WITH ONE WEEK REMAINING, NEW ORLEANS QB DREW BREES CONTINUES TO LEAD PRO BOWL VOTING BY FANS

WITH ONE WEEK REMAINING, NEW ORLEANS QB DREW BREES CONTINUES TO LEAD PRO BOWL VOTING BY FANS

– Rosters to be announced Live on NFL Network’s 

Pro Bowl Special on Tuesday, December 18 at 8:00 PM ET –  

As fan voting enters its final week, New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREES, with 950,818 votes, leads all players in balloting for the 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon. 

Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES (884,888 votes) ranks second overall, while Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY (747,516 votes), New York Giants rookie running back SAQUON BARKLEY(718,108 votes) and Pittsburgh running back JAMES CONNER (664,897 votes) round out the top five. 

Six of the top 10 vote getters – Mahomes, Conner, Barkley, Los Angeles Rams quarterback JARED GOFF, New Orleans Saints running back ALVIN KAMARA and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver TYREEK HILL – are currently in their first, second or third NFL season. Additionally, nine first-or-second year players currently lead their conference in votes received at their respective positions. 

Fan voting for the 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones at NFL.com/ProBowlVote until Thursday, December 13.

Through the end of the voting period on December 13, fans will also be able to vote directly on Twitter. To cast such a vote, fans should tweet the first and last name of the player, the player’s official Twitter handle, or a hashtag including the player’s first and last name. All three of these methods must include the hashtag: #ProBowlVote. Voting via Twitter is in addition to the online ballot at NFL.com/ProBowlVote, which will be available throughout the entire voting period. 

Fans are able to vote as many times as they like through both NFL.com/ProBowlVote or directly on twitter. 

The 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon, which kicks off at 3:00 PM ET, will be televised live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Disney XD and simulcast on ABC – the second time the game will be available on both broadcast and cable networks, and the first time that the game is being televised on Disney XD. 

Tickets to the game are on sale at NFL.com/ProBowlOnSale. New this year, tickets will also grant fans special benefits on gameday, including AFC & NFC seating sections, player red carpet viewing, special kid zone activities and postgame fireworks.

Players for the game are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 14. 

Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Tuesday, December 18 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 8:00 PM ET. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams. It was also the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.  


NFL PRO BOWL TOP-10 VOTE-GETTERS

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

QB

Drew Brees

New Orleans

950,818

QB

Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City

884,888

RB

Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams

747,516

RB

Saquon Barkley

New York Giants

718,108

RB

James Conner

Pittsburgh 

664,897

QB

Jared Goff

Los Angeles Rams

658,150

WR

Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh 

630,392

RB

Alvin Kamara

New Orleans 

582,550

WR

Tyreek Hill

Kansas City

560,994

TE

Travis Kelce

Kansas City

551,249


AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION
 

POS.

CONF.

NAME, TEAM

VOTES

CONF.

NAME, TEAM

VOTES

QB

AFC

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City

884,888

AFC

J.J. Watt, Houston

405,878

QB

NFC

Drew Brees, New Orleans

950,818

NFC

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota

278,267

RB

AFC

James Conner, Pittsburgh

664,897

AFC

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati

242,851

RB

NFC

Todd Gurley, LA Rams

747,516

NFC

Aaron Donald, LA Rams

385,591

FB

AFC

Anthony Sherman, Kansas City

170,608

AFC

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh

314,173

FB

NFC

Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco

423,176

NFC

Khalil Mack, Chicago

378,895

WR

AFC

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

630,392

AFC

Jon Bostic, Pittsburgh

102,101

WR

NFC

Odell Beckham, Jr., NY Giants

527,768

NFC

Luke Kuechly, Carolina

261,715

TE

AFC

Travis Kelce, Kansas City

551,249

AFC

Denzel Ward, Cleveland

268,092

TE

NFC

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

495,442

NFC

Kyle Fuller, Chicago

281,555

T

AFC

Alejandro Villanueva, Pittsburgh

223,489

AFC

Jamal Adams, NY Jets

178,371

T

NFC

Terron Armstead, New Orleans

246,931

NFC

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Washington

135,256

G

AFC

David DeCastro, Pittsburgh

273,059

AFC

Derwin James, LA Chargers

110,193

G

NFC

Zack Martin, Dallas

221,790

NFC

Eddie Jackson, Chicago

150,525

C

AFC

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

253,587

AFC

Britton Colquitt, Cleveland

127,866

C

NFC

Max Unger, New Orleans

243,549

NFC

Michael Dickson, Seattle

95,266

K

AFC

Justin Tucker, Baltimore

87,423

AFC

Roosevelt Nix, Pittsburgh

108,445

K

NFC

Wil Lutz, New Orleans

124,151

NFC

Mark Nzeocha, San Francisco

129,446

RS

AFC

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City

178,901

 

