Raiders’ firing of Reggie McKenzie latest in disturbing trend for black execs in NFL The NFL will soon have only one African-American general manager

Down to one.

The Oakland Raiders fired Reggie McKenzie on Monday, which will leave Chris Grier of the Miami Dolphins as the NFL’s lone African-American general manager once Ozzie Newsome of the Baltimore Ravens steps down, as long planned, from his position at the end of the season. For a league with 32 teams that continues to emphasize its supposed commitment to diversity in management, that’s an awful look.

The 2016 NFL executive of the year, McKenzie joined the list of top black decision-makers recently purged from professional sports’ most successful league. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, the NFL had seven black general managers. Before last season, the Buffalo Bills fired Doug Whaley. Then late in 2017, the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns fired Jerry Reese and Sashi Brown, respectively, within the same week.

Former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith is on a one-year sabbatical as his wife fights cancer and is not expected to return to the team. And in Miami, Grier, who directs the team’s draft and oversees the personnel staff, reports to Mike Tannenbaum, Dolphins executive vice president of football operations.

The fact is, the NFL is an overwhelmingly African-American league, in which almost 70 percent of the players are black. The league’s message about it being all-in on inclusion is seriously undercut by, well, the facts. McKenzie’s departure from the Raiders merely provides the latest reminder.

McKenzie inherited a hot mess in 2012, joining a franchise long in a state of disrepair. The Raiders hadn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2002. They had a weak roster and an awful salary cap situation. McKenzie jump-started a turnaround by working through the cap problems and absolutely nailing the 2014 draft, selecting linebacker Khalil Mack fifth overall and getting quarterback Derek Carr with the fourth pick of the second round. Quickly, Mack, the Associated Press 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, and Carr became Pro Bowl franchise pillars. In 2016, the Raiders went 12-4 and finally ended their postseason drought at 13 seasons. But the Raiders slipped to 6-10 last season.

When the Raiders hired Jon Gruden as coach, the writing was on the wall for general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Once owner Mark Davis persuaded former head coach Jon Gruden to return to the franchise – Gruden reportedly received a 10-year, $100 million contract that includes the final say in personnel matters – the writing was on the wall that McKenzie would be pushed toward the door.

In Gruden’s first season in control, the Raiders are 3-10 and last in the AFC West. The team has been roundly criticized for trading Mack, who’s having another stellar season with the Chicago Bears, and wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has helped fuel the once-struggling Dallas Cowboys’ rise to the top of the NFC East. Those moves wouldn’t have happened without Gruden’s approval.

Despite the Raiders’ downturn the past two seasons, McKenzie displayed the chops to build a winning team, said John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

“Reggie McKenzie has proven his ability in this league,” Wooten, who leads the group of minority coaches, front-office officials and scouts named after the NFL’s first African-American coach, said in a phone interview.

“People forget that the Raiders had serious cap problems when he took over and they didn’t have any players. Just look at what he did for them. That’s why I believe Reggie will have a job back in the NFL soon. When people know what you can do in this league, just like they’re always looking for good players, they’re also always looking for good talent evaluators. Reggie is one of the top guys in that area.”

For black player-personnel executives, however, it has proven to be a hard climb to the top rung of football operations – and an even more difficult task to remain there.

“You look back over the last 15, 16 years, clearly we’ve seen people get opportunities and prove they can do the job.”

Reese, the longtime New York Giants general manager, had a key role in helping the team win two Super Bowl championships. He was fired a season after the Giants went 11-5 and reached the playoffs. To be sure, Reese made mistakes. The team experienced turmoil on his watch. That established, African-American coaches and scouts argue that black general managers still aren’t given as much leeway to prove their worth as their white counterparts. Many point to Bruce Allen as the classic example of the NFL’s double standard.

Allen, now Washington’s team president, joined the franchise in 2009 as general manager. Although he initially did not have the final say over the roster, Allen was actively involved in charting the organization’s course. Following the 2013 season, Allen assumed complete control of the team’s football operation. His disastrous tenure has been marked by one dunderheaded move after another, including the roundly lambasted decision to claim linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers three days after he was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence. Since Washington owner Daniel Snyder hired Allen, the team is 58-82-1.

The Rooney Rule was supposed to help level the field. In place since 2003 for head coaches and expanded in 2009 to include general manager jobs and equivalent front-office positions, the rule – named after Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and onetime head of the league’s diversity committee – mandates that an NFL team must interview at least one minority candidate for these jobs. This season, though, diversity has taken multiple blows – with likely more to come.

At the start of the 2017 season, there were eight head coaches of color, matching 2011 as the most the NFL has had in any season, including seven African-Americans. On Oct. 29, the Cleveland Browns fired former head coach Hue Jackson. Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos lead struggling teams. They all could be looking for work soon. And although Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals is in his first season, the team’s 3-10 mark seemingly puts him on shaky ground as well.

Despite McKenzie’s departure from Oakland and the potential bleak outlook for several African-American head coaches, Wooten, who guides the group that helps oversee compliance of the Rooney Rules, remains steadfast in his belief that the only way to effect positive change is to keep on pushing.

“We have to keep making sure we’re showcasing the right people, which we do through the Rooney Rule,” Wooten said. “You look back over the last 15, 16 years, clearly we’ve seen people get opportunities and prove they can do the job. We always say that we just have to keep working with this [rule] to help the NFL do what’s right.”

Yet, with the NFL soon to have only one African-American general manager and no African-American executives in charge of running a football operation, it seems owners are more interested in what’s white.

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Zion Williamson Is The Best College Basketball Player In At Least A Decade

Ten games into what will almost certainly be his lone season in Durham, Duke’s Zion Williamson has treated college basketball like a rim on a breakaway. Which is to say, he has left it trembling.

On game days, the anointed freshman effectively has a residency on “SportsCenter,” his highlights the fantasy-come-true of any sports-radio personality or TV show producer. Need to fill time? Just discuss the comical absurdity of an 18-year-old throwing down midgame windmills with ease or opine that he’d be unable to handle the scrutiny if the Cleveland Cavaliers were to select him in the NBA draft.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski shepherded in one of the most heralded recruiting classes of the modern era this summer, an embarrassment of riches featuring the top three prospects in the country. Unsurprisingly, the Blue Devils rank among the top teams in the nation, their lone loss coming against the veteran-laden Gonzaga Bulldogs in Maui. RJ Barrett, the consensus top-ranked player from the 2018 class, leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring. Yet it’s Williamson who most often elicits the shock-and-awe moments that keep Instagram’s highlight-reel accounts fully stocked. It’s Williamson who draws comparisons — again and again and again — to the incomparable LeBron James. It’s Williamson who is appointment television.The European Economic Area refers to the countries in which freedom of movement of people (and goods, services and capital) applies. It includes all 28 members of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is not a member of the EU or EEA but is a part of the EU’s single market.

