The NFL has promised to end ‘race-norming,’ which assumed Black players have lower cognitive function and made it harder to make brain injury claims

NFL race-norming petition
Former NFL players Ken Jenkins, Clarence Vaughn III, and their wives, Amy Lewis, and Brooke Vaughn, depositing petitions calling for an end to race-norming on May 14.

  • The NFL has vowed to stop the use of “race-norming,” a practice that dates back to 1990.
  • The two-tiered scoring system assumed that Black players have a lower cognitive function than white colleagues.
  • Race-norming made it more difficult for Black retirees to get compensation for brain injuries suffered in the league.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The NFL has vowed to stop “race-norming,” a two-tiered scoring system which set a different benchmark for Black and white retired players making brain injury claims.

The norms, which were created in 1990, were used to determine which of the 20,000 former players filing brain injury claims would be eligible for awards from the NFL on a roughly $1 billion dollar settlement, the Associated Press reported.

As part of the settlement program, the player’s brain function scores were to be adjusted against an average score, or “norm” for similar demographic groups, a practice called “race-norming,” ABC news reported.

This norm assumed that the average Black player would start at lower levels of cognition than white players, meaning they would have to score lower on the test to prove that they had sustained brain damage to qualify for compensation, ABC News said.

The league has denied that the practice is discriminatory, saying that this was meant “to stop bias in testing, not perpetrate it,” AP News reported.

A “replacement norm,” will be developed by a panel of neuropsychologists, the NFL, and magistrate judge Christopher Seeger, the lead lawyer who represented the class of retired players, The New York Times reported. But the league did not say how long this would take.

The new norm will be used to reevaluate claims from Black retirees who would have otherwise qualified for the award if it wasn’t for the race adjustment, the NFL said.

The league said that practice was never mandatory, but left to the discretion of doctors taking part in the settlement program.

However, the NFL has appealed some claims filed by Black players not adjusted for race, according to AP News.

An ABC News investigation in 2018 also uncovered emails from doctors involved in the settlement scheme in which they say that they are all but required to apply the race-based adjustment.

Two retired NFL players, Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry, were denied awards that would have been granted if they had been white, according to a civil rights suit and a suit against the settlement raised in August last year, the AP reported.

Both Henry and Davenport’s cases were dismissed in March by Senior U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, who is overseeing the settlement and ruled on the original court case. At the time of the dismissal, Brody called the case an “improper collateral attack” on the settlement, according to the Times. Brody’s ruling has been appealed.

After the dismissal, Brody ordered an investigation, led by Seeger, into concerns about the league’s use of separate scoring curves, the Times reported.

The news of the investigation led a dozen NFL retired player’s wives to send Brody a petition calling for an end to race norming, which got almost 50,000 signatures, the Times reported.

The involvement of Seeger in the court-ruled investigation on race-norming has been called out by Davenport and Henry’s lawyers, who expressed doubt that he would represent Black players fairly. Seeger and the NFL, they said, introduced race-norming into the settlement agreement, the Times reported.

Seeger had previously said that his firm had “investigated the issue” and “not seen any evidence of racial bias in the settlement program,” ABC News reported.

In an interview with ABC News’ Nightline released on Wednesday, Seeger walked back his statements, saying: “I was wrong. I didn’t have a full appreciation of the scope of the problem.”

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Trading up in the NFL Draft for a QB is a huge risk – here’s how it has worked in the past

Mac Jones
Mac Jones.

  • Trading up for a quarterback in the NFL Draft can be a franchise-defining move.
  • It comes with a lot of risk, as several big trades have not panned out.
  • That said, if a team gets its quarterback of the future, no price is too high to pay.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The San Francisco 49ers traded a boatload of picks for the right to jump up to the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

In a draft loaded with QBs, it’s a move that suggests the 49ers are aiming for the quarterback of their future. A look back at other teams that have traded up into the top of the draft to take a quarterback shows that the gamble can be a risky one.

Below is a look back at every trade from the last 30 years in which a team traded up into the top three picks to select a quarterback.

Ahead of the 1990 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts traded up to secure the first overall pick, which they would use to take Jeff George out of Illinois. His rookie deal was worth $15 million – a record at the time.

Jeff George

Colts gave up: 1990 fifth-round pick, 1991 first-round pick, OT Chris Hinton, WR Andre Rison

Colts received: 1990 first overall pick (Jeff George)

George started every game of the Colts’ dismal 1-15 season in 1991 and would leave the team a few years later. He remained in the NFL for over a decade, even leading the league in passing with the Raiders in 1997.

Jeff George 2

Ryan Leaf is well known as one of the biggest busts in NFL history, having been taken just after Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft. Adding to the embarrassment for the Chargers is that they parted ways with their second-round pick and the next year’s first rounder to jump up just one spot past the Cardinals.

Ryan Leaf 1

Chargers gave up: first- and second-round pick in 1998, first-round pick in 1999, kick-returner Eric Metcalf and linebacker Patrick Sapp.

Chargers received: 2nd pick in 1998 (Ryan Leaf)

Leaf was out of the league in four years, leaving the NFL with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions to his name.