 

 

RS

NFC

Tarik Cohen, Chicago

146,204

 

 

 

*Totals reflect players currently on active rosters through Tuesday, December 4 at 3:00 PM ET

 

For the third consecutive year, Pro Bowl Week festivities will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort and across the Orlando area, bringing free experiences and activities to fans as well as an extraordinary number of events focused on commemorating all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. Some of the Pro Bowl Week events include: Pro Bowl Practices, Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, NFL FLAG Championships Powered By USA Football and Play Football Celebrity Flag Game. 

More information about these and all of the events taking place during Pro Bowl Week is available at ProBowl.com.

 

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NFL Announces 32 Nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide

12/6/18

NFL ANNOUNCES 32 NOMINEES FOR WALTER PAYTON NFL 

MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE

Winner to be Announced at NFL Honors the Night Before Super Bowl LIII 

The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each of these players was selected as his team’s Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. First established in 1970, the national award was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON.

“The Man of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to acknowledge 32 exemplary players whose commitment to excellence extends on and off the field,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “This year’s nominees have used their platforms to transform communities across the country. We are proud of their work and celebrate their dedication and impact through this award.”

New this year, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as finalists and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIII. The 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, on CBS. NFL Honors will be at Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Five hundred thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the 2018 winner. $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way’s digital character education program. An additional donation of $250,000 will be donated to the charity of his choice. All other 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook, and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

“Nationwide is honored to help highlight and support the incredible efforts of this year’s team nominees,” said Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer TERRANCE WILLIAMS. “We hope others are inspired by these 32 men to make positive differences—big and small—in their own communities. Congratulations and thank you to each of the nominees for their leadership both on and off the field.”

Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 4th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote by using #WPMOYChallenge on Twitter with their favorite nominee’s last name somewhere in the post between December 6 and January 13. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.

Beginning in 2017, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette came to life in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. The five current players who have won the award—DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, ELI MANNING and J.J. WATT—continue to wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2018 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 and continuing through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field. 

The NFL will also continue to surprise fans across the country with invitations to attend Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each Man of the Year nominee will receive two Super Bowl LIII tickets to give away to community recipients of their choice.

For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear. 

Below is a list of the 2018 nominees:

TEAM NOMINEE
Arizona Cardinals Antoine Bethea
Atlanta Falcons Grady Jarrett
Baltimore Ravens Brandon Carr
Buffalo Bills Lorenzo Alexander
Carolina Panthers Julius Peppers
Chicago Bears Trey Burton
Cincinnati Bengals Carlos Dunlap
Cleveland Browns Christian Kirksey
Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott
Denver Broncos Von Miller
Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford
Green Bay Packers Kenny Clark
Houston Texans Whitney Mercilus
Indianapolis Colts Jabaal Sheard
Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles
Kansas City Chiefs Dustin Colquitt
Los Angeles Chargers Corey Liuget
Los Angeles Rams Andrew Whitworth
Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills
Minnesota Vikings Kyle Rudolph
New England Patriots Devin McCourty
New Orleans Saints Mark Ingram
New York Giants Michael Thomas
New York Jets Kelvin Beachum
Oakland Raiders Marshawn Lynch
Philadelphia Eagles Chris Long
Pittsburgh Steelers Cameron Heyward
San Francisco 49ers Robbie Gould
Seattle Seahawks K.J. Wright
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans Jurrell Casey
Washington Redskins Vernon Davis

#    #    #

NFL Playoff Projections: Here’s how Chiefs, Patriots, Chargers, Texans and Saints can clinch in Week 14

The 2018 NFL season has hurtled right along, with professional football getting quite the rejuvenation with high quality on-field play and tons of storylines. We’re getting near the end! The fantasy playoffs are here and it’s almost time for the real playoffs to start.

