How we doing today? Let's get to it. . .
Thx. At some point, I'd like to do a more in-depth story on Brandon Williams. He has quite a story. St. Louis has a fairly significant presence in the NFL, and one of the few benefits of not having an NFL team here is having the time to track these guys. As for that guaranteed money, it's just kind of a sign of the times in today's NFL. The contracts never get cheaper in the NFL.
Yeah, the Cowboys are in a tough spot. Who in their right mind would trade for a soon-to-be 37-year-old quarterback with an extensive injury history due to make base salaries of $14 million in 2017, $19.5 million in 2018, and $20.5 million in 2019? As you know, if you trade for a player, you inherit the contract. So unless a team currently looking for a starter gets shut out at the QB position in the draft and maybe panics a little, it's hard to see any type of trade for Romo. And you're right on the dead money. I think it's a little over $19 million that accelerates into the Cowboys' cap with a trade. It looks like the best thing for the Cowboys to do is just wait through the draft _ to see if anything materializes late _ and then just designate Romo as a post-June 1 release (which spreads out the impact of dead money).
The feeding frenzy period of free agency usually lasts only about a week. We're already into what I call the "garage sale" period in which teams are looking for bargains. Less than 2 weeks into free agency, and only 5 of the players on our Top 30 list of free agents are still on the market: C Nick Mangold, DT Johnathan Hankins, S T.J. McDonald, RB Adrian Peterson, and OLB Erik Walden. This is usually a sign that the player (and his agent) have over-estimated his value on the market. Chris Long is a little bit different case. I don't think he expected to go in the first wave. In fact, he spent the early part of free agency climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of his Waterboys charity. Probably tough to get cell service up there.
But if you're the Patriots, you don't want to give Jimmy G away. Don't you think it takes at least a first-round draft pick to get him out of Foxborough? As good as Brady is playing at his advanced age, and as durable as he's been over the course of his career, you still need some insurance at the position, don't you? Or are you ready to hand the car keys over to Jacoby Brissett?
Actually, Whitworth is "only" 35 _ he turns 36 in December. He's still a good player, but when you're that age you can lose it in a hurry. So that one is a bit of a gamble for the Rams. As for Woods, his career high in receiving yards in his four NFL seasons is only 699 yards. I'm sure he still has some upside, but that's a lot of money for 699 yards. I really thought, because of the McVay connection to Washington, that the Rams might end up with a more proven commodity, such as Pierre Garcon.
Bruce, Holt, Hakim and Proehl vs. Austin, Woods, Cooper, and. . . .You be the judge.
To follow up on my earlier point, this is the time where you swallow your pride and do a reality check in terms of your worth and market value.
Yeah, those long-term contracts always are problematical with older players, especially with all that dead money.
Well, if Mangold has anything left at age 33, he might be worth it. I mean, the guy is a seven-time Pro Bowler. But the thing that's troublesome about that scenario is that just when Goff might be settling in at QB _ say in a couple of years _ that's when Whitworth or even Mangold probably will be done.
Yeah Stan, another 4-12 season wouldn't exactly be the ideal marketing plan for PSLs. Even in LA, I think there will be some sticker shock when those PSL prices come out.
But other than that, did you have a good time?
I think there's an agreement between the NFL and the CFL. The CFL doesn't have franchises in the U.S. And the NFL can't have teams in Canada. So I don't think Toronto is an option at this point.
Other than Harris, I think cornerback Aarion Penton gets drafted (even though he didn't get a combine invite) and plays nickel back for someone. As for next year, the most obvious ones are WR J'Mon Moore and DE/OLB Marcell Frazier.
I don't think it will have an impact. I really don't. Although, I'd guess that the NFL might post extra security in the locker room area specifically to keep an eye on such things. A couple things to remember about Super Bowl postgames: very few media members actually work the locker rooms. Because of the sheer numbers of media members, many stay in the press box and rely on interview audio that is piped up live to the press box, or even quote sheets. And among those who do go downstairs to the locker room area, most of the interviews take place in podium areas set up outside the locker room.
The addition of Whitworth should help. And if Gurley was humbled at all by what happened last year, you'd think he'd come in this year better prepared. Even so, unless the passing game is better, it's still going to be tough to run.
Interesting question. He's missed a lot of football over the last couple years. And if I were the Rams, I'd certainly be concerned about his health going forward. Plus, his body type suggests that he might have to play some stand-up linebacker in Wade Phillips' 3- scheme.
It's dangerous to put too much credence into free agency, when it comes to handicapping the upcoming season. But yeah, assuming Mariota has no setbacks in his rehab from the broken fibula, I think you'd have to say the Titans rate as the preseason favorite. The Texans' highly-touted defense took some free-agent hits (Bouye, Demps) and of course they have the never-ending QB issue. I could be wrong, but from afar the Colts' moves strike me as just treading water. Yes, Jacksonville made some big moves, but they've done that just about every year in free agency with no impact on the won-loss record. As for the Titans, I loved the Logan Ryan move. And some of the smaller moves caught my eye as well, such as re-signing Matt Cassel (always good to have vet backup at QB), and signing Daren Bates, a former Ram who's an aggressive special teams player. And let's see what the draft brings with the last of those extra picks from the Rams.
I haven't interviewed Smith in several years, dating back to when he was still in his heyday with San Francisco and before his current woes started. Obviously, Smith has issues and needs help. And you're right, one of the saddest stories in sports is that of wasted talented.
The Rams are getting fairly tight against the cap, so unless they restructure or make some cap cuts, I don't think they have the resources to make any major splashes in the remainder of free agency. You've got to keep in mind that it's almost time to start thinking about contract extensions for Donald and Ogletree as well. Besides, there's not much left player-wise that could be described as a major splash. I think the team still needs help t wide receiver.
Obviously, landing Brandon Marshall is the big move. Yes, I know he's a diva _ and that makes two divas now at the position. But Eli Manning seems to have a knack for keeping his guys involved. I still wonder about the O-line and running game. And I'm curious to see if Hankins ends up re-signing.