‘>2 the right to travel, reside and work in any member state. Because of this, a baker from Nice can open a shop in Manchester, a bond trader from Frankfurt can join a bank in London, and, yes, soccer players from continental Europe can freely transfer to the English league. If the player holds an EU passport, there are no restrictions: From an employment perspective, he is treated the same as a U.K. national.

Freedom of movement has had a seismic impact on the demographics of the league — all of which could change with Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that freedom of movement will end when the U.K. leaves the EU, but she has yet to announce the new immigration rules that will replace it. Although EPL clubs will not immediately be required to obtain work permits for their players who aren’t British or Irish (citizens of the Republic of Ireland are likely to retain the rights to live and work in the U.K. post-Brexit), new arrivals from the EU3 could become subject to the rules that currently apply only to non-EU players. Essentially, all players not eligible for a U.K. (or Irish) passport would have to obtain a work permit.

To investigate the potential impact on English soccer, we took a look at the characteristics of European players who have played in the EPL over the past 26 years. What proportion of them would have qualified for a work permit? By answering this question, we can gain an insight into what might happen to the EPL in the future.


Before we can assess who might be affected, we first need to look at how the system of work permits works in English soccer. To obtain a permit, a foreign player must secure a Governing Body Endorsement from The Football Association (the governing body of English soccer). Each season, the FA publishes guidelines to help clubs determine whether transfer targets would qualify for an endorsement.

Share of senior competitive international matches required to qualify for an English soccer work permit endorsement

National team’s FIFA ranking Min. share of matches played in past 24 months
1-10 30%
11-20 45
21-30 60
31-50 75

Players age 21 and younger may meet the senior match threshold in just 12 months.

Source: The Football Association

There are effectively two paths by which a player can qualify. To automatically qualify, a player must have participated in a minimum share of his national team’s senior competitive matches in the preceding two years.4 The minimum percentage is determined by the FIFA world ranking of that nation.

If a player doesn’t qualify automatically, he can appeal. The appeals process is a points-based system that boils down to this: If the transfer fee is above the average amount paid by EPL clubs the previous year, and the club is willing to make him one of its higher earners, the appeals board can recommend that a permit should be approved.


In the early 1990s, a quota system was enforced for foreign players in English soccer that limited teams to fielding a maximum of three “foreigners” in domestic league and cup matches. A foreign player was defined as someone who held neither a U.K. nor an Irish passport. There was no distinction between players from Belgium and Brazil, even though Belgians had held the right to live and work in the U.K. for several years. Thirteen percent of the players that featured in the 1994-95 season were classified as foreign.

In December 1995, after the so-called Bosman ruling, the quota was rescinded, instantly removing all restrictions on fielding players from the rest of the EU.This analysis used data taken from TransferLeague.co.uk, 11v11.com, transfermarkt.co.uk, futbol24.com, Wikipedia, www.parliament.uk and the Transfer Price Index of Tomkins & Riley.

‘>6

What would be the consequences if, from next season onward, incoming players from the rest of the EU were subject to the same immigration requirements that currently apply only to non-EU players?

The figure above shows two future scenarios. The first is the status quo, in which EU passport holders can continue to play in the U.K. without work permits (or any other bureaucratic hurdles). The second explores the end of freedom of movement to the U.K. In this scenario, EU players are subject to the same immigration requirements as players from the rest of the world beginning with the 2019-20 season. That is, they require a work permit and must meet the relevant criteria.

In both cases, we assume that the total number of players in the EPL remains constant, as does the inflow and outflow of players from the rest of the world. In the status quo scenario, we assume that the inflow of players from Europe remains at its recent historical average; in the end of freedom of movement scenario, we assume that it drops to 42 percent of the recent average.

In the status quo scenario, the percentage of U.K. and Irish players remains close to its present value, gradually declining over the next decade. The proportion of players from the EU increases slightly, eventually exceeding U.K. and Irish players, while those from the rest of the world remains relatively constant.

The end of freedom of movement scenario paints a very different picture. The proportion of EU players declines substantially — from 41 percent last season to 20 percent by 2028-29 — while the proportion of British and Irish players increases from 41 percent to 64 percent over the same period. By the end of the next decade, the EPL would begin to resemble its constitution at the end of the 1990s: Nearly two-thirds of all players would be British or Irish.

A large drop in the number of EU/EEA players does not necessarily imply a substantial reduction in terms of the quality of players. The money and allure of the Premier League would still entice elite players to come to play in England, at least for a while. The wealthiest clubs would continue to attract the biggest stars; the rest, on the other hand, would be forced to focus more on the domestic market. Teams often scout for potential in soccer leagues across Europe, but many of those players would no longer be allowed to make the leap. Champions League places would move even further beyond the horizons of most clubs, and “near miracles” such as Leicester’s fairytale league win — on the strength of the star turn from Riyad Mahrez,7 who was acquired from Le Havre in France’s second tier — would be become even less likely.

On the other hand, some will argue that a drop in foreign recruitment would be a positive thing if it affords greater opportunities to British players. While the situation would be unchanged in terms of top-end recruitment at the elite clubs, even they would be forced to review their recruitment of young players from abroad. Homegrown players might have more of a chance of making it at the highest level.

There is no doubt that the Premier League has benefited enormously from freedom of movement, with the rapid influx of foreign players helping to drive the league’s huge international popularity. But freedom of movement was also a crucial factor in the opposition to continued U.K. membership in the EU. It could well be that one effect of Brexit would be to diminish, perhaps sharply, the number of highly talented European footballers in the Premier League — which could have huge consequences for the future of the sport. ​

Check out our latest soccer predictions.

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Buster Douglas: I wasn’t impressed with the success Mike Tyson was having When Douglas knocked out Tyson, he was fighting for more than just a win

In this installment of Playing for Something, Buster Douglas, as told to The Undefeated’s Kelley Evans, opens up about his mother and how she motivated him in his fight with Mike Tyson, who was heavyweight champion of the world and unbeaten in 37 fights. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas gave Douglas 42-1 odds of beating Tyson.

