Archive for NFL

Dallas Releases Terrel Owens

Posted in Football with tags , , , , on March 5, 2009 by FEGNS

Dallas has officially released WR Terrell Owens (pictured left) from the remainder of his contract.  This marks the end of Owens’ messy relationship in Dallas, and the Cowboys are the third team that has run him out of town.  At this point, there are very few teams willing to take a chance on him due to his behavioral problems. 

The fact however remains that T.O. has been the most consistant receiver for the past few years, and should be on an NHL team.  Odds are that Owens will go to the Oakland Raiders, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a few other teams make bids on him as well.

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NFL Free Agency 2009 – Part II

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2009 by FEGNS

A couple of days ago, I posted some initial reactions of the 2009 NFL free agency period here on FEGNS.  Since then, there have been more signings, wheeling and dealings, and tidbits of news.  So as I did before, I’ll break down some of the recent signings that I didn’t address already.

DENVER

Deal(s): The Broncos signed LB Andra Davis to a 2 year deal and also signed S Brian Dawkins (pictured right) to a 5 year, $17 million deal

Analysis: The Broncos were in need of inside linebacking, and Davis fits that bill well.  He’s also a much cheaper linebacking option than Ray Lewis and other still available linebacking options might be. 

Perrenial Pro-Bowler Brian Dawkins leaves Philidelpha behind after 13 seasons there.  He was a fan favorite, and I’m sure there are many fans that are heartbroken to see him go.  With that said, Dawkins is still a great player that will make an impact on any team he’s on. 

Rating: “B+” … These are good signings for the Broncos as they beef up their defense with the addition of both of these veterans.

ST. LOUIS

Deal(s): St. Louis Rams made Jason Brown (pictured left) the highest-paid center in the NFL, signing him to a 5 year, $37.5 million deal.

Analysis: After giving up 45 sacks last year (6th most in the NFL), the St. Louis offensive line receives a big boost with this signing, as Brown was widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen available.  Brown is versitile enough that he can line up in any of the 3 internal linemen positions, and this versitility makes him extremely valuable to a team that just gives up way too many sacks.

Rating: “B” … Although it’s hard to say that one signing and one player can change the effectiveness of an offense or defense, Brown is the type of player that will make a huge immidiate impact for the Rams.  Really good signing by itself, but hopefully for the Rams sake, this is the beginning of many more good signings, and not the end.

DALLAS

Deal(s): The Cowboys signed LB Keith Brooking (pictured left) and aquired John Kitna via trade with the Detriot Lions.

Analysis: The “Boys” were in need of linebacking help, and despite rumors circulating around for the last week or so, they wouldn’t be able to sign Ray Lewis without making some serious roster changes.  Brooking gives them an experienced veteran linebacking presence who is still an effective defensive asset.

John Kitna (pictured right) was acquired by trading starting cornerback Anthony Henry, and will supply depth at the quarterback postion.  While a starting defensive player is seemingly a lot to give up for a backup quarterback, the Cowboys realize now that Romo may not necessarily be the savior they thought he was.

Rating: “C+” … While Brooking will help out the Cowboys’ defense, losing Henry will not.   Kitna is a decent backup option, but will not be the one to lead the Cowboys to the promised land if Romo slips up.  These transactions are purely average, but the Cowboys are a team with a lot of money already spent, so that isn’t unexpected.

MIAMI

Deal(s): The Dolphins signed S Gibril Wilson (pictured right) to a 5 year, $27.5 million deal less than 10 days after he was released by the Oakland Raiders.

Analysis: The Dolphins were much improved last year after a terrible 2007-08 season.  The signing of Wilson is another step in the right direction.  Wilson gets his second multi-year contract in as many years. 

Rating: “B” … The value and price of this deal is right.  Wilson is a good player that was the victim of a cap crunch in Oakland.  Oakland’s loss is Miami’s gain. 

NFL Free Agency 2009

Posted in Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2009 by FEGNS

The NFL’s 2009 Free Agency period started out with a bang late this week, with numerous big name players getting signed to new (in some cases, very large) deals very quickly.

Here’s a quick recap of some of the things that have gone on within the first 24 hours of Free Agency ’09:

REDSKINS

Deal(s): The Washington Redskins sign DT Albert Haynesworth (pictured right) and CB DeAngelo Hall to large long term deals.  Haynesworth received a seven-year, $100 million contract and Hall received six years, $54 million. 

Analysis: The Redskins were obviously looking to shore up their defense (which over the years has been something that they are very proud of – even if it means lack of offense and fewer wins). 

DeAngelo Hall (pictured left) returns to the Redskins (after being picked up midway through the season when the Oakland Raiders released him).  Hall gives them a much stronger defensive secondary, and is still (in my opinion) a top 5 cornerback in the NFL in terms of talent.  If used properly he can be a franchise player and a game breaker.

