Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Is Boldin on the move? It seems likely

April 22, 2009

As the NFL Draft looms on the horizon, one of the biggest names being floated around in trade rumors is that of disgruntled Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin.

Boldin, one of the elite wide-outs in the NFL, has been displeased with the team, and more importantly the front office for, as he sees it, not following through offering him a new contract, though they allegedly promised him one.

He has vowed to not resign with the team when his contract runs out in two years.

So, that leaves the Cardinals brass with two options:

One, let him play out his remaining time, because although he was unhappy last season, he still put together a Pro Bowl worthy effort.

I like that. That’s rare nowadays in professional sports, an athlete, especially one who is unhappy, actually honoring his contract and playing to the best of his ability.

Or the second option, the more likely of the two, is to trade the talented receiver, and I’ve heard buzz about four teams that are champing at the bit to get him, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, and the New York Giants.

Let’s look closer at these teams and their chances of becoming the next prospective home for Boldin, shall we?

Philadelphia:The Eagles are desperate to finally have a dominant receiver. Their brief love affair with TO ended over his attacking the Philly front office and beloved QB Donovan McNabb in the media, and he was released to become someone else’s headache.

The Eagles have a lot of picks in this draft, and would just love to give up some of them for Boldin. Conventional wisdom says it would take at least three picks (a first, and probably a third and fifth rounder). The Eagles have several picks in that fifth round, so this seems to be a good trade-off for both teams.

Baltimore: The Ravens need a number one receiver, plain and simple. Joe Flacco outperformed all expectations that were put on his last season, and led the Ravens to the playoffs. However, their receiving corps was extremely underutilized, mainly because there was no dominant force for Flacco to throw to.

Derrick Mason is good, don’t get me wrong, he did go for over 1,000 yards last season, but he’s a second receiver at best. Boldin would fill the void for a marquee guy, and the Ravens would finally have an offense that didn’t need to revolve around the run quite as often.

Baltimore has the necessary picks, but the three that they would likely need to land Boldin would eat up a majority of them. It could still happen though.

Miami: Seeing Boldin in aqua would be an interesting sight, and I think that it is the least likely of the four teams. Miami’s got the picks to spare, but I just don’t see Boldin as a Dolphin.

New York Giants: This could be an interesting fit. Arizona and New York aren’t exactly bitter rivals, but the games between the two, especially with Kurt Warner at QB for the Cards, makes this situation a little bit more fun.

The Giants are in desperate need of a marquee receiver, having released one-man PR disaster Plaxico Burress, and have been hot on the trail of Cleveland’s Braylon Edwards. Boldin would be a much better choice, and he’d probably love the media frenzy that comes along with playing in New York. The G-Men have a ton of picks in this draft, and are not likely to balk at a demand for a few of them if it means landing a guy like Boldin.

Overall, if I had to hazard a guess as to what uniform Boldin will be wearing come training camp, I’ll say this:

Welcome to New York, Mr. Boldin.

What should the Lions do with the No. 1 pick?

April 22, 2009

The day is rapidly approaching my friends.

The clock is ticking down.

T-minus 4 days and counting.

No, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not the apocalypse. It’s an event of far greater importance for many people.

We call it the 2009 NFL Draft, and it means the world to a lot of folks.

And one of the burning questions surrounding the event surrounds the Detroit Lions and their prize possession, the number one overall pick.

Conventional wisdom, and more importantly, the past, says that the Lions will select a wide receiver, and there are a few great ones in this draft class. However, Matt Millen a.k.a Doomsday Matt, is no longer at the helm of the Lions ship, and new GM Martin Mayhew is not likely to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor.

There are five options, as far as I’m concerned, for the Lions to consider:

1. Matt Stafford, QB Georgia: Stafford is a smart player, and that’s not too common these days. He’s got a cannon for an arm, and will be electric if he can get on track with the Lions receivers.

He put up very good numbers at Georgia last season, and respectable ones in 2007. He led the Bulldogs to a Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State in January, and looked excellent in that affair. He’d be a welcome addition for the Lions.

2. Aaron Curry, LB Wake Forest: I’m very high on Curry, as are a lot of teams. He’s easily the best defender in this draft, and has explosive speed, and a lot of football sense. He’s viewed as “the safest pick” in the draft, and no one would blame the Lions if they embraced that idea.

3. Jason Smith, OT Baylor: Smith is great run-blocker, and decent protection wise. Scouts compare him to Denver’s Ryan Clady, not a bad comparison considering Clady was a stud for the Broncos last season, finishing third overall in the Rookie of the Year voting (behind Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson). I doubt that Detroit will wander down this road, though he is going to be a great lineman in the NFL one day. The Rams will snatch him at pick number two; that’s almost a certainty.

4. Drew Henson, QB…oh, wait, he’s already fizzled several times. In two sports, no less.

And he’s also already on the Lions roster.

5. Trade the pick.

-there are several teams who would salivate at the opportunity to select first in this draft. However, I don’t think that Mayhew is likely to trade away his first pick as GM.

If I were the Lions, I’d go with Stafford. I know, it’s a cliched pick, taking the high profile QB, but the Lions are in desperate need of a signal caller, and there’s few out there who are better than Stafford, at least in this draft class. I think that Smith is extraordinarily talented, but hey, you’ve got to have a QB that needs protecting if you’re going to draft an OT.

