Packers star linebacker cried after signing a $66 million contract, then went to his mom's job and asked if she was ready to retire
NFL linebacker Za'Darius Smith signed a four-year $66 million contract with the Green Bay Packers this offseason. Smith told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on a podcast that he cried when he first heard the deal. Smith also said he went to his mom's job and told her about the offer, asking her if she was ready to retire. Smith had a career season with the Packers, but believes he was "snubbed" by not making the All-Pro or Pro Bowl rosters. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
It has been an excellent year for Green Bay Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith. Smith was one of the big winners of the NFL offseason, signing a four-year $66 million contract with the Packers, with $20 million guaranteed. Smith has been worth his giant deal, which as he told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on the "RapSheet and Friends" podcast in March, came to him as an initial shock. On the first day of free agency, Smith said his agent informed him that he was closing in on a deal with the Packers but would get back to him with the final numbers. Smith said seven hours passed after that phone call, and he worried the deal had fallen through. Eventually, his agent got back to him around midnight and informed him of the agreement. "He told me the price, man, and I broke down and started crying," Smith said. Smith said he was at his mom's house for the phone call but told his mom he wouldn't tell her the final price yet. "I think the news came out after the day after the first day [of free agency]," Smith said. "I actually went to my mom's job, and I kid you not, I asked her, I was saying, 'Ma, are you ready to retire?'" Smith said his mother's bags were already packed. Smith told Rapoport that his mother is a correctional officer. When he was younger, his mom took him to the jail to see people he knew behind bars, which he credits with changing his life and keeping him out of trouble. He called it a "blessing" to be able to help his mom retire and let her "kick her feet up" at home. A career year and a snub The Packers must be equally thankful for Smith's contributions this season. Smith had a career year, posting 13.5 sacks, sixth-most in the NFL, while spearheading a Packers defense that is now preparing to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship on Sunday. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith's 93 quarterback pressures led the NFL this season. Despite the career year, Smith didn't make the Pro Bowl or All-Pro rosters. After a sack against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday in the divisional round, Smith sent a message, with a towel that read "Snubbed."
pic.twitter.com/vX9fuaIIPz — Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 13, 2020
A trip to the Super Bowl could help Smith cap an incredible year. Listen to the entire podcast here >
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Patriots fans are freaking out after Tom Brady posted a cryptic image of himself walking through a tunnel
Tom Brady posted a cryptic image to his social media accounts on Thursday night. The black-and-white...Tom Brady posted a cryptic image to his social media accounts on Thursday night. The black-and-white image shows the longtime Patriots quarterback through the tunnel at a stadium, and it was posted without a caption. Brady is a true free agent this offseason for the first time in his career, and he could wind up playing his final seasons outside of New England. It's also possible that the post is something of a negotiating tactic from Brady, intended to show he's not afraid to leave. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Tom Brady posted a cryptic image of himself walking through a tunnel on Thursday night. The black-and-white photo was posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts without a caption, leading some Patriots fans to fear that he could be set to retire, or even possibly join another team in free agency. pic.twitter.com/P3mmWBb76V — Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 30, 2020 After 20 years with the New England Patriots, Brady is a true free agent for the first time in his career. During his tenure with the Patriots, he and head coach Bill Belichick have won six Super Bowls, establishing New England as the most dominant dynasty in NFL history. Brady and the Patriots had been to eight straight AFC Championships and three straight Super Bowls heading into this year's postseason, but their playoff run was cut short this year in the AFC Wild Card, where they lost 20-13 against the Tennessee Titans. The relationship between Brady and the Patriots had been reportedly strained in recent years, but the two sides ultimately agreed on a one-year raise for 2019 that lets Brady hit the open market in the 2020 offseason, avoiding the possibility of being hit with the franchise tag. "He's either staying in New England, he's retiring, or he's going to play somewhere else," ESPN's Adam Schefter said back in October. "I would think of