As the news of the Jimmy Garoppolo trade swirls through the league, ESPN The Magazine examines the state of the quarterback position in the NFL with the Quarterbacks at a Crossroads Issue, hitting newsstands Friday. On the cover, a photo illustration of an “older” Tom Brady is featured as writers Seth Wickersham and Tom Junod explore Brady’s attempt to play well into his 40s in “Tom Brady’s Most Dangerous Game.” They also look at Brady’s new book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Peak Performance, for clues to his longevity and find a man attempting to transform himself from a transcendent figure in sports to a transcendent cultural figure.
Texans’ owner Bob McNair’s recent comments at an NFL owners meeting sparked several apologies and a team protest last week. Those comments were reported by Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. in “Standing Down” examining the uneasy alliance the NFL and its players forged regarding the national anthem as owners navigated the collision of financial worries and social activism.
In “The Case for Tyrod,” senior writer Mina Kimes delves into why the Buffalo Bills’ undeniably competent QB, Tyrod Taylor, is undervalued despite a high level of performance throughout his career, and what it says about how quarterbacks are viewed in today’s NFL.
The troubled marriage between Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins is the subject of writer Kevin Van Valkenburg’s feature “Once a Fourth Rounder, Always a Fourth Rounder.” Redskins brass seem unsure that he’s their QB of the future, and Cousins seems unsure he wants to stay.
“Dying Art of the QB Sneak” features a data visual collaboration with FiveThirtyEight on the NFL’s most reliably successful yet underutilized play, and “2020 Vision” is a look at what the future will bring for the league’s most important position.
Additional content highlights:
The Spirit of Miles Bridges
Miles Bridges could have been a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Instead, the 6-7 guard/forward is returning to Michigan State in hopes of bringing an NCAA championship to East Lansing. Everyone—his coaches, his peers, NBA players and his own mother—said going pro was the right move. What went into this decision by one of the top college players in the country? By Carvell Wallace
The Liberation of Losing
Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier inherited “the streak” as freshmen at UConn, and helped to keep it going until it was snapped at 111 games with a loss to Mississippi State in the national semifinals. It wasn’t the way they wanted their sophomore season to end, but there is a positive to take away from it: The Huskies start 2017-18 untethered from the past. Samuelson and Collier, the program’s leading scorers last year, are ready to start a new quest for a national championship. By Mechelle Voepel
Hang Time with Jimmy Butler
Senior writer Sam Alipour gets together with Butler, one of the newest members of the Minnesota Timberwolves, to explore all the outdoor adventures his new home provides. Expect fishing, along with some talk about reuniting with Tom Thibodeau, and expectations for a young and rising Timberwolves team.
Also in this issue:
The Truth: Columnist Howard Bryant examines how the NBA is navigating labor, protest, competition and partnership better than the other three major sports.
Numbers: Columnist Peter Keating takes a look at key stats in fantasy along with real-life examples of just how powerful regression to the mean is at this point in an NFL season.
Voices: Columnist Jane Coaston looks at the frequency of scandals in college hoops and why it’s hard to stay
outraged —and easy to see the allure of breaking the rules.
Jay Jay Nesheim: 646-547-5839, [email protected]
Jennifer Christie: 646-547-5840, [email protected]