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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

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Tide players continue to infiltrate the top of the NFL ranks

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The 10 best college football wide receivers and five best tight ends for the 2019

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (Jr.)

Jeudy’s 2018 numbers speak for themselves: 68 grabs for 1,315 yards and 14 scores, with the yardage and scores ranking second in the program’s single-season record book. Equally impressive is how Jeudy took home the Biletnikoff as the nation’s top receiver while rarely taking key snaps in the fourth quarter during the regular season. Jeudy is set to do the same as a junior.

Here’s a little bit of Gump material to start your Wednesday. It’s tinged with a little disrespect though, which is what we want to see. Sure, Jeudy is the #1 receiver in the nation... but that’s an easy pick when the guy just finished winning the Biletnikoff award. He’s followed by Jaylen Waddle at #9 on the list. Waddle. The Tide’s 4th string receiver. Henry Ruggs III and Devonta Smith have feel a little miffed at that (assuming they read it, anyway).

News from the pros:

Julio Jones, Michael Thomas could boost Amari Cooper’s next contract

Cooper is under contract for the 2019 season, but with the Cowboys’ front office expressing a desire to keep the former Alabama All-American from reaching free agency, his next contract has become an early news item. But heading into the summer break without a new contract isn’t necessarily a bad deal for Cooper.

Cooper already will be one of the NFL’s highest-paid wide receivers in 2019. The fifth-year option on his rookie contract will pay him $13.924 million this season -- almost 20 times his 2018 base salary of $700,000. But even with that boost, the total value of Cooper’s contract ranks 37th among NFL wide receivers.

With multiple superstars at the same position all looking to re-up their contracts, it’s always best to be the last of the bunch. At least until the the next CBA in 2020. For now, the salary cap is rapidly expanding every year, so the players have the leverage to always outdo everyone at their position every time they get a new contract. So guys like Cooper and Julio will need to go ahead and cash in now, as there is a good chance the contract inflation stagnates in 2020.

Eddie Jackson ‘ready to chase greatness’ with Chicago Bears

A championship is what Jackson has set his sights on, and over the past week or so, he had several opportunities to let folks know the Bears “plan on taking this whole thing” in the NFL’s 2019 season

Brown shed his Super Bowl tears as he and Jackson shared the stage during the Bears 100 Celebration on June 8. Although Jackson has played only two NFL seasons, he was selected as one of the best 100 players in the franchise’s history after earning All-Pro honors in 2018.

Speaking of, Eddie will enter his 3rd season on his rookie salary of basically peanuts. He’ll need to keep up his phenomenal play from 2018 in the upcoming season and get his contract extended as soon as possible after the season ends. Waiting into his 4th year to either re-up or test free agency will likely limit his earnings.

As it is, he’ll have a very good shot of being the highest paid safety in the NFL ever.

Shaun Dion Hamilton tagged ‘most improved’ by Washington Redskins coach

Shaun Dion Hamilton, along with Fabian (Moreau), are the two most improved players out here,” Gruden said as Washington wrapped up OTAs last week.

Moreau started 10 games at cornerback in 2018, his second season with the Redskins since entering the NFL as a third-round pick from UCLA in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Hamilton started the final four games at inside linebacker as a rookie in 2018 after joining Washington from Alabama in the sixth round of last year’s draft.

Hamilton always had an uphill battle to succeed in the pros. He was always limited as a linebacker by his height, plus multiple injuries plagued and derailed much of his career and robbing him of much of his playing speed. His tackling consistency and football IQ were never in doubt, though, and that earned him some unexpected playing time as a rookie. Now, he’s further removed from the injuries and will be battling to become a true NFL starter.

Kira Lewis is finalist for USA Basketball U19 team

A busy summer got a little longer for rising Alabama sophomore Kira Lewis Jr.

The guard from Hazel Green was one of 18 finalists named Tuesday for the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team. The final roster will be cut down to 12 before June 24 when the team leaves for Greece.

Good for Kira. Hopefully he makes it and gets the opportunity to travel to Greece, and can turn that experience into some positive learning for his game in the upcoming season.

And that’s it for today. It took some real scouring of the internet just to find this many viable links, so appreciate what you got.

Roll Tide!