Site Meter

"Trades and Changes" Archive

9/1/11

Eagles, Broncos and Redskins Pretend They Don’t Know Who Their #2 Quarterback Is

The Denver Broncos Continue to Treat Tim Tebow Like a Red-headed Step Child

It’s the last week of the pre-season and three teams are keeping up a ridiculous quarterback sham. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins are still telling everyone who will listen that they don’t know who the #2 quarterback is on their team. I have to be honest, I’m not here for that. I prefer when teams keep it real.

YOU LIE ANDY REID

The Philadephia Eagles have former Tennessee Titans STARTING Quarterback Vince Young as well as never-taken-a-snap-in-a-game-that-matters-but-definitely-seems-like-he-could-possibly-one-day 2010 4th round Eagles draft pick Mike Kafka. Young has a similar playing style to their starting QB Mike Vick and performed well enough to attend two pro bowls in the past. And before he was dramatically benched last year, he was having a pretty respectable season.

But the Eagles don’t know who their number 2 QB is? Oh okay, well let me tell you. IT’S VINCE YOUNG.

The ShanaSCAMS

The Redskins are just as pitiful with their situation. After benching a superior QB in Donovan McNabb for a spotty middling one–Rex Grossman–it seemed like the Shanahans were prepared to make a commitment to the QB (that most football watchers thought was exiled forever after leaving Chicago) until they could get a better veteran. But then the Shanahans (Head coach Mike and deeply offensive coordinator Kyle, his son) spent the entire lockout and first week of the pre-season raving about former Bringham Young QB John Beck. Beck, a man who 99.999999999% of football fans had never heard of. After no one took them seriously, the Redskins belatedly created some sort of “friendly quarterback competition” that is for all intents and purposes a complete sham.

Why? Because John Beck actually has a chance to be the Redskins QB for years to come. Grossman doesn’t. Everyone knows what Grossman can do. I can’t name a team in the league that would want to sign Grossman to a long term contract as a starter even given the dearth of talent that exists right now. You can’t rely on him to be a starter based on history and you can’t use him to train a new QB. Barring injury, the Redskins should be giving Beck the start, giving him intensive EXCLUSIVE tutelage, and figuring out what the hell he can do. Not having him split snaps and engage in some dumb ass competition with somebody who likely will spend the rest of their career as a backup.

The league is full of rookie quarterbacks and guys who have never been a starter before. They all will be learning the hard way this season. Perfect time to test out a newbie. You know what you (don’t) have in Grossman, might as well see what the deal is with Beck and stop confusing the hapless Washington media.

Ladies and Gents, Your Denver BRONCnos

Finally, the Broncos have made a mess of this entire quarterback situation. To be clear, Tim Tebow probably never should have been drafted as a quarterback in the first place. When I watch Tebow play, I feel like I’m watching a guy in a vicious battle with genetics. He knows what he needs to do but his body just won’t let him. He not only struggles with his throwing motion, simply dropping back with any sort of speed and fluidity is a test for him. The Broncos gave him the ultimate insult when they leaked to the press that Tebow just has “no football sense.” HOW LOW CAN YOU GO.

Just a few weeks ago, fans in Denver were SO TEBOW-CRAZY, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said that the Broncos would probably HAVE to start Tebow just to keep the peace. Now here we are a short time later and Kyle Orton is the clear starter. And the Broncos are telling us that they just haven’t decided who would replace Orton if he goes down (which, he will–I’ve already put him on “ankle watch 2011″).

Brady Quinn is their number 2 and Tebow won’t be with the Broncos next season. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still in the league. Quinn was highly touted and then fell completely off the radar. From all accounts, Quinn has regained some confidence and looked more promising than Tebow in the professional system. This is not to say that Quinn is the Broncos QB of the future–or anyone’s QB of the future. But Quinn isn’t fighting with his DNA just to get the ball of out his hands. And if the Broncos want Tebow to be number two breaking him down publicly like this is not the way to ensure his best performance. And Quinn can definitely tell Tebow a little bit about fan hype and disappointment.

Long story short, all these teams know who their number 2 is and I’m not in the mood to play dress up with them. Have at it.