Albert Haynesworth was at the top of many teams’ lists.  The Redskins offered him HUGE money, and I’m not sure if he’ll really end up being worth it.  While Haynesworth is one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league, you have to wonder what else the Redskins could have done to enhance their team by using that salary cap space differently.

Rating:The redskins have acquired/kept two very good players, and haven’t really lost any big name assets this off season.  We’ll have to wait and see how Haynesworth fits into their scheme, but right now… I’ll give them an “A-” rating.  The minus is there because of the amount of money that they spent on just 2 guys… it could come back to bite them.

NY JETS

Deal(s): It’s been widely reported that LB Bart Scott (pictured right) will be signing with the Jets for 5 years and approximately $40 million.  The Jets also traded a 5th round draft pick, and a conditional pick for CB Lito Sheppardof the Philidelphia Eagles.

Analysis: While the Bart Scott signing technically not “final” yet… news of Scott going to the Jets is so widespread that I won’t be the only one with egg on my face if it doesn’t end up happening… so I feel safe including it here.  Scott leaves Baltimore and follows Rex Ryan (Baltimore’s ex-defensive coordinator who is now the head coach of the Jets) to NY.  This will be a good deal for all parties involved.  Ryan will have a linebacker to lead his defense that he trusts and who knows his system an is familiar with his coaching style.

Lito Sheppard (pictured left) was the odd man out when the Eagles signed Asante Samuel last year.  Sheppard is still only 27 and is a great cornerback with speed and awareness.  Acquiring him for a 5th rounder and a conditional pick is good work by Jets management.

Rating: Pending the “official” signing of Bart Scott, the Jets receive an “A” rating.  Similar to the Redskins, they beefed up 2 areas of their defense with two very good players.  Unlike the Redskins, they didn’t break the bank to do so.

PATRIOTS

Deal(s): The Patriots signed RB Fred Taylor (pictured right), who was recently cut by Jacksonville.

Analysis:Not really sure what to say about this one.  Lawrence Maroney has been good, but gets injured easily.  So this appears to be an insurance policy against Maroney getting injured. 

As it is, Maroney only gets 10-15 carries a game, so I really don’t understand bringing in another back if not for the injury/depth concerns.

Rating: “C” … Acquiring another running back, when you don’t use the one you have in the first place seems kind of silly. 

TAMPA BAY

Deal(s): The Bucs aquired TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (pictured right) from the Cleveland Browns for a 2nd and a 5th round pick. 

Analysis:Good move by the Bucs to bring in one of the better young receiving tight ends in the league.  Winslow brings drama andinjury concerns with him though, so only time will tell really how good this deal was for both sides. 

When he’s on his game though, Winslow Jr. is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

Rating:  “B” … Winslow could be great.  Or he could be trouble.  Either way, the draft picks that they gave up were worth the chance that he’ll be great. 

BALTIMORE

Deal(s): The Ravens appear to have lost LB Bart Scott to the NY Jets, and they also have possibly alienated franchise LB Ray Lewis… The only positive it seems so far in Free Agency is their signing of CB Domonique Foxworth (pictured left) for 4 years at $28 million.

Analysis:The Ray Lewis “drama” could just be posturing as he tries to get the largest deal he can (since it will very likely be his last contract before retirement)… so we’ll have to wait to see exactly how that side story plays out.  He very well may end up with the Ravens next year (despite reports that he claims otherwise).

Signing Domonique Foxworth was a great move for a team losing a lot of depth at the defensive back and linebacker positions this off season.  Foxworth is a local guy (went to High School in the Baltimore area, and college at University of Maryland), so in addition to what he brings on the field, he’ll also help out at the ticket office.  Good, Good signing.  Also, players always seem to play harder when they are playing in front of friends and family.

Rating: “C” … As good as the Foxworth signing is, all signs point to the Ravens losing 2 of their starting linebackers from this past season.  That’s a huge blow that they might not be able to counter with mere free agent signings.

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For a list of the “top 100” free agents (complete with updates as they are signed), Click Here.

Andre Smith = Big Loser

Posted in Football with tags , , , , on February 24, 2009 by FEGNS

Yesterday, I posted a quick recap of some of the winners and losers of the recent NFL Combine.  In this post, I mentioned the bizarre actions of Alabama Offensive Tackle Andre Smith. 

Well… late yesterday, an article over at cnbc broke down exactly how much money Smith may have lost due to his antics and poor decisions at this year’s NFL Combine.

Darren Rovell speculates in the article that had Smith been selected first overall, he may have gotten upwards of $30 million of guaranteed money.  Rovell then goes on to propose that should Smith drop as far as the bottom of the first round, he may only see about $6.1 million of guaranteed money.  That’s a staggering difference of 23.9 million dollars.

It really is interesting that a player can spend his entire life with a lucrative professional contract as his goal, only to literally shoot himself in the foot a month or two from achieving that goal.

It’s just amazing to me how anyone who was in college for 5 years could risk throwing that much money away for no reason(s) than childishness and stupidity…

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.