Ryan Leaf 2

Atlanta was able to trade up in 2001 after the Chargers couldn’t come to a deal with quarterback Michael Vick, giving the Falcons the chance to take him with the first overall pick in the draft.

Michael Vick 1

Falcons gave up: 5th, 67th pick in 2001, second-round pick in 2002, kick returner Tim Dwight

Falcons received: 1st pick in 2001 (Michael Vick)

Michael Vick would become the most dynamic player in NFL with the Falcons until 2007, when he would plead guilty to federal charges related to dog fighting. After serving his sentence and suspension, Vick would return to the NFL and contribute for the Eagles, Jets, and Steelers. While he would never find the form he once had, he did make it back to the Pro Bowl in 2010.

Michael Vick 2

While the trade didn’t happen until after Manning was drafted by the Chargers, the New York Giants already had a deal in place to send picks to San Diego for the rights to Eli Manning. It helped with their leverage that Manning has stated he’d refuse to sign with the Chargers, but New York still gave up a healthy amount in the deal.

Eli Manning

Giants gave up: Philip Rivers, 65th pick in 2004, first- and fifth-round pick in 2005

Giants received: Eli Manning

After two Super Bowl wins, Manning was clearly a blessing for the Giants. He retired after the 2019 season, having started nearly game for the Giants over his 16 years in the league.

Eli Manning

Washington moving up to pick Robert Griffin III in 2012 is likely one of the most written about draft trades in league history, with Washington sending the Rams their first-round pick for three straight years in order to move up four spots and secure the services of the Heisman winner.

Robert Griffin III

Redskins gave up: 6th, 39th picks in 2012, first-round pick in 2013, first-round pick in 2014

Redskins received: 2nd pick in 2012 (Robert Griffin III)

While a breakout rookie season left many thinking Washington had made the right decision, a series of injuries sent Griffin’s career off the rails. Griffin spent the latter half of his career bouncing around the league as a backup.

RG3

Looking to start fresh with a new coach in a new city, the Los Angeles Rams pulled off an impressive exchange of picks with the Tennessee Titans to move into the top spot in the 2016 NFL Draft and take Jared Goff as their next franchise quarterback.

Jared Goff

Rams gave up: 15th, 43rd, 45th, 76th pick in 2016, first- and third-round pick in 2017. 

Rams received: 1st (Jared Goff), 113th, 171th pick in 2016.

Goff’s first two years with the Rams were good, leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2019. But after two down years, Goff was traded away to the Detroit Lions.

Jared Goff

The Rams weren’t the only team to trade up to get their guy in 2016. The Philadelphia Eagles also orchestrated a massive pick swap with the Cleveland Browns to move into the No. 2 spot and draft Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State University.

Carson Wentz

Eagles gave up: 8th, 77th, 100th pick in 2016, first-round pick in 2017, second-round pick in 2018

Eagles receive: 2nd pick in 2016 (Carson Wentz), fourth-round pick in 2017.

Wentz also showed flashes of brilliance early, and even looked like an MVP candidate in 2017 before a season-ending injury. But after the Eagles won a Super Bowl with backup Nick Foles, Wetnz didn’t come back the same, and has since be traded to the Colts.

Carson Wentz

The Chicago Bears traded into the top of the draft in 2017, sending three picks to the San Francisco 49ers to move up just one spot in the draft and select Mitch Trubisky.

Mitchell Trubisky

Bears gave up: 3rd, 67th, and 111th pick in 2017, and third-round pick in 2018

Bears received: 2nd pick in 2017 (Mitch Trubisky)

Mitch Trubisky was largely a disaster in Chicago, and was eventually traded to the Buffalo Bills to serve as a backup.

Mitch Trubisky

After trading up for the third pick in 2018, the New York Jets selected Sam Darnold out of USC.

Sam Darnold draft

Jets gave up: 6th, 37th, and 49th pick in 2018, second-round pick in 2019

Jets received: 2018 third overall pick (Sam Darnold)

Darnold struggled for three years as the Jets starter, and the team ultimately decided to move on in 2021, trading him to the Carolina Panthers.

Sam Darnold
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The 26 biggest NFL Draft busts of the last 15 years

Johnny Manziel

For every Patrick Mahomes or Khalil Mack in the NFL Draft, there is another former top prospect who didn’t pan out.

Whether they failed because of injuries, off-field issues, or just poor play, all of these players provide fascinating case studies of the NFL’s demanding environment and the fleeting nature of athletic success.

Here are 26 of the most notorious draft busts from recent NFL history. The group includes 10 quarterbacks, eight players taken among the first five picks, 24 players who never made a Pro Bowl, and four players drafted by the New York Jets.

Sam Belden contributed to this post.

26. Roberto Aguayo, K

roberto aguayo

School: Florida State

Selected: 2nd round (59th overall), 2016 draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Played for: Bucs

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: The Bucs traded up to select Aguayo in the second round after he set an NCAA record for accuracy in college. He was waived before his second season after missing nine field goals and two extra-point attempts his rookie year.