8/8/11

NFL Quarterback Crisis: My Biggest Gripe With A World Where Rex Grossman Has Options

Tavaris Jackson had a few chances in Minnesota and didn't deliver. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thinks a stable situation will turn his play around.

I feel like I’ve gone on too much about the dearth of talent at the QB position in the NFL. But since there has been a bunch of movement at the QB spot over the two weeks, I suppose it’s appropriate to discuss it really briefly again.

Redskins QB Rex Grossman turned down a longer term offer with the Redskins preferring to sign a one year contract and keep his options open. On one hand, given Grossman’s previous performances, this could serve as a prime example of the audacity of NOPE. But, since the current NFL will now boasts Snap-starved Tavaris Jackson at the helm for the Seahawks and a very unproven Kevin Kolb taking 30 million + to take over the Arizona Cardinals, Grossman’s comment almost seems acceptable.

ALMOST.

Middling QBs are having the best year ever! And rookies that have to start right away might be having the worst. I’ll be interested to see how football commentators assess Andy Dalton and Cam Newton as they lead the disastrous Bengals and win-deficient Panthers from day 1. Both rookies will have it tough.

As for Rex Grossman, he is still going to have to “compete” for the starting spot in Washington with some dude named John Beck who I was going to research but lost interest half way through. In fact, I don’t plan to mention the Redskins much at all this year. As I’ve been told, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”

The main thing that is disappointing to me about bad quarterbacking is the impact it has on receivers. I’m rooting for Kolb to be good because I want Larry Fitzgerald to be good. I’m rooting for Tavaris Jackson to succeed because I want Sidney Rice to succeed. And so on. This is one thing to keep in mind as you build fantasy teams…who’s getting your guy the ball? Anyway, a great receiver on a team with a bad QB makes me feel like I’m being cheated out of something great.

All the more reason for the NFL to think about how it can better nurture and preserve QB talent.

A little bit on good cap management

Everyone was wondering how the Philadelphia Eagles could sign so a many high value players and remain under the salary cap. Peter King sums it up.

Understand this principle to start: The Eagles were not in bad cap shape to begin with. When free agency opened they were at $99 million in commitments to veterans and draft choices. (More about those later.) They had shed big veteran salaries over the last couple of years — including quarterback Donovan McNabb’s — and by opening day 2010 had the third-youngest 53-man roster in football. Young means salary manageable.

As of Sunday morning, the Eagles’ projected roster (there’s some guesswork here, but it’s close) consisted of 35 players with cap numbers of $1.5 million or less. And only six players — quarterback Mike Vick ($16.1 million cap number), cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha ($10 million), cornerback Asante Samuel ($9.34 million), tackle Jason Peters ($6.54 million), and defensive ends Jason Babin ($5.3 million) and Trent Cole ($5 million) — had cap figures of $5 million or more.

King goes on to say:

Not including Asomugha, the eight free agent signings and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who came from Arizona in the Kevin Kolb trade, have zero dollars promised to them for 2012 and beyond. There are years remaining on contracts, yes. But guarantees, no.

Point is, this is the kind of cap situation that can absorb Vick at $16.1 million this year, and Asomugha at $10 million this year and $11 million next year. And the kind of cap that can accommodate a very good player like Cullen Jenkins, the best rush defensive tackle on the market, who never saw the market develop for him the way he thought it would.

Jenkins thought his first-choice team, Philadelphia, wouldn’t sign him after giving Asomugha a four-year, $48-million contract. The Eagles convinced Jenkins they still wanted him badly, but just couldn’t pay him what they’d been discussing pre-Nnamdi. After a night to think about it, Jenkins decided he’d rather play where he wanted for $4 million than to go to a Cincinnati-type team for more money. Jenkins figures he’ll still have another payday if he outperforms this contract in the first year or two. The reputation of the Eagles helped — as did some players’ desire to play on Vick’s team.

One more thing about the Eagles’ cap. It’s not the league’s number of $120.38 million per team. It is actually $125.58 million. That includes $2.2 million in what the league calls “reallocation credits” from the last capped year, 2009, when the Eagles didn’t spend to the cap, and the $3 million every team can borrow from a future cap year to support veteran player costs this season.