those three that staying in New England, to me, would seem like the least likely option of the three." After the Patriots lost in the playoffs, it felt possible that Brady had played his last NFL game, but he quickly put those rumors to bed with a statement that made it clear that he still wanted to suit up for the 2020 season. But Brady's latest post had Patriots fans concerned. Tom Brady just shared this. In the photo you can’t see if he is entering the stadium or leaving. Nice Tom, I’m gonna go cry now. https://t.co/dQIXiCWXyC — Savage Boston Sports 🇺🇸🍀❄️☃️ (@SavageBoston) January 30, 2020 *emotionally preparing for the end of BoJack**Tom Brady hints he’s leaving New England* pic.twitter.com/JNjjDgIjH5 — Lynnrae Smith (@LynnraeQ) January 30, 2020 Let me jump in and give my 2 cents. Brady is taking one last look at the stadium. He’s leaving...my work here is done. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/dsfVlLNJjy — No Guarantees (@ms_rhodes) January 31, 2020 literally every person in new england that just got that Tom Brady twitter notification pic.twitter.com/Rf2goPt22K — Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 30, 2020 Every Pats fan right now. pic.twitter.com/bmvzLH7CMR — Trade Watson to the Patriots (@Cris_Ocgd) January 30, 2020 Thanks Tom now I’m googling every single stadium tunnel in the NFL — Jon Blaze (@Jonnybillions) January 30, 2020 Tom Brady coming through with the ominous post 😨So is he leaving the stadium...or headed inside? https://t.co/2QLtdVZBuo — CBC Sports (@cbcsports) January 31, 2020 While Brady's post had fans concerned that his departure is imminent, its cryptic nature makes any clear interpretation impossible. Brady could simply be trolling before announcing his return to New England, or hoping that the image serves as something of a negotiating tactic while angling for a new contract with the Patriots. It's also possible that sitting at home during Super Bowl weekend for the first time in four years, Brady felt like sending the NFL world into a tizzy from the comfort of his couch. Still, for the first time in his career, Brady could play for a team other than the Patriots, and he seems delighted to keep fans on their toes. Read more: 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan once made a 32-point presentation on why the Browns should let him out of a job, and it changed his career Check out the most iconic Super Bowl moment from the year you were born The 14 players with the best odds to be named MVP of Super Bowl LIV — and our pick to win the award WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The key players from the 2012 49ers, San Francisco's last Super Bowl teamJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know
The breakout star of the 49ers keeps a note on his phone with the dates of the 6 times NFL teams released him to use as motivation
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert was unstoppable in the NFC Championship, with 220 yards...San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert was unstoppable in the NFC Championship, with 220 yards and four touchdowns. Mostert was far from an immediate superstar in the league, going undrafted in 2015 and getting cut by six different NFL teams before he finally landed in San Francisco. Mostert keeps a list of his cut dates from previous NFL stops in his phone and looks at it before every game as motivation. Follow along with all of our coverage of Super Bowl LIV here. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert was unstoppable in the NFC Championship game. In the biggest game of his career, Mostert showed up ready to play, taking 29 carries for 220 yards and four touchdowns. Led by Mostert, the 49ers rushing attack was so dominant that San Francisco didn't attempt a pass for more than 20 minutes of game time. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finished with just eight attempts on the day, two of which targeted Mostert out of the backfield. While Mostert certainly carried the load, that hasn't always been the case in his career. Far from an immediate superstar, Mostert, instead, started his career by going undrafted and getting cut six times by teams across the NFL before landing in San Francisco. After not hearing his name called at the 2015 NFL Draft, Mostert spent practice squad stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears, before finally signing with the 49ers in 2016. Through his first three years with San Francisco, Mostert was used sparingly, finally getting some playing time halfway through the 2018 season. Unfortunately, an injury would cut that season short, but Mostert showed enough to sign a three-year deal with San Francisco and in 2019 has developed into a breakout star for the 49ers at the perfect time. "I did have a lot of doubters and naysayers," Mostert said of the teams that cut him early in his career. "Now I get to tell them, 'Hey, look where I am now.'" According to a report from Kimberly Martin at Yahoo Sports, Mostert still uses his doubters as motivation before game days, keeping a list of his cut dates in his phone on his Notes app. Per Martin: "I should show you this right now," the 49ers