(ESPN Films’ new 30 for 30 documentary, 42 to 1, about Douglas’ epic 1990 defeat of Tyson for the heavyweight championship of the world, premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN.)

My mother slammed me on the ground, put her knee in my chest, and said, ‘If you don’t get out there and fight that boy, you’re going to have to fight me.’

My mother, Lula Pearl Douglas, was my motivator. At 10 or 11 years old, she made me go out there and face that bully, and when I came into the house crying, she jumped on me bad. It was, like, the next day I went outside, and we were shooting basketball. I called a foul. The bully was like, ‘What?’ And I turned around and said, ‘Foul!’ And I was looking at him, fists all balled up, and he just gave me the ball. Ever since then, he never said anything else to me.

She was my world — my rock. That’s how she was with me and my brothers.

She died two weeks before my fight against Mike Tyson on Feb. 11, 1990, a day that marked my sporting life. That was my pinnacle. On that day, I was the best. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I was blessed with the opportunity and I conquered. If you had to say, ‘This is how I want to be remembered, how I want people to know me, to look at me,’ it’s as a gentleman, a kind man who believes in himself, a humble guy who had an opportunity and took advantage of it.

Douglas fought with a heavy heart on Feb. 11, 1990.

AP Images/Sadayuki Mikami

But the person who motivated me was my mother. She visited me the week before she died on Jan. 18, 1990, to check on me as I was preparing for the fight. She was really ill at that time — I didn’t know how ill, but she mustered enough strength to get in her car and drive over to my house and ask me a few questions to see where my head was at. She was 46 years old, I was 29. It would have just been devastating, knowing that I was unable to continue because of her passing, but it just built my strength even more, in a sense.

Fighting Mike was a relief. I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got so much s— pent up in me, this is your a–.’ I mean, really, I was just at that point to where I could give a hoot about the naysayers. In my mind, I was getting ready to be a nightmare to him.

Make no mistake, I knew that if you weren’t bending steel or eating mercury, you had no chance against that man. But I knew what I could do.

I had no doubt at any time during training. I couldn’t wait for the fight. My biggest worry was something happening that would postpone or delay it — like Mike getting hurt in training. I just couldn’t wait for Feb. 11.

The thing about Mike is he’s not a trash-talker. He was a man of few words. I remember a reporter asking him how he thought the fight would go. He said the fight would be like any other fight — something like, ‘I’m going to knock him out,’ or whatever. Short and sweet.

I knew he was a talent. But I looked at the person. I looked beyond that figure in the ring, and I had to compare myself to the individual, so I wasn’t really impressed with all the success he was having. I knew he was a warrior in the ring, but I looked beyond that. That helped me a lot.

I went into the fight with a lot of confidence, and I wanted to express that. Everyone was expecting a quick, 90-second knockout, but I’m well-educated in this game. I knew what I was doing. I knew nobody gave me this opportunity; I had earned it. I fought killers to get this opportunity. Fighters who I figured would beat me, guys who lost their careers, I ended up beating and turning everything around to get a shot at the title. Even with all of that, I still wasn’t getting any respect because Mike Tyson was just a god.

“I knew it was over. He wasn’t even in the fight at that point — he was sleeping.”

When I went down late in the eighth round, I knew exactly why it happened. I got caught standing square, standing right up in front of him. That was the one time he really got me. I was angry and motivated — at the same time. I was pissed because I got caught looking. He caught me with one of those hooks, uppercuts. I hit the canvas like, ‘F—!’ When he knocked me down, I wanted to look at him, take a moment and say: ‘Come on, Mike. What do you think about this?’

I got caught because of that brief moment of reflection, when I stopped fighting. He was showing me that he was still alive. But I got up.

I knew I had to get serious after that. I dominated the ninth round and gave him a swollen left eye. Then that 10th round came, when I dropped him at one minute and 22 seconds into the round. When Mike didn’t get up, I knew I had him. I knew I had won, because when he reached for his mouthpiece, I knew he was incoherent. If he would have been coherent, he would have just gotten up, let the referee get the mouthpiece and extend the count. But when he reached for it, I knew he was hurt then. That’s when I raised my hands. I knew it was over. He wasn’t even in the fight at that point — he was sleeping.

When Tyson and promoter Don King complained about the referee’s count at the end of the eighth round, I didn’t feel disrespect, I just felt like they were crying like babies. I looked beyond all of that and realized that it was just some force trying to stop me from obtaining my goal. I knew then that I was on the right track of succeeding at my childhood dream, which started when I was 10, when my father started me in boxing.

On February 11, 1990, I was fighting for more than a win.

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Most dominant athlete of 2018: Simone Biles This was the year that the greatest gymnast of all time showed that not a damn thing will ever stand in her way

Daylight goes by fast in Doha. Jet lag clings, but not to the elite gymnasts who land days ahead and resist luscious naps. It’s October warm in the blockaded country of Qatar, and Simone Biles is somewhere in a state-of-the-art all-women’s wing of a hospital taking Aleve for a kidney stone. None of the usually prescribed pain meds will do, because this is the eve of the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships, and in a dozen hours Biles must once again reimagine principles of energetics, biomechanics, physics and physiology. And—hard mass of minerals passing through an organ or not—she must do it with a smile, and wave.

The worlds, outside of the Olympics, is the premier event in the sport of gymnastics. Qatar’s young emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (who owns the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club and is bringing the World Cup to his country in 2022), believes the event will swell Qatar’s role on the global stage. Within the 10-square-mile footprint of Doha’s Aspire Zone are athletic facilities and a mall called Villaggio, designed in the spirit of Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Brilliant but nonqualifying gymnasts mill about with drawstring backpacks hanging low. Biles is back, is the vibe, and like a tiny country that has seemingly infinite amounts of what the rest of a world requires to survive, truly, there’s no way around her.

The only thing greater than the legendary, genius, paradigm-shifting athletic status of Simone Biles is the degree to which so many don’t know or can’t understand what it is that she actually does. Even if you’ve seen Biles doing a split leap on a box of Special K, you likely don’t know the depth of her determination to dominate. Some of it is that Biles competes in an odd, ancient Greek sport based in “disciplined exercise” that conquering Romans militarized and people now barely pay attention to outside of Summer Olympic years. More of it is that it’s the American female gymnasts who excel. They also do the emotional work of heart-capturing and along with the WNBA suffer from a lack of the kind of sustained pop cultural uplift required for immortality. Plus—and this part comes with fireworks and a loud-ass girl band playing “Flawless”—accolades get blown off of black women like it makes wishes come true.

