Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Few NFL Updates

It's been a little while since I've written anything, so I'll jump back into the fray with a little NFL talk. Lot of stuff going on, but I suspect we may look back and see it as a lot of action without much impact on the serious contenders. Remember the wildness over Albert Haynesworth last year? Exactly.

  • At this point we have to assume that the economy has hit the Rust Belt worse than we thought and Cleveland hasn't had electricity or outside communication in the last year or so. That's the only explanation for the hands down worst decision of the NFL offseason, the Browns' gift of a 2-year deal to Jake Delhomme, the biggest meltdown of 2009. Seriously, Bernie Madoff had a better 2009 than Jake Delhomme. How unwanted was Delhomme? The Panthers had signed him to a new contract that they just decided to eat after 1 season, despite the fact that they're paying him $12 mil this year. He was that bad. They're paying him $12 mil to leave town. And what do the Browns do? They hand him another $7 mil for 2010 to throw awful picks to the AFC North. He'll never see the 2011 money, so forget about the second year of the deal. It's amazing, when you think that people get paid a ton of money to make these decisions.
  • I actually really liked Julius Peppers to the Bears. I don't think they're as far away as you'd think, considering last year's debacle, and if they can shore up that garbage heap of an O-line, they could make a push (they had to bring in Piano-crate sized casket the 1,000 pound guy got buried in to take away Orlando Pace). Tough division though, with the Packers and Vikes overall better clubs. But Peppers gives them a playmaker on the defensive front 7 who can create problems, and that's hard to come by.
  • The Pats actually did real well by overpaying to keep their key players instead of tossing big money at a scarce free agent market. It makes big news to pay Karlos Dansby $45 million, but was anyone ever scared by the Arizona defense when he was there? Paying Wilfork 125% of his market value was a good move in an uncapped year, and shows the crew management's on their side. Same thing for Bodden, who's the second best corner in the division.
  • Cleveland, be prepared to be let down by Ben Watson. His hands are inconsistent and he doesn't block. But if it comes down to a Tight End 40 meter dash contest, you're in great shape! Nice work you goddamn morons. If one of the best passing offenses in the league can't make much use of him, I'm sure Mangini and Delhomme will fix things. Good use of $12 mil. Maybe next time just pile up $6 mil and just set it on fire. At least then it won't take 3 years to get rid of it.
  • I don't like the Jets moves as much as everyone else. If Antonio Cromartie is really a stud cornerback, why the hell is San Diego sending him away for a 3rd round pick? And what's with the swap of Thomas Jones for a clearly washed up Ladainian Tomlinson. I understand that Jones is probably on the downside of his career, but how is the best solution to bring in a guy who's not only at the bottom of the hill, but in a ditch at the bottom of the hill.
  • As for the draft, the Rams just have to take Sam Bradford. They just do. Try to integrate him into games where you can, but realize that this is going to take a couple of years. Actually, following the Detroit plan can work. I like the Lions' big picture plans and they're putting together a solid roster of good players. I love Ndamukong Suh for them at #2, and with a good draft they're an 8-8 team in 2011. If they were in the NFC West, I'd take them to win the Division in 2011. But they're not, so they won't.
  • I don't like all the talk about safeties going high in the draft. This just never works, even if Kiper and the crew are all in love with Eric Berry. Even if he's a great safety, these guys don't lead crappy teams to the playoffs. I hope the Chiefs don't do it. The Chiefs are my emotional #2 team and I have to root for them. But dammit guys, help me out here. I'm ok with Cincy at 22 or Philly at 24 (even though I sure wouldn't reach for these positions), but a top 10 on a safety is a bad, bad move.
  • I like Baltimore getting Anquan Boldin, but he's not the difference between them and the elite. He's essentially a better version of Mason at this point, the other receiver they have, and doesn't do much downfield. I saw some good metrics on him and he's very specific in what he does, mainly the intermediate stuff. I like what they did with Stallworth, assuming his head's on straight after the prison sentence. How troubling is it that we have to factor that into the equation?
  • Ugh. Buffalo is going to be bad. Bad Bad Bad. Like 2-14 bad. Who are they paying on that team? Is there anyone who would start for more than 50% of the teams in the league? Anyone? Maybe Lee Evans, but even that's pretty iffy.
  • Ugh. So are the Rams. Like 3-13 bad. Maybe another win, but not much more than that.
  • I have some concerns about the Giants. They're getting a little older on both lines, which is the clear strength of the team. I don't see any real playmakers right now, unless the 2nd year wideouts like Nicks really kick it to a higher level.
  • I still like Dallas a lot. They seem to be well positioned to make a solid run, and I'm guessing they put up a 12 win season next year.
  • Kind of a big quiet story in the works is the attempted revamping of the Indy offensive line. They bounced starter Ryan Lilja after he had a mediocre game against the Saints, and they're trying to change the unit to become more physical. Sounds good, except that the key to this team is consistency and good pass blocking, so a decline there has a "one step forward, two steps back" feel to it.
  • Finally, my early read on the Pats is that they'll be better next year than this season. Remember Brady is a full season removed from his monster knee injury, so he'll be better. The defense should be tougher and faster, but they'll need to figure out how to get a little more punch in the receivers if Welker isn't ready. I like Tate and Edelman to step up, although I'd like a receiving tight end like Greg Olsen (Bears) or Aaron Hernandez out of Florida to lighten the load.
OK, that's it for now. Catch y'alls later.

1 comment:

  1. I want a mock draft! Mock Draft! Mock draft!