running back said, as he reached into his pocket to reveal the personal source of his motivation. At the top of the screen are two words: "Cut dates." Beneath it, a list of all of the teams who deemed him unworthy of a roster spot. Philly — September 4th, 2015 Dolphins — October 13th, 2015 Baltimore — December 14th, 2015 Browns — September 4th, 2016 After Mostert's monstrous performance on Sunday, he spoke out more on why he keeps the list, and how it has helped him keep going through tough times. "It's crazy. I've been on seven different teams," Mostert said. "I actually still have the cut dates, and I look at that before every game. I look at the cut dates, when I got cut. ... Not everybody can deal with that type of stress. That type of pain and agony that I went through, but like I said, I kept the faith in not only myself, but whoever gave me an opportunity." Raheem Mostert never gave up on his dream even after going undrafted and being cut by several teams 🙏(🎥 via @KNBR) pic.twitter.com/zOWrFL0UMS — Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) January 20, 2020 On Super Bowl Sunday, when Mostert is looking to replicate his dominant performance in the AFC title game, he'll be using those that never believed in him as motivation. Read more: 49ers' Katie Sowers is making history by becoming the first female and first openly gay coach at a Super Bowl game Patrick Mahomes explained how a conversation with Tom Brady after last year's AFC Championship loss helped him lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl George Kittle had Jimmy Garoppolo sign a T-shirt featuring the quarterback shirtless to celebrate the 49ers' NFC Championship win Aaron Rodgers said the latest playoff loss stings more than usual because 'I don't have the same number of years ahead of me as I do behind me'Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know
George Kittle had Jimmy Garoppolo sign a T-shirt featuring the quarterback shirtless to celebrate the 49ers' NFC Championship win
The San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the Super Bowl after beating the Green Bay Packers...The San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the Super Bowl after beating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. To celebrate, 49ers tight end George Kittle wore a T-shirt featuring a photo of a shirtless Jimmy Garoppolo, the team's quarterback. Garoppolo even signed the shirt, and Kittle said at a post-game press conference that he was saving it for a "special occasion" — the NFC Championship win. Kittle later signed a shirt with his own face on it and gave it to Garoppolo. The 49ers will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrated his team's NFC Championship win by wearing a signed T-shirt featuring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo shirtless. The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl after beating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 on Sunday night. In an interview with ESPN after the game, Kittle said he had been sent the T-shirt featuring shirtless Garoppolo earlier in the week, and was saving it for the big win. "I just wanted to give Jimmy a special present after we won the NFC Championship game. He even signed it for me though," he told ESPN, adding that he was celebrating "Jimmy, all the hard work that he's put in for the last couple years that he's been in the league, and how it's all come to this." "So I just wanted to let him know I'm proud of him," he said. Kittle later wore the shirt to a post-game press conference. "Jimmy had a T-shirt with my face in his locker and he told everyone I sent it to him," he said. "I got this in my locker the same day. I just didn't show you guys cause I was saving it for a special occasion." George Kittle really came out to the press conference with a shirt of a shirtless Jimmy G 🤣pic.twitter.com/ll2EhLo4mX — Sports ON Tap (@SONTHighlights) January 20, 2020 Garoppolo told reporters he thought it was a nice shirt, and joked that it would be available in the team store soon. Jimmy Garoppolo jokes about the shirt he got George Kittle (a shirtless Jimmy G) should be in #49ers team stores soon! OK, maybe not. But probably. #49wz pic.twitter.com/8pMRoMJiYp — Peter Panacy (@PeterPanacy) January 20, 2020 Kittle later returned the favor to Garoppolo, signing the shirt with his own face on it and giving it back to the quarterback. Kittle returning the favor. “To Jim Jim” pic.twitter.com/l69Kaf10Rb — Niners Nation (@NinersNation) January 20, 2020 The 49ers will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 2. Read more: Aaron Rodgers said the latest playoff loss stings more than usual because 'I don't have the same number of years ahead of me as I do behind me' Paul Rudd was the happiest man in the Chiefs' locker room as the team celebrated their AFC title The star of the 49ers' dominant win over the Packers nearly became a pro surfer and was cut 6 times in the NFL before breaking out The NFL world is anointing Patrick Mahomes the best quarterback in the league after a dominant performance to send the Chiefs to the Super Bowl Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know