The highs included Deshaun Watson setting an NFL record with 19 touchdown passes in his first seven games, looking like the Texans’ quarterback of the future. The lows included Watson tearing his ACL during a Week 9 practice—one of a number of major injuries that ravaged the Texans on both sides of the ball.
When I was skeptical of Pierre-Paul’s long-term extension this time last year, I was concerned that the Giants were paying for a player they were never going to see again. Pierre-Paul had improved as a run defender, but his pass-rushing production had been down since the combination of back surgery and the fireworks accident that severely injured his hand. Giving a player like that a four-year, $62 million deal is essentially assuming he’ll play at a Pro Bowl level on an annual basis, which simply hadn’t been true of JPP.
The 2017 version of Pierre-Paul was a reasonable player, but he was a passenger on a sinking ship. He led the team with eight sacks, but at least three of those takedowns were coverage sacks. JPP finished with just 13 knockdowns, a far cry from the player who topped 20 twice earlier in his career. The 29-year-old did play 91.5 percent of New York’s defensive snaps and played in all 16 games for just the second time in the past five years, which is a positive sign, but the same concerns about his long-term viability that were there a year ago still exist.
The Dodgers designated Trayce Thompson for assignment last Tuesday. Drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in 2009, he has appeared in 151 major league games. The .233 lifetime hitter batted .122 in 27 games for the Dodgers last season. His best season was in 2016, when he hit .225 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs in 80 games for Los Angeles.
In addition to signing Thompson, the Yankees also transferred right-handed relief pitcher Ben Heller to the 60-day disabled list due to a right elbow bone spur.
This one is a little bit tougher, as Arizona is sitting at No. 15 overall, and a move into the top five would be ultracostly. The trade-chart value — and yes, we recognize this isn’t a be-all/end-all — of the Cardinals’ first three picks is 1,675 points, which would land somewhere between the fifth (1,700) and sixth (1,600) overall picks.