Love that King mentions guys wanting to play with Vick, and if you haven’t checked my Vick bromance post, you should.

 

 

8/3/11

Michael Vick and The Eagles Benefit From the Powers of the Almighty…BROMANCE

Bromance
The intense love shared between heterosexual males. A form of male bonding and usually invisible to the naked eye. This bond is normally only shared between two males that have a deeper understanding of each other, in a way no woman could ever realize.

Michael Vick greets new teammate Nnamdi Asomugha at Training Camp. (Photo by Rich Shultz)

Yes I realize I have quoted Urban Dictionary, but I think that’s okay because it has the word “dictionary in it.”

Moving on…let’s get something straight.

You may have been sporting a Michael Vick jersey since his days of Virginia Tech. You might even have known him way back in his Warwick high school days. You may have even purchased red leg warmers when he played for the Falcons so that your legs were covered in red like his legs.

And by “you” I do mean me.

But neither one of us (you or me) should think for one second that you are among the elite group of Michael Vick’s biggest fans. Cause Vick’s biggest fans don’t attend games—they play in them.

Nobody loves Michael Vick more than other football players. That’s why I didn’t even raise an eyebrow when the Dallas Cowboy’s Tashard Choice asked for his autograph 2 seconds after his team got spanked.

I couldn’t believe how annoyed some fans were. Most athletes and even sports journalists knew: Who cares that Choice’s team lost one game. THIS IS MICHAEL FUCKING VICK! Not like he ran across the field and got Desean Jackson’s John Hancock.

Last night the Eagles worked out a deal with Jarrad Page. Page IMMEDIATELY tweeted about how excited he was to play for the Eagles. Following suit of the other many recent Eagles signings such as Jason Babin who also gushed with happiness to play for the team.

I lamented that I didn’t see too many new players for my beloved Falcons expressing such glowing excitement. Then I remembered, they don’t have Michael Vick anymore.

There’s a reason Michael Vick used to refer to himself as The Experience.  I can post any number of highlights showing the electrifying moves this man can make on a field. But what people don’t know is how much of a football players’ football player he is. Vick is the reigning King of guy’s guys. A man’s man, if you will.

If there’s anything that athletes know, it’s just how hard it is to do what so many of them make look easy. From a spectator standpoint, Vick still has a lot of issues with reading defenses (though he’s improved a lot) and some work to do with spreading the ball (which he avoided like the plague in Atlanta). But scouting reports aside there’s simply no accounting for the ability to do what simply looks impossible.

Other athletes appreciate that attribute in Vick more than anyone else. Not to mention Vick’s desire and drive to win games, and his refusal to be broken by his past mistakes—no matter how hard PETA and the media conspired to make him.

Once you factor in Vick’s magnetic personality, easy smile, and willingness to praise his teammates you have the makings of the biggest man-crush target in NFL history. Even the most level headed of players are wide-eyed for the comeback kid. Vick’s presence on the Eagles and helpfulness in recruiting new players is why the Eagles are signing pro bowl talents at bargain basement prices. And probably one of the reasons that Asante Samuel would rather stay and sit sometimes than be traded away to play among the lessers.

You get the sense that when Vick reached out to players to come to the Eagles their first thought was “He Likes me…he really likes me!” Players couldn’t wait to sign the dotted line on one of the Eagles seemingly endless slew of economical contracts.

As rumors swirl that the Eagles have reached out to Randy Moss, I have no doubt that if the recently retired player says “yes” to their advances, Vick will be the primary reason.

Bromances are powerful things.




 

8/1/11

How the Eagles Landed Nnamdi Asomugha: An EXCLUSIVE Peek Inside Asomugha’s PRIVATE Journal

Nnamdi Asomugha Shows up to Eagles Training Camp Sunday, July 31, 2011. He can't practice until Thursday, August 4th (new CBA rules)

First of all, I’m pretending to believe that Asomugha (Ass-sim-mah-wah) signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not going to REALLY believe it until my Asomugha jersey arrives which I will be ordering promptly the minute they go on sale. I spent all of Friday morning tweeting about how the Eagles rarely take risks or make what I perceive to be “grand gestures” toward fans or toward winning. It bothered me that the Eagles weren’t even in the race for Asomugha.