“Your accomplishments don’t make necessarily who you are. Yes, I have all these Olympic medals and stuff, but once I go out into the world, I’m a regular person.”

But Simone Arianne Biles is no dandelion. Not today. And in Qatar, far from her Texas homeland, it’s time for Biles—this former foster kid, this girl who looked 6 when she was 11, this athlete who at 4-foot-8 and 21 years old rules as breezily as Lisa Leslie—to break laws universal and customary, to hoist her sport up on her shoulders and fly. Defy gravity.

Later, Biles says “Yeah” when asked if she’s ever afraid of falling. Yeah.

What makes you continue?

“I just cling on,” she says plain as rice, “for dear life.”

What? No?

“Yes,” Biles says with a shrug. Then a slow blink. Yes.


Biles competed in the balance beam during Day 10 of the 2018 FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships at Aspire Dome on Nov. 3, 2018 in Doha, Qatar.

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

“They’re all babies,” Biles says. It’s a week after Doha, where Biles won five individual medals and led the U.S. women to a fourth straight world title—this time by the largest margin of victory since the scoring system was changed in 2006. The “babies” Biles is only kind of joking about are grown men playing professional football and basketball. The discussion is about the times when those athletes appear on the bench with ice packs on a knee or an elbow. She’s been lucky—no lasting injuries since the 2013 bone spur on her tibia and the shoulder thing in 2014. But she hurls herself even harder now. Twists seem even tighter. Surely she must have moments of swelling or—

“You do it after practice,” Biles says over snacks near Houston’s Galleria mall. “Can you imagine if, after my beam routine, I’ve got some ice on me? Like, come on [smiles]. Get over yourself.”

She can afford to say it. Much in the way that Serena transfuses blood and sauce into tennis, the way Tiger is golf even when he’s damn near dead, Biles, with every double-lay-half-out, continues to bring gymnastics to its highest glory, even as it proffers the lightest of protections for its women athletes. There is no way, after a 711-day hiatus since winning five medals in Rio, that Biles should be this excellent, again, already. She only returned to elite competition in July, in her birthplace of Columbus, Ohio, at the GK U.S. Classic. But while there was a step out of bounds on floor, an unclean landing on vault, a fall on bars, there were also three gold medals.

A month later, at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston, her presence delivered gymnastics its largest television audience, excluding Olympic years, since 2007. The horrific sexual abuse of athletes by former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar had surfaced while Biles was on furlough. The world digested testimony as Biles and so many others processed trauma. The athletes had been told to feel grateful for Nassar as he “treated” them, internally, without gloves, and gave them Olympic pins. This was a systematic failure to safeguard child athletes. U.S. gymnastics was in a state of chaos.

“It’s kind of scary because I don’t want them to be completely dependent on me for the sport to continue,” Biles said to espnW when asked about the stress of having to now more or less save the sport. “It’s not fair to me, because I can’t carry the whole gymnastics world.”

She did just that, though, with her return from sabbatical. She leapt from a toe shattered in five pieces. She swept all five of the golds at nationals. Not since Dominique Dawes in 1994 had an American woman achieved such a sweep. And here too Simone pushed the margin: Her two-day nationals score of 119.850 was the largest measure of conquest in any of her title performances. Shawn Johnson East, the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist, laughed with amazement watching Biles at work. “It shouldn’t be possible,” she said.

It is, though. And this is Biles the Sequel, Biles after a long and deserved rest, Biles who could have retired after Rio to long applause and with highlight reels to rival Bryant, Beckham (Odell and David) and LeBron.

“I got my first assignment from the United States at the age of 15,” Biles says. She has been in training since the age of 6, doing the work necessary to become the first woman to win four world all-around titles and the first U.S. woman to win five national all-around titles. This is Super Bowl stuff. This is brass-assed taking-all-comers tenacity. How did Cardi B debut? With You know where I’m at / You know where I be. Well, Biles be at the vault creating her own round-off followed by a half-turn onto the table and one and a half twists off it. It’s called The Biles now (one of two moves officially named after her in the Code of Points), and when she does this vault, it seems her hands barely touch the apparatus itself.

Biles says her hands do touch it: “Mm-hmm. But it comes from the block. That’s why it’s so fast. It’s like the angle of your shoulders, as well as how far you’re going to get your feet over your head. That’s what helps your hands get off.” This is the living math that it takes to be the GOAT.

Pushing yourself to be great is part of the deal for Biles. “If (a coach) said, ‘One flip,’ I said, ‘Can I do two?’ ‘No, you’re not ready for two.’ ‘Fine.’ ‘Do a half-twist.’ ‘Why can’t I do a full twist?’ I was always striving for the next.”

Danielle Levitt for ESPN

The CV is relentless, its language full of words like in history and world record and medals medals medals. She whom Biles has not deaded is in danger, as she has gone about systematically obliterating the claims to greatness her current competitors might manage and is snatching records from past heroes like it’s light work. But it’s not light work.

It’s #simonethings. Biles says that sometimes, though, she just wants to be Simone, without all the medals. “It doesn’t matter to me,” Biles says with the grace of the sincere. “Everybody’s equal. Your accomplishments don’t make necessarily who you are. Yes, I have all these Olympic medals and stuff, but once I go out into the world, I’m a regular person. I do everything everybody else does. I fill up my own gas. I pay rent. I have to do all these things. So [the medals don’t] make me any better than anybody else. I’m just the best in my sport at what I do that day.” But no matter how sparkly her leotard, she’s a killer as stone cold as David Ortiz or Robert Horry ever was. She creates each time she competes. Plus, Biles will run the score up on you with a red cheer bow on a ponytail pulled higher than J-Lo’s.


The perfect 10 is dead. In 2006, the Switzerland-based International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) revamped its terms and conditions. Gymnasts now walk up to each apparatus with a score already in place, based on the difficulty of their submitted routine. It’s rather like calling your shot. Then they receive another score from FIG judges based on how well that program is executed. The scores are totaled, but no one gets close to 20. The 20 is theoretical, and that’s a language Biles speaks fluently.

