Never underestimate quarantine crazy. The confinements created by the impact of the coronavirus has some people behaving oddly and quite honestly a bit more sensitively.
On Monday, a simple would-you-rather Instagram post from NFL on Fox created an online battle between two of the league’s best wide receivers. NFL on Fox asked which task was the toughest: catching a pass while being defended by the New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore or defending the New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas while he’s attempting to haul in a ball.
The Miami Dolphins’ DeVante Parker replied “A,” and Mr. Thomas didn’t take too kindly to Parker ranking any task higher than defending him. A blitz of insults and barbs came from both players and Brendan Tobin of South Florida’s 790 The Ticket capture the back-and-forth exchange:
— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) May 18, 2020
Meanwhile, all Gilmore did was this:
Parker’s comment didn’t sound as if it was meant as an insult to Thomas. After all, it’s pretty asinine to slight Thomas at any point in his career, especially after a season that saw him set an NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019. This was a year after he led the league in the same category in 2018 with 125. Thomas has more receptions over the first four years of his career than any other player in NFL history.
He is without a question, one of the best receivers in the league today. Parker had a great season in 2019, but he had less than half the receptions with 72. Still, he did eclipse 1,000 yards receiving, and he did it without having the benefit of one of the greatest quarterbacks in history throwing him the ball. Thomas’ QB Drew Brees is headed for Canton, Ohio as soon as he’s eligible for the Hall of Fame. Parker’s QB in 2019 was Ryan Fitzpatrick, so we’ll leave it at that.
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Parker did have a great performance against Gilmore in Week 17. Parker had eight receptions for 134 yards in the Dolphins’ 27-24 upset victory over the Patriots that proved to be a precursor to a postseason failure by New England. Perhaps Parker was really paying some respect to Gilmore but also shining some light on his biggest accomplishment from the previous season.
After this nasty exchange, you almost wish the Saints and Dolphins played each other in the 2020 regular season. Unfortunately, they don’t play in the regular season but will meet in the final and almost certainly meaningless preseason tilt. Perhaps the 2020 season will begin Parker’s time with better play at QB. Miami selected Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with obvious designs on him being the QB of the future.
Parker will be matched against Gilmore again in 2020, barring injury or happenstance, in Week 1 and Week 14 of the upcoming season.
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