I wasn’t lobbying for them to sign him necessarily, but just to be in the race. To say, we’ll look at any and all options. We want to win, and we’re willing to come up with a surprise or two. Hours later, the Eagles signed Asomugha to a 5 year deal 60 million dollar deal with 25 million dollars UP FRONT. No one deserves it more than he does. And no one deserves to be excited going in to a season more than us Philly fans. And if you say different, I really hope you can drive your car on blocks.

In addition to the Aso signing, the Eagles have signed almost everyone else who was free…Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, Vince Young, Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, Oprah, Stedman. Well, everyone except Desean Jackson who may or may not be ending his “holdout” soon depending on who’sreporting.

More on Desean later. For now, I know everyone is wondering how the Eagles slipped in and stole Aso from under the noses of the Jets, Cowboys, Texans and 49ers. Lucky for you, I got my hands on Aso’s journal. woot!

For those who don’t know much about Asomugha, all you need to know to enjoy his journal entries is that he’s perfect.

Nnamdi Asomugha Journal Pages from Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29, 2011.

5:00 am – Woke up and drank organic coffee and ate three boiled eggs and had a protein shake while reading the LA Times, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal from front to back. I feel smarter every day. God is so good.

6:00 amWorked out in top secret location with top secret people doing top secret drills.

8:00 am – Called Jets Coach Rex Ryan and heard his ringback tone which I felt was completely inappropriate. I googled the lyrics…apparently the “song” was “Sex in Crazy Places” by some fellow by the name of “Gucci Mane.” Hung up without leaving a message.

8:45 am Received a video message from Jets Linebacker Bart Scott saying that he “couldn’t wait” to be roommates. Set a rule to send all emails from Bart to special folder (gmail trash bin).

9:00 am Called some kids I mentor to make sure they are doing well. And they are. I worry too much but can’t help it. God is so good.

9:15 am Received voice message from a team with which I was not familiar. They said they call themselves “the San Francisco 49ers.” Googled them on my limited edition Iphone. Couldn’t tell if they were really in the NFL or not. Wrote myself a note to ask my agent. Still forgot.

10:00 am Arrived at the airport with my agent to fly to Houston for a meeting with the Texans. I’ve heard good things.

11:15 am Must turn phone off now. I hope this flight is safe. God is so good.

3:00 pm Arrived at Houston Texans facility. Everything was going well until they suddenly brought out several bottles of moscato and plates of chicken tenders. Informed them that it’s tacky to serve dessert wine at lunch and that I do not partake in the consumption of fried foods. Weird moment of misunderstanding too: They thought I came for wine and chicken tenders. But I’d said I wanted to sign with a contender. Couldn’t wait to leave.

4:00 pm Tired. A lot on my mind. Heading back to the hotel to relax with some light reading. Probably Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

NEXT DAY

7:00 am Slept in this morning. Can’t believe I woke up so late. But I’m blessed to have the opportunity. God is so good.

8:00 am Turned on the TV but couldn’t bear to see myself on every channel. All this attention is so embarrassing. There is a famine in East Africa for God sakes. Took a moment to pray.

9:00 am Drove to Dallas and met Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who greeted me wearing a dashiki and later tried to put a cowboy hat on my head without asking. My agent told him that Black people don’t like to be touched to which he responded “I thought he was African!” Couldn’t wait to leave.

2:00 pm Received a text from my good friend Jets Cornerback Darrell Revis telling me he really hopes I sign with the Jets. What a great guy. Never figured him to be one to have a pet though. Seems he has a hamster or something. He was on his way to buy spinning wheels.

2:30 pm Received text message from my old boss Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis’ great great great great great great great great grand daughter letting me know that he died for the 7th time since 1983. I was sad as I always am when this happens to him. Can’t wait until he comes alive again. God is so good.

3:45 pm Heard from my agent that the Philadelphia Eagles swear up and down (which really isn’t respectful of God but anyway) that they want to win a Superbowl and might be willing to offer me money to play for them. Spoke to Eagles owner Joe Banner and heard the passion in his voice. They sent over an initial offer but something seemed amiss…** Contract must definitely be revised!