25. Christian Hackenberg, QB

Christian Hackenberg

School: Penn State

Selected: 2nd round (51st overall), 2016 draft, New York Jets 

Played for: Never appeared in a regular season game

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Hackenberg spent time on the roster of four NFL teams in three years and most recently struggled in his time as a starter in the now-defunct AAF.

24. Rashaad Penny, RB

GettyImages 1189799140

School: San Diego State 

Selected: 1st round (27th overall), 2018 draft, Seattle Seahawks

Played for: Seattle Seahawks

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Penny is heading into the final year of his rookie contract with less than 1,000 career rushing yards and no career starts. Penny has only appeared in 27 games, including just three last year after spending the first 14 weeks on the physically unable to perform list. 

23. Phillip Dorsett, WR

Phillip Dorsett

School: Miami

Selected: 1st round (29th overall), 2015 draft, Indianapolis Colts

Played for: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Dorsett still has time to turn things around, but at 26 years old, his leash is starting to tighten. He caught just 12 passes in 2017 after being traded to the Patriots. After not playing in 2020, he is now on the Jaguars’ roster.

22. Paxton Lynch, QB

paxton lynch

School: Memphis

Selected: 1st round (26th overall), 2016 draft, Denver Broncos

Played for: Broncos

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Lynch was drafted in the hopes of being the heir to Peyton Manning, but in two seasons he started just four games. He was cut prior to the 2018 season and sat out the entire season. He has since spent time with the Seahawks and Steelers but is again a free agent.

21. Johnny Manziel, QB

Johnny Manziel

School: Texas A&M

Selected: 1st round (22nd overall), 2014 draft, Cleveland Browns

Played for: Cleveland Browns

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Cleveland took Manziel after the 2012 Heisman winner sent a text instructing Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to hurry up and draft me because I want to be there.” In less than two years, he had checked himself into rehab, was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, and was ultimately released after two seasons and just 258 passes as a professional. He tried a comeback with stints in the CFL and the AAF, but now says he is hoping to become a pro golfer.

20. Taco Charlton, DE

GettyImages 835658468

School: Michigan

Selected: 1st round (28th overall), 2017 draft, Dallas Cowboys

Played for: Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: After Charlton was released by the Cowboys in the first month of the 2019 season, he posted a tweet that read “Free Me.” One anonymous individual within the Cowboys organization even called Charlton “soft” after his release, according to NBC Dallas.

19. Amobi Okoye, DT

Amobi Okoye

School: Louisville

Selected: 1st round (10th overall), 2007 draft, Houston Texans

Played for: Houston Texans, Chicago Bears

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 4

One thing to know: Okoye knew almost nothing about football when he took up the game as a high school sophomore, but just a few short years later, he heard his name called as the youngest first-round pick in NFL history. Unfortunately, his raw talent never translated into consistent success in the pros, and he was released by the Texans after the 2010 season. He survived a scary bout with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis in 2013, making several comeback attempts but never appearing in another game.

18. Matt Leinart, QB

Matt Leinart

School: USC

Selected: 1st round (10th overall), 2006 draft, Arizona Cardinals

Played for: Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Leinart was set to be a top pick in the 2005 draft, but he chose to return to USC for his senior season and saw his stock plummet. He never developed into the franchise signal caller the Cardinals dreamed of and spent four seasons as a backup. He later spent time with the Texans and Raiders but only started one game.

17. Dee Milliner, CB

Dee Milliner

School: Alabama

Selected: 1st round (9th overall), 2013 draft, New York Jets

Played for: New York Jets

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Milliner underwent right shoulder surgery the month before he was drafted. In the years to come, the Alabama native suffered several injuries, appearing in just five games after his rookie season. He was released after his third season and never appeared in another NFL game.

16. DeAndre Baker, CB

GettyImages 1175837071

School: Georgia

Selected: 1st round (30th overall), 2019 draft, New York Giants

Played for: New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Baker was accused of armed robbery and aggravated assault last summer by friends at a party in Miramar, Florida. He was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list to start training camp and was released by The Giants just prior to the start of the season. The charges were eventually dropped and Baker earned a second chance with The Chiefs, but only played in two games as a backup.

15. Justin Gilbert, CB

Justin Gilbert

School: Oklahoma State

Selected: 1st round (8th overall), 2014 draft, Cleveland Browns

Played for: Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Gilbert started just three games across two seasons before the Browns traded him to Pittsburgh for a sixth-round pick. The change of scenery didn’t do much. He was suspended for the entire 2017 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and hasn’t played in the NFL since.

14. Jake Locker, QB

Jake Locker

School:  Washington

Selected: 1st round (8th overall), 2011 draft, Tennessee Titans

Played for: Tennessee Titans

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Some originally projected Locker as the top pick in the 2010 draft before opting to return to Washington. A poor senior season didn’t hurt his stock too much as he was still taken eighth overall. He started 23 games in four seasons but was eventually replaced by a rookie, Zach Mettenberger. Locker retired after the 2014 season, citing a lack of desire to keep playing.

