NFL Gamecocks Roundup: Ellington Sees First Action

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- San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington played his first preseason game of the year, catching three passes for 29 yards. Ellington is slated to be the number three wideout on the team, behind Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.

- It's questionable whether or not Alshon Jeffery will start in the Chicago Bears' season opener against the Green Bay Packers, but Alshon himself is creating positive buzz after posting this picture to Instagram. Note the caption.

Only 17 Days Chicago until its time to really BearDown. Im Ready to kick this season off right!

A photo posted by Alshon Jeffery (@teamjeffery_) on

Of course, the Bears fan base is so hungry for a healthy wide receiver, there could be a chance they're reading too much into this. Keep your fingers crossed until somebody finally says "Yes, Alshon Jeffery is going to play in this week's game. Wait, how did you get this number? Who is this?"

- Among the key former Gamecocks to watch in the final week of preseason is Dylan Thompson, who is under serious consideration for a practice squad spot on the 49ers. Thompson only played in the final drive of the Niners' week three game against the Denver Broncos, but week four traditionally has been the place for the on-the-bubble guys to get their last shot.

- One former Gamecock whose pre-season may be over, however, is linebacker Chaz Sutton, who was waived by the Carolina Panthers. Cornerback Jimmy Legree of the Arizona Cardinals has also been on the bubble, but may have secured a spot on the active roster with his performance against the Oakland Raiders last night. Legree made two tackles and had a nice pass deflection as well.

Stay tuned for additional information about former Gamecocks in the NFL.

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Image via USATSI

- True to form, the professional football team from Washington continues to bungle everything, even when they try to do nothing. The latest knee-slapper out of DC is the rumor that the coaching staff, who actually know about football, want Robert Griffin III off the team, by any means necessary. The top brass, however, are more determined to keep RGIII, especially since trade conversations have gone nowhere. There is a major incentive in cutting Griffin before he can injured again, though, and that incentive is $16.1 million. As Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter explained on ESPN.com:

If Washington plays Griffin this season -- and the NFL still has not cleared him to return to action from a recent concussion -- and he gets injured again, the Redskins cannot cut him until he's cleared to play again. In addition, should Griffin suffer an injury that extends into the 2016 season, his $16.1 million salary for next season is guaranteed.

To put it in blunt and cruel terms, if Washington seeks to be financially smart (there's a first time for everything), the smarter bet may be to cut Griffin before he becomes injured again, then hope Alfred Morris has a really good season. Perhaps owner Dan Snyder can spend that $16.1 million on rebranding the team. Something not racist, maybe? Just spit-ballin' here. 

- Speaking of the capitol's NFL franchise and incompetence, Washington linebacker Keenan Robinson made the very poor decision of deciding to give Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken a piledriver instead of simply tackling him. Here's the Vine for your own eyes, courtesy of Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke:

What ensued after the brutal maneuver may have been the only time an on-field scuffle was warranted, as the two teams did some pushing and shoving, with Steve Smith and former Gamecock Chris Culliver were both ejected from the game for their role in the scrum. Even more intriguing though was the near-fight between head coaches John Harbaugh and Jay Gruden, as Harbaugh sprinted across the field to give Gruden a piece of his mind on the dirty play (which received no penalty, for what it's worth). Here's the Vine from CSN Mid-Atlantic, but any lip-readers out there may want to watch with caution:

The Washington Post has a very nice roundup of the incident, as well as some non-fight-related notes from the game.

- The Atlanta Falcons rightfully resigned Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones to a 5-year extension worth $71.25 million. Jones has already secured his place amongst the greatest wideouts in Falcons franchise history, racking up over 4300 yards across 49 games in four seasons. Few remember, however, that Jones was almost not a Falcon. Atlanta had to trade up from number 27 to get him, and they ultimately made a deal with the Cleveland Browns for their first round pick, number six overall. In addition to swapping picks, the Falcons sent their second-round and fourth-round picks from 2011, as well as their first- and fourth-round picks from 2012.

Tragically for Cleveland, those picks didn't end up being worth much, as SB Nation's Adam Stites points out:

The first-round pick in 2011 was used to trade up and select defensive tackle Phil Taylor, the only player from the trade who's still in Cleveland. The next three picks were used onGreg Little, Owen Marecic and Brandon Weeden, while the fourth-round selection in 2012 was sent in the package deal that landed the Browns Trent Richardson. Ouch.

Boy, it's hard to say the Browns came upon some bad luck, given their entire history since the Korean War has been a string of bad luck, but this is absolutely bonkers. Heck, even when the Browns did trade Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick, that ended up turning into Johnny Manziel, who was a canister of gasoline last year on the tire fire that is the Cleveland Browns. I'm starting to think the franchise got its name from the color of the snakebite wound that sits atop their head.