4:15 pm Received a phone call from the President Emeritus of my alma mater, The University of California Berkeley regarding Eagles Wide Receiver Desean Jackson. They were concerned about the impact his twitter account and general life behavior might have on the image of the university. They asked me to take him under my tutelage as he is a fellow alum and I happily obliged. It’s such an honor to help guide young men in the right direction, even when they are a mere 5 years younger than I.

5:45 pm Signed a reworked contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Can’t wait to start. GOD IS SO GOOD.

**A sneak peak at the first contract the Eagles sent Asomugha:

DEAR SIR,

FIRST I MUST ASK FOR YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN REGARDING TO THE TRANSACTION IN WHICH I AM ASKING YOU TO ENTER. WE ARE IN GREAT NEED OF HELP AS WE HAVE EXPERRRRRIENCED MANY TRIALS OVER THE PAST YEARS AS YOU MAY SEE. THEREFORE, I NEED AN URGENT HELP FROM YOU AS A MAN OF GOD TO HELP GET THIS MONEY TO YOUR COUNTRY. THIS MONEY, AFTER GETTING TO YOUR COUNTRY, WOULD BE SHARED ACCORDING TO THE PERCENTAGE AGREED BY BOTH OF US.PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MATTER IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AS THE GOVERNMENT IS STILL UNDER SURVAILLANCE TO PROBE US. IF YOU PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS NUMBERS WE WILL THEN TRANSFER UK 25,000,000,000,000,000,0000 EUROS INTO YOUR ACCOUNT MR. ASOMUGHA. PLESE DO NOT SHARE THIS DOCUMNT BEYOND YOUR GRACIOUS EYES.

I’m such a fool. LOLLLLLL

If you missed Asomugha’s press conference for the Eagles yesterday, here ya go:

 

 

 

7/18/11

Soon-To-Be Former Titans QB Vince Young Says He’s Not Finished Yet

Soon-to-be-former Titans QB Vince Young

The 2011 season (see how confident I sound that there will be a season?) will have many story lines. Where soon-to-be former Tennesee Titans Quarterback Vince Young lands will be one of them. Just in case you’re not caught up, Young lost his starting job after sustaining a thumb injury, being pulled out of the game, and walking out pretty dramatically.

The Titans drafted University of Washington QB Jake Locker with the 8th pick in the first round. From my vantage point, all signs point to the Titans releasing Young and probably signing soon-to-be former Seattle Seahawks oldie but goodie Matt Hasselback for a year, if not two.

Young was interviewed by Fox and had this to say:

“Everybody that knows me with the things I have done in the NFL, I’ve been successful,” said Young in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

“I’m not finished yet. I’m not happy where I am yet because you know me, I love the competitive nature. I love everybody saying ‘what are you gonna do,’ the doubters. That’s my motivation and once that number’s called, if it’s in Nashville or whereever it has to be, I’ll be ready.”

Young said it’s tough not knowing where he will be playing in 2011.

“That’s been tough,” Young said. “The biggest thing is not being at the facility with your coaches.

Throughout his career Young has struggled with mental illness causing football media and fans to question whether or not he can play in a tough league at a position that requires the ability to deal with a lot of pressure and criticism. Last season Young looked to be headed in the right direction and proving his detractors wrong. At least from a statistical performance standpoint. He put up some of his best numbers through the 9 games he played.

Looking at this picture holistically, I think that Young CAN succeed somewhere else. Even if that means starting over as a backup somewhere and re-emerging as a starter in a year. The current league isn’t exactly stacked with QB talent, and, quite frankly, Young isn’t the only starting QB that could stand to step back for a minute and regroup (in a perfect world, of course).

One thing that that has always bothered me about the Titans situation is the now-ousted Coach Fisher’s apparently immediate distaste for Young. Now I realize that playing well from the start is a way to win a Coach over, but there’s also something to be said for creating an environment in which a young man can succeed. A team’s willingness to do that is why Eli Manning was able to overcome some of his niggling shortcomings, in particular his confidence, and go on to lead the Giants to a Superbowl in 2008.

Anyway, yall know I’m a softie. I’m rooting for Vince Young to come back and be competitive.

 

 

Find a player or team

Posts By Year

Podcast