13. Derrick Harvey, DE

Derrick Harvey

School: Florida

Selected: 1st round (8th overall), 2008 draft, Jacksonville Jaguars

Played for: Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 2

One thing to know: Harvey entered the 2008 draft as one of the most fearsome pass rushers available, but he never found his footing in the NFL. He was riding the pine by the end of his third season in Jacksonville, finishing his career with 8 sacks in 52 games.

12. Kevin White, WR

kevin white bears

School: West Virginia

Selected: First round (7th overall), 2015 draft, Chicago Bears 

Played for: Bears

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: In five seasons, White is yet to catch a TD in the NFL thanks to series of injuries that have limited him to 17 games and five starts. The Bears let White become a free agent after the 2018 season and he signed with the Arizona Cardinals. He spent the 2020 season with the 49ers.

11. Vernon Gholston, DE

Vernon Gholston

School: Ohio State

Selected: 1st round (6th overall), 2008 draft, New York Jets

Played for: New York Jets

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: As a prospect, Gholston looked like he had the right combination of size and speed to succeed in the NFL for years to come. He also earned the highest bench press score at the draft combine, teasing Jets fans who wanted an uncompromising defender to make life difficult for division foes like Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Gholston struggled throughout his tenure in New York, starting just five games and going without a sack in three years. He was cut by the Jets after three seasons and never played in another NFL game.

10. Mark Sanchez, QB

Mark Sanchez

School: USC

Selected: 1st round (5th overall), 2009 draft, New York Jets

Played for: New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 5

One thing to know: Sanchez went to back-to-back Conference Championship appearances in his first two seasons, but he never materialized into a franchise QB. The California native threw 69 interceptions in just four years in New York and was released following the 2012 season. He became a serviceable backup after that, seeing playing time with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Washington. He finished his career with 87 TDs and 89 interceptions in 79 career games. 

9. Justin Blackmon, WR

Justin Blackmon

School: Oklahoma State

Selected: 1st round (5th overall), 2012 draft, Jacksonville Jaguars

Played for: Jacksonville Jaguars

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Blackmon is a stark example of how drug and alcohol use can derail a promising career. Things started out well enough, but after leading all rookies with 865 receiving yards in 2012, Blackmon was hit with two suspensions during the 2013 season and hasn’t played in the NFL since.

8. Dwayne Haskins, QB

GettyImages 1293493566

School: Ohio State

Selected: 1st round (15th overall), 2019 draft, Washington Football Team

Played for: Washington Football Team, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Haskins was named the starting quarterback and offensive captain by Washington head coach Ron Rivera heading into the 2020 season, but by the end of the year he’d been demoted to fourth-string quarterback and stripped of his captain title. Rivera even said that benching Haskins ‘helped other players’ according to The Washington Post.

7. Josh Rosen, QB

GettyImages 951729978

School: UCLA

Selected: 1st round (10th overall), 2018 draft, Arizona Cardinals

Played for: Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: After the Cardinals traded up to select Rosen 10th overall in 2018, Rosen’s post-draft press conference didn’t ring of gratitude, but rather smelled of discontent. 

“I thought I should have been picked at 1, 2 or 3. I dropped, and I was pissed. I was really, really angry,” Rosen said. “There were nine mistakes made ahead of me. And I will make sure over the next decade or so that they will know they made a mistake.”

Rosen’s play (or lack thereof) over his first three seasons have only legitimized the decisions of every team who passed on him, and the Cardinals appeared to have made the biggest mistake by trading up to select him. 

6. Trent Richardson, RB

Trent Richardson

School: Alabama

Selected: 1st round (3rd overall), 2012 draft, Cleveland Browns

Played for: Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 3

One thing to know: Richardson was hyped as the game’s best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. He had a solid first season for the Browns, but they gave up on him quickly, shipping him to Indianapolis for a first-round pick after just 17 games. From there, his career fell off a cliff. Richardson rushed for just 1,082 yards over his final two seasons, appearing in his final NFL game in 2014. He spent the 2017 season playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL and recently found some success in the AAF.

5. Dion Jordan, DE

Dion Jordan

School: Oregon

Selected: 1st round (3rd overall), 2013 draft, Miami Dolphins

Played for: Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 0

One thing to know: Jordan made one start for the Dolphins. That number would be higher, but the Arizona native just couldn’t stay out of his own way as a young player, racking up three drug suspensions before his third season. After failing a physical with the Dolphins after the 2016 season, he ultimately caught on with the Seahawks but started just three games in two seasons before bouncing around to Oakland and San Francisco.

4. Vince Young, QB

Vince Young,

School: Texas

Selected: 1st round (3rd overall), 2006 draft, Tennessee Titans

Played for: Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles

Pro Bowls: 2

Seasons as primary starter: 4

One thing to know: Despite throwing more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (12) his rookie season, Young’s career got off to a promising start thanks to several fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. He was rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl. But things regressed during his second season as he threw 17 interceptions and just 9 touchdowns. He appeared in one more Pro Bowl following the 2009 season when the Titans went 8-2 with him as a starter. But he played just two more seasons. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, he signed with different NFL teams but was cut before each season. He signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in 2017 but was cut before ever appearing in a game.