She just isn’t into finite ideas of excellence. “I always was like, ‘Let me do more,’” Biles says in Houston. “If [a coach] said, ‘One flip,’ I said, ‘Can I do two?’ ‘No, you’re not ready for two.’ ‘Fine.’ ‘Do a half-twist.’ ‘Why can’t I do a full twist?’ I was always striving for the next.”

Her routines are so difficult that her missteps don’t matter; at worlds, Biles sat in her vault landing, then stepped off the beam to gasps. And as far as she’s concerned, her moves are not that teachable. “When it comes to certain skills,” she says, “ones that I’ve done, I can teach. But other ones? I don’t know. Some of the girls ask, ‘Help me with a double.’ I can talk you through the basic steps, but they’re like, ‘Well, why can’t I make it?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ They’re like, ‘How do you add another twist?’ I’m like, ‘You just do it. It’s easy.’”

Biles was accompanied by her coach Laurent Landi during qualifying sessions for the Gymnastics World Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar on Oct. 27, 2018.

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Easy? Jordan probably can’t tell you how he hit The Shot in 1989 either, even if he wanted to. Speaking about her 1976 perfect 10, Nadia Comaneci said, “I thought, ‘This is what I want to do. This is normal.’” Is that what they all think? That feats of greatness are normal, that Arthur Ashe beating Tom Okker in 1968 is a regular day? Pele for six at age 17 in his first World Cup? Billie Jean King taking down ol’ Bobby Whatshisname 6-4, 6-3, 6-3?

Ask her what a coach might have said when instructing her how to do a twist, or a double, for the very first time and Biles says, “Nothing that made sense. I had to feel it for myself.”

So who gives a flying FIG about the fine print when Simone Biles is flipping across the mat through her other “Biles” move—a double layout with a half twist and a blind landing. A blind landing is when a gymnast performs a skill and doesn’t see the ground before he or she lands. The trust Biles has in herself and her training is complete. Theoretical 20s and medals are the currency of her sport, but Biles is outside of it, like the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

More than getting money, she’s literally making the money: “Simone doesn’t require a lot of run into her tumbling skills,” Biles’ former coach Aimee Boorman told The New York Times in 2016, “so she can fit a longer pass onto the floor than a lot of athletes.” A longer pass equals more elements completed, which equals a higher level of difficulty submitted and executed. Boorman also said that what some gymnasts take years to learn—a new skill of any kind—Biles can learn in three days. That’s 24 hours, because Simone tends to train eight hours a day.

“I’m surprised that she added more difficulty already,” Tom Forster told espnW recently. He’s a high-performance team coordinator for the U.S. women’s national team. “Usually [a returning Olympian] is holding on to what they had, and she’s eclipsed that and is doing far more. If this was another sport, like football or basketball, it would be in every paper. It’s really unbelievable.”

It’s totally believable that it’s going unnoticed because Simone’s a woman, she’s black and it’s gymnastics, a sport in which, historically, authenticity and aggression are eschewed for pageant waves. What is beautiful to believe is how hard Biles goes at what she fears.

“I was afraid of the bars,” she says. “Still to this day, I’m a little bit afraid of it. But I have no choice but to do it.”

She has a choice, every day. “Yeah,” she says. “Yeah.”

In Doha, it’s clear how bizarrely uneven the uneven bars are. From the cheap seats it’s also not hard to see which athletes might be “black” or “of color” by how much chalk is visible on their legs. Biles pats chalk. Blows excess with way less drama than LeBron or Kevin Garnett ever has.

She hops on, and already she’s so much better on bars than she was in Rio, where she failed to qualify into the finals. Her body relaxed and minutely Amazonian, her palms protected by a sliver of white leather and a dowel, she wins silver. “I trained harder,” she says later, exasperated.

OK, wait. Trained how? “A lot more basics, and my coach spotted me a lot more. I was on bars for longer. I had to actually focus more on what I was doing, rather than, ‘Oh, I suck at bars, I’m just going to get through it.’ A lot of drills, a lot of preparations, a lot of repetitions.” A lot of I’m not going to have a weakest event.

Biles’ uneven bars dismount is now the most difficult uneven bars dismount in the world. Watch as she refuses to follow the typical narrative of mild team girl who wins big, plateaus politely and bows out. Watch as she pushes the boundaries of “artistic”—so often code for white, and lithe—in artistic gymnastics. Watch as Biles deeply captures hearts with her brilliantly funny, brave and irritatingly detached personality. Watch this brown girl in these unruly and terrifying times as she continues to disrupt everything.

I didn’t have many fears as a kid.

—Simone Biles


Slam a girl’s life upside-down when she’s in her preschool years. Let there be little to no stability when she’s just starting to become who she’s going to be. Give babygirl parents with addiction and in absentia struggles. Put her before the age of 5 into foster care. And watch. Watch as she smiles and she somersaults and as she wins when it would be excused if she never got to the Games.

“In foster care,” says Biles, “me and my brother [Tevin] would always try to do backflips and front flips. We had a trampoline, but we weren’t allowed to jump on it because of the foster care rules.” Adult Simone says there were “liability issues” with regard to the trampoline. “Because,” she says, “it was just the kids that come in and out of foster homes.” How might a child process the word or the idea of “liability”? Lie. Ability. Lie. No. You can’t.

Biles was born at Ohio State University hospital in March 1997, when women’s artistic gymnastics was all Romania and Russia. Simone’s biological mother, Shanon, consumed by drugs and alcohol, gave up her four children to the state of Ohio by 2001. Simone’s father, Kelvin Clemons, out of the picture, was apparently dealing with addiction issues as well. “So instead of jumping on the trampoline,” says Biles, “we’d flip off the swing.”

“It’s kind of scary because I don’t want them to be completely dependent on me for the sport to continue,” Biles said to espnW when asked about the stress of having to now more or less save the sport. “It’s not fair to me, because I can’t carry the whole gymnastics world.”

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

When it looked like Simone and her siblings were going to be placed up for adoption, Simone’s grandfather Ron Biles and his wife, Nellie, stepped up. Simone and younger sister Adria were formally adopted in 2003. Simone’s two older siblings, Tevin and Ashley, went to live with Ron’s sister elsewhere in Ohio. All good. There are models—it takes a village—for all of this mild fresh princessness. But watch young Simone as what psychologist and prodigy expert Ellen Winner calls the “rage to master” kicks in. It’s an enhanced capacity for self-directed learning, or an unusually intense need to understand. The gifted have it early. Like, by the age of 6.

