NFC Notes: Washington, Gallup, Ridley

The Washington Football Team was always meant to be a temporary name after Washington ditched their old nickname. Then it became somewhat popular with fans, leading to some consideration of making it permanent. That appears less likely now, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just “issued an initial refusal” of the team’s attempt to trademark the name, Sam Fortier of the Washington Post reports. The decision cited the “generic geographic nature of the request.”

That doesn’t mean they can’t use the name Washington Football Team for the 2021 season, it just means they can’t enforce the trademark right now for things like merchandising. However, experts that Fortier spoke to seem to think the franchise has a good chance of getting this decision overturned on appeal. Either way, it might further incentivize owner Dan Snyder to go with something entirely new. One expert suggested to Fortier the team could add new elements to make the brand more distinctive, like a mascot. A ‘Football Team’ mascot would certainly be something to behold.

Here’s more from around the NFC on a quiet Sunday evening:

  • Sticking in the NFC East for a moment. It’s “unlikely” that receiver Michael Gallup is on the Cowboys’ roster beyond this season, Jon Machota of The Athletic writes. Machota argues there’s “just not enough salary cap space,” to fit contracts for Gallup, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. A third-round pick in 2018, Gallup is entering the final year of his rookie deal and will be looking to get paid next offseason. Machota does think there’s “a scenario” where Cooper deals with injuries or regresses and the team opts to move on from him and keep Gallup, but that they won’t likely be back together. The Colorado State product is coming off a solid season where he turned 59 catches into 843 yards and five touchdowns, mostly without Dak Prescott. In his last year with Prescott, in 2019, he had 1,107 yards and six scores in only 14 games.
  • After trading Julio Jones, the Falcons will be leaning heavily on Calvin Ridley this season. As such, there was understandably some concern when it was announced a couple weeks ago that Ridley had undergone foot surgery. Fortunately, we’ve got another positive update to pass along. The foot injury was actually something Ridley dealt with during the 2020 season, and not a new injury suffered this offseason, the wideout told the media recently, via Scott Bair of the team’s official site. “It was just minor,” Ridley said. “I can walk and all that right now. I’m taking it one day at a time.” He also added that he’s “pretty sure” he’ll be ready for training camp, although Bair writes “that remains a bit of an unknown at this stage.” Either way, it doesn’t sound like anything to panic about.
  • In case you missed it, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is saying he isn’t worried about a potential contract extension.
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