Take five: Trades, tanks and take-backs



The Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (6) fights for a loose ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By The Pitt News Staff

Remember in elementary school when you would beg your friends to trade what with was in your lunchbox? We can all identify, and apparently so can every coach, owner and player in professional sports this week.

Between hour-long hires and trading between sports, The Pitt News has you covered in this week’s roundup of sports headlines.

No take-backs

For the second time in his career, Josh McDaniels went from head coach of an NFL team to New England Patriots offensive coordinator. The first time, he was the head coach of the Denver Broncos for two years from 2009 to 2010, got fired, was the offensive coordinator for the Rams for a year and then returned to New England.

The second time? He was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts for about eight hours.

At noon Tuesday, the Colts announced McDaniels was accepting the head coaching position. But at 7:30 Tuesday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that McDaniels was staying with the Patriots, reporting that New England had sweetened his contract, convincing him to stay.

This whole situation is strange and, frankly, laughable. It reflects poorly on McDaniels, and I would be shocked if he received a head coaching offer any time in the near future. How can a team trust someone who reneges so quickly? If I were any NFL team other than the Patriots, I would avoid Josh McDaniels.

— Jon Shaiken, Staff Writer

Football is so last week

The Texas Rangers traded 2014 Super Bowl champion and Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson Wednesday. Wilson’s trade likely came as a shock to many Seahawks faithfuls who weren’t aware the Texas Rangers were looking for a trade. Yes, baseball.

Though unlikely, if he so chooses, Wilson’s new home for spring training could be with the New York Yankees. It begs the question — in the modern NFL, could a star player manage even a modicum of success in both, a la Bo Jackson?

— Brandon Glass, Staff Writer

Former Los Angeles Clippers players Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson, hold their jerseys up while being welcomed by the Detroit Pistons during a news conference on Wednesday Jan. 31, 2018, at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich. The three players arrived earlier in the week via trade with the Clippers. (Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Ballin’ on a deadline

With the NBA trade deadline today at 3 p.m., it’s time for everyone’s favorite hypothetical deals. Trade season in the NBA is similar to that of the MLB, where teams looking to make a playoff push will give up young and future assets in exchange for the piece they think can help them win now.

The NBA has already had one blockbuster deal this season, as the Los Angeles Clippers traded superstar Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for a bunch of no-names and a first-round pick.

The biggest remaining trade rumor involves the Clippers again, now with center DeAndre Jordan. Jordan is the type of player that could take a team to the championship with his size, defense and athletic ability.

After beating the Golden State Warriors by 20 points on Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder will add guard Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz. Getting Hood shows that Oklahoma City is committed to the playoff push and thinks that it can surprise everyone by winning the Western Conference.

These are just hypotheticals, though.

— Colin Martin, Staff Writer

Bad news Bill

New England head coach Bill Belichick puzzled pretty much everyone with his decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler Sunday for the entirety of the Super Bowl. The move was unusual, considering Butler played the role of hero during the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks. He had also been on the field for 97 percent of the team’s defensive plays throughout the 2017 season.

Many assumed the move was a disciplinary action or that Butler may have been sick or injured. All of these theories have since been debunked, though. Butler himself seems to have no explanation, while Belichick gave his typical, cult-of-secrecy non-answers during the postgame press conferences.

Well, the Patriots gave up 538 yards of offense — the most ever in the Belichick era. So whatever sort of odd strategy Belichick was going for, it didn’t work. And whatever the reason was, Belichick ought to break the stern “I’m above explaining myself to anyone” facade for just one moment to give some sort of explanation — or even an apology.

— Trent Leonard, Staff Writer

Talk to my agent

With pitchers and catchers set to head down to Arizona and Florida for the start of spring training in a week, a record number of MLB free agents remain unsigned. Marquee free agents like Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer, JD Martinez and Alex Cobb are all still in search of employment for this upcoming season.

This situation is unprecedented and has caused a major rift between the MLB and the Players Association. Tony Clark, the executive director of the Player’s Association, released a statement via Twitter accusing clubs of not spending their money in efforts to tank so they receive compensation in the form of high draft selections.

The statement from Clark is, frankly, overthought and inaccurate. There are plenty of teams in the business of competing and winning the World Series — the problem lies in the players and their “super agents.” This strategy is only being used by agents like Scott Boras, who is encouraging his clients to turn down lucrative contracts in an effort to have teams raise the offer.

— Adin Link, Staff Writer

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