In fact, with just four regular season weeks remaining, there are a large number of clinching scenarios available for various NFL teams. Let’s run through them all.

(Stream Thursday’s and all of Sunday’s games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream the CBS games on CBS All Access.)

Los Angeles Rams

What: First-round bye

How: The Rams already clinched a playoff berth, winning the NFC West with their win over the Lions last week. Next up is securing a first-round bye and then hoping they can get homefield advantage (win out and its theirs). To clinch a first-round bye, the Rams simply need to win in Chicago on Sunday night. Beat the Bears on Sunday Night Football and the Rams won’t have to worry about being involved in Wild-Card Weekend.

New Orleans Saints

What: NFC South AND/OR playoff berth

How: The Saints have the opportunity to secure a playoff berth through two different scenarios. They could clinch the NFC South OR they could clinch a straight-up playoff berth. They could actually do both (although each one would, obviously, be a playoff spot).

To clinch the NFC South, the Saints need one of two things to happen: win/tie at Tampa Bay OR have the Panthers lose/tie when they play in Cleveland. The Saints are eight-point road favorites while the Panthers are one-point road favorites.

To clinch a “regular” playoff berth, the Saints would need: a Vikings loss AND an Eagles loss or tie AND a Redskins loss or tie. Minnesota plays the Seahawks in Seattle on Monday, the Eagles play the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday and the Redskins play the Giants in Washington on Sunday. All three are underdogs.

Kansas City Chiefs

What: Playoff berth

How: The Chiefs can’t win the AFC West … yet. That will likely be on the table next Thursday against the Chargers, although the race could actually come all the way down to the end of the season thanks to Los Angeles playing well. Instead the Chiefs will look to just lock up a standard playoff spot. They can do that with a win/tie OR a Dolphins loss/tie AND Coltsloss/tie AND Titans loss/tie.

Beat the Ravens and the Chiefs are in the playoffs or lose and hope you hit a three-game parlay.

New England Patriots

What: AFC East title

How: Easy answer here — the Patriots need to win or tie against the Dolphins in Miami and they clinch the AFC East.

Houston Texans

What: AFC South title

How: The Texans need a little bit of help to clinch the division title. They need to win Sunday against the Colts AND have the Titans lose or tie against the Jaguars on Thursday OR if the Texans manage to tie against the Colts (it came close last time!), they could clinch if the Titans lose on Thursday.

A Titans win on Thursday would obviously prevent the Texans from clinching this week.

Los Angeles Chargers

What: Playoff berth

How: This one is pretty complex so we’re going bullet points for it. The Chargers obviously can’t clinch the division so they’d be locking up a standard playoff/wild-card spot. And they need one of two complex situations to happen.

  • 1)    Chargers win + Dolphins loss or tie + Broncos loss or tie + Colts loss or tie + Titans loss or tie

OR

  • 2)    Chargers tie + Dolphins loss + Broncos loss + Colts loss or tie + Titans loss or tie as long as both IND and TEN both don’t tie

SO, if the Titans win on Thursday, the Chargers are also prevented from clinching. But they basically need a five-game parlay to hit in order to clinch a playoff spot. They’re probably more concerned about trying to chase down the Chiefs, but certainly L.A. wouldn’t mind guaranteeing a postseason spot as early as possible

Bruce Arians has no interest in Packers coaching job

Former NFL coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday he has no interest in the Green Bay Packers’ open coaching job.

“No, none at all,” Arians told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio. “If I ever return to coaching, it will only be in Cleveland…I have no desire to coach at Green Bay.”

The Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy after Sunday’s home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the last team Arians coached.

He has said numerous times in the last month that he’d only unretire to coach the Cleveland Browns.

A two-time NFL Coach of the Year, Arians retired from coaching after serving five years as the Cardinals head coach (2013-17). He previously worked with top quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.

Unless Arians is bluffing, he can be safely crossed off the candidate list for team president Mark Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst.

Kevin Durant wants the Redskins to sign Colin Kaepernick

Adrian Peterson wants the Redskins to sign Colin Kapernick and so does Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant.

