NFL Talk with Tico

NFL Talk with Tico

Get the NFL News by Michele Gobbato. Interact with Italian NFL Journalist, Michele Gobbato regarding your favorite teams, players, draft picks.

He will release his experience interviewing NFL's top players and his opinion of draft picks and stats.

Timeline photos 09/02/2022

Breaking: The CFP Board of Managers has decided on a 12-team College Football Playoff, sources told Pete Thamel.

The 12-team model is expected to start in 2026, after the current contract, according to a source.


Leonard Fournette, a key contributor to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl run in 2020, reportedly showed up for mandatory minicamp at 260 pounds. And the coaching stuff is not exactly happy about it.
Fournette did not show up for OTAs, and now that he showed up for the mandatory part of team activities he's over 30lb over his playing weight. It's not the first time he showed up to training camp overweight, as that was one of the red flags the Jacksonville Jaguars saw in their former 4th overall draft pick before releasing him later that season. That season he bounced back, landing with Tampa Bay and winning the Lombardi trophy as a key contributor. With Todd Bowles starting his regime as a head coach it will be interesting to keep an eye on this situation moving forward.

Photo credit:


N'Keal Harry traded to the Chicago Bears

After months of requesting a change of scenery, N'Keal Harry got his wish.
On Tuesday afternoon he got traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 7th round pick.
Harry holds the distinction of being the earliest drafted receiver in Bill Belichick's career, being selected number 25 overall in the 2019 draft out of Arizona State.
Needless to say he never lived out to expectations in New England, but he's still only 24 so he will have a great chance to start fresh in Chicago.
Should he play up to his pedigree he would have no problem earning a prominent roster spot in an unheralded Bears WR group.

Photo Credit: Musketfire


Congratulations T.J. and Dani Watt

Congratulations T.J. & Dani πŸ–€πŸ’›


USC and UCLA move to the Big Ten in 2024

Last year the SEC announced that Texas and Oklahoma will join the conference in 2025. As soon as that happened we knew other powerhouse programs and major conferences would have to react or risk being left behind. And we knew the Big12 replacing Oklahoma and Texas with BYU, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Houston was not nowhere near the tip of the iceberg as it pertains to conference realignment.
Thursday night news that USC and UCLA were accepted into the Big Ten conference, less than 24 hours after applying is as big a news as you could expect. And the effects of it cannot be overlooked.
USC is arguable the biggest non-SEC, non-Michigan or Ohio State program in the country. IT also carries the Los Angeles TV market to the table, which is huge. By moving to the Big Ten, USC is now eligible to earn $90-$120 millions in TV right per season. The buyout clause they have with the PAC 12 is in the $50 million range, that means they basically can offset that penalty in the first season.
It's surprising they found a partner in crime in UCLA, which historically has been tied to California University at Berkeley.
By adding the two California programs the Big Ten now covers Tv markets that goes from New Jersey all the way to the West Coast.
But what does this means for other large programs (namely Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame and Florida State) outside of the SEC and Big Ten? Would the two conference considering expanding over the current 16 schools? Can underperforming schools (Rutgers and Indiana for the Big Ten, Missouri and Vanderbilt for the SEC) get booted to welcome more competitive football programs? What does it mean for other larger Pac 12 programs like Oregon, Arizona State and Washington?
It's not clear right now what will come next, but likely the new wave of college realignment just started.

Photo Credit: LA Times


Eunice Una Gobbato just draw the winner of our raffle. Congratulations Linda Carter !


Hearing about a potential Deshaun Watson suspension set to begin today

Finally after a 2 year-long drawn out process, the drama over Deshaun Watson's 20+ sexual harassment lawsuits, dating back to when he was with the Houston Texans, is about to have a resolution. At least football wise.
Today the NFL will bring the facts discovered by their independent investigation in front of Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson, the independent ruler jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Player's Association to oversee and rule on league discipline. The NFLPA will be representing Watson at the hearing.
Rumors around the league is that the NFL will be pushing for a suspension of 1 year or longer.
Regardless of judge Robinson's decision both the NFL and the NFLPA have the option to appeal the ruling, should they be unhappy with the result. However, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell having the power to rule himself on the appeal or to hand the decision to a different arbitrator, an appeal is unlikely from the NFLPA.