On a day too hot for an amusement park known as the Oil Ranch, Biles visited Bannon’s Gymnastix with her day care class because it had air conditioning. “How Bannon’s was set up,” says Biles, “was that front gym was the rec kids. Bring your kid, and parents go upstairs to watch. The back half of the gym was teams. Drop off your kid, and then [parents] leave, because [the kid is] there for four hours or more.” Simone began tumbling and flipping, imitating what she saw. She was noticed, sent home with a flyer, and soon Biles was a team girl.

Shanon didn’t see Simone again until she was 12. By this time, Biles was excelling on the junior gymnastics circuit. “I was so young when everything happened,” she says. “It’s not like [my biological mother] was a huge part of my life. As bad as that is, it just is what it is.”

Years later, during the Rio Olympics, the seams of old kin decisions stretched to breaking. Her biological mother spoke to her via grainy TMZ video: “I know it happened. I was struggling back then. I’m sober. I’m here and I love you! [My] daddy didn’t have to throw me under the bus. Go Team USA, and I’ll talk to you and see you when I can!”

“I do call at holidays,” Biles says. “‘Hey, Shanon, how are you?’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘Happy Easter.’ ‘Merry Christmas.’ Whatever, but that’s it.”

Biles has been through therapy, mostly for a 2013 crisis in confidence, a period in which her idols became her rivals. “Some of those sessions helped me to not feel guilty that I don’t care,” she says. “A part of me feels guilty sometimes because she’s biological mom. She had you … but she also lost all parental rights and did a lot of bad things. So why should I care? A part of me cares. I wish she wouldn’t have gone down the path she did with her life—not for me but for herself.”

Biles has called her grandfather and step-grandmother Mom and Dad since very near the adoption date. She appears via Instagram close to her siblings. Adam Biles manages Simone and her parents’ gym, the massive and popular World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas. Simone introduced her oldest brother, Ron Jr., to his fiancée.

They all vacation together, most recently in Cabo San Lucas, where Simone’s boyfriend, retired elite gymnast Stacey Ervin, 25, went along. “Both gymnasts,” Biles says. “That helped, and we both live the same lifestyle, being in the gym all day long, getting school on the side … competing and representing for the United States. … That was normal for us.” They fell in love during her hiatus from competition, and the couple charms Biles’ 3.4 million Instagram followers from the surf to the cabana. Ervin reminds one of a young Dwayne Johnson and is in fact a part of WWE’s NXT platform. “I have parents,” Biles says. “Have family, have friends. There’s no missing gap that I’d need [my biological mom] to fill for me.”

Her voice doesn’t quiver when she says it, just as Biles’ knees don’t quiver on that 4-inch wooden beam, a surface that has been called one of the most unforgiving in all of sport. Had Simone Biles not been rescued, had she never seen the trampoline, had the rescue not gone well, had a particular day in Texas been slightly less warm, had she been a little taller, had she not been given the flyer, had there not been funds to send her to the gym, had she not air sense, or good sense, or her exact life, would she still have been a contender, let alone among the greatest athletes the world has ever known? Biles was a contender from the day she was born.

She had to be.

At 12, right around the time biological mom Shanon started floating back through, Simone was invited to the USA Gymnastics national team training center at the 2,000-acre Karolyi Ranch in Walker County, Texas. “At that age,” says Simone, “you’re already doing what most 13-year-olds and most gymnasts can never do. You’ve been pushed beyond your limits. So you’re already the best in the country. It’s not just like any football player, it’s more like if they’re trying to go to the NFL. That’s basically what we’re being put through, at 13.”

And she hated it. “I didn’t want to go back to camp after I went. I declined [the second invitation].” Simone thought there would be marshmallow-roasting and zip lines she could jump on. “You hear ‘camp,’ it’s, ‘Oh my god, campfires, I’m going to have fun.’ No, it’s like a working camp. Get your mind right, your body right. By the last day, I was basically like, ‘This isn’t for me.’” (The Karolyis have been accused of beating and scratching young athletes, of withholding food and water, and of aiding and abetting Larry Nassar.)

So. On Jan. 15, 2018, Biles tweets out her statement about having been abused by Nassar. Three days later, USA Gymnastics announces that it is dropping the Karolyi Ranch as a training facility. Biles also used her social strength when USA Gymnastics interim president and former California congresswoman Mary Bono tweeted a photo of herself blotting out the Nike swoosh on a pair of golf shoes, joining a fad of Nike owners upset with the apparel company for endorsing Colin Kaepernick. Biles, who is also sponsored by Nike, tweeted, “Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president, or any sponsors or anything.” Three days later, former gymnast Bono, who had been in her new job four days, resigned.

You’ve watched that Nadia Comaneci performance I’m sure, where she got the perfect score?

Never seen it.


It’s easy to forget that in 2013, at 16, Biles shocked the world. Biles finished the world championships in Antwerp with four medals. Afterward, in an interview, Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito said, “I told [teammate Vanny Ferrari] that next time we should also paint our skin black, so then we could win too.”

Every good story has an ending. For Biles, it may be after the Tokyo Summer Games. “I’ll retire (then),” she says. “It’s just too much on my body.”

Danielle Levitt for ESPN

Cool, cool. People sometimes say unfortunate racially tinged racially charged racially divisive racial things. There are the tweeted apologies, the doubled-down Facebookery, the silent rising above or the contagious clapback. The platforms change, but we’ve all been doing this since Jim Thorpe Wilma Rudolph Jesse Owens Zina Garrison Jackie Robinson Arthur Ashe Serena Williams Venus Williams Debi Thomas Tiger Woods LeBron James, and these are the beats of American and global sport. Rise above, yeah yeah, with emphasis. That’s what the blacks do—dig in that dignity drawer and get suited up right for a slow and quiet fight. That’s the script.

Except no. That’s a script.

It’s fair to wonder: If Ferlito felt comfortable enough to publicly spew that rancidity, how passive-aggressive mean-girl might the atmosphere have been when the cameras weren’t on? Biles did not look like she was stressing. It’s the black girl’s rule of thumb. Do all of the things. Don’t break down. Do not cry. Train and dance and act and get there early stay late perform with a stone in your kidney be more than an athlete explain your humanity deal with people who try to take you off your game and your very life by utilizing racism. Win and keep winning and winning and goddamn it keep winning how else will they know that she has been here. A champion. Not fearless. But unafraid to cling on for dear life. Simone will defy all of the gymnastics narratives—length of career, race of participants, definitions of “artistic,” definitions of an athlete. To quote an artist Biles has on her photo shoot playlist via a Frank Ocean Tyler, the Creator song: Biles is already home. She won Doha, she’ll be in Stuttgart for worlds in 2019, and in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics too, but Simone is in the Hall already. If Andy were alive, Simone would be a Warhol already.

