How can you tell when a media personality is trying too hard to be relevant? If that person is Chris Simms of ProFootballTalk radio show, just listen to his take on Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Simms has done some strange reporting lately, but his observation about the former Alabama star was his strangest of the bunch.
Chris Simms does know a little bit about playing quarterback
Chris Simms was a two-year starter for the University of Texas, throwing for 58 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in his college career. He was 26-6 as a starter, including three wins over rival Texas A&M.
Simms was a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL draft, but he had a journeyman’s career while playing for four teams. His most extensive playing time came with the Bucs in 2005, when he thew for 2,035 yards and 10 touchdowns, but his NFL career ended with more interceptions than scoring passes.
A ruptured spleen suffered during a game ended his 2006 season after just three weeks, and it was downhill from there.
After retiring in 2009, he spent the 2012 season as a quality-control coach with the New England Patriots and then went into broadcasting the following year.
Chris Simms’ take on Tua Tagovailoa is indefensible
During a recent appearance on Boston radio station WEEI, PFT analyst Chris Simms declared that presumed 2020 New England Patriots starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham is more talented than Miami Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
That might be a disputable claim but not outlandishly so since Stidham enjoyed some success in one season at Baylor and was impressive in two seasons at Auburn before sitting behind Tom Brady as a Patriots rookie in 2019. But Simms’ case starts to fall apart when he nit-picks Tagovailoa.
“(Tua) is a creation of Alabama,” Simms said. “You don’t think Jarrett Stidham, or like Justin Herbert (selected by the Los Angeles Chargers), would have set the world on fire if they got to play with four first-round receivers and two first-round tackles?”
Simms would have a better point if the influx of talent at Alabama was a new development, but the Crimson Tide have won 10 or more games in 12 straight seasons, rising to No. 1 in the rankings at some point in each of them.
And then there’s the actual performance of the quarterback. Tagovailoa didn’t exactly play the role of game manager. In 32 games, he threw for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions.
Said Fox talking head Shannon Sharpe: “They’ve had great athletes like this before, but they didn’t throw the ball like this with Julio (Jones). They didn’t throw the ball like this with Amari Cooper. With a Calvin Ridley.
“They’ve had top-flight receivers. Tua created the system.”
This wasn’t his first bad miss
The competition among reporters to break NFL news is intense. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports are among the guys who seldom err.
A month ago, Chris Simms reported that Dak Prescott turned down a five-year, $175 million offer from the Dallas Cowboys that would have made him the highest-paid quarterback ever because he wanted more than $45 million a year.
Rapoport quickly refuted that, indicating that he had reached out to both sides for confirmation that nothing close to that was ever discussed. He added that the length of the contract was the holdup in negotiations, not the money.
A week before that, Simms appeared on ProFootballTalk and reported that the Seattle Seahawks were prepared to trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 draft and then select Josh Allen No. 1.
It’s a juicy story – and one that no one, including beat reporters following the Seahawks — was able to confirm. The possible reason? Because it didn’t happen.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll would have been 66 years old at the time and had one of the most dynamic stars in the league. Can anyone envision him giving up on Wilson – no matter what the salary demands were – and starting over with Allen, a quarterback that a few teams liked but nobody loved (he was only the third QB taken) coming out of college?
Also, such a trade would have also included the No. 4 overall pick possessed by the Browns. Had Simms’ source dished the details about Allen, surely he would have also given the reporter the heads-up on which direction Carroll would have taken with the No. 4 pick.