Besides the legal and civil aspects of the lawsuits, the football connotations are quite interesting.
The Cleveland Browns mortgaged a good chunk of their future trading for Deshaun Watson, knowing fully well of his legal situation. One would assume they did their own due diligence before trading and deemed it the best course of action. But... several more lawsuits came to light not only after they acquired Watson, but after they extended him to a lucrative $235 millions guaranteed contract. A contract that made plenty of enemies in league circles because of its verbiage and structure: it fully guarantees the entirety of the money, without a safety net or a clause to protect the club or the league in case of suspension. That basically means, if the league suspends Watson for 2 years, he would be sitting at home collecting $90+ millions without doing anything. And that's definitely bad PR for the NFL.
In case of a long suspension it is believed the Cleveland Browns will seek to have the trade in which they acquired the player from the Texans, reversed or adjusted.
The chances of something like this happening are pretty slim. There is no precedent in the NFL of a trade being reduced, adjusted or reversed because of disciplinary suspensions. And when you consider the aforementioned extension, it is unlikely anybody in the league will be in favor or creating a precedent and lend any relief to the Browns.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Do you want to meet Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott? Here's your chance.

If you want to join Cowboys' QB Dak Prescott at The Star in Frisco an interactive Women's Football Clinic and private Q&A session, along with complimentary cocktail, finger food and a tour of the Dallas Cowboys Training Facility. And finally you will be able to take the field with the Pro Bowl QB for non-contact football drills and more!

The camp will be Saturday, July 9th 2022, 6.30PM to 9.30PM at the Ford Center at The Star, 9 Cowboy Way, Frisco, TX 75034

Open to Women 21+

To win your chance to meet Dak Prescott all you have to is:
1 - like and follow this page
2 - tag at least two friends in the comments
3 - share this post on your timeline

A winner will be selected live on Facebook, Tuesday June 28th at 3PM.

Everybody can enter the contest, but only women are eligible to attend camp. If you win and you're a man we will need a woman to call us and confirm her attendance within 30 minutes of the draw or you will be considered ineligible and we will draw another winner.


NBA Draft: Paolo Banchero goes #1 to the Orlando Magic

It's not football related but as an italian I have to celebrate.
Paolo Banchero, who is american born but has an Italian passport because his dad Mario Banchero is Italian, was the Top pick in tonight's NBA Draft.
Banchero is eligible to represent Italy in international play and already elected to do so. He was selected to the team 24-men squad EuroBasket 2022 qualification, but ended up not playing.
Banchero is the 2nd Italian to be picked 1st overall in the NBA Draft, can you name the other one?

Photo Credit: The Guardian


Legendary Super Bowl winning DT and long time TV commentator Tony Siragusa passed away.

Tony Siragusa, one of the captains of the record setting 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense that carried the team to the Lombardi Trophy, quietly passed away late Wednesday night.
Known as "Goose" by fan and friends, Siragusa had a unique, larger-than-life personality and carried a positive attitude with him wherever he went.
He started his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts in 1990 and played there 7 seasons before signing with the Baltimore Ravens in 1997.
He called it a career in 2001, 1 season after winning the Super Bowl, because nagging injuries took a toll on his 6'3 330lb frame and his skilled declined rapidly.
But being the colorful character that he was, he quickly signed with FOX as a sideline reporter. But he was no regular sideline reporter, as he often cracked jokes with players and coaches on the sideline and called plays as a color commentator while on the field. His unique on-screen charisma landed him several other gigs and he hosted TV shows for Discovery Channel, DIY Network, appeared in several movies and even had a role in the "Sopranos"

Several players, owners and football insiders released statements about his passing, including his former team-mate, HoF LB Ray Lewis:
"This is a tough one. I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew that life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever. He was a one-of-a-kind person who made you feel important and special. You can never replace a man like that.