And after the Tokyo Summer Games, she’s done.

“I’ll retire [then],” she says. “It’s just too much on my body.”

No Copenhagen Worlds in 2021 and definitely no Games of the XXXIII Olympiad—Paris 2024. “Mm-mm,” she says, shaking her head slowly. No. “It’s not that easy.”

Look at her, please, one more time: She’s up there. On vault, on beam, on those sadistic uneven bars, on floor, headed into a blazing tumbling pass, Biles is about to get her flip on.

Exactly what are you thinking, in that moment?

“Nothing.”

What does that mean, “nothing”?

“Don’t die,” says the girl with air in her middle name. Don’t. Die.

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The quarterbacks who have signed since Colin Kaepernick became a free agent The list includes journeymen and a player who came out of retirement

It has been nearly two years since quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on March 2, 2017, making him a free agent. Months before, Kaepernick, who was drafted by the 49ers in 2011 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl the following year, started sitting (and later kneeling) during the playing of the national anthem before games in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. A day after Kaepernick opted out of his deal, 49ers general manager John Lynch told SiriusXM radio that under Kaepernick’s current contract “it wasn’t going to work,” and the team had planned to release the then-29-year-old.

Kaepernick spent the entire 2017 season and three-quarters of the 2018 season out of work, as virtually every team in the league with a need at quarterback has signed a less accomplished passer. Forty-two quarterbacks signed with teams between March 2017 and November 2017, most of whom either had never played in an NFL game or had a losing record as a starter (Kaepernick was 28-30 over five seasons).

During the 2018 season, four teams that either lost their starting quarterback to injury (Washington Redskins, 49ers) or were hindered by subpar play (Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars) signed players who have struggled heavily in recent years: the Redskins signed Josh Johnson, who hadn’t played since 2013; the Bills signed Derek Anderson, Cam Newton’s backup with the Carolina Panthers; the 49ers signed Tom Savage, who lasted less than a week with the team; and the Jaguars signed Landry Jones, who lost his backup job in Pittsburgh to a first- and second-year player.

In total, 85 quarterbacks (not including draft picks or players who re-signed with their teams or were promoted from the practice squad) have been signed to teams since Kaepernick opted out. Here is that list:

UPDATED: DEC. 11, 2018

Quarterbacks who have signed since Colin Kaepernick became a free agent

Colin Kaepernick

Date Signed
Yards 12,271
Touchdowns 72
Interceptions 30
Completion 59.8%
Wins/Loss 28–30

Matt Schaub Atlanta Falcons

Date Signed March 9
Yards 24,867
Touchdowns 133
Interceptions 90
Completion 63.9%
Wins/Loss 47–45

Kellen Clemens Los Angeles Chargers

Date Signed March 9
Yards 4,017
Touchdowns 16
Interceptions 20
Completion 54.6%
Wins/Loss 8–13

Josh McCown New York Jets

Date Signed March 20
Yards 14,242
Touchdowns 79
Interceptions 69
Completion 59.1%
Wins/Loss 18–42

EJ Manuel Oakland Raiders

Date Signed March 20
Yards 3,502
Touchdowns 19
Interceptions 15
Completion 58.3%
Wins/Loss 6–11

Aaron Murray Los Angeles Rams

Date Signed March 22
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Garrett Gilbert Carolina Panthers

Date Signed March 24
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Mark Sanchez Chicago Bears

Date Signed March 24
Yards 15,219
Touchdowns 86
Interceptions 86
Completion 56.7%
Wins/Loss 37–35

David Fales Miami Dolphins

Date Signed April 5
Yards 22
Touchdowns 0
Interceptions 0
Completion 40%
Wins/Loss N/A

Matt McGloin Philadelphia Eagles

Date Signed April 10
Yards 1,868
Touchdowns 11
Interceptions 11
Completion 58.1%
Wins/Loss 1–6

T.J. Yates Buffalo Bills

Date Signed April 10
Yards 1,534
Touchdowns 6
Interceptions 8
Completion 58.1%
Wins/Loss 4–3

Alek Torgersen* Atlanta Falcons

Date Signed May 1
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Sefo Liufau* Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date Signed May 1
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Wes Lunt* Minnesota Vikings

Date Signed May 1
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Trevor Knight* Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed May 2
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Phillip Walker* Indianapolis Colts

Date Signed May 4
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Nick Mullens* San Francisco 49ers

Date Signed May 4
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Zach Terrell* Baltimore Ravens

Date Signed May 5
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Taysom Hill* Green Bay Packers

Date Signed May 5
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Tyler Ferguson* Tennessee Titans

Date Signed May 11
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Cooper Rush* Dallas Cowboys

Date Signed May 12
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Skyler Howard* Seattle Seahawks

Date Signed May 12
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Eli Jenkins* Los Angeles Chargers

Date Signed May 12
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Matt Simms Atlanta Falcons

Date Signed May 15
Yards 195
Touchdowns 1
Interceptions 1
Completion 48.7%
Wins/Loss N/A

Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date Signed May 19
Yards 25,888
Touchdowns 166
Interceptions 133
Completion 59.7%
Wins/Loss 46–69–1

Austin Davis Seattle Seahawks

Date Signed June 5
Yards 2,528
Touchdowns 13
Interceptions 12
Completion 62.4%
Wins/Loss 3–7

Zac Dysert Dallas Cowboys

Date Signed June 5
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Dane Evans Philadelphia Eagles

Date Signed July 23
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Luke McCown Dallas Cowboys

Date Signed July 28
Yards 2,370
Touchdowns 9
Interceptions 15
Completion 60.7%
Wins/Loss 2–8

David Olson Baltimore Ravens

Date Signed July 28
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Josh Woodrum Baltimore Ravens

Date Signed July 31
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Jay Cutler Miami Dolphins

Date Signed August 8
Yards 32,467
Touchdowns 208
Interceptions 146
Completion 61.9%
Wins/Loss 68–71

Thad Lewis Baltimore Ravens

Date Signed August 14
Yards 1,296
Touchdowns 5
Interceptions 4
Completion 60.8%
Wins/Loss 2–4