3. Robert Griffin III, QB

Robert Griffin III

School: Baylor

Selected: 1st round (2nd overall), 2012 draft, Washington Redskins

Played for: Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens

Pro Bowls: 1

Seasons as primary starter: 2

One thing to know: Griffin was the toast of the league after his rookie season, which ended with a Pro Bowl appearance and the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. It was all downhill from there, as the dual-threat’s play suffered thanks to a series of frustrating knee injuries, as well as a growing rift with the coaching staff. He was released in 2016 and signed with the Browns, but played in just five games thanks to a shoulder injury. He has spent the last three seasons as a backup with the Ravens.

2. Jason Smith, T

Jason Smith

School: Baylor

Selected: 1st round (2nd overall), 2009 draft, St. Louis Rams

Played for: St. Louis Rams, New York Jets

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 1

One thing to know: Smith’s smaller size and inexperience with an NFL-style offense provided meaningful question marks in the months leading up to the 2009 draft. But the Rams, in need of a franchise left tackle to anchor their rebuilding project, still jumped at him early. They were quickly disappointed by his slow transition to the professional game and growing injury history, eventually trading him to the Jets in 2012. He never started another game, bouncing around the league for a couple of years before hanging up his cleats.

1. JaMarcus Russell, QB

JaMarcus Russell

School: LSU

Selected: 1st round (1st overall), 2007 draft, Oakland Raiders

Played for: Oakland Raiders

Pro Bowls: 0

Seasons as primary starter: 2

One thing to know: Russell was the definition of a can’t-miss prospect when he declared for the 2007 draft. With a 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame and an absolute cannon for an arm, many scouts envisioned him developing into a superstar with the ability to beat defenses with monster passes and surprisingly nimble footwork. It never happened. Russell completed 52.1% of his attempts and was released after the 2009 season. Russell attempted multiple comebacks to the NFL but was never signed by a team.

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Expected top NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence reportedly signed an endorsement deal with crypto-investment app Blockfolio – and took his first payment in crypto tokens

Trevor Lawrence, the expected top pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, has signed a multiyear deal with investment app Blockfolio and was paid exclusively in cryptocurrency, DealBook first reported Monday.

The first payment to football star was immediately transferred to his Blockfolio account. Future payments, however, are subject to whatever combination of dollars and cryptocurrency the former Clemson quarterback desires, according to DealBook.

Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed but a company spokesman revealed that the crypto signing bonus was already worth more on Sunday compared to when it was deposited on Friday.

The football player also made the announcement on Twitter, saying he is “pumped” to join the startup.

“We’re really trying to get our name out a lot,” Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, a crypto exchange that acquired Blockfolio, told Dealbook. “Trevor was excited about crypto. That’s what drew us to him.”

Bankman-Fried founded Blockfolio in 2019. Prior to that, the 29-year-old, a former trader at quant-trading firm Jane Street, started a crypto-trading firm called Alameda Research, which launched him to billionaire status.

Given that the cryptocurrency firm, which considers Coinbase as its rival, is relatively new, the company has been trying to partner with bigger brands to garner name recognition.

Under a recent $135-million deal, Blockfolio won naming rights to the NBA’s Miami Heat arena for 19 years, overtaking American Airlines as the leading sponsor for the Florida sports team.

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Tom Brady is launching a new company called ‘Autograph’ that will sell unique digital memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities

tom brady 2020
  • Tom Brady is launching a company called “Autograph.”
  • The site will sell digital memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities like Brady.
  • The NFT market has been highly profitable for sports through platforms like NBA Top Shot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

NFL star Tom Brady is launching a company for digital collectibles called “Autograph.”

The platform will sell crypto memorabilia from sports icons and celebrities like Brady, according to the company’s site.

“Autograph will bring together some of the world’s most iconic names and brands with best in class digital artists to ideate, create and launch NFTs and ground-breaking experiences to a community of fans and collectors,” co-founder and CEO of Autograph Dillon Rosenblatt told CNN.

Brady and millionaire entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt will act as co-chairs of the company. Autograph boasts a team with several big business names, including Lionsgate CEO Jon Filthier and Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino, as well as three of the founders of DraftKings.

There has been a boom in interest in digital collectible in recent months. Items that function as non-fungible tokens or NFTs have generated millions of dollars in sales. In March, a $70 million digital art sale made history.

Since then, artists and celebrities from rapper Snoop Dogg to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have gotten in on the action.

Read more: What you need to know about NFTs, the collectible digital tokens that are selling for millions online

The items operate as unique digital assets. When someone buys an NFT they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain that acts as a digital certificate of authenticity. The token can gain value due to its relation to its creator or content. For example, tokens that represent memes like the Nyan Cat can gain in value as they increase in popularity online, though the NFT buyer is not be able to control the image’s distribution.

The NFT market has been especially profitable for sports. The site NBA Top Shot, which allows people to buy NBA sports clips, recently received a $2 billion valuation from NFT tracking site DappRadar. Top NBA clips, including a LeBron James dunk moment, have sold for over $200,000 on the platform.