On the field, he was the ultimate competitor who brought out the best in all of us.

We should never put off tomorrow for what we can do today. Hug your loved ones for Goose. We were all so blessed that God gave us that time together celebrating our 2000 team a few weeks ago.

To the Siragusa family: We have lost a great man, but God has gained a great angel. May they be blessed, held and comforted by the peace he brought to everyone who encountered him."

photo credit: Baltimore Ravens' fb page


Baltimore Ravens LB Jaylon Ferguson died at 26

The Baltimore Ravens have just announced the passing of promising pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson.
Ferguson was selected by the Ravens in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft, after starring at Louisiana Tech, where he earned the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018, first team All-C-USA honors twice and setting school and NCAA Div-1 sack records. He also was the MVP of the 2018 Hawaii Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens released the following statement:
"We profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson. He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon's family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon."

A Baltimore P.D. official spokesperson told the Baltimore Sun officers responded questionable death report at a private home where they found Ferguson unresponsive and receiving treatment from medics. Ferguson never regained consciousness and was declared dead on the scene. No sign of trauma or foul play was visible. The medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of dead. Jaylon Ferguson was 26.

Photo credit:


Breaking News: Rob Gronkowski retires (for the 2nd time) from football!

Rob Gronkowski, one if not the best Tight End in the history of the game, has announced his retirement on his official Instagram account. Here's the full statement

"In college, I was asked to write about a dream job opportunity that I wanted to pursue and where the location would be. Every time I had to write about my future, no matter what, I picked being a professional football player. For that assignment though, we had to pick the location. So I wrote that I wanted to play in Tampa for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for many reasons, the sunny weather being #1. I completely forgot about writing this report until 2 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And let me tell ya, the journey in Tampa over the last 2 years has blown away what I originally wrote about in college, big time. And for this, I want to thank the whole entire first class Buccaneers organization for an amazing ride, trusting me to come back to play and help build a championship team. I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field. The friendships and relationships I have made will last forever, and I appreciate every single one of my teammates and coaches for giving everything they had as well. From retirement, back to football and winning another championship and now back to chilling out, thank you to all. Buccaneers πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ fans, the Krewe, without you guys, none of this is possible, all of ya brought it every game, thank you for all you do. Cheers to what’s next, maybe sailing the seas πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ Arghhhhhh!!"

Photo credit: Instagram


Women's National Football Conference championship weekend is upon us

The Women's National Football Conference (WNFC) will crown their new champion this Sunday, June 26th in Frisco, TX.
The Championship game will be the main event of the 3rd annual WNFC Championship Weekend, a family-friendly extravaganza that will include a Charity Gala on Friday the 24th, an interactive fan fest on Saturday 25th and a flag football and All-Star game on Sunday.
The championship game will feature the undefeated Texas Elite Spartans, technically playing on home turf since they're Dallas based and gunning for their 3rd straight League title facing off against the Utah Falconz in a rematch of the 2019 championship, that saw the Elite Spartans win 19-14.
The Championship game will be played at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX. Kick-off at 6pm.
The game will be preceded by the the All-Pro game, a showdown of the Top 120 athletes in the WNFC, with kick-off scheduled at 2pm.


