Victor Cruz avoids PUP list, set to practice Friday

If and when Cruz returns to the fold, his role in the offense isn’t guaranteed. Beckham has easily supplanted him as the top receiver on the team and early whispers on second-round draft pick Sterling Shepard are more than encouraging. After nearly two seasons out of action, it’s fair to question whether we will ever see the agile and enthusiastic Cruz that inspired New Yorkers from all walks of life to take up salsa dancing.

All the Giants can ask is that Cruz returns to the sidelines in at least some capacity, and without a pathetic preseason pool party.

Paintball is terrible.

I don’t get it. What kind of dystopian post-human wasteland do we live in when we derive pleasure from running around in the woods trying to shoot our friends with guns? I like my friends. I rather go to a baseball game.

The whole culture is pervasive, too. I actually got sucked into a paintball expedition in Staten Island during my own bachelor party weekend … and you know what was the best part of the afternoon? When we got back on the bus and headed back to Manhattan so I could start drinking again.

And, oh, by the way … have you ever been shot by a paintball? No, I don’t mean the shot that hits the part of your arm protected by three layers of sweatshirt. I’m talking a clean pop on an exposed calf or hand. Maybe the dreaded windpipe shot. That s–t hurts like hell. Never again.

Washington’s first-round pick Josh Doctson told reporters Thursday that he is set to test out a sore Achilles’ tendon, but he hasn’t run in a month. Doctson could have a hard time getting healthy in time to earn snaps at a crowded position.

Presumptive Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel suffered a setback in his return from a foot injury. Arizona is dangerously thin at the position, especially with Tyrann Mathieu saying he’s at least three weeks away from returning to the field.

Bart Scott blasts Ryan Fitzpatrick for not signing with Jets already

“It’s not about the money anymore. All these people talk about money and respect, but come on man, there are a lot of people out there who are underpaid and a lot of people who are overpaid,” Scott said. “You had your opportunity when you had the leverage in Buffalo. You got paid and took advantage of it. You don’t to get to cash in twice, bro. There’s only 32 jobs. If you don’t take it someone else will.”

All due respect to Bart, but Fitzpatrick should definitely try and get as much money as he can. Again: limited opportunities to get paid in the NFL. Get money while you can get money.

On the other hand, $10 million or $8 million is still a lot of money. Even if it’s not Brock Osweiler money, it’s still getting paid to throw to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in an offense that makes you look good.

There’s one other problem for the Jets: Fitzpatrick might not even be enough.

“One thing I know about the NFL is they will turn the page and move on. With Fitzpatrick or without Fitzpatrick I don’t know if this team, looking at this schedule, I don’t know if Ryan Fitzpatrick’s enough anyway,” Scott said. “Someone’s got to be great. Someone has to step up and become a superstar. And it can’t be the guy who already is a superstar. Someone’s got to dare to be great.”

If Fitz doesn’t sign and decides to play hard ball into the season, things could get ugly quickly. The Jets like Geno Smith (right?) and they drafted Christian Hackenberg, but it’s a bold move believing those two guys can replicate the success Fitzpatrick had.

Maybe the move is to wait and see how the Jets start and then really start demanding more cash. Or maybe you just suck it up, take the millions and try to lead the Jets to the playoffs.

Tom Brady will probably never step foot in your kitchen, but if you have $200 to spare, you can get the next best thing: Brady’s cookbook.

Actually, it’s not a cookbook, it’s a “Nutrition manual” and if you hate sugar, white flour, olive oil, iodized salt, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplants, all caffeine and dairy products, then this is the perfect nutrition manual for you.

Here’s a description of the manual from Brady’s website (TB12store.com):

TB12 Nutrition Manual is a limited-edition “living document” containing information about our core TB12 nutritional philosophies and featuring a library of 89 seasonally-inspired recipes that you can use to support your TB12-aligned nutrition plan.
First, this thing is a living document, which I think means you can eat it.

Richard Sherman’s vote for best NFL QB doesn’t go to Russell Wilson

O’Brien has discussed his decision in the past, but Wilson had remained quiet on what went on behind the scenes leading up to his departure from Raleigh, North Carolina. That was until Saturday when he gave a commencement speech at Wisconsin’s graduation and addressed that very topic.

In his speech, Wilson recounted the conversation he had with O’Brien prior to Wilson returning for his senior season at NC State. In Wilson’s words, he was not only told that he would not start at quarterback for the Wolfpack, he was told he would not get the opportunity to play for NC State.

“The summer before my senior year of college, I’m playing minor-league baseball. I called my football coach at NC State and said, ‘Hey coach, I’d like to come back for my senior year. He told me I wasn’t coming back,'” Wilson recalled, as transcribed by ESPN.

“He said, ‘Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You’ve got no shot. Give it up.’ Of course, I’m on this side of the phone saying, ‘So you’re telling me I’m not coming back to NC State? I won’t see the field?’ He said, ‘No son, you won’t see the field.’

“Now, this was everything I had worked for and now it was completely gone. If I wanted to follow my dream, I had to leave NC State. I had no idea if I would get a second chance somewhere else.”

Wilson’s account of his talk with O’Brien doesn’t paint the coach in the best light with Wilson claiming O’Brien told the player to give up playing football because he had “no chance” of making the NFL. As we all know, Wilson went on to a fantastic season at Wisconsin and has become a Super Bowl winning quarterback with theSeattle Seahawks.

Tom Brady probably won’t be pursuing a career as a chef anytime soon, but maybe he should. His cookbook has been a hot-seller.

Forget Rachael Ray or Gordon Ramsey. If you want the best recipes in your kitchen, you need to get your hands on a copy of Brady’s cookbook. Of course, you can’t actually do that, because the cookbook is sold out on Brady’s website.

If you do get your hands on a copy, Brady knows what recipe you should make first. During an interview with GQ this week, the Patriots quarterback revealed which one of the 89 recipes is his favorite.

Before the big reveal though, Brady would like to make something clear about his book of recipes.

“It’s not a cookbook,” Brady told GQ. “It’s a nutrition manual.”