As an NFL legend, Brady NFTs would likely see similar high sales. Yesterday a Brady rookie card sold for about $2.3 million – smashing the record for the most expensive football trading card sale, according to Bleacher Report.

Brady himself is no stranger to selling his personal brand. In February, Brady merchandise sales set records as he became the best-selling NFL player ever, according to Reuters.

Autograph isn’t Brady’s first company. In 2013, the football star launched TB12, a sports performance and nutrition company.

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Jeff Bezos has been linked to 4 NFL teams in the last 3 years as disgruntled team owners or excited fans hope the Amazon billionaire will come to the rescue

Jeff Bezos Washington Football Team
A fan holds up a sign for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during a game between the New York Jets and Washington Football Team in 2019.

  • A Los Angeles Chargers co-owner has floated Jeff Bezos as a possible buyer of the team.
  • It’s the fourth NFL team Bezos has been linked to in the last three years.
  • CBS Sports reported in 2019 that Bezos was interested in purchasing an NFL franchise.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A member of the family that owns the Los Angeles Chargers is trying to force a sale of the team, and she wants Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos to come to the rescue.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Dea Spanos Berberian, the sister of Chargers controlling owner Dean Spanos, filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging that the team should be sold in order to reduce the family’s mounting debt. Spanos Berberian is a co-trustee of the Spanos family trust along with Dean Spanos.

In her petition, Spanos Berberian names a potential buyer: Bezos. She called the Chargers “a perfect opportunity” for Bezos, given his previously reported interest in buying an NFL team.

It’s the fourth NFL team Bezos has been linked to in the last three years.

The reports of Bezos eyeing NFL ownership date back to 2018, when CBS Sports reported that Bezos was considering buying an NFL team. Soon after, the Washington Post reported that Bezos was interested in buying the Seattle Seahawks following the death of its owner, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

The Seahawks never went up for sale, and Allen’s sister, Jody, took over the ownership of the team.

But that didn’t end speculation that Bezos would purchase a franchise. The same year, rumors swirled that Bezos was interested in the Detroit Lions, which has been owned by the Ford family since the early 1960s and wasn’t up for sale. The team’s president, Rod Wood, confirmed at the time that multiple people had inquired about purchasing the team but that there were never any serious discussions about a sale. He did not confirm whether Bezos was one of the people who had inquired.

More recently, Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Football Team, has been under pressure to sell off the franchise amid rising tensions within the organization. According to a report from Front Office Sports, Bezos has been named as a potential owner for that team as well.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Bezos’ interest in NFL ownership.

Bezos does appear to be a sports fan. He attended the men’s Wimbledon final in July 2019 and was spotted at the Super Bowl that same year, posing for a picture with his brother, Mark, and Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin, both of whom play for Seattle. The photo racked up over thousands likes and comments, including one that said: “Please tell me this is a sign @jeffbezos is buying @seahawks 🙏🏻🙏🏻.”

Bezos attended the Super Bowl again in 2020 and posed for a photo with the singer Lizzo.

According to a report from CBS Sports, Bezos has “become close” with several NFL team owners and has “strong support” inside the league.

Bezos, 57, is currently the world’s richest person with a net worth of $185 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. He announced in February that he will step down from his role as Amazon CEO last this year in order to focus on “new products and early initiatives” at the company. He also said he plans to spend more time on philanthropy, as well as his two other major endeavors: The Washington Post, which he purchased 2013, and his rocket company, Blue Origin.

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Disney and the NFL are reportedly sparring over a proposed TV deal that would cost the ABC and ESPN owner nearly $4 billion every year

In a photo provided by ESPN Images, the draft board is seen before the start of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Bristol, Conn. (Allen Kee/ESPN Images via AP)
In a photo provided by ESPN Images, the draft board is seen before the start of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Bristol, Conn. (Allen Kee/ESPN Images via AP)

  • The NFL is asking networks to pay double the current rates to broadcast league games, CNBC reports.
  • That proposed deal would cost Disney $3.8 billion annually to broadcast games on ABC and ESPN.
  • Disney is pushing back on the 100% price increase, in part due to low TV viewership.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Disney and the NFL are currently negotiating a new contract for broadcast rights, but Disney has pushed back on the proposed $3.8 billion annual price tag, according to CNBC

The NFL is seeking double what networks pay in the existing partnerships. Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, is showing reluctance to pay a higher price, while NBC, FOX, and CBS are more likely to accept some increased costs. 

Disney currently pays the highest premium for NFL games: In 2011, the media conglomerate signed a 10-year contract with the NFL to pay $1.9 billion annually to broadcast Monday Night Football on ESPN. The other networks pay about $1 billion. NBC carries Sunday Night Football for $960 million.

A sticking point in the negotiations with Disney seems to be television viewership. This year’s Super Bowl had the lowest viewership of any Super Bowl game in the past 10 years. 