One of the great debates in football centers around Tom Brady being the G.O.A.T.
The pro-Brady side point out his on-field success, while his detractors argue that he's a system QB that had elite coaches putting him in position to succeed. The 7 Super Bowl titles and 5 Super Bowl MVP trophies are objective, you can't argue with that. The only thing you can argue is if those alone can crown somebody the G.O.A.T.
Same with the coaching: Bill Belichick is in the conversation for best coach of all-time, and Bruce Arians is a step or two behind, with a career spanning 6 decades, with success following him everywhere he stopped.
In 1986 Arians had the Heysman Trophy runner-up when he was the head coach at Temple University, in the lone winning season he had at Temple.
He won two Super Bowl rings, one as Offensive Assistant and one as Offensive Coordinator, with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2012 he became the Offensive Coordinator for the Indiapolis Colts under coach Chuck Pagano. When Pagano with diagnosed with cancer and had to take time off to undergo chemo treatment, Arians became the interim coach and the team rallied around him. His apt coaching took the Colts to the playoffs and earned him the 2012 Associated Press Coach of the Year award, the only time the biggest coaching award went to an interim coach.
That lead him to his first head coaching opportunity in the NFL, becoming the Arizona Cardinals' coach in 2013. He was the first coach to record at least 9 wins in his first season with the Cardinals in nearly a century (Norm Barry was the last one in 1925). His 2014 campaign earned him a second AP Coach of the Year award.
And he built the Buccaneers into the powerhouse that won Super Bowl LV.
Now Bruce Arians called it a career and passed the head coaching torch to his longtime friend and assistant (and player at Temple!) Todd Bowles. In his 23rd season in the NFL, Tom Brady is experiencing something new: he enters the season without a successful football mastermind with a proven track record calling the shots. Even though Todd Bowles is highly regarded as a coach, winning now will silence those critics that only see Brady as a system QB once and for all!

Picture credit:


Colts starting Safety abruptly retires to pursue a new vocation.

Khari Willis, a 2019 4th round pick out of Michigan State, announce his retirement via an Instagram post.
Here's the full statement:
"I'd first like to thank the Indianapolis Colts organization for granting me the opportunity to compete in the National Football League the past three years. I've built lifelong relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and support staff that have impacted me greatly. The lessons that I've in this phase of my life will be valuable for me in my next chapter.

"With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank all of my family, friends and those who have supported me on this journey thus far and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose.

Thank you all for your support over the years..."

Willis, started 34 games with the Colts racking up 219 tackles, 4 interceptions, 11 pass defended and 3.5 sacks in his career.
The Indianapolis Colts hope to 96th overall draft pick Nick Cross will step up to replace Willis.

Photo by


4-stars local CB commit to Michigan State

Jaylon Braxton, a Class of 2023 student out of Frisco Lone Star High School committed to the Spartans on Tuesday. The 6'0, 170 lb youngster's commitment took many by surprise, as he was on an official visit to Baylor University last week-end and has official visits lined up at Arkansas (June 17th) and California (June 24th).
Braxton, the 39th ranked CB in the Class of 2023, commitment comes just 8 days after fellow local CB Chance Rucker ,out of Denton Ryan in Denton, TX committed to Michigan State on June 6th. The pair complete a poker of prospects from the Lone Star State for the Spartans, joining 4-star RB Kendrick Reescano (New Carney High, New Carney, TX) and 3-star QB Bo Edmundson (Westlake High School, Austin, TX)

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University


The Detroit Lions announced they signed WR Devin Funchess to a deal.
Funchess is a former 2nd round pick of the Carolina Panthers where, as a rookie, he had an integral part on the team reaching the Super Bowl. The big-bodied Wide Receiver out of Michigan hasn't played a down in the NFL since Week 1 of the 2019 season, when he was part of the Indianapolis Colts roster. In the last two season he had stints on the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers practice squads, but never made the active roster. Upon signing Funchess, the Lions announces they will convert him from WR to Tight End, where he will back-up T.J. Hockenson.

Photo by: CBS Sports


The Miami Dolphins tried to make Sean Payton the highest coach in NFL History.

After his abrupt departure from the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins tried hard to lure Sean Payton into continuing his coaching career. Per multiple reports the Dolphins had a 5 year, $100 million offer on the table for the Super Bowl winning coach. That would have been only the second time in league history that an offer topping $100 million was tendered to a coach. With one catch: the $100 million deal coach Jon Gruden signed a few years back with the then Oakland Raiders was fully guaranteed over the span of 10 seasons. The offer to bring Sean Payton to South Beach was for the same amount of money, but for 5 years, which would bring it to an average of a whopping $20 million per season, doubling Gruden's record breaking deal.
And even that was not enough to lure him back into coaching. We will never know if (lack of) team culture, front office structure, the talent available, the roster direction or Payton's lack of trust on incumbent QB, and former high pick Tua Tagovailoa or personal reasons was the driving factor for Peyton refusing to entertain further talk with the franchise. Only time will tell.

