Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last minute NFL news ...

After a tumultous summer of baseball and soccer, the NFL season finally kicks off tomorrow night in New Orleans. I could not be more excited.

This past week has been action-packed, as teams make their last minute adjustments and tweak their rosters. Here are the ten biggest football stories of the past week:
1) Darrelle Revis signs! After a 36 day hold out, the best defensive player in football re-joined the New York Jets with a 4-year deal and $32 million in guaranteed money. This is huge. Possibly bigger than any trade or acquisition of the summer. Without Revis, the Jets are a sub-.500 team. With Revis, they're legitimate Super Bowl contenders. He's that good.
Basically, what happened here is the Jets called Revis' bluff. They knew Revis is too much of a competitor to miss any games, and they waited him out. And he caved. He settled for a deal that is closer to what the Jets wanted to pay than what he wanted to earn. He should be making "best CB in the NFL" money - $15 million a year like Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha. But instead he's making closer to $10 million a year, or maybe a little more if he reaches the incentives. Let's not throw a pity party for Revis - he is making more money in 1 day than I make in 1 year. But somehow, strangely, he did get underpaid.

This coming Monday night against the Ravens, Revis will be matched up against Anquan Boldin and essentially eliminate him from the offense. This will force Flacco to search for other targets throughout this game. Which is a perfect segway to the next story...

2. Seattle cuts T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Baltimore scoops him up.

Pete Carroll continued the process of creating an all-USC team in Seattle by cutting the #1 receiver on his depth chart to make room for mega-bust Mike Williams. This was a shocking and stupid move. Housh may be old and injured, but he was the best receiver on Seattle.

Baltimore quickly picked him up, to replace injured Dante Stallworth and give Andy Szymas yet another reason to love Joe Flacco.

Here are the positives: Housh has caught 370 passes over the past 4 seasons. He's an elite route runner and the ultimate possession guy. And his biggest weakness - pure laziness - will now be reduced to a minimum as he seeks to avenge Seattle and prove that he's not washed up.

And the negatives: He's 32 years old, coming off a sports hernia injury, and lacks the athleticism he had in his younger days. In terms of big-play ability and breakaway speed, Housh is basically a tight end.

From a fantasy perspective, rookie Golden Tate and speedster Deon Butler will now compete for the main job in Seattle, while John Carlson will now be a top 10 tight end.

3. Speaking of Seattle, offensive line coach Alex Gibbs unexpectedly announced his retirement just days before opening kickoff. Usually when an offensive line coach disappears, no one notices or cares. But Alex Gibbs is different. He's been an offensive line coach for over 25 years in the NFL, and was the mastermind behind all those Denver teams that ran like crazy in the late 90s. (Remember Terrell Davis?) He was one of the best things Pete Carroll had going for him. And now he's inexplicably gone.

Not that Seattle was on their way to the playoffs, but this shows what kind of disarray they're in. Combined with the injury to #6 overall pick Russell Okung (he'll be out 3-5 weeks), Seattle's offensive line is really going to suck. Which means an injury to Hasselbeck is forboding. Which means we get to see Charlie Whitehurst and his beautiful hair sooner than later.

4. Boise State beats Virginia Tech.
Not an NFL story, obviously, but a big football story. This keeps Boise in the top 3 and proves that they belong there. If you've read this blog at all, you know I don't give a crap about college football. I used to, but the BCS ruined it for me. (So did Rich Rod). But if Boise State can go undefeated for the 24th season in a row, maybe they'll finally be allowed to play in the championship game and maybe that will help lead to the detriment of the BCS. And then maybe I'll start paying attention to college football again. Go Boise!

5. Arizona cuts Matt Leinart; Houston picks him up.
From a football standpoint, this doesn't make an ounce of impact. Leinart goes from second string on the Cards to third string on Houston.

But what this does prove is that Matt Leinart is officially a BUST and his football career is officially over. Ken Whisenhunt didn't want to mess around with quarterback controversy all season long, so he put the job squarely in Derek Anderson's hands and Max Hall (promising youngster from BYU) is the new backup.

