The 14 year old teen was featured by Sports Illustrated as one of the six teens “who will rule the future in sports” died after he was shot at a party in Illinois on Saturday night, according to police.
Jaylon McKenzie was 14 and an eighth grade student at Central Junior High School in Belleville, Ill., not far from East St. Louis. A 15-year old girl was also critically injured in the shooting.
McKenzie told Sports Illustrated that his goal was to make it to the NFL and be a star for the Los Angeles Rams.
The shooting unfolded in Venice, Ill. around 11:40 p.m. Saturday night, Illinois State Police told Fox News.
Officers were responding to a report of a disturbance and shots fired at a large party. They said when they arrived they found McKenzie and the other teen were shot and needed medical attention. Police said officers immediately began life-saving measures before both victims were transported to nearby hospitals.
McKenzie was pronounced dead a short time after arriving at the hospital.
Gunner told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that her son had been to his school’s eighth-grade dance earlier that night. She said he later went to another school’s post-prom party in Venice.
On Sunday, State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, posted a picture of McKenzie on her Facebook page and wrote, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. #JaylonMcKenzie”
McKenzie played running back, receiver and defensive back. According to Sports Illustrated, he drew national attention in August when he caught five passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns to help the East team to a victory at the NFL’s 8th Grade All-American Game in Ohio.
He’d drawn the attention of college football coaches at the age of 14, the Post-Dispatch reported. He also reportedly got his first verbal scholarship offer in December from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois reached out to him about a week ago.
Patrick Mahomes Signs Largest Contract in Sports History
For the first time in the history of sports, an athlete has signed a contract worth half a billion dollars. That athlete is coming off the heels of winning his first Super Bowl MVP and hopes to have a long career of personal and team success ahead of him.
In his first two seasons playing in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes has won a league MVP and the Super Bowl. Now Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension worth $503 million.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the contract is a 10-year deal worth $45 million a year, which will pay Mahomes $450 million over that span. Assuming he stays healthy, Mahomes will be the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs through the 2031 season. If he does get hurt, there is still $140 million in injury guarantees.
Along with the $450 million, Mahomes has guarantee mechanisms in his contract (to account for the rising salary cap) that can take his contract up to $477 million. If those mechanisms aren’t met, Mahomes can opt out of the deal.
Finally, there are $25 million in incentives that Mahomes can reach, taking the total potential value of his new contract to $503 million.
At just 24 years old, Mahomes has quickly became regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL. He has now proven he can win and play well in the biggest moments, while producing gaudy statistics along the way.
There is truly no telling what the Chiefs will do over the next 12 years that they have Mahomes as the face of the franchise. It is clear though that they believe they have a dynasty on their hands and Mahomes will get paid handsomely through every minute of it.
Patriots Dynasty Given New Life with Cam Newton Signing
When Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East looked to be wide-open for the time in two decades. The New England Patriots were set to go into this season with unproven young quarterback Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer.
Then over the weekend, Bill Belichick once again reminded everyone why the Patriots have been atop the sport for so long, as his patience paid off and they landed a former MVP quarterback to replace the one that left them in free agency.
Cam Newton is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him play just two games, leading to his eventual release by the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Still, he signs with the Patriots on a one-year deal which comes at incredible value for New England.
Newton was the league MVP in 2015, when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl after going 15-1 in the regular season. He has been one of the most elite dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL since arriving to league as the first overall pick back in 2011.
Across the first eight seasons of his career, Newton averaged 3,500 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 600 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns per season. Now due to the unprecedented circumstances of this offseason, he simply fell into New England’s laps.
The most money that Newton will make this season in $7.5 million if he hits all of his incentives. There also is not any provision in his contract that prohibits the Patriots from putting the franchise tag on him next year if Newton has a big year.
Essentially the Patriots landed, at worst, one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league on a minimum deal if he does not win the starting job. Assuming he is healthy, Newton is an affordable quarterback that can have a monster bounce-back year and lead the Patriots for the next few seasons.
Once again the New England Patriots have become the envy of all teams in the NFL. Only time will tell though if the dynasty truly can live one without Tom Brady.
Andy Dalton Signs One-Year Deal with the Dallas Cowboys
When the Cincinnati Bengals released Andy Dalton, everyone was wondering where the 32-year-old quarterback would sign now that he was a free agent.
The New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars were among some of the potential landing spots that were suspected to pique Dalton’s interest, but nobody had him signing with the Dallas Cowboys.
Yet that is exactly where Dalton will end up, as the Cowboys shocked everyone on Saturday night by signing him to a one-year deal worth up to $7 million.
You can imagine that playing for the Cowboys was always a dream for Dalton, as he was born and raised in Katy, Texas, which is located about three hours outside of Dallas.
Dalton went on to play college football at Texas Christian University and would set nearly all school quarterback records during his time with the Horned Frogs. Dalton was then drafted by the Bengals with the 35th overall pick back in 2011.
He has gone on to have a very good NFL career starting for the Bengals and will now look to compete with Dak Prescott in Dallas.
If all goes as planned for the Cowboys, Prescott won’t miss any time next season and Dalton won’t ever see the field. But by signing Dalton, the Cowboys have a great contingency plan in place.
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