Photo courtesy of Skysports


Ron Rivera is a Super Bowl winning player, a Super Bowl assistant coach and a Super Bowl head coach. And a human being with great integrity.
Yesterday he announced he fined his defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio $100.000 for comments Del Rio made on Twitter regarding the January 6th 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Rivera's full statement:
"(Coach Del Rio's) comments do not reflect the organization's views and are extremely hurtful to our great community in the DMV. As we saw last night in the (Congress) hearings, what happened on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an act of domestic terrorism. A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and as a result, lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged.

Coach Del Rio did apologize for his comments on Wednesday and he understands the distinction between the events of that dark day and peaceful protests, which are a hallmark of our democracy. He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the actions of those on Jan. 6 who sought to topple our government."
The $100.000 fine will be entirely donated to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

I've said it many times in the past: Coach Rivera is the right person to bring respectability to the Washington Commanders, a franchise that's been under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent years!!!

Photo credit: Gettyimages


The last 24 hours have been pretty busy around the league, so to catch-up:

- the LA Rams inked standout WR and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp to a 3 year, $80 million extension

- The Houston Texans are added as defendant in the civil lawsuits against their former QB Deshaun Watson, alleging they booked and facilitate the massage encounters in which the star QB allegedly had inappropriate sexual interactions with the now 24 masseuses suing him

- the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield have mutual agreed to the QB to not take part of team activities during OTAs. There's still no news on a possible trade of Mayfield to a new team

- the Baltimore Ravens hosted former NY Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout Edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul for a try out. The 3 time Pro Bowler left Baltimore without an offer but this is a developing situation worth keeping an eye on.

- Dallas Cowboys LB Devante Bond's season is over due a knee injury. The 28 year old would have entered training camp battling for one of the last spots on the roster, but sadly will have no chance to do so

- Detroit Lions HC Dan Campbell said he don't expect rookie WR Jameson Williams to be ready for the start of training camp. The 1st round pick out of Alabama is still recovery from the knee injury he suffered in the College Playoffs National Championship Game.

picture credit: CNBC


As NFL starts to ramp-up their activities, a new safety feature has been debuted in hope to decrease the number of head traumas.
At the League meeting last March a new resolution has been approved mandating teams to use the Guardian Cap Helmet.
The Guardian Cap is a soft-shell pad that attach to the helmet, and is mandatory for offensive linemen, defensive linemen, Tight Ends and Linebackers for every contact activity, from the start of camp until the 2nd preseason game.


One of the major headlines across the NFL is the absence of star TE Dalton Schultz from the Dallas Cowboys OTAs. Schultz, who signed the $10.93 million franchise tag tender back in march is rumored to be seeking a contract close to Cleveland Browns' David Njoku's $54.75 million that includes an $11+ million signing bonus. Although Njoku is been regarded around the league as a better player, Schultz numbers in the last two seasons (141 receptions for 1423 yards with 12 TD) completely overshadows Njoku's ( 55 receptions for 688 yards and 6 TD). This is a developing situation worth keeping an eye on


Rob Walton, the son of Walmart's founder Sam Walton is said to be the favorite to buy the Denver Broncos.
While the second round of offer, which was closed last night at midnight, is still confidential and official sources are quick to say that "an official favorite has yet to emerge", people in the know said that Walton's offer is expected to be in the $4.5 billion range and a the ownership change can happen "as soon as this month".
The Denver Broncos will have a new owner for the first time since 1984.


Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns softball team for reaching a well deserved final



Aaron Donalds signing new contracts with Rams to become the highest paid non-QB in the NFL

The All-Pro DT and the LA Rams inked a new deal worth up to $95 million all guaranteed. Over the next two campaigns, Donald is set to earn $65 million guaranteed, with an option for 2024 where he could elect to retire or come back to the team for $30 million guaranteed. The contract also include a no-trade clause.

Aaron Donald also become the first player in NFL history to become the highest paid non-QB twice in his career

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