“In terms of the Super Bowl being down, and as we’re going into rights conversations with them, that’s obviously something we’re considering, but more important than any one Super Bowl, we’re looking at the long-term trends of sports viewership,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during Disney’s quarterly earnings call earlier this month.

Chapek added that the company makes decision based on what “makes sense for shareholder value going forward.”

The decline in traditional television viewership is stark in contrast to streaming platforms that got a boost during the pandemic. Streaming subscriptions in the US were up 50% at the end of 2020, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal

According to CNBC, Disney gets branding rights for shows, highlight rights for ESPN, and streaming rights, in addition to the broadcast rights. Disney is also reportedly asking for two Monday Night Football games – to air on ESPN and ABC simultaneously – and to be considered as a broadcast partner for future Super Bowls, alongside CBS, NBC, and FOX.

Representatives for Disney and the NFL did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. 

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Former Buccaneers player Vincent Jackson found dead in hotel room

Vincent Jackson
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, dead at 38.

  • Former Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead in a hotel room Monday.
  • A missing person’s report was closed Saturday after deputies assessed Jackson’s well-being. 
  • There were no signs of trauma; the local sheriff’s department is determining the cause of death. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead late Monday morning in a hotel room in Brandon, Florida, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department reported. The cause of death is unknown. 

Jackson, who was 38, had been staying at the Homewood Suites since first checking in January 11, hotel staff said. His family formerly reported him missing February 12, but the case was closed the next day after deputies talked to Jackson at the hotel and assessed his well-being.  

Then, at about 11:30 am Monday, a housekeeper found Jackson dead, with no signs of trauma. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death.

Sheriff Chad Chronister released the following statement:

“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him. Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community. He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions.”

Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, was selected in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, for whom he played until joining Tampa Bay in 2012. He retired in 2016. 

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Tom Brady covered up his Nike swoosh after winning the Super Bowl to support Under Armour

tom brady nike under armour
Tom Brady is one of the leading spokesmen for Under Armour, and he’s not in the business of giving free PR to the brand’s competitors.

  • Tom Brady is an Under Armour ambassador, and he’s fiercely loyal to the sports apparel brand.
  • After he won Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers QB acted shrewdly to snub one of Under Armour’s competitors.
  • Brady noticed a Nike swoosh visible on his undershirt, so he pulled up his championship T-shirt to cover it up.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tom Brady is one of the leading spokespeople for Under Armour, and he’s not in the business of giving free PR to the brand’s competitors.

Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat out Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV Sunday night. As the 43-year-old quarterback hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time in his esteemed career, he caught a glimpse of himself on the stadium’s video board.

tom brady.JPG
Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV.

A red Nike swoosh was peeking out from his undershirt.

Nike has a contract with the NFL that requires all 32 teams to outfit their players in the brand’s apparel, including jerseys, sideline apparel, and more. That deal extends to base layers like undershirts, which aren’t typically visible to viewers.

2021 02 08T033927Z_148751903_MT1USATODAY15544815_RTRMADP_3_NFL SUPER BOWL LV KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
A Nike swoosh is clearly visible as Tom Brady poses with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

So when Brady saw the Nike swoosh sitting squarely across his chest as he clutched his latest piece of hardware, he acted quickly and shrewdly to show his undying loyalty to Under Armour on football’s biggest stage; the 2021 Super Bowl MVP pulled up his gray Buccaneers Super Bowl Champions T-shirt to cover the decal.

Check out the clip below:

Brady’s likely to run into this issue a few more times over the final years of his career. The NFL’s apparel deal with Nike runs through 2028, so swooshes will continue to feature prominently on the gridiron. But if we’ve learned anything about the quarterback over his 21 years in the league, he will find a way to walk off with a win – no matter if it’s for himself, his team, or his brand.

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The NFL quarterbacks who have played in and won the most Super Bowls

tom brady bucs
Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl and fifth Super Bowl MVP award on Sunday, but the Buccaneers QB was already the undisputed champion of this list.

  • Only a handful of NFL quarterbacks have started in the Super Bowl multiple times in their careers.
  • Tom Brady leads the pack with 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven victories – the most recent of which came on Sunday.
  • Check out the full list of starting quarterbacks who have played multiple Super Bowls below:
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Two Appearances

Craig Morton (0-2)

Craig Morton

Craig Morton led the Dallas Cowboys to Super Bowl V in 1970, but he quickly fell out of favor with the team and lost his starting role to Roger Staubach. He became the first quarterback to start in a Super Bowl for two different teams when he revived his career with the Denver and played in Super Bowl XII for the Broncos eight years later.

Source: Star-Telegram

Russell Wilson (1-1)

russell wilson

After leading the Seattle Seahawks to their first-ever Super Bowl victory in 2013, Russell Wilson led the franchise to a second Super Bowl berth the following season.

Brett Favre (1-1)

Brett Favre

Legendary Packers quarterback and Hall of Famer Brett Favre — who played 16 seasons in Green Bay — led the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1995 and 1996. He became the first and only player to win three straight NFL Most Valuable Player awards.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Joe Thiesmann (1-1)

Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann led the Washington Redskins to consecutive Super Bowl appearances, but he is arguably most well-known for the gruesome, career-ending leg injury he suffered while being sacked by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1985.

