Welcome to the new morning post concept, which I’ve decided to call “The Cooler.” It works on three levels (in my head), but I’m not going to explain them because there’s nothing worse than explaining why you think you’re clever. Let’s just say these are five things you might want to discuss around the water cooler (1) to make you feel cooler (2) even as I act as the cooler-downer of hot takes (3). Here we go:
*Is Packers QB Aaron Rodgers still passive-aggressively taking shots at Green Bay management after an offseason in which they dumped his favorite receiver (Jordy Nelson) and his trusted QB coach (Alex Van Pelt)? Last month there was the report that those moves left Rodgers “frustrated” and “emotional.”
Rodgers tried to douse water on that with a tweet suggesting it was clickbait, but on Tuesday he was asked at OTAs about Jason Witten’s comment that Dez Bryant is going to wind up with the Packers. “I’m paid to play quarterback, so I don’t make those decisions,” Rodgers said. OK, vanilla enough but still laced with a little bit of attitude.
And then, in reference to a WR depth chart that looks thin — or at least unproven — behind Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, Rodgers said, “Well, we like young receivers, so I’m assuming that’s the way they’re going to keep going. I don’t know why you’d cut Jordy and bring in Dez, but he’s a talented player. He’s going to end up somewhere. If he ends up here, we’ll obviously welcome him with open arms and get him up to speed as quick as possible.”
It wasn’t, “I like our young receivers.” The way it was spoken — including bringing up the Nelson move again — reads like more questioning of the offseason strategy and how Rodgers fits into it. The video clip of Rodgers speaking that last quote is not, um, upbeat. Maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there, and maybe none of this will matter in September. But it still seems like Rodgers is at least annoyed at the way things are going.
*Wolves guard Tyus Jones echoed the sentiments of many Minnesotans with a tweet Tuesday suggesting the iconic Maya Moore billboard, fashioned after a similar pose from Michael Jordan, needed a longer run than just one day (Sunday) in Minneapolis.
That Maya Moore poster needs to be up all summer!��
— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) May 22, 2018
*The Twins picked up slugger Chris Carter on a minor league deal. He’s the ultimate “three true outcomes” hitter, with more than half of his 2,853 MLB plate appearances having resulted in a home run, walk or strikeout. He led the National League in homers with 41 just two seasons ago, also whiffing 206 times that year.
He struggled with the Yankees last year and has been in Class AAA this year, but it’s worth a flier given his power potential. The fact that he can play first base is interesting given Joe Mauer’s recurrence of concussion-like symptoms. And hey, the last time a Minnesota team took a low-cost risk on a guy of the same name (different spelling of the first name), he wound up catching a ton of passes for the Vikings and making the Hall of Fame.
*If you’re a Vikings fan, you’re hoping the team makes it through organized team activities (OTAs, the ultimate NFL term and acronym) this week without any injuries. It’s one thing to lose somebody in a game, but quite another to see a devastating injury in practice (a la Teddy Bridgewater in 2016). Unfortunately for two teams already, OTAs have been destructive.
On one of the first days of OTAs, two players – Chargers TE Hunter Henry and Eagles LB Paul Worrilow – both tore their ACLs. Horrible.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 23, 2018
*I don’t have a rooting interest in Houston vs. Golden State, but I thought I was pulling for the Warriors last night until I started watching the game and found I was doing just the opposite. Why? Probably because a Houston victory in Game 4 was our only chance at a potentially legendary series. The Rockets delivered a gutty 95-92 win at Golden State, tying the series 2-2. Games 5 and 6 should be great now, and Game 7 — if necessary, and I bet it will be — could be an all-timer.