Durant, a noted Redskins fan, took to Instagram on Monday night after Colt McCoy suffered a season-ending injury to post a picture of Kapernick to his story. The Warriors All-Star forward tagged the Redskins in his Instagram story to make it clear what he was asking his favorite team to do.

Despite the wishes of Peterson and Durant, the Redskins have no plans to sign Kaepernick and will likely finish the season with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback.

2018 NFL playoff picture: How important will playoff positioning be for the Patriots?

Now that we are officially into December football, the NFL playoff picture will be slowly coming together over the next four weeks.

There’s no doubt the Patriots will be in the playoffs. And as the (soon-to-be) AFC East champions for the 373rd consecutive season, they will once again be playing a home playoff game at Gillette Stadium. It’s tradition. It just wouldn’t be January in New England without a freezing cold playoff game at Gillette, right?

We know that much. We just don’t know where the Patriots will be situated once the regular season is complete. We don’t know where they will wind up on the bracket. In the NFL more than just about any other sport, playoff positioning can be a make-or-break thing for teams.

It has also become a Foxborough tradition to have the first week of January off. During the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have relied very heavily on a first round bye. They’ve had it all five times they’ve won the Super Bowl, and most other seasons as well. During the rare occasions when they haven’t had a first round bye, those seasons have always ended in ugly fashion.

A first round bye is no guarantee for the Pats this year. They’ve got the upper hand on the Houston Texans, having beaten them on Opening Day. But the Texans are riding a nine-game winning streak, and they are right on New England’s tail. Should Houston win out, chances are they will take home the second seed in the AFC.

If the Patriots win out, they’ll wrap up the two-seed and a first round bye without a problem. I just have a strong feeling they have one more loss in them during this regular season.

Next week, they play at Miami, and the Pats never, ever play well in South Beach. The following week, they play at Pittsburgh, and that game could legitimately go either way.

I think the Patriots will lose one of those two games. Assuming they take care of business at home against the Bills and Jets to end the season, they will still get the two-seed as long as Houston doesn’t win out.

And that’s just the beginning. They won’t get the No. 1 seed unless the Kansas City Chiefscollapse, and that seems unlikely at this point. That means the Patriots would still have to travel to Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC ChampionshipGame, and Arrowhead is one of the most difficult places in the NFL to play as a visiting team.

This would present big problems for the Patriots. They haven’t had anywhere near the same kind of good fortune in road playoff games as they have in home playoff games. The last time the Pats won a playoff game on the road, it was during the 2006 playoffs when they upset the San Diego Chargers24-21. That was the same year the Chicago Bearswent to the Super Bowl on the shoulders of Rex Grossman.

And yes, that actually happened.

As we’ve seen in the past, playoff positioning is everything for the Patriots. When they have to go on the road to reach the Super Bowl, things get very ugly. For reference, just look back at those two AFC Championship Games in Denver in 2013 and 2015.

The Pats have a good chance of securing yet another first round bye. But the road to Super Bowl LIII likely won’t go through Foxborough this year, and they will have their work cut out for them when they have to leave the safe and friendly confines of Gillette Stadium.

For the first time in years, the Patriots will have the odds stacked against them as they try to push toward yet another Super Bowl.

Who will replace Mike McCarthy? Six Packers coaching candidates to be the next man up in Green Bay

The Packers fired Mike McCarthy on Sunday afternoon, immediately following the conclusion of their ugly 20-17 loss to the Cardinals. The opening immediately becomes one of the most attractive — if not the most attractive — jobs on the open market. It presents the opportunity to work with Aaron Rodgers, the most physically gifted in the history of football.

Rodgers is already 35 years old and there are enormous expectations in Green Bay, so this isn’t a layup gig. But it’s one of the most coveted jobs in all of sports; Joe Philbin will be the interim head coach for the rest of the year, beginning with a game against Atlanta on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox, stream on fuboTV, try for free) and he is just the 15th coach in Packers history.

Let’s look at some possible candidates to fill the void created by McCarthy’s departure, focusing mostly on young offensive minds. The Packers obviously want to rejuvenate Rodgers as quickly as possible and try to turn the offense around. The primary complaint with McCarthy was his offensive scheme, and you can expect whoever takes over next to bring some kind of modern approach to offense or to employ someone who brings a modern approach to offense.