Sorry Daunte Culpepper.

Fly away Jay Cutler

April 3, 2009

Embittered quarterback Jay Cutler has finally gotten his wish. He’s finally complained enough to warrant the Denver Broncos to cut their losses, and trade him to the Chicago Bears for fellow QB Kyle Orton and two draft picks.

An athlete complaining publicly to get what they want? There’s a shocker.

However, while I don’t condone what Cutler has been doing (issuing statements that he no longer wants to play in Denver, selling his Denver area home, and not answering phone calls from team brass), I can understand it on some level. His ego has taken a huge blow, and he will do anything to pump it back up. Cutler even went out of his way earlier this week to tell Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer that he had never wanted out of Denver. The evidence however, seems to say otherwise.

“I was surprised they decided to trade me this soon,” Cutler told Glazer. “I didn’t want to get traded. This wasn’t me. (The Broncos) had been going back and forth saying things, wanting me to be their quarterback and then they didn’t.”

Cutler then tried to mend fences with his former teammates and the Denver public.

“I really didn’t want this. I love Denver. I really like my teammates. I didn’t want it to get this far.”

But Denver owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach Josh McDaniels obviously found that Cutler could no longer be a part of the Broncos family, and shipped him to Chicago.

Cutler leaves the comfort of an offense that he once ruled, and was very productive while playing for, to head to a team that has no offense to speak of.

Former kickoff returner Devin Hester was the Bears leading receiver last season with 665 yards receiving. His three receiving TDs were third on the team behind tight end Greg Olsen (5) and running back Matt Forte (4). The Cutler/Hester duo seems to be explosive on paper, but only time will tell if that actually proves to be the case.

Forte, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and had 12 total TDs, is the lone weapon that the Chicago offense had boasted, and he’s got be thankful that the Bears finally have a competitive signal caller (nothing against Kyle Orton, but he’s no Jay Cutler).

So that leaves Denver with two quarterbacks who had endless potential (Orton and Chris Simms, son of Giants great Phil), but never lived up to it.

The question remains, the Broncos now have two picks in the top 20 (12,18), will they draft a quarterback. And will one of the top two guys in the draft, Stanford’s Matthew Stafford or USC’s Mark Sanchez, still be on the board?

My guess? Yes. Detroit more than likely won’t grab a high risk position player, like a QB, with the top pick. Seattle might take the plunge at pick number four, but that still leaves one or the other on the board for Denver to take a bit later. However, if the Broncos don’t take one of the two, a fantastic option might be Missouri’s Chase Daniel, who according to my good friend, and sports insider A.B. Sack, could very likely still be available in the third round when Denver picks at  79.

Cutler should be fine, he’s got the talent to survive anywhere. But where do the Broncos go from here, having lost their franchise player.

We’ll see, won’t we.

Is Dallas better without TO?

March 10, 2009

I’ve had a few people ask me today if the Cowboys are better off now that Terrell Owens has been cast off, and signed with the Bills.

The simple answer is, no, they’re not.

Owens being released leaves the Cowboys without a marquee receiver (and no, I’m not including Jason Witten, he’s a tight end).

Owens had 1,052 yards receiving, and 10 TDs last season.

Dallas’s roster boasts a group including former first round bust Roy Williams, Miles Austin, and Patrick Crayton.

Combined 2008-09 stats?

1,026 yards receiving, 8 TDs.

As I said, I”m not including Witten, who the team uses primarily as a receiver, and not a prototypical TE. He’s a great player, but can’t carry the team.

TO will be SORELY missed, count on it.

I would bet that less than five minutes into the Cowboys first game (9/7 at Cleveland), fans are screaming that they miss TO. And as much of a clown as he is, the man can flat out play football.

And to a lot of people, that takes precedence over an individual’s character.

TO to Buffalo?

March 9, 2009

When I got a text on Saturday from my best buddy, the HHH to my Heartbreak Kid, I expected it to be the usual stuff about the stupidity that we normally talk about. Instead, I was met by words I never thought I’d see: “TO to Buffalo.”

Terrell Owens has duped another team into dealing with his ego, but in this case, I see very little issue.

The Bills were a decent team already, and adding perhaps the best receiver in the game is a huge move for them. It gives them a phenomenal one-two combo at wideout, with TO and Lee Evans. Add in RB Marshawn Lynch, and you’ve got a pretty nice offense.

However, I still feel that the Bills are lacking one essential component, and that is a quarterback.

Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick are serviceable guys at best. They both have their strengths, but they both have a myriad of weaknesses as well.

Edwards is a very smart player, he doesn’t fold under pressure, but does at times make bad throws. He also lacks the big arm to hit the lightning quick Evans when he sprints pass the defender.

Fitzpatrick on the other hand, a Harvard boy who scored a 48 out of a possible 50 points on the Wonderlic exam, has one big strength, and that is his running ability (which he obviously needed last season in Cincy, the home of a grade school offensive line).

They don’t call him “Crazy legs for nothing.

My one knock on Fitzpatrick is inconsistency, but that could be attributed to playing for the Bengals, which is only slightly better than playing for the Detroit Lions.

It appears Edwards is the choice to start, but I can’t wait to see how long it is before TO throws him under the bus, and demands a new QB.

Hmm, over/under: three games?