Chernoff – The Confidential: 03/06/2017

ESPN set for big changes

Sports Illustrated has learned that Major layoffs are coming to ESPN.  Those impacted will be on the network’s talent side (people in front of the camera or audio/digital screen) and they’ll see jobs disappear as significant cost-cutting measures are implemented over the next four months.

Multiple sources said ESPN has been tasked with paring tens of millions of dollars from staff salary on its payroll, including staffers many viewers and readers will recognize. Those with contracts coming up would be particularly vulnerable, sources said.

The company is also expected to buyout some existing contracts, which is something rare for ESPN historically beyond a few NFL talents. The cuts are expected to be completed by June. Sources within ESPN say that there is no set list of names yet and stressed that behind-the-scenes people will likely (key word) not be impacted by these cuts.

Last month it was reported Disney had a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by the drop in advertising revenue at ESPN. In addition, ESPN continues to shed subscribers at an enhanced rate, down to 88.4 million households in Dec. 2016 from  100.002 million in Feb. of 2011.

Report: Teams Not Close to Garoppolo A$king Price

Jimmy Garoppolo remains a member of the New England Patriots heading into the final day of action at the 2017 NFL Scouting

Jimmy Garoppolo: Looking for the BIG $CORE! (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Combine. A player many thought might be on the move by now as quarterback-needy teams searched for answers, Garoppolo’s asking price is apparently far too steep at this time.

“No team has come anywhere close to meeting the Patriots’ demands in a potential trade for Tom Brady’s backup, according to a source,” writes Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “There has definitely been some interest, and the Patriots have listened, but they won’t unload Garoppolo unless a team meets their price.”

Heading into the 2017 season, the Patriots have unbelievable leverage.

Garoppolo has already shown himself capable of handling himself on an NFL playing field, even if his experience is scant. The free agency market is about as barren as the Sahara, and while there is talent to be found in the draft, not one quarterback coming into the league in 2017 is ready to win at the NFL level right now.

No wonder the Chicago Bears are reportedly high on none other than Mike Glennon if they cannot land Garoppolo.

Don’t be surprised if Garoppolo never leaves New England this offseason. The Patriots aren’t going to let him go without landing a king’s ransom in return. They can happily hang onto him another year without any worry whatsoever, though they’d love to land something for his services without having to worry about his contract after the 2017 season.

And they might still sucker one desperate team into giving up the farm for Garoppolo’s services. Either way, the Patriots will win.

Report: Adrian Peterson Seeking Too Much Money

Adrian Peterson knew he was never going to make anything close to the $14 million that the Minnesota Vikings originally had him on the books for in 2017, but does the 31-year-old still think he should be one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL?

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Peterson has generated very little interest from teams since the Vikings announced they will be releasing him. A lot of that could have to do with the amount of money the seven-time Pro Bowler is looking to make.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the biggest name of the bunch, isn’t generating significant dollars via the wink-nod this-conversation-never-happened conversations (at the Scouting Combine). Unless the numbers climb, his best play may be to sit and wait for an inevitable injury to a tailback, which would allow him to skip the grind of the offseason program and possibly some, most, or all of training camp. At some point, Peterson may have to ask himself whether it’s worth continuing at all, given the money that quite possibly will (or won’t) be on the table.

Florio also notes that Jamaal Charles, who has already been released by the Kansas City Chiefs, is not generating much buzz among teams at the Combine, either.

Report: Romo would not sign with Washington

There is something of an understanding between Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.

Amid rumors that the Washington Redskins are interested in Romo, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram reported Saturday that Romo and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have an “unspoken understanding.” Jones won’t be trading Romo to Washington under any circumstances, and Romo would not join Dallas’s division rival if he were to be released.

Jones roughly said as much on Saturday, and it sounds like the level of trust between player and team is still high.

Jones’s statements also indicate that this rumored deal is likely nonsense. Dallas won’t be shipping Romo to a division rival, and it sounds like Romo won’t be tempted to stay in the NFC East if he’s released.

Patriots among teams interested in Brandin Cooks; Saints want mid-first round pick: sources

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton have acknowledged that the team would need a significant return in order to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and it seems they’ve set their sights on a desired price.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) pulls in a 37 yard pass play. (AP Photo/John McCusker)

If the Saints choose to move Cooks, they’re hoping to receive a draft pick in the middle of the first round, according to two sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

To this point, at least five teams have made overtures to the Saints about the productive young receiver. In addition to the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles, the New England Patriots are among the teams that have inquired about a potential Cooks deal.

The Patriots offered the No. 32 overall pick as part of their package, but that wasn’t enough for 23-year-old Cooks, per both sources.

The proposed package would include the Saints sending back a draft pick. If the Saints receive a first-round pick high enough, sources said, they would be willing to send back a mid-round pick.

Other teams involved have tried to acquire Cooks for a second-round pick.

Speaking of the Saints WR Mike Thomas sure seemed to subtweet Brandin Cooks

It’s been exactly a month since the Super Bowl, and rumors are beginning to surface about which players will be on the move this offseason. And with all of us on high alert, wondering which players will be leaving their current teams, anything will spark our interest.

This includes tweets that contain rap lyrics that point to a departure.

Mike Thomas of the New Orleans Saints learned that Sunday, when he tweeted a rap lyric that could easily be read as a dig at teammate Brandin Cooks, who reportedly wants out of New Orleans.

From Mike Thomas’‏ verified account @Cantguardmike 15 hours ago:
– The jealously will cause people to part ways huh #shhhh

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13). (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Brandin Cooks then tweeted this an hour later:
– Trigger Fingers turn to twitter fingers.

Cooks, has already deleted this savage response.

When so many people responded to Thomas’s tweet that they all perceived a shot towards Cooks with funny memes Mike Thomas responded with this tweet:
– I see what y’all did their with that tweet but sorry that’s just lyrics to a new Don Q song y’all good.

Melvin Ingram Taking My Talents To South Beach!! Drops $25k a Month on Offseason Pad

San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (54). (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

L.A. Chargers star Melvin Ingram is doin’ the offseason the right way … renting out a HUGE house right in the heart of Miami Beach.

The 27-year-old linebacker is training in FL for next season … and decided to kick it at a 4 bedroom crib just minutes away from his training facility, the beach, and oh yeah … the clubs!

The Bolts captain is droppin’ $25k per month for the pad … which comes with a crazy view of the ocean and an outdoor pool.


Alabama Theater Won't Screen "Beauty and the Beast" Due To Gay Character

The Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Henagar, Ala., announced it won’t screen the upcoming Beauty and the Beast because it features a gay character.

The schedule change occurred after director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad’s character, LeFou, the comical sidekick to antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans), will be Disney’s first-ever LGBTQ character, in dedication to the original film’s late lyricist, Howard Ashman. Though Condon called Gad’s approach “subtle and delicious,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s review of the film warned, “Rabid red-state homophobes may be incandescent with fury to see how things end up for him in the finale.”

Opened in 1999, the Henagar Drive-In screens family-friendly double features (this week’s lineup includes The Eagle Huntress and A Dog’s Purpose). The theater’s shift away from Beauty and the Beast was decided by the business’ new owners, who took over in December.

We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.”

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Disney for comment.

Condon explained LeFou’s subplot alteration to Attitude: “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. … He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

Gad added at the film’s Los Angeles premiere that “it’s a beautiful, subtle moment that does its job and is left alone” and that LeFou’s sexuality has been a topic of discussion since the original film debuted. “For 25 years, people have been asking this question about this character,” he said. “What I would love to see is a moment when we no longer have to ask this question. I would love it if it weren’t such a story.”

 Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters March 17.