Mitch Leidner* Minnesota Vikings

Date Signed August 20
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Keith Wenning Buffalo Bills

Date Signed August 28
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Brad Kaaya Carolina Panthers

Date Signed September 3
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Joe Webb Buffalo Bills

Date Signed September 4
Yards 853
Touchdowns 3
Interceptions 5
Completion 57.9%
Wins/Loss 1–1

Brock Osweiler Denver Broncos

Date Signed September 4
Yards 5083
Touchdowns 26
Interceptions 22
Completion 59.9%
Wins/Loss 13–8

Ryan Nassib Jacksonville Jaguars

Date Signed September 18
Yards 128
Touchdowns 1
Interceptions 0
Completion 90%
Wins/Loss N/A

Brandon Weeden Tennessee Titans

Date Signed October 3
Yards 6,462
Touchdowns 31
Interceptions 30
Completion 57.9%
Wins/Loss 6–19

Brian Hoyer New England Patriots

Date Signed November 1
Yards 9,853
Touchdowns 48
Interceptions 30
Completion 59.3
Wins/Loss 16–21

Josh Johnson Houston Texans

Date Signed November 7
Yards 1,042
Touchdowns 5
Interceptions 10
Completion 54.2
Wins/Loss 0–5

Matt Barkley Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed November 13
Yards 1,911
Touchdowns 8
Interceptions 18
Completion 59.8
Wins/Loss 1–5

Sam Bradford Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 19,049
Touchdowns 101
Interceptions 57
Completion 62.5
Wins/Loss 34–45–1

Mike Glennon Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 4,933
Touchdowns 34
Interceptions 20
Completion 60.6
Wins/Loss 6–16

Chase Daniel Chicago Bears

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 480
Touchdowns 1
Interceptions 1
Completion 65.4
Wins/Loss 1–1

Case Keenum Denver Broncos

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 8,771
Touchdowns 46
Interceptions 27
Completion 61.9
Wins/Loss 20–18

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 16,206
Touchdowns 99
Interceptions 55
Completion 65.5
Wins/Loss 36–30

Tom Savage New Orleans Saints

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 2,000
Touchdowns 5
Interceptions 7
Completion 57.5
Wins/Loss 2–7

Teddy Bridgewater New York Jets

Date Signed March 14, 2018
Yards 6,150
Touchdowns 28
Interceptions 22
Completion 64.7
Wins/Loss 17–11

A.J. McCarron Buffalo Bills

Date Signed March 15, 2018
Yards 928
Touchdowns 6
Interceptions 2
Completion 64
Wins/Loss 2–1

Tyler Bray Chicago Bears

Date Signed March 16, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Case Keenum Denver Broncos

Date Signed March 16, 2018
Yards 11,910
Touchdowns 61
Interceptions 37
Completion 61.9
Wins/Loss 26–25

Chad Henne Kansas City Chiefs

Date Signed March 16, 2018
Yards 12,931
Touchdowns 58
Interceptions 63
Completion 59.3
Wins/Loss 18–35

Drew Stanton Cleveland Browns

Date Signed March 30, 2018
Yards 4,059
Touchdowns 20
Interceptions 24
Completion 52.4
Wins/Loss 11–6

Blaine Gabbert Tennessee Titans

Date Signed April 3, 2018
Yards 8,797
Touchdowns 46
Interceptions 45
Completion 56
Wins/Loss 13–34

Geno Smith Los Angeles Chargers

Date Signed April 3, 2018
Yards 6,182
Touchdowns 29
Interceptions 36
Completion 57.7
Wins/Loss 12–19

Brandon Doughty Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed April 5, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Alex Torgersen Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed April 5, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Matt Cassel Detroit Lions

Date Signed April 9, 2018
Yards 17,463
Touchdowns 104
Interceptions 82
Completion 58.9
Wins/Loss 36–45

Robert Griffin III Baltimore Ravens

Date Signed April 11, 2018
Yards 9,004
Touchdowns 42
Interceptions 26
Completion 63.3
Wins/Loss 15–25

Stephen Morris Seattle Seahawks

Date Signed April 13, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Taylor Heinicke Carolina Panthers

Date Signed April 16, 2018
Yards 23
Touchdowns 0
Interceptions 0
Completion 50
Wins/Loss N/A

Joel Stave Cleveland Browns

Date Signed April 30, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Peter Pujals* Minnesota Vikings

Date Signed April 30, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Jack Heneghan* San Francisco 49ers

Date Signed April 30, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Chad Kanoff* Arizona Cardinals

Date Signed April 30, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Austin Allen* Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date Signed April 30, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Kurt Benkert* Atlanta Falcons

Date Signed May 2, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Alex Tanney New York Giants

Date Signed May 2, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

J.T. Barrett* New Orleans Saints

Date Signed May 3, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Tim Boyle* Green Bay Packers

Date Signed May 4, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Bryce Petty Miami Dolphins

Date Signed May 4, 2018
Yards 1,353
Touchdowns 4
Interceptions 10
Completion 53.1
Wins/Loss 1–6

Chase Litton* Kansas City Chiefs

Date Signed May 5, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Joe Callahan Philadelphia Eagles

Date Signed May 7, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Kyle Allen* Carolina Panthers

Date Signed May 11, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Nic Shimonek* Los Angeles Chargers

Date Signed May 11, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Brogan Roback* Cleveland Browns

Date Signed May 14, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Luis Perez* Denver Broncos

Date Signed May 17, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Nick Stevens* Denver Broncos

Date Signed May 17, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Christian Hackenberg Philadelphia Eagles

Date Signed Aug. 12, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

John Wolford* New York Jets

Date Signed Aug. 26, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Connor Jessop* Washington Redskins

Date Signed Aug. 26, 2018
Yards N/A
Touchdowns N/A
Interceptions N/A
Completion N/A
Wins/Loss N/A

Kevin Hogan Denver Broncos

Date Signed Sept. 2, 2018
Yards 621
Touchdowns 4
Interceptions 7
Completion 59.4
Wins/Loss 0–1

Derek Anderson Buffalo Bills

Date Signed Oct. 9, 2018
Yards 10,878
Touchdowns 60
Interceptions 64
Completion 54.3
Wins/Loss 20–28

Landry Jones Jacksonville Jaguars

Date Signed Oct. 31, 2018
Yards 1,310
Touchdowns 8
Interceptions 7
Completion 63.9
Wins/Loss 3–2
* undrafted rookie free agent

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