All posts by Lee Bolton

Thomas, Jahad

Card: Panini Contenders 2017
Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker

Jahad Thomas played for the Temple Owls in college from 2013-2016. He began to see playing time during his Sophomore year, and then had an impressive showing in his Junior (276 carries, 1,262 yards, and 17 TDs) and Senior (207 carries, 953 yards, and 13 TDs) campaigns. He also displayed nice touch out of the backfield, catching 69 passes for 998 yards and 8 TDs over his time in Philadelphia.  Considered undersized by scouts, Thomas went unselected in the 2017 NFL Draft.

He signed with the Dallas Cowboys but was cut before the preseason. He later signed with the Jets and was placed on their practice squad.

Tagliabue, Paul ‘Tags’

Cards: ProSet 1990 Special Insert, ProSet 1990 Berlin Wall
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 12/18/17 Received: 1/12/18 (25 days)

Taking the reins in 1989, Paul Tagliabue faced a very tall order: Following up the near canonization of previous commissioner Pete Rozelle. Paul steadied the boat of the league on numerous occasions, handling Raiders owner Al Davis in his on off love affair with Oakland, the Rams move from LA to St. Louis, the Oilers from Houston to Tennessee, and the Browns from Cleveland to Baltimore. During each occasion he addressed each relocation publicly to keep the league from getting a public black eye from ‘stadium blackmail’. Tags also presided over unprecedented expansion. After the league got slammed publicly from the middle of the night departure of the Browns, the NFL gave the city back the franchise, name, and records. He also saw the league expand to Charlotte, Jacksonville, and back into Houston. Paul also oversaw the league’s bold plans to export international play of the sport into Europe and elsewhere in the world, culminating in the WLAF/NFLE/ NFL Europe, that he briefly served as commissioner of in addition to his NFL duties. Tags and his team navigated the deep waters of the 1993 bargaining agreement without a strike occurring. This brought about a salary cap, the end of Plan B free agency, an increase to the overall wages of all players in the league, and unfettered growth of the league. In the meantime the league created a feeding frenzy from the networks for their programming, allowing the league to return record profits.

Paul also took the high road on the state of Arizona, as when the state refused to honor MLK Day, the league pulled up its tentpoles for the Super Bowl and went to Pasadena. Tags also made every attempt to help keep the Saints in New Orleans after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He served 17 prolific years for the league, creating a hand in hand workmanlike relationship between players and the league. He even briefly came back to serve as an arbitrator in a recent NFL case with the Saints, but despite all this, many players, media, and fans, remember him for his handling of the severity of concussions which really hinders his legacy. Eventually I believe the league will vote Paul into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and deservedly so, but at this time he remains too much of a hot button of a candidate for voters to choose.

Mauldin, Lorenzo

sage15 mauldin
Card: Sage 2015
cquired: 2015, Box Breaker

Lorenzo Mauldin had a difficult life growing up, but had football to lean on.  The day before signing day, South Carolina decommitted from him. He ended up with Louisville where they used his unique set of skills as a pass rushing specialist.  He had 22 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 6.5 TFL in 2012 as a defensive end. In 2013 Lorenzo was involved in a hit and run while riding his moped to school, but still managed to start a full slate of games that year and had 41 tackles, 14 TFL,  4 forced fumbles and 10 sacks.  He’d be moved to linebacker in his senior season but was equally as successful with 51 tackles, 13 TFL, and 6.5 sacks in 2014.

Scouts loved Mauldin. He could’ve given up at anytime, but he just developed the belief that the worst has already happened so nothing can stop him stop him now.  Lorenzo applies this by working extra hard and putting in the extra effort.  He’d move up draft boards and eventually be selected by the New York Jets in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft with the intention of utilizing him as a pass rush specialist. During the season, Lorenzo sustained a concussion that left him momentarily unconscious. He ended up completing his rookie season with 17 combined tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble as a rotational linebacker behind Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples, while also contributing on special teams.

Coach Todd Bowles remained optimistic about Lorenzo’s future with the Jets, saying that Mauldin could develop into a full time linebacker. Lorenzo started 3 games in 2016, lodging 16 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, and an interception, but his 2017 was an unmitigated disaster. After off the field issues arose, Mauldin was placed on IR with an undisclosed back injury.  Time will tell as Lorenzo faces stiff competition entering 2018 to make the Jets roster.