ton of information on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s recovery from a fluky and terrible leg injury before last season, so the video the team posted of Bridgewater on Tuesday seemed like a really big deal.

There was Bridgewater, the Vikings’ 2014 first-round pick, taking snaps and throwing passes at the team’s OTA practice with a brace and sleeve on his injured left leg. It appears to be the first time Bridgewater has taken snaps with the team since he severely injured his leg in a practice last August. Bridgewater tore his ACL and dislocated his knee, and was put on injured reserve. That led the Vikings to make a panic trade and send a 2017 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford.

This video might not seem like much, but it is to Bridgewater and the Vikings.

Hey Teddy!

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) May 23, 2017

That doesn’t necessarily mean Bridgewater is ready to go or is going to reclaim his starting spot from Bradford. But it’s a good sign.

When the Vikings declined Bridgewater’s fifth-year option, there were business reasons behind it. His 2018 salary would be guaranteed due to injury, and that was risky for the Vikings. It also wasn’t a great sign that the team was entirely confident in his progress, though the Vikings have praised how hard Bridgewater has worked in his rehabilitation.

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It would be a great story if Bridgewater came all the way back and got his promising career back on track. He presumably still has a long way to go to get back into game action. We’ll see what he’s allowed to do in training camp and if he can play this preseason. But after such a devastating injury, it was good to see Bridgewater back in uniform.

Teddy Bridgewater was taking snaps and throwing in the Vikings' OTAs on Tuesday. (AP)
Teddy Bridgewater was taking snaps and throwing in the Vikings’ OTAs on Tuesday. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!
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