Source: Washington Post

Len Dawson (1-1)

Len Dawson

Hall of Famer Len Dawson led Kansas City to Super Bowl I where the Chiefs fell to the Green Bay Packers 35-10. Three years later, Dawson earned MVP honors for leading Kansas City to a 23-7 Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Patrick Mahomes (1-0)

Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are headed to their second Super Bowl in as many years this weekend. Mahomes won his first battle on football’s greatest stage against the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, but this time, he’ll be up against the winningest quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Eli Manning (2-0)

eli manning

Eli Manning may have fallen out of favor with some New York Giants fans, but he led the franchise to two Super Bowl victories, including an improbable win over Tom Brady and the previously undefeated New England Patriots in 2008.

Jim Plunkett (2-0)

Jim Plunkett

After winning the Heisman Trophy at Stanford, Jim Plunkett quarterbacked the Oakland Raiders to two Super Bowl wins in 1980 and 1983.

Source: Heisman.com

Bart Starr (2-0)

Bart Starr

Bart Starr did it first. Literally. Starr led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and earned his way into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Three Appearances

Fran Tarkenton (0-3)

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton — a prolific offensive weapon known for his ability to scramble — led the Minnesota Vikings to a whopping six division titles and three Super Bowl appearances, but never brought a Lombardi Trophy back to Minneapolis.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Kurt Warner (1-2)

Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner went from going undrafted out of college to leading the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals to a combined three Super Bowl appearances between 1999 and 2008. When all was said and done, Warner had earned two NFL MVP awards, and Super Bowl ring, and a bid to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ben Roethlisberger (2-1)

ben roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in league history when he led the Pittsburgh Steelers to the victory over the Seattle Seahawks at 23 years old. Since then, Big Ben has made two more Super Bowl appearances and brought a second Lombardi trophy back to the Steel City.

Bob Griese (2-1)

Bob Griese

Hall of Famer Bob Griese led the Miami Dolphins to three consecutive AFC championships and back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1973 and 1974. Most notably, Griese anchored the Dolphins team that posted a perfect 17-0 season in 1972-73 — the only complete undefeated season in NFL history.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Troy Aikman (3-0)

Troy Aikman

After earning All-America honors at UCLA, Troy Aikman made an immediate impact for the Dallas Cowboys as the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in four years and cemented his legacy with a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Four Appearances

Jim Kelly (0-4)

Jim Kelly

Hall of Famer Jim Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances between the years of 1991 and 1994, but he could not bring Buffalo its first Lombardi Trophy. The Bills still have yet to win a Super Bowl.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Peyton Manning (2-2)

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is the only starting quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams. He took the Indianapolis Colts to two Super Bowls and won his first in 2007 before taking his talents to Denver. Manning led the Broncos to the Super Bowl in 2014 and rode off into the sunset after winning Super Bowl 50 two years later. He holds many NFL records, including touchdown passes with 539 and MVP awards with five.

Source: SBNation

Roger Staubach (2-2)

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach took the Dallas Cowboys to four Super Bowls in an eight-year span and brought home two Lombardi trophies in the process. The Hall of Famer retired in 1979 with the best passing rating of any quarterback through that point with an 83.4 mark.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Joe Montana (4-0)

Joe Montana

In his 15 seasons playing for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Montana captivated NFL fans with his uncanny ability to mount comeback victories, a feat so common it became known as “Montana Magic.” He won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV and earned MVP honors for all but one of those games.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Terry Bradshaw (4-0)

Terry Bradshaw

With a big arm and impressive mind for the game, Terry Bradshaw led the Pittsburgh Steelers to an unprecedented four Super Bowl victories in six years.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Five Appearances

John Elway (2-3)

John Elway

The ultimate dual-threat quarterback, John Elway spent his entire 16-year career with the Denver Broncos. The Hall of Famer accounted for 82.2% of points scored by the Broncos during his tenure with the franchise and led the team to five Super Bowl appearances, winning back-to-back in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.

Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame

10 Appearances

Tom Brady (7-3)

tom brady bucs yell 1

Arguably the best quarterback of all time, Tom Brady has made an NFL-record 10 Super Bowl appearances and earned five Super Bowl MVP awards — the most ever by a single player. After leading the New England Patriots to victory in Super Bowl LIII in 2019, Brady became the only player in the history of the NFL to win six Super Bowl rings.

But for the first time in his career, Brady spent the 2020-2021 season with a different team. He left New England for the Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason, and he managed to secure a Super Bowl victory with Bruce Arians’ squad in his very first season in Tampa Bay. Now, the 43-year-old has seven Vince Lombardi trophies to his name. And, somehow, he’s still hungry for more.

“We’re coming back,” Brady said upon hoisting the Lombardi trophy. “You already know that.”

Source: SBNation

Now check out what happened to the rest of the players involved in the trade that landed Jared Goff with the Rams.

Jared Goff

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? All of the picks in the massive trade that helped the Rams land Jared Goff

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