The Jaguars announced the signing of second-round pick D.J. Chark to his rookie contract Friday.
This is amazing, Chark Jr. said, via quotes distributed by the team. It is something you dream about your whole life and to finally put your name on that piece of paper to solidify that you are indeed a player here is a surreal moment. I can’t even put it in words right now.
The Jaguars now have six of their 2018 draft selections under contract: Chark Jr., third-round safet Ronnie Harrison (Alabama), fourth-round offensive lineman Will Richardson (North Carolina State), sixth-round quarterback Tanner Lee (Nebraska), seventh-round linebacker Leon Jacobs (Wisconsin) and seventh-round punt Logan Cooke (Mississippi State). Only first-round defensive lineman Taven Bryan (Florida) remains unsigned.
Three months after Kaepernick became a free agent, with talk radio still raging about player protests, a funny thing happened: ESPN announced it was bringing back Hank Williams Jr. and his rowdy Monday Night Football theme song. The real national anthem was back.
Americans are having a strange little spasm of nationalism, and Hank Williams Jr. is its Homer. Williams’ work is jam-packed with the themes that have dominated conservative political thought since the rise of Donald Trump and the populist-nationalist tendency for which he stands: anti-urban, anti-elite, sometimes apocalyptic, steeped in white underclass dysfunction, marked by a vague evangelical fervor that is strangely at peace with all manner of vice and, inevitably, prone to voicing to batty conspiracy theories on cable-news programs. ESPN knows: This is Hank Jr.’s moment.
We’re looking for players, Gruden said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. We’re looking to get better every day, and Christian Hackenberg was available. He was a second-round pick. He did some really encouraging things at Penn State. He had some ups and downs. We’re going to look at him, and we’re going to make it very competitive to see who Derek Carr’s backup is.
At the moment, Hackenberg is competing for that honor with Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel for that privilege. They’ve at least thrown NFL passes, so they may ostensibly have an edge.