Josh McDaniels, Patriots OC

I can see the outrage and side eyes over this. “McDaniels? With the way he’s acted? In GREEN BAY? Please. Stop it. This is the PACKERS, good sir.” Well, McDaniels is a stud when it comes to operating on offense, he’s helped lead Tom Brady to multiple Super Bowl victories, he’s learned at the knee of Bill Belichick and after the disaster that he oversaw in Denver, he won’t be looking for personnel control. He wouldn’t find it in Green Bay either. And maybe there’s some concern about how he left Indianapolis at the alter last offseason, but the Packers won’t care if McDaniels can manage to get Aaron Rodgers to the promised land. McDaniels pedigree is unquestioned, it just boils down to whether he wants to jump ship knowing he’ll have to find a new QB at some point in the next few years while the Patriots are still succeeding. To me, this would be a really good fit, provided McDaniels can get someone to beef up the defense.

John DeFilippo, Vikings OC

Another young offensive mind who has seen his star rise in recent years, DeFilippo jumped from Eagles quarterbacks coach over to Vikings offensive coordinator and has seen mixed, but mostly positive, results in Minnesota. Kirk Cousins is working behind a questionable offensive line, but he’s put up some nice numbers despite Dalvin Cook being missing for much of the season. DeFilippo’s got a very nice resume built up over the last few years and with the Eagles struggling on offense, people are pointing to Flip and Frank Reich as the braindrain issue in Philadelphia. If Minnesota can make the playoffs and perform well on offense down the stretch, you can expect DeFilippo will get plenty of consideration.

Zac Taylor, Rams QB Coach

One of the branches on the Sean McVay tree, Taylor is drawing a lot of interest from people around the league, as reported by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora on Sunday morning. Taylor was previously the wide receivers coach for the Rams and also served as interim offensive coordinator for the Dolphins during the second half of the 2015 season, so he has experience as a playcaller. Interestingly, he was the quarterbacks coach for Joe Philbin before he was there — Philbin came from Green Bay and is now going to be the interim head coach for the Packers. So while there’s no direct experience with the Packers franchise, there is certainly a connection there, however tenuous. As La Canfora noted, Taylor is “viewed very highly” by McVay, who has established himself as the hottest young name in the coaching business. Teams want young, offensive minds and Taylor would fit the bill.

Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs OC

Everyone is grabbing guys from the Andy Reid tree as well and as such, Bieniemy will get plenty of consideration. Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, Matt Nagy has the Bears in great position and Bieniemy is the latest guy to serve in the OC position. Like with Pederson and Nagy, we’re talking about guys who aren’t calling plays in that position (Nagy would take over late in 2017 through the playoffs) but if someone is good enough to be the OC under Reid, they’re essentially getting his seal of approval. The common belief is putting Rodgers in a system like the one Reid or McVay runs would result in massive numbers. That should be appealing to the Packers. Bieniemy has only been the OC for a single year, but he’s been with Reid over the last six seasons, serving as running backs coach after making the jump

John Harbaugh, Ravens HC

Not an offensive name, but a name that makes sense. Harbaugh and someone like Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator could certainly make a lot of sense, with the Packers able to land a big name head coach, a CEO type who can bring stability but not oversee the offense. Harbaugh would probably scare people because of how bland things have been under Joe Flacco, but if he was willing to bring an innovative offensive mind, it would be a very sensible hire who gives the Packers an extremely high floor.

Lincoln Riley, HC, Oklahoma

The hottest name in college football has to be mentioned here, even if we don’t really think the Packers would pursue him, given how much it would cost to pry Riley out of Norman, Oklahoma. But the idea of bringing in Riley to work with Rodgers has to be at least intriguing to consider for the Packers — he certainly fits the bill as a bright, young, offensive mind. And you can bet he would inject the Packers offense with the creativity that Rodgers craves and, frankly, needs right now. Worth noting: Riley will almost certainly require a massive contract to leave Oklahoma and would need a lot of job security. Right now he is in the driver’s seat to make the College Football Playoff on a pretty regular basis — a one-loss Oklahoma team just snuck in ahead of Ohio State and Georgia. If Riley manages to upend Nick Saban and the Alabama defense, he could see his stock rise even higher.