Leinart now joins JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Joe Harrington, David Carr and Tim Couch as the NFL's all-time biggest busts at the quarterback position. Typically, first round quarterbacks are busts for one of two reasons:

One; they played in a college-style spread offense and their skills didn't work in the faster NFL (Couch, Russell, Akili Smith, Vince Young, Andre Ware, Tim Tebow) or two; they were protected by a bogus offensive line (Harrington, Carr, Alex Smith).
In some rare cases, the player just completely lacks any semblance of talent (Harrington) but that's neither here nor there.

In the case of Leinart, he didn't have those excuses. He played at USC - just like Carson Palmer and Marc Sanchez who are doing just fine. And he played on an offense with two Pro Bowl receivers, an offense that Kurt Warner brought to the Super Bowl. Like I said, no excuses.

Which means you can chalk his bogus career up to one thing: lack of intangibles. Lack of work ethic. Lack of leadership. Lack of that 'it' factor. That's why the Cardinals cut him. Not because he's too small, too weak, or can't throw the deep ball. It's his personality that ultimately ended his career.

We've seen this before. Lots of first round quarterbacks don't have the leadership skills (Harrington, Ryan Leaf, JP Losman) or the work ethic (Russell) to be an NFL starter. The point of all this is a caution to Lions' fans. Matt Stafford might have the arm. He might have the understanding of the playbook. He might have all the physical tools. But if he continues to hang out with plastic-boobed bimbos and take pictures with beer kegs, he's down the same path as Leinart.

6. Albert Haynesworth is on the trading block.

Okay, so he's been on the trading block for about 6 months now. But Coach Shanahan showed Albert just how much he dislikes him by making him play the Redskins' fourth preseason game in its entirity. What a slap in the face to do that to a starting player, especially one who's played in multiple Pro Bowls. Shanahan said it was for "conditioning reasons." But clearly, he just hates Haynesworth and wanted to pay him back for all the headaches and team chemistry problems. Now, Haynesworth is back on the trading block, which means more drama is yet to come.
I don't like Washington and I don't like the job Shanahan is doing there.

Speaking of Washington, they cut Willie Parker and he has yet to be picked up by anyone. Really Detroit? You'd rather have Aaron Brown?

7. Pittsburgh loses Byron Leftwich for 4-6 weeks, and names Dennis Dixon the starter over Charlie Batch. In a related story, Ben Roethlisberger's suspension is reduced to 4 games.

Here's my outlandish prediction: Dixon is good. Like, legitimately NFL-good. Heck, he's been great in the preseason. He can throw the ball pretty well and run as good as any QB in the league. Against Atlanta, I think he throws 2 TDs and runs for another. I think he'll have 200+ passing yards and 50+ running yards.
He's a fantasy enigma. He could potentially run for 100 yards against anyone. And if Ben gets injured at any point in the season, Dixon could make himself even more valuable. If he plays as good as I think he might, he could end up the starting QB somewhere next season. Perhaps Minnesota? Or Cleveland?
8. Baltimore trades a 5th round draft pick to Seattle for CB Josh Wilson.

This move was overlooked by a lot of folks, but it could end up being of utmost importance. Wilson was Seattle's best cover corner and fills a huge hole for the Ravens. With Ed Reed out 6 weeks and their starting cornerbacks both injured, Baltimore was just days away from beginning the season with practice squad players in the starting lineup. Wilson gives them a B+ player at their biggest position of need.

As for Seattle, this makes no sense. None whatsoever. The only explanation is that Wilson is yet another player that Pete Carroll didn't like. I checked out a few Seahawks fans' sites and they're all pissed about this move. I would be too. You're not going to get a player as good as Josh Wilson in the fifth round.

9. LenDale White has Achilles surgery - will miss the entire season.

This makes Knowshon Moreno the no-doubt goal line back and makes me very happy that I snagged him in the fifth round.

10. Reggie Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy will be taken away. Any photos, memorabilia, or any trace of his existence whatsoever has been baned at USC. He's not allowed to go there to speak to players. His memory as a Trojan is essentially erased.

What a punk. He deserves it. Maybe you should have played by the rules Reggie. Why don't you go do a flip into the endzone you retard.

And just for fun, let's take a look at the 8 biggest moves the Detroit Lions made this past week.....
1 - Signed kick returning specialist Stefan Logan, days after he was cut from Pittsburgh.

Detroit hasn't had a half-decent return man since Eddie Drummond, and has been tinkering around with dofus after dofus. Logan gives them a stud. Last year he was top 10 in the NFL in both punt return yards and kickoff return yards. His average kickoff return was 26.7 yards; Detroit averaged 21.4 yards. This could be extremely important Lions fans.

2 - Traded 4th string tight end Dan Grankowski to Denver for cornerback Alphonso Smith.

I'm usually pretty leery about guys named Alphonso, but he gives us good depth in the secondary. He was taken in the second round of the 2009 draft, so he's clearly got potential. I'm surprised Denver gave up on him so quickly. Here's how stupid Denver's management is:

In the 2009 draft, they traded a 2010 first rounder (which would have been pick 14) in order to move up in the second round so they could take Smith. Then, after just one season, they traded Smith to Detroit for Grankowski, who was picked 255th in 2009 by Detroit. So essentially, they traded a 14th overall pick in 2010 for a 255th overall pick (second to last) in 2009.

The best part of this? Detroit would have cut Grankowski anyway.

3 - To make room for Alphonso, Detroit cut veteran corner Dre Bly. In a related story, my uncle Mark cried himself to sleep 3 nights in a row.

4 - Cut Dennis Northcutt and Mr. Irrelevant, Tim Toone.

This is frustrating, because either option would have been better than Derrick Williams, who made the 53-man team. The only reason Detroit kept Williams is because they don't want to admit they wasted a third round pick on him last year. Once we signed Logan, we should have immediately dropped Williams and kept Toone.

5 - Cut right tackle Jon Jansen - meaning Gosder Cherilus is definitely the starter. This eliminates the position battle and now Gosder won't have to look over his shoulder. Unless he's looking back to see Stafford get destroyed by a blitzing linebacker.

6 - Ndamukong Suh was fined $7,500 for his life-threatening hit on Jake Delhomme. I absolutely love it. I hope Suh does this every game to every quarterback. I know it was a late hit and a dirty hit and the fine was deserved. But it was awesome. He basically said with this play: "I hate quarterbacks and I will kill them." Jay Cutler should be very afraid right now.

If you love watching Suh destroy people as much as I do, check out these links:

7 - DeAndre Levy misses practice with groin injury.

Most likely Detroit will be without their starting middle linebacker against Chicago on Sunday. It's likely that Landon Johnson will start in his place. As much as I love Suh, it's hard to get excited about Detroit's defense.

8 - Signed Spencer Havner, tight end/fullback/linebacker who was cut by the Packers.

No idea what position Havner might play. He is currently listed as a linebacker. He scored 4 touchdowns as a tight end last season in Green Bay. He can play fullback. This is just weird. What are we going to do with a guy like this. I guess it's good to have depth at 3 positions simultaneously with just one player.

Okay that's it. Enjoy week 1. Less than 36 hours til football season ...



  1. Do you regret Flacco (and change) for Rodgers (and change) now? That's a dang good wide receivers corps around Flacco now.

    I'm still flopping on Hines Ward or Jacoby Jones for week one. What do you think?

  2. I just wrote my pick column, and realized that my Mortal Lock is the exact opposite of your Major Upset for week 1. Should be fun to see how that plays out!

  3. haha
    ill have to read your picks right away

    i actually dont regret the flacco/rodgers trade very much. im thinking felix will be less than i first thought he would be, and im thinking (hoping) jonathan stewart will take more carries from deangelo williams this year b/c deangelo is in contract year and might be on his way out. just a hunch though, could be wrong about that. i do like beanie quite a bit more than i used to so overall i still like the trade for me. but rodgers better not get hurt.

    id go hines if it were me personally, but if you feel like playing jacoby, i'd do that. gotta go with your own personal gut. the thing about hines is he always gets at least 40-50 yards. theres a chance jacoby does nothing. hes still unknowkn. theres also a chance he goes totally bonkers. but hines is the safe play. although, atlanta has a good cover corner in dunta robinson. im not sure if he'll be matched against hines or wallace though. if its hines, it might be a bad day for him. maybe only 3-4 catches.
    as you can tell, im way overly excited about fantasy season.