Archive for Football

2009 NFL Combine

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by FEGNS
2009 NFL Draftee: Darrius Heyward-Bey

2009 NFL Draftee: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

This past weekend, numerous young athletes made their way to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana for what could prove to be a crucial step in their futures as football players, and professional athletes.  Some impressed and improved their stock to NFL teams watching, while some disappointed.  Others, surprisingly didn’t even show up.

The Winners: Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry impressed with his interview skills.  He showed everyone that he’s a very intelligent, charismatic player (which are important traits for linebackers in particular to have).  He could be this year’s franchise linebacker option for teams that are looking to rebuild through the draft, and could very possibly end up being picked in the top 3 overall.

South Carolina’s Jared Cook (WR) made the switch to Tight End, and impressed with a 4.43 second 40 yard dash, and a 41 inch vertical leap.  As a player that was projected to be drafted mid to late first round, his stock improves dramatically, and he could possibly be looking at a top 10 overall selection.

Maryland Wide Receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey (pictured above) ran impressive 40 yard dash times in the 4.27 range.  Heyward-Bey looked like it took absolutely no effort on his part to post these astonishing speed numbers.  He’s been touted as possibly the fastest player in the draft, and with such remarkable proof of his pure speed, it is difficult to believe that he’ll fall any further than 20th overall on draft day.  His combination of size, speed and explosion will make it tough for teams looking for wide receivers to pass him up in the first round… because they probably won’t get another shot at him if they do so.

The Losers: Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree discovered this weekend that he has a stress fracture in his left foot.  The injury could sideline him for up to 10 weeks after surgery, and is a concern for teams interested in him.  Widely considered as a top 5 overall prospect in the coming draft, his stock takes a slight hit with this news.

The Bizarre: Alabama OT Andre Smith failed to appear at Saturday’s morning workout, and after a while it became apparent that he voluntarily returned to Atlanta to meet with his personal trainer.  This is a very interesting move for a player who’s livelihood could possibly depend on receiving a lucrative NFL contract.  Many teams are willing to take on a discipline case if the player is proven at the NFL level, but if that problem child is a rookie, or young player who hasn’t proven anything yet at the professional level, behavior like this can cost a guy some major dollars and/or signing bonuses. 

Oakland Raiders Make Big Internal Decisions

Posted in Football with tags , , , on February 21, 2009 by FEGNS

The last couple of days, the Oakland Raiders have made a few internal decisions and signings that should impact their franchise for years to come… and this time, it appears as though it will be a positive impact. 

After becoming the laughing stock of NFL management over the last couple of seasons, the Raiders organization finally seems to be turning the corner and getting a few things right these days.  Earlier this week they resigned arguably the best cornerback in the league, Nnamdi Asomugha to a massive three year deal.  The signing makes Asomugha the highest paid cornerback in the league, at approximately $15.1 million per year.  Getting such a quality player locked up for a few years was crucial for the Raiders, because Asomugha is the type of player you can build a defensive scheme around… and just having him on your team increases the appeal of your franchise to all the other players in the league looking for new contracts this offseason.

Asomugha would likely have gotten big bucks had he been signed during free agency, so the dollars and the length of the deal actually aren’t that bad.

Oakland also signed All-Pro punter, Shane Lechler to a four year deal as well this week.  He was one of the few bright spots on their team last season and is well worth the $12 million he’s slated to receive the next four years.

Resigning players to new, large contracts does come with a price though… especially in the salary cap world of the NFL.  The Raiders released safety Gibril Wilson today in what was likely a cost savings decision as Wilson would be owed a $4.5 million roster bonus in addition to his $2.01 million dollar cap hit.

The 27 year old Wilson is coming off a very good year, posting 134 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1.5 sacks… but with the resigning of the two aforementioned players, the Raiders had to cut costs and Wilson was the one to go.

It should be interesting to see what other moves the Raiders make as the off-season progresses.  They’ve definitely gotten off on the right foot though, resigning their own proven players, rather than waiting to make a big splash in free agency as they did last season.