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9 very serious red flags that could distract NFL teams during OTAs

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Tom Brady isn’t the only player threatening to derail his team.

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New England Patriots OTA's Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

It’s May, when Super Bowl titles are won in pre-preseason practices. But that doesn’t matter to Tom Brady.

The notoriously selfish, three-time Super Bowl LOSER can’t even be bothered to show up for the Patriots’ non-mandatory organized team activities (OTAs). It’s a rift that threatens to tear a hole in the gentle fabric of both New England’s sense of camaraderie and head coach Bill Belichick’s heart. The idea a three-time MVP would have fewer than four months of practice before starting his 19th season is one that could crush his legacy and the Pats’ postseason hopes in one fell swoop.

But the Patriots aren’t the only team facing some very real, franchise-derailing red flags in the extremely important NFL month of May. Squads across the league are finding new issues to deal with every day and, in the spirit of full disclosure, even tweeting about them.

Here are the other teams we need to be worried about as non-mandatory OTAs begin in earnest across the nation.

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson is too focused on dog poop

Wilson’s got a problem. One that threatens to steal his concentration as the season wears on:

Fortunately, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback spared us the visual, but his post brings up several other concerns. Namely that he’s got three Great Danes at home, and that is just a tremendous amount of poop to deal with, regardless of puppy diarrhea. Is this going to distract him from his play-calling abilities? Keep him from putting in extra reps in his backyard? Will he have to rush home to tend to his child when it inevitably tries to ride one of the dogs like a horse and falls off?

And listen to the way he finishes off that video. Is “UNLIMITED...Diarrhea” his new brand signifier? Is he going to trademark it? Is “unlimited diarrhea” bound to be as big as nanobubbles?

Los Angeles Rams: punter Johnny Hekker’s got nothing to do

At least he’s got a helmet to wear. Is this part of Sean McVay’s strategy of going for it on fourth down no matter what next year? Or is Hekker just showcasing his own laziness by failing to volunteer himself for scout team reps at safety, fullback, or offensive tackle? Either way, it’s a glaring example of giving away too much information during this vitally important formative practices. At least he’s staying out of danger, unlike ...

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald is working out in a boiler room

Aaron Donald will miss OTAs for the second year in a row because he thinks he deserves to get paid like a Defensive Player of the Year, I guess. So now he has to work out by himself and rather than choose a gym like a normal person, Donald decided to lift weights standing next to an apparatus that could, AT BEST, singe off all the hair off his body. Is it more or less dangerous than his other favorite workout, dodging knives? I’m not sure, but maybe this is why the Rams keep refusing to pay up.

Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco’s high-five game is not elite

So basic. These are the bubble screens of high fives. Or, more accurately, low fives. Guy can’t even be bothered to be proactive and raise an arm up for Robert Griffin III and Lamar Jackson. A clear lapse in leadership, and a sign Flacco may actively dislike his backups.


Look, the 49ers are clearly getting cocky. After finishing last season on a five-game winning streak, the team ISN’T EVEN PLAYING FOOTBALL in any of these pictures. Or rather, they are, just not the kind REAL AMERICANS care about. And what can spikeball tell you about your teammates? Only which ones spent their offseasons getting high at their local public parks.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley is making Eli Manning hate him

Look at this dumb rookie, asking questions and bothering Eli Manning. Sure, it may be funny now, but how’s it going to look when he blows a blitz pickup assignment, then asks his quarterback what his coverage was while Manning pries his helmet from out of the turf? Plus, Tom Brady’s absence has highlighted just how important these workouts are for a veteran quarterback and his team. How is Manning going to get the most out of that with some kid following him around and trying to get his attention like Navi from Ocarina of Time?

Chicago Bears: first-round pick Roquan Smith is more interested in kissing camels than protecting his playbook

Best case scenario, this comes in handy if some enterprising team — probably the Browns — gets desperate enough to try an Air Bud: Golden Receiver trick in the near future, but opt for the stability and deep hydration qualities of a camel. This is highly unlikely.

Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield spends too much time playing Fortnite, does dance like an angel, however

Playing too much Fortnite may or may not have given Red Sox starter David Price carpal tunnel syndrome. Can the No. 1 overall pick afford to take such a risk? That zig-zag drop-down motion looks like hell on the ACLs, too. When you’re a Browns quarterback, it makes sense to tempt fate as little as possible.

Atlanta Falcons: Calvin Ridley is coming for Julio Jones’ job

Jones is NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game with an average of 95.3 yards. So you can’t really fault him for wanting more money.

But to show the Falcons he wants more money, Jones is sitting out OTAs. That leaves the door wide open for first-round pick Calvin Ridley to come in and steal his job.