Even so, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not succumb to both internal and external pressure and alter how teams handle the pregame anthem. Goodell also helped spearhead the creation of an NFL social justice initiative with a $90 million pledge over the next seven years for various programs after meetings with involved players.
“He thinks it’s a right of the players for those guys to either stand or kneel or whatever,” Winston said. “That’s the country we live in. That’s what he’s made very clear.
“While I know some of the owners and even the commissioner have said they don’t like it, that’s what (the NFL’s) stance has been. I haven’t heard anything different than that.”
And Lue, finally, after dancing around the question all season prior to the trade deadline, could give a direct answer when asked about the identity of his team.
“It starts with our defense,” Lue said. “That’s what we’ve got to be: turn our defense into offense. If we’re guarding the basketball, we’re getting stops, getting turnovers, we can really get out and run because we have four guys on the floor at all times that can make a play.”
Giving a rookie QB time to develop into a true franchise quarterback would require patience, but I think that’s the approach Elway will take while also keeping Lynch in the mix. Lynch is still on his rookie deal, so he’s a low-cost option.
And if it doesn’t work out for Denver to move up to one of the top two draft spots due to the high cost established by the Jared Goff and Carson Wentz deals, Elway will have second and third choices he also covets as a potential franchise QBs. Elway in that case would either trade up a couple spots to get his QB or hope the player falls to the No. 5 overall pick.
All are in the range of 6-4 to 6-5. Baker Mayfield at 6-1 is an appealing playmaker but not in the big QB mold Elway seemingly prefers.