Tuesday’s “First Call” contains the details of Aaron Donald’s contract. We take a look at what’s in store for the suddenly competitive Pittsburgh Pirates. And we offer a little penguin contrast to the Boston firing of Bruce Cassidy.
Also, a Baltimore Raven is in a “Fowl” mood over the EA Sports Madden NFL 23 game.
We’re sorry. I could not resist.
That is not true. I could have resisted. I just decided against it. I have poor impulse control.
Ready to go
Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald is ready to earn his huge new contract.
The Pitt product gets a $40 million pay rise that will make him the league’s highest-paid defensive player.
Donald confirmed the new deal Monday night via the Rams’ social media account.
“I’m locked up again to get us another ring. Why not? At SoFi Stadium, you get chills just thinking about it. Let’s get to work,” Donald said.
From the man himself.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) June 6, 2022
The Penn Hills native was already under contract for the next three seasons for $55 million but was openly considering retiring after winning his first Super Bowl in February. So the Rams gave him the money he was looking for to keep him on the list.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Donald’s contract will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.
Rapoport said no new years were added to Donald’s contract. It now guarantees him $65 million over the next two seasons and $95 million in the 2024 season.
ProFootballTalk.com broke it down like this.
• Signing Bonus: $25 million
• 2022 Roster Bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed. 2022 base salary: $1.5 million, fully guaranteed.
• 2023 Roster Bonus: $15 million fully guaranteed and due on the second day of the 2023 league year. The 2023 base salary is $13.5 million, guaranteed for signing injuries and fully guaranteed beginning day three of the 2023 league year.
• 2024 Roster Bonus: $5 million guaranteed for signing injuries. Fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2023 league year with no forfeit language. The 2024 base salary is $30 million and is fully guaranteed as of day five of the 2024 league year. It would be paid with $20 million as an option bonus and $10 million as base salary for cap purposes.
That might even be enough to fill his tank if he needs to do a few trips between Penn Hills and downtown Pittsburgh this summer.
A raven with ruffled feathers
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey is unhappy with the EA Sports Madden NFL 23 video game.
In a teaser clip, he is portrayed by Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb walking onto the turf with stiff arms.
Humphrey seems less than thrilled about his inclusion in the ad.
Smh Take me out of the game right now before I sue @EAMaddenNFL https://t.co/JFl2cUOKy7
— marlonhumphrey.eth (@marlon_humphrey) June 6, 2022
Perhaps EA Sports can make it up to Humphrey in his next promo clip by mimicking one of his 11 career pass breaks, three forced fumbles, or two interceptions he had in his career against the Browns.
That should even be the score.
The Boston Bruins have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy after six seasons at the helm of the team. He went 245-108-46 in the regular season, 36-37 in the playoffs.
An interesting result given this comparison with Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, since his Pens last won the Stanley Cup at the end of the 2017 playoffs.
Bruce Cassidy: 227-100-45, 34 playoff game wins, 4 first-round series wins, 1 trip to Stanley Cup Finals
— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) June 6, 2022
The Bruins were 51-26-5 in 2021-22 and made the playoffs as the top Eastern Conference wildcard team. They have lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the first round of the Eastern Conference this season.
In each of Cassidy’s six seasons, the Bruins qualified for the playoffs.
If the Pirates want to stay hot, they may need to up their game even further.
Winners in eight of their last 12 games, the Pirates are now 24-28. Not bad by pirate standards.
The Buccos play their next two games at home against the ailing Detroit Tigers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Tigers have lost three straight games after being defeated at home by the New York Yankees. They are terrible away from home and have only won six out of 24 games away from home. No team in Major League Baseball has fewer away wins.
From there it gets more difficult. The Pirates go on an eight-game road trip. Four in Atlanta. Four in St Louis.
The Braves have won five straight runs (averaging 7.2 runs per game) and nine out of 13. They are now second in the National League East at 28-27.
The Cardinals are second in the NL Central at 32-23. That’s 6½ games better than the Pirates in the division. Her +56 running differential is third best in the National League, bolstered by an 18-4 win at PNC Park on May 22nd.
The Cardinals are 5-1 against the Pirates this year. And yes, the Pirates will take on Adam Wainwright on June 15th. We all know what that means.