We’re officially in the second half of the sports year.

Well, if we’re being honest, it’s literally the second half of the year, sports or not.

With the MLB All-Star Game behind us and play set to resume today, we’re now in the half of the year that includes the beginning of the college football season, the beginning of the NFL season, the beginning of the NBA season, the beginning of the NHL season, the beginning of the college basketball season and The Olympics.

Of all the halves of 2016, we’re in the best one (and not a moment too soon).

Von Miller, Justin Tucker & Eric Berry head into contract deadline day

Jim Nantz dab Von Miller

Today, July 15, is the last day of potential contract negotiations allowed between NFL teams and the players that have slapped with a franchise tag. If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement on a new long-term deal, they will be forced to wait until after the 2016-2017 season is over and play it out under the terms of the aforementioned tag. There’s a lot of notable NFL players whose agents did not sleep last night as they head into the homestretch of this high-stakes, million-dollar game of chicken.

Most notable among them, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who teased not too long ago that he would be willing to sit out the upcoming season if a deal wasn’t reached with the Denver Broncos. According to reports, however, a deal is indeed on the horizon as the Broncos have offered  at least $70 million in overall guarantees, up from the $61 million previously offered. It might all come down exactly when that money kicks in as Miller was adamant about wanting at least three years guaranteed up front.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is said to be extremely frustrated with negotiations between he and his team. So much so that he is vowing not to re-sign with the franchise after this season if they can’t come to a deal today.

“Justin’s disillusioned with the process right now and the Ravens’ position with him on his contract,” Tucker’s agent, Rob Roche, said Thursday. “If we don’t get a long-term deal done by Friday, Justin will not entertain offers from [the] Ravens after the season.”

Now before you chuckle and say, “Dude, you’re just a kicker,” know that Tucker is one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL. Ravens fans seem to know it as well.

Meanwhile, recent ESPY winner for Best Comeback Player Eric Berry and the Kansas City Chiefs are the midst of negotiations but it’s not looking good for a deal to get done. If the deal doesn’t come through, Berry will play out the year on a one-year, $10.8M contract. So it’s not all bad.

Some other players to keep an eye on include Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson, and Bears WR Alshon Jeffery.

Tim Tebow denies “rumor” he would speak at Republican National Convention

Tebow

Donald Trump has casually thrown a lot of big sports names out there that were supposed to stand up and speak on his behalf at the upcoming Republican National Convention. Mike Tyson. Tom Brady. Bobby Knight. And now Tim Tebow, a surprise entry added to give the proceedings a motivational boost.

Only…this was news to Tim Tebow, who is in fact not attending.

“I wake up this morning to find out I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention. It’s amazing how fast rumors fly and that’s exactly what it is, a rumor.”

It turns out that this speaker list might be more of a wish list than any actual confirmations. How very unlike Donald Trump to make big pronouncements without backing them up with any kind of factual basis.

Quick Hits

jon stewart stephen colbert

– Speaking of the RNC, word is that Jon Stewart will be reuniting with Stephen Colbert to cover the event in some yet-to-be mentioned way. Giddy up.

– Andre Iguodala says the Oklahoma City Thunder should have won the NBA Championship even though they lost to the team that lost to the team that actually won the NBA Championship. Tight logic, Andre.

– In the upcoming 30 for 30 doc “Doc & Darryl,” Darryl Strawberry strongly implies he had sexual intercourse in-between innings during games.

“When I was on the road, probably. It’s a great possibility. In the middle of a game. Let’s just leave it at that. Been there, done that.”

– Manu Ginobili will stay with the Spurs. At least someone is staying put this off-season.

– The Red Sox acquired left-handed starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres for 18-year-old right-hander Anderson Espinoza.

– Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the Sprint Cup race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway due to concussion-like symptoms and SB Nation says he’s helping make the sport safer by making the right call.

– Anderson Varejao has reportedly agreed to a return to the Golden State Warriors, because, duh.

– After the All-Star Game, David Ortiz spoke about players under contract on another team and their potential as future Red Sox and that’s a big no-no. MLB is investigating.

– Here’s your first look at Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower. Get excited. NOW.

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– The Arizona Diamondbacks have sent highly-touted pitcher Shelby Miller to Triple-A Reno and are probably regretting that trade they made for him in the off-season.

– Stephen A. Smith ripped Tom Brady and then Bill Simmons ripped Smith and ESPN for ripping Brady. There was a lot of ripping yesterday. Expect more today.

– During an interview at SEC Media Day, Nick Saban implied that Louisiana police were biased when they arrested two Alabama players. The police department in question responded in kind.

“I can tell you for a fact that the first officer on the scene is not an LSU fan,” Chris Bates, the Monroe Police PIO, said Wednesday. “He hates LSU. He doesn’t like the color yellow or purple and gold. In fact, he’s a Florida fan. If you mention LSU around him, he throws up in his mouth. Most of our officers are LSU fans, but we have some who are Arkansas fans and Georgia fans and Alabama fans. And I’ll tell you this, the first officer did not even know those guys were players.”

Oops.

Headline We Won’t Be Able To Explain To Future Generations

One Last Breath of Gratuitous Procrastination

Have you guys heard of the German sport Headis? It’s ping-pong but with your head. Don’t